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Why are bike weights "unavailable"?

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Why are bike weights "unavailable"?

Old 02-07-20, 12:01 PM
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jackb
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Why are bike weights "unavailable"?

I've been looking for a mountain bike for sometime and still haven't made up my mind on which bike to buy, though I have narrowed my search to just a few. One of the annoyning things I've encountered from searching the web sites of bike manufacturers and retailers is that many refuse to publish a bike weight. REI for example often lists weight as unavailable. How can weight be unavailable? Put the bike on a scale and then publish what the scale says. Whats the big deal? However much weight may be unimportant to some cyclists , I'd like to know what the bike weighs. Weight is certainly more a consideration for me than the various frame angles that manufacturers are fond of publishing in the various diagrams they provide on their sites along with lots of other technical info that I'm not interested in. In fact, next to price, weight strikes me as very important. If two bikes cost around the same price but one is two pounds lighter, I'd like to know that. In the long run it may not matter, but I'd like to know. When a manufacturer offers a particular bike for sale and shows a picture of it and and gives all the specs, weigh the thing and tell me what the weight is. This can't be that difficult to do.
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Old 02-07-20, 12:07 PM
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Bike specifications are often subject to change during a model run. Something as simple as a set of tires can change overall bike weight not to mention the rest of the components. All this and different frame sizes have different weights. It would be impossible to give weight for all the different versions of one bike model.
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Old 02-07-20, 12:10 PM
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I can think of at least two reasons:

1. The bike is not always outfitted at it appears on the website. For example, the tires it comes with may be different than what is pictured. That could affect weight.

2. Bikes comes in different frame sizes. Also, larger sizes may have things like wider bars than smaller sizes. Different sizes of frames and other parts=differing weights.

Based on my years of experience on this forum, I can totally see someone getting uber pissed that the bike they bought on line was 4 oz. heavier than advertised on the web site.
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Old 02-07-20, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by alcjphil View Post
Bike specifications are often subject to change during a model run. Something as simple as a set of tires can change overall bike weight not to mention the rest of the components. All this and different frame sizes have different weights. It would be impossible to give weight for all the different versions of one bike model.
Great minds think a lot and alike.
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Old 02-07-20, 12:17 PM
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Right. And overstating or understating would cause problems manufactures would rather avoid. It makes sense not to list weights.
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Old 02-07-20, 12:24 PM
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Here is an example:

https://surlybikes.com/bikes/long_haul_trucker

LHT bar width starts at 400 and goes up to 460.

Crank arm length starts at 165 and goes up to 175.

Also...A Q&A about the bike: Verified ReplyQ

Spec shows the crankset to be "Shimano Sora Triple 50x39x30T ". Is this correct? The crank on the LHT Disc is the "Andel RSC6, 26/36/48t" which seems like a much better choice. Why the Sora crank on a touring bike?

Asked by Jimbo 7 months agoAdd your answerVerified ReplyVerified Reply - EvanSpec choices can largely be determined by availability, and if one component becomes unavailable we must find a compatible replacement in short notice, unfortunately not all specs will remain constant!
00
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Old 02-07-20, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by alcjphil View Post
Bike specifications are often subject to change during a model run. Something as simple as a set of tires can change overall bike weight not to mention the rest of the components. All this and different frame sizes have different weights. It would be impossible to give weight for all the different versions of one bike model.
That doesn't say why they can't publish a weight for the given spec (which in turn can and likely already is, footnoted as subject to change). And so what if they have to know the weight of the 5-6 frame sizes a model comes in so they can calculate the weight for each size for the given trim level? The bike companies have to already know their own frame weights I'd imagine. Heck they don't often even show the frame weights on the individual model webpages. Hardly impossible IMO.
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Old 02-07-20, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
That doesn't say why they can't publish a weight for the given spec (which in turn can and likely already is, footnoted as subject to change). And so what if they have to know the weight of the 5-6 frame sizes a model comes in so they can calculate the weight for each size for the given trim level? The bike companies have to already know their own frame weights I'd imagine. Heck they don't often even show the frame weights on the individual model webpages. Hardly impossible IMO.
Not impossible. Get all manufactures to follow the same standard.
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Old 02-07-20, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by 02Giant View Post
Not impossible. Get all manufactures to follow the same standard.
Sure. Even a website such as Wrench Science's bike builder can do on the fly total bike weights as you choose components.. though even they don't have have weight distinctions between frame sizes (probably because the bike manufacturers don't supply this, though the component makers do).
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Old 02-07-20, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by 02Giant View Post
Not impossible. Get all manufactures to follow the same standard.
And put it up on the web site with the 16,000 word disclaimer explaining all of the bogus assumptions they had to use to put out the figure.
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Old 02-07-20, 12:55 PM
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It would seem to me that they could easily add the weight to the geometry specs...

So, no question about size and weight. Add a weight for each of the XS, S, M, L, & XL bikes.
Specify exactly what components are weight, and which ones aren't.

For me, I'd weigh everything from pedals to seat (one will eventually have to choose a seat). Leave out bottle cages if one wishes to save a half an ounce.

If it is a touring bike that comes with a rack, weigh that too, or provide a separate weight with and without the rack.

Yeah, I can imagine some users going online and screaming bloody murder because of a 1 gram discrepancy. One can list bikes, say 100 grams heavy, and fewer people will scream and holler if their bike is 100 grams lighter than specs.

Personally, at least in the road bike world, I think manufacturers know that high end racing bikes are hitting 14 to 15 pounds, and they don't want to put their 20+ pound bikes next to the 14 pound racers.

The same thing is probably true in the MTB world. Do you really want a 20 lb MTB? Is it rugged enough?
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Old 02-07-20, 01:13 PM
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Every bike has 3 weights:

What the manufacturer says it weighs.
What the owner thinks that it weighs.
What my scale says that it weighs.

Guess which one is usually heaviest.
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Old 02-07-20, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by alcjphil View Post
Bike specifications are often subject to change during a model run. Something as simple as a set of tires can change overall bike weight not to mention the rest of the components. All this and different frame sizes have different weights. It would be impossible to give weight for all the different versions of one bike model.
Impossible to give weights for all the different versions? Come on- thats an absurd claim.
If a model has 10 frame sizes, then weigh em as stock builds. List the weight of each in the geometry table on the website next to all the other detailed information about the bike that is already listed. It would be quite easy, actually.
Or at the very least, list the weight of 1 bike and the corresponding bike size so there is a basis to then guess. This is a minimum and hardly difficult to do as a company.

I totally get that components may change thru the year due to availability or cost to the company, and those changes may affect the weight. So just like there is a well known disclaimer on websites that state bike spec is subject to change, have that apply to weight also.

I would guess that weight isnt listed by all major brands for all sizes because there is very little upside for the brand. If the weight is listed, it can be compared to other brands with similarly priced or spec'd bikes.

It wont happen, but not because its impossible.
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Old 02-07-20, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
It would seem to me that they could easily add the weight to the geometry specs...

So, no question about size and weight. Add a weight for each of the XS, S, M, L, & XL bikes.
Specify exactly what components are weight, and which ones aren't.

For me, I'd weigh everything from pedals to seat (one will eventually have to choose a seat). Leave out bottle cages if one wishes to save a half an ounce.

If it is a touring bike that comes with a rack, weigh that too, or provide a separate weight with and without the rack.

Yeah, I can imagine some users going online and screaming bloody murder because of a 1 gram discrepancy. One can list bikes, say 100 grams heavy, and fewer people will scream and holler if their bike is 100 grams lighter than specs.

Personally, at least in the road bike world, I think manufacturers know that high end racing bikes are hitting 14 to 15 pounds, and they don't want to put their 20+ pound bikes next to the 14 pound racers.

The same thing is probably true in the MTB world. Do you really want a 20 lb MTB? Is it rugged enough?
The issue is that if they get it wrong and underestimate, then they could be liable for the "false" claims of lightness. Strikes me that there's a comparatively high margin of error in the components and the subcomponents (tape, spoke nipples, chain lube, bearings?) and that companies don't find that risk worth it.
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Old 02-07-20, 01:41 PM
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Mostly because the risk of a consumer feeling a lack of information as a red flag is seen by the marketing folks as less problematic than the risk of a consumer choosing not to buy something because they don't like the weight they see.
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Old 02-07-20, 01:52 PM
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As noted above, specs can change during production, different sizes have different weights, and bottom line, it really doesn't matter much. All bikes at a given price point are going to be close to the same weight. How much water, tools, etc. you carry with you, and how much your body weights are likely more significant factors. Bring a scale with you when you're bike shopping if it is really important to you.
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Old 02-07-20, 01:57 PM
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Jamis and Fuji and Salsa are three that list weights for usually a medium size. The others do not because they do not want you to know how heavy they are. I ordered a mountain bike that a local shop didn't have in stock, and it turned out it was 31 and a half pounds. Although I like the bike, had I known I would have bought something else.

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Old 02-07-20, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Gconan View Post
Jamis and Fuji and Salsa are three that list weights for usually a medium size. The others do not because they do not want you to know how heavy they are. I ordered a mountain bike that a local shop didn't have in stock, and it turned out it was 31 and a half pounds. Although I like the bike, had I known I would have bought something else.
Trek lists for medium.
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Old 02-07-20, 02:06 PM
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That is good to know. Thanks! 4 honest manufacturers have been found.
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Old 02-07-20, 02:10 PM
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Oh, one more! Scott bikes list weights! And so do NS Bikes. That's 6!
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Old 02-07-20, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
Every bike has 3 weights:

What the manufacturer says it weighs.
What the owner thinks that it weighs.
What my scale says that it weighs.

Guess which one is usually heaviest.
Oh, and don't forget what CRAIGSLIST says it weighs.
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Old 02-07-20, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Gconan View Post
That is good to know. Thanks! 4 honest manufacturers have been found.

We don't know the weights are honest, though.
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Old 02-07-20, 02:16 PM
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Jamis
Fuji
Salsa
Trek
Scott
NS bikes


Any more?
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Old 02-07-20, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Impossible to give weights for all the different versions? Come on- thats an absurd claim.
If a model has 10 frame sizes, then weigh em as stock builds. List the weight of each in the geometry table on the website next to all the other detailed information about the bike that is already listed.
Yep...

Or, just standardize across the industry, and say weigh 50cm frames (road bike) (however they measure 50cm). That will give a little wiggle room for other frame sizes, but still give reasonable comparative data, unless they make an "extra-light" 50cm, and everything else is heavier. Still, specs are down to the nut... just weight them all.

Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
The issue is that if they get it wrong and underestimate, then they could be liable for the "false" claims of lightness. Strikes me that there's a comparatively high margin of error in the components and the subcomponents (tape, spoke nipples, chain lube, bearings?) and that companies don't find that risk worth it.
Yet, many high-end components have weights listed somewhere. Often with a disclaimer of +/- 5% or so.

Expand the uncertainty to complete bike builds (also expecting the +/- to average out somewhat.
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Old 02-07-20, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
We don't know the weights are honest, though.
Ok true enough.
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