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Old 07-09-09, 04:40 PM   #1
robertpa
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Will a 10 lb. lighter bike be really noticeable?

I am a 63 year old man who enjoys riding bicycle three or four days a week, approx. 20 - 40 miles a ride. My bike, a Specialized Crossroads, 21 speed, is in excellent condition, but ways 30 + lbs. The roads I travel on are rural, and there are hills. Do you think I would notice a difference in a 10 lb. lighter bike?
Thank you. robertpa
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Old 07-09-09, 04:43 PM   #2
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yes. yes yes yes. and these days i think itd actually be hard to find a road bike that weighs much more than 20lbs anyway. lightening your load would definitely make a difference
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Old 07-09-09, 04:50 PM   #3
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If you had to put 10 lbs and carry it in a backpack on your ride, do you think you would notice the difference? Of course you would, so if you had a 10 lbs lighter bike, that would be 10 lbs less you would be hauling around for 20-40 miles. The bike I bought is about 5 lbs lighter than the bike I was going to buy, and the first time I rode a 5 lbs lighter bike I could immediately tell the difference.

If you can find a nice lighter bike you can afford, buy it. If you can find an even lighter one you can barely afford, go with that one instead. If I had to do it over I'd have gotten one even lighter, but that will have to wait for my next one.
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Old 07-09-09, 05:27 PM   #4
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That's not really a fair comparison; 10 lbs extra distributed across a frame is very different.

The answer is yes, you'll notice, especially on the rides you're describing. What isn't clear is how much you notice. Weight is really nonlinear; it matters a lot for a while, then starts to taper off. Most of the weight in the system is you. But it's worth a test ride to see what matters to you.
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Old 07-09-09, 06:41 PM   #5
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Thank you for your replies. I thought this might be the answers I would get. Now I have to determine which bike I will give a test run. The bicycle shop has a Specialized Sequoia, but I did not care for the shifters. The Sirrus is the style I am thinking of trying. robertpa
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Old 07-09-09, 07:05 PM   #6
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A light bike will help you accelerating and climbing.

However, if a significant part of your route is flat, you may want to reconsider a bike with drop bars, as the aerodynamics are better for flat or down hill rides.
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Old 07-09-09, 08:25 PM   #7
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Shaving 10 pounds is completely realistic. A 21 speed means your bike is most likely a mid 90's model. Don't worry just b/c it's light does not mean it will not be any more reliable. So, yes enjoy a 10 pound loss.
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Old 07-09-09, 08:30 PM   #8
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My only advice is to re-think the Sequoia. I went thru MB, Hybrid and finally ended up with a Sequoia. So now I have one of each. If money is not issue, get the Sirrus and then a Sequoia. At 40 mile rides you find the Sequoia a better choice over time.
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Old 07-10-09, 09:44 AM   #9
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If we were talking about a 2-lb. difference, I'd say no. But 10 lbs. is very significant and you will definitely notice a difference--particularly on the hills.

The Sirrus is a very nice bike. However, I agree that you should not be afraid to try something with drop bars. They may seem uncomfortable, because most road bikes you see in shops are set up as they would be for racing (bars much lower than saddle). Drop bars can be set up to be much more upright, though. Most people on this forum will agree that drops are far superior to flat bars for road riding. Even if you are on the "hoods" 99% of the time, the position is much more natural for extended periods of time (20-40 miles is a pretty good ride), and the ability to change hand positions can be a real lifesaver.

You owe it to yourself to at least test ride a "comfort" road bike, with a more relaxed, upright geometry. IMHO, you'd be happier in the long run with something like that.
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Old 07-10-09, 12:36 PM   #10
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The physics is complicated. It will take more energy to go uphill, but most of that energy is recovered going downhill(I think), unless you break.

What do you, your bike and gear weight fully loaded. Make a percent and divide by the amount of money you want to use to lose 10lbs. Does the % per $ sound good to you?
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Old 07-10-09, 02:26 PM   #11
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You need to compare cost with benefit. If you need to spend a fortune to save 10lbs then it probably is not worth it. If money is not a object then treat yourself and go for it. After all, you can't take it with you.

But unless you are an unusually very lean 63 y.o., you could probably stand to lose 5-10 lbs anyway (like the rest of us in the AARP club ). That loss of 10 lbs. won't cost you anything and you get to benefit from it on and off the bike.
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Old 07-10-09, 02:35 PM   #12
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Don't let the number crunchers convince you that losing 10 pounds of body weight is the same as losing 10 pounds of bike. The numbers may suggest it, but a quick test ride will dispel the notion pretty quickly. The lighter bike will make a big difference. If you want, you can always lose 10 pounds, too...
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Old 07-10-09, 03:19 PM   #13
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My "light bike" weighs about 23 pounds and my "heavy bike" weighs about 27 pounds.
I most certainly notice the difference.
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Old 07-10-09, 03:48 PM   #14
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Don't let the weight weenies spend your money for you. You might notice a difference in 10lbs, I really can't see how you are going to see a much of a difference in 4 lbs. If you can then either it is your imagination or your are really sensitive to weight.

Tire size is probably going to make a bigger difference than weight. If you are running 35mm on a hybrid, your are going to notice a difference moving down to 26mm or smaller.


Buy the bike that makes both you and your pocketbook happy and don't worry about a few pounds.

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Old 07-10-09, 07:05 PM   #15
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LOL - obviously, I'm not a weight weenie, since my light bike is 23 lbs.

I suppose I should mention that the light bike only has two bottle cages and no rack while the other bike can and often does carry four bottles of fluids. The light bike also has no rack so anything I need to bring along has to go in a messenger bag. Overall, the weight-on-bike difference probably ends up being more than 4 lbs.

I also have a beach cruiser that weighs more than 30 lbs and just about anyone would be able to feel its heft.
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Old 07-10-09, 07:44 PM   #16
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My ~21lb cyclocross/road commuter is *very* noticeably nimbler and faster than my sluggish, ~30 lb mountain bike, and it's not just because of the tires. I've put Tioga City Slickers on the MTB before and it still felt sluggish.
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Old 07-10-09, 08:19 PM   #17
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Before you spend money, ask yourself if you want it to be marginally easier to accelerate faster or ride uphill. If your goal is simply physical fitness, it may be counter productive to make things easier on yourself.
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Old 07-10-09, 08:49 PM   #18
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I bought a new bike last year which was about 8 lb lighter, and I notice it most on little hills that I can get up with a little burst of energy and no downshifting. I am sure it is a lot better on the big hills but it is not so noticeable. Handling seems more precise but that is more likely related to steering geometry than the weight.
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Old 07-11-09, 11:42 PM   #19
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Have to agree with spinnaker.It is cheaper and healthier to shed 10 lbs on your body.[if you need to]
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Old 07-12-09, 02:20 AM   #20
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10 lbs difference in weight will make a difference in ridability- but that is not just down to the weight loss. Hybrids and Mountain bikes are noticably different in weight and 10lbs would not be unusual. However I did have a 19lbs MTB and that rode well- was reliable but was difficult to ride without the arm and a leg that it cost me.

In getting a lighter bike- certain components like wheels and tyres will be lighter. Not saying better quality unless you pay for it but that lighter weight on the wheels will make a difference to hill climbing and acceleration. In fact with the whole bike being lighter- hills and acceleration will improve. If you go for a road bike- then it will be better suited to road riding than a hybrid and definitely better than an MTB.

You have to choose a bike for its use but overall a lighter bike will be better in all ways- except the wallet.

And to those that say losing 10lbs body weight will have the same effect- put 10lbs in a back pack or 10lbs on a pannier. The heavy bike is sluggish and feels heavy to ride. So get the light wight bike- ride it more and you will lose body weight so you have now lost 20lbs+. That will make a difference. Because in losing the 10lbs from the body- you will have put on muscle and got fitter.
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Old 07-12-09, 02:24 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post
Don't let the weight weenies spend your money for you. You might notice a difference in 10lbs, I really can't see how you are going to see a much of a difference in 4 lbs. If you can then either it is your imagination or your are really sensitive to weight.

Tire size is probably going to make a bigger difference than weight. If you are running 35mm on a hybrid, your are going to notice a difference moving down to 26mm or smaller.


Buy the bike that makes both you and your pocketbook happy and don't worry about a few pounds.
Don't you believe it.

Giant OCR at 19 lbs. Giant TCR-C at 16 lbs

But that TCR is far better to ride.

3lbs makes a difference and it is not only on the differing bikes. Both similar components and have even used the same wheels. Saying that I cannot fault the OCR. It got me up Ventoux- which is not a bad feat for an old git on a cheap bike.

And going down a tyre width will help- less rolling resitance but could mean a loss in comfort
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Old 07-12-09, 03:50 AM   #22
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maybe...probably not as much as a 10 lb. lighter RIDER

(I'm a Clyde, you know, and weight is nothing if the bearings are decent)
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Old 07-12-09, 05:03 AM   #23
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maybe...probably not as much as a 10 lb. lighter RIDER

(I'm a Clyde, you know, and weight is nothing if the bearings are decent)
Clydes do have an advantage that I would like to point out. All that extra weight = extra power that is available. They do need bikes that will stand up to them however and wheels aswell but a mate of mine that is 250lbs has so much leg power for getting up the hills- accelerating ay high speed and even good endurance- that it is difficult to keep a bike intact underneath him. Broken chains and Stripped teeth on the cassettes are common place with him.

I loaned him a good strong set of Tandem grade wheels to put on his solo for a long Offroad ride. They had just come out of the Builders and were fine. By the end of 65 miles the wheels were toast.Spokes very loose- wheel out of true and rims Oval. At least I hadn't loaned him the Good set I used.

So light bikes are probably out for Heavy riders and even strong riders have to have bikes that will stand up to their use.
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Old 07-12-09, 02:20 PM   #24
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Level ground, not really.

Up (and down) hill, more obvious.
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