Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Everyone needs a few scales

So maybe youre interested in this lightweight cyclocross bike thing, and you want to lighten your bike some (or maybe a lot) and you've no doubt ran into a common problem----you have no idea what anything weighs. Well, a good scale is essential to being a weight conscious freak. The question is: "what kind of scale should you get?"

Digital is going to be the first answer. Yes, if you have access to those old scales in Physics Labs across the world that use little weights here and a platform there, thats great. But youre not reading this article on a typewriter----its 2006 and were all digital.

Next, scales have maximum weights anywhere from 250 grams to 400 lbs. Which max weight should you buy? Well that depends on what it is youre going to weigh. If you just want to weigh individual parts go with a scale that has a max weight of say 5-10 lbs. If you want to weigh a complete bike, you'll need a scale that weighs up to the heaviest your bike will be. I would recommend a scale that at least has a max of 25 lbs.

Many people have both. I have three. I own a jewelry scale that measures down to .1 grams. A "postal" type scale that weighs 1 gram to 5 lbs and an ultimate alpine scale that weighs from 10 grams to 55 lbs. This is a good scale. And it could fairly easily handle all of your bike weighing needs. Hanging a plastic grocery bag from the scale and placing a small part (such as a derailleur) in the bag would give you a pretty good idea of that parts weight as well. It wont weight very light parts, but it will do the job of a whole bike scale and a reasonably small parts scale as well. The Ultimate scale isnt cheap at $65, but it does seem accurate and sturdy and most weight weenies will concur.

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