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What the pro bikes weigh.(7 posts)

What the pro bikes weigh.hayaku
May 19, 2002 4:52 PM
I was reading an artical in a magazine yesterday and it had detailed descriptions on Jan Ullrich's, Lance Armstrong's and Simoni's Bikes. I was surprised by the weight. Jan and Simoni's bikes are about 8.05kg(17.70lb) and Lance's bike is about 7.80kg(17.16lb)
I always thought that they would be riding the lightest bikes in the world. Sure, they aren't heavey but you can get lighter. My bike, with Ultegra and training wheels weighs less than Lance's. I know that my bike isn't as good a his of course.
So my point is, these guys aren't obviously weight obsessed. Why is everybody else?
re: What the pro bikes weigh.yeah right
May 19, 2002 6:28 PM
If you'll believe those weights I've got a low low low mile used car I'd love to sell you, jk. UCI minimum weight for bikes is right around 15lbs, and I would put good money that each of those men's bikes would be within an ounce or two of the limit. Lance is a notorious weight-weenie, going so far as too use a downtube shifter on his climbing bike, custom light cassettes, ti fasteners and carbon fiber wheels to shave grams. A fly-weight climber like Simoni would do the same. Ullrich might want a slightly stiffer frame considering his style, but I doubt his bike is any heavier than the rest.
re: What the pro bikes weigh.yeah right
May 19, 2002 8:15 PM
I tried building a Mapei C-40 on wrench science (no idea how close they are with weights, but the frame weight scales with size) and for a 56cm with special k's and look 396s and nothing fancy came out at 17.1lbs. Put Simoni on a 52cm caad7 and some lighter wheels and i'm guessing you're sub 16 without trying. I agree with Doug about the trade show numbers, and my argument only applies to climbing bikes, which are the only ones for which weight actually matters much. Some people also weight their bikes with no pedals or cages or anything, so you can get great variation.
several factors...AllUpHill
May 19, 2002 6:46 PM
in no particular order...

* they're obligated to ride their sponsors' frames and components (for the most part) which may not be the very lightest on the market.

* we're all a little mystified by the trade show reports of 10 to 14 pound bikes. Bikes thus equipped probably don't give practical reliability for most riders -- they're built up for the purpose of hanging on a scale and being photographed. Sure, rides can go plenty lighter than the ones you mention and still be just fine, but thanks to trade show hype and such, 17lb sounds like a boat anchor.

* I believe perhaps the stronger and more experienced you become the less a couple extra pounds (on the bike) really matters, and it never matters too much at that. The performance level of even the "tail of the pack" professionals is a great deal beyond you and I. After riding my heavy bike for a couple months and then switching to my lighter one, or vice versa, I notice a substantial difference. But then again, they're different by 6.5lb, and I'm thinly built and not a particularly strong rider.

* for the cycling enthusiast, part of the sport is simply the gear in itself. Most of us realize that shaving 102 grams with a new bar and stem won't shave seconds, only training will. It's that consumer kick of having a newer, better toy, preferably made of carbon in this case. Nothing wrong with that -- it's part of nearly any hobby.

* Jan and Lance among others ride more exotic gear for the important mountain stages. I suspect those weights refer to the flat-land bikes.
re: What the pro bikes weigh.DougSloan
May 19, 2002 7:36 PM
Their climbing bikes are lighter, near the minimum

Their reported weights might include everything, such as bottle cages, computer, heavy pedals, etc.

Contrary to intuition, lighter bikes help weaker riders more than strong ones, at least climbing. Climbing is all about power to weight ratio. The lower the power, the more the weight matters.

A lighter bike won't make you a champion. But, a lighter bike will make you faster up a hill, all else equal. That's pure physics. So, a light bike may not make me faster than you, but it will make me faster than me on a heavier bike.

Similar weights to what I've heardTonyR
May 19, 2002 8:25 PM
I heard from a reliable source that Fred Rodriguez's Merckx checked in at something over 17lbs. last year, and due to the carbon rear triangle, this year's bike will be a tad under that. He claims that this is a pretty typical number, and that yes reliablity under stress tends to keep bikes well above the UCI minimum. At any rate, a 17lb bike is far from a tank now isn't it?

re: What the pro bikes weigh.hammer_cycle
May 20, 2002 5:28 AM
I put together a 60cm Trek 5900 (Lance's climbing bike) and it easily came to 15.95 lbs without anything exciting. The bike has Dura Ace, carbon bars/seatpost, speedplays and Rolf Sestrieres. A Trek 5500 can easily come in under 17lbs without too much trouble as well.