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Old 06-24-11, 10:55 AM   #1
Burton
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Overweight light-weight

Last week a young lady came into the shop and explained that she felt the bike she had recently bought was too heavy. Would we accept it as a trade-in against a more light-weight model?

A little surprised but always willing to help out, I had a look at the bike (which was in immaculate condition), picked it up and winced, and asked her what was in the rear carrier bags. She gave me a short list that included a laptop.

So I pulled out a Giant hybrid, asked her to pick it up and if that was more to her liking. You should have seen her face light up! Yup! It was great! So much lighter than hers!

Then I broke the news to her - it was exactly the same make and model in a different color as what she had now! Except that it didn`t have fenders, two bells, a rear rack, saddlebags, a 5lb U-lock and chain, a portable computer, her purse, lunch a kickstand, headlight and two full waterbottles.

Suggested simply that leaving half that stuff at home might make her life a lot simpler.Why do people carry locks on trips where they never actually get off the bike anyway?
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Old 06-24-11, 11:08 AM   #2
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In my experience, if you have a bag, it's some sort of natural law of the universe that it accumulates stuff until it's full. I guess the same can be said for handlebar space. Recumbent riders can be especially bad about loading their rides down. I've seen a few who don't bat an eye over carrying 30 pounds of stuff when all they're doing is riding on the MUP.
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Old 06-24-11, 11:15 AM   #3
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My chain goes with me everytime, just in case I decide to stop somewhere (bathroom break?) and so I stay in the habit and don't end up somewhere without my chain when I really need it.

OTOH I tow a baby a lot, so I've pretty much come to ignore weight.
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Old 06-24-11, 11:17 AM   #4
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That's where you sell her one of those little underseat bags and a CO2 inflator.
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Old 06-24-11, 01:09 PM   #5
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.Why do people carry locks on trips where they never actually get off the bike anyway?
Same reason people use $2000 super-lite climbing wheels to ride freeway overpasses!
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Old 06-24-11, 01:16 PM   #6
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But I need all the crap that I carry! What if both my 20" and 26" tires flat and the self-stick patches don't work and I don't have both sizes of tubes with me?
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Old 06-24-11, 01:18 PM   #7
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But I need all the crap that I carry! What if both my 20" and 26" tires flat and the self-stick patches don't work and I don't have both sizes of tubes with me?
Then you pull out the portable computer and email for help!
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Old 06-24-11, 01:34 PM   #8
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Why do people carry locks on trips where they never actually get off the bike anyway?
I always carry a lock on my bike. May not get off the bike on most trips, but I want to be able to stop off at a store or other place along the way if it becomes desirable. Similarly most of my trips don't involve a flat tire, but I still carry a spare tube and pump in case this trip turns out to include one.

How about the converse question - why are people so concerned about a little extra weight on their bikes when they're not on a timed, competitive ride?
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Old 06-24-11, 01:39 PM   #9
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All bikes weight 30 lbs.

A 15 lb bike needs a 15 lb lock.
A 20 lb bike needs a 10 lb lock.
A 30 lb bike doesn't need a lock.



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Old 06-24-11, 02:38 PM   #10
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It always surprises me on the amount some people carry on their bikes. It's the time for the longer organised rides for me and the bike will have an extra bottle and carrier fitted and that is about it. Small wedge under the saddle for puncture repairs and that is what I carry at all times in any case. Start of the ride and I will decide on top coat- Pertex- Showerproof or if wet then the goretex will be worn- probably for the whole ride.

So why are there riders with Double panniers and top bags on the Rack? Why are they using a backpack that is stuffed to the brim and probably weighs about 20lbs and will be uncomfortable? OK- family groups with youngsters and Dad will have all the spare clothing- the Food for 4 of them and proably a couple of extra water bottles for the kids- but why do others carry so much extra stuff on a bike ride? Beats me.

Commuters on the other hand may have the change of clothing- they may have a lap top on the rack but at the pace they go at - I very much doubt it.

And the only lock that works is a Butt or a Hand. Keep one or the other on the bike and it doesn't get lost.
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Old 06-24-11, 02:59 PM   #11
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Commuters on the other hand may have the change of clothing- they may have a lap top on the rack but at the pace they go at - I very much doubt it.
Many commuters lug their work 'twixt home and office. I typically carry my laptop, five to ten pounds of books and folders, and lunch. On the way home I'll often add a sack of groceries. I can occasionally manage with one rear pannier; more typically, two.
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Old 06-24-11, 06:16 PM   #12
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I'm guilty. I commuted on the 'bent today. I had my Arkel GT-54 panniers and tailrider attached. I carried a laptop, clothing, food, lock, tools, tubes, and a bag of spare change. I still had room for more. I didn't use the lock.

I'm glad I don't weigh that thing.
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Old 06-24-11, 06:59 PM   #13
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For a cold and wet 100-miler my bike with all the crap I had (including food and water) weighted 48 pounds. Would it had been lighter it would had taken me less time. Would it had been heavier it would had taken me more.

Lightweight is overrated. I have two bikes, a lovely Merlin extra light titanium frame, full 7400 dura ace. With front bag, racks and fenders it comes to 22 pounds (could easily strip it down to 16.5). I also have a steel frame for light and credit card touring, don't know how much it weights but certainly more than the Merlin. Most of the time it makes no difference to me _at_all_ which one I'm riding, both are a joy.
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Old 06-24-11, 10:27 PM   #14
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Sometimes it's just easier to leave the stuff on the bike instead of having to remember to grab it when you go. I always have the stuff to change a flat, a lock, and a rain jacket packed on my bike. That was I don't have to remember to get them when I'm going on a longer ride.
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Old 06-25-11, 01:11 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Burton View Post
Last week a young lady came into the shop and explained that she felt the bike she had recently bought was too heavy. Would we accept it as a trade-in against a more light-weight model?

A little surprised but always willing to help out, I had a look at the bike (which was in immaculate condition), picked it up and winced, and asked her what was in the rear carrier bags. She gave me a short list that included a laptop.

So I pulled out a Giant hybrid, asked her to pick it up and if that was more to her liking. You should have seen her face light up! Yup! It was great! So much lighter than hers!

Then I broke the news to her - it was exactly the same make and model in a different color as what she had now! Except that it didn`t have fenders, two bells, a rear rack, saddlebags, a 5lb U-lock and chain, a portable computer, her purse, lunch a kickstand, headlight and two full waterbottles.

Suggested simply that leaving half that stuff at home might make her life a lot simpler.Why do people carry locks on trips where they never actually get off the bike anyway?
Not too long ago at my favorite LBS we weighed my top bag, it's a Sunlite Pak and Rak. It weighed in at 14lbs. In it I carry my tire levers, disk brake shim, first aid kit, two locks (U-bolt/cable weighing about 4lbs), my purse, an extra waterbottle, windbreaker/rain gear, reflective vest.

In my saddle bag I carry an extra tube, patch kit, CO2 inflator, and cash. In my pannier bags I carry in one my maps, extra copies of the Florida Streets Smart Guide. In the other one I carry a bungy cargo net, if I'm going on a longer ride I'll carry extra waterbottles. In the smaller outer pockets I carry extra batteries for my lights, as well as business cards for my favorite LBS, as well as for the pizza joint that I go to.

And there is still plenty of room in them if I need to stop at the store to pick up some food or milk.
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Old 06-25-11, 01:14 AM   #16
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Last week a young lady came into the shop and explained that she felt the bike she had recently bought was too heavy. Would we accept it as a trade-in against a more light-weight model?

A little surprised but always willing to help out, I had a look at the bike (which was in immaculate condition), picked it up and winced, and asked her what was in the rear carrier bags. She gave me a short list that included a laptop.

So I pulled out a Giant hybrid, asked her to pick it up and if that was more to her liking. You should have seen her face light up! Yup! It was great! So much lighter than hers!

Then I broke the news to her - it was exactly the same make and model in a different color as what she had now! Except that it didn`t have fenders, two bells, a rear rack, saddlebags, a 5lb U-lock and chain, a portable computer, her purse, lunch a kickstand, headlight and two full waterbottles.

Suggested simply that leaving half that stuff at home might make her life a lot simpler.Why do people carry locks on trips where they never actually get off the bike anyway?
Oh, and depending on where I'm going I'll also carry my netbook.

One reason that people carry their lock(s) is that they never know when they'll have to stop for a bathroom break or to get something to eat. And it's better to have one's lock(s) and not need them than not have them and end up with a stolen bike.
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Old 06-25-11, 07:16 AM   #17
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It always surprises me on the amount some people carry on their bikes.
Me too.
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Old 06-25-11, 07:35 AM   #18
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I recently ditched my new 2010 Cannondale Synapse carbon for a Fuji Absolute 2.0. The extra weight is noticable on acceleration but other than that I can't tell much difference even with the 20lbs of stuff I may carry.

Now I've got my camera and I-pod, tools and tubes, food, jacket, etc. It's made cycling, for me, more fun. It seems I am riding longer distances easier and I don't have the feeling I have to somehow justify what I am riding by hauling ass all the time and working at not being dropped too often.

I may be falling into a touring mindset, not a bad thing.

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Old 06-25-11, 07:52 AM   #19
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And the only lock that works is a Butt or a Hand. Keep one or the other on the bike and it doesn't get lost.
Not necessarily. I've had a bike stolen while I was riding it.
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Old 06-26-11, 03:11 PM   #20
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I always carry a lock on my bike. May not get off the bike on most trips, but I want to be able to stop off at a store or other place along the way if it becomes desirable. Similarly most of my trips don't involve a flat tire, but I still carry a spare tube and pump in case this trip turns out to include one.

How about the converse question - why are people so concerned about a little extra weight on their bikes when they're not on a timed, competitive ride?
A good question and in this case there was a reasonable explaination. The young lady lived on the third floor and needed to lug all that extra weight up and down several flights of stairs. I occasionally do the same with an electric bike myself (two floors) and its a bit of a workout!
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