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Define lightweight and affordable it is very very rare that those two words are mentioned together let alone when talking about a complete stock bike.....I think the weight weenie LTD scots are about $10k for us? thats lightweight but not cheap ;)
 

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Most new $600 bikes are going to spec'd with the same quality of components, none of them what you'd call light. You'd be hard pressed to find a name brand hardtail under 25 or 26 pounds for that kind of money. Even something like the Motobecane 700HT is likely 25+ pounds.
 

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I would also love to buy a lightweight mountain bike for £400 ($600) but as already said, if buying new it just won't happen.
Not unless you define "lightweight" as under 35 pounds.....which is still a lot lighter than the $200 "chain store" mountain bikes.
 

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I built 2 sub 20lb 26er, ht, used xtr and v-brakes for just under a $1000 each for my kid's first race bikes. Riding heavier crappy bikes in their first few races and representing well, they earned them.

You will get a better bike at $600 buying used and then upgrade parts as you go. New at that range ain't worth buying.
 

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The cannondale sl series have quite light frames for cheap money. Also a very nice ride, great feedback through the frame. I have a 2012 sl4 which standard is 28.5lb's, which granted isn't that light, but it's only because of the ancillaries. The frame is a stormer and worthy of upgrading. One of the lighter frames around.
think i saw 1900grams some where for the frame ?
 
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