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Need some weigh reduction advice!

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Need some weigh reduction advice!

Old 08-27-15, 05:23 AM
  #1  
saddlesores
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Need some weigh reduction advice!

So I just completed a 6-week tour of southwest china.
2500 km of mountains………somewhere about 2/3 of
the way up a 40-km climb, I realized I’m just too damn
old to keep doing this. But I’ll probably keep doing it
anyway, so I need to cut some weight.

Here’s a photo of the bike nekkid, and one on tour:




It’s a large 23” BMC frame, with a pretty massive-looking
straight fork. Fork is uncut at about 300mm, with a
heavy adjustable stem to get the bars up to seat height.

I usually have about 5 pounds with the handlebar bag,
and about 20-25 pounds with the rear bags. Won’t be
able to reduce front bag weight much, but rear can surely
be cut back! I’m not ready for bikepacking with framebag
and seatroll, so will stick with panniers.

Here’s my plan……….need input please.

1. replace that fork! I haven’t weighed it, but it’s gotta
be somewhere between a suspension fork and a standard
steel fork. I’m guessing around 1800g. I can get a lighter
curved steel fork with a 250mm steerer at about 1200g.
(me no trust carbon for touring/mtb forks) I’ll get a
stem extender 180g and non-adjustable stem 150g to
replace the 370g adjustable model. Keep the v-brakes
and small platform rack.

2. replace that rear wheel! I’ve got a super heavy sun
mammoth downhill rim…700g. switch to an alexrims
DH19 at 520g.

3. replace them tires! Currently have maxxis pace 26*1.95
at 650g each, plus a folding spare. I’m pretty fat at 185
pounds, but with reduced weight, I think I can get by
with 1.75 tires. Maybe something like the kenda kozmik
lite folding tire at 450g. will still carry 2 tubes and a
spare tire. Maybe, just maybe, could even get away with
a 26*1.5 on the front?

4. panniers are usually 15L per side/30L per pair. They’re
trashed after this tour. Maybe get smaller (10-12L), lighter
bags. Less space means less stuff.

5. normally ride in mtb-style heavy shoes, with a separate
pair of teva sandals for off the bike. Why? here In southeast
asia it’s always hot. Feet don’t need sauna. Get me some
biking sandals (will they work with clips/straps and platform
pedals?) and leave the tevas behind. Size 46 shoes take up
much space. Leaving them mtb shoes behind would reduce
a couple pounds.

6. that heavy coil lock on the front rack broke. Already
replaced with a lighter coil lock at about 1/3 the weight.

7. them honking big bar ends? Had to cut ‘em off with
an angle grinder. Had to replace the crappy shimano
click shifters, and the bar ends had welded themselves
to the bars. Got some shorter ones at 1/3 the weight.

8. the uncomfortable specialized saddle is cracked, and
the heavy silicon pad is trashed. I’ve got a much
lighter saddle pad, and need to find a comfy non-
leather seat. (monsoon rains!) Recommendations?

9. the rear rack is kinda heavy for aluminum, lots of
extra parts that I don’t think are necessary. Some of
the struts are halfway worn thru from bags rubbing
anyway. Get a lighter, simpler Blackburn type rack.

10. reduce tools and spares to minimum. Carry less
stuff overall.


Anything else?
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Old 08-27-15, 05:52 AM
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You don't say what items you are carrying, but I think I'd be more worried about reducing the gear weight first.

As far as the bike goes... The first thing I'd ditch is the kick stand.

I find race type saddles pretty comfortable and I like the Prologo Kappa. Also the WTB Volt Sport that came with my MTB is very comfortable.
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Old 08-27-15, 06:24 AM
  #3  
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Replace the water bottles, or at least one of them, with recycled 1-liter soda bottles. They're lighter and carry more.

It doesn't look like your packs are that full, so I think you're correct in concentrating on the bike itself. I started looking at each pack's "weight to payload" ratio, and that caused me to ditch my handlebar bag. I bought a cue clip for the map and put electronics, etc in a ziplock in a pannier, easy to pull out whenever I stop.

Many cyclists overpack on clothing. Good advice I've heard in that department is you should be able to wear everything you carry at once as part of a coordinated layering system. You already addressed the shoes.

Good luck in your reduction plan. I did something very similar in my late 40s and everything got better--longer trips, easier days, more energy off the bike, fewer injuries.
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Old 08-27-15, 07:01 AM
  #4  
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hbar bag: can't do without. it has all the stuff i need in case the bike and
gear are 'liberated.' camera, wallet, cell phone, cash, passport, glasses.
carry the bag with me everywhere. i shall try to find a smaller, lighter bag.
smaller bag will carry less stuff.

bottles: groovy. these bottles are about done. faded, starting to crack.

packs: left side is off the bike stuff, i carry that bag into the hotel room.
the bike is often left in the hotel lobby with the right side bag attached.
left side bag is almost full, but at least 1/4 of the space is taken up by
them tevas. also have a small tupperware case with phone charger and
battery charger. and a waterproof case with maps and journal. daily
strip maps are drawn up to put in the non-h2o-proof map case on top.

right side is about 2/3 full. heavier stuff--tools, spare parts, tubes, chain
oil, pannier raincover, spare tire, first aid kit. i'm sure i can cut some of
this stuff. lots of things i've never used, but those i've used have been
needed 100km into the jungle.

bags are water-resistant, not water-proof. stuff inside goes either in
plastic bags, or tupperware for important stuff.

oh....hotels usually cost less than $10, often under $5. so no tent, and no
cooking gear.

clothing: on the bike---2x shorts, 1x jersey. gloves, arm-sleeves, doo-rag,
helmet, 2x sox, cycling shoes, rain jacket.

off the bike--1x khaki-style shorts (no belt or zipper, no tsa groping),
2x boxers, 1x polo shirt, 1x t-shirt, teva sandals, shower thongs, ball cap.
everything is fast-drying.

kickstand: y'know, i never had a kickstand on any of my bikes before. rode a
million miles without, but the last bike came with one, and like there isn't
always a convenient something to lean against.....but i'll keep it in mind.....
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Old 08-27-15, 07:28 AM
  #5  
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Unless my math is wrong, 1.5" equates to a 38c tire. If I am correct, that sounds like it should be fine. I am about 210 lbs. My bike is a heavy, 60cm Surly LHT, and I am pretty sure I carry more weight than you do since I camp and cook. I have had no problems on 37c tires, even on unpaved hilly and mountainous roads. They are 700c, however. Don't know if that makes any difference.
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Old 08-27-15, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
oh....hotels usually cost less than $10, often under $5. so no tent, and no
cooking gear.
In that case you would probably be able to cut gear weight a lot if you want to. I actually have a hard time imagining how I could possibly manage to load the bike down with 25-30 pounds of stuff if I wasn't camping and cooking, but I tend to be a bit of a minimalist.

If you want to cut down, I have found that doing it incrementally is probably the easiest way to go. When on the road, discard or mail stuff home if you think you can get by without it. When at home have a detailed spreadsheet with items and weights and tinker with it over and over. Long after I thought I was at the lowest weight I could go I found that I could both eliminate items and swap for lighter ones. It was very rare that I ever regretted skipping an item or going for a lighter one, if that ever occurred at all. Right now I can't think of a single item I reduced weight on or skipped and regretted the choice.

I documented my adventures in going minimal. You may find my article useful or entertaining. http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/Ultralight
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Old 08-27-15, 02:18 PM
  #7  
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Spend some coin on a Tubus Titanium rear rack?
https://www.bikebagshop.com/tubus-ai...ck-p-1495.html

There are some really thin, light sandals out there. Consider keeping an extra pair to avoid the all-day funk.
Amuri Venture Ready-to-Wear Men's Barefoot Sandals - Xero Shoes
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Old 08-27-15, 03:23 PM
  #8  
CliffordK
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Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
Anything else?
Cycle Sherpas?

Have your tent already set up for you at the destination with a hot meal on the stove.
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Old 08-27-15, 08:02 PM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
hbar bag: can't do without. it has all the stuff i need in case the bike and
gear are 'liberated.' camera, wallet, cell phone, cash, passport, glasses.
carry the bag with me everywhere. i shall try to find a smaller, lighter bag.
smaller bag will carry less stuff.

bottles: groovy. these bottles are about done. faded, starting to crack.

packs: left side is off the bike stuff, i carry that bag into the hotel room.
the bike is often left in the hotel lobby with the right side bag attached.
left side bag is almost full, but at least 1/4 of the space is taken up by
them tevas. also have a small tupperware case with phone charger and
battery charger. and a waterproof case with maps and journal. daily
strip maps are drawn up to put in the non-h2o-proof map case on top.

right side is about 2/3 full. heavier stuff--tools, spare parts, tubes, chain
oil, pannier raincover, spare tire, first aid kit. i'm sure i can cut some of
this stuff. lots of things i've never used, but those i've used have been
needed 100km into the jungle.

bags are water-resistant, not water-proof. stuff inside goes either in
plastic bags, or tupperware for important stuff.

oh....hotels usually cost less than $10, often under $5. so no tent, and no
cooking gear.

clothing: on the bike---2x shorts, 1x jersey. gloves, arm-sleeves, doo-rag,
helmet, 2x sox, cycling shoes, rain jacket.

off the bike--1x khaki-style shorts (no belt or zipper, no tsa groping),
2x boxers, 1x polo shirt, 1x t-shirt, teva sandals, shower thongs, ball cap.
everything is fast-drying.

kickstand: y'know, i never had a kickstand on any of my bikes before. rode a
million miles without, but the last bike came with one, and like there isn't
always a convenient something to lean against.....but i'll keep it in mind.....
After reviewing your list, I don't see how that all adds up to 25#. I am taking an eight day trip starting next week, and just weighted my Ortliebs full with camping and cooking gear and I am at 26#. What do just the bags weigh? How much weight is spare parts/tools?
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Old 08-27-15, 08:26 PM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by timdow View Post
After reviewing your list, I don't see how that all adds up to 25#. I am taking an eight day trip starting next week, and just weighted my Ortliebs full with camping and cooking gear and I am at 26#. What do just the bags weigh? How much weight is spare parts/tools?
just weighed the empty bags.........1.5kg.......or about 3.3 pounds.

it's a bit confusing using the king's metric. the hbar bag with contents usually weighs
around 2kg..........or 4-1/2 pounds.

the rear bags including contents will be around 10-12kg............or 22-26 pounds.

...........plus another 5-10 pounds of water on the rear rack depending.

that spare tire (folding) weighs 1.5 pounds. going to a lighter 1.75 tire will save 1/2 pound !!
and will take up much less space, allowing for smaller (lighter) panniers. maybe an even
lighter 1.5 emergency tire since i plan to trade the 1.95's for 1.75's (maybe 1.5?).
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Old 08-27-15, 09:17 PM
  #11  
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30 lbs of luggage is not an outrageous weight to carry on a bike tour. On my tours, I do not take camping equipment, and have hauled as much as 28 lbs.

On the other hand, on one tour I pared the weight down to 18 lbs.! Not sure how to account for the 10 lb (4 kg) difference, as my tours tend to be fairly spartan, except for the extra footwear I sometimes take...

Shoes are heavy. If I am going somewhere where I might go hiking, I carry lightweight hiking shoes; but they do add weight and bulk. Serious hiking + sandals = pain + foot problems.

You are not carrying a lot of extra clothing. I take a little less. I wear cycle shorts and jersey, but don't carry spares. So I wash them daily.

I have tried saving weight by reducing the number of water bottles I carry from two to one, but I have discovered that is false economy when one is thirsty! So now I carry two, and if the climate warrants it, take a third.

I try to postpone buying souvenirs until the last days of a trip.

I don't carry a spare tire or a lot of spare parts, and I take only very basic tools. So if there is a major problem and I far from a bike store, I would be in trouble. But so far, no problems.
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Old 08-27-15, 09:39 PM
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Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
just weighed the empty bags.........1.5kg.......or about 3.3 pounds.

it's a bit confusing using the king's metric. the hbar bag with contents usually weighs
around 2kg..........or 4-1/2 pounds.

the rear bags including contents will be around 10-12kg............or 22-26 pounds.

...........plus another 5-10 pounds of water on the rear rack depending.

that spare tire (folding) weighs 1.5 pounds. going to a lighter 1.75 tire will save 1/2 pound !!
and will take up much less space, allowing for smaller (lighter) panniers. maybe an even
lighter 1.5 emergency tire since i plan to trade the 1.95's for 1.75's (maybe 1.5?).
The panniers you have are not heavy. My rear Ortliebs weigh in at 4 lb 13 oz. You are on the right track by first reviewing your gear and removing what you have not used.

Just a couple of comments:

The biking sandals are a good weight saving measure, but from what I have read, and someone else maybe can confirm this... they are not nearly as durable and long lasting as biking shoes.

Also I have seen some folks carrying some massive first aid kits (my experience is mostly backpacking, but applies the same to biking). Unless you have special needs, you only need to carry some basics (assuming your travels are not too remote).

Wow that fork looks like a beast!
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Old 08-27-15, 09:57 PM
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Originally Posted by acantor View Post
30 lbs of luggage is not an outrageous weight to carry on a bike tour. On my tours, I do not take camping equipment, and have hauled as much as 28 lbs.
i think i'm doing pretty good so far. i've cut down from 4 panniers plus a bob, with a total
bike+gear weight (with 40 pounds of water!) of about 185 pounds....



and now....so far......lose about a pound with a new fork, another 1.5 pounds by leaving
the heavy mtb shoes behind, another couple pounds by going with thinner tires, another
half pound by switching rear rim, maybe one more pound with smaller panniers. will
leave the spare cycling shorts behind, wash daily. cycling sandals means leave them
two pairs of socks behind too.

also think i can cut off at least half a pound by reducing spares/tools. lots of riding on
dirt tracks, occasional jungle trails, laos and cambodia. no bike shops, no spares much
of anything available.

it's hot here.....often over 100F...and humid. not many 7-11's over the course of a
40-km climb or deep in the jungle. i wouldn't want to carry less than two large
botttles. buy one or two 1.5L bottled water as needed.
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Old 08-27-15, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by timdow View Post
The panniers you have are not heavy. My rear Ortliebs weigh in at 4 lb 13 oz.
current 15L bags are 3.3 pounds.

nashbar front panniers are 580 grams, about 2.5 pounds.
i assume that's 580g each, but not sure. they're much smaller
than the waterproof front bags which are 1338g (2.95 lbs)/pair.

no, wait....it seems the front bags are 10L total, 580g/pair. wow.

and since physics says stuff expands to fill available space, smaller
packs translate to less stuff/less weight.
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Old 08-29-15, 01:58 AM
  #15  
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yay! found a sun cr18 in my parts collection. used but
seems okay. some wear on the braking surface, but it's
going on a disc brake hub. easy switch....can relace
from the sun mammoth, same ERD. weight difference
is 0.54 pounds.

more yay! got a great deal on a (discontinued) topeak
rear rack......and it's 1.3 (!) pounds lighter than my
current heavy-duty rack. oh, this is fun.

not so yay. only fork i've found available here is a
cromoly touring fork by windspeed (taiwan). steerer
tube is a bit short at 255mm...will be replacing my
current superdense fork with 300mm steerer...which
will leave only 25mm exposed.

this fork from this bike:

https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm...d=520797700628

note: cromoly frame+fork under $120! sadly too small for me....

Last edited by saddlesores; 08-29-15 at 04:57 AM. Reason: the little man in my head sayed so.
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Old 08-31-15, 09:33 AM
  #16  
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Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
3. replace them tires! Currently have maxxis pace 26*1.95
at 650g each, plus a folding spare. I’m pretty fat at 185
pounds, but with reduced weight, I think I can get by
with 1.75 tires. Maybe something like the kenda kozmik
lite folding tire at 450g. will still carry 2 tubes and a
spare tire. Maybe, just maybe, could even get away with
a 26*1.5 on the front?
The problem with tires people typically use for touring is not their weight so much as the fact they have energy sucking stiff sidewalls. Stiff sidewall tires tend to be heavier, but I wouldn't focus on the weight as much as I would getting something that is more supple than what you are using currently. Getting a 10%+ change in speed or same speed and less energy needed to turn the pedals is possible at very modest cost compared to any other modification you make. Unlike straight up weight reduction reduced rolling resistance benefits you all the time not just when climbing or accelerating.
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Old 08-31-15, 10:17 AM
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Looks like you are well on your way to significantly reducing your weight. A couple of thoughts.

--If you are open to platform pedals one pair of light weight trainers would be much lighter than the cycling sandals.

--One pair of boxers is more than enough. One pair of cycling shorts and one pair of wools socks should work.

--The middle ground on the kickstand would be the "click-stand" (3-oz I believe) I have one and it works well for me. Whenever I can I just lean the bike up against something and use the brake bands but if there isn't anything I use the click-stand which takes about 20 seconds to set up. I keep it in my handlebar bag for easy access.

-- Do you have any (body) weight to lose. Even 5 lbs added on to all of the other reductions you are doing would make a difference. (I didn't think I had any areas to improve in my diet but a bunch of small tweaks resulted in 16 lbs of weight loss).

Best of luck with it and please let us know how much total weight you are able to reduce and how much of a difference it makes. You may inspire others.
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Old 09-01-15, 04:16 AM
  #18  
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You have to understand that losing weight takes time. You must find foods that you enjoy that help you reach your goal, otherwise you won't stick with it. What works for me is to not eat until I'm really hungry, then eat a really small portion of a health meal. This will mean you will be eating 6 or 7 times a day which will put your body in an anabolic state, which will allow your body to lose fat. Tie that in with plenty of exercise and your sure to lose weight. Good luck
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