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Serious question. I feel like I am missing something at this point. I've been riding bikes a really long time, from BMX to mtn and even some road and gravel. I don't think I have ever once taken weight into consideration when buying or building a bike. I completely understand if you're a weight weenie high level racer, where weight actually counts for something. Half the posts on this forum lately seem to be people discussing if it's worth owning a bike because its a half a pound heavier than the next bike, when in reality I can't imagine it affecting your riding experience in the slightest, especially with bikes these days. Fit and bike geometry have always been the top things I looked for, but what do I know...

Is this just some kind of internet phenomenon where new riders become obsessed with incremental things that don't really matter from doing too much research? In my 30 years of riding I have never heard so much discussion and nitpicking about bike weights as have in the past year.
 

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For many (most) it's an ideal esthetic rather than practical appreciation. Making something as light as practically (and sometimes impractically) possible has always been a design goal in bikes, motorsports, aviation... so one can appreciate the achievement even though it may not be consequential for your use.
 

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since 4/10/2009
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You must be new here. The internet is rife with weight weenie-ism and weight weenies. It was huge in the 90's (early days of mtbr) and started to fade because a lot of the weight weenie parts back then were sketchy AF. I'd say mid-2000's seemed to be really when durability seemed to take hold as a development concept, when computer analysis of parts could happen, and weight weenies got pushed to the fringes.

It seems like it's starting to creep back, sure, but at not even the same level as it used to be. It's one of those cyclic things.
 

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I agree. I'm fortunate enough to have several bikes and I've never been on any of them thinking I'd be having so much more fun or be way faster if what I was riding was a couple pounds lighter. A couple of my bikes are pretty light for what they are which did cost quite a bit to get there but the only time that I really notice the weight is when physically picking them up to put them on the rack. I do definitely notice and appreciate a lighter wheelset though. Full disclosure- I'd be way better off losing a few pounds off my belly than any of my bikes.
 

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Similar to why someone with a 600 hp suv will chip it to get 700 hp. Why not if you can do it, part of the fun and hobby of biking. But not necessarily needed.I love to tinker almost as much as riding.
 
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Serious question. I feel like I am missing something at this point. I've been riding bikes a really long time, from BMX to mtn and even some road and gravel. I don't think I have ever once taken weight into consideration when buying or building a bike. I completely understand if you're a weight weenie high level racer, where weight actually counts for something. Half the posts on this forum lately seem to be people discussing if it's worth owning a bike because its a half a pound heavier than the next bike, when in reality I can't imagine it affecting your riding experience in the slightest, especially with bikes these days. Fit and bike geometry have always been the top things I looked for, but what do I know...

Is this just some kind of internet phenomenon where new riders become obsessed with incremental things that don't really matter from doing too much research? In my 30 years of riding I have never heard so much discussion and nitpicking about bike weights as have in the past year.
I think bike weight is important to all of us to some degree; more so for some than others. Personally, I ride mostly slow and techy stuff, so I prefer the front of my bike especially be as light as I can afford to make it. Lesser degree on the rear. I still have a rather heavy crankset that doesn't seem to bother me. If I competed in XC or Enduro, I think it would annoy me to haul extra weight up hills when trying to keep up with the group. Since I don't compete, do I need the lightest bike? No, it makes little difference and there are diminishing returns to spend a lot of money for saving a few grams.
 

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since 4/10/2009
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There's also ALWAYS been the element for beginner riders where they feel like they're slow because their bike is heavy.

I mean, sure, if strength/stamina are equal, a lighter bike will be a little faster. But new riders still need to develop strength/stamina. And so do a lot of more experienced riders (myself included).

It doesn't help that cheap bikes put weight in the wrong places (wheels & tires), but there are a lot of other aspects of the equipment that also hold riders back (poor geometry/fit, low quality suspension with insufficient adjustability, tires with over-hard rubber compounds and less grip, less reliable drivetrains, lower quality bearings that are probably not greased/adjusted optimally, inadequate lubrication of the drivetrain, and so on). so when a new rider gets a better bike, they attribute all of the improvement to the lighter weight, when that is really just the most easily noticeable improvement, but the whole suite of improvements is really responsible.
 

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I put carbon X01 cranks on two of my bikes to lighten them up and for some added bling. Did it lighten them up? Yep. Did it lighten my wallet? Yep. Can I notice the crankset weight difference while out riding? Nope. My other carbon purchases such as bars are more for compliance than for weight advantages. I do agree with the numerous others on here that wheels are the best place to invest for weight savings and added durability.
 

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It's easy to measure. At some point a heavy bike is not enjoyable. Weight does matter, but not that much.
 
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Disgruntled Peccary
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Yep, that's why my last build just got Aeffects. I can't tell the difference anyway, so I just want something that'll take a hit.
 

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Combat Wombat
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Serious question. I feel like I am missing something at this point. I've been riding bikes a really long time, from BMX to mtn and even some road and gravel. I don't think I have ever once taken weight into consideration when buying or building a bike. I completely understand if you're a weight weenie high level racer, where weight actually counts for something. Half the posts on this forum lately seem to be people discussing if it's worth owning a bike because its a half a pound heavier than the next bike, when in reality I can't imagine it affecting your riding experience in the slightest, especially with bikes these days. Fit and bike geometry have always been the top things I looked for, but what do I know...

Is this just some kind of internet phenomenon where new riders become obsessed with incremental things that don't really matter from doing too much research? In my 30 years of riding I have never heard so much discussion and nitpicking about bike weights as have in the past year.
It sounds like you got into this mountain biking thing about same time I did and find it interesting that you say you have never seen this obsession with weight. I can remember in the early 90s when everything was about racing. Seemed like everyone wanted the same bike as what one of the well-known Pro racers was riding (when nearly everyone cared who they were), which meant some XC rig with the classic "NORBA" geometry. This is the time when John Tomac raced XC one day and downhill the next on the same bike, and kicked ass on both. Ned Overend was killing it for Specialized and he would tell you and the world, races were won on the climbs. How much does it weigh was pretty much guaranteed going to be in the top three questions, if not number one, when you showed up for a ride with a new bike.

On that note I have noticed the number of weight related posts lately and yes, some pretty ridiculous. I have just chocked this up to the large increase of new and older riders returning this past year. For the new riders, they come into this with a common perception that any bike that costs more than $500 is going to be very light weight. For those older riders returning, many only know mountain bikes from a time when they had more in common with road bikes than the bikes the majoity of us ride these days.
 

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Always in the wrong gear
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The short answer is:
The internet in general is a dick waving contest.


Strava, money, trail quality, miles ridden, elevation climbed, etc are all relative and don’t have apples-to-apples comparisons.

Bike weight? Now that’s a way to low-key satisfy one’s superiority complex.

If I have a very light bike, it implies that:
1) I have a ton of money to spend.
2) I am a very accomplished rider and am competing at a level where these things matter.
3) my bike is lighter than yours and that wins me the internet today.


FWIW, I have only a vague idea what my bikes weigh. My 160mm FS bike is ‘kinda heavy’. My Ti singlespeed is ‘kinda light’.

Both are built for sustainability in rocky rough terrain.

I have no idea what the actual weight numbers are.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Cycologist
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Weight was a big issue in the '90s and into the 2000s. A lot of manufacturers started cheating with listed bike weights (which was pretty much a requirement back then as everyone wanted to know) by listing the weight of the smallest size and sometimes out-and-out lying. They were also caught between building bikes as light as possible to increase sales and then having more warranty claims when those frames broke. 29ers came along, dropper posts, etc that just added weight. So with all of this, the bike companies stopped listing weights and based their products on how they rode. So anyone coming back into the sport from years ago are still focused on weight like they were when they rode previously.

I've seen tests of how much weight affects time on road bikes, the ratio ended up being not enough to worry about unless you are racing, something like a couple of seconds per pound per mile.
 
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It is pretty popular now a days to dismiss bike weight as irrelevant. It isn't.

A good rule of thumb is each 1lb weight gain is equal to about a single heart beat to climb at the same point. That guy that you ride with who always slightly puts the hurt on you doesn't if your bike is 5lbs lighter. It is a small change but just as significant as degree of head angle or a different tire. It just happens to be the most expensive performance upgrade. And one that any of us can do for free by losing a couple of lbs off our belly.
 

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If I have a very light bike, it implies that:
1) I have a ton of money to spend.
2) I am a very accomplished rider and am competing at a level where these things matter.
3) my bike is lighter than yours and that wins me the internet today.


5) Cycling is an important part of my life and I enjoy a nice ride.
 
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