Weight saving question

Baybash Posts: 136
edited November 2010 in Road buying advice
In what order should I consider upgrades for saving weight? And where would the biggest bang be? I'm assuming it'd be wheels first.


  • danowat
    danowat Posts: 2,877
    The rider is a good place to start :lol:
  • Baybash
    Baybash Posts: 136
    Indeed! That's still a work in progress.
  • Mr Dog
    Mr Dog Posts: 643
    Wheels.. the rims. Bodyweight requires graft. Now the storms are here its Turbo Time. :cry:
    Why tidy the house when you can clean your bike?
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    Carbon handle bars.
  • Rider first, I agree.

    Consider that weight saving starts becoming noticeable from 1 Kg, maybe a bit less for rotating parts. Investing large sums of cash to save saying 2-300 grams will be a waste of money.
    So the question you should ask yoursef is, how much money are you prepared to flog and how much weight will you be able to shed?

    Also, I wouldn't try shaving grams here and there compromising safety e.g.: lighter skewers, fancy titanium nuts and bolts etc...

    A higher end groupset is a good idea: it will be lighter and if you don't notice the weight difference you still have a mechanically better groupset.
    A cheap light wheelset is just a cheap wheelset which happens to be a touch lighter. If you want good light wheels you have to invest money (e.g. Dura Ace)... for many reports of how good budget wheelsets are there are as many saying how crap and prone to defect they are in fact.
    left the forum March 2023
  • The right Seatpost can shave a lot of grammage
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  • Is upgrading parts only really worth it if your body is in it's tip toppest of tip top shape?

    I lost a kilo off the bike last week. I just went for a poo.
  • sungod
    sungod Posts: 16,495
    as above, rider, unless you're already slimmed down you may well be able to shed more weight from yourself than the whole bike weighs

    the bike, depends what it is at the moment, if the frame weighs a lot then changing other bits will make a small % difference

    make a list of what bits you've got, and the weight, then you can see where opportunity is

    wheel certainly is an opportunity

    if your current tyes and tubes are heavy, might save a bit there - afaik it's c. 205g for a gp4000s tyre, tubes could save 50g-ish each if you go for something like conti supersonic, they're thinner though so not as tough

    saddle, could easily save over150g if you've got a genric one


    groupset, especially the chainset

    bars/stem/seatpost, you can get alloy at similar weight to carbon, deda newton bars, deda zero 100 stem, fizik cyrano post

    but imho there's no point spending hundreds of quid to take maybe a kilo off the bike while there's still a kilo you could lose off yourself
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • Make sure all your bearings are ceramic - I can't believe in 2010 the cyclings industry still insults us with balls made of steel. Esp. headset bearings, I would never leave for a quick spin to the local Starbucks with anything less than ceramic HS bearings.
    When a cyclist has a disagreement with a car; it's not who's right, it's who's left.
  • vorsprung
    vorsprung Posts: 1,953
    I must admit that I have always approached the weight issue from the other direction

    When I am buying a bike I consider frame materials, wheels, hubs etc with weight as a minor factor.

    When I've done a custom build the order of importance for parts is being in the cost limit, strength, comfort and lastly weight

    This built me a bike which was great but if I did it again then "weather proofness" would be inserted before weight. Weight is of the lowest importance. It is worth considering but only as the icing on the cake.

    To alter an already existing bike to make it lighter is of course possible but to make general suggestions is difficult
  • One pound in body-weight, or 400 grammes is the equivalent of one tin of bakes beans. Lose three pounds and that is well over a 1 kg in weight saving. Hold three tins of baked beans in your hand - that is alot of weight saving, and it would cost an awful lot of dosh to make that saving from the bike alone. Unless you are stick thin, then weight loss is the best way to have a lighter bike and you will feel like a better rider too.

  • All very puritanical!

    My 6.5kg bike is noticeably more fun to ride than my 9kg one whereas I never really notice the difference when my body weight fluctuates that much. So if you feel like spending a few hundred quid to make your bike lighter - do it!
  • springtide9
    springtide9 Posts: 1,731
    Nothing wrong with saving a bit of weight on the bike, but the costs of these weight savings are usually exponential. Weight savings can also sometimes come at a cost over durability.

    There is usually a price point where the weight savings compared to the cost become acceptable, which is where most people 'play'.

    Rotational weight is the most noticeable rather than static weight. Recently went from a hardtail to a full suspension MTB and added roughly 1kg of weight to the bike. The weight was static rather than rotational, and apart from the bigger climbs I can't say I notice the weight at all.

    I think I'm opposite to 'Steve2020' as I find shaving the weight off my body far more comfortable than the weight off my bike, but maybe that's because I ride MTBs rather than road (at the moment) - which I assume involves a lot more moving your body around for balance/traction.
    I've also lost around 20kgs in weight in the last year, which would be the equivalent of the weight of both my MTB and (future) Road bike - so maybe I've noticed my body weight as I have had a lot more of it in the past.

    But, as I'm in the process of buying a road bike, that didn't stop me looking for a budget carbon number.

    Depending on your starting weight (and body fat %), for 'Joe Average', loosing 1Kg is pretty easy if you can get a good week of hard training in (and are very strict with diet); keeping the weight off is a lot harder.

    Loosing a 1kg off the bike is a lot more expensive, but once it's gone it's gone.

    As for where....
    Rotational weight in first in my book. Wheels, tyres, tubes etc

    Once you've looked at rotational weight, for me it's just a case of looking at what are the weaknesses (or should I say heavy) parts of your bike, costs associated for upgrades and the weight savings. Just look for the 'lowest hanging fruit' as they say.
  • Philby
    Philby Posts: 328
    If you ride your current bike more often you will probably lose some weight, and at the same time increase your fitness which in turn will make it easier to propel your lighter body along. And it will cost nothing apart from time.

    Otherwise, unless you have loads of spare cash, wait until a component wears out and then upgrade. We seem to live in a society where we throw so much away just because something is a tiny bit better / lighter/ faster / newer than what we have. Most bikes today would compare favourably with the bikes used by professionals 10-15 years ago.
  • To summarize all the good comments:

    Rule of thumb #1 is to concentrate on the rider. Having a training plan with mileage goals and perhaps weight goals as well will trigger more rider motivation which will have the side-effect of weight loss (let alone conditioning). Losing 5kgs from your frame will make you fly up hills faster than any light weight widget. Spend your upgrade budget on a fitness test and a coach to help you draw up a training plan. £125-175 is a std going rate for an initial consultation with a coach including a ramp/conconi test and a training plan.

    Rule on thunb #2: Bike weight loss comes with diminishing returns. If your upgrade purchase yields a £1 to 1gram ratio, you're not doing that badly. When it reaches £4/gram then you gotta ask yourself some hard questions. The formula I use as a guide is Cost of Upgrade / (Old part weight - New part weight) in grams. For example:

    Old part = FSA Gossamer crankset = 1018 grams
    New part = FSA SLK crankset = 699 grams
    Diff = 319 grams
    Cost = £250 (- any cash for old part)
    Ratio = 250/319 = £0.78/gram, which is pretty good.

    People frequently go for upgades with stems which happen to yield really poor weight savings ratios. Granted stems have a body positioning and beauty aspect (kind of how the radiator grill on a car gives it a character) so have non-monetary value as well.
    When a cyclist has a disagreement with a car; it's not who's right, it's who's left.
  • i think the options in importance and bang for the buck order is
    handlebars and stems
    and get rid of the bike bag and place everything on your bike jersey pockets
  • rolf_f
    rolf_f Posts: 16,015
    One of the cheapest ways to save weight, if you like expensive helmets, is to get a light one! A Giro Prolight costs a similar amount of money to an Ionos yet weighs about 120g less! That's roughly £0.00 per gram - see FransJacques post!
    Faster than a tent.......