how important is weight?

Discussion in 'Mountain Bikes' started by skiblur, Jan 14, 2005.

  1. skiblur

    skiblur New Member

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    I've been trail riding for a few years now, but only recently have I moved to colorado where the real stuff is. The thing is, I never had a true bike that was meant for real terrain (I'm riding some wal-mart thing with crappy front suspension). I'd get something better but I don't have the funds. Anyway, this thing weighs in between 50 and 60 pounds, and I was wondering how much of a difference the bike's weight makes, especially when climbing. Is it really that much easier with a lighter bike? I mean I'm sure I'll find out eventually, but I just thought I'd ask :)
     
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  2. William Henry

    William Henry New Member

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    it is not really that much easier on a lighter bike because it is you strength level that makes the difference
     
  3. peet9471

    peet9471 New Member

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    Weight is not nearly as important as quality. But, since most quality parts weigh less, go with the flow.
     
  4. AzzaC

    AzzaC New Member

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    Not much easier on a lighter bike :eek: You've got to be kidding???! The weight of the bike is very important for climbing. I can guarantee you that the same person on a 20kg bike (44 pounds) will climb much slower that when they are on a 14kg (31 pounds) bike.

    For example; find a hill, and climb up it twice and note the time it takes to do each climb. Come back the next day and do the same thing, but carry a back-pack with 22lbs in it and see if you can do the climbs in the same time, or with the same ease/exertion level. I seriously doubt you will even come close.

    As peet mentioned, reduced weight generally comes with increased quality. However, it can get to a point where things become ultra-light, are high in quality, but are no-where near as reliable as something that weighs 50-60g more.

    Sounds like you have some excellent areas for riding skiblur, and it is great that you are getting out there and giving it a go. But if you want to get more 'serious', then start saving up for an entry level mtb from a bikeshop. Not only will it be lighter, but the brakes, gears etc will also be better and you will enjoy the rides even more, and get permanently hooked!

    Happy trails. ;)
     
  5. moparchris

    moparchris New Member

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    i agree with azzaC but dont get too worried about weight, some people get soo worried like my mate whos concerned about every gram when he could loose a Kg or two himself anyway :D
     
  6. sssamcz

    sssamcz New Member

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    Once you get under about 30 lbs it doesn't make an awful lot of difference unless you're racing at a very high level. It's nice to have an ultra light bike, though unless you've got mounds of cash lying around, it's hard to justify the expense if you already have a bike of a decently light weight.

    Sam
     
  7. AzzaC

    AzzaC New Member

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    Probably didn't make myself clear about the ultra-light stuff, but MoparChris pretty much summed it up.

    I don't see the point in spending say $200 on a handlebar of 130g when you can get one for $80 that weighs 150g, unless you have the extra cash, or are really serious about the weight of your bike. But if two products are of the same quality/performance, and roughly the same price, I personally would opt for the lighter product.

    A hardtail (out of the box) around 13-14kg would be a really good starting point.
     
  8. Cyclist14

    Cyclist14 New Member

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    Strength Level, Bike Weight, Body Fat Percentage, Overall Body Weight and Joint Flexiblity all play major parts in Cycling.

    You could be super strong but on a 5,000 pound bike you would go nowhere, bike weight does play a part:D
     
  9. jaz

    jaz New Member

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    I can tell the difference between my last bike (27-28lb) & my new bike (22lb) the difference is most apparent on hills, infact I changed my old heavey tyres the otherday to a pair that saved about 300 grams a wheel & I feel even that small difference.
    Have to agree though once you get to mid 20lb's it costs a lot of money to lose a little weight & it doesnt make an awful lot of difference, the price vs performance takes a huge jump for minimal gains.
     
  10. shewhobikes

    shewhobikes New Member

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    What all these latest posters said. No Colorado mtns, just rolling hills here, but there were some I just couldn't climb (and I'd been training) with my old walmart, crappy suspension, lousy gears bike. Then recently bought a Gary Fisher mtn bike--had the LBS fit me-- and it's made all the difference in the world. I'm sure it's partly the weight, but it's also the drivetrain, the tires, the geometry, etc., etc. Save up! I got mine on sale and saved a couple of hundred bucks.:)
     
  11. upontwo

    upontwo New Member

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    Thank You!
     
  12. moparchris

    moparchris New Member

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    loosing weight on your wheels or getting lighter wheels makes quite a big drop in rolling resistance, my friend has some bontrager valiant wheels and theyre slightly lighter than crossmax and you really notice the difference in just the way they roll, acceleration is so much easier, might have to get myself some new wheels - ive got mavix X117 disc at the moment (came stock on my XTC2)
     
  13. sssamcz

    sssamcz New Member

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    Not quite true. Weight and rolling resistance are not directly related. Rolling resistance is usually defined as the losses from hysterisis in the tyre casing as it flexes when rolling along the ground. There can be a correlation with lighter weight tyres, as these tend to have thinner, more flexible casing, and combine with thinner tubes, the right pressure for the terrain, and an appropriately sized tyre, that's how you get the lowers rolling resistance. Wheel weight itself does not directly effect rolling resistance.

    Please note I'm not saying wheel weight does not matter - it is the single best area to save weight on your bike, it's just that it is not because of rolling resistance you want to do this.

    Sam
     
  14. dabac

    dabac Well-Known Member

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    I rode a heavy bike for some years and didn't really think about it. Except flats and eventually worn out rims it was a dream in durability. Then I participated in some touring trips alongside people with lighter bikes, and now the weight began to tell. At home I could match their speed during the regular half-day weekend rides, but when we got to all-day, all-week riding the difference became obvious.

    When money is tight I still prioritize durability over weight, but a light bike IS nicer than a heavy one, but you need to push it a bit before it becomes an issue.
     
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