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Lightweight fitness bikes?

Old 08-15-06, 12:07 PM
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godspiral
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Lightweight fitness bikes?

How much do higher end fitness bikes weigh?

They seem to have 2 huge advantages over road bikes.

1. MTB brake bosses. V-brakes significantly outperform road brakes. Cheaper too, and lightness compensates for frame boss weight.

2. Significantly cheaper gearing and shifters. I'm sure STI is a huge advantage for racing, but if your not in a hurry, its very expensive. Trekking/moustache bars can bring aero positions.

So do any street/fitness bikes come in around 20lbs, (23lbs?) or is there supposedly no market for light bikes with decent brakes but cheap and simple gearing?
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Old 08-15-06, 12:13 PM
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LBS near me was stuck w/ a bunch of these, since discontinued*. They still have MSRP pricetag, but I bet they'd haggle:

http://www.feltracing.com/05/2005_bikes/2005_sr81.html

Maybe a dealer local to you is in a similar boat.



*successor line:

http://www.feltracing.com/06/06_srd_comfort_road/
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Old 08-15-06, 12:33 PM
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This is why I build my own bikes up from the frame. Fairly light with the components and frame I want.
However one note, moustache bars don't usually fit MTB shifters. You need to use downtube or bar end shifters. Ofcourse you can do the same with drop bars.
The second note is that dual pivot brakes perform quite admirably, I think they work nearly as well as V-brakes and are much easier to adjust. Thier big disadvantage is lack of clearance for decent tires with fenders.
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Old 08-15-06, 01:04 PM
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My Fuji Absolute('04) is 22lbs according to Fuji's site. That's stock alum frame/fork. I'd assume most of the higher end ones with carbon forks and bits should be a couple pounds less. I put a carbon 'cross fork on mine,and it feels pretty light.
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Old 08-15-06, 02:47 PM
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The best brakes I've used are the Shimano 600 dual pivots on my road/commuter bike. Easy to set up, great control, great stopping power. I'm sure I could get 28mm tyres under them, probably 32mm if I was so inclined. I like them better than any of the cantis on the 'cross and hybrids that I've had.
I would also take issue with the aero postion on moustache bars claim, I haven't found that to be the case with mine.
I agree that a cheaper form of shifting than STI would be good, especially as STI seem to be more prone to failure than more simple shifters.
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Old 08-15-06, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by dynaryder
My Fuji Absolute('04) is 22lbs according to Fuji's site. That's stock alum frame/fork. I'd assume most of the higher end ones with carbon forks and bits should be a couple pounds less. I put a carbon 'cross fork on mine,and it feels pretty light.
I noticed also that the Fuji League (road) doesn't have STI, and is affordable. A little heavier.
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Old 08-15-06, 03:20 PM
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What do you mean by 'fitness' bikes?
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Old 08-15-06, 03:30 PM
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I would say one of the big advantages of "fitness" bikes (as Trek calls them) is that they have more realistic gearing for the average rider than a standard road bike. For commuting with a load, the 30-25 (or 39-25 for doubles) low gear on a road bike just doesn't cut it for really steep hills. Most fitness bikes come with a 48/38/28 crankset have a low gear around 28-32.

To actually attempt to answer the question, Trek's 7.X series bikes and Specialized's Sirrus range should have a few bikes around that weight. Be prepared to pay quite a bit for that weight savings though.
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Old 08-15-06, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by godspiral
How much do higher end fitness bikes weigh?

They seem to have 2 huge advantages over road bikes.

1. MTB brake bosses. V-brakes significantly outperform road brakes. Cheaper too, and lightness compensates for frame boss weight.

2. Significantly cheaper gearing and shifters. I'm sure STI is a huge advantage for racing, but if your not in a hurry, its very expensive. Trekking/moustache bars can bring aero positions.

So do any street/fitness bikes come in around 20lbs, (23lbs?) or is there supposedly no market for light bikes with decent brakes but cheap and simple gearing?
How do V-brakes significantly outperform road brakes? I can lock up the rear wheel easily with the Campy Chorus brakes on both my road bikes and I'm reasonably sure they could send me over the bars just as well as V-brakes could.

I enjoy the responsiveness of a lightweight road bike so that's what I use to commute on. I have to admit, I did briefly admire the calves on this guy I saw commuting on his mtb as I passed him on my road bike this morning. I didn't much care for him cutting through parking lots to avoid lights and darting out across side streets between cars just to avoid having to stop at a light though.

Last edited by SDRider; 08-15-06 at 05:28 PM.
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Old 08-15-06, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by SDRider
How do V-brakes significantly outperform road brakes? I can lock up the rear wheel easily with the Campy Chorus brakes on both my road bikes and I'm reasonably sure they could send me over the bars just as well as V-brakes could.

I enjoy the responsiveness of a lightweight road bike so that's what I use to commute on. I have to admit, I did briefly admire the calves on this guy I saw commuting on his mtb as I passed him on my road bike this morning. I didn't much care for him cutting through parking lots to avoid lights and darting out across side streets between cars just to avoid having to stop at a light though.
Have you used both? I have. V-brakes do indeed significantly outperform dual-pivot road brakes. Don't get me wrong, the dual-pivots are plenty powerful enough, but there are no rim brakes in the world that will stop a bike like a pair of decent, well-adjusted v-brakes. This isn't a big deal if you're commuting on a lightweight road bike. But if you ever carry much weight on the bike, you'll really appreciate the excess stopping power of a pair of v-brakes.

My new Surly LHT commuter/touring bike has v-brakes. It's my first time riding v-brakes again in almost two years, and I'd forgotten how much I love them. A couple of years of mediocre cantilever brakes, flexy centerpulls and frightening single-pivot sidepulls make the light-touch, high modulation, immediate response of v-brakes seem like magic.
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Old 08-15-06, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by aadhils
What do you mean by 'fitness' bikes?
fitness bikes are essentially light mtb frames with road tires.

Originally Posted by grolby
My new Surly LHT commuter/touring bike has v-brakes. It's my first time riding v-brakes again in almost two years, and I'd forgotten how much I love them. A couple of years of mediocre cantilever brakes, flexy centerpulls and frightening single-pivot sidepulls make the light-touch, high modulation, immediate response of v-brakes seem like magic.
I guess that's the essence of it. Being used to vbrakes (on an ultra low end bike to boot), I expect to be able to stop by just breathing on the levers. On road bikes, including new trek1000/ocr2, you have to squeeze hard to get the same effect.
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Old 08-15-06, 06:57 PM
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I agree, when I come from shopping at wally world their is a hill with a stop light at the bottom. Riding a loaded trek 7.2fx those v-brakes do their job. I have an old road bike, pre dual pivot, and their is no way I'll be taking it on fully loaded store trips.
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Old 08-15-06, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by grolby
Have you used both? I have. V-brakes do indeed significantly outperform dual-pivot road brakes. Don't get me wrong, the dual-pivots are plenty powerful enough, but there are no rim brakes in the world that will stop a bike like a pair of decent, well-adjusted v-brakes. This isn't a big deal if you're commuting on a lightweight road bike. But if you ever carry much weight on the bike, you'll really appreciate the excess stopping power of a pair of v-brakes.

My new Surly LHT commuter/touring bike has v-brakes. It's my first time riding v-brakes again in almost two years, and I'd forgotten how much I love them. A couple of years of mediocre cantilever brakes, flexy centerpulls and frightening single-pivot sidepulls make the light-touch, high modulation, immediate response of v-brakes seem like magic.
Yes, I have used both. You just need to squeeze harder on the road brakes. Not a big deal for me personally. I don't commute everyday so on the days I don't commute I can change out dirty clothes at work for fresh ones. I also leave a towel and toiletries at work so I don't need to haul them either. Even when I was carrying everything on my back it was only an extra 10lbs or so.

My commute is 20 miles round trip and slightly more than 1500 ft of climbing. Even in the wet I haven't encountered a situation where my sidepull brakes wouldn't stop me. Stopping power is more limited by the grip of your tires anyway and not the power of whatever is clamping down on your rim. If I can lock up both wheels with sidepull brakes I don't see how a V-brake could possibly have any more stopping power.

What was it they always used to say about V-brakes? The V stands for victim?
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Old 08-15-06, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by nasiralpharia
I agree, when I come from shopping at wally world their is a hill with a stop light at the bottom. Riding a loaded trek 7.2fx those v-brakes do their job. I have an old road bike, pre dual pivot, and their is no way I'll be taking it on fully loaded store trips.
I guess if you're pulling or carrying a lot of weight up and down hills I can see where a light pull on the brake lever would be much preferable. For commuting though I don't see any advantage to riding a fitness bike with V-brakes. I like my road bike. To each his/her own I guess.
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Old 08-15-06, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by SDRider
My commute is 20 miles round trip and slightly more than 1500 ft of climbing. Even in the wet I haven't encountered a situation where my sidepull brakes wouldn't stop me. Stopping power is more limited by the grip of your tires anyway and not the power of whatever is clamping down on your rim. If I can lock up both wheels with sidepull brakes I don't see how a V-brake could possibly have any more stopping power.

What was it they always used to say about V-brakes? The V stands for victim?
It's not really about whether sidepulls won't stop you when v-brakes would, under the same condition. The v-brakes simply have more excess stopping power. In my opinion and experience, that means less hand and finger fatigue, more confidence and better ability to modulate braking force. I can lock up the wheels on my beater bike, too, and it's equipped with old centerpull brakes. I've never encountered a situation where they wouldn't stop me (there was a time when I almost slid out into an intersection, but that was from me trying to race to the light, which was at the bottom of a hill, in the rain, and not making it in time). But they require a much harder squeeze on the lever, and the modulation sucks. They're okay on a beater bike that never goes too fast or carries a heavy load, but they'd be just about my last choice for anything else. Modern sidepull brakes are obviously much nicer, but to a lesser extent, the same holds true.

Where that excess stopping power really comes into play, though, is when you're hauling an extra 25-50 lbs of gear on your bike, in addition to your own butt. If you're riding a lightweight roadbike that will never carry more than a frame pump and a spare tube, this is a non-issue. On a bike intended to move that kind of weight, that extra power is very, very nice to have. My Surly is built to carry a touring load, and I fully intend for it to do so. V-brakes mean that when I want that bike to stop, it will stop, no doubt about it, without finger-cramping effort on my part.

This is one of those matters of opinion, I guess. I personally don't see any particular reason not to want v-brakes on any bike that it makes any kind of sense to have them on, "necessary" or not. More braking power with a lighter touch is nice on ANY bike, and v-brakes really don't weigh all that much. Flat bar bike with rim brakes? Gimme V's!
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