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How easy/expensive is it to drop weight (curiosity question)

Clockworkmark31Clockworkmark31 Posts: 1,053
edited May 2015 in MTB general
Hi,

As the title says, how easy would it be to drop kilos on a bike. An average shop bought bike not some carbon frame/carbon rims special edition.

This is just a curiosity question, lets say my HT Giant Talon 0 650b, it comes in at 12.5kg (to me this is an average weight for a "normal" HT). How easy/expensive would it be to get it sub 10kg.

Money no object very easy I know. But if you wanted to do it on a budget how easily could this be achieved and what trade offs would you make, where would you expect the most weight saving in components etc?
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  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 15,247
    It starts cheap with things like tyres and then once the cheap bits are replaced you get to things like forks and wheels which are reasonable cost per gramme lost and then you get to things like carbon bars seat post cranks etc where the cost per gramme gets more.
  • asdfhjklasdfhjkl Posts: 333
    Above is spot on.

    An easy way to lose a bit of weight (if it's right for your riding) is to go single ring up front. That drops the weight of a shifter, a mech and a couple of chainrings (plus cables, if we're really counting grams!) Depending on what's already there it can be cheap (just whack a narrow-wide on) or a bit costly (new rear mech with clutch too). Obviously there's a compromise if it doesn't suit your type of riding.
  • njee20njee20 Posts: 9,613
    It starts cheap with things like tyres and then once the cheap bits are replaced you get to things like forks and wheels which are reasonable cost per gramme lost and then you get to things like carbon bars seat post cranks etc where the cost per gramme gets more.

    Spot on.

    Usually some 'quick wins', and it will depend entirely on the starting bike.

    It also depends if you just want to hit a headline figure, or if you want the bike to still be as nice to ride. Furious Fred tyres are 300g in 26", but they're sod all use if someone's sneezed on the trail.
  • Clockworkmark31Clockworkmark31 Posts: 1,053
    Still a useable bike on the trails, not some fragile piece of art that would vomit in your face if you look at it the wrong way.

    I'd guess that by going tubeless, 1x10 and some lighter wheels (affordable) and tyres could drop lets say 1kg but then as you all say to save more weight the cost rapidly increases.

    This is only a what if type question. I realise it would be too expensive to do in reality where you start being frugal and changing bolts for Ti bolts etc. But I am still curious as to how easy it could be achievable.
  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 15,247
    You might loose more weight and gain more performance by changing the forks rather than wheels.
  • Clockworkmark31Clockworkmark31 Posts: 1,053
    You might loose more weight and gain more performance by changing the forks rather than wheels.

    Performance I agree with but new forks for a 200g saving in weight.....is this the level you need to go to, to get sub 10kg? I know the grams add up, but that is going to be one expensive build.
  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 15,247
    True, the Fox fork isn't a bad weight. It is pretty bad though.
    Are you going to save much more weight on wheels?
  • Clockworkmark31Clockworkmark31 Posts: 1,053
    I could build a hack bike from some 90s tech cheaply and easily using some bidding sites.

    But I am wondering how easy it is to shave significant weight from a new bike with new components and replacing with "newer" components.

    I concede to, you get what you pay for, but if you was curious to do it in a theoretical way I can only imagine copious amounts of ££££££s being thrown in to it.
  • BloggingFitBloggingFit Posts: 919
    Depending on your current transmission set up, going 1 x 10 would be the cheapest weight saving exercise where effectively you could get away with just the cost of a new wide/narrow chainring and could save close to 300g removing the shifter, mech and rings.

    I like prioritising wheels and tyres for weight saving as reducing rotational mass gives a better performance gain in terms of places to save weight by making it easier (less effort) to get the bike moving. It's a bit of an old school approach but it works.
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  • Clockworkmark31Clockworkmark31 Posts: 1,053
    True, the Fox fork isn't a bad weight. It is pretty bad though.
    Are you going to save much more weight on wheels?

    I agree with the performance of the fork, wheels from past experience yes I could go lighter and cheaper than replacing the fork.

    Just asking out of curiosity really, yes it would be nice to have a sub 10kg HT maybe for bragging rights if it is still useable. But the cost of this would surely be immense.
  • njee20njee20 Posts: 9,613
    It's virtually impossible to do in a theoretical way when you're talking about actual weights.

    Theoretically you could save weight in certain places. You're not talking theoretically though, you're asking about saving 2.5kg on your 12.5kg bike...

    In terms of pure gram amounts you may do better to chase finishing kit - Mt Zoom bars are 110g for £80, you can get 140g seat posts on eBay, 90g carbon saddle, there's some French brand doing 90g £40 stems and some foam grips. The whole lot could save you up to 1kg for £200. Depends entirely on your kit though.
  • Clockworkmark31Clockworkmark31 Posts: 1,053
    Depending on your current transmission set up, going 1 x 10 would be the cheapest weight saving exercise where effectively you could get away with just the cost of a new wide/narrow chainring and could save close to 300g removing the shifter, mech and rings.

    I like prioritising wheels and tyres for weight saving as reducing rotational mass gives a better performance gain in terms of places to save weight by making it easier (less effort) to get the bike moving. It's a bit of an old school approach but it works.

    Agree completely with this, just wondering with the new tech and a new bike how easily could it be achievable to go sub 10kg
  • Clockworkmark31Clockworkmark31 Posts: 1,053
    njee20 wrote:
    ITheoretically you could save weight in certain places. You're not talking theoretically though, you're asking about saving 2.5kg on your 12.5kg bike..

    Saving weight in certain places would surely add up to an overall weight saving? So I believe I am being theoretical in what I am asking.

    I am just merely speculating/curious as to how easily you could achieve this on a modern day bike with modern components and not having a unlimited bankroll.

    A sub 10kg HT that performs could be good for bragging rights. But really how achievable is it, with a new bike and new components without being in the "Hatton raid"?

    I'm not wanting to do this with mine as I know I would be just sinking ££££££s in to das boot.

    But I am curious.
  • Clockworkmark31Clockworkmark31 Posts: 1,053
    njee20 wrote:
    ITheoretically you could save weight in certain places. You're not talking theoretically though, you're asking about saving 2.5kg on your 12.5kg bike..

    Saving weight in certain places would surely add up to an overall weight saving? So I believe I am being theoretical in what I am asking.

    I am just merely speculating/curious as to how easily you could achieve this on a modern day bike with modern components and not having a unlimited bankroll.

    A sub 10kg HT that performs could be good for bragging rights. But really how achievable is it, with a new bike and new components without being in the "Hatton raid"?

    I'm not wanting to do this with mine as I know I would be just sinking ££££££s in to das boot.

    But I am curious.

    I will say I am just thinking out loud and was just curious what other people thought.
  • njee20njee20 Posts: 9,613
    But it's not theoretical, you're looking for an answer. You're talking specific parts on a specific bike. Perhaps you mean hypothetical?

    Sub 10kg is very doable without spending a huge amount - see The Rookie's old Carrera.

    We seem to be repeating ourselves now, you have a number of answers on how you could save weight either with or without spending money.
  • asdfhjklasdfhjkl Posts: 333
    I like prioritising wheels and tyres for weight saving as reducing rotational mass gives a better performance gain in terms of places to save weight by making it easier (less effort) to get the bike moving. It's a bit of an old school approach but it works.

    Not to derail the thread or anything, but... I get the rotational weight thing in the case of wheels and tyres. Does the same apply to cranks and pedals though? Would 200g off the pedals have a similar effect to 200g off the tyres, in terms of effort to move the bike?
  • WindyGWindyG Posts: 1,099
    Sub 10kg HT is easy but as above it starts out reasonably cheap with things like wheels and tyres and going 1x10
    You mention doing it cheap but what's your opinion of cheap?
    Both my HT's are under 10kg and in my opinion it didn't cost that much but you might think I paid what is over your low budget idea.
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    asdfhjkl wrote:
    I like prioritising wheels and tyres for weight saving as reducing rotational mass gives a better performance gain in terms of places to save weight by making it easier (less effort) to get the bike moving. It's a bit of an old school approach but it works.

    Not to derail the thread or anything, but... I get the rotational weight thing in the case of wheels and tyres. Does the same apply to cranks and pedals though? Would 200g off the pedals have a similar effect to 200g off the tyres, in terms of effort to move the bike?

    No because you don't get the rotational weight thing. The larger diameter of the wheels makes them harder to move initially.
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  • njee20njee20 Posts: 9,613
    ESI grips are significantly heavier than foam, if you're chasing lightweight.
  • FerralsFerrals Posts: 785
    Stock parts are pretty heavy normally. e.g my seatpost which I havent yet replaced is 400g, think i saved 100g on my saddle by getting a discounted fizik gobi for £40

    I started with a bike that according to manufacturers was 12.2kg and have (bathroom measurements scale) got down to about 10.5. Went 1 by 10, new wheelset and tyres (bulk of the weight saving). Next step will be replacing seatpost and in future new forks (as a performance upgrade as well as weight saving).

    edit. also will be switching from QR to bolt through seatpost clamp as I never change height anyway
  • POAHPOAH Posts: 3,369
    I've been doing this with the wife's bike using parts I have in the garage.

    Forks - suntour XCM to manitou minute elite saved 600g
    Bar - FSA XC 190 to kinesis R750 saved 80g (no idea how much stock bar was though)
    F.wheel - standard censored to hope XC mavic 517 saved 200g
    tyres - standard censored 1150g to semi slick WTB saved 1kg (maybe 600-700g with off road tyres)
    Seat post - standard to chinese carbon saved 100g (£15 ebay)
    saddle - standard censored to charge spoon ti saved 100g
    stem - no idea probably about about 40g but will be getting another shorter one so thats going to cost
    pedals - standard censored are 520g - my time pedals are about 430-450g but you can get cheap resin pedals that will save about 150-200g
    going 1x with a new deore crank will save around 630g (£50) alrady got a spare N/W ring
    tubless saved around 300g over both wheels but will depend on tubes used. valves and tape cost me £9 and I alread had sealant.

    new tyres, tubeless and going 1x with what you already have will cost around £90-100 and should save you around 1 to 1.2 kg depending on the tyres you use and what your current ones already weigh. It gets more expensive after that again depending on how light your current items are.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    Have a look at my 9.6Kg Carrera, link in my sig, total cost of parts on that was sub £700.

    I have a spreadsheet with all the components (literally every one) listed with weight, I can then compare a whole raft of purchases on a pence/gramme basis also taking account of my immediate budget. That may sound censored to many, but as an engineer I'm used to using Excel to make my life easier.

    Tyres (pref tubeless) are a good hit, as you can get the tyres for your riding at the same time, foam grips can easily save 60g compared to slip ons and over 100g compared to locks for circa £7, after that stem, seatpost and bars are easy ones.

    Look at where you are now and where your realistic target is, that way you can but a component at the right price and buy once, you can get stuff pretty light for not too much, but then each gramme after that costs more, e.g. seatposts, mine weighs 180g (typical alloy is circa 270-300g but some are as light as 230g and some as heavy as 400g) for sub £20 off ebay (China) but to drop to something at circa 140g will cost about 3-4 times as much. But if you want to get towards say 9Kg the 180g part is a waste of money as you'll need to go lighter later on.

    Excellent value lightweight stem http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/161647974941? ... EBIDX%3AIT

    With some patience and some luck my wheelset is sub 1450g for £180 (all new - built myself), but you need to plan and execute in a structured way.

    A 1x conversion is a good hit, you'll lose a total of about 350g for the price of a narrow wide chainring (circa £25 from Superstar or on-one, the SS is lighter, but the On-one a bit better made).

    There is no generic answer it's all about what you have now (exactly) and planning your way to achieve your target.

    Lighter tyres and tubes, a 1x conversion, some attention to detail and some foam grips is likely to drop you about 1-1.25Kg.
  • Angus YoungAngus Young Posts: 3,063
    Go on a diet and do more exercise, that will save you a ton of weight for nothing.
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  • njee20njee20 Posts: 9,613
    Might not!
  • .blitz.blitz Posts: 6,588
    OP try not to get too hung up about losing weight the idea that lighter is better is from the early days when MTB was off-roading for road bikes. The idea persists because of marketing and there's a dangerous middle ground of aspirational components that may be lighter but at the same time they're less efficient and they'll slow you down in other ways.

    Modern MTBs have so much variation in geometry and travel that weight is not so important and it's possible to make a bike that rides light even if it's not so light on the scales. Weighing everything and choosing the lightest is not the way to do it.
  • FerralsFerrals Posts: 785
    There is a reason XC racers still want lightweight bikes. Being faster uphill is largely due to power to weight ratio (Assuming no differences in technical abilities). So if you are interested in riding fast xc or riding for a long time them weight is a factor and not a hang-up. I agree only buying on weight is not sensible, but nothing wrong with factoring weight into purchasing decisions.
  • POAHPOAH Posts: 3,369
    I sorted my 1x today.

    suntour crank, shitty BB, LX front mech and stx shifter 1575g

    Deore M615 crank and BB with raceface N/W 845g

    Difference 730g
  • kajjalkajjal Posts: 3,380
    It is normally alot easier lose KG's offthe rider ;)
  • FerralsFerrals Posts: 785
    Only if you are fat!
  • Clockworkmark31Clockworkmark31 Posts: 1,053
    Wow loose kg's from the rider I have never thought about that one before. Since getting in to riding I have not gained nor lost weight, core strength and endurance have massively improved though. The first bike I got delivered to work 2 years ago I ended up walking halfway home with it and it was only a 6 mile ride. Now I average 70-90 miles weekly, yet I still weigh the same, go figure.

    Yes theoretically might have been the wrong word to use and hypothetically fits much better :oops:

    Therookie, I have read your link a few times and it is impressive. I got close to low 10s with my old bike the lairy green and white rockhopper and that cost me roughly the same.

    I would never buy something just on weight, I did before with some Ti/Carbon QR skewers but switched back to heavier more robust ones. Now I want to buy parts for a performance increase firstly and secondly a nice weight saving, reliability not really an issue as I am happy to do regular or preventative maintenance its therapeutic and beats looking at oscilloscopes/power meters/power analyzers/DVMs and the rest daily.

    I think a few people have picked up on this, my older bike was from 2012 with basic components fitted. But the Giant being a current model with current components and I can only envisage trying to drop weight to be very costly. Other than tubeless wheels and 1x10 and some basic component upgrades as people have mentioned.

    I am just thinking hypothetically as I plan on upgrading the bike this year but not sure on the direction yet or if it will be this bike or the spare cube analog comp I have (would be cheaper being 26"). But I would have thought things would have slightly evened out, eg, the 2012 rockhopper I had with basic components weighed the same and cost me around £700 upgrading, Now I have a 2015 bike with what should be better tech from 3 years ago yet it still weighs the same standard and to drop the weight again I can see it costing a similar amount of money again.

    Don't get me wrong I love bling and new components and technology etc (hence new tech is my choice of work) but......and this is a big but.........and maybe I shouldn't do this but what has changed in 3 years in my experience. Both bikes cost the same, weigh the same start and stop the same just with a few gimmick changes 3x9 to 2x10 etc. How much of a monopoly do bike and component manufactures have on us? And I know this is the nature of the beast.

    Or am I thinking about this in the wrong way?

    Sub 10kg would be an achievement for me but it would have to be done in a performance over weight way.
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