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Weigh bike with bathroom scale?

Old 09-12-20, 08:27 AM
  #1  
5 mph
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Weigh bike with bathroom scale?

I've tried to weigh my bike with a bathrooms scale by getting on it by myself to get my weight and then getting off to zero it and then getting back on with my bike held as close to my body as possible and centered and doing the subtraction. Sounds goofy but not everyone likes to visit the bike shop. One of my bikes weighed close enough to specs, but the other two came in 4 to 5 pounds heavy, Does this method give an accurate weight or are the OEM specifics off. The two heavier bikes "feel" heavier than the OEM listed weight.
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Old 09-12-20, 08:38 AM
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Are those 2 bikes still in the stock configuration? Anything you add or change will change the weight.
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Old 09-12-20, 08:42 AM
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Sy Reene
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Originally Posted by 5 mph View Post
I've tried to weigh my bike with a bathrooms scale by getting on it by myself to get my weight and then getting off to zero it and then getting back on with my bike held as close to my body as possible and centered and doing the subtraction. Sounds goofy but not everyone likes to visit the bike shop. One of my bikes weighed close enough to specs, but the other two came in 4 to 5 pounds heavy, Does this method give an accurate weight or are the OEM specifics off. The two heavier bikes "feel" heavier than the OEM listed weight.
depends I suppose on how good your bathroom scale is. I assume there typically is rounding errors if you don't have a digital scale that goes to 1/10 of a lb? IOW for example, a 20lb bike (per bathroom scale) could really weigh anywhere between 19.5 to 20.4 lbs. No big deal to some, more important to others.

I'd spend the $10 or thereabouts on a digital fish scale from eg. amazon.. handy for lots of other stuff and obviously a bit more portable.

Last edited by Sy Reene; 09-12-20 at 09:02 AM.
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Old 09-12-20, 08:46 AM
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I use a bathroom scale for weighing my bikes and propane tanks. The tanks I can set on the scale and calculate how many gallons are left, the bikes I have to hold. I do this when I'm packed for a bike hike and am curious how much weight I've added in supplies and such. It works.
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Old 09-12-20, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by 5 mph View Post
Sounds goofy but not everyone likes to visit the bike shop. One of my bikes weighed close enough to specs, but the other two came in 4 to 5 pounds heavy, Does this method give an accurate weight or are the OEM specifics off.
Not goofy at all. Been done by many for as long as bathroom scales have existed. As long as your scale is accurate you'll get accurate weights. Try weighing each bike several times and maybe on different days to check for consistent readings.
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Old 09-12-20, 09:26 AM
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Um
Calibrate
The man who has one watch knows what time it is
The man who has two watches is never sure
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Old 09-12-20, 09:46 AM
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Your method is fine if you scale is fine. Im sure its perfectly good enough. - Or get a luggage scale. Not very expensive and a bit more handy.
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Old 09-12-20, 09:57 AM
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I use my bathroom scale. I do a couple of weighings as my scale is slightly different depending on where I stand.

Bike weighings can be sobering, Often not knowing is a happier place to be.
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Old 09-12-20, 10:12 AM
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IME, bathroom scales vary body weight up to 5 lbs which is 3%.

Like the current discussion of power meters, a scale can be consistent and be fine to keep track of your weight from week to week,

but not necessarily accurate, so a 20 lb bike could show a 1/2 lb difference from one scale to another.

I happened to recently inherit a set of gram weights, & using them found the >$10 fishing scale to be dead accurate in the 1kg range,

while the smaller countertop scale is good at 100g, but off a bit at 1kg.
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Old 09-12-20, 10:47 AM
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We use one* for boxed bikes for shipping them via Bike Flights (Now contracting with UPS)
with CoVid they have to be taken (local presort shipper)
Before then driver picked them up.
*Carton; length, height, width & Weight.. rounded up to avoid penalty charges ..
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Old 09-12-20, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post

but not necessarily accurate, so a 20 lb bike could show a 1/2 lb difference from one scale to another.
Also it doesn't work for % bike fat.
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Old 09-12-20, 11:39 AM
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Oddly enough I got a High tech Scale Made by Nokia, does water & body fat % & heart rate, when you stand on it barefoot..

I don't weigh bikes @ home, it does not matter..
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Old 09-12-20, 11:44 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by 5 mph View Post
I've tried to weigh my bike with a bathrooms scale by getting on it by myself to get my weight and then getting off to zero it and then getting back on with my bike held as close to my body as possible and centered and doing the subtraction. Sounds goofy but not everyone likes to visit the bike shop. One of my bikes weighed close enough to specs, but the other two came in 4 to 5 pounds heavy, Does this method give an accurate weight or are the OEM specifics off. The two heavier bikes "feel" heavier than the OEM listed weight.
Really? No one wanted to mention that OEM specs sometimes leave out pedals?
Also, I wouldn't expect much variation with tube and tire weight, but lower quality tires in a 25 or 28 width can add significant weight to a bike that was weighed with nicer 700x23c tires.

Last edited by Unca_Sam; 09-12-20 at 01:12 PM.
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Old 09-12-20, 11:47 AM
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does your LBS have the fancy park tool type version you could use?
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Old 09-12-20, 12:09 PM
  #15  
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Depending on how cheap your digital scale is, the resolution may vary +/- lb. quite easily.
Weigh yourself 5-6 times a couple minutes apart and see how repeatable your readings are.
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Old 09-12-20, 01:11 PM
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Weighing a bike, by whatever means, will almost never match specs from a manufacturer/builder. Manufacturers weigh the bikes in a way that is going to give the lowest number they can get. Marketing places too much emphasis on weight. I am guilty falling of into the light weight hole to a point, but as I have aged, comfort has become more important. I get passed a lot no matter what bike I ride, I am OK with that. I have a titanium bike, bought used a couple of years ago, and it truly is lightweight and comfortable to me. I admit, I like that. Still, that is not he bike I ride the most. My two favorite bikes to ride, a Lemond Tourmalet and a Lemond Poprad, are both more than 2 lbs heavier when they are all stripped down to just the frame/fork and necessary components, no accessories. I have not weighed just the frames with the forks. That figure is likely less at that point.
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Old 09-12-20, 02:01 PM
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And the advertised weight is usually a small or medium frame size, No pedals, sometimes No Seat, Certainly no bottle cages, racks, phone mounts. Its REAL easy to add 3-4-5 lbs to a bike in actual "As Ridden" weight.
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Old 09-12-20, 04:44 PM
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I use Kitchen scales.

Weight on the Front whee + Weight on the rear wheel = bike weight.

Barry
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Old 09-12-20, 05:01 PM
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I have a Health-O-Meter balance which uses weights not springs (Dumpster® find) to weigh myself , and my dog by holding her and doing the math. It correlates well with my doctor and her vet. I have never weighed my bikes (don't care) but I would assume it would be adequate for that.
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Old 09-12-20, 07:14 PM
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Someone's gotta say it: while I understand the academic curiosity, a couple pounds of bike weight, one way or the other, really won't affect your speed (or anything else, other than your ego) to any measurable degree.

And as others have noted, there is no standard method that mfrs follow for reporting bike weights, but they all certainly do NOT include pedals, bottle cages, mounts for computers and such, etc. So, yeah, your bike will be heavier than the mfr's claimed weight.
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Old 09-13-20, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
Also it doesn't work for % bike fat.
Is that what hangs over the seat?
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Old 09-13-20, 11:33 PM
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I'm glad that I wasn't the only one who does this ( a bit too often). My wife wakes up some mornings now and I see her heading to the bathroom (to weigh herself) and a few seconds later she automatically goes down to the garage...

Kind of funny I finally got that 22 pound "light bike" with a carbon fork(which weighs 25 pounds) I was dreaming about and its harder to pedal on steep hills than my 33 pound Giant Talon.... So bike weight is not everything

Guess my wife wont have to head to the garage for a while...
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Old 09-14-20, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by 5 mph View Post
I'm glad that I wasn't the only one who does this ( a bit too often). My wife wakes up some mornings now and I see her heading to the bathroom (to weigh herself) and a few seconds later she automatically goes down to the garage...

Kind of funny I finally got that 22 pound "light bike" with a carbon fork(which weighs 25 pounds) I was dreaming about and its harder to pedal on steep hills than my 33 pound Giant Talon.... So bike weight is not everything

Guess my wife wont have to head to the garage for a while...
If your 'light' bike (You know what, 25 lbs ride ready is plenty light, your bike is light, no quotes needed) has road gearing, the gears will be set up for maintaining speed, not necessarily climbing. Your Talon is set up with ATB gearing, which is usually lower, and makes climbing easier. I have been cruising around on a ~40lb Schwinn 3 speed this summer, with what amounts to a 48 X 14, 18, 24 gearing. Climbing isn't so bad in the lowest gear, but it's not as easy as the touring bike with a low of 26 x 34 possible. They're not too far apart on weight.
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Old 09-14-20, 09:45 AM
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I carry my bike into the grocery store and hang it from the scale by the oranges.
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Old 09-14-20, 09:47 AM
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If you consistently get the same answer for the light one, say before and after the heavy one, then your method is probably valid.

You could also get on there holding a few gallons of spring water and see that you get 8 pounds increment for each.
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