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my current 29er steel XC hardtail (XT, 1x9, tubeless Bontrager wheels, Thomson and Easton bits) weighs in at 25.5lbs. That's decent, but the WW/OCD tendency is getting the better of me and i need some help/advice.

did some research and here's the best options for lightening it up:

- SRAM XX - takes almost 2lbs off of a complete XT grouppo
- Stans 355 rims, DT 240 hubs and ti spokes - 1 to 1.5 lbs off the current wheels

OK, so that's 3.5lbs off. but realistically it's gonna cost like $2500. well not entirely true as some of the old stuff can get resold for say, $800-1k. But still - $1500-1700? is 3.5lbs worth that kind of money?

at 155lbs, what kind of performance benefit can one expect to get outta that kind of weight loss off the bike? it's only 2% really. is it going to make any difference at all in an XC racing situation or is it just a WW exercise to bling out the bike (which truth be told is a very fun activity in its own right!)
 

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Jam Econo
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jacques_anquetil said:
OK, so that's 3.5lbs off. but realistically it's gonna cost like $2500. well not entirely true as some of the old stuff can get resold for say, $800-1k. But still - $1500-1700? is 3.5lbs worth that kind of money?
I don't know, but I'd love to find out!

Are the wheels going to be everyday wheels or race day?
If everyday, I'd be more conservative with my rim choice and nipple count.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
CB2 said:
I don't know, but I'd love to find out!

Are the wheels going to be everyday wheels or race day?
If everyday, I'd be more conservative with my rim choice and nipple count.
'zat you henri?!

yes i'd prefer to do everyday wheels, 32 holes - one set to do everything. I was floored when my LBS said you could knock a pound off of wheels (rotating weight at that) by going with titanium spokes. OK, they add $300 bucks but still. apparently you can go radial and 2x to keep the spokes shorter and reduce the flex. too long at 3x and ti spokes can become too whippy and reduce your steering precision, or so i understand.
 

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My bike has fluctuated between 23 and 25.5 lbs since I got it. I haven't ever really noticed much difference. Some in the front end with a heavier suspension fork over the old rigid but after about 20 min on the bike I got used to it.

Rims would make a difference if you have some heavy ones on there now but other than that I doubt the hanging weight from the XT to XX stuff would make a lot of difference. It would however look sweet and that first ride after you changed everything you'd feel like superman because of the new hotness hangin off your bike. :D
 

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Wheels... Wheels... Wheels...(and tires)

That is where you will actually feel the difference. Acceleration, braking and turning are the things you do more than any other thing on a bike. Lighter wheels and tires will make worlds of difference that lighter cranks or shifter will never be able to match.
 

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jacques_anquetil said:
my current 29er steel XC hardtail (XT, 1x9, tubeless Bontrager wheels, Thomson and Easton bits) weighs in at 25.5lbs. That's decent, but the WW/OCD tendency is getting the better of me and i need some help/advice.

did some research and here's the best options for lightening it up:

- SRAM XX - takes almost 2lbs off of a complete XT grouppo
- Stans 355 rims, DT 240 hubs and ti spokes - 1 to 1.5 lbs off the current wheels

OK, so that's 3.5lbs off. but realistically it's gonna cost like $2500. well not entirely true as some of the old stuff can get resold for say, $800-1k. But still - $1500-1700? is 3.5lbs worth that kind of money?

at 155lbs, what kind of performance benefit can one expect to get outta that kind of weight loss off the bike? it's only 2% really. is it going to make any difference at all in an XC racing situation or is it just a WW exercise to bling out the bike (which truth be told is a very fun activity in its own right!)

Being in my own current OCD faze with weight at the moment I can certainly relate to your cause.......So after thinking about it from your thread here are my thoughts(don't expect these to be rational btw either....) But if I was going/needing to spend $3500 to drop some pounds my approach would be simply to START over!..(granted I haven't done the research to support this thinking) but in my mind wouldn't you be better off selling your current HT with money in hand and taking the $3500....and find a New bike with specs to meet your weight goals be More effective than to spend $3500 on what you have?
Seems like there should be quite a few options to drop weight from what you have and get in the 22lbs or less arena for conservatively $5k HT??...just a thought.:madman:...aka..Flash Carbon, Niner Carbon, Trek carbon, Specialized Carbo and other countless Ti rides too?
 

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Always Learning
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jacques_anquetil said:
my current 29er steel XC hardtail (XT, 1x9, tubeless Bontrager wheels, Thomson and Easton bits) weighs in at 25.5lbs. That's decent, but the WW/OCD tendency is getting the better of me and i need some help/advice.

did some research and here's the best options for lightening it up:

- SRAM XX - takes almost 2lbs off of a complete XT grouppo
- Stans 355 rims, DT 240 hubs and ti spokes - 1 to 1.5 lbs off the current wheels

OK, so that's 3.5lbs off. but realistically it's gonna cost like $2500. well not entirely true as some of the old stuff can get resold for say, $800-1k. But still - $1500-1700? is 3.5lbs worth that kind of money?

at 155lbs, what kind of performance benefit can one expect to get outta that kind of weight loss off the bike? it's only 2% really. is it going to make any difference at all in an XC racing situation or is it just a WW exercise to bling out the bike (which truth be told is a very fun activity in its own right!)
If you are not racing, I wouldn't worry about it. And even if you were racing, I wouldn't worry about it. Top climbers can produce 6-7 watts per Kilo on a power-to-weight ratio, so at 155 lbs. if you can produce 420 watts (70 Kilo's x 6 watts) on a sustained climb you are in the upper echelon of climbers in the world. Whether your bike weighs 25.5 lbs. or 23.5 lbs isn't going to matter much when it comes to your power output in watts.

But if you were going to attack it (the bike weight), the best place to start is through the rotating weight. Forget the XX group and cut weight in wheels/tires for an immediate "feel" improvement. Rims, nipples, spokes, tires, and work your way in for things that rotate.

As a reference point, my Dos Niner hovers between 23.x and 25.x depending on wheelset, tires and components I have on the bike. All of my podium spots have come when the bike weighs 25 and change. No podiums with the bike at 23 and change with the lighter stuff. It's all about what your body can produce in watts.:thumbsup: Once you are in the range of 25 and change and below - your bike is competitive and it all comes down to what your body, conditioning and genetics can produce. Beat your heart up 5 times per week and pound the weights with your legs during the off season. That will do more for you than SRAM XX or Stans NoTubes gear.:cool:

BB
 

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I'd say forget about the Ti spokes. Go with Revos or Supercomps, 32 rear and maybe 28 front. With light rims I wouldn't really recommend reducing the spoke count. I also think it's wise to stick with tangential (usually 3x) lacing on both sides, front and rear. The phrase: "Don't re-invent the wheel" is a good one to remember.

I think it'd be silly getting all exotic with your other bits but keeping the steel frame. Find yourself a used Superfly if you must have a lighter bike. Better yet, think of how superior you'll feel to the plastic-bike pansies if you can beat them on your existing sled.
 

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I coudn't say it any better

None said:
Wheels... Wheels... Wheels...(and tires)

That is where you will actually feel the difference. Acceleration, braking and turning are the things you do more than any other thing on a bike. Lighter wheels and tires will make worlds of difference that lighter cranks or shifter will never be able to match.
I couldn't say it any better. Spend whatever you can afford on the best set of wheels/tires available. I would suggest avoiding Ti spokes w/355 rims - if you do a little research, you'll find there are better choices.

Good luck in your quest.
 

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Rider and Wrench
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As others have said I would start with the Wheels for sure as it is a guaranteed improvement- XX is a nice thought but I can't see it having a night and day improvement in terms of weight- And Bruce is dead on legs and lungs will always trump weenie bling-
 
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dont do it

i am convinced that weight has very little impact on speed. I feel that a good set of wheels is the best place to spend your money, it is a change you will feel. As for speed vs weight..... dont think it makes any difference... here is why. a few weeks ago i took my 30+lb pugsley out on the normal weekly ride expecting to get dropped from the group. To my surprise i hung in there like i always do, and this is with a bunch of top 5 cat 1/2 guys. i say for the best performance gain, save your money and take more time off work to ride. It would suck to drop 3k in parts and get beat up on by your buddy on a old heavy bike. But :thumbsup: for a good wheelset!
 

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+1 for the turning it into a SS. It may not be the right move for you depending on the trails you ride regularly but I went SS in 1997 and haven't looked back. It's Love!
 

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Jam Econo
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jacques_anquetil said:
'zat you henri?!

yes i'd prefer to do everyday wheels, 32 holes - one set to do everything. I was floored when my LBS said you could knock a pound off of wheels (rotating weight at that) by going with titanium spokes. OK, they add $300 bucks but still. apparently you can go radial and 2x to keep the spokes shorter and reduce the flex. too long at 3x and ti spokes can become too whippy and reduce your steering precision, or so i understand.
Seeing as 64 2,0 spokes only weigh about a pound, I think your LBS needs a new scale.

(yeah, it's Henri)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
BruceBrown said:
Once you are in the range of 25 and change and below - your bike is competitive and it all comes down to what your body, conditioning and genetics can produce. Beat your heart up 5 times per week and pound the weights with your legs during the off season. That will do more for you than SRAM XX or Stans NoTubes gear.:cool:
Thanks Bruce and everyone else! Awesome advice. Just needed the proper perspective to see that it ain't the lightness or the bling factor that'll get the job done, but it is truly the legs and the lungs that count. Thanks again all!
 

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I had a wheelset in the 90s with the Union (now Marwi I think?) Ti spokes. I built the lightest wheelset I could figure based on weights of each component. They were actually very durable as I am a finesse-type rider. I think Ti spokes are cool....maybe I am biased b/c of my job. Reductions in rotating weight are noticeble to me.
 

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Rotating weight is the key no just static light weight, you might have some super light wheels but they flex a ton (with light hubs sometimes this starts at the Hub). A good sturdy wheel set will track better and flex less and overall be a better wheel to ride for performance.
 

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Personally, I wouldn't spend that kind of money just to replace static parts to save weight. Spend money where it might count, on the wheels. IMO you should save spending huge money on lighter components for the guys who don't ride their bikes and brag about how light their bikes are. Having ridden a bike at 28lbs and then at 24lbs by only switching the wheels I can tell you I hardly noticed a difference in the weight and this is going to be where you notice it the most. What I did notice was that the much heavier wheels were stiffer and tracked better than the lighter wheels.

I would avoid titanium spokes too. You have to keep in mind sometimes the guy behind the LBS counter is a human and sometimes wants you to pay for something that he thinks would be cool to build.
 

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None said:
Wheels... Wheels... Wheels...(and tires)

That is where you will actually feel the difference. Acceleration, braking and turning are the things you do more than any other thing on a bike. Lighter wheels and tires will make worlds of difference that lighter cranks or shifter will never be able to match.
+1

My Haro Mary is never going to see sub 25 unless I make some compromises (rigid fork, singlespeed, start drilling speed holes in the frame, etc). However I cut just under 2 pounds off my wheels and tires which in turn made the bike a completely different beast (and me look REALLY good on climbs). She sits at 28.5lb right now and I feel no need to further upgrade for the sake of lightening up the bike.
 
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