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Bike weight(20 posts)

Bike weightbikedoc
May 31, 2002 8:35 AM
How important is the weight of a bike. My bike is steel and weighs 20 pounds. It is a great road bike and very comfortable. I can spend $$$ and get a much lighter bike. How much will that help me with hills, speed etc. Or, what if I just dropped 5 pounds of body weight. I ride 50-60 miles/week but its fast and competetive.
re: Bike weightzooog
May 31, 2002 8:42 AM
I think if your happy with your present bike and feel comfortable with it then it is fine. But if you want to improve, drop weight and ride more miles than maybe a new and also lighter bike may be your ticket to those goals.
Very, very, very, extremely importantmr_spin
May 31, 2002 8:42 AM
If your bike does not weigh 16.8 pounds or less, you are clearly a loser who should not be riding. Throw that bike in the trash and drop $7,000 on a new custom bike.

I'm kidding. Of course.

I'll bet that 20 pounds is the average weight for road bikes. Certainly for a steel bike. If you like it and it works for you what are you concerned about?

Finally, losing weight off your body is always better than getting a lighter bike. Better all around and definitely cheaper. Think about it. Let's say you have 20 pounds you can lose off your body. Okay, now try losing 20 pounds off your bike!
Better all around and definitely cheaperelviento
May 31, 2002 9:04 AM
"Finally, losing weight off your body is always better than getting a lighter bike. Better all around and definitely cheaper."

But not always easier. hehe
Better all around and definitely cheapermr_spin
May 31, 2002 9:20 AM
If it were easy, everybody would be doing it!
re: Bike weightMe Dot Org
May 31, 2002 8:50 AM
20 pounds is very reasonable for a steel bike, especially if you are riding 50-60 miles a week.

Keep in mind: If you lose 3 pounds, that's 3 pounds you're not carrying around when you're NOT riding the bike!
you won't notice much difference (nm)ColnagoFE
May 31, 2002 9:36 AM
Ultralight bike as a reward for weight loss???Quack
May 31, 2002 9:37 AM
Ultralight bike as a reward for weight loss???bob_vanderhaus
May 31, 2002 10:13 AM
I would fully agree, loose the weight than buy the lighter bike. My race bike is just over 16 pounds and I can say there is a world of difference between that and my 24 pound rain bike. You can really feel it in the hills and for a big sprinter the lightness also provides a mental advantage.
O.k., here's my take...greg n
May 31, 2002 9:43 AM
I'm a huge advocate of steel and I'm not so much a weight weenie, so here goes.

20 lbs. for a steel ride is good. Can you get it under 20? Probably. Do you need to get it under 20? probably not.

Dropping a pound or two on a bike is not that noticeable. And probably the only time you will notice is lifting it on and off your roof rack. However, dropping even a half pound in your wheelset is. Less rolling weight is the most noticeable change in performance you can make to your bike in my opinion.

You're definitely better off dropping 5 lbs of body weight. That's less expensive and it would be an improvement in your strength to weight ratio.

Besides, let's say you have a 17 lbs. bike and you put 2 full water bottles on it. How heavy is it now? 20 lbs.

I guess the bottom line is ride what's comfortable and handles well for you. Don't sacrifice comfort, $$ and/or equipment durability for a couple extra pounds because the "cool guys" are doing it.

Steel is real.
and one more thing...greg n
May 31, 2002 10:20 AM
Consider this. The rider is 160 lbs. the bike is 20 lbs. That's 180 lbs. total weight. Now drop 2 lbs. off your bike, and that's about 1.1% of the total weight. Pretty insignificant. And how many hundreds of dollars will it cost you to drop that 1.1% of weight?

Just food for thought.
and one more thing...legs
May 31, 2002 10:32 AM
and.. if i may add..
ride your current bike with empty and then with full water bottles.. do you notice a difference in performance (no)..
the only place you might notice anything is in acceleration and acceleration while climbing...and thuis will be subtle in a way..
riding at speed in relatively level ground.. i doubt you can perceive the difference between a 17 and a 20lb bike (i have a 22lb steel bike and a 16.5 lb titanium bike)
just my opinionNo_sprint
May 31, 2002 10:52 AM
There's a lot of *just lose 10 pounds yourself* or *add water to your bike and it's 2 pounds heavier*. That all is true.

However, if you don't lose that 20, ride a 22 pound bike with dual loaded bottles, huge swingin' seat pack, fully loaded jersey with mini photo album of the kids, cell phone, key ring of 50 keys, 7 energy bars, mini pump, and heavy wheels, you're talking grand differences.

I for one, wouldn't mind losing a couple of pounds but that's it and I aint even tryin'. 150 is good for me. How do I lose weight now? It's got to be the bike. Would I race a heavy bike? No way. I can feel the difference when I mount up race wheels vs. trainers. 1500 grams vs. 1800 or so. That's about 1200 grams of rotating weight. I can feel the difference between a loaded bottle and an empty, pack or no pack. I race as light as I can go. Sometimes I start with just 1/4 bottle knowing that's all I need. Heck, in some crits I lose the bottle and cage altogether, get rid of the Polar mount, etc.

Just my opinion. For other than racin', ride what you like even if it is a couple pounds heavier than some. If you want lighter, go for it!
One caveatSantaCruz
May 31, 2002 10:55 AM
Most people seem to be recommending the conservative practical path of losing 5 lbs, building strength, upgrade wheels, etc.

But if your goal is to ride more miles, ride faster and get more competitive, then buying a new and lighter bike is a great way to provide the necessary incentive.

I agree that a couple of pounds off the bike will not provide significant advantage. A lighter bike with good components rides and handles differently than a "comfortable" 20 lb. bike. Sometimes that difference in feel is what it takes to challenge a rider to experience a higher level of performance.

If the money is available (and you don't need a $4,000 15 lb machine) then everybody can use a second bike, especially if it pushes you to higher performance.

Nothing wrong with 20 lbs of steel, I still ride a 24 lb steel tourer from time to time, it's very comfortable and enjoyable.
what size frame and how much do you weigh?ColnagoFE
May 31, 2002 12:19 PM
For me at 195 and a 62cm frame a 20 lb steel bike is pretty light. If I weighed 150 and rode a 48cm frame that might be considered heavy.
what size frame and how much do you weigh?bikedoc
May 31, 2002 2:25 PM
I'm 165 on a 53cm frame. I just bought a steel bike but think maybe I should have spent the extra $$$ and gone lighter. I custom designed the bike. Its too late now but I dont know if I dont feel "fast" on it is because it is the beginning of the riding season here or because of the bike.Thanks for the advice.
I'd guess it's you.look271
May 31, 2002 3:04 PM
Like the others have said, 20lbs on a steel bike ain't bad. You're comfortable on it, right? Way more important than having a bike that's a lb or 2 lighter. It's early. Get in better shape; drop a few pounds.
also depends on riding styleweiwentg
May 31, 2002 4:07 PM
long cruises? get the steel bike.
racer? get something light but not stupid light.
120 pound racer on a small frame? get something stupid light.

don't worry about the weight first. if you drop ten pounds and it bugs you, get some nice wheels. if it still bugs you, get a new frame.
keep riding and you'll see progressTig
May 31, 2002 4:07 PM
Keep riding what you are on for now and you should see improvements in your fitness and ability. These gains won't be continuous, but more like a set of stairs (if you could graph it). You will see a plateau followed by a gain, followed by a plateau, etc. The next thing you know, you will remember when a certain 20 or 30 mile ride totally wiped you out, but now you feel good the whole time. The key to improvement is frequency. Try to fit in one additional ride during the week, even a short one. Also make sure some of your rides are slow, easy recovery rides. Most people don't understand the incredible value that these rides can provide to your improving fitness.

Lighter bikes can be less comfortable. Note: this isn't an absolute rule! This can apply to many different frame materials, but I'm not going there today. However, with many bikes, lighter can come at the cost of less reliability, rougher ride, and almost all cases, much more $.

Later, if you find yourself wanting a different bike as your needs change, go for it! Until then, I doubt there is any need to rush into buying another bike. It sounds like you already have a great one. Bike lust can be dangerous to your bank account! What do you have, anyway?
Matters only if you race ...Humma Hah
May 31, 2002 3:46 PM
It sounds to me like you've got a nearly perfect bike for your needs. The most important factor is that you're comfortable on it. That's more important than a couple of pounds ANY day.

Shaving a couple of pounds from the bike makes sense if you're a fire-breathing racer, so you can shave off two seconds on a climb or a few milliseconds on a breakaway.

Shaving weight off a fitness bike makes about as much sense as switching to titanium and graphite barbells at the gym.

My bike weighs TWICE what yours does and is good for 150 miles a day. That much weight DOES have an effect, but not so much as to make the bike unridable.