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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    somewhere between the Red & Rio Grande
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    5,297

    Do You Care About Weight?

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    When ordering my new Epic I was concerned about the weight. I never cared much until I noticed how much a lighter bike has helped some of the women I race against. So when I bought the Epic my husband told me to splurge and build some lighter wheels. A lot of the reason I wanted new wheels was the negative reviews on the stock wheels and I wanted to customize the bike. They look like they may shed close to two pounds on the bike. Today they weighed my bike completely stock and it came in just over 28 pounds. That would bring her down to 26 with the new wheels which seems pretty good for a 29er full suspension. My Fisher was about 27-28 with 26" wheels.

    My wrench started telling me I could save weight changing handlebars, stem, seat post, etc... I have already planned to put a lighter cassette on the new wheels when they arrive. I like my pedals so I don't care to change those. How much does weight matter to you?
    Amanda

    2011 Specialized Epic Comp 29er | Specialized Phenom | "Marie Laveau"
    2007 Cannondale Synapse Carbon Road | Selle Italia Lady Gel Flow | "Miranda"


    You don't have to be great to get started, but you do have to get started to be great. -Lee J. Colan

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    I'm the only one allowed to whine
    Posts
    10,557
    If weight was the ONLY concern, consider that a full bladder weighs about that... pee before you ride, and you get the same benefit.

    However, the *quality* difference between good wheels and average wheels is miles beyond simple weight differences.

    My steel fast-bike weighs 21 1/2 lbs. I'm 60 lbs overweight right now, and I honestly don't think anything I do to the bike would have any effect compared to losing some of my personal butt and belly lard. But if someone were to offer me some hand-built wheels, I'd jump for them!

    Fine wheels are a joy forever...

    Caveat Emptor: I'm comparing a road bike to a mtb, but I still swear that fine wheels are like fine wine whether 26" or 700c.
    Last edited by KnottedYet; 04-21-2011 at 08:38 PM.
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Perth, Western Australia
    Posts
    5,316

    weight

    I'm not sure how much my Titus weighs but it's not heavy and doesn't feel like an elephant going uphill!!! It's as light as it needs to be & the only things I need to change and improve are MY weight and my skills.

    How light is light enough? HOw weight weenie conscious do we need to be???

    I'm no pro but I do the XC races/enduro events with the bike I have. Am I a lesser mortal because of my components?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    2,609
    Just washed the grease off my hands from changing wheels to save 1.5 lbs. on my new build.
    For 3 days, I get to part of a thousand other journeys.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Looking at all the love there that's sleeping
    Posts
    4,171
    For a race bike? Weight would matter a great deal for me.
    For a commuter bike? Not so much.

    I put new wheels on my old road bike and dropped a pound off it. Sure. It's cheaper and better for my health to drop those last 10 pounds off me, first, but that bike rides like a different animal right now. So smooth. Precise. I love the new wheels and don't regret it for a minute (I do regret that my first race on them was in driving rain, however!).

    Wheels are a great way to drop weight from a worthy frame. Bars, stem, etc, are icing on the cake. My $0.02.
    2007 Seven ID8 - Bontrager InForm
    2003 Klein Palomino - Terry Firefly (?)
    2010 Seven Cafe Racer - Bontrager InForm
    2008 Cervelo P2C - Adamo Prologue Saddle

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Suburban MA and Western ME
    Posts
    1,815
    26lbs for a FS 29er is actually pretty good. We have a friend who just bought a 29er SS that weighed in at 24 lbs (stock).

    Weight matters if you are going uphill a lot. The biggest bang is going to come from those wheels. Yes, you can change the seatpost, the bars, the stem, etc. but you're not going to realize as much of an advantage.

    My FS 26-inch race bike weighs in around 24-25 lbs with I9 wheels and pretty light components (carbon bars and seatpost, for example). I could lose some changing out the grouppo, but that's basically it. I find it is lighter than some other bikes I have ridden/raced (I think my Epic was about the same, FWIW).

    Ultimately, an ounce here or an ounce there isn't going to matter if the engine isn't in top condition . I always kind of chuckle at the weight weenies who carry a spare tire around the middle.

    SheFly
    "Well behaved women rarely make history." including me!
    http://twoadventures.blogspot.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    MI
    Posts
    2,543
    If you've ever worn a weighted vest, you know how much a few pounds difference can make. When I get to the point where I can afford to upgrade, weight will definitely be a concern. Until then, I'm working at getting down to my idea weight
    2005 Giant TCR2
    2012 Trek Superfly Elite AL
    2nd Sport, Pando Fall Challenge 2011 and 3rd Expert Peak2Peak 2011
    2001 Trek 8000 SLR
    Iceman 2010-6th Place AG State Games, 2010-1st Sport, Cry Baby Classic 2010-7th Expert, Blackhawk XTerra Tri 2007-3rd AG

    Occasionally Updated Blog

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    somewhere between the Red & Rio Grande
    Posts
    5,297
    Shefly- I do get the advantage of having a tiny frame! I am kind of thinking when we are talking grams on other parts I am going to focus on dropping weight from me. I am still probably 20-25 pounds from where I would feel in top shape. I dropped 10 pounds but still feel it is mostly me slowing the bike down. This bike feels really fast even not being any lighter than my Fisher (yet).
    Amanda

    2011 Specialized Epic Comp 29er | Specialized Phenom | "Marie Laveau"
    2007 Cannondale Synapse Carbon Road | Selle Italia Lady Gel Flow | "Miranda"


    You don't have to be great to get started, but you do have to get started to be great. -Lee J. Colan

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Between the Blue Ridge and the Chesapeake Bay
    Posts
    5,203
    That's a nice bike, Aggie, and I love your new(ish) avatar! I have to chuckle, though, when people get so concerned about the weight of their bikes. True, lighter bikes make some difference sometimes, but as you and others have said, lighter people make more of a difference. I notice it--if I were to ride a featherweight carbon bike at my current weight, it wouldn't make as much of a difference as if I were to lose the 10 lbs that I've let pile on over the past year and ride my steel bike.

    Once I lose those 10 lbs, then maybe I'll consider a lighter bike or components...but probably not since I'm not racing anymore.

    Just sayin'.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Socal
    Posts
    130
    aggie, more power to you on getting a lighter bike. If you are racing your bike weight is important, also if you are a petite or light rider is even more important. Remember that weight to power ratio is the key for better climbing and most races are won on the hills. I do see the loose the weight argument, but Iíve also had a heavy bike before and when moved to a lighter bike, the improvement was immediate! Also the feeling of riding a light bike is awesome.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    2,841
    I try to balance weight with money with how much extra fat I have on myself.

    My road bike is about 16 lbs and I then probably put about 4-5 lbs of accessories on it (water bottle cages, rear bag with tools & spare, pump, bento bag, lights). I could make that bike lighter by going to tubular wheels or dura ace components, and maybe I can shed a pound or two from the bike.. That's an outlay of probably a thousand or two or more to make a bike 2 lbs lighter... a bike that I put 5 lbs of accessories on and ride with way too much cellulite on me. So spending the money to get the bike lighter makes no sense. If I happen to see something lighter at a cheap/great price, I do buy it to swap on (a shorter seatpost, a carbon stem, what not).

    I recently upgraded the fork on my mountain bike. My old fork was from like 1998. My new fork has lock out, disc brake whatevers, and is 6 ounces heavier than my old fork. I did while I was at it swap out to a lighter cassette (sram red's had been cheap on chainlove or something), put lighter tires on it (a friend that went 29er had given me all their old 26 tires), and took off the suspension seatpost and put a straight seatpost that I already had on it (it was hard getting the height right on the suspension)... So overall i did end up going lighter, but I did it at minimal expense. I'd love new wheels for the bike or a new crankset (that's what I'd need to really lighten it further) - but budget wise, it's not in the cards. If I see something pop up that will lighten it at a great price, i will probably grab it.

    If I need something for comfort riding, I don't care how much it weighs, it's going on the bike. My ergo grips are probably heavy on my mountain bike - but hey, they let me ride with less hand issues.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    DE
    Posts
    1,209
    A very wise friend of mine has always stated that the day he starts worrying about the weight of his bike/wheels/ ______ (insert bike part here), he would stop eating Snickers bars.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    8
    Upgrading wheels will make quite a difference, the weight in the wheels rotates and takes a lot of power to keep them rotating. Loosing weight off the wheels and tires you use, will make a lot more difference than upgrading things like a stem, handlebars etc.

    I have recently built up a 9.5kg hardtail, in comparison to my 12.5kg anthem it climbs like a dream. A major difference is that the wheelset and tires are significantly lighter, as well as the more efficient power transfer without rear suspension.

    So my advice, upgrade wheels but you can slowly upgrade other parts if you feel like it later.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    564
    Quote Originally Posted by withm View Post
    A very wise friend of mine has always stated that the day he starts worrying about the weight of his bike/wheels/ ______ (insert bike part here), he would stop eating Snickers bars.
    Hah! I call that the "Cheeseburger Rule". Sure, I could spend $300 to get rid of 200g from the bike, or I could just stop eating so many cheeseburgers.

    It costs a decent amount of money to get the bike to a decent weight. After that, my rule of thumb is that once you get to about 20lbs on a road bike or 30lbs on a cross-country suspension mountain bike, figure $1000 per every pound removed after. (Maybe it's an exponential curve, too, given what the new McLaren Venge is going to cost...)

    That being said, I have several ridiculously light bikes, and I *can* feel the difference. Not just in effort to climb, but in rotational momentum when you remove the weight from wheels and pedaling motions. Losing two pounds off the wheels feels much MUCH different than losing two pounds off your self.

    -- gnat! (That, and it's kinda fun to watch people nearly launch your bike into space when they pick it up to put on a roof rack.)
    Windsor: 2010 S-Works Ruby
    Pantysgawn: 2011 S-Works Stumpjumper 29er
    Whiz!: 2013 S-Works Crux (Singlespeed)
    Boucheron: 2009 S-Works Tricross
    Haloumi: 2013 Tern P7i
    Kraft: 2009 Singlecross
    Gouda: 2005 Electra Betty
    Roquefort: 1974 Stella SX-73

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    somewhere between the Red & Rio Grande
    Posts
    5,297
    My husband is waiting on the same bike you recently added to your stable Gnat, it is going to be so insanely light compared to his Stumpjumper FSR 26er. I do love my Epic and even being the same weight as my Fisher it feels faster. Cannot wait to get the Industry Nine wheels in and shave over 2,000 grams off the clunky DT Swiss Wheels it has right now. Plus the DT Swiss don't do tubeless very well and tubeless is a must in Texas. I have had to re-add Stan's twice because they just don't seal as well.
    Amanda

    2011 Specialized Epic Comp 29er | Specialized Phenom | "Marie Laveau"
    2007 Cannondale Synapse Carbon Road | Selle Italia Lady Gel Flow | "Miranda"


    You don't have to be great to get started, but you do have to get started to be great. -Lee J. Colan

 

 

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