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Does the weight of your bike really make a difference?

As the title says??

How heavy is your bike?

What is classed as too heavy?
«13

Posts

  • shortfallshortfall Posts: 2,182
    So many variables and so subjective as to make it impossible to answer, but in my own experience, a pound or 2 either way is completely unnoticeable apart from when you pick it up outside the pub or in the showroom. If you're into racing it probably matters. Why do you ask?
  • adammarlow85adammarlow85 Posts: 34
    Just interested to see what other people think to it.

    Obviously it’s down to user weight, fitness etc.

    I’ve only ever had one road bike so never had the chance to see the difference between a lighter bike, a higher spec bike
  • joe_totale-2joe_totale-2 Posts: 949
    I'd say that a light bike feels nicer to ride, more agile and they feel like the accelerate faster.

    It's that entirely subjective thing though about feel, when you actually look at the numbers they aren't really any faster apart from on hills especially when the gradient gets into double figures.

    I've been beasted in chaingangs by plenty of riders in the past riding steel bikes which are probably pretty heavy.

    The bike industry has moved away weight and towards aero and for once they do actually have a point although fitness is the most important thing.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 24,379
    The hillier the ride, the lighter the bike you want...
  • hopkinbhopkinb Posts: 5,464
    edited 13 May
    I have no idea how heavy my bike is. However, I know I'm a big lad at 85kg, albeit quite fit, so when the road turns upwards, I'm into a low gear and I spin and I gurn and I survive. On the flat, I get low and pedal hard and I have deep rims. I do not live in a hilly area, though I can head down to Surrey hills for sh!ts and giggles. Nothing is long enough down there that a kilo or 2 off the bike will make any difference. When it goes over 20% it hurts. That would be better fixed by me getting fitter or losing 5 kilos. Time and love of pies and beer work against me there. Plus I don't race (except silly commuter) so it doesn't matter. :)
  • singletonsingleton Posts: 1,572
    Does it make a difference? Yes. It's a factor.
    One of my bikes is lighter than the other. The heavy one is 10.2kg without mudguards, and I can hold a higher average speed on the lighter one than on the heaver one.
    But I can't tell how much of this is simply down to the weight difference.
    On the same bike, how much difference does 2 full bottles make? That is likely to be around 1.2 - 1.5kg.
  • denis992denis992 Posts: 38
    Yes. I have three bikes (the wife would argue four) and there is a consistent measurable difference across the same journey between them. However the difference is pretty small and other factors are just as important. Over my 13 mile on/off road commute the difference between my 13Kg bike and my 9.5Kg bike on similar tyres is around 3 minutes. The difference between "fast" and "slow" tyres on the same bike is around 2 minutes. The difference between "fast" tyres and "really slow" tyres (Marathon Winters" is around 5 minutes...but boy are you faster when you go back to "fast" tyres!
  • parmosparmos Posts: 64
    when you're rolling around 105-110kg all year round the bike weight isn't much of an issue lol
  • denis992denis992 Posts: 38
    This was when I was about 62Kg...haven't dared weigh myself since lockdown!
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,280
    I love getting my summer bike out. Much lighter than the winter one but after a couple of hours on it - I don't notice the difference.

    All cycling is good.
  • navrig2navrig2 Posts: 1,518
    Make sure you have a good dump before you go out. That will be cheapest way of being lighter on a ride.
  • CargobikeCargobike Posts: 136
    Surely it depends how much of a fatty you are?
    For me, the weight of the bike is the least of my problems although I've shifted over 27kg in weight since the New Year. Only another 20kg or so to go :D
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,372
    Of course it does. Just ask anyone. And I mean anyone. From riders to dealers to bike manufacturers to......... They will all tell you the same thing. You must have the newest, lightest bike. Riding without it is just not worth it.
  • dannbodgedannbodge Posts: 846
    Big difference
    Looking at my power and times up certain hills, the power figure is generally lower on the lighter bike for a faster/same time as the heavy bike. It's just physics.

    My winter bike is now around 9kg with mudguards and the summer bike will be around 6.5kg.
  • fiverearsfiverears Posts: 38
    If your goal is losing weight or keeping fit then a heavier bike is the way to go.
    If your name is chris froome or you are going for PB's on strava then go as lighter as you can.
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 11,332
    Personally, I went for comfort.
    If you are going to spend 8 hours on a bike and aren't racing, well....
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • webboowebboo Posts: 2,177
    fiverears said:

    If your goal is losing weight or keeping fit then a heavier bike is the way to go.
    If your name is chris froome or you are going for PB's on strava then go as lighter as you can.

    What a load of tosh, if you were going hill walk or running would you wear ankle weights. Cycling is supposed to be fun it’s not all about drudgery.
  • shortfallshortfall Posts: 2,182
    dannbodge said:

    Big difference
    Looking at my power and times up certain hills, the power figure is generally lower on the lighter bike for a faster/same time as the heavy bike. It's just physics.

    My winter bike is now around 9kg with mudguards and the summer bike will be around 6.5kg.

    Not disagreeing with you as such but there may be other differences between your winter and light bike that account for some of the difference such as wheels/tyres, weather/wind, the kind of clothing you're wearing etc. If you've already made allowances for all that in your calculations then fair enough. FWIW I reckon most people couldn't tell the difference between riding with 2 bottles of none, but I accept that in competition or if you're doing chain gangs with very fit mates then a few pounds might make some difference.
    This isn't aimed at you but I think personally that a lot of people put too much focus on overall weight at the expense of other considerations and will then either spend more than they need to or buy something unsuited to their specific requirements purely out of some irrational thought that weight trumps all else. As ever it's the person turning the pedals who makes the biggest difference to speed and people like to pretend that shaving off a bit of weight here and there from their bike will make a more noticeable difference than putting some real effort in and doing some proper training.
  • davep1davep1 Posts: 732
    Two things - you can only ever ride one bike at a time, so it doesn't matter what it weighs, and can you actually tell the difference between one bike weighing say 9kg and another version of the same bike weighing 10kg? If it is just frame material that is making the weight difference, can you tell?
    I personally can't, and I often ride a bike in the summer with 2 x 950 ml water bottles.
    System weight is what counts, however heavy you are it will be at least 7x the bike weight, assuming we are talking about a normal bike.
  • dannbodgedannbodge Posts: 846
    shortfall said:

    dannbodge said:

    Big difference
    Looking at my power and times up certain hills, the power figure is generally lower on the lighter bike for a faster/same time as the heavy bike. It's just physics.

    My winter bike is now around 9kg with mudguards and the summer bike will be around 6.5kg.

    Not disagreeing with you as such but there may be other differences between your winter and light bike that account for some of the difference such as wheels/tyres, weather/wind, the kind of clothing you're wearing etc. If you've already made allowances for all that in your calculations then fair enough. FWIW I reckon most people couldn't tell the difference between riding with 2 bottles of none, but I accept that in competition or if you're doing chain gangs with very fit mates then a few pounds might make some difference.
    This isn't aimed at you but I think personally that a lot of people put too much focus on overall weight at the expense of other considerations and will then either spend more than they need to or buy something unsuited to their specific requirements purely out of some irrational thought that weight trumps all else. As ever it's the person turning the pedals who makes the biggest difference to speed and people like to pretend that shaving off a bit of weight here and there from their bike will make a more noticeable difference than putting some real effort in and doing some proper training.
    Unless I've been out in the same clothing, then that's off the table and position wise they are almost identical. The hills are generally fairly steep so aero doesn't play a massive part and fairly sheltered but yeah I get your point. I was just being very general.
  • akhakh Posts: 135
    edited 15 May
    My bikes weight 9 something and 11 something kilos. I've had bikes under 8kg before.

    Where I live is pretty flat, riding along at a steady pace I don't notice the weight difference between my two bikes despite it being over 2kg. Picking them up to carry the weight difference is obvious.

    Comparing bike to bike, the heavier one is about 20-%25% heavier, but once you factor my weight that drops to < 3% heavier overall. I weight 72kg, so the overall difference would be even smaller for a heavier rider.

    I don't see any point in adding dead weight, but if you aren't racing and the weight is coming from a useful feature, I really wouldn't be put off by it. If someone blasts past me up a hill, it won't be because my bike is too heavy, it's because they're a far stronger rider than I am.
  • rwooferrwoofer Posts: 106
    I have four bikes that respectively weigh 6.8kg, 7.6kg, 10.2kg and 11.2kg. My observation is that in terms of actual performance the difference between the lighter pair and the heavier pair is quite significant. That isn't so surprising given it is a 2.5kg-3.5kg gap. Between the two lighter bikes it is just noticeable, but certainly still measureable. However what is still certainly noticeable between the two lighter bikes is the feel, the lightest one just has more get up and go and is therefore more rewarding to ride. Isn't that the best reason to want a lighter bike?

    Curiously the two heavier bikes feel just the same even though there is a bigger difference between them.
  • shortfallshortfall Posts: 2,182
    rwoofer said:

    I have four bikes that respectively weigh 6.8kg, 7.6kg, 10.2kg and 11.2kg. My observation is that in terms of actual performance the difference between the lighter pair and the heavier pair is quite significant. That isn't so surprising given it is a 2.5kg-3.5kg gap. Between the two lighter bikes it is just noticeable, but certainly still measureable. However what is still certainly noticeable between the two lighter bikes is the feel, the lightest one just has more get up and go and is therefore more rewarding to ride. Isn't that the best reason to want a lighter bike?

    Curiously the two heavier bikes feel just the same even though there is a bigger difference between them.

    There maybe other factors than weight that make your lightest bike feel like it has more zip. Frame stiffness, geometry, slightly better fit, different wheel/tyre combo. It might be the weight of course and I concede that but I'd be surprised if it was the only factor.
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,280
    There's a great study online where they got a rider to climb alpe de'huez several times with weight added in the form of water bottles and even water in the tyres.

    The difference in times wasn't as much as you'd think.
  • N0bodyOfTheGoatN0bodyOfTheGoat Posts: 4,076
    Night and day between my Cube and Voodoo in it's current guise, approx 8.5Kg vs 14.5Kg, 9mins12secs vs 10min37secs up "Old Winchester Hill (to the top)" https://www.strava.com/segments/935054 when at my own mediocre MAMIL limits.

    But not everyone likes to try and recreate the Alien scene, with their heart trying to escape out of their chest, in which case as long as you have a gear to use that gets you up that incline... Happy days.
    ================
    2017 Cube Attain GTC Pro Disc 2016
    2016 Voodoo Wazoo
  • leemolyneuxleemolyneux Posts: 12
    Each to there own, and what your cycling for really? if its just a nip round the block then weight doesent really matter, a lighter bike is a nicer and easier ride, especially if your going on long and inclined rides. It will knock minutes off your journey too. 👍
  • Ov1Ov1 Posts: 4
    edited 16 May
    riding a 4 degree hill at 400w with a rider+bike combo of 75kg =7.8m/s

    riding a 4 degree hill at 400w with a rider+bike combo rider+bike of 77kg= 7.59m/s
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    riding a 4 degree hill at 400w with a rider+bike combo rider+bike of 77kg = 7.599m/s (caad 12)

    riding a 4 degree hill at 400w with a rider+bike combo rider+bike of 76.876kg = 7.611m/s (super six evo)

  • denis992denis992 Posts: 38
    Ov1 said:

    riding a 4 degree hill at 400w with a rider+bike combo of 75kg =7.8m/s

    riding a 4 degree hill at 400w with a rider+bike combo rider+bike of 77kg= 7.59m/s
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I'll take 2.8% for "free". My commute is a continuous stream of 1.5-5% climbs and drops
  • Ov1Ov1 Posts: 4
    denis992 said:

    Ov1 said:

    riding a 4 degree hill at 400w with a rider+bike combo of 75kg =7.8m/s

    riding a 4 degree hill at 400w with a rider+bike combo rider+bike of 77kg= 7.59m/s
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I'll take 2.8% for "free". My commute is a continuous stream of 1.5-5% climbs and drops
    but the problem is when you descent you could loose 0.02% advantage. LOL.
  • cruffcruff Posts: 1,482
    edited 18 May
    As a (sh1te) 3rd cat I can tell you from painful experience that the weight of the bike makes absolutely no difference in races when you're 10kg heavier than all the whippets. Anything over 6% and I'm getting dropped like a stone - unless your FTP is about 370, in which case - well, I wouldn't be a sh1te 3rd cat :smiley:

    For regular riding, I'd say a couple of kg make a difference on long climbs, but we don't really have any of those in the UK to worry about. Better off eating a few less pies and drinking less beer (but Where's the fun in that?)
    Fat chopper. Some racing. Some testing. Some crashing.
    Specialising in Git Daaahns and Cafs. Transplanted Laaandoner.
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