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A bike weight question...

Afternoon all,

What is the heaviest part of a bike relative to the rest and therefore which part would you focus on to save weight?

Is it frame, cranks/cassette, bars, shifters etc?

I have upgraded wheels as everyone says they're the first thing to do but if looking at getting a tri frame (i have road bike with aero clip-ons at the moment) do i go for extra money and a carbon frame with perhaps lower spec components or a non-carbon aero frame with high spec light components?
What's the weight difference between a carbon and non-carbon frame?

I bought a new basic SRAM cassette for my new rear wheel and it felt very heavy so wondering whether carbon components would make a significant difference?


ps. What's the address for bridgtown cycles and do I need an appointment?


  • okennyokenny Posts: 231
    I had a thread here a few weeks ago where I asked about carbon frames....I was trying to decide whether I needed a carbon frame or not on my next bike.

    There were a lot of replies, I decided that carbon was the way to go for the frame anyway.
    Have a look at the thread.
  • Thanks.

    It would appear that carbon frame is the way to go. better start saving. What's everyone's favourite frame? I know Cervelo probably what else do people like in terms of tri frames? Kuota, QR, Argon, Felt, Orbea? Any preferences?

    Where else is it best to save weight? Is a carbon Dura-ace or FSA Crankset a good idea (i guess my current set weighs at least a kg maybe 1.5) or a carbon cassette?

  • TesseractTesseract Posts: 280
    What is the heaviest part of a bike relative to the rest and therefore which part would you focus on to save weight?
    ...that'd be me. really need to get on a diet...
  • md6md6 Posts: 969
    From what i have picked up on other threads of this nature (so bear that in mind) the difference in weight between components is , minimal. For example Is the saving of 50g worth the extra £100? and how hard would it be for you to loose 50g of body weight? I think that once the frame and wheels are sorted, the weight issue (IMO) isn't really an issue until you have lost all the body weight that you reasonably can - ie are at your lightest. Unless of course you have bundles of spare cash about the place to spend, in that case go for it!

    Hope that helps at all
  • durhamvamdurhamvam Posts: 246
    Yep, I wish I was light enough to make it worth worrying about that sort of thing as it is the biggest worry I have is the extra 10 kgs around my hips......
  • ShaggyShaggy Posts: 140
    I think what you want is to think about how to spend money (or not) to go faster.

    My opinion (everyone has one) in order of return on investment:

    1) fit, comfort, aerodynamic position and power output - potentially free
    2) good shoes, well adjusted cleats, good shorts
    3) aero-bottle, practice optimal nutrition for your distance
    4) tyres - light, minimise rolling resistance
    5) practice the hop on off shoeless thing
    5) effective training - potentially some coaching
    6) look at choice of gearing, not necessarily the weight of the cassette/ rings
    7) years coaching
    8) bearings (cahnging to ceramic BB, ceramic wheel bearings are cheaper than a new frame/wheels)
    9) wheels
    10) powermeter
    11) frame

    Don't get me wrong, if I could afford it I'd get a proper bike. I just don't like spending money, haven't got it and know for a fact that I can get lots faster on the bike I have. It is not my limiter, I am. Probably the same for most of us.

  • huwdhuwd Posts: 228
    Its one of my real issues with a lot of the cyclists I see around but I always think that a bit of TLC on their bikes, gearing adjustment, lubing up and correct tyre pressures would improve their performance more than any money would buy!
  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    I echo that -I'm carrying the equivalent of about £2Ks worth of carbon around my midriff that I just can't shift
  • If the same person, rode the same race on two different bikes, the first being their normal Triathlon bike, the other being the best money could buy, say up to a 5 grand, what ammount of time difference would they gain, in A. A sprint distance, B Olympic and C. Half Ironman... roughly? Could anyone say? I have done about 20 Tri's at OD and Sprint, but have always used the same bike, so i couldnt say myself. Would be interested to know though.. I would'nt think it would be much at sprint or OD?
  • gingertrigingertri Posts: 277
    i upgraded from a 1980s reynolds 531 tubing bike to a £500 trek 1.2, racing dorney sprint on sunday (which i've done on my previous bike) so will post bike time differences!
  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    I think that it is not so much the overall weight of the bike but where that weight is distibuted.

    Bike A may be lighter than bike B but its ultralightweight frame flexes therby reducing the amount of power available for forward motion and has wheels, crank, chain, cassette which are heavier than bike B therefore the rotational weight is greater. Bike B may have a slightly heavier frame which is stiffer allowing more power to be put down and transmision components that have less rotational mass.

    There is then the question of whether a slighly heavier wheel is better than a lightweight one which may flex more, the heavier wheel also has the benefit of the 'flywheel' effect in helping to sustain forward motion but then is more difficult to crank up to speed after a decelearation. What is the rolling resistance of the tyres like?

    I may be a bit heretic here but in the triathlon world we are bedazzled by the word 'carbon' as if it is the magic solution. A poorly designed and made carbon frame is no match for a half decent alloy frame and it is not beyond the stretch of the imagination to put together a carbon framed bike with poorly matched components that will get trounced by an alloy frame with the right mix.
  • okennyokenny Posts: 231
    In the current/last (?) 220 Magazine they do a comparison of 20 year old triathlon bike, wetsuit etc....
    The guy rides some normal looking old racing bike and then a week later a Scott Plasma.....with the Scott he manages a much much faster time...a difference that one could only make up with months/years of training......or with considerably rediced beer belly... :roll:

    the old bike looks old, but still reasonable. I'm not sure how the Scott managed to be so much faster.
    Any comments?
  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    I would guess - lighter more aerodynamic frame, better geometry, better components/wheels/tyres with less friction/rotational mass.
  • okennyokenny Posts: 231
    yep...I'd agree - it just shows, that a bling bike really does bring a much faster time.
    that's my I'm saving my pennies!
  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    Okenny, don't forget about diminishing returns though - look for best bang for the buck - happy saving - and spending
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