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Advice Please -shaving weight from bike -components?(20 posts)

Advice Please -shaving weight from bike -components?jjdbike
Aug 9, 2003 2:21 PM
Hello. I am a relative light weight (152 lbs) & getting into amature road racing. I love to climb & TT. I am looking to shave some weight from my bike w/out lossing performance via flex & frequant mechanicals. I have full Dura Ace and am thinking about going to FSA Pro cranks. Is that upgrade a worth while weight savings, & if so which BB should I use (i.e. shimano vs. isis)? Also what are the lightest bottle holders that actually work? And lastly, what skewrs (spelling?) would you recomend? And by the way, I am not rich so custom hand made Ti parts may be out of my budget. I appreciate any ifo that you folks can offer.
use michellin Pro race, contemplating veloflex paves, advice?(nmjjdbike
Aug 9, 2003 2:26 PM
veloflex pavesfiltersweep
Aug 10, 2003 1:13 PM
I use Pro Race as "everyday tires" (laugh if you want, but they are actually quite durable- they don't flat unless you don't know when to stop riding on them) but use PAVES for races. They 'FEEL' much more confident in tight turns than the Michelins (don't get me wrong, I love the Michelins, but they simply are a "harder" tire). I'm sure the Paves have a more limited life expectency.

I don't know if you will feel lighter or faster...

Beyond that, jjd, I'd suggest riding with a club. You will see guys riding bike twice as heavy as yours that are much faster than you, and it will simply inspire you to train harder and stop throwing good money after bad chasing this "problem" of weight. It sure cured me! Diive has it absolutely correct...
Many places to save weightKerry Irons
Aug 9, 2003 4:38 PM
You haven't given any information about your wheels, saddle, pedals, bars, seat post, or stem. All of those combined may offer "signficant" weight saving potential without going to aftermarket cranks that save 80 gm. However, it should be noted that all of these weight savings combined will only affect the outcome of the reading on the scales, not the outcome of a race.
not worthwhile....C-40
Aug 9, 2003 7:23 PM
It's an unfortuante misconception that saving a few ounces will somehow make a measureable improvement in bike performance. First note that weight reductions only improve performance when going uphill. On a flat, weight reduction is of no value, and on a downhill, reduced weight will slow you down.

To get an idea of the minute improvement from such a change, consider what a full pound will do. Assuming your bike now weighs 18 pounds, your total bike and rider weight is 170. 1/170 = .006 or .6%. A .6% improvement on a small fraction of your ride (the uphill portion), means that the net reduction in time or increase in speed will be much less than .6% Now consider that one lightweight part will only save a fraction of a pound. Were probably talking about .1% or less. A brief hesitation in your pedaling action while taking a drink will lose you far more time than you'd gain from reducing the weight of your bike.

Body weight, in general, is far more important. Most of us carry quite a few pounds of excess baggage that would be easier to lose.
not worthwhile....jjdbike
Aug 9, 2003 7:59 PM
I could probably lose about one or two lbs, but that would put me at a very low % of body fat. I live in a very hilly area, the flattest ride here is rolling hills. I aspire to do the Mt. Washington race next yr. My bike is an 01 Team Once(Giant TCR). Wheels are Dave's SppedDreams AeroLight(lighter than Mavic K's). My post & bar are Easton EC 90, my stem is ITM The Stem. My sadle is an SLR Flow (185 gm). My bike w/ fully loaded saddle bag & full bottles weighs 16.5 but am looking to get it to just a hair below 16.
Still looking for advice on components.
not worthwhile....schills
Aug 9, 2003 8:13 PM
Go with Continental Supersonics(155gm) and ultralite tubes(67 grms). I train and race with them and don't have any more punctures that anyone riding heavier tires.
not worthwhile....ngl
Aug 10, 2003 10:01 AM
Forget the supersonics. I've used them. I didn't mind the fast wear, but, they cut very easy. I should think a set of zipp 303's would save a bunch of centrifical weight over your Dave Dreams.
training is far more important...C-40
Aug 10, 2003 10:32 AM
Your bike is plenty light as is. If you do get a carbon crank, I'd get an ISIS BB, since the shimano octalink will probably be obsolete in a couple of years (new DA is totally different). Just don't expect miracles from a couple of ounces.

I just moved to Denver and I've had just over 2 weeks to acclimate to the altitude. I'm a great hill climber, but the mountains plus the altitude make the riding pretty tough. I wouldn't even be riding the mountains if it weren't for the FSA carbon triple crankset on my Fondriest. Today I did a 42 mile loop with 13 miles of continuous climbing and a few more miles thrown in throughout the ride. If you aspire to climb a mountain, better train on one or you will get your butt kicked, it's nothing like riding hills. A heart rate monitor is a must, as are gears low enough to permit some "rest while riding". A lot of guys who ride doubles up the mountains are in their lowest gear most of the time, grinding out a slow cadence. It's far better to have a couple lowers cogs available to reduce the heart rate if it goes ballistic. This morning for example, I averaged 176 bpm for just over an hour, with a max. of 195. Pretty tough for a 50 year old. On the bright side, I stayed up with a couple of guys that were half my age, until the last 4 miles of climbing. At the summit, they had only gained about a minute.
Aug 10, 2003 11:44 AM
Anyone can go to and plug in various numbers for power and weight and see the effects of each on hill climbing. There is a direct relationship between weight and climbing speed, as we can see. Whether the cost/benefit is acceptable is up to each person.

Even if a weight change results in only 6 seconds lost or gained on a climb, that 6 seconds could make the difference in whether you get dropped for good or not in a race or fast training ride.

the problem...divve
Aug 10, 2003 12:47 PM that those calculations don't take the human or "chemical bag" factor as you call them into account. I can't claim any degree of objectively quantified certainty, however, my gut feelings says that an athlete is more than able to make up for that 1 pound of weight disadvantage he might have either by greater mental determination or increased power output. I doubt any two individuals are that closed matched in ability on a given day that 1 or 2 pounds is going to make a difference in an outcome of a race.
apples and applesDougSloan
Aug 10, 2003 2:13 PM
Assume the rider is going all out on a climb; he's making 300 watts; this is regardless of the weight of his bike. He can't go any harder. He can't decide that since he's on a heavier bike, he'll try a little harder. Maxed. That being the case, he'll climb faster on a lighter bike. If you tell me he could "just try harder" (on the heavier bike), I'd say he should have been doing that anyway. Apples and apples removes effort/power from the equation.

Now, I agree that the times when this makes a "real" difference may be rare. However, why race with any disadvantage?

Alternatively, let's assume the rider *can* keep up with his adversaries on either bike. With less weight, he can climb the hill with less power/effort (maybe 290 watts instead of 300), and potentially have more power later in the race for another effort. In critical times, it might make a difference. I've been in and seen sprints (following climbs) with 10 riders placed within a second or two (or a yard or two). Just a little more power resulting from having expended less power earlier in the race could have made the difference. Just possible.

If you are not racing, this is fairly irrelevant.

Stay away from ISIS BB'spedalAZ
Aug 10, 2003 2:20 PM
The ISIS splined interface is inherently flawed because it has no taper. If you want the lowest crankset/BB combo, go with a square taper spindle and get either a Phil Wood, American Classic, or Action Tec Ti BB.

For the crankarms, you can do no better weight wise than Storck Power Arms (carbon - 320 grams), although the new E*bonesR (aluminum - 358 grames claimed) from Extralite are very promising.

For your mountain dreams, the FSA compact crankset is compelling, at 521 grams (claimed) for the 50/34 set. Note that FSA is notorious for exaggerating their own weight claims, and that this set is available only in ISIS and Octalink. If you go for this set, buy the Octalink and mate it to a DuraAce BB.

For skewers, the lowest weight you can get is from a bolt on set, like from Control Tech. Cheap, and usually under 60 grams. If you want QR's, I think the best price/performance/weight deal is the Extralite Alien. I have a set on my MTB and they work great at only 68 grams.
WRONG about ISIS....C-40
Aug 10, 2003 5:35 PM
ISIS bottom brackets have a 1 degree taper on the spindle. Check out for details.
You are correct. However,pedalAZ
Aug 11, 2003 8:10 AM
the 1 degree taper is defeated by the crankstop.

Here's a good explanation of the problem:
Whoa, your numbers are WAY off!Kerry Irons
Aug 10, 2003 4:21 PM
Your w/fully loaded saddle bag & full bottles weighs 16.5? NOT!!! Two small bottles weigh 1.1 kg (2.5 lb) when full, and I think we can safely throw in another 200 gm (.4+ lb) for the tool bag. You're saying your bike weighs 13.5 lb w/o bottles and saddle bag? It is not possible.
agree; but if they are correct, this discussion is done nmDougSloan
Aug 11, 2003 7:49 AM
Whoa, your numbers are WAY off!Ironbutt
Aug 11, 2003 11:08 AM
I thought so, too. but if you get a frame at 2 pounds, and throw on ultralight wheels and bars and then go with a ti cassette, it's possible to bring the weight in for a complete bike at about 13.5 pounds. My bet is that it would be pretty flexy, and not suitable for anything but racing uphill under a very smooth rider, but the weight thing is doable, if you use the posted weights from Campy and the other suppliers. I guess that I'm stupid, or overly trusting, but I don't have those ultralight parts at home to weigh. Definitely very expenisve.
How about 10.2 lbs?pedalAZ
Aug 11, 2003 12:26 PM
Drill holes like the vintage campy stuff! nmthe bull
Aug 10, 2003 11:45 AM