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Marin Four Corners weight loss

Old 10-19-20, 06:06 PM
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Tomm Willians
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Marin Four Corners weight loss

My gf just acquired a 2019 Marin Four Corners for some tours we are planning for next year. During the test drive she was very happy with the function of the bike in shifting, braking etc... but found it a tad heavier than desired, however the price (and that it was equipped with racks, bags, pump) made it a no- brainer buy.
Upon getting it home I made a few changes that might have shaved off a pound or two and we have 35” Panracer Gravel Kings coming to replace the aggressive 42” WTB’s that it came with.
My question concerns the possibility of removing the front disc brake assembly and installing a rim brake to shave off a bit more weight. What challenges does this present? Can a rim brake be used on a wheel that doesn’t have a polished braking surface?
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Old 10-19-20, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Tomm Willians View Post
My gf just acquired a 2019 Marin Four Corners for some tours we are planning for next year. During the test drive she was very happy with the function of the bike in shifting, braking etc... but found it a tad heavier than desired, however the price (and that it was equipped with racks, bags, pump) made it a no- brainer buy.
Upon getting it home I made a few changes that might have shaved off a pound or two and we have 35” Panracer Gravel Kings coming to replace the aggressive 42” WTB’s that it came with.
My question concerns the possibility of removing the front disc brake assembly and installing a rim brake to shave off a bit more weight. What challenges does this present? Can a rim brake be used on a wheel that doesn’t have a polished braking surface?
Rim brake rims have a brake track with extra material that can safely wear down a bit. A disc brake rim, without that built up brake track, would become structurally unsound if worn down by rim brakes.

One of the reasons disc brake bikes are heavier is because the fork has to be stronger than that of a rim brake bike, so if you do somehow manage to switch to rim brakes, you still have the extra weight of the fork.

If you want to cut weight from that bike, lighter wheels is the way to go.
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Old 10-19-20, 07:53 PM
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When weight concerns come up it is easy to focus on the bike. Always consider the riders weight in the equation. I'll never forget the time this guy showed up on a ride with what has to have been an 80 pound basketball stomach. He was talking about how his current carbon wheels were just way too heavy, and how he was going to spend about $2,000 on a set of wheels that would weigh 150 grams less.
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Old 10-19-20, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by headwind15 View Post
When weight concerns come up it is easy to focus on the bike. Always consider the riders weight in the equation. I'll never forget the time this guy showed up on a ride with what has to have been an 80 pound basketball stomach. He was talking about how his current carbon wheels were just way too heavy, and how he was going to spend about $2,000 on a set of wheels that would weigh 150 grams less.
I don’t think that’s an issue here, gf is a 125lb triathlete.
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Old 10-20-20, 04:30 AM
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Have you calculated the weight savings? Would it be appreciable? As a guy who owns a LBS once pointed out back in the day, the weight difference between Ultegra and DA back then was about a half full water bottle.
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Old 10-20-20, 07:14 AM
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Tomm, as already noted, no on rim brakes on disc rim, and I'll add that when riding with a load on the bike, stronger brakes are a real plus. I ride both and have toured for 30 years, love stronger braking with a load.

re tires, changing to lighter tires helps a lot with how a bike rides and feels. If on pavement only, try a lighter slick and the rolling improvement is noticeable.

now about weight--especially as another light person, reducing the weight of the load makes a really noticeable difference, so if either have you have never toured, or done backpacking, there's a good chance you'll pack too much, it's totally common first times.
Secondly, and a big one"--- you just have to accept and realize that you'll be going slower with more effort, and for shorter distances. For folks used to roadie speeds, it's humbling, but that's what it is, and you have to downshift all the time.

so yes, put an effort into lighter tires and lighter gear for packing, but don't sweat the disc system.
I assume this won't be camping? Makes it a lot easier to keep total weight down with good choices.
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Old 10-20-20, 07:47 AM
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If new to disc brakes, the fairly obvious warning of being wary on wet pavement and loose surfaces of especially front lock up. One really needs to practice emergency braking over and over on different surfaces to get a feel for more powerful braking systems and to be more sensitive to finger pressures, especially at harder applications-- opposed to rim brakes, you have to watch your finger pressures more at the point of strongest brake application.

Always better to set up some planned tests and gradually increase how hard one brakes to get a feel for throwing out the anchors to various degrees.

oh, if you do tour, other than wheels, rack and panniers have different weights, and keeping track of that too can make a difference in total weight a bit too, it at least be aware of when choosing gear.
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Old 10-20-20, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Tomm Willians View Post
My question concerns the possibility of removing the front disc brake assembly and installing a rim brake to shave off a bit more weight. What challenges does this present? Can a rim brake be used on a wheel that doesn’t have a polished braking surface?
Without a fork change, installing a rim brake isn’t an option. Nor is using a rim brake on the current wheels. Disc rims don ‘t use thinner metal for the sidewalls, they use shorter sidewalls. There’s just no place for the brake pads to get a purchase on the rim during braking. The pads are likely to dive into the spokes if you try.

There are some things you can do to lighten the bike but none of them are going to be cheap. I would have started with the frame and not bought a steel frame. Aluminum is durable enough for a lighter rider. Aluminum is durable enough for a heavy weight like me. But that is water under the bridge.

The easy changes are handlebar, seatpost, stem, and saddle. Go for a carbon bar and seatpost. Look at weight of stems and get one that is lighter. Swap the saddle for one with titanium rails or perhaps carbon ones. You are probably looking at $200 to $300 to save around a pound.

You could change the brakes but the Spyre C is pretty light at about 160 g each. Spyre SLC are about 150 g. 10g isn’t enough of a weight change to even consider.

Probably the best thing you could do would be lighter wheels. I wouldn’t necessarily go carbon...it’s just too expensive...but there are lots of options out there that would be lighter than the OEM wheels. I’d build a set using White Industries XMR or CLD hubs with a titanium freehub, a Velocity A23 rim (around 450g), and DT Swiss Alpine III spokes. The spokes are a little heavier than double butted...about 7 g per wheel...but much stronger. You could probably build with 28 spokes and have the equivalent of at least a 32 spoke wheel and perhaps a 36. Reducing the number of spokes won’t make that much of a difference on weight but it shaves a little.
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Old 10-20-20, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Without a fork change, installing a rim brake isn’t an option. Nor is using a rim brake on the current wheels. Disc rims don ‘t use thinner metal for the sidewalls, they use shorter sidewalls. There’s just no place for the brake pads to get a purchase on the rim during braking. The pads are likely to dive into the spokes if you try.

There are some things you can do to lighten the bike but none of them are going to be cheap. I would have started with the frame and not bought a steel frame. Aluminum is durable enough for a lighter rider. Aluminum is durable enough for a heavy weight like me. But that is water under the bridge.

The easy changes are handlebar, seatpost, stem, and saddle. Go for a carbon bar and seatpost. Look at weight of stems and get one that is lighter. Swap the saddle for one with titanium rails or perhaps carbon ones. You are probably looking at $200 to $300 to save around a pound.

You could change the brakes but the Spyre C is pretty light at about 160 g each. Spyre SLC are about 150 g. 10g isn’t enough of a weight change to even consider.

Probably the best thing you could do would be lighter wheels. I wouldn’t necessarily go carbon...it’s just too expensive...but there are lots of options out there that would be lighter than the OEM wheels. I’d build a set using White Industries XMR or CLD hubs with a titanium freehub, a Velocity A23 rim (around 450g), and DT Swiss Alpine III spokes. The spokes are a little heavier than double butted...about 7 g per wheel...but much stronger. You could probably build with 28 spokes and have the equivalent of at least a 32 spoke wheel and perhaps a 36. Reducing the number of spokes won’t make that much of a difference on weight but it shaves a little.
As she received the bike from the previous owner, it had been set up with a model of Brooks saddle using springs that was surprisingly heavy. The previous owner had also added a cheap set of fenders which the girlfriend did not want on there and the racks that were installed had numerous ladder sections (so to speak) that I felt were unnecessary for our use so I did a little removal of some sections which probably did not amount to a lot of weight, but I’m of the opinion that it all adds up.
We replaced the pedals with aluminum Race Face flat pedals as that is her preference for this bike rather than clipping in, the original pedals were a no-name that were a bit heavy. I did change the stem to a 60mm with a greater rise and cut off about 4” of the seat post as it was far longer than needed.
Looking at Marins spec sheet, the rims are also a no-name with considerable (relative) weight but they also offered an upgraded WTB wheelset for this bike so that might be the easiest option.
As for now we are going to get the 35” Panracers on it with some bags and bottles and take a substantial test ride before thinking about wheels. She’s a strong (very!) rider but of course is always looking for ways to improve her bike.

Great advice so far from all
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Old 10-20-20, 11:19 AM
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I have a sprung Brooks on my commuter and I've weighed it and it's about twice as heavy as my lighter Brooks. I think it's about 900g or two pounds, where the others are 400 something.
The sprung ones are clunkers, but I like the look and bought it used for a lark, like it from an aesthetic angle and it's fine on my commuter.

Think also about some 28 or 32 slicks, although with bags 35s are nice too, just remember lighter more supple tires feel a lot nicer than heavy clunkers, no matter the width.

Id put money into lighter panniers and camp gear if you go camping.
Not sure what you're planning to do, but lighter gear is always going to be a plus, especially for us lighter riders.
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Old 10-20-20, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Tomm Willians View Post
As she received the bike from the previous owner, it had been set up with a model of Brooks saddle using springs that was surprisingly heavy.
A Brooks Flyer is a bit boat anchory at 850g (almost 2 lbs). A B17 Titanium is less so but it will still provide ample anchorage for a canoe at 410g (about a pound). A Swift or Swallow with titanium rails is 392g and 360g, respectively. It appears, however, that Brooks doesn’t offer those and they are both for men, although women can ride them, of course. A Terry Butterfly Ti would also be a good choice at 250g or a whopping great 600g (almost 1.5 lb) savings over the Flyer. There may be other saddles that are lighter but not by too much.

The previous owner had also added a cheap set of fenders which the girlfriend did not want on there
Not a fan of fenders, so good on ya, mate!

the racks that were installed had numerous ladder sections (so to speak) that I felt were unnecessary for our use so I did a little removal of some sections which probably did not amount to a lot of weight, but I’m of the opinion that it all adds up.
More expense but a good rack with little weight is the Tubus Airy. Most racks run 600g to over a kilogram. A Surly rear rack, for example, runs 1.2kg. The Airy is around 280 g. But expect to pay a lot for that weight advantage. They cost about $250 in the US. Rose Bikes in Germany sells them for about $170 but you do have to pay freight which adds $20 to $30 which makes it a bit of a wash.

We replaced the pedals with aluminum Race Face flat pedals as that is her preference for this bike rather than clipping in, the original pedals were a no-name that were a bit heavy. I did change the stem to a 60mm with a greater rise and cut off about 4” of the seat post as it was far longer than needed.
Looking at Marins spec sheet, the rims are also a no-name with considerable (relative) weight but they also offered an upgraded WTB wheelset for this bike so that might be the easiest option.
As for now we are going to get the 35” Panracers on it with some bags and bottles and take a substantial test ride before thinking about wheels. She’s a strong (very!) rider but of course is always looking for ways to improve her bike.

Saving wheel weight is by far more important than saving any other weight. If you can save weight further from the center of rotation, you are better off but, overall, any wheel weight savings are going to be a bonus. I’d start there for any weight reduction program. And, if you can get hubs that are lower friction, you go a long way to helping as well. The White Industry hubs are about the longest spinning hubs I’ve ever used.
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Old 10-21-20, 04:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Tomm Willians View Post
My gf just acquired a 2019 Marin Four Corners for some tours we are planning for next year. During the test drive she was very happy with the function of the bike in shifting, braking etc... but found it a tad heavier than desired, however the price (and that it was equipped with racks, bags, pump) made it a no- brainer buy.
Upon getting it home I made a few changes that might have shaved off a pound or two and we have 35” Panracer Gravel Kings coming to replace the aggressive 42” WTB’s that it came with.
My question concerns the possibility of removing the front disc brake assembly and installing a rim brake to shave off a bit more weight. What challenges does this present? Can a rim brake be used on a wheel that doesn’t have a polished braking surface?
“tad heavier than desired” and that’s before loading it up with gear. Seems to me someone isn’t accepting the reality of touring. The bike IS heavier than a road bike because it IS carrying more dead weight. So between buying for price and desiring light weight in a pannier carrying bike you’re trying to remove ounces while adding lbs.

I’m all for making the ride match the rider so a 125 lb rider with light load could do fine with 32 mm tires on the road but the biggest issue is whether you put a 15 lb or 25 lb load on the bike not switching around brakes.

Yeah, and just put on the saddle she likes on her other bikes, no reason to use leather hammock saddles if she’s comfortable already.

ok just checked out what a Four Corners is, it’s not meant to be light, It’s meant to carry weight. I’m guessing the frame is on the heavy side. If the riding is all on pavement then 32 mm is plenty but honestly those 42 mm Resolutes are light tires for their size but meant for dirt. Are you riding on pavement or dirt roads? My $.02 if she wants a light touring bike then don’t use panniers, use one dry bag on the back rack and a frame bag. Or ditch the rack and go with frame and seatbag. And ditch the heavy saddle for a modern light one that is comfortable.

Last edited by LeeG; 10-21-20 at 09:49 AM.
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Old 10-21-20, 07:51 AM
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Especially with bike seats, it's very clear to me that whatever seat/ padded shorts work, heck go with it. My leather B17 models are my most comfortable seats all day, day after day, so that's what I use.
if whatever model that weighed 100g worked, I'd use that. Non issues in the keester and other parts are way more important than a tiny amount of weight.

but again, not taking jeans and a giant bulky wool sweater type of thing is the main factor here. Folks who have only used large suitcases are prone to taking lots of stuff, others not.

the obvious suggestion is for the two of you to try out an overnighter and see how packing goes, best way to get an idea for stuff. Just remember to cut in half maybe what you expect to easily cover in a day for distance. And take into account how slow in hills riding loaded is.
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Old 10-21-20, 08:36 AM
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I took the time time to read a couple of reviews of this bike and all cite a con as being heavier weight. Part of the problem then is part of that models design.

I couldn't see messing with disc brakes as a way to drop weight. So little gain for so great a loss in terms of performance.

Others have noted it but in terms of weight loss:
Saddle. A Brooks Flyer is just heavy - period. Top spot here to easily lose weight if another saddle is as comfortable.
Wheelset. Lighter rims and tires (tubeless).
Racks. Measure strength to weight to find the sweet spot or go the bike packing route and lose them completely. Revelate makes alight weight bikepacking bags as well.
Panniers. Ortliebs and other heavy duty bags weigh more than light weight models but last longer.
Pedals, bars, seatpost. Carbon bits. expensive for a little less weight.

At some point though you wind up spending a lot of dough trying to turn a cheap stock heavy bike into an expensive custom light one. You could try to sell it for what you paid and just buy a lighter model.

I also agree that if someone 125lb's is wanting to go full loaded touring they have to get used to a bit more weight than that nice road bike posted above. There is going to be a difference

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Old 10-21-20, 08:56 AM
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This is clearly a long term project so they have lots of time to try things out and see if the traveling bug bites. The lady at least has fitness on her side, so that's a good start.
As happy pointed out, the big adjustment is the slower pace riding a much heavier bike.

Tomm, have you ever bike toured before?
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Old 10-21-20, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
This is clearly a long term project so they have lots of time to try things out and see if the traveling bug bites. The lady at least has fitness on her side, so that's a good start.
As happy pointed out, the big adjustment is the slower pace riding a much heavier bike.

Tomm, have you ever bike toured before?
No, the closest activity I’ve done is a Century on my Soma Pescadero which will be my touring bike. However something that might be a related experience is both of us have done backpacking and are not new to using lightweight gear, packing smart, etc....
She at one time was an avid deer hunter packing in and out on horses and still has a great deal of her ultralight gear. Today we are taking a maiden voyage at a local area with numerous hills just to see where our starting point is with this project.
Ive discovered a number of routes in Oregon that offer a 200-300 mile loop that look inviting so we might try something before next year.

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Old 10-21-20, 11:02 AM
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Tomm, when I was doing lots of road riding I weighed 145 lbs and toured on my road bikes carrying less than 15 lbs. on 28 mm tires but I toured in places where it rarely rained and didn’t use a tent or carry cooking gear. Later used 32mm tires on touring bikes. I enjoyed riding more than carrying heavy loads. If she is going to carry heavy loads that bike is great but it will always be a tad heavy no matter how much of an expensive weight program it goes through. Chucking the saddle would be first thing then after that light 32mm tires then after that spend $500 on lighter wheels all of which will become moot after 20lbs of panniers and gear is added. So a light sport touring bike with a moderate load and a tad heavy touring bike with a light load will both feel heavy riding and the only time the light sport touring bike won’t feel heavy is when the panniers and extra water bottle are off. The “tad heavy” touring bike designed for 200lb riders will always feel a tad heavy and overbuilt even when totally naked.

Way back when the average off the shelf touring bike was available they were somewhat under built for 200 lb riders plus 40lbs of gear. Now the average touring bike and wheelset is hella strong so that light people like your gf is riding the equivalent of a truck, loaded or unloaded for an off the shelf touring bike. So the practical solution after changing seat and tires is to adjust expectations and figure out how much gear is necessary.

Last edited by LeeG; 10-21-20 at 11:08 AM.
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Old 10-21-20, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by LeeG View Post
Tomm, when I was doing lots of road riding I weighed 145 lbs and toured on my road bikes carrying less than 15 lbs. on 28 mm tires but I toured in places where it rarely rained and didn’t use a tent or carry cooking gear. Later used 32mm tires on touring bikes. I enjoyed riding more than carrying heavy loads. If she is going to carry heavy loads that bike is great but it will always be a tad heavy no matter how much of an expensive weight program it goes through. Chucking the saddle would be first thing then after that light 32mm tires then after that spend $500 on lighter wheels all of which will become moot after 20lbs of panniers and gear is added. So a light sport touring bike with a moderate load and a tad heavy touring bike with a light load will both feel heavy riding and the only time the light sport touring bike won’t feel heavy is when the panniers and extra water bottle are off. The “tad heavy” touring bike designed for 200lb riders will always feel a tad heavy and overbuilt even when totally naked.

Way back when the average off the shelf touring bike was available they were somewhat under built for 200 lb riders plus 40lbs of gear. Now the average touring bike and wheelset is hella strong so that light people like your gf is riding the equivalent of a truck, loaded or unloaded for an off the shelf touring bike. So the practical solution after changing seat and tires is to adjust expectations and figure out how much gear is necessary.
And the saving grace in all this is that she’s more than capable of making good use of the bike with just the few minor changes we’ve already made. If we can knock off a bit more here, there then all the better. Even if the changes don’t result in tangible advantages, she simply enjoys fine tuning the gear of whatever activity she’s involved in.

Would it have been better to invest twice the money in a lighter bike? Maybe but she has a hard time finding bikes small enough for her and this one was her size set up nicely by the previous (female) owner who had intentions to travel cross country with bags, racks and frame pump for a price that was hard to beat.

It wouldn’t surprise me if after a few outings she orders a new Soma to her specs but right now she seems quite excited to make the most of this one. And I have to keep in mind she’s a girl, accessorizing everything is genetic 😄
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Old 10-21-20, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Tomm Willians View Post
And the saving grace in all this is that she’s more than capable of making good use of the bike with just the few minor changes we’ve already made. If we can knock off a bit more here, there then all the better. Even if the changes don’t result in tangible advantages, she simply enjoys fine tuning the gear of whatever activity she’s involved in.

Would it have been better to invest twice the money in a lighter bike? Maybe but she has a hard time finding bikes small enough for her and this one was her size set up nicely by the previous (female) owner who had intentions to travel cross country with bags, racks and frame pump for a price that was hard to beat.

It wouldn’t surprise me if after a few outings she orders a new Soma to her specs but right now she seems quite excited to make the most of this one. And I have to keep in mind she’s a girl, accessorizing everything is genetic 😄
re twice the money? Not at all. You could end up spending loads to have a bike thats maybe 5lbs lighter? And probably (almost very likely) that it wouldnt have the low gearing suited to touring.
In my opinion, spending the money on a lighter campmat or sleeping bag or whatever is really where its worth putting your money. Like I said, I'm a light guy, about 135lbs, and lightening up the load is the big kicker. Sure, you could lighten some things up if you really wanted to, but its what you take with you that will make the big difference--but its great that both of you have experience and understanding of packing light. A lot of people who only car camp and who have never done selp propelled outdoor activities just dont think of how things add up, so this is a big plus for both of you.

re me being slight--I have always made a point of looking at pannier , handlebar bag, pannier racks etc weights. Just that stuff can vary a lot in weights, so making wise decisions for lighter gear overall really will make a difference. Choosing your clothing smartly also, ie layering and having flexibility on combos of clothes without taking too much is a big factor. The great thing is that its fairly easy to be comfortable for various temps, but also having not too much and not heavy clothing items , that layered up can still keep you comfortable in the lowest temps that you'll run into (usually in the early monring lets say, or at camp in evening)
Prudent choices of repair and spare gear makes a difference, just as does your toiletry kit for example. We aren't 20 anymore, so will probably appreciate certain things for comfort, but if you dont go overboard, these small extras can be totally worth it in the pleasure and comfort side of things (an example, I take a camp pillow, totally worth it to me , not heavy or bulky, but still an addition).

and yes, guy or gal, it can be fun changing stuff to an extent, and setting up your gear for a trip is fun also, thinking of weights, what you really need, what is safe to have , what you dont etc etc
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Old 10-21-20, 09:13 PM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by Tomm Willians View Post
Would it have been better to invest twice the money in a lighter bike? Maybe but she has a hard time finding bikes small enough for her and this one was her size set up nicely by the previous (female) owner who had intentions to travel cross country with bags, racks and frame pump for a price that was hard to beat.
While your girlfriend looks small, she doesn’t appear to be that tiny. About 5’3”? Small bikes are always a problem. Manufacturers just don’t make many of them and they make even fewer “touring” bikes. You really don’t need a steel frame for touring...especially for someone who weighs 115 lb. There are some aluminum hybrids out there that would do a bang up job and aren’t impossible to convert to drop bars. For example, a Specialized Sirrus would make an excellent touring bike and it even has mounts for low riders on the fork. A Trek FX series would do a pretty good job as well. For more adventurous touring (gravel or off-road), a 2000s mountain bike in the proper size (2” smaller than a road bike) with a rigid fork would do a bang up job. You might even be able to find a titanium mountain bike for relatively cheap.
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Old 10-21-20, 10:15 PM
  #21  
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You are worried about bike weight for touring? What about the luggage?

I would use the saddle, stem etc. that fit the best for long tours. Not the lightest racing fit that is horrible to endure for a one hour race. I can ride any bike for 1 mile. But a bad fit or saddle will be painful and will eat power on the long run.

Use wider touring tires with flat protection or tubeless. The lighter tire may save 2 minute in a 5 day tour. Fixing flats daily will eat those savings.

I wouldn't put on worse brakes or weaker wheels to save weight.

If you want to be weight weenie, start with a light bike. Making a heavy bike light is an expensive fools errand.
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Old 10-22-20, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
You are worried about bike weight for touring? What about the luggage?

I would use the saddle, stem etc. that fit the best for long tours. Not the lightest racing fit that is horrible to endure for a one hour race. I can ride any bike for 1 mile. But a bad fit or saddle will be painful and will eat power on the long run.

Use wider touring tires with flat protection or tubeless. The lighter tire may save 2 minute in a 5 day tour. Fixing flats daily will eat those savings.

I wouldn't put on worse brakes or weaker wheels to save weight.

If you want to be weight weenie, start with a light bike. Making a heavy bike light is an expensive fools errand.
While I agree that making a heavy bike into a light bike is a fools errand, I disagree with your assertion that bike weight doesn’t matter. The 4 Corners weighs in at around 28 lbs. While riding a bike that is 15% of his body weight might not make much difference to a 190 lb man, it’s about 25% of a 115 lb woman’s body weight which is significant. Would you want to ride a bike that is 1/4 of your body weight? For that 190 lb man, that’s a 47 lb bike.

And let’s not forget that there are physiological differences between men and women meaning that even a 47 lb bike wouldn’t have the same effect for that man. Women average about 30% less strength then a men of equivalent weight so that 47 lb bike should be closer to a 65 lb bike...before adding touring gear weight. Would you really be willing to ride a 65 lb bike or, with touring gear, around 100 lb bike?

For a 115 lb woman, making no adjustments for strength differences, a 16 lb bike is in the range of what she should be using to keep the same proportion as a man enjoys. No one makes such a bike and the only way to get there is to take a lightish bike and try to lighten it further. A big part of the Marin’s problem is wheels. A Bike Radar article says that wheels on the Marin are almost 9 lbs which is 30% of the bikes weight. That’s just far too heavy. The wheels I suggested (White Industries CLD hub, Velocity A23 rim, DT Alpine III spokes) would drop the weight from 4 kg to about 1.5 kg. That’s a significant weight savings and would go a long way to making the bike feel more lively.

Saddles don’t necessarily have to uncomfortable if they are light. The Terry Butterfly is light and, according to my wife, comfortable. A stem won’t add or take from comfort except in the effect the length has. I’ll assume that Tomm Williams won’t put on a 150mm stem on the bike.

I would suggest not doing too much to the 4 Corners to lighten it. It is a fools errand. But the road to a lighter touring bike is probably going to be expensive, no matter what bike is used to begin with. I’ve done this a number of times for my wife and getting a road bike down into the 20 lb range isn’t cheap. I started with relatively a inexpensive bike and ended up spending around $3000 to accomplish the task.
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Old 10-22-20, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
While I agree that making a heavy bike into a light bike is a fools errand, I disagree with your assertion that bike weight doesn’t matter. The 4 Corners weighs in at around 28 lbs. While riding a bike that is 15% of his body weight might not make much difference to a 190 lb man, it’s about 25% of a 115 lb woman’s body weight which is significant. Would you want to ride a bike that is 1/4 of your body weight? For that 190 lb man, that’s a 47 lb bike.

And let’s not forget that there are physiological differences between men and women meaning that even a 47 lb bike wouldn’t have the same effect for that man. Women average about 30% less strength then a men of equivalent weight so that 47 lb bike should be closer to a 65 lb bike...before adding touring gear weight. Would you really be willing to ride a 65 lb bike or, with touring gear, around 100 lb bike?

For a 115 lb woman, making no adjustments for strength differences, a 16 lb bike is in the range of what she should be using to keep the same proportion as a man enjoys. No one makes such a bike and the only way to get there is to take a lightish bike and try to lighten it further. A big part of the Marin’s problem is wheels. A Bike Radar article says that wheels on the Marin are almost 9 lbs which is 30% of the bikes weight. That’s just far too heavy. The wheels I suggested (White Industries CLD hub, Velocity A23 rim, DT Alpine III spokes) would drop the weight from 4 kg to about 1.5 kg. That’s a significant weight savings and would go a long way to making the bike feel more lively.

Saddles don’t necessarily have to uncomfortable if they are light. The Terry Butterfly is light and, according to my wife, comfortable. A stem won’t add or take from comfort except in the effect the length has. I’ll assume that Tomm Williams won’t put on a 150mm stem on the bike.

I would suggest not doing too much to the 4 Corners to lighten it. It is a fools errand. But the road to a lighter touring bike is probably going to be expensive, no matter what bike is used to begin with. I’ve done this a number of times for my wife and getting a road bike down into the 20 lb range isn’t cheap. I started with relatively a inexpensive bike and ended up spending around $3000 to accomplish the task.
Good points. I would add the equipment to be carried. Maybe they carry little, then the bike mattes more. If they carry 50 pounds, the bike matters less.
Since they already have the bike (sunk cost) , I would focus on weight savings for the tent and whatever. Less is more and nowadays with $ you can save quite a bit weight with the equipment.

I don't know that bike. it can be heavy because it is sturdy, or because it is cheap. If less weight is a goal, while being sturdy enough for touring, a new better bike may be more cost effective.

For touring, or any of my bikes, I choose equipment based on comfort/fit and durability. Then I pick a lighter option if it exists within that constraint. For example i sue a Jones bar, but bought the lighter butted version for $40 more to save 100g. I figured I use that bar on many future bikes.
If that 900g Brooks saddle is really comfortable on long tours, why install a 400g saddle that may hurt? Obviously if the 400g saddle is equally as comfortable, that is a good choice. i once rode a bike with the Flyer for 100km, best saddle ever. But ended up buying the Imperial, which feels similar. but wouldn't mind trying the flyer if it gets bouncy. Saddles a VERY personal. The Flyer could be horrible for the next person. I have 2" 1000g touring tires set up tubeless. Roll super easy, are comfortable, and never had a flat. Tires before were lighter, tubed and flats were common. Maybe in theory the old tires saved me 200g rotating weight, but any speed advantage was eaten by patching on the road.

I still try to lighten my bike when I buy new components, but then I remember I take 3l of water with me, spare tube, spare sealant, tire patch kit, tools, a chain and lock and so on. At some point I even carried a spare chain (downgraded to some spare links and missing link). But I have a light aluminum frame with CF fork :-)
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Old 10-26-20, 11:32 PM
  #24  
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This is a curious thread. Removing a disc brake for rim as a way to save weight?

I'll recap the good advice already given -
- lighter tires(which you've ordered)
- get a different wheelset. A handbuilt wheelset with bitex hubs and butted spokes from prowheelbuilder will cost $450 and weigh 1650g.
- get a saddle that she likes.
- replace the cockpit if its heavy bit at this point you are basically throwing money at grams of weight.

Touring isn't a light activity. A triathlete can more than capably handle a bike that is a handful of pounds heavier than the perfect ideal.
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Old 10-28-20, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Touring isn't a light activity. A triathlete can more than capably handle a bike that is a handful of pounds heavier than the perfect ideal.
I suspect also that as a triathlete, she has an innate ability to pace herself and adjust to a different type of riding/output/speed/effort due to a bike with a load---probably more than most of us, given the reality of triathlons and the need to be very aware of managing yourself/fueling etc over a long period of time and during three different types of activities.

still totally worth making prudent gear choices to keep total load weight down.
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