Lightweight comfort bike

Discussion in 'Bike buying advice' started by comfortablebikeguy, Aug 20, 2019.

  1. comfortablebikeguy

    comfortablebikeguy New Member

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    Greetings,

    I currently ride a Trek Navigator 200 that's about 15 years old. My use is mostly urban commuting (short rides of 1 to 5 miles to run errands) but I'll occasionally go for longer rides on a bike path (10-15 miles). I have a rear rack with a grocery style pannier made by Arkel and some other accessories like a rear view mirror, bell and iPhone holder. I like the upright position, many gears and the ability to bike on a sidewalk, road, grass or dirt. The only thing that bothers me is that the bike is somewhat heavy (I believe around 30 pounds) and I was thinking of getting a new bike that is significantly lighter.

    I was looking for something made of carbon or titanium to shave some weight off, but it doesn't look like any of those materials are used for making "Comfort" bikes, understandably. I was thinking perhaps the way to go is to get a carbon framed bike that has a flat handlebar and can handle slightly thicker wheels than a road bike. Then I could swap out the stem in the front and have one that would raise the bars so I can be in an upright position. I'd probably have to sacrifice the front shocks to keep the weight down, and that should be OK.

    I was wondering if anyone could recommend a manufacturer / configuration that could achieve what I'm looking for. It seems that something like this could cost me in the range of $1,500 - $2,000 which is much more expensive than a "replacement" of my Navigator with the Trek Verve or FX series. One bike store recommended customizing a Cannondale Synapse.

    I'd greatly appreciate if anyone has any ideas about what may work best.

    Thanks so much!
     
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  2. shmuelyosef

    shmuelyosef New Member

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    The question I would put back at you is: is it your bike that is heavy or all the stuff you have on it?

    With an aluminum frame and wheels, you have a good start. For a LOT less than a new bike, you could do a lot to strip down your existing machine.

    1. If you still have big dirt tires, you can buy some street tires that are a lot lighter, more comfortable and better in the wet.
    2. you can 'get rid' of some stuff:
    - the front derailleur and chainrings...buy a single chainwheel crank (say 46-48 tooth)...maybe change some cogs on your cassette/freewheel to one that spans the same gear range you have now
    - Buy lightweight alloy handlebars...lots of choice here...with your adjustable stem you can get some modern flat bars with whatever rise you like
    - Lighter saddle...there are some very cushy lightweight saddles available...you could even spring for a Brooks B17 ($75 at ChainReaction) and get more comfort with less weight...you might even be able to swap out the heavy spring-seatpost for a light alloy one cause of the 'give' in the Brooks.
    - You probably don't need the rear brake for what you do...I ride my singlespeed (vintage Miyata with everything removed) around town and on bike paths with just a front brake. It weighs under 20 pounds even with the 28mm tires on it.

    You might start, however, by taking off some of the accessories and weighing them just to get an idea of what's really going on. You might save 2 lbs by switching to a carbon frame, but it will be a lot less comfortable; I have ridden carbon and it beats you up.

    If you don't ride in the hills at all, you might want to pick up an old steel frame (like the Miyata 710 I made into a singlespeed, and perhaps just make it into an urban 6-speed (wide range), single chainwheel bike with upright seat and bar setup. The steel frames are MUCH more comfortable than aluminum.

    You could also get an e-Bike...
     
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