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As cyclist we seem to be obsessed with bike weights we all want lighter frames, wheels and finishing kits when we all know it's pointless for most expect the top 1% in the sport.

I'm lucky enough to have 2 bikes from a well known brand which share an almost identical geometry one is a 'lightweight' bike 7.1kg with pedals and cages which i could weenie down to 6.5 with some expensive carbon bits.  The other is 8.2kg plus cages etc  this bike is my favorite out of the two! This is purely because of one aspect which is that when i'm decending hills/mountains it's much more planted and in return less frightening at speed.  While the light bike may climb slightly faster and feel ever so slightly more spritely as an all round bike heavier is best for me.  

So would you really miss your weenie bike? 

12 comments

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CXR94Di2 [2301 posts] 3 weeks ago
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I dont have a weenie bike, its disc braked titanium.  Ive just put some new wheels on which are more robust and they weigh 400g more than the old which kept breaking spokes.  a kilo or two out of 105kg bike+rider weight isnt going to make that much difference.

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kil0ran [1190 posts] 3 weeks ago
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Lightest bike I've owned was probably 8kg. I reckon my racked-up disc-brake tourer is almost double that. The really light bike (carbon CXer) was no faster and much less comfortable than my very cheap Decathlon commuter bike that was around 10kg. Current "fast" bike is probably around 11kg, I can ride it all day, mega-comfy yet still very stiff. They way I look at it now is two full bidons are getting on for 2kg, and that's before I factor in that I'm probably 110kgs.

It's nice to have nice things but I certainly won't be chasing an ultra-lightweight build. Heavier bikes are often more planted, better handling, and therefore grin-inducing. I remember with my 8kg that it felt like it needed more effort to keep rolling on the flat, I guess momentum is part of that.

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peted76 [1207 posts] 3 weeks ago
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That more planted feel is 'probably' simply down to a longer wheelbase. You'll feel more solid on a longer wheelbase, but it's less manouverable, which is why I prefer my race bike to my tourer. Depends how you prefer to ride.

I love my tourer, it makes me smile to ride it, it's very comfy, but in a group I feel the extra weight on every incline as I try to keep up.

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alansmurphy [1944 posts] 3 weeks ago
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Much of it will also be the roads you're on - if you are absolutely flying down a smooth road and hit the apex or slow then accelerate quicker, the weight weenie is also great downhill.

 

I have a weenie (ish) bike, a wet with alu and discs and a complete winter hack. I hate the hack because it feels slower, has claris etc etc etc - on a flat I'd probably need twice the effort to accelerate anything like. However, with wider tyres, potholes, loose surface etc I enjoy that I can point it down a hill and just let it rattle!

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Simon E [3473 posts] 3 weeks ago
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OTOH you never miss what you haven't had.

TBH I'm not that fussed, I think a lot of it is hot air and there is a lot of purchase justification. Rider weight is a far greater percentage of the all-up weight and when I'm breathing hard up a climb I know my fitness (or lack of it) is the limiting factor.

In the end if you are happy and comfortable on a particular bike I'd say that's the most important thing. 8.2 kg is not a heavy bike!

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Plasterer's Radio [472 posts] 3 weeks ago
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I agree in that a bike that fits you better will feel better.

The marketing men are convincing ordinary Joes that lighter is better but leave out the 'all other things being equal' caveat. Not all MAMILs are obsessed with their average speeds and Strava segment times. IMO these things reduce my pleasure in riding.

A metal framed bike has particular advantages because they are simply more durable! It's hypothetical but if the pro riders had to keep just one bike for the whole season, then they may not choose a lightweight carbon machine. 

 

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Griff500 [312 posts] 3 weeks ago
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Like most things in life, its a question of diminishing returns. Like the OP, I have 2 bikes with near identical , racing geometry, but one is an alloy Trek Series 1 which all up is over 10kg, my Addict is a little over 7kg. I am a shade under 70kg, so all up weight of 80'ish is around 4% less on the Addict (which is approx the spacing of the lower gears). So in my case, yes, I would miss my weenie bike, but as somebody else said, both yours are weenie bikes! 

Weight is not everything however, and I have always believed that the better power transfer due to the extra stiffness of my carbon frame versus the alloy frame makes as much  difference as the weight. I tend to climb with a relatively slow cadence (65-70), and frame flex affects me more than it would a high cadence rider.

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VeloUSA [279 posts] 3 weeks ago
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Yes, I would miss my "weenie bike" which weighs in @ 7.076 kg pedals and cages and alloy wheelset included. Down to 6.486 kg with carbon wheels and tubeless tires. IMO, it boils down to quality of frame and quality of equipment and your riding skill level. I weigh in @62 kg, stand 5' 7" . My bike ascends like a mtn goat and stays planted decending @ 40-50 mph. To each their own, I choose the lighter over heavier.

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Mungecrundle [1168 posts] 3 weeks ago
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The trick is to ride with heavier cyclists and make sure they eat more pies and cake. It's all relative.

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demondig [11 posts] 3 weeks ago
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IME gains in lightness make an increasing amount of difference as the hills get steeper: dragging a heavy bike up a 20 - 25% incline is very hard work, and a lighter bike feels much easier - but the difference between a heavier bike and a lighter one on e.g. a 6% incline is much less marked.  

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madcarew [899 posts] 2 weeks ago
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I love my weenie bike. Not for the weight, but it is a top end bike, the frame is stiff and responsive, and it handles like nothing else I've ever owned. It's 7.1 kg in everyday trim, and 6.5 in race trim. I'm pretty sure I can't feel the weight difference going up hills, but I absoutely have all my fastest times with it in race trim. Descending and in crits it is sure footed and 'corners like it's on rails'. Just love it.

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Bike Gains [1 post] 2 weeks ago
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For more information on how weight impacts cycling performance, take a look at www.bikegains.com