In biking weight means a lot, especially when you are talking about a bike race that includes a lot of climbing. Simply put the same amount of power output goes faster for a lighter object. That’s basic physics. Sometimes bike riders get caught up in having the lightest bike possible.
Here is an example. I ride with SpeedPlay
peddles pedals on my road bike. I have the Chrome-Moly version which comes in at 108g for each peddles pedals. That’s a whopping 0.238 lbs per peddles pedals. They make a lighter version. Its made from Stainless Steel and comes in at 103 g (0.227 lbs). That’s an eyepopping 5 g (0.01 lb) difference. OK per peddles pedals, so 0.02 lbs different. Price difference? $70 (54% of the cost of the chrome-moly version or $7/per gram). They also make a titanium version that comes in at 83 g (0.183 lbs). That’s a saving of 0.1 lbs for a pair of peddles pedals. The cost? Well….$335 (a real steal at $4/gram saved).
In case you cannot tell, it can get expensive to make a superlight bike. And let’s not even get into durability. Realistically I am not going to get a sponsor to buy me new bikes every year (I did get brake and shifter cables for free from my LBS last year. That was the sum total of my sponsorship.). I know my wife would not be excited about me having to buy an uber light bike every year because they wear out. Its just not realistic to for me to have the super lightest bike out there.
The thing though is that for most civilians who ride there is low hanging fruit in the weight equation……the rider. Never forget the rider. Weight wise I have been holding steady for about 2 years right at 172 lbs. I’m proud of that. Somehow my body has settled into an equilibrium of exercise/eating that is pretty well fixed at that point. Remarkably (or maybe not so remarkably) I weighed myself this morning and I was, well 172 lbs. (I did weight myself last week after a 2 hour indoor bike trainer ride and I was 167 lbs, but that was cheating ;)) And so we come to this. While I am WAY close to my ideal weight than I was say 6 years ago, there is still some useless weight on my frame. Probably I should be coming in around 150 lbs given my height, but lets be realistic about that one too. I’m not sure I have what it takes to get that low. It is 9 weeks until the Willmington/Whiteface 100k race. Being less than 172 lbs for the race is a good idea. Its time to eat right, snack right, and see how low we can get that number. In the end it will be cheaper to drop 0.1 lbs that way then by buying new peddles.
(Now if only my family would stop buying ice cream….)
(Note: Spelling error discovered by Ms. Jenni of JenniBlog. The author thanks her for her kindly pointing this out, and will someday
get revenge return the favor :D)