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Weight reduction on bikes?


jannie

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I`ve done a lot of thinking on the rediculous prices people pay to make their bikes a few grams lighter.. Take for example a carbon fibre seat post for a R1000+ or a carbon fibre bottle holder at R650+ or a handle bar stem at R750+  You will pay close to R2500 for these items to reduce your bike with 500 grams. Does this 500 grams really make such a difference if any difference at all???

 

Now take for example the guy whos bike is now 500 gr lighter has two water bottels filled for a race and another whos bike weighs 500grams more has only one bottle filled with water. The bikes fully loaded will now weigh the same weight but mr money spend R2500 to make his bike 500gr lighter??? I don`t know.. it doesn`t make sense or is it the in thing to pay through youre %&*?$" to save a few grams on your bike!!!

 

Take for example rims as well.. I have seen rims in the Westdene cycle shop at R32 000 a pair and rims that are the same weight at R8000 a pair. Where has the extra R26000 gone into if not the weight. Maybe the name I suppose??? I don`t know hey. I think this is a money making bussiness. As long as you enjoy your bike and riding it in races and with friends the extra 500gr is for the birds and I don`t even think you will ever feel the difference.

 

Thanks for the reply SANTA C but what is your opinion on the extra water bottle that weighs 500gr more that is on a bike that weighs 500gr less???
jannie2009-05-24 11:11:08
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It makes a huge difference making your bike light!! The lighter the bike is the better speed you can get out of the machine, take any performance sport...its alll the same!!

When two athletes at the SAME physical fitness and strength and and and...both get on their bikes, the one with the better components and lighter bike 9/10 times gets a better result.
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Weight reduction. We all are weight weenies to a certain extent. Guys might spend many rands on weight reduction. The Americans quote $1/gram weight reduction. Say about R9/gram. That is about R4000 for your 500 gr waterbottle. Just remember that once the waterbottles are empty, the lighter bike will still be 500 grams lighter than the other... Some guys "use" a 5-2-1 "rule". 5kg on the body=2kg on the frame=1kg on the wheels. So if you can loose 5kg of body fat, you don't have to spend R20000 to loose 2kg on your bike.

Loose weight on the cheaper places first. Like foam grips and dump those Nevegal tires.

Then the fork and wheels. (MTB)

Just be carefull. Losing weight can be addictive. (See a tread about a week ago of a guy not liking his 9.5kg MTB)
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Now take for example the guy whos bike is now 500 gr lighter has two water bottels filled for a race and another whos bike weighs 500grams more has only one bottle filled with water.

I don't think this is really a valid comparison. All rider A needs to do is ditch a bottle and he's back to 500g lighter than rider B.

For these things you need to compare like with like. Will having a lighter bike/training more/whatever comparison you wish to make make A faster than B is not the question you should ask. Rather' date=' will it make A faster than if he didn't have it. No matter how much I train or how light my bike is, I will never be faster than the pros. But training harder, lightening my bike, eating right etc. could well make me faster than me.

 

Take for example rims as well.. I have seen rims in the Westdene

cycle shop at R32 000 a pair and rims that are the same weight at R8000

a pair. Where has the extra R26000 gone into if not the weight.

There's a common saying in engineering that was once quoted by Keith Bontrager in relation to bike parts:

 

Light, cheap, durable. Pick two.

 

You'll probably find that the cheaper rim is less durable, or less aerodynamic or similar. It is cheaper because less design and manufacturing effort has had to go into it.

 

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I get your argument and understand. What I`m really on about is that I personally think that this weight reduction exercise on bikes only have a real effect on the pro`s that need that edge over another proffesional. In most of our cases the extra 2 minutes or so it saves you in a race I don`t think can change much in your life unless you are REALLY competetive. Carbon bikes look awesome, but I need a good reason to pay the price for it (Do I really need to pay that extra R20 000)

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Each for his own. I enjoy climbing with a 11kg hardtail much more than climbing with a 15kg brute. Enjoyment factor.

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Another thing is that carbon fiber is great for absorbing vibrations and small bumps, great for seatposts and hbars

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But if you for exaple only train with the heavier bike will than not make you stronger and fitter. I think if you want to get stronger and fitter faster buy a heavy bike and train with it. But then I also agree with you "it is just not as much fun!!)

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best weight reduction is for the rider to loose a few of those unwanted grams !! by far the cheapest and most healthy .... even if it means going to th bog before the ride which also helps !!!

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We race mostlly flat routes in SA. Less mass makes very little difference on preformance here. It does make a difference when riding big mountains like the Alps.

In the cycle industry, weight plays a big part in maketing, so lighter stuff is put fwd as desirable. We grew up in a consumer society, so some of the marketing is bound to work.

 

The other side of the coin:

Why do people buy Audi's when you can get a car with the same size engine and equipment for a lower price? Because Audi's are nice cars. If people can afford it, why not buy nice bike stuff?  

 
Christie2009-05-24 12:27:21
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THANK YOU. This is exactly my point. The argument for example that the R32000 rims may last longer than the R8000 rims even if they are the same weight I just don`t know hey? How much longer will it last. The R8000 rim will probably outlast us as riders if proparly used. I wonder what the salesman will answer if I ask him how much longer the more expensive rims will last? A year, two years, five years.....

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What will the difference be in performance if you for example carry a liter of water on your back rather that in your bottle holder. The bike will then be lighter and will therefor be easier to ride and quicker. You will then have to peddle with less effort or am I wrong? If it is so then I will next time I do a race on my MTB not put a drink on the bike and see if it really makes a difference. I still dont think so but will try in any event. This boils down to my original point that I just don`t think that spending an extra R20 000 in a bike that is a little lighter will make a difference unless you are a pro. (Money making bussines or not???) THE QUESTION STILL REMAINS...

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THANK YOU. This is exactly my point. The argument for example that the R32000 rims may last longer than the R8000 rims even if they are the same weight I just don`t know hey? How much longer will it last. The R8000 rim will probably outlast us as riders if proparly used. I wonder what the salesman will answer if I ask him how much longer the more expensive rims will last? A year' date=' two years, five years.....[/quote']

 

the expensive one might be able to take more abuse? so maybe on the expensive one you'd be able to finish a ride, or cycle home, where with the cheaper one you'd have to walk home?

 

 

 

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I would still rather buy 4 sets of the cheaper wheels than the more expensive ones.

Sure there is more research etc done on them but its not 4 times more.

The bike industry on a whole is a complete rip off.

 

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