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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, so I ride a 2014 Fuji GranFondo 2.5 which has a C5 carbon frame, and a carbon fork with carbon steerer. The bike has 105 components with the exception of the crank, cassette, and chain. I also added Shimano PD-M540 pedals (not the lightest), and a 90mm Bontrager elite stem to replace the 100mm Oval Concepts unit. According to Fuji site, the bike in factory form is right over 19lbs. Wheels are the Oval Concepts 327 set so again, not the lightest out there.

My question is, replacing these lower end components such as the Oval 520 crank, the Tiagra cassette, and possibly the wheels with 105 or Ultegra stuff, and wheels from lightbicycle or something of the likes, is there enough weight to save to really be worthwhile? I cannot find the weight of the 520 crank set, nor for the 327 wheels, so I don’t know how much there is to shed there.

Furthermore, is it really worth it? 19lbs is fairly light IMO, perhaps not for a road bike, but then again, I don’t expect Fuji’s entry level carbon to be the lightest out there. I considered also replacing the bars and seatpost and seat rails with carbon ones, but I hear this can lead to a pretty rough feeling ride with little vibration damping.

I know rotating mass (wheels) will always help with performance, but for this other static hardware, is it worth replacing with better and lighter components, or should I just lose 4lbs from the rider and be content? I am not a racer by any means, but I do like to modify and tinker with stuff, with the proper research of course.

To me, if I can't cut off at least 1kg, more preferrably 2kg, I won't pursue it at all besides the wheels which are a win for anyone IMO, I come from cars and one of the best ways to liven up a low powered car are a light wheel and tire combo, and the static weight is not as noticable.
 

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Furthermore, is it really worth it?
Short answer? Probably not.

Long answer? No one can tell you whether it's worth it for YOU. They can only tell you how they feel about these types of upgrades, and since we are all of different opinions about how valuable our money is, or how much we care how heavy our bike is, you are going to get a lot of answers that probably aren't helpful.

As a heavy rider (6' 5" 245lbs), I could not care less if my wheels are a half a pound heavier. I choose those components based on their integrity and how well they perform. Tires and wheels, first and foremost, have to be safe, especially at my size.

As far as specific things, like upgrading wheels and tires for weight alone, surely you might notice the bike feels a little different (better?) accelerating, or climbing with lighter wheels, but there are trade offs. Stiffness, durability and safety are other key properties for wheels.

Anyway, going down that rabbit hole chasing bike weight is fraught with peril. Be prepared to spend a lot of money on very minimal gains.

Some questions to ask.

How fast do you ride?

How much do you climb on a typical ride?

Do you race, or ride in competitive group rides where sprinting is important?

How much do you weigh? You can spend a lot of money trying to drop a few grams on your bike, but you can actually save money losing the same weight off of your body (not to mention the other benefits).
 

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It's worth it if your goal is to be a weight weenie. Remember that a weight weenie rule of thumb is if it costs about $1 per gram of weight savings, you're doing OK spending-wise. It can often cost more than $1/gram. So if you're looking to trim 2 kg, It's possible you'll be looking at a cost in the neighborhood of $2000 depending.

However, at 19 pounds you can trim some weight by plucking low hanging fruit. Lightweight titanium skewers are about 40 grams for $25 versus stock which are probably 100 grams or more. Lightweight inner tubes about $2-7 each of 65 grams versus 100-110 grams stock. Generic Chinese bottle cages about $25 and 40-50 grams for a pair versus aluminum at 120-130 grams a pair. Some lighter race clincher tires about $70-100 for 400 grams a pair versus stock tires probably 600 grams. Go for an Ultegra cassette about $60 for maybe 30-50 grams savings?

As for a performance boost, it will be negligible enough that anything you feel is 99% placebo effect. Ride with and without two full water bottles and you can see what about 1300 grams difference feels like while riding: not much.

Edited to add: If you're looking for performance boost, look to better fit and more comfortable contact points (saddle, handlebars, pedals/shoes) as well as more supple tires (higher tpi casing) and lighter tubes. Tight aero clothing helps a lot too as long as comfortable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm mostly interested in saving rotating mass. I googled that stock wheelset is 1950g, plus tubes and tires. With a set of lightbicycle wheels and better tires, I could shave close to 1kg there. Will it be worth it? Possibly, I won't know unless I try. I might see if I can find someone elses bike, but I can say for certain there is a big difference in climbing ability between my bike and my friend's Nishiki (I rode both back to back).

I am 5'11" and 168lbs, fairly lean. If I lose any more weight, I'm pretty sure my fiancee will leave me (hahaha kidding), so right now I am trying to balance biking which I enjoy, with lifting (which I don't enjoy anymore) to keep the other half happy. If I lost another 5lbs, I'd have a full set of abs showing, there's not much left to trim
 

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Check this out to see real world benefit from trimming weight: http://www.analyticcycling.com/ForcesLessWeight_Page.html.

Bottom line is there is very little performance gain trimming 1kg off a bike. However if you can afford it and you enjoy tweaking the components by all means go for it. Also I don't know that wheel brand but if they are actually under 1 kg stay far, far away. A good, shallow clincher wheel isn't going to get much lighter than maybe 1300 grams.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I think the lightbicycle set I had specced together on their site with hubs and spokes either with a 24 or 25mm depth was around 1350-1400grams

I'll give that article a good reading.
 

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Ok that's a lot more reasonable, I was worried when you said 1 kg under 1950 g. The link isn't an article it's a simulation/calculator so you can play with different weights in different conditions and see the time difference. So I would pick out the characteristics of your favorite hill and see what it does for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ok that's a lot more reasonable, I was worried when you said 1 kg under 1950 g. The link isn't an article it's a simulation/calculator so you can play with different weights in different conditions and see the time difference. So I would pick out the characteristics of your favorite hill and see what it does for you.
LOL no, I meant I could possibly lose 1kg rotating mass between light wheels, tubes, and tires. I'm starting to think none of this weight loss is worth pursuing for someone who doesn't race. It looks like to lose 1kg, I'd have to do more than that. True, I could lose some weight with a lighter cassette and crank as well, but then I'm really digging into the pockets.
 

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FWIW, my '14 Fuji Altamira 2.3 is a claimed 17 pounds versus over 20(?) for a lower-spec version. Before buying, I compared components to see why. Both share the same c5 frame, but bumping parts up just one or two levels makes the diff: Oval 527 wheels vs. Vera Corsa, Oval 720 crank vs. 520(?), full Ultegra vs. Ultegra/105 mix, Oval 500 vs. 300 saddle, and so on.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that bottom-of-the-line versus just-above-bottom-of-the-line components made over three pounds of difference, so maybe trimming some weight doesn't have to be too pricey. (I'm sketchy on the details, hence all the parenthetical question marks. If you're curious, I looked at the '16 Altamira 1.1 and bought the '14 Altamira 2.3, info on both on Fuji's website.)
 

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You'd get far better bang for the buck stripping some weight off the cyclist. Higher end components will look a little nicer, perhaps wear a little better and work a little smoother, but the weight savings don't really translate.

Since you come from cars the analogy would be to focus your engine, lose a few pounds of excess body fat, and train that engine to ride more efficiently.
 

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Trek,

I suggested this too. If you look at the reply, the OP is already pretty lean.

Cleanneon98 said:
I am 5'11" and 168lbs, fairly lean. If I lose any more weight, I'm pretty sure my fiancee will leave me (hahaha kidding), so right now I am trying to balance biking which I enjoy, with lifting (which I don't enjoy anymore) to keep the other half happy. If I lost another 5lbs, I'd have a full set of abs showing, there's not much left to trim




 

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If already at the ideal weight , then train more.
I upgraded to Dura Ace. I enjoy the group set. It certainly did not make me ride faster(at least due to weight savings).
 

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I'm mostly interested in saving rotating mass.
Any particular reason? The only time it makes a difference (compared to any other weight on the bike) is when you are accelerating. And when you coast, you slow down faster because you have less rotational kinetic energy.

But when you're climbing or rolling along on the flats, it makes zero difference whether the weight is rotating or not. Zero.
 

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Get a Chinese carbon seatpost and saddle, LB wheels w/Ti skewers, and a Sram Force or Red crank. Wait to replace the cassette with Ultegra until it wears out. Xpedo makes some lighter pedals that aren't too expensive.
 
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