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Hi everyone,

I have a 2005 Felt F65 with Ultegra pedals. It weighs about 19 lbs. I was thinking of getting a lighter full-carbon bike next year. Bur before I do this, what advantages do lighter bikes have over heavier ones? Will it make me noticeably faster? I'm about 6', 220 lbs.(linebacker build), and could lose about 20 lbs. Should I work on losing weight first before lightening my bike? At my present weight, would I even be able to tell the difference between a 19 lb. bike and a 17 lb. bike? I ride flat terrain exclusively, and hope to race one day. Thanks for all of your help!
 

· Still On Steel
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ndtriathlete said:
Should I work on losing weight first before lightening my bike? At my present weight, would I even be able to tell the difference between a 19 lb. bike and a 17 lb. bike?
Absolutely work on losing weight first. You have to pedal all the weight, no matter where it is, and taking weight off your middle is cheaper than buying a new bike (and you already have a nice bike). I'm virtually your exact height and weight, and jettisoning some of the lard I'm hauling around is my top priority on the bike for 2006.

My old bike weighs 22lbs 4oz. My new one, bought six weeks ago, weighs around 19, I think. I can feel the difference when I physically pick up one and then the other, but out on the road? Not really.

If you want to see for yourself if you could tell the difference, fill up two large (27oz) water bottles, stick them in your cages, and go for a ride. Then repeat the exercise with only one bottle. The difference will be reasonably close to two pounds. My guess is, you won't feel a thing.
 

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nope, well....

I had a 21 pound alum. trek that I rode for 2 yrs. I got a 15 pound opal a few weeks ago. I'll tell you it freakin rocks, BUT i really can't say it has that much to do with the weight. I do go uphill faster, but i think there are other more important factors. It feels better and fits better and the components are better (105 that were on the way out). I would say that it is way more important to have it fit properly. The trek i had a top tube that was 2 inches to long. It put me in a awkard position. the orbea's angles fit me better.
 

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I have gone from 230 down to about 215 now, plus im sure i have more muscle than i had when i was fatter. So in that regard i have the light bike i was carrying on my back. I have gone from c grade to a grade in my local comp (australia) I am fitter and im sure much healthyer. After all that babble I would love to have a set of lightweights or record on my giant, but really i could still lose another 15-30 pounds and that would make me better heathyer and faster still. If you can afford it and it makes u happy and ride more get the good gear, OR just ride more and justify the new gear by makinh weight loss targets.
 

· your god hates me
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Allez Rouge said:
If you want to see for yourself if you could tell the difference, fill up two large (27oz) water bottles, stick them in your cages, and go for a ride. Then repeat the exercise with only one bottle. The difference will be reasonably close to two pounds. My guess is, you won't feel a thing.
Huh, I can always tell when I've got 2 bottles versus 1 bottle versus none. But maybe that has to do with how the bike handles, rather than how much it weighs?

I'll say this: doesn't matter how much faster a lighter bike will or won't make you; a lighter bike will *always* be easier to carry upstairs!
 

· Looking for my Amish Love
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Holy moly there are some big boys riding light weight bikes!!!! First place to lose the weight is off the gut & butt. Once you are about as lean as you are gonna get, then I'd maybe start looking at lighter parts. Do they make that much of a difference, no. Are the nice and chi-chi to look at and show-off? Yes. Does buying light weight parts justify working 40 hours a week and enjoying a nice 6 hour ride on saturday, yes. I'm a moderate weight weenie as any but thats also cause I tip the scales at 140 pounds. So me on a my 15 pound bike still weigh in at a good 60 pounds less! All I can say about that is...Thank you genetics!
 

· Steaming piles of opinion
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And if you're exclusively riding flat terrain, it matters not at all. OK, teeny numbers for accelleration, but that's a math exercise rather than a real-world difference, as darn near everything else (like the position of your jersey zipper) will end up mattering more.
 

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try this

Take your saddle bag off and strap it to your water bottle cage on the seat tube. It makes a noticable diff in the way the bikes feels when you are rocking the bike back and forth climbing. same with the water, it seems to be a leverage thing more than just weight to me.
 

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My experience is that light matters on the wheels, but not much elsewhere. I was 240 last summer, and I'm 192 (and falling) now (6'3", built upper body by cyclist standards). I rode last summer on a mid-80's trek touring bike ~ 22 lbs.
I started off this season with a Motobecane le champion sl < 16 lbs. Amazing difference. I threw on some gatorskin tires for training, and most of the difference is gone. It's still lighter over all, and the drivetrain is smoother, but accellerations and climbing are painfully slow by comparison.
The trek's now fixed-gear and still gets some play, and is probably about 19 lbs in current form. Very little difference in peformance compared to the lighter geared bike with heavy tires (which are comparable or better than the tires on the trek).

P.S.
Dropping weight off my body made the most improvement, far and away, not to mention the rewards in the mirror.
 

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My new bike is about 5lbs lighter than the old one. The difference is substantial in acceleration and uphill performance. The upgraded components also improve the overall feel as they are stiffer and transfer power much better. As for two pounds, not sure? Add two pounds to the bike and ride for a while then take it off and ride some more. Notice anything?

FWIW, I think you'd notice the most from upgrading wheels like others have said. My Dad's bike is about one pound more than mine but has wheels that are about 300g lighter. I really feel his bike accelerates faster than mine. I can't prove a thing, but maybe test some super light stiff wheels compared to yours and see what you think.
 

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I always thought of starvation, then you can save money for a lighter bike or parts. And lose the body weight too.....just joking... Light bike - great if you are going to start racing.
Heavier bike - great to keep for training.
 
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