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The Horror - I fail to build a lightweight bike!(16 posts)

The Horror - I fail to build a lightweight bike!terry b
Jul 7, 2003 5:19 PM
I'm always amused by the weights we see claimed for bikes (in the gallery) since most of mine (57,58) seem to weigh many pounds more. I'd hate to think people are exagerating, and yet I can't seem to make the numbers work. So, with the convergence of several things (frame blowout at Excel, wife out of town for 3 weeks, new Capital One card in my wallet) I decided to build the world's lightest reasonably constructed bike for someone my size (175 lbs.) Something built with decent parts and little stress of recommended weight limits.

Starting with a neat little 0-30 lb. digital scale from eBay ($27.88) I began to amass and weigh things. Here's the big surprise - MFGRs claimed weights are big, fat lies!(duh!) I added up all the published weights I could find and lo and behold I was looking at a 17.4 lb. uber-bike. Unfortunately I ended up with a 18.97 lb. plumpo (she obviously lied in the personals ad.) The biggest lie was the frame - advertised ~1200g, reality = 1610g. I guess they must have weighed a size 38cm. Aside from that, the dribs and drabs added up to an additional 300g so roughly 2 more lbs. than I paid for. I figure I could probably lose about 3/4 of a pound for not a lot of money (Speedplays, Vitt Ultra Speed tires, latex tubes) but why bother?

Campy should have its mouth washed out for lying across the board. Some did tell the truth though and Speedplay (not listed) actually underlisted by 15 whole grams!

I bet if I'd built it on Wrench Science it would've weight 15.5 pounds!

Here's the data, component, advertised weight, actual weight

Selcof Carbon Seatpost=155-234
ITM Millenium Stem=156-150
Fizik Pave Saddle=245-258
Deda Black Fork=490-540
58cm Dardo Frame=1200-1610
TTT 199 Handlebar=199-228
Velomax Ascent Rear=809-812
Velomax Ascent Front=610-632
Fortezza Tires=460-476
Airlok Tubes=144-144
Chorus Crank=667-698
Chorus Casette=220-228
Record Chain=279-282
Chorus Levers=365-374
Chorus Cables=248-248
Chorus BB=220-224
Record HS=52-52
Chorus Brakes=340-358
Chorus FD=89=100
Chorus RD=209-212
Cateye Computer=58-58
Delta Cages=90-88
Look 396 Pedals=396-396
Supergo Skewers=115-118
Velox Rim Strips=36-36
WM aluminum Spacers=16-16
DedaBar Tape=42-42
Campy Lockring=18-18

And lastly, here's a picture of the finished product (not too bad I think, even if she is carrying a little extra cake). Oh yea, the orange tape is not long for this world - it looked greasy after the 10 mile shakedown cruise.
Nice bike!Leroy
Jul 7, 2003 5:33 PM
Don't ever weigh stuff. It's better to not know...
re: The Horror - I fail to build a lightweight bike!orange_julius
Jul 7, 2003 6:24 PM
Maybe you need to drill holes in strategic locations to
reduce weight, just like what cyclists used to do in the
olden days! ;-)
Just remember- everyone else is lying toofiltersweep
Jul 7, 2003 6:25 PM
Cool bike- I refused to let the shop weight my bike after they built it. I simply would rather live in denial.

So that is why the Look 396 are called 396es?
Just remember- everyone else is lying tooterry b
Jul 7, 2003 6:27 PM
I thought that was pretty ironic.
re: The Horror - I fail to build a lightweight bike!flying
Jul 7, 2003 10:53 PM
Actually the Campy stuff is super close.
Cycling's dirty little secretDaveLobster
Jul 8, 2003 5:20 AM
I honestly believe that most, but not all, complete bike weights are understated. I too, weigh my stuff. I have a little postal scale for parts and weigh the bike like you would a dog - weigh yourself, weigh yourself holding the bike and subtract.

My old Trek OCLV with Dura Ace weighed 18.5 lbs with pedals, cages and computer. It was a solid build with good but not superlight parts-I could have stripped 1, maybe 1.5 pounds, but not 3. After that I really doubted other people's claims of 15 or 16 pound bikes. I know it can be done if you buy the lightest available of everything, but some people think they can slap a carbon seatpost on their Ultegra Tuscany and claim it's a 15.5 pound bike. Now I ride a 21 lb. Italian steel bike with mid-level components and just don't think about it.

Once I rebuilt a friend's Giant OCR with Campy Daytona (it had been 105). Being the meanie I am, I made him weigh it when we were done. He was expecting 17 lbs (by adding up advertised weights) but it was really closer to 19.5. He lived, but sometimes I think it would be better to just have let him think he had a 17 lb bike. -Dave
re: The Horror - I fail to build a lightweight bike!andy02
Jul 8, 2003 6:10 AM - I do know someone who build a bike almost the same as this his came out to 14 pounds.

Just don't forget to ride
I've always wondered the same thingB2
Jul 8, 2003 6:19 AM
but I haven't seen that much descrepancy in the mfgr listed weights. When I added up all the components prior to building up my bike I came up with about 16.5 lbs. The final build came in at 16.75 lbs.

I see some people claiming lower weights for bike set ups that I know are heavier than mine (or very close to the same as my build). All I can say is there must be a lot of uncalibrated scales out there.

BTW - I'll bet all your cables and housings weigh another 200g

cables were included - 240g (nm)terry b
Jul 8, 2003 7:27 AM
Sorry Terry - missed 'em first time around (nm)B2
Jul 8, 2003 12:20 PM
nice bike, but could have been much lighterDougSloan
Jul 8, 2003 7:00 AM
You certainly did build a nice bike, but it could have been much lighter and still be "reasonably constructed." I've built two of them in the low 15's with off the shelf "reasonable" parts. A few grams here and there on a lot of parts and you get lighter. Don't have time to detail it, but nearly every part you listed could have been significantly lighter.

no doubtterry b
Jul 8, 2003 7:33 AM
I figure 100g each for (let's say) USE post, SLR saddle, Ultra Speed tires, Cane Creek brakes, latex tubes. another 130 for Record CF crank. 170g for Speedplays. That's 800g. The fork is another area, but then I'd have to mess with the paint job. Alpha Q might save another 150. All in all about 2 lbs. Beyond that, who knows. Total additional cost, maybe $800 with most of the cost coming from the crank. The rest is a wash.
Great post!Crankist
Jul 8, 2003 7:11 AM
Thanks Terry. My wife is off to Tampa soon...
How much lighter is your wallet now? (nm)LC
Jul 8, 2003 8:38 AM
surprisingly not that muchterry b
Jul 8, 2003 8:41 AM
as you see it, the bike cost about $2200. the frame was more than 50% off, the components were bought in a kit and I got a screaming deal on the wheels. there is much money to be saved in scrounging and do-it-yourself.