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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 10-02-08, 11:04 AM   #1
Jerry in So IL
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How much should it weigh?

A good commuter bike that is!

I know there is all these threads about what is the bestest commuter ever, but I was wondering about something different. If a commuter wanted to commute a round trips of 30ish miles and pack about 30pounds of gear with him/her, what is the ideal weight range of the bike? The bike is setup up with lights, rack, bags, tools, and whatnots. And you are needing to hold a 15-16 mph average speed.

I would say about 50 pounds. Is that too much?

Jerry
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Old 10-02-08, 11:07 AM   #2
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How much does the commuter weigh? How strong is he/she?
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Old 10-02-08, 11:12 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Jerry in So IL View Post
A good commuter bike that is!

I know there is all these threads about what is the bestest commuter ever, but I was wondering about something different. If a commuter wanted to commute a round trips of 30ish miles and pack about 30pounds of gear with him/her, what is the ideal weight range of the bike? The bike is setup up with lights, rack, bags, tools, and whatnots. And you are needing to hold a 15-16 mph average speed.

I would say about 50 pounds. Is that too much?

Jerry

You said...fifty...pounds?

Since getting into cycling I have done many moderate (50-60) mile trips with 30+ lbs. of gear. I ride a Cannondale Quick 5, which is nowhere near 50 pounds. More like 25 at the very most, and that is with rack/fenders/lights on it. It is not a light bike.
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Old 10-02-08, 11:24 AM   #4
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It should weigh whatever it does. I have never really weighed my bike, but it's probably in the 35 pound range, but I'm sure it's up around 50 pounds a lot of the time after I put the bag on with all my stuff, and the bottle battery for the lights. When I hauling soda to work, probably more like 60. When I stop by the feed store to pick up pet food, more like 120.
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Old 10-02-08, 11:35 AM   #5
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Total weight's more important.
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Old 10-02-08, 11:36 AM   #6
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instead of asking how much it "should weight"

i believe the better question / answer is, which bike is lightest, and more suitable for the person riding it.

people usually aim to get a lighter bike, for better commuting
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Old 10-02-08, 11:36 AM   #7
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Yoiks. Fifty seems like a lot. For me, backpack + bike = about 25 to 30 pounds, depending on what's in the backpack.
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Old 10-02-08, 11:43 AM   #8
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Mine is around 35-38 lbs all decked out including clothes.
The frame is lugged steel.
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Old 10-02-08, 12:51 PM   #9
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So d2create is there a picture of you somewhere naked next to a platform scale with you bike and clothes on it?
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Old 10-02-08, 12:58 PM   #10
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Weight is less important in transportation cycling than a bike that is durable and has all the accessories (rack, lights, fenders,etc) to make it safe and useful. Find a bike that works and who cares what it weighs?
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Old 10-02-08, 01:14 PM   #11
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So d2create is there a picture of you somewhere naked next to a platform scale with you bike and clothes on it?
When I said clothes, i mean my WORK clothes in my bag, not cycling clothes!
But if you are really interested I suppose I could oblige.
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Old 10-02-08, 01:25 PM   #12
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For me, 200 pound cyclist + 25 pound pack + 25 pound bike = 250 pounds total. It's a lot easier to trim down my load and get the pack lighter than it would be to find a lighter bike. The cyclist could stand to lose a few pounds too.
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Old 10-02-08, 01:32 PM   #13
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I weighed my commuter bike last night and found it has slowly been putting on weight. I was rather suprised that with the water refilled and my normal commuter loadout it weighed in at 68 pounds

The last time I stripped everything that wasn't bolted on the bike it was just about 40lbs (left racks/fenders and such)

Add the rider that is just under 270 and say wheel problem
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Old 10-02-08, 01:38 PM   #14
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Unless you're racing or climbing mountains, 10-15 extra pounds won't make much difference.

I commute on a cyclo-cross bike, which was around 25 pounds stock, and closer to 35 by the time I include the fenders, pump, rack, lock, lights, and tools. Probably around 200 pounds total when I throw my lunch in the panniers and my seat on the saddle.
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Old 10-02-08, 01:39 PM   #15
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My steel frame bike with strong 32 spoke wheels and puncture resistant tires weighs 24 lbs. The rack, lights and other accessories add another 4 lbs.

I'm 230 lbs. I would not want to commute with any unneeded weight. 50 lbs is portly IMO.

Michael
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Old 10-02-08, 02:24 PM   #16
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My Breezer, according to the website, weights 31.5 pounds and has fenders, rack, lights, kickstand, and the like. I'm sure I've added a pound or two, with my tool bag and replacement grips and pedals.

But by the time I add my bag with tools, lunch, clothes, and myself, I'm upwards of 225 pounds or so.
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Old 10-02-08, 03:25 PM   #17
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I'm thinking he is around 220.

I said 50 due to a steel frame, a good wider (35-38) tire and load at.

Sure, a carbon and ti frame bike is going to be lighter, but at what cost on terms of money and ride?

Jerry, sure to be flamed by ti and carbon riders!
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Old 10-02-08, 03:32 PM   #18
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Add the rider that is just under 270 and say wheel problem
You need stronger wheels if under 270 is causing problems!

I weigh 250 pounds.
My bike (62cm Cross Check with racks/lights, before water and baggage) weighs about 30 pounds.
I've loaded up a 70 pound grocery run on my bike.

Total weight for that run was around 350 pounds, and the wheels were fine afterwards.



The ideal weight for a bike (any bike) is precisely what it weighs when spec'd out to meet your needs, within your price range.
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Old 10-02-08, 05:11 PM   #19
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50 pounds dressed and loaded out is fine for a Worksman Industrial bike that goes slow but will
carry a tank. The ideal go-fer bike to carry anything home.

35>40 pounds dressed and loaded out is fine for a steel lugged framed medium duty bike that
needs a bit of speed but carries a day's groceres.

25>30 pounds dressed and loaded out is fine for a everyday utility commuter that needs more
speed but carrys less as is common for go-fer use.
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Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 10-02-08, 05:52 PM   #20
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Stonger wheels are being built by a reputable local wheelbuilder that some rando/recumbent folks recommended. For a good commuting bike especially a recumbent with a heavy back end good wheels are definately a high priority.

me+bike+gear = almost 340 (I used to weight more but carry less so it probably evens out)
That was the weight for commuting 2000 miles on the wheel that broke and more then 2000 on the wheel that kept having spoke issues.

Hopefully the new wheels will hold up better.

For me the frame material doesn't help save that much weight it is the amount of "accessories" and tools/supplies I put on.
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Old 10-02-08, 08:09 PM   #21
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Are you taking in just stuff for the day or a few days worth of stuff? 30 lbs is a lot for just a days' worth unless you've got some heavy duty coveralls, big work boots, etc.

I've ridden in 2 weeks worth of clothes in fully loaded panniers probably weighing in at close to 30 lbs. I averaged 12-13 mph on my drop bar road bike that weighs about 28 lbs. I'm a little guy, though. 15-16 mph is what I average just taking in my trunk back with lunch and clothes for the day. I can push it up to 16-18 avg. with no bags. Stop lights kill the average in a hurry. (all avg's are based on the computer which is only actual bike in motion time. The real time difference between 12-13 mph and 16-18 avg is typically 10 minutes or less... like I said.. stop lights kill the average.)
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Old 10-02-08, 08:11 PM   #22
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My bike and gear is just under 50 lbs. I like it. training. On the weekends when I jump on the roadie for the group rides, I can feel the training.
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Old 10-02-08, 08:24 PM   #23
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I just weighed my Trek Soho with lights, fenders, rack, and underseat bag (spare tube & lever) and it came in @ 29 lbs. I'm certain with my pack (clothes @ lunch), cable, lock, pump, pliers & two 24oz water bottles the total weight has to be close to 20 lbs. Bike with all gear 50lbs and I weigh close to 180lbs.
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