Weight?

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by H2Row, Dec 22, 2007.

  1. H2Row

    H2Row New Member

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    How big a part does weight play in racing road bikes? I know that some people are obsessed with it - making their bike as light as possible. But then you get some people who are indifferent. Does it really make a huge difference?

    What are some of the best ways to lighten your bike (without changing the frame)? Or does the frame take up the majority of the weight?
     
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  2. JAPANic

    JAPANic New Member

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    Are you planning on racing uphills or downhills?
     
  3. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    No, you take up the majority of the weight....the vast majority. If you're riding competitively in events with a lot of climbing then weight definitely matters, but before you drop a couple of grand in titanium accessories you should first ask if you're as lean as you should be.

    Getting a bike from 20 pounds to under 16 pounds can cost you several thousand dollars. If you're already race fit and lean then that money may be well spent. But an awful lot of folks carry an extra ten or twenty pounds around and then spend thousands to take ounces off their bikes. It's your money, but I'd focus on fitness before shaving ounces off your components.
     
  4. H2Row

    H2Row New Member

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    Yeah - I know that I do :p Haha - I really doubt that I have anything to lose to be honest - I am pretty fit I'd say... From rowing - just need to get more cycling fit. I doubt that I can find anywhere to lose weight on my body to be honest unless I start cutting down on muscle mass.

    I'm not planning on putting much money into dropping the weight on my bike right now - just want to know how much of a difference it makes. So do most manufacturers lose on the bikes by constructing light components or light frames? If you get what I mean... Like are the differences in frame weights larger than the differences in the weight of the components?
     
  5. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    In general frames and wheels dominate the weight of a bike and certain components matter more than others.

    Check out: http://weightweenies.starbike.com/ if you want to compare components or frame weights or see how far some folks have pushed the light weight thing.

    or play with the calculators on sites like this one: http://pedalforce.com/online/your_computer.php?cPath=21_99999_100852_101073
    which allow you to do some "what if" comparisons of built up weights based on different components for the same frame.

    Going from classic steel to one of the modern thin wall steel, aluminum or titanium frames can save you a couple of pounds. Go to a light carbon fiber frame and you can save another pound or so. A light set of wheels can save you some more with tubulars still running a bit lighter than clinchers. Then you can save more by selecting a high end gruppo or custom picking ultralight parts. Some parts like carbon bars vs. aluminum bars tend to be the same weight so you can't just assume that fancy materials are lighter.

    Anyway even if you're very lean and fit you still have to consider the bike weight as a percentage of the total package weight if you want to estimate the performance advantage. When you climb you lift both your weight and the weight of the bike uphill. Same during acelerations, you have to acelerate both your weight and the weight of the frame. Play with the calculators here: http://www.analyticcycling.com/ForcesSpeed_Page.html
    if you want to see what a kilo of bike weight difference makes given your body weight. There's definitely a performance advantage to be gained with a lighter bike, but probably not as big as most folks think.

    FWIW I raced all last season on a vintage 21 pound steel road frame I've had since the mid '80s. I had a number of top ten and podium finishes and don't feel the extra couple of pounds made any difference. At least I was able to make the key splits on hills or out of fast crit corners with the extra weight. I upgraded to a lighter frame just as the season ended. I really like the new frame and it's fun to ride but I'm not breaking any records or tearing up the local hill climbs with a few less pounds of bike weight. I sure like the bike but don't have any illusions that I'll suddenly ride off the front on big climbs. Anyway, light bikes are great, but it's still the engine that matters.

    -Dave
     
  6. H2Row

    H2Row New Member

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    Thanks - that is what I was looking for :) My bike - the Silverback Cleveland weighs just over 22.5 pounds - this is pretty heavy compared to other bikes and I was just wondering but yes - it is who is riding the bike. It is like that with all other sports as well.
     
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