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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I’ve been thinking that it is time to get a lighter bike, ie. something carbon hardtail-ish. My current bike is a steel Spot Longboard 9, I’ll put details below. Well, today I demo-ed a carbon Rocky Mountain Element 970 RSL and I have real mixed thoughts. Climbing and instant power to the pedals was very nice. But I really missed the springy steel feel in corners and banks, and maybe it was the new/different bike weirdness, but I really felt squirrely. Bottom line, if I could keep my Spot and could reasonably drop weight from that I might be happier than with a new carbon hardtail. So, here is a list of what I’ve got on my Spot. It weighs (bathroom scale) between 25.5-26 pounds. Any thoughts on what I’m overlooking to shed some weight without spending a fortune?

Frame – medium Spot Brand Longboard 9 cromoly
Fork – Fox 29 RL 100mm w/ 15mm thru
Headset – King
Stem – Spot Brand
Handlebar – FSA carbon
Shifters – Sram XO trigger 3x9
Housing - Jagwire
Grips – ESA chunky
Brakes – Avid Juicy Ultimate w/ 160mm standard rotors
Hubs – I9
Spokes – I9
Rims – Stans 355
Tires – Front Forte Pisgah, Rear Forte Tsali (both set up tubeless)
Crank – XT – (22/32/44)
Cassette – xtr 11/34 9 speed
Front derailleur – XT
Rear derailleur – X9 – 9 speed
Chain – probably shimano 105 level
Pedals – eggbeaters SL
Post – Erikson Ti
Saddle – WTB Silverado
 

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the way to shed a significant amount of weight for very little $$ would be to get rid of your front der, shifter, cables and some rings and go 1x9 with a narrow wide ring. there is a (IMO small depending on where you ride) gearing trade off but for most its not a big deal and sun race makes a cheap and decent 11-36 9spd cassette if you want a bit more range back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the input. I ride in the Wasatch mtns and have a lot of long sustained steep climbs where I value the range the low gears offer (and I have a SS for days when I don't feel I need to value those gears). So, I'm going to try to keep my gear range. But, what about going 2x10? I never thought that would result in much of a significant weight savings though.
 

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If you love the ride of steel keep it. Carbon is not for everyone and not all carbon is created equal. Plenty of local pros here ride steel.

Tires are advertised 642g 656g. By swapping to a Schwalbee or my personal favorite Maxxis Icon you could save 200g. When you have the wheels down weight your wheel set sans cassette. Depending on the Model of I9 and spokes used the wheels could be ~200g lighter. (using lighter hubs and Crest/China Carbon rims). If it were me I might sell off some of my current stuff to keep you in a budget. The Wheels and Seatpost are fairly light but could be a lot lighter. If you ave the Pro version of the saddle the Ti would be ~80g lighter.
 

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ACHOO
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I would stick with the ride you prefer, and if that's the steel frame, great. However, I would not put a lot of money into trying to make it lighter, as you're ultimately limited by the frame. We get a lot of asks about heavier-framed bikes here, but you can only do so much.

However, you could upgrade piece-by-piece if buying just the carbon frame is an option down the road. So, start by upgrading a few things on the existing bike, like drivetrain, wheelset, etc. If you like it on the steel frame, excellent. If still too heavy for your liking, you could then buy the carbon frame, and move all the new components over. That way you don't waste any cash, and get to try both scenarios.

BTW, in my experience bathroom scales can easily be off by as much as several pounds. Maybe your bike is actually lighter than you think... or heavier. ;)
 

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I built up a carbon Haro Flight 29 to about 22lbs thinking this was going to be my dream bike. Turns out a couple of rides and I just wasn't digging it. The power transfer and immediate response to pedal input was awesome, but there was just something that wasn't working for me.
I ended up selling it to a buddy and am now in the process of building up a Verhauen. The frame is not nearly as light as the Haro so I'll have to lose the weight in other areas. Will be a 1x10 instead of a 2x10 and will go with some lighter wheels...love riding my Jabber SS and hoping the Verhauen gives the same type of ride
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the input! I guess I've just got that nagging thought in the back of my head that maybe there is something I'll like better, that is also lighter. I should really get an accurate weight measurement to see how reasonable it would be on a $$/oz weight loss program.

In reality I should just find some slower friends and not worry about a couple pounds. :)
 

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You got a sweet build and I can't see anything I would change. A carbon seatpost maybe but I love my erikson and would never swap that out for weight.
The longboard is a fairly heavy frame but it does ride nice!
 

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Norðwegr
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If you like the frame, do whatever you want to it(!)
Getting lightweight parts now will potentially make you happier with your current bike, if and when the time comes to get a new frame you'll have a supply of good parts to put on it from the start.
 

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Yes.....Upgrade the steel frame IMO. I own a steel frame rigid that is 3-4 pounds heavier than my aluminum rigid, guess which one gets more miles. Haven't tried carbon, no opinion.

I agree with other posters...Drop the front derailer and go 1x9. A carbon post is a nice upgrade also.
 

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How about a titanium frame? Might be the type of ride you're looking for if designed properly.

I haven't run a front derailleur in years, but there are no long climbs where I ride. I'm not convinced 1x10 is really much lighter, once you put on a heavier wide range cassette and a clutch type rear derailleur. For example, swapping to the sunrace 11-36t 9-spd would be a 145g heavier vs. your xtr cassette. Then add another 60-80g for the clutch derailleur. Losing the rings, bolts, FD, shifter adds up to about 350-400g. So you would loose around 1/3rd lb or so of weight, but also put more weight over the rear axle, and loose gearing range. My personal setup doesn't use a clutch derailleur, and has a pretty light 11-30t cassette, so I have max weight savings, and don't need a wide gear range
 

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What is your purpose to shed weight? Just to make it lighter (can understand that draw) or are you racing and want to maximize your podium potential? Lightening your wheels/tires can have a very positive effect on your riding, to a point; too light and things can start to get flexy or tire traction compromised. I ride a heavy steel frame and while it is a bit hefty (my steel rigid 29er weighs the same as my 5" carbon FS), I love the way it rides and have never found myself thinking while riding "gee I wish this were lighter."
 
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