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Old 05-04-13, 01:21 PM
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weight

I have a 2001 (I think) Litespeed Blue Ridge. Nice Bike, but I've noticed that compared to some other bikes, even steel framed Surlys, it's heavy. I have Ultegra stuff on it, an Deore XT chain and Cassette, but I do have a Dimensions stem, and a Velo Orange Grand Cru seat post. I also have Mavic A719s. So, what do I need to do to drop weight on this thing?
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Old 05-04-13, 01:53 PM
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Losing weight on a bike can be rather expensive and some of that weight loss will not pay dividends for the cost.

Basic items like stems and bars can be changed to lighten the bike and you may not notice a great deal of difference unless the wallet is large.

Wheels and tyres are probably the most cost effective as good quality light wheels that will also improve the "Efficiency" of the bike can be had for a sensible price. In fact they are noted as the first improvement to be made to most bikes.

But how does the bike currently ride? Does it feel slow or heavy? If it does then the cheapest option may be N+1 to get a better bike.
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Old 05-04-13, 02:23 PM
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Weight is seriously overrated as a concern. If the parts are good (and your parts are good), who cares? Frankly, I'd just ride the bike and enjoy. If you're dead set on doing this, you could think about different wheels. The mavic a719s are great bombproof rims. You could look around for a lighter wheelset which would be the obvious place to lose some weight on your bike. That also could be a really bad idea depending on how much you weigh and the kind of riding you do.
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Old 05-04-13, 02:24 PM
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strip off all the components , then it will be light again.

More titanium and Carbon fiber..

or just flip the thing and get a full carbon fiber frame and fork race Bike ..

somebody will love the Ti Frame Touring bike. even though you fell out of love.

Last edited by fietsbob; 05-04-13 at 02:27 PM.
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Old 05-04-13, 02:31 PM
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"So, what do I need to do to drop weight on this thing?"

Stop eating so much. ;-)

If you don't want to spend a fair amount of money replacing major parts, here are some ideas to shave off a few ounces (think in grams and it'll seem to be a far more substantial saving of weight):

- Ti skewers - probably $45 with shipping - from ebay. It's one of the least expensive ways to knock off several ounces, maybe as much as a quarter pound from the skewers you currently use.

- Lightweight tubes. Just keep your tires inflated properly and you shouldn't suffer pinch flats (true with any tube, but, in my experience, more so with thin tubes). Cost: less than $20 for a pair.

- Tires: next time you need a new pair, would you save weight going with tires that weight about 215 grams? Examples: Continental GP 4000 or 4000s, Michelin Lithion 2, Vittoria Rubino Pro III, etc. Depending on where you look, it's going to be anywhere from $40-75 per tire.

- Remove the ring-shaped nut from the valve stem (and be careful when you have to inflate the tire). $0

- If you head out on your bike for just an hour or so, leave the water bottle at home. $0

- If you rarely use two water bottles on a ride, remove the second cage if you have one. $0

- I don't image you have dust caps on your cranks. If you do, remove them. $0

However, removing even a few pounds isn't going to make much of a difference in how fast/easy you ride. Visit https://bikecalculator.com - there are other, similar sites - and plug in the numbers to see for yourself.
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Last edited by icyclist; 05-04-13 at 02:49 PM.
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Old 05-04-13, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by stapfam
But how does the bike currently ride? Does it feel slow or heavy?
That's what I was thinking. If you didn't know how much it weighed how would you feel about the bike?
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Old 05-04-13, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig
Weight is seriously overrated as a concern. If the parts are good (and your parts are good), who cares? Frankly, I'd just ride the bike and enjoy...
Agree. If you like the bike and it feels good, just go ride. How much do you want to spend to make a decent but old bike into a decent but old bike that's three pounds lighter? Take the weight off yourself--that's free and more effective.
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Old 05-04-13, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Velo Dog
Agree. If you like the bike and it feels good, just go ride. How much do you want to spend to make a decent but old bike into a decent but old bike that's three pounds lighter? Take the weight off yourself--that's free and more effective.
Three pounds is a LOT to take off of a bike by changing out components. Actually, one pound is quite a bit of weight to shave by changing components.
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Old 05-04-13, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
That's what I was thinking. If you didn't know how much it weighed how would you feel about the bike?
Good points to consider. My legs feel slow or heavy because I tried a 12/25 cassette for a week or so, but went back to a 12/34. Lots of climbs around here. Otherwise, I like the bike and I think if I really wanted to go a lot faster, a lighter back made for racing might do the trick, but that's not really what I'm aiming for.
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Old 05-04-13, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by jlstrat
I have a 2001 (I think) Litespeed Blue Ridge. Nice Bike, but I've noticed that compared to some other bikes, even steel framed Surlys, it's heavy. I have Ultegra stuff on it, an Deore XT chain and Cassette, but I do have a Dimensions stem, and a Velo Orange Grand Cru seat post. I also have Mavic A719s. So, what do I need to do to drop weight on this thing?

It's not cheap but here goes some options:

Pedals-I was able to drop about 1/2 pound by going to lighter pedals
Wheels--I bet you can 1/2 pound there
Grouppo---Not sure about the overall weight reduction but the new SRAM Red can save you weight
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Old 05-04-13, 09:03 PM
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Very interesting thread.

Never been a weight weenie, but out of curiosity I reviewed my Strava records. I ride two bikes, one a behemoth of a recumbent that weighs in at about 35 lbs, factoring all the junk I carry in the seat bag. The other bike is a carbon fiber bike that tips the scales at about 19 lbs.

I compared two rides over the same course, not really adjusting for all sorts of stuff: I descend quicker on my bent, but the ride was in the middle of winter when I try not to raise a sweat. My road bike is of course lighter, but when I rode it yesterday I was in a bit better shape and I was trying to beat a thunderstorm home.

The results: recumbent 11.9 MPH (didn't say I was fast).
The LeMond: 13 MPH.

That's with a 16 lb. difference.

Conclusion: I wouldn't sweat an ounce or two here or there.
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Old 05-04-13, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
Three pounds is a LOT to take off of a bike by changing out components. Actually, one pound is quite a bit of weight to shave by changing components.
Yeah, that was pretty much my point. You can spend a lot of money removing not much weight. It's not worth the time and expense. But most of us could stand to take off 5, 10 or more pounds, which we could do for free. I read a few years ago that the average pro cyclist weighs two pounds per inch of height, and none was heavier than a kilogram (2.2 lbs) per inch. For a guy 5'10", that's 140-154.
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Old 05-04-13, 09:41 PM
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My guess is that you have the LS Blue Ridge Touring, hence the Mavic 719 rims. The Mavic 719 rim is a heavy duty rim used a lot on touring bikes. Also the narrowest tire you can use on the 719 rims is 28 mm, a relatively wide, heavy tire for a "road" bike. It will have rack and fender bosses on the dropouts, and a front fender boss on the middle of the fork blade.

I did not use the 719 rims when I was building up our touring bikes because of their weight. They weigh 565 gr. vs 460 for Velocity Dyad rims. The Dyad rims are considered heavy duty.

The basic Litespeed Blue Ridge Touring bike weighs about 22 lbs. without any add-ons, like seat bag, pump, water bottle cages etc. That is very light for a touring bike with most weighing in at 25-28 lbs. However, it is pretty heavy compared to most road bikes. It is almost 5 lbs heavier than my road bike.

A light weight wheelstset will help some. It could get you down to 20 lbs. However, getting titanium skewers, removing the valve stem nut, and the dust caps from your crank and expecting to see a difference in speed is like trying to make a Toyota Corolla perform like a Porsche by putting a spoiler on the Toyota's trunk lid.

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Old 05-04-13, 09:45 PM
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I just keep my body weight low and don't think about the bike weight to much.
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Old 05-05-13, 12:36 AM
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Originally Posted by jlstrat
My legs feel slow or heavy because I tried a 12/25 cassette for a week or so, but went back to a 12/34. Lots of climbs around here.
OK, I have to ask this question. if you take a cyclist that climbs slow on a heavy bike, then give him a bike that weighs 3 lbs lighter, how much faster would he be?

My guess is, not much, if at all. I seriously doubt 3 pounds would see any measurable improvement. There was an article in a cycle magazine a few months back that pretty much said this.... That most cyclist would be better served losing weight and working on improving fitness to ride and climb faster then spending money to reduce bike weight or even buying a new light weight bike. The article also said that losing 5 pounds on the body equals greater benefits then losing the weight on the bike plus it's a whole lot less expensive.

I agree with the article, but maybe this is because I'm to cheap to spend money on lighter components or a new bike.

Now when I look at my current bikes, they're all heavy compared to today's light weight carbon wonder bikes. The steel fixed gear is around 24 lbs, the steel road bike is 25 lbs and the MTB commuter with road slicks is 36 lbs loaded up. The interesting thing is, I can ride each bike within 1 mph average of each other over my 14.5 mile commute (round trip is 29 miles). And I believe my effort is about the same on each bike, which really surprised me that the bike setup and weight didn't make a substantial difference.

For climbing, nothing wrong with a 12-34 cassette (I use an 11-34). If you need lower gearing, then that was a great move switching back.

Now on the other hand, if you want to spend some money and just looking for a justifiable reason, then yes, you need new lighter wheels, and components. Or, maybe a new bike is in your future.

All the best....
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Old 05-05-13, 12:40 AM
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Originally Posted by JoeMan
I just keep my body weight low and don't think about the bike weight to much.
What's your secret?

Or, maybe you don't eat pie.
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Old 05-05-13, 05:15 AM
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Originally Posted by GFish
What's your secret?

Or, maybe you don't eat pie.
I fluctuate between 139~143 and I'm 5'7". The secret is to ride, ride, not to overeat, and to eat less or equal to what you burn from riding and calories needed for a day without riding--at least for me. In fact, I have to try to eat enough--once I got down to 136 and that was too low to me. As it is now at 142, the wife states that hugging me is like hugging an oven rack. And even if I am at 139~143, I have to remember that I have a lot of loose skin(I used to weigh 251lbs) and the loose skin probably accounts for 1~2 lbs of my weight. I really don't like going over 142 or below 138. Oh, and I eat pie--only occasionally.
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Old 05-05-13, 06:02 AM
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Originally Posted by jlstrat
So, what do I need to do to drop weight on this thing?
Put on a carbon fork and lightweight wheelset and I'm quite sure you'll feel a difference.
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Old 05-05-13, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by BigAura
Put on a carbon fork and lightweight wheelset and I'm quite sure you'll feel a difference.
Tend to agree----based on my experience dropping weight on the wheelset will be the most noticeable and rewarding change.
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Old 05-05-13, 07:36 AM
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I started with bikes in the 22-23 pound range and after changes over the years my bikes are now 15-17 pounds. What I've figured out is I don't have the motivation to ride faster going up hills but going slower is now much easier!!! And I like that!

My experience has been that it is easier to stay in groups and ride wheels on rolling terrain with a lighter bike.....close gaps etc. While overall weight (body weight plus bike weight) makes a lot of difference, for riding in groups lower body weight (somewhat correlates to fitness) plus a lighter weight wheelset are the things that have helped me the most.
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Old 05-05-13, 07:44 AM
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OP, I am just repeating what others have said...but lighter wheels will make a HUGE difference. All about reducing rotational weight.

Dudelsack, I think that you are the first person to honestly report your average speed.
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Old 05-05-13, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by eja_ bottecchia
OP, I am just repeating what others have said...but lighter wheels will make a HUGE difference. All about reducing rotational weight.
I wonder how much difference it really makes. Lighter wheels will definitely help you accelerate but, once you get up to speed don't make much difference. On the other hand, every ride starts at 0 MPH so your perception in the first 1/4 mile or so is they make more difference than they really do over the course of the whole ride. It's still more fun to ride with light wheels, for that matter, it's more fun to ride on a light bike.
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Old 05-05-13, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by eja_ bottecchia

Dudelsack, I think that you are the first person to honestly report your average speed.
Yeah, but that includes going through residential neighborhoods and stopping at all the dumb stop signs, plus bad headwinds the entire time, plus lunar pull, all sorts of stuff.

Hell, I'm just slow.
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Old 05-05-13, 11:54 AM
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If you must have a lighter bike, then buy a lighter bike. It'll cost you much more to make yours lighter- and half of the weight is probably in the frame/fork, anyway.

That being said....the only thing you'll gain from losing a few pounds, is the perception of being faster.

I have a 19 lb. Klein and a 25 lb. Bikesdirect bike. I enjoy riding the lighter Klein more...and it feels faster and sportier....but there's no difference in time it takes me to ride the same route on either bike. -and that's with a 6 lb. difference! You likely can't lose 6 lbs. off of your bike...and if you can, it'll cost you THOUSANDS!

Wanna see how little difference weight makes? Leave your water bottle(s) home next time. Notice any difference?

But if your bike rides like a tank, it's likely not just because it's heavy- but also has a lot to do with geometry and construction/design. Best thing to do if you don't like the way it rides/handles, is to get a bike whose ride characteristics you LOVE. You can easily spend $1000 making your bike a few ounces lighter.....but it will make no appreciable difference.
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Old 05-05-13, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by jppe
Tend to agree----based on my experience dropping weight on the wheelset will be the most noticeable and rewarding change.
Can a Litespeed be that much heavier than any other similar bike? They are sort of out of my league
I would agree with this(Quoted jppe), but would opine that tires have the biggest effect on how a bike feels.
I believe a 'heavy' bike can be made to feel light, and conversely, a 'light' bike made to feel heavy, by tire choice.
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