Holding a smexy ass 6.5kg bike this week made me wonder where and how I could cut the weight down on my road bike.

by Cycle_Jim   September 19, 2013  

So this week I went to a shop and they had there in house brand (basically carbon fibre bikes from Hong Fu china) and the weight of the frame was around 1kg apparently (we will say nothing of the quality of the carbon etc) , the bike built up felt significantly lighter than my (hardly portly) road bike weighing in at a touch over 8kg. Now I'm no weight weenie, and I cringe at people who say "I could save 30g by spending £400" but it did make me wonder how and where I could save weight on my bike.

I should note that I KNOW the weight saving of say 20g is the equivalent of a swig on a bidon, and that unless I'm a race whippet, that the body is the engine etc then it is all negligible (I'm 10stone/5ft 7', which isn't too bad unless I'm inspired by froome/wiggo esque anorexia-figure so potentially could loose another half a stone over the winter safely - which I won't bother too) but thats not what this is about.

Now I don't know the frame weight exactly, its a Mekk Poggio 2g but bikeradar had one in and said 1,125g - the fork weighing in at 600g supposedly. So my question is, how light could the bike potentially be? I made up a list of parts at a cost that is realistic in terms of £ and value. I'm sure we could start talking astronomical costs as far as wheels and what not are concerned, but if I was going to start splashing out my pretend money I'd probably be looking at a Cervelo for a lighter frame.

So heres my parts to be replaced listed as 'Part description - Weight saved over current part - cost'

Hong Fu Carbon bar w/ integrated stem - 200g - £100
Hong Fu Carbon seatpost - 100g - £38.26
Carbon saddle - 158g - £70
ITM Aero 3.0 wheelset - 327g (est due to skewers not being part of the listed weight, I added 50g per wheel on my set and the ITM's) £319.20
Ultegra SL 6601 chainset 52/39t - 106g - £160
Ultegra Cassette - 24g - £37.99
Ultegra derailleur - 32g - £60
Look Keo pedals 60g - £38

So thats 1007g saved for the cost of £823.25 (a little less than I bought the bike for) so roughly 1.2g per £ spent I think? Though my maths is bad/awful.

So how much more can we get the poggio down to

6.5 could be done I reckon
6 may be pushing it.
5.5 I doubt.

Have fun!

12 user comments

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I should also apologise for rambling and that the frame size of mine is 50cm
would a spec list of parts also help?

I think brakes and tires would be the next step?

posted by Cycle_Jim [282 posts]
19th September 2013 - 17:14


Where are you getting the hongfu prices from, out of interest? The site never seems to have them up.

A light wheelset will be the greatest and most useful weight saving. Getting the better groupset will save you weight and also add stiffness into your power transfer - also really good. Sometimes adding the carbon bars could reduce stiffness, so might not be ideal... I guess it depends on the bars. I've had some really stiff ones and some really floppy ones. And the is not a euphemism.
Running better tyres and lightweight innertubes is awesome too.

Where's this shop that has imported hongfus in it? I really want to see one in the flesh before I order one in.

posted by bashthebox [762 posts]
19th September 2013 - 18:42


The shop that imports the Hong Fu stuff in is called Frog Island Triathlon (i hope they don't mind me saying this lol) It's a little difficult to find the wheels/frames etc but if you go on the 'bike tab' and then on the brands section it will say 'frog island tri'

I'd love to give one a go, and the guy we talked to (Steve) said they will build one up to your spec etc, do the whole bike fit and what not, so yeah your buying hong fu carbon, but getting a good service and I must say he was really friendly! They also do wheel building too, so your not buying wheels factory assembled.

They are listed as say 'FIT 50mm clincher wheels' for the hong fu carbon wheels as an example.

I had a slight concern that the carbon bars may feel a little less stiff, but a carbon seat post/saddle combo couldn't hurt? considering a weight saving of 258g for £108, its not bad... OH GOD SOUND JUST LIKE A WEIGHT WEENIE Tongue

I also found the ITM wheels for almost £100 cheaper through ribble. They seem like the best value for money per gram, only thing close was shimano rs80s, weighing roughly the same but £70 more.

excluding the cassette, derailieur and pedals (exlcuding due to marginal gains) and the revised ITM price, works out at something along the lines of £1.40 per gram and loosing nearly 900g of weight!

A winter of turbo training and healthy eating and I'll be faster than ever Tongue

posted by Cycle_Jim [282 posts]
19th September 2013 - 19:13


Bash, what tyres would you recommend? I run Rubino Pros, high TPI but good puncture protection. I know there are lighter alternatives but most seem at the sacrifice of less puncture protection?

posted by Cycle_Jim [282 posts]
19th September 2013 - 19:15


It seems as though you are simply trying to save weight though. Do you know anything about the wheels or what the bars feel like in hand?
Power transfer from a crank is all well and good if you are actually a powerful rider testing the limits of your current gear.
I wouldn't bother with the derailleurs as they won't change anything apart from a few grams. Look at tyres, tubes, wheels and then possibly things like a lighter bar and stem for weight saving. You could even look at a lighter fork if you didn't mind them being different.

posted by mathewshotbolt [101 posts]
19th September 2013 - 23:58


It was purely an experiment in a theoretical weight that my bike could be rather than here's a list of changes I'll make. I did have a look at a fork, the one I found drop 300g off the current weight which put the bike at around 6.8kg! Which is pretty light! But it would change the looks!

But your right I don't know anything about the wheels or what the bars feel like or anything and this is just to see how light I could get it. I'm not going to make these changes as I'm not exactly bothered about the weight.

I am looking for new wheels, not sure what yet. But thats not till next summer!

posted by Cycle_Jim [282 posts]
20th September 2013 - 8:54


What about something like a Reynolds solitude? Great performance for little cash.

posted by mathewshotbolt [101 posts]
20th September 2013 - 9:06


You had a look on weightweenies.com? I reckon there's bags of advice there!

posted by bashthebox [762 posts]
20th September 2013 - 9:30

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have a big poo before you ride. And blow your nose.

posted by andyp [1365 posts]
20th September 2013 - 10:04

1 Like

Yeah I did look on weightweenies, but started making me feel Sick

My hobby lies in enjoying the outdoors, the self sufficiency of the bike and the enjoyment of riding.

Theres is more about making something as light as possible for seemingly no particular reason.

It just seems a little odd?

Reynolds on the list, looking at pro lite braccianos (spelling) seem to get some good write ups?

Andyp - I always take a moment on the throne before heading out...common sense surely? Tongue

posted by Cycle_Jim [282 posts]
20th September 2013 - 23:07


My Canyon was 6.8 kg. It was very nice.

My Condor Acciaio is 7.5kg. It's nicer.

posted by bendertherobot [510 posts]
21st September 2013 - 15:29


I weight weenied stem, bars.. made me feel like I really made the bike my own top of the liner.

Sans my ridiculously heavy 550g pedals I weigh in at 7100g

[custom] '12 Cannondale CAAD10 - Rival

badkneestom's picture

posted by badkneestom [134 posts]
21st September 2013 - 18:04