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Trail rider and racer
4,691 Posts
Welcome to the MTBR Save some weight:
Weight Weenies FAQs​

Is the art of weight weenies new to you? Are you interested in saving some weight on your bike but not to sure where to start? Well you have come to the right spot - Here you can see the answers to the most commonly asked questions that appear on the Weight weenies board.

1. Where can I find the actual weight of a component?
Take a look at Weight Weenies. It includes full details of almost every part on and off a bike that you'll be interested in knowing.

2. So what does a "light" bike weight? Any pictures?
Light-Bikes, includes most every type of light bike from the very light using exotic parts to the reasonably light bike made light on a budget.

2. OK, I like the idea of a light bike! Where do I save weight?
Some people think that saving weight means spending massive amounts of money but to be honest a good amount of weight can be saved with minimal expense. Here is a list of where to look at saving weight:
  1. Replacing your tyres with lighter ones. Kevlar beaded tyres are the lighter options. Tyres like Hutchinson Pythons, Continental explorers and Nokian NBX lights are the popular choice.
  2. Tubes: Stock tubes can be heavy. Look at ultralight or superlight or light tubes.
  3. Go Tubeless using standard tyres: Get rid of tubes all together. The saving of weight can be around 100g or just 10g. Another good thing with this weight saving is the ability to reduce the chance of flats, and also the traction gained going tubeless.
  4. Lighter saddle. Look on ebay or go to the LBS and pick up a lighter saddle. Some stock saddles can be up to 300g or even more. Savings of 150g can be made.
  5. Grips. Grips are really cheap and foam grips weigh as little as 30g and are really comfortable.
  6. Handlebars, Stems and seatposts: Some stock bikes will feature stems that are far from light. $30-80 all up can make big weight savings...
Remember the key is to save weight from areas furthers from your center of gravity. In particular rotating mass (Wheels) as it feels heavier than other items. So start with tyres, tubes, rims, skewers etc and then move inward more, grips, bars, stems.

4. So where are the best deals on items to save weight?
MTBR is a great resource so start here. Check the Classified ads and then take a look or post a message on "Where are the best deals" board. Additionally many people purchase parts from ebay, people on these forums and of course your local bike shop.

5. I'm on a budget so I don't think I can save weight on my bike. Most of the parts look Highend. More expensive parts are better right?
Many hardcore weight weenies have built their bikes on really small budgets and done a better job in contrast to others with big budgets to blow. See point number 4 above for information on where to find things cheap. And remember tires, tubes, grips and pedals are great places to save large amounts of weight.

6. Why not shed some weight of my body rather then the bike?
Loosing weight is a good thing if you need to (ie Over weight), but loosing weight off a bike is great for several reasons:
  • Bike feels more responsive
  • Bike becomes more nimble
  • Rotational weight is reduced which can be beneficial to acceleration
  • Bike is easier to get up climbs etc (Why burn energy riding a heavy bike up a hill?

7. Can I use a road specific part like a cassette on my bike?
Take a look at the pros, downhillers and your average weight weenie. Many use road specific components such as cassettes, derailleurs and chains. Dura Ace and Ultegra is generally cheaper then their MTB counterparts and much lighter. Be sure to not the limits with using these road specific items. For example, road cassettes have a very narrow range ie: 11-21 rather then 11-34.

8. What's the deal with 2x9? Does it suit me?
If you live in a very hilly region, or an area that contains highly technical terrain a 2x9 system may not be suited to you. If you do live in an area like so, 2x9 may not make much of a difference to you. Going 2x9 works for some but doesn't work for others. From the authors point of view, 2x9 is really suited to short course and endurance racing when your usually not having to ride overly technical terrain, and your pace/cadence is being maintained constantly.

9. I would like to purchase a light weight full suspension frame. Whats the lighter options available?
This answer was taken from a reply made by AZ-X with regards to light weight full suspension bikes. We thought it was such a good response that we would add it to the FAQ.

All of the mainstream "light-weight FS" frames are going to be in the same basic weight range--at least from the major US and European bike companies--and that range is about 5.3-6 pounds depending on your frame size and the manufacturer. Beware of weight claims that do not include the shock from many manufacturers as well...

DEAN -- Dean X-Lite ACE 3.0
3" of rear travel and a very light frame at a claimed weight of only 4.75lbs (frame and shock!), but extremely expensive. MSRP is $2,500.00. I will generally say that Dean makes good titanium bikes.

EXTRALITE -- F1 and F2
Extremely light frames with 3" and 4" of rear travel respectively. Also EXTREMELY expensive... The F1 (4.4lbs w/ coil shock) is their pure XC frame with 3" of travel and MSRP of about $2,500. The F2 is supposed to be their trail bike with 4" of travel at 4.6lbs w/shock. The F2 MSRP is even more at close to $2600.00.

ROCKY MOUNTAIN -- Element TO Scandium
Almost everyone that owns one of these whom I've talked to says they love the handling of these bikes on twisty singletrack trails especially. I don't know what the MSRP for just the frame is, but they used to be only 5lbs even for a medium sized frame and shock when they first came out a few years ago. They've since increased in weight and are closer to 5.4lbs now... Travel is just under 4".

SCHMOLKE -- Scandium FS
I know almost nothing about these except that they are about 4.5lbs with shock and are very similar to the Rocky Mountain and Dean designs.

SALSA -- Caballero
Another similar scandium design. Also another unknown. I've heard everything from 4.5lbs to 5.5lbs as the weight of this frame with shock. (Somebody please get this frame on a reliable scale! :) ). MBA loved it (which these days could be more of a curse than a blessing :p ) and it has a full 4" of rear travel. Now here's the good news--MSRP on this frame is only about $900.00 and I've seen it online for as little as $799.00!

SCOTT USA -- Strike and Genius
The Scott USA bike are, ironically, not even sold in the US anymore. You have to order them from a European source. Try to page nino about this if you're really interested... The Strike used to be about 4.4lbs with shock. The Genius is about 5.2lbs w/shock. I really have no clue of the pricing.

GHOST -- RT Scandium
Yet another Element-like scandium design. This one is from Ghost Bikes of Germany. This frame is possibly the lightest at a "confirmed" (according to 4.4lbs with DT shock. It has about 3.75" of rear travel like the basic RacerX (90mm). I know nothing else about these bikes...

So. There you have some more exotic choices that have not yet been mentioned. Some of them are a full pound or more lighter than the choices you seem to have examined so far and may warrant further investigation. Some of them may be a bit on the borderline of the "scary light" and you'll have to search online for reviews and ask around to figure out which ones those are.

(Kadi in Arizona)
[Edit: I (Trevor) removed the images due to broken links.)

10. Where can I purchase bolts?




Tasty Nuts

Where can I find older discussions, that are not on these new boards?
Check out the Save some weight archives for literally thousands of discussions, articles and other points of information.

Hope the most frequently asked questions have been addressed.
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