Tip of the Week

The Forum for Endurance Athletes

Tip of the Week

Postby natellerandi » Fri May 20, 2011 4:44 pm

How light does your bike need to be?

About the only time the weight of the bike really comes into play is during a hill climb. Once a bike is up to speed, for the most part its weight becomes moot. Maybe if a bike weighed twice what it does, its weight would be of concern. But, when you're wondering how to get your 16-pound bike down to 15 pounds, my suggestion is that you use your brain power (and dollars) elsewhere.

What we tend to forget is that aside from the weight of the bike, we then have to add in the weight of (typically) 2 full water bottles (42oz total if the bottles are small, which is over 2.5lbs of fluid). Then, add in your own weight. I weight about 140lbs. So, me + my bike + 2 full water bottles = 157lbs total.

So, now look at 157lbs vs 158lbs, compared to 15lbs vs 16lbs (example above). The difference of the 1-pound change in weight is 0.63% vs 6.25%. Now, I will absolutely agree that a drop in weight of 6% is significant. However, a change of only 0.6% is a rounding error. It's not worth the time, effort or money to worry about.

Plenty of races have been won on "heavy" bikes. Take the money you're thinking of spending on the latest lightweight equipment and instead take your family on vacation. You'll spend the same amount of money, but the latter scenario will afford you lasting memories while the former will only serve to dent your pocketbook.

Happy Training,
Nate Llerandi
Posts: 34
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 10:44 am

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