Reducing bike weight : LUSENET : Mountain Bike Hash Forum : One Thread

I bought an xtra small alloy-framed mtb which weighs 27lbs but for my size, it's still a tad too heavy considering the need to carry it across rivers, and other un-rideable obstacles in the event of an adventure race. Could you tell me what are the bike components that i can change to significantly reduce the weight of the bike? it would also be helpful if you could include the brand name & cost of of each component. much thanks..


p/s: front sus: judy tt; derailers: deore; the rest are generic components which came with the bike.

-- judogurl (, April 22, 2003


Well I think we need more details of each component and whats your credit limit. The first thing that I would upgrade are the tyres, for starter maybe panaracer trailblaster (400g) or hutchinson python (400G). 2nd would be rims, maybe mavicX317 or X517 (both 400g), hubs XTR (470g/pr good bargain at bikepro). Then maybe the seat Sanmarco ASPIDE (160g). If you have deeper pockets your front fork would have to go, Manitou skareb super 1.3kg. These are the things that I would upgrade first.

-- misha (, April 22, 2003.

The reason I would change tyres first are coz most bikes comes with crappy tyres, mine came with hutchinson mosquito they're dangerous on wet pavement. Then off with the pedals I'm no big fan for clipless so I went for a pair of weyless magnesium MG-1 platform they're light 380g/pr and the grip are amazing but any mistake you make they'll put permenent scars on your legs. Next I change the stem and handle bar mine came wit 120mm 10ºrise and riserbar, I went for thomson 70mm 0º and ritchey WCS flatbar to fit my body geometry, lowering the front and hence a more attack position. Then the wheelset, mavic X317, XTR hubs and DT revolution spoke. You gain not only less weight but pedalling power as well. DT revolution are the lightess spokes in the market but they're not the strongest. I had the Judy TT they're horrible more like a pogostick, go for airfork plush + lightweight. If you need more info email me I'll try to answer everything I know

-- misha (, April 22, 2003.

Wheelset and tyres are a good place to start, because they're rotational weight. These parts are constantly accelerating and decellerating when you pedal and brake, such that weight loss here will result in greater efficiency compared to weight loss elsewhere on the bike.

As misha says, 2002 XTR hubs are a good deal. They're also reliable and light, lighter than all but the most exotic of components. DT spokes are great; DT revolutions are among the lightest steel spokes available, and not as ridiculously expensive as Ti spokes. If you wanted a little more strength in your wheels, go with DT Competition spokes. Mavic X517 rims are reasonably strong and lightweight (if you're using rim brakes). Ceramic-coated ones are almost double the price (RM200+), and slightly heavier (only 15g?) but well worth the money because the side walls are very hard wearing. Ceramic rims last longer than normal ones, provided you don't run into trees (in which case they all last the same ;-)

Don't forget the cassette: a 11-34XT cassette is half the price of the XTR, but is only about 20g heavier. The models lower than XT will be much heavier.

Once you've done the wheels, go for the static components like handlebar (Ritchey WCS is 125g, Easton EA70 is 145g, Easton EC90 a remarkable 99g), stem, seatpost (Easton EC90 post is an amazing 190g, but it has a bit of set back which will affect your riding position).

Change the bearing components like bottom bracket and headset, as well as parts like rear derailleur, as they wear out. These parts will wear out anyway, so rather than change them now, you may as well change them for new ones once they need replacement. Chris King headsets (RM350) weigh 125g - not especially light, but they are da bomb. Stock BBs are usually very porky. If you have $$, get a lightweight ISIS BB, together with a nice aftermarket crankset, or else upgrade to the 03 XTR (RM1000+, comes with BB). If you like twist shifters, Grip Shift is lighter than RapidFire, but thumbshifters are lighter still, if a little unfashionable.

Air forks can be light. Get a SID, but be suspicious of the one with the carbon crown. Air forks do, however, tend to be more fussy than coil-sprung ones. Marzocchi has introduced a new model called Marathon S Coil, which you ought to check out. My personal opinion is that cheap Rock Shox forks are a waste of time. The high end ones are good, but can be fussy. The Marzocchis are reliable, and the cheap ones though heavy perform well. Fox forks tend to be boat anchors, but they too are da bomb. Don't know much about the latest Manitous, except that a friend had a pair of Blacks and had some problems with it.

If you had a 3.5lbs frame, it should be relatively easy to get the weight down to 22 to 23 lbs.

Build a spreadsheet with weights of your existing component listed. Then in the next columns, list the weight and price of each proposed upgrade. From here, you'll be able to calculate how much money per gram saved for each component upgrade. Start upgrading with the one with lowest $/g ratio.

-- Joe (, April 23, 2003.

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