Tips for a lighter ride

chatlow
chatlow Posts: 845
edited March 2018 in Road buying advice
Looking to upgrade a few bits on my Giant Propel advanced pro 2 and try make it a little lighter than it currently is. Love the SLR1 wheelset so I'm looking at pedals, aero handlebars and saddle to start with.

I know there's a lot of choice out there but are there any immediate recommendations for the above?

Thanks.

Comments

  • shortfall
    shortfall Posts: 3,288
    chatlow wrote:
    Looking to upgrade a few bits on my Giant Propel advanced pro 2 and try make it a little lighter than it currently is. Love the SLR1 wheelset so I'm looking at pedals, aero handlebars and saddle to start with.

    I know there's a lot of choice out there but are there any immediate recommendations for the above?

    Thanks.

    How much weight are you wanting to shed and to what end? What's your budget?
  • Bobbinogs
    Bobbinogs Posts: 4,841
    I suspect this one could descend into the usual nonsense but we may as well start in a dignified manner...

    What are your main criteria here? Is it just weight? Reason I ask is that it is easy to recommend a saddle that weighs 50g less...but if it is bloody uncomfortable then you won't be happy or have achieved anything. Do you want to go faster? If so, some aero touches help a little but they usually weigh a little more...unless cost is not an issue but then position changes usually mean a lot more anyway. Do you want to just go faster uphill? If so, lose some weight and work harder...or does it just come down to something like: My bike weighs 7.6kg, I have £500 to spend and want to get it under 7kg for some arbitrary reason which may involve bragging at a cafe??

    You can probably detect I am a bit of a common sense type of bloke :-)
  • shortfall
    shortfall Posts: 3,288
    Bobbinogs wrote:
    I suspect this one could descend into the usual nonsense but we may as well start in a dignified manner...

    What are your main criteria here? Is it just weight? Reason I ask is that it is easy to recommend a saddle that weighs 50g less...but if it is bloody uncomfortable then you won't be happy or have achieved anything. Do you want to go faster? If so, some aero touches help a little but they usually weigh a little more...unless cost is not an issue but then position changes usually mean a lot more anyway. Do you want to just go faster uphill? If so, lose some weight and work harder...or does it just come down to something like: My bike weighs 7.6kg, I have £500 to spend and want to get it under 7kg for some arbitrary reason which may involve bragging at a cafe??

    You can probably detect I am a bit of a common sense type of bloke :-)

    Pretty much agree with all of the above.
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    Check what you're taking round with you in your toolkit. I once found twenty quid in pound coins there from cake stops. Take notes and if possible pay by card. Take only one bottle and fill it up from a tap if needed. Cemeteries always have taps. That's 750 gr saved.
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    Also aero is usually heavier. What is it to be ?
  • fat daddy
    fat daddy Posts: 2,605
    My tips.

    Lighter bikes are nicer .. definitely shedding the weight off the bike will make it nicer in all respects, BUT, you need to loose a fair amount of weight in one go to notice. ... If for instance you change the saddle and save a whopping 145g .. you wont be able to tell ... BUT, change the saddle, stem, pedals, handle bars, wheels and tyres all in one go and the bike is noticeable lighter to carry, accelerates and brakes quicker and feels so nimble when you change direction.

    so I would personally save up and change a lot at once.

    Depending on what you are already running the big weight savings and the most noticeable come from the wheels. tyres, and groupset. After this the bars, seat and post .. but they only seem to make a difference in picking the bike up ... riding it you cant tell.
  • Biggest return for weight saving is usually the groupset. A carbon chainset can save a big chunk of weight over an Alu one. I'd prefer to keep stem aluminium but something like 3T aeronovo bars are aero and lightweight. Pedals I'd look at Look Keo blade or Speedplay Stainless steel. Not much you can really change after that since most aero bikes have bespoke seatposts nowadays- that was a usual place to save weight. As for wheels lighter are not always better. Some very light wheelsets lack stiffness and actually climb poorly compared to quality slightly heavier wheels.
  • fenix
    fenix Posts: 5,437
    I notice the difference between my heavier winter bike and my lighter summer bike for ooh about 30 mins - once per year.
    After that - well it's just 'a bike'.

    I'd not be busting my balls chasing grammes and spending hundreds.
  • Fenix wrote:
    I notice the difference between my heavier winter bike and my lighter summer bike for ooh about 30 mins - once per year.
    After that - well it's just 'a bike'.

    I'd not be busting my balls chasing grammes and spending hundreds.

    Congrats, your medals in the post. End of the day his money he can spend it one whatever he likes. Some weightweenies do it as a hobby. For no other reason than they can. Bit like boy racers who spend thousands tarting up a 10 yr old Golf GTi for the same outlay as a brand new car. Who are we to judge?
  • fenix
    fenix Posts: 5,437
    Biggest return for weight saving is usually the groupset. A carbon chainset can save a big chunk of weight over an Alu one.

    Compact Ultegra is about 693 gr. Carbon Force is 645 gr. So 48Gr ?
  • fenix
    fenix Posts: 5,437
    Congrats, your medals in the post. End of the day his money he can spend it one whatever he likes. Some weightweenies do it as a hobby. For no other reason than they can. Bit like boy racers who spend thousands tarting up a 10 yr old Golf GTi for the same outlay as a brand new car. Who are we to judge?

    Hope it's a lightweight titanium medal then ?

    Ha - boy racers. Yes we all aspire to that role model
  • Fenix wrote:
    Congrats, your medals in the post. End of the day his money he can spend it one whatever he likes. Some weightweenies do it as a hobby. For no other reason than they can. Bit like boy racers who spend thousands tarting up a 10 yr old Golf GTi for the same outlay as a brand new car. Who are we to judge?

    Hope it's a lightweight titanium medal then ?

    Ha - boy racers. Yes we all aspire to that role model

    Sorry, I thought I'd draw a comparison you may be familiar with. But since you made ooh 3 posts and still made sfa constructive comments I'll leave it there. Btw the grams saved on the chainset ( I did say groupset overall- that's shifters, derailleurs etc) it's still a bigger saving than a stem or a saddle. It may not be a huge saving per se but it's still bigger than most
  • Fenix wrote:
    Biggest return for weight saving is usually the groupset. A carbon chainset can save a big chunk of weight over an Alu one.

    Compact Ultegra is about 693 gr. Carbon Force is 645 gr. So 48Gr ?

    Oh yeah. And the bike in question is a Propel Advanced pro 2 which come as standard with .......105 so Ultegra comparison is moot
  • fat daddy
    fat daddy Posts: 2,605
    aaah, shoes !!!!! (bless you)

    consider your shoes to be part of the bike ... after all they are attached, and they rotate as well ... so a good excuse to buy a pair of carbon shoes :D
  • fat daddy wrote:
    aaah, shoes !!!!! (bless you)

    consider your shoes to be part of the bike ... after all they are attached, and they rotate as well ... so a good excuse to buy a pair of carbon shoes :D

    Probably better fitting and more comfortable too.
  • Bobbinogs
    Bobbinogs Posts: 4,841
    Fenix wrote:
    Biggest return for weight saving is usually the groupset. A carbon chainset can save a big chunk of weight over an Alu one.

    Compact Ultegra is about 693 gr. Carbon Force is 645 gr. So 48Gr ?

    Oh yeah. And the bike in question is a Propel Advanced pro 2 which come as standard with .......105 so Ultegra comparison is moot

    Calm down chaps!

    Point is, even changing a complete groupset (say 105 5800 to DA 9070) one would be lucky to save 500g. A whole bottle full of water. Again, it comes back to what the OP wants to achieve. A bike prepared for a hill comp is super light (and comes complete with sawn off bar handles and drilled out components) but is pretty much unrideable for anything else. If this is just about weight then grab a chart off Weight weenies and get the cheque book out...but let's hope it is a much more noble pursuit than that, as opposed to a trivial one, eh! ;-)
  • chatlow
    chatlow Posts: 845
    Ha, some great comments there thanks and some that I'm resisting the urge to bite on :-D

    Should have been more clear on my goals. The reason I bought the bike is to compete in Tri's and IM. As most have pointed out, it's an aero bike so weight usually doesn't 'matter' all that much, but it does help A LOT, especially with hilly courses. Yes I could lose a kilo in weight but for my height I'm slightly underweight by a few lbs at the moment and let's be honest, a lighter bike is always preferred and will perform better.

    Pedals - will look at the keo blades, thanks. Also keen on some aero handlebars, perhaps 3T. Not sure how great the Giant connect stem is but will look it up as well.

    Completely agree with the saddle comment (wish I'd left that out tbh), comfort is so much more important than weight. As for group - I'm running 105 5800 and although it's nice, I definitely want to upgrade. Tempted by 6870 Di2 but will wait bit longer and see how the price looks when the new group is released.

    I guess at this point it's group, handlebars, stem and pedals I need to focus on.

    PS - nothing wrong a mk1 Golf GTI. It's a classic if not tarted up too much :-D
  • fat daddy
    fat daddy Posts: 2,605
    chatlow wrote:
    Completely agree with the saddle comment (wish I'd left that out tbh), comfort is so much more important than weight.


    I dunno, if you are only in the saddle for 1hr at a time, you can afford buy a 140g SLR TT at the expense of you arse going numb after 2hrs
  • fenix
    fenix Posts: 5,437
    I'd not spend any more cash on the road bike then. Save up for a TT bike. Aero position will trump everything else. Forget the weight stuff. You'll be faster if you're slippier through the air.

    Which IM are you thinking of ?
  • Bobbinogs
    Bobbinogs Posts: 4,841
    chatlow wrote:
    ...The reason I bought the bike is to compete in Tri's and IM.

    In that case get a cheap TT bike and ride it as often as you can. Failing that, stick some aero bars on and get a bike fit based around them. Forget lightweight for now, particularly if you are light already.
  • chatlow
    chatlow Posts: 845
    Fenix wrote:
    I'd not spend any more cash on the road bike then. Save up for a TT bike. Aero position will trump everything else. Forget the weight stuff. You'll be faster if you're slippier through the air.

    Which IM are you thinking of ?

    IM Wales and a few Tris before and after that. Just completed the long course weekend and the Wales course is 110 miles of just lumps, majority used a road bike over a TT, even the pros.

    Agreed, I will buy a TT bike one day but for now I am going to make use of the propel as I love it and feel it's a great all-rounder.
  • chatlow
    chatlow Posts: 845
    Don't get me wrong I will also be using the Propel for sportives and decent weekend rides too.
  • fenix
    fenix Posts: 5,437
    Lumpy as Tenby is - a TT bike will still be faster than a road bike. Saving a few gr on a groupset won't save you any time in the real world though.

    Save the cash for the TT bike - doesn't have to be a flash one - just one that gets you in the aero position and you'll be much better off. Get an aero hat and tight clothing too.

    Your giant is a nice bike but a TT bike will be faster than it.
  • w00dster
    w00dster Posts: 880
    For an IM I'd expect a lot longer in the saddle than 1 hour at a time.
    I wouldn't go to Ultegra DI2 if you are looking at saving weight, not sure on your budget, but an option may be to look at going to full mech Dura Ace 9000? Weight is 2kg, even just changing the crankset from 105 (5800) to Dura Ace 9000 will save about 100 grams.
    6870 weighs approx. 2.68kgs, Dura Ace mech is 1.98kgs.

    Time Xpresso pedals might be worth a look, 155 grams a pair.

    My bike is approx. 6.5kgs with my "climbing wheels" and about 6.8 with aero wheels. Makes very little difference to the feel - apart from when its windy. I could get mine lighter but it gets to a point where the cost vs performance benefit becomes less worthwhile. The wheels, tyres and latex tubes may be the area where you would get a noticeable weight and performance improvement, but to do so would cost ££££.

    With Aero bars just make sure you can still fit clip on bars if you use them.

    I do agree with Fenix though, you have a good road bike, and it would be ok for Tri's, but you could be sinking your money into very little gain. Where as an out and out Tri bike and clothing based on you re-using it will give you more benefit than a group set or a saddle and stem change.
    If you just want to lighten your bike and add bling that's absolutely fine, but if you want to buy performance improvements for a Tri then personally I would buy Tri specific equipment.
  • joey54321
    joey54321 Posts: 1,297
    Yup, seconded (or thirded?). Given the weight differences we are about, the gains over even a hilly iron man course are probably a couple of minutes at most (I would even say < 1 min).

    It is your money obviously, and you can do what you want with it. Do it for bling or flashing cash or just because you want to spend some money, sure...just don't expect to be any faster.
  • chatlow
    chatlow Posts: 845
    Thanks for this - some really useful info! Tbh, I think I am going to do a bit of both. Change a few parts on the Propel anyway but also look (without getting slapped by the wife) at a 'cheap' TT bike for future events.

    I've got a set of Campag Zondas which I can use in place of the SLR1's when it very windy too.

    And yeah, a hilly IM is closer to 6-6.5 hours in the saddle
  • Hi just bought propel pro 2 and would like to do the same. It's part hobby and OCD to make it lighter so would love to know what progress you have made.

    Chris