Thursday, September 29, 2005

9/29/05 The obsession... i dont know if its obvious through reading this blog, but im semi-obessed with a light bike. I'm a frequent weight weenie frequenter ( and try to get the weight of my bikes down as light as realistically possible.

On the cross bike and cyclocross racing, this seems almost the most practical genre of bike racing to reduce weight. I mean youre lifting your bike over barriers, carrying it on your back up steep hills when youre tired and then theres the general climbing hills that you'll find in other bicycle races. Im sure it probably doesnt make a huge difference, but light bikes in my opinion are cooler. Not only is the componentry more likely more high-tech, but it gets creative at some point as well.

Some things I've done to lighten my CX bike (Candice):

I've found bolt hole plugs made of plastic that snap perfectly into the water bottle holes to shed the weight of 2 screws.

Prima 199 bars are very light at 199 grams rather than 260+

New Ultimate seatpost is 94 grams.

Syntace F99 stem is 96 grams with Ti bolts.

Tubular wheels probably made one of the largest differences lightening about a pound and a half off of my bike.

I have just ordered the Ultimate Alpine Scale to measure exactly how much my bike weighed. I had bought a digital fish scale about a year ago and just realized that this thing isnt quite accurate. My home scale says Candice weighs in at 18.6 lbs with race wheels, but that sounds a little high to me, so we'll see when the new hanging scale arrives.

Pretty much everything gets weighed on one of my two gram scales before it goes on the bike. I have an Excel spreadsheet for my race bikes that lists the item, weight , size etc. As any weight weenie knows, the trick to a light bike is making every gram matter. Its easy to say that product A is only 50 grams lighter than product B, but with so many components on a bike, those 50 grams will add up (about 454 grams in a pound).

Component Model Weight

Bar tape white tape w/ plugs 56
bottle cage none 0
bottle cage bolts nylon plugs 0.5
bottom bracket plus bolts Truvativ Team Giga SL 232
brake levers see shifters 0
rear brakes Paul Touring 130
front brake Paul Neo Retro 130
cables housing generic ??
chain Sram 292
computer Schwinn 51
chainring 38t 31
48t 79
crank FSA carbon pro 175 isis 429
chainring bolts Al 10
front der Ultegra w/ clamp 107
rear der ultegra tuned 214
fork Woundup 575
frame Specialized ???
handlebar 3T prima 199 191.6
headset FSA Orbit 113
headset cap/bolt none 0
headset spacers Carbon ??
pedals Candy Ti 253
skewers control tech ti bolt ons 48.6
seat Flite TT 179.1
seat binder Colorado collar 33
seatpost New Ultimate 94
shifters :
Rear: Ultegra 9 spd 246
Front: Dura Ace brifter 219.6
stem Syntace 105mm w/ ti 96
cassette Sram 12/26 220
Total without wheels/tires/frame 4030.4

I'll be tearing down the bike after the 2005 race season in order to hunt out the weight of this bike. I know i weighed the frame when i first bought it, but i guess i didnt write it down, so now i have no idea what it weighs. Well, i have some idea, but i want an exact number. Plus, i might be adding components from LaFawnduh over to Candice like the Dura Ace Rear derailleur.

In conclusion, I know that a few pounds doesnt make the difference between 1st and 7th place. But it adds another aspect to the sport for me. I like gadgets and I like bikes, and light bikes seem to have the best gadgets. I'd rather have a reliable bike than a silly light bike or one thats unsafe. There's the line you walk between whats silly light and whats just light. And theres that line of whats too $$$$ and whats just $$.

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