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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi

I just started wondering what would be the cheapest way to lose the most amount of weight of your bike or the best money/gram ratio (obviously in a reasonable way).

Lets set up an example of a bike probably in the 1000-1500$ price range, 29er since this is a 29er forum. And we would be looking at an upgrade of 1500$ max.

We would probably be looking at a bike in the weight class of 13-14 kg, with a wheelset in the +2kg and a coil fork weighing about 2.5 kg and the tires weighing maybe 1-1.5 kg together.

What are your thoughts as for the most weight lost per dollar.
 

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Let me list them starting with the cheapest:

1. Convert to 1x drivetrain - Free if you just use your middle ring and take off front shifter and derraileur. This gives you about 400g less weight.
2. Option for above with added dedicated Narrow Wide chain ring so that you don't have to run the chain guide - $40 with same weight savings as above.
3. Lighter tubes or convert to tubeless - Cost of about $40 or less and you save around 200g
4. Lighter saddle. For about $50 you can lose up to 200g depending on what your current saddle is.
5. Lighter tires. There are many options that are good for any trail riding and save you around 400g per tire.
6. Lighter fork. You can get used Reba air fork that will save you another 500g
7. Lighter wheelset. Depending on what you have you can save another 500-700g.

These are the top items. you should be able to do all of this well under $1500 and lose about 2kg or more. Once you have these easy ones done you can focus on lighter handlebar, lighter seat post, cranks, pedals.
 

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Let me list them starting with the cheapest:

3. Lighter tubes or convert to tubeless - Cost of about $40 or less and you save around 200g

These are the top items. you should be able to do all of this well under $1500 and lose about 2kg or more. Once you have these easy ones done you can focus on lighter handlebar, lighter seat post, cranks, pedals.
Great advice, Agree 100%, but #3 needs clarity.
Not all wheelsets accept tubeless, So lighter tubes for standard wheels.
Costwise, a new wheelset w/tires could eat up most of your money easily.
While most find wheels a very effective upgrade, you can accomplish all of the above within your budget, not just the wheels. Still lightening up your rotating mass a bunch.

I even do this with my kids bikes to make them much more rideable. their friends are shocked at how fast they feel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I sort of had the same ideas but in reverse. Starting with the fork and then wheelsets.

I also read somewhere that people shouldn't go tubeless to shave of weight but for grip and handling (although losing the tube will mean less weight)

But lighter tubes are more prone to puncturing aren't they?
 

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Wheelset isn't the cheapest, but by far the best and most noticeable place to lose weight. Tires are a good second since they are also rotating weight.
So if you're on a limited budget, I'd start with tires.
 

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Magically Delicious
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There's lot's of folks out there that could shed 10 lbs. off the middle by just pushing back from the table a little sooner. That is if you've got the middle to remove.
 

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SS Pusher Man
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I would just skip buying the $1000-1500 bike and go straight to the $3000 bike. Often times these bikes are quite a bit lighter than their cheaper versions. Just seems like a waste to buy a $1500 bike, then get rid of half the bike.

Just a thought.
 

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29ers Forever
2021 Rocky Mountain Altitude A70
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I'll say wheels and convert to 1x.
 

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Exactly what he said.
I would just skip buying the $1000-1500 bike and go straight to the $3000 bike. Often times these bikes are quite a bit lighter than their cheaper versions. Just seems like a waste to buy a $1500 bike, then get rid of half the bike.

Just a thought.
 

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For me? Stopped buying a muffin every morning. Cost me -$6/week. Lost 10 lbs.
+1

I know that there are some people here who are paragons of human fitness, but I'm not one of them.

If I wanted to be faster on my bicycle, then I would drink less beer and bicycle more. I'm guessing that the same strategy would work for most of us here.

And I defy anyone to notice a 200g or even 400g difference on a bike, much less justify spending $50 or $100 to do it.
 

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I have done pretty well in being very careful what parts I buy, since if you don't need "the best" you can do very well for the same price as a heavier part. Then sell off the old parts, often for 50-75% of the cost of the new one. I sell on a local classified. So for minimal end expense you can really lighten the bike up.

I recently did this for my wife's bike. This was a 5yo bike, used that I bought from the original owner. Was well taken care of, but damn the tires were heavy. I converted to tubeless, and bought light tires. When I took the old ones off, the tires were 750g each (26 x 2.2"), and they had tire liners, AND they had tubes filled with Slime. I guess the PO didn't want a flat?

Anyways, I couldn't believe the weight when I took them off. Just the tires and tubes weighed as much as the rims. And they sold for $40 because the tires had good tread on them, he was happy. So was I.

I sold the 175g stem for $30, and bought a 105g stem for $40. Sold the 200g handlebar for $40, bought a 135g handlebar for $50. Sold the old heavy crank for $60, bought a new one (from Ribble) for $99. Sold the 260g seat for $60, bought a 150g seat for $80. Etc etc.

Just remember grams = lbs.
 

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I like turtles
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I just went through lots of upgrades over the last year to get mine down in the 22 range. I calc'd out all of the $/g. Here is my list:

1x10. Mine came this way, but I still lost the chain guide and put on a Wolf Tooth ring to help it be even lighter.
Tubeless. Typically this is nearly free if you have tubeless ready rims/tires and just need to add a valve stem/sealant.
Wheels. Yes..hey cost a lot, but the $/g is v. good.
Crank. This was a win for me in the $/g category.

The worst items are cockpit/controls. Hbar, seat post, stem, I lost weight with all 3 but the $/g wasn't v. good.
 

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chinese carbon wheels can be around $600. Around 1500g vs 2000+ for a stock wheelset

A chinese carbon frame is about $400 and will save about 3 lbs.
 

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Yup fork and wheels. The one place i wouldn't skimp on is the seat. Some of those lightweight seats are instruments of torture.
 

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There's always next year.
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3 thoughts from my humble brain:

  1. While the OP didn't ask about losing body weight, I think its something that people often forget about. We (I) weigh parts to save some grams, but might think nothing about having seconds/thirds at a meal. Its often a great way to get better on the bike, and save more cash for better parts.
  2. Maybe I missed it, but if you have 2500 right now to spend, you're probably better off spending that cash on a bike all at once. You should get better specs across the board. With that said, if you've only got the 1500 bucks right now, and will have 1000 later to spend, in my opinion, it makes sense to spend now, and ride now rather than waiting months to get the rest of the cash, especially as the weather gets better into summer.
  3. While it costs more, I'm always a fan of getting lighter in rotational weight. Wheels, tires... to a lessor extent, gears/cranksets. I don't notice much of a difference when getting lighter cockpit parts, but lighter tires makes me feel like superman when I pedal.

My 2 cents...
 

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Wheels first then go for anything that rotates! You will feel those the most after lighter wheels. This is my list of upgrades for the future
<a href="https://s748.photobucket.com/user/mbabinec7/media/IMG_1384_zps7fd6b657.jpeg.html" target="_blank"><img src="https://i748.photobucket.com/albums/xx129/mbabinec7/IMG_1384_zps7fd6b657.jpeg" border="0" alt=" photo IMG_1384_zps7fd6b657.jpeg"/></a>
 

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Cactus Cuddler
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Another really high yield area is consolidating or moving to lighter weight support/carry equipment. One good light multitool that does everything, including break chains saves money, pack the repair link for the chain in the tool if you can. Pre-prepping smaller self-rolls of tape and packing those instead saves some weight. The option of more right-size hydration systems can help too (50oz camelbak works for me, but Source have ones as small as 27oz, intended for tactical applications (LBT Inc. also does insulated pouches for them) that can trim about as much weight as changing to a higher tier or cassette.

Honestly, going tubeless with a good light wheelset/tires is the biggest help for feeling light and quick while helping it climb.

A $3000 bike is going to be a LOT lighter than a $2000 bike with $1000 spent replacing components to be lighter, although a $2350 bike with a $500 wheelset and fresh tires is a threat to be lighter than the $3000 one.

The elephant in the room is always rider weight, but if there was a way to throw money at that directly, it would be the most purchased product in the developed world.
 
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