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Why We Should STOP Our Obsession With Bike Weight

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Why We Should STOP Our Obsession With Bike Weight

Old 06-29-21, 03:50 PM
  #76  
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
Just get an ebike. If you're going to spend money to improve your speed up hills, what does it matter how you spend it?
Iím pretty sure e-bikes are not allowed in the timed Sportive events I enter. Anyway, the idea is to use only my own power. Iím certainly not against e-bikes, but they are totally irrelevant to this discussion.
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Old 06-29-21, 03:53 PM
  #77  
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Alee Denham's quantitative study of this topic is fascinating to me, and really relevant to the kind of riding I do. This hard data takes a lot of the "weight weenie" out of me. He does make the disclaimer that these studies are about touring, primarily, not racing (where a few seconds can matter a lot).

The part of the study that looks at rolling resistance and aero effects of panniers also surprised me. I had these factors switched with weight before I saw his investigation using a power meter and stopwatch.
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Old 06-29-21, 04:12 PM
  #78  
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Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
You know they can just press a little button on their radio and be off and riding on an identical spare bike in a matter of seconds, right? Pro bike racing seems like one of the few situations where shaving grams at the expense of durability makes sense. They don't need bikes that survive crashing. They have a whole car full of spare bikes, parts and mechanics that follow them around.
I would agree with this if it wasnít for the now pretty conservative UCI minimum weight. Without that restriction they would go a fair bit lighter. So now we have non-race bikes like the Aethos coming in well under the minimum race weight.

As long as you donít crash at 65 kph and have half a dozen other riders slam into your bike it should be durable enough. The only thing with carbon is that it isnít very tolerant of being loaded in the wrong direction. So for example stamping on a thin carbon seatstay is likely to break it, while a steel one would probably be okay.
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Old 06-29-21, 05:03 PM
  #79  
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
What's flawed about it?
I guess you missed the OP’s previous thread about his theory that the lower jockey wheel had worn and caused the chain to catch on the cage and destroy his Shimano derailleur.

He insisted it was due to Shimano’s flawed design. He was quite adamant; complete with sketches depicting the design flaw.

But it all worked out because the OP was able to replace it with a non-Shimano rear derailleur for $2.25.

John
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Old 06-29-21, 06:03 PM
  #80  
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
I would agree with this if it wasnít for the now pretty conservative UCI minimum weight. Without that restriction they would go a fair bit lighter. So now we have non-race bikes like the Aethos coming in well under the minimum race weight.

As long as you donít crash at 65 kph and have half a dozen other riders slam into your bike it should be durable enough. The only thing with carbon is that it isnít very tolerant of being loaded in the wrong direction. So for example stamping on a thin carbon seatstay is likely to break it, while a steel one would probably be okay.
CF is amazingly strong. My bike has an integrated seatpost. Had to chop off about 4" to fit the seat properly. I actually made two 2" cuts just to be safe. Anyway, I took one of the cut sections, laid it on it's side and stood on it. No flex at all. Jumped up and down on it and it didn't budge. I was amazed. I assumed it would at least crack.
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Old 06-29-21, 06:07 PM
  #81  
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
Iím certainly not against e-bikes, but they are totally irrelevant to this discussion.
How so? E-bikes are even heavier than regular bikes, so they're right on target for this discussion.
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Old 06-29-21, 10:02 PM
  #82  
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I guess if that is what you want go for it.

In terms of e-bikes mine is probably 70lbs, whatever. It weighs what it weighs, two 625wh batteries, Rohloff E-14, front suspension, Bosch mid-drive...I am not trying to save on weight, reliability, durability and usability are most important. I want to be able to tour and get groceries and all that sort of stuff. Sure if I could get all of that down to 40lbs that would be great but that ain't happening in something reliable at least not for many years. Maybe in the future this will all get ultralight but batteries are unlikely to get much lighter and still have the same capacity and I don't want a less powerful motor or a less reliable 14 speed IGH with electronic shifting.
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Old 06-29-21, 10:43 PM
  #83  
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
I guess if that is what you want go for it.

In terms of e-bikes mine is probably 70lbs, whatever. It weighs what it weighs, two 625wh batteries, Rohloff E-14, front suspension, Bosch mid-drive...I am not trying to save on weight, reliability, durability and usability are most important. I want to be able to tour and get groceries and all that sort of stuff. Sure if I could get all of that down to 40lbs that would be great but that ain't happening in something reliable at least not for many years. Maybe in the future this will all get ultralight but batteries are unlikely to get much lighter and still have the same capacity and I don't want a less powerful motor or a less reliable 14 speed IGH with electronic shifting.
Who makes your bike or did you build it yourself? How far can you go one a single charge, since you mention touring?
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Old 06-30-21, 07:10 AM
  #84  
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
How so? E-bikes are even heavier than regular bikes, so they're right on target for this discussion.
So what point are you making with e-bikes?
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Old 06-30-21, 08:18 AM
  #85  
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I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that the OP has never ridden a light bike. Light road bikes are fabulous. Light mountain bikes are even more fabulous.

I have bikes ranging from 17 lbs to 30+ lbs. Each is excellent at doing its particular job. Light bikes have a place in the lineup because they offer advantages that can be enjoyed even by ordinary athletes who are nevertheless experienced riders.

If you're a heavy rider with poor technique, then there's no need to obsess over any weight but your own. Figure that out and fix it. Then learn to ride "light", and then go out and try a lighter bike.
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Old 06-30-21, 09:18 AM
  #86  
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Most cyclist are not too worried about weight. Bikes have gotten so light and fragile that the UCI has set a low limit.

I remember back in the 80s when the weight weenies were drilling out everything they could on a bike. The racer boyz learned that drilled out bikes never made it to the finish line with out failing.

Last edited by rydabent; 07-01-21 at 02:48 PM.
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Old 06-30-21, 09:49 AM
  #87  
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
Bikes have gotten so light and fragile that the UCI has set a low limit..
I'm not seeing evidence that lightweight bikes are "fragile".

On the contrary, modern carbon parts and frames are often stronger and stiffer than the heavier stuff they replace.

The UCI weight limit of 6.9 kg was established in 2000 to prevent "stupid light" bikes and ensure that competitors raced on similar bikes.

Technology has improved greatly since 2000, and now a strong and sturdy bike can be built that's well below the UCI limit.
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Old 06-30-21, 10:02 AM
  #88  
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Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post
I'm not seeing evidence that lightweight bikes are "fragile".

On the contrary, modern carbon parts and frames are often stronger and stiffer than the heavier stuff they replace.

The UCI weight limit of 6.9 kg was established in 2000 to prevent "stupid light" bikes and ensure that competitors raced on similar bikes.

Technology has improved greatly since 2000, and now a strong and sturdy bike can be built that's well below the UCI limit.

+1
The UCI minimum weight is now very conservative.
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Old 06-30-21, 11:06 AM
  #89  
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Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post
The UCI weight limit of 6.9 kg was established in 2000 to prevent "stupid light" bikes and ensure that competitors raced on similar bikes.

Technology has improved greatly since 2000, and now a strong and sturdy bike can be built that's well below the UCI limit.
I know essentially nothing about bikes in this realm, so pardon the ignorance in my questions, but what is the current impact of the restriction?

Is there a price difference for fielding a significantly lighter bike or could all the teams equip riders with lighter bikes for similar cost?

What do the pro teams do to keep the weight up above the limit? Is their rider or team pressure asking for a lower limit or is it not really an issue?

Otto
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Old 06-30-21, 11:12 AM
  #90  
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ďWeĒ want to know which weighs less, water or Gatorade? 😀
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Old 06-30-21, 11:14 AM
  #91  
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Originally Posted by bikehoco View Post
ďWeĒ want to know which weighs less, water or Gatorade? 😀
Cmon, everybody knows a pound of Gatorade weighs less than a pound of water.
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Old 06-30-21, 11:29 AM
  #92  
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Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post
I'm not seeing evidence that lightweight bikes are "fragile".

On the contrary, modern carbon parts and frames are often stronger and stiffer than the heavier stuff they replace.

The UCI weight limit of 6.9 kg was established in 2000 to prevent "stupid light" bikes and ensure that competitors raced on similar bikes.

Technology has improved greatly since 2000, and now a strong and sturdy bike can be built that's well below the UCI limit.
Agree with all of this. Carbon has definitely gotten stronger, stiffer and lighter in the last 20 years. UCI will probably revisit the 6.8kg (15lb) limit at some point, but it's not really holding back manufacturers. A good example is the Specialized S-Works Aethos which is just 6.2kg (13lbs 12 oz) with disc brakes and clinchers. Yes, it's a crazy expensive bike, but it is still a factory built consumer grade product with a full warranty, rather than some backyard drillium project that is going to fall apart if you ride over a crack.

Carbon is really strong. Steven Kruijswijk was involved in a huge pileup crash on Saturday and his seat stay was sheered off. He got back on the bike and still raced it to the finish with just one stay:
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Old 06-30-21, 11:45 AM
  #93  
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Originally Posted by ofajen View Post
I know essentially nothing about bikes in this realm, so pardon the ignorance in my questions, but what is the current impact of the restriction?

Is there a price difference for fielding a significantly lighter bike or could all the teams equip riders with lighter bikes for similar cost?

What do the pro teams do to keep the weight up above the limit? Is their rider or team pressure asking for a lower limit or is it not really an issue?

Otto
Most pro race disc brake bikes are right at or slightly above the 6.8kg weight limit. Rim brake bikes are usually below the limit, and teams will attach weights to the bikes to bring them up to 6.8kg.

Pro riders are generally weight weenies and want the lightest bikes possible. Most of them would prefer a 6kg bike with 800g of weight added over a bike that is 6.8kg out of the box, because that added weight can be lower down on the bike which helps make it feel lighter when they rock it back and forth on a climb. This is especially true with wheelsets where they all want the lightest sets possible because they spin up faster and generally make a bike feel faster. If you look at pro bikes in this year's Tour de France, there are a number of them running "non-sponsor correct" wheels with blacked out logos, which are likely lighter than whatever their official team sponsor can make.

Cost is somewhat irrelevant for top level pro teams. The bikes are all provided to them from manufacturers under sponsorship contracts, so it's not as if Jumbo Visma has to go buy a new batch of Cervelos every spring, and would complain if the cost went up. Manufacturers use pro racing to develop and test new products. The bikes are required to be commercially available, but there are many prototype products/components in use on the pro tour.

Here's an interesting article about non-sponsorship correct wheelsets currently in use at the Tour:
https://cyclingtips.com/2021/06/tour...-weve-spotted/
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Old 06-30-21, 11:46 AM
  #94  
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Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post
I'm not seeing evidence that lightweight bikes are "fragile".

On the contrary, modern carbon parts and frames are often stronger and stiffer than the heavier stuff they replace.

The UCI weight limit of 6.9 kg was established in 2000 to prevent "stupid light" bikes and ensure that competitors raced on similar bikes.

Technology has improved greatly since 2000, and now a strong and sturdy bike can be built that's well below the UCI limit.
Indeed. I remember back in the 90s when the now-defunct 'Bicycle Guide' magazine put together a 16 lb bike, sparing no expense and paying attention only to the weight of components, and came up with a bike so noodly nobody over 150 lbs could reasonably ride it. It even had Modolo's plastic DT shifters that had a reputation for coming apart in the hand - a fact they even mentioned in the article!

Now, you have bikes like the Specialized Aethos that weighs 13 lbs but will carry a rider as heavy as 275 lbs, and won't crumble under them.
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Old 06-30-21, 12:36 PM
  #95  
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Originally Posted by genejockey View Post
Indeed. I remember back in the 90s when the now-defunct 'Bicycle Guide' magazine put together a 16 lb bike, sparing no expense and paying attention only to the weight of components, and came up with a bike so noodly nobody over 150 lbs could reasonably ride it. It even had Modolo's plastic DT shifters that had a reputation for coming apart in the hand - a fact they even mentioned in the article!

Now, you have bikes like the Specialized Aethos that weighs 13 lbs but will carry a rider as heavy as 275 lbs, and won't crumble under them.
Did you see the Cervelo from the first stage (I think) of the TdF? Lost a seat stay in a pileup, still finished the stage.
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Old 06-30-21, 12:38 PM
  #96  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
Did you see the Cervelo from the first stage (I think) of the TdF? Lost a seat stay in a pileup, still finished the stage.
See post #92 above.
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Old 06-30-21, 12:42 PM
  #97  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
Did you see the Cervelo from the first stage (I think) of the TdF? Lost a seat stay in a pileup, still finished the stage.
that's the new bluetooth seat stay tech for 2022
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Old 06-30-21, 12:46 PM
  #98  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
Did you see the Cervelo from the first stage (I think) of the TdF? Lost a seat stay in a pileup, still finished the stage.
I wonder what the bike felt like to ride? I suspect a little 'springy'.
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Old 06-30-21, 12:46 PM
  #99  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
See post #92 above.
D'oh!

This is the problem with the signal-to-noise in some of these threads - it doesn't encourage reading.
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Old 06-30-21, 02:24 PM
  #100  
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Originally Posted by genejockey View Post
I wonder what the bike felt like to ride? I suspect a little 'springy'.
Or ONE seat stay becomes common!
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