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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 03-24-10, 11:58 PM   #1
raydog
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I weighed every bike in the shop!

I chose this category (long distance) because the farther the ride, the more weight becomes an issue.
I have a very long ride coming up in June (either 800 or 1600 miles depending if I ride back home or have my family pick me up in the SUV) and the other day some friends of mine and myself were weighing bikes on a pro bike scale. My old (1969) Raleigh Competition GS (all Campy/friction) weighed in at 24.5 lbs. One of Greg LeMonds championship 1970's Raleighs(12 spd) weighed in at 19.3 lbs. (amazingly light for a 38 year old bike!).
My friend's all carbon $6500 Pinirello (fully equiped, bottle cages, pedals, 20 speed, etc.) weighed 17.3 lbs. and here's the reason for this post.....my "touring" bike, a Motobecan Le Champion (aluminim w/carbon fork, 30 speed Ultegra, heavy touring seat, cages, computer, pedals, Vittoria Rubino Pro 25c tires) WEIGHED IN AT 20.3 POUNDS!
I realize I'm not including frame sizes but I have less than $2500 in my bike and it's only 3 pounds heavier than the carbon guys!
Oh, one more bike I forgot to mention....a Raleigh Sojourn I think? Full on touring bike with steel chainrings and 32c tires weighed 29 pounds.
I'm not selling a point of view here, just sharing what I think is interesting data, I went crazy with the scale!
I do have one opinion. however, a 20 pound bicycle is a light bike, a 30 pound one is not. After a few back to back centuries, it starts making a heck of a difference. If you are a 40-50 mile a day rider, I suppose that difference isn't as big a deal.
All this assumes addl cargo weight is equal across the above bicycles. Raydog
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Old 03-25-10, 12:53 AM   #2
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I find most long distance riders are less likely to be interested in the weight of their bikes.

I'm just curious if you've ever looked in the touring forum here.

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Old 03-25-10, 03:01 AM   #3
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however, a 20 pound bicycle is a light bike, a 30 pound one is not. After a few back to back centuries, it starts making a heck of a difference. Raydog
Really? Have you rode back to back centuries on a 20 lb. bike and a 30 lb bike? I'm just asking.
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Old 03-25-10, 03:07 AM   #4
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I weighed every bike in the shop!
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Old 03-25-10, 03:12 AM   #5
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I chose this category (long distance) because the farther the ride, the more weight becomes an issue.
And the further you ride, the more stuff you end up carrying.
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Old 03-25-10, 03:53 AM   #6
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I think red bikes are the lightest. That`s probably why they`re so fast. I imagine dark colored bikes are denser (think black holes), and therefore most likely the heaviest. There are obviously a few exceptions- for example, my road bike weighs in at about 25 pounds even though it`s the same color as my daily rider commuter/tourer- no idea why the roadie is so feather light. Maybe the celeste bar tape?
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Old 03-25-10, 04:15 AM   #7
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Don't forget that objects which have more mass exert a stronger gravitational field.
That may explain why there are so many of us on bewilderingly heavy bikes.
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Old 03-25-10, 07:56 AM   #8
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Sorry Metzinger, there is no such thing as gravity. The earth sucks!
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Old 03-25-10, 08:03 AM   #9
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Really? Have you rode back to back centuries on a 20 lb. bike and a 30 lb bike? I'm just asking.
Actually, I rode around Lake Tahoe on a 24 lb road bike then two days later on an older 32 lb mountain bike, about 76 miles for the route and there was a big difference. I just thought they were fun numbers, gosh, next time I post in this section I'll sure have my data together at a higher and less disputable level.
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Old 03-25-10, 08:12 AM   #10
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I find most long distance riders are less likely to be interested in the weight of their bikes.

I'm just curious if you've ever looked in the touring forum here.
As I read earlier posts in this thread and compare to the touring section, it seems that I find the opposite tendancy, that is, touring riders seem to ride heavier bikes and carry more cargo than long distance riders. Of course that is a generalization but that's what I get from the reading. Obviously, that is an oversimplification since it doesn't take in if a competitive event or specific mileages.
Even the "touring" bikes as produced by manufacturers are heavier than other higher end equally priced road bikes.
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Old 03-25-10, 10:48 AM   #11
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Hmm. I'd say competitive roadies are the ultimate weight-weenies, for good reason. LD riders might care more than the touring people, but it's shades of meaning, here. Between strength and lightness, I'd propose that a tourer would value lightness less than an LD rider, but that the competitive roadie is willing to sacrifice strength (of some form) and even comfort in pursuit of even small advantages in speed. This is an oversimplification, of course, and I could be completely wrong.

BTW, I find your data interesting.
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Old 03-25-10, 11:49 AM   #12
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Old 03-25-10, 12:28 PM   #13
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Here is my perspective on weight. I gained as much weight since last season as doubling the weight of my bike. I'm a little annoyed with myself about that. But on a 400-600k ride, I'm sure my weight fluctuates a lot from eating/drinking.

I used to do things like put my ID and some money in a baggy so i didn't have to carry the weight of my wallet. Now I just throw the wallet in a baggy so it doesn't get too wet. Between my lights and the stuff I have in my bag, my bike weighs quite a bit. Sure, it might weigh 3 pounds less if I had a lighter bike, but that doesn't even register. I carry extra food, extra gloves, extra clothes. All that extra weight might slow me down 15-20 minutes over a 10 hour ride, but not having what I need with me might cost me hours.

Now if I was on RAAM or trying to qualify, I might try to get a lighter bike. I know some people that ride 200k-600k on their rain bike, and ride longer rides on a go-fast bike. I can understand doing that.

If I can get my eating dialed in a little better I might worry about the bike more, but as it is I can't see how it's going to help me much.
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Old 03-25-10, 03:21 PM   #14
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It makes me laugh when I see a big overweight guy (it's usually a guy) in a bike shop, picking up a bike to see how light it is. (Not suggesting that's you OP.)
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Old 03-25-10, 03:46 PM   #15
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It makes me laugh when I see a big overweight guy (it's usually a guy) in a bike shop, picking up a bike to see how light it is. (Not suggesting that's you OP.)
I guess it's kinda like kicking the tires on a car, when car shopping. I have been thinking of getting some new lighter wheels, but after pricing them I decided to loose a few pounds and save the money for maybe a new pair of bike shoes.
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Old 03-25-10, 04:15 PM   #16
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Actually, I rode around Lake Tahoe on a 24 lb road bike then two days later on an older 32 lb mountain bike, about 76 miles for the route and there was a big difference. I just thought they were fun numbers, gosh, next time I post in this section I'll sure have my data together at a higher and less disputable level.
There are differences a lot more significant than weight between those two bikes. This is not to say weight isn't a factor, but tire rolling resistance makes a much bigger difference. On a flat course, with a steady pace, the effect of weight is close to negligible.
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Old 03-25-10, 05:16 PM   #17
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There are differences a lot more significant than weight between those two bikes. This is not to say weight isn't a factor, but tire rolling resistance makes a much bigger difference. On a flat course, with a steady pace, the effect of weight is close to negligible.
Actually, in my example situation, there was very little difference besides weight and ergonomics (and therefore slight wind resistance factor) since I had an equal big ft chainring on both bikes and fatboy 90psi slicks on the mtb. BTW, answering the earlier question felt like I was a schoolboy taking a credibility quiz, gee, I hope I marginally passed.
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Old 03-25-10, 05:29 PM   #18
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Here is my perspective on weight. I gained as much weight since last season as doubling the weight of my bike. I'm a little annoyed with myself about that. But on a 400-600k ride, I'm sure my weight fluctuates a lot from eating/drinking.

I used to do things like put my ID and some money in a baggy so i didn't have to carry the weight of my wallet. Now I just throw the wallet in a baggy so it doesn't get too wet. Between my lights and the stuff I have in my bag, my bike weighs quite a bit. Sure, it might weigh 3 pounds less if I had a lighter bike, but that doesn't even register. I carry extra food, extra gloves, extra clothes. All that extra weight might slow me down 15-20 minutes over a 10 hour ride, but not having what I need with me might cost me hours.

Now if I was on RAAM or trying to qualify, I might try to get a lighter bike. I know some people that ride 200k-600k on their rain bike, and ride longer rides on a go-fast bike. I can understand doing that.

If I can get my eating dialed in a little better I might worry about the bike more, but as it is I can't see how it's going to help me much.
Your perspective makes a lot of sense. I would like to add that....a year ago I weighed 260, 8 mos. ago 245, at that juncture I began riding 2-4 times a week on the Computrainer (about 100 miles weekly) and working out at the gym on opposite days. Today, without dieting (but without many hot fudge sundaes) I weigh 216 lbs.
Since my big trip is coming up in June (800 miles/camping with Bob trailer/8 days) weight has taken on more signifigance for me than it ever has....weight of bike, weight of trailer, and my personal weight. I'll never get to 185 but I believe living at 200 in top condition will be wonderful....and I'm almost there! When I'm at the gym and I pick up a 20 pound dumbell, it reminds me how important it is to loose that last 20 pounds.
As far as my bike weighing frenzy in the bike shop, the owner is a friend of mine and we did it as a curiosity....and it was a blast.
I learned one thing, what a roadie tells you his bike weighs at a Starbuck's, is probably off 3-5 pounds!
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Old 03-25-10, 05:41 PM   #19
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It makes me laugh when I see a big overweight guy (it's usually a guy) in a bike shop, picking up a bike to see how light it is. (Not suggesting that's you OP.)
Since I've spent so much time in my friend's shop, I know exactly what you mean. To me, it's similar to a big fat Harley guy that has no hygiene but his motorcycle is surgically clean and maintained....but that's for another type of forum.
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Old 03-25-10, 06:03 PM   #20
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I chose this category (long distance) because the farther the ride, the more weight becomes an issue.
I have a very long ride coming up in June (either 800 or 1600 miles depending if I ride back home or have my family pick me up in the SUV) and the other day some friends of mine and myself were weighing bikes on a pro bike scale. My old (1969) Raleigh Competition GS (all Campy/friction) weighed in at 24.5 lbs. One of Greg LeMonds championship 1970's Raleighs(12 spd) weighed in at 19.3 lbs. (amazingly light for a 38 year old bike!).
My friend's all carbon $6500 Pinirello (fully equiped, bottle cages, pedals, 20 speed, etc.) weighed 17.3 lbs. and here's the reason for this post.....my "touring" bike, a Motobecan Le Champion (aluminim w/carbon fork, 30 speed Ultegra, heavy touring seat, cages, computer, pedals, Vittoria Rubino Pro 25c tires) WEIGHED IN AT 20.3 POUNDS!
I realize I'm not including frame sizes but I have less than $2500 in my bike and it's only 3 pounds heavier than the carbon guys!
Oh, one more bike I forgot to mention....a Raleigh Sojourn I think? Full on touring bike with steel chainrings and 32c tires weighed 29 pounds.
I'm not selling a point of view here, just sharing what I think is interesting data, I went crazy with the scale!
I do have one opinion. however, a 20 pound bicycle is a light bike, a 30 pound one is not. After a few back to back centuries, it starts making a heck of a difference. If you are a 40-50 mile a day rider, I suppose that difference isn't as big a deal.
All this assumes addl cargo weight is equal across the above bicycles. Raydog
A Motobecane Le Champion with 30 speed Ultegra not a touring bike. You added some stuff to a road racing bike. You added about 4-5 lbs to the bike.

A heavy bike rides smoother than a light bike. I'm less beat up after a century on my 28 lb Steel Jamis touring bike with 16 lbs in the panniers, than I am when using the 16lb racing bike. Of course it takes more time to go the distance. I don't mean less tired, just more comfortable.
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Old 03-25-10, 06:46 PM   #21
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A Motobecane Le Champion with 30 speed Ultegra not a touring bike. You added some stuff to a road racing bike. You added about 4-5 lbs to the bike.

A heavy bike rides smoother than a light bike. I'm less beat up after a century on my 28 lb Steel Jamis touring bike with 16 lbs in the panniers, than I am when using the 16lb racing bike. Of course it takes more time to go the distance. I don't mean less tired, just more comfortable.
This is similar to when I'm told that my 190 HP Hayabusa motorcycle is not a touring motorcycle. I've been "touring" on it through 11 western states for 3 years now. I've gone to great lengths to soften the "hard edged" aspects of the motorcycle (with great success I think).
Similarily, the Motobecane has undergone changes that, I believe, will suit me well for my style of touring (seat, wheels, tires, gearing, double wrapped bars, etc.). I tend to be less of a "flower smeller" and more of a, "let's push it another 16 miles today over our plan" person. No one is superior, just different, and after 62 years, I know myself. Your point about a heavier bike riding better than a light one is, of course, dead on accurate. I still contend that my equipment is more appropriate for me....for long distances....that being said by a person that has only riden single centuries on it, so after my forthcoming 800 miler, I may be quite humbled! (and I promise to be humble and truthful when I post the experience).
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Old 03-25-10, 07:11 PM   #22
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Actually, I rode around Lake Tahoe on a 24 lb road bike then two days later on an older 32 lb mountain bike, about 76 miles for the route and there was a big difference.
Really? Wow, this proves that weight is the only real difference between a road bike and a mountain bike.






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Old 03-25-10, 09:14 PM   #23
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You know, it's easy to say lose the 10-15lbs+ that's bouncing off your knees when your in the drops but realistically if you were going to loose that weight it wouldn't be on there year after year. It's a whole lot easier (and takes a whole lot less will power) to drop some coin on the counter of the lbs to buy something that is a little lighter. To ridicule someone for doing that because they have the money and or means is a little "holier than thou."

Raydog is correct that the the farther the ride, the more weight becomes an issue. He's absolutely correct. It's going to do one of two things, it's going to slow you down or make you more fatigued. Over 50 or 100 miles it might not make a huge difference but when you start stretching out the miles to 400, 500 or 800+ miles and it becomes much more significant if you are doing an event like a brevet or utlra race where rest/recovery time is limited. If you are doing a tour where you're riding 40-70miles/day and getting lots of rest the weight isn't nearly as much of an issue.

This is all about trade-offs. Going long distances requires reliability and going too lite starts cutting into reliability. Going too heavy causes added fatigue or slower times. The goal for every long distance rider should be to find the best combination of all the variables involved that will make the riding experience the best it can be for them. If you can ride a 45lb (fully loaded) bike and finish a 1200k brevet comfortably within the time limits who am I to say your formula is wrong? If you are struggling to meet the time cut-offs then I'm going to say you're carrying too much stuff. Just dropping 10lbs off your bike can move you from the edge to giving you a little buffer. If you are on a 16lb bike and finish every brevet I'm certainly not going to say you're doing it wrong but if you are braking parts and dnfing because of it I'm going to say you need a little more reliability and some stouter parts. It's not rocket science, it's just common sense and there is no one formula that works for everyone.
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Old 03-25-10, 09:21 PM   #24
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A heavy bike rides smoother than a light bike. I'm less beat up after a century on my 28 lb Steel Jamis touring bike with 16 lbs in the panniers, than I am when using the 16lb racing bike. Of course it takes more time to go the distance. I don't mean less tired, just more comfortable.
Sorry, it has nothing to do with the weight of the bike and everything to do with your fit on the bike and what the frame designer wanted to do when he designed the frame. My three year old "racing" bike is the most comfortable bike I've ever ridden (and I've ridden a lot). It's comfortable and I can get there fast if I want to.
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Old 03-25-10, 11:40 PM   #25
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You know Chipcom, I really enjoy sharing what I know and learning what I don't know from the incredible cumulative knowledge on this forum.
What's painful for me is to read a cynical, sarcastic and superficial comment like yours. One that contributes nothing to the collective wisdom except ill feelings. You intimate that I don't know the difference between a road bike and a mountain bike? I suggest that you give being clever a lower priority and work on human interaction.

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