Something to be said for saving weight.

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  • Something to be said for saving weight.
  • andysredmini
    Member

    I have a cove stiffie that used to weigh about a metric tone. I probably rode 20000 miles on it using it for 50 mile day rides and I commuted on it 5 days a week for nearly 10 years.
    It had marzocchi shiver sc’s, hope big un hubs with atomic labs trail pimp rims and race face diabolus cranks some of which were transferred from my dh bike.
    I changed the wheels in march to some hope pro2 evos with mavic 819 rims and was amazed how much better the bike rode.I think i worked out that the new front wheel weighed the same as just the old front rim.

    I then changed the tired old shiver sc forks which saved nearly 1kg. I couldn’t believe how much better the front end felt for being that bit lighter.

    Lastly i have just converted to 1×9. By removing the old diabolus cranks, xt front mech and shifter and replacing with some race face deus cranks, a single ring and a chain guide it has dropped about another 1kg from the bike.

    None of this was ever done on purpose to save weight but its what has seemed to make the most difference to the bike.

    Andy

    Don’t listen to the “lighter is pointless” brigade. Lighter bike = more fun. Simple!

    b r
    Member

    Can’t be true, you should go for a dump or pick your nose according to the STW gospel… πŸ™„

    darbeze
    Member

    I have just replaced the tired Suntour suspension forks on my hardtail for some NOS Kona Project 2’s…

    They are over a kilo lighter than the suspension. It is fair to say the bike feels completely different. As the front is now loads lighter and the bike fully rigid…

    Have to say, I really like it!

    cynic-al
    Member

    The OP is 100% correct.

    andysredmini
    Member

    I just remembered (its been a year or so) that I also replaced the diabolus stem, answer pro taper bars, Hope E4 brakes and some dh tires. I remember weighing it in its old state and it was around 17kg.
    Not sure what it is now but i’m guessing around 13kg.

    This doesn’t mean i’m going to start chasing grams though.

    Premier Icon roverpig
    Subscriber

    Interesting observations there.

    The wheels I can understand. You can certainly transform the handling of any bike with lighter wheels.

    The fork sounds a bit more complicated. Yes, it’s lighter but presumably it’s also a better fork. So how do you determine how much of the improved feel of the bike is down to weight alone?

    The cranks are even more interesting. A Kg is a fair but, but I’m still surprised that dropping weight from that area makes a difference that you can feel. Not saying you can’t. Just surprised.

    Premier Icon zippykona
    Subscriber

    Lighter is righter.

    andysredmini
    Member

    The forks are better but I always liked the shivers for their sins. The front end just seems lighter to shift around underneath me and lift up if that makes sense.
    The cranks have made the back end feel lighter. More so when lifting the bike.
    Overall the bike just feels lighter, more nimble and less draggy.
    I know this is a combination of less weight, better tires and lower rolling mass but overall it adds up to a much better bike suited to what I now use it for.

    Premier Icon jam bo
    Subscriber

    loosing 28lbs of me was a much better way of feeling better on the bike and free.

    in fact it was like carrying around a whole other bike…

    fuzzhead
    Member

    loosing 28lbs of me was a much better way of feeling better on the bike and free.

    in fact it was like carrying around a whole other bike…

    +1

    I did this and it’s the best upgrade I ever did to my bike

    πŸ™‚

    darbeze
    Member

    Same here!

    Cheaper too!!

    πŸ™‚

    Stevelol
    Member

    It’s pretty amazing how good bikes are these days, by ‘good’ I mean strong/light/good value (we don’t have to buy expensive stuff but it’s nice sometimes).

    PhilAmon
    Member

    I did a similar thing, upgraded wheels and saved 1kg, saved 600g upgrading forks (these needed upgrading anyway) and i do feel ‘fitter’ for it… I must admit tho, and I know this is a completely different subject, but when I can be bothered to set my brakes up right before a ride, so there is absolutely no rub, this makes equally if not more of a difference!

    b45her
    Member

    weight does make a difference but not as much as people (mags) make out, when they do tests and say they could feel the extra 3/4 of a lb that a bike had on the climbs is utter bullshit, seat tube angle is the thing I’ve found has the greatest effect on climbing.
    1 kg is usually about 1% of the weight your pulling up a hill so it can’t make that much difference until your talking worldcup level xc etc.

    sbob
    Member

    drookitmunter – Member

    Don’t listen to the “lighter is pointless” brigade. Lighter bike = more fun. Simple!

    b r – Member

    Can’t be true, you should go for a dump or pick your nose according to the STW gospel…

    There is a massive difference between gram chasing and discovering your new bike is better than your 30% heavier old one, you ‘tards.

    If you can pick four kilos of snot out your hooters I’d pay to see it.

    TiRed
    Member

    First you start losing kilos, then it will be the odd 100g here and there, then it will be grams on the digital scales. It’s a slippery slope. Says he, trying to keep his steel fixed road bike with rack and mudguards sub 10 kilos.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    1 kg is usually about 1% of the weight your pulling up a hill so it can’t make that much difference until your talking worldcup level xc etc

    If all we were doing was winching up steady climbs, that would be a valid observation. But what most MTBers enjoy is snaking down fast twisty singletrack. When we do this, we move the bike around all over the place underneath us. THIS is where you relaly notice the light weight.

    When a car manufacturer saves weight on a car the Top Gear types are always going on about how the lower weight improves handling, never mind 0-60 times. It’s no different to bikes.

    wobbliscott
    Member

    Another consideration is where you lose the weight. On the suspension and wheel issue you’re getting a dual benefit of not only loosing the weight, but if also the weight reduction on unsprung weight will mean the suspensions performance is significantly improved – which is really what you’re noticing in performance improvement rather than the lower weight.

    cynic-al
    Member

    molgrips – Member

    1 kg is usually about 1% of the weight your pulling up a hill so it can’t make that much difference until your talking worldcup level xc etc

    If all we were doing was winching up steady climbs, that would be a valid observation. But what most MTBers enjoy is snaking down fast twisty singletrack. When we do this, we move the bike around all over the place underneath us. THIS is where you relaly notice the light weight.

    Both correct.

    The lighter bike may feel faster – especially when you know it’s lighter. But the difference in speed is pretty much down to the maths – so it’s **** all, even on climbs.

    sbob
    Member

    molgrips – Member

    When a car manufacturer saves weight on a car the Top Gear types are always going on about how the lower weight improves handling, never mind 0-60 times. It’s no different to bikes.

    Do you think, like cars, there gets a point where a bike can be too light to “handle” well?

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    The lighter bike may feel faster – especially when you know it’s lighter. But the difference in speed is pretty much down to the maths – so it’s **** all, even on climbs

    It may not save a significant amount of time getting to the top of a fire-road climb but this is a total red herring, since we don’t really give a crap about that on the whole.

    It makes a big difference in bike *handling* which is a significant contributor to bike fun in many situations.

    Do you think, like cars, there gets a point where a bike can be too light to “handle” well?

    Honestly I don’t know. I think that below a certain weight there are compromises in terms of equippment that negatively affect the ride like skinny tyres, flexy bits etc, but I dunno if light weight per se is an issue.

    My Pace was 20lbs, that was great all over rocky Wales, and my Heihei at 21.5lbs is perfect until it gets rocky enough to stretch the 80mm fork.

    I suppose heavy weight could help if you were attaching big rock gardens on some DH trail, but my guess is that stiffness would be a bigger issue, and the two things are linked.

    rexated
    Member

    Do you think, like cars, there gets a point where a bike can be too light to “handle” well?

    I’ve gone weightweenie on a few builds, and yes it feels more skittish to start with (for given tyres but with say 5lb overall build difference), but you get used to it and start seeing benefits up and down. As long as suspension, tyres, stiffness, and geometry stays the same, then your riding just adapts to accommodate it. With cars I would guess it is difference as the human versus machine weight proportions are flipped well in the other direction.

    The take a dump / lose 28lb, argument is all well and good, unless you’ve already have freed your brown fish and have lost your gut-chunk. Then bike weight becomes more important for going faster uphill (power to weight) but it’s going to follow a law of diminishing returns in any event. I like gramme chasing, but then I am a nerd.

    Anyway, glad the OP is still enjoying sporting a stiffie after all these years πŸ˜€

    cynic-al
    Member

    molgrips – Member
    It may not save a significant amount of time getting to the top of a fire-road climb but this is a total red herring, since we don’t really give a crap about that on the whole.

    YOU may not give a crap, I don’t think you speak for everyone here on that topic though.

    globalti
    Member

    I sold the Rebas that leaked oil constantly and fitted some rigid carbon eXotic forks to my hardtail. It now weighs what a mountain bike should weigh – light enough that it can be shouldered and carried up mountains.

    By way of proof, a trip up and around the arduous High Street – Ullswater circuit with four pals on full-sus bikes saw me finishing with considerably more in my tank than them, yet my lack of any suspension made absolutely zero difference to our speed around the ride.

    b r
    Member

    sbob – it wasn’t a serious post…, I run a 23lb 456Ti – I’m onboard already.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    I think that below a certain weight there are compromises in terms of equippment that negatively affect the ride

    But those compromises are getting less and less. 10 years ago I rode a 22lb carbon hardtail, v-brakes, old 28mm SIDs, slightly scary. Now have a 20lb FS with 2.25″ tyres, discs, Fox forks and so on. It’s much more fun. It was slightly lighter, but actually the bits I’ve added weight back on (cables and skewer) were more for convenience than any detrimental effect they had on the performance of the bike.

    By way of proof, a trip up and around the arduous High Street – Ullswater circuit with four pals on full-sus bikes saw me finishing with considerably more in my tank than them, yet my lack of any suspension made absolutely zero difference to our speed around the ride.

    Totally meaningless surely? If I (for example) came out and was fitter that would just be a reflection on me, nowt to do with the bike…

    sbob
    Member

    rexated – Member

    I’ve gone weightweenie on a few builds, and yes it feels more skittish to start with (for given tyres but with say 5lb overall build difference), but you get used to it and start seeing benefits up and down.

    I’ve spent most of my time riding a 25lb hardtail, although I have ridden a sub 20lb bike that really did feel skittish and maybe lacking in momentum, for want of a better term.
    Maybe I just needed to give it more time (I couldn’t; it was a custom bike waiting to be picked up by the customer that the frame builder let me ride 😳 ).

    rexated
    Member

    I reckon every mtb-er who likes going fast should spend some good saddle-time on both a weightweenie sub 20lb cross country bike and a full on 40lb DH bike. Both fun downhill under their own terms (and depending on the nature of the rider and the hill after a certain point!). One’s a hell of a lot less arduous on the ups though πŸ˜†

    Keva
    Member

    1 kg is usually about 1% of the weight your pulling up a hill so it can’t make that much difference until your talking worldcup level xc etc

    speak for yourself, I can weigh 73kg fully dressed to ride and holding my bike.

    The cranks are even more interesting. A Kg is a fair bit, but I’m still surprised that dropping weight from that area makes a difference that you can feel. Not saying you can’t. Just surprised.

    really? The crank is rotating just like the wheels, the lighter it is the easier it will go round. Believe it or not I can tell the difference on the pedals depending on what I’m wearing on my feet. -of course I prefer to wear lighter footwear, but perhaps not in this weather. πŸ™‚

    b45her
    Member

    i was talking of the average person not karen carpenter.

    oh and i agree, wheels and tyres are the only place i really take weight into consideration that’s why theres a set of pacentti tl28’s on tesla hubs waiting for when my strive turns up from germany πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    since we don’t really give a crap about that on the whole.

    Ie most MTBers aren’t that interested in shaving 20 secs off the time to the top of the local fire-road climb. Some may be I dunno.

    I reckon every mtb-er who likes going fast should spend some good saddle-time on both a weightweenie sub 20lb cross country bike and a full on 40lb DH bike

    That’s why my three MTBs are a Patriot, a 5 and a Heihei. I don’t see any point in having more than one of the same kind of bike. Different bikes should allow me to do different stuff better.

    Premier Icon jameso
    Subscriber

    I probably rode 20000 miles on it using it for 50 mile day rides and I commuted on it 5 days a week for nearly 10 years

    Respect )

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    sbob – Member

    Do you think, like cars, there gets a point where a bike can be too light to “handle” well?

    No. But, it’s certainly possible for them to be too light for a particular individual to enjoy riding them.

    Within reason at least, it seems pretty straightforward to me- my Hemlock’s ranged from about 29lbs to 37-ish lbs depending on build, and when it’s heavy, there’s things I can’t do on it as easily as when it’s light. But when it’s lighter, it can do everything it can do when it’s heavy, just that occasionally some component explodes πŸ˜† But it does ride better, for my taste.

    My Soda’s borderline stupid- lighter than my road bike in fact. It can be a handful, not always fun, especially in bad conditions where it takes very little to send it squint. But when it works, it works.

    wobbliscott
    Member

    Comparisons to cars are pointless. A lightweight sportscars, like a Caterham for example, may have as much as 200 times the power of the most powerful pro track cyclist, but maybe only 10 times the weight, so power transmission and maintaining tyre temperatures is just not an issue on a bike. Humans are weak. The OP mentioned his bike started off being very heavy. Of course he’s going to notice a difference if he’s knocked off a couple of kg’s. but if you’ve already got a sub 30lb full suss MTB, you’re going to struggle to find 2kgs to knock off so the difference is less pronounced and any improvement noticed is likely to be down to the upgraded components you’ve fitted simply being better. I think it is mostly a placebo effect, especially if you’ve spend big cash on a component to shave off a few grams.

    Getting a 29er will shave more off your trail time than saving a handful of gramms off your rear mech weight, taking a pre-ride dump and filling your camelback with helium πŸ˜‰

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    My point about cars was that saving weight improves the handling as well as makes it faster.

    but if you’ve already got a sub 30lb full suss MTB, you’re going to struggle to find 2kgs to knock off

    Hah πŸ™‚

    I think it is mostly a placebo effect

    Depends if you are a slow unfit middle aged pootler or someone who likes to make rapid progress on singletrack.

    rexated
    Member

    Yes it makes a difference if you want to go quickly, molgrips has a good point…..
    Why do the UCI set a weight minimum…..? It’s not just to be perverse (though they are good at that too).

    wobbliscott
    Member

    Saving weight on cars improves speed and handling. That is a fact. But with bikes it is less black and white. We all like to make rapid progress wether it be on XC or down hill, and everything in-between. Why else do we spend time messing around on bikes? The question is how much does bike weight contribute to that when balanced against rider skill and rider weight. The answer is third priority out of three.

    By the way, I’m neither a particularly a skillfull rider, nor a lightweight rider, but I’m under no illusion that a lighter bike will improve my speed or overall ability. Though I have no desire to ride a heavy bike for the sake of it.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    By the way, I’m neither a particularly a skillfull rider, nor a lightweight rider, but I’m under no illusion that a lighter bike will improve my speed or overall ability

    That’s not what I am saying. Most of us are not racers, so a few seconds saved is of no consequence.

    However it generally FEELS nicer and more fun to ride a more responsive quicker handling bike.

    When you are zipping through singletrack your bike moves this way and that pretty quickly, and it being lighter helps it do this. A lighter bike also responds more quickly in that first quarter of a pedal stroke when you stamp on the pedals.

    If you’ve never tried a 21lb bike, I suggest you do so – you’ll see what I mean! You may not like it overall, to be that light a bike generally has to be XC race spec or thereabouts, which is less appropriate for throwing off big things if that’s what you do.

    However if you have a 35lb Orange 5 say, and you compared it with my 27lb one, you’d see a big difference on singletrack and on climbs. Technical climbs by the way are about manhandling the bike a lot too, and lighter weight helps there. Of course, on the way down on big rocky stuff my 5 would not be as good. The forks are 140mm Revs and the 90mm stem is a compromise, because I like to ride up too.

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