The Pinkbike Podcast: Episode 92 - Does Bike Weight Really Matter?

Nov 26, 2021
by Mike Levy  
Pinkbike Podcast
Art by Taj Mihelich

A lot of things have changed with mountain bikes over the last decade or so, but some obvious ones are an increase in both capability and weight. The two go hand in hand, of course, and while a contemporary trail bike comes in a few pounds heavier than it might have many years ago, I think we can all agree it's nice to know that your headtube (probably) won't peel off anytime soon, that your four-piston brakes can stop you like a brick wall, and that the only tacos you'll be seeing are the delicious kind. And not only is this newer and slightly heavier bike far more reliable, but it's also saving your ass instead of actively trying to murder you, which is always nice.

So, maybe some of us are just too caught up thinking about bike weight? That was Seb Stott's argument in his article, Nerding Out: Why You Shouldn't Worry Too Much About Weight, where he says that adding 2.2lb (or 1kg) to your bike will cost you just 20-seconds of time over a thirty-minute climb given the same power. In other words, if you're putting out 250-watts for the duration of a half-hour climb, you'll only be 20-seconds quicker if your bike weighs 2.2lb less, but shaving that much weight off your bike isn't going to be cheap. We also get into Trinity's wild-looking downhill bike that has an AXS derailleur bolted to the middle of the frame, and Dave Rome's deep dive into chain lube and how not looking after your drivetrain can cost you more watts than a few extra pounds of weight. Seriously.

How much should a trail bike weigh? How heavy is too heavy for an enduro or downhill bike? Can they be too light? Where does weight matter most - and least - on your bike? And also, have we all been a little too concerned about how much our bikes weigh?

Nov 26th, 2021

Regardless, I'm still going to poo before every KOM attempt.

Featuring a rotating cast of the editorial team and other guests, the Pinkbike podcast is a weekly update on all the latest stories from around the world of mountain biking, as well as some frank discussion about tech, racing, and everything in between.

Previous Pinkbike Podcasts
Episode 1 - Why Are Bikes So Expensive?
Episode 2 - Where the Hell is the Grim Donut?
Episode 3 - Pond Beaver Tech
Episode 4 - Why is Every Bike a Trail Bike?
Episode 5 - Can You Trust Bike Reviews?
Episode 6 - Over Biked Or Under Biked?
Episode 7 - Wild Project Bikes
Episode 8 - Do We Need an Even Larger Wheel Size?
Episode 9 - Why Are We Doing a Cross-Country Field Test?
Episode 10 - Getting Nerdy About Bike Setup
Episode 11 - Are We Going Racing This Year?
Episode 12 - What's the Future of Bike Shops?
Episode 13 - Are Bikes Too Regular Now?
Episode 14 - What Bikes Would Pinkbike Editors Buy?
Episode 15 - What's Holding Mountain Biking Back?
Episode 16 - Who's Your Mountain Biking Hero?
Episode 17 - XC Field Test Insider
Episode 18 - Electronics on your Mountain Bike: Good or Bad?
Episode 19 - The Hardtail Episode
Episode 20 - MTB Conspiracy Theories
Episode 21 - Stuff We Were Wrong About
Episode 22 - Does Your Riding Style Match Your Personality?
Episode 23 - Grim Donut 2 is Live!
Episode 24 - Why Even Buy a DH Bike?
Episode 25 - Fall Field Test Preview
Episode 26 - The Three Most Important Mountain Bikes
Episode 27 - The World Champs Special
Episode 28 - All About Women's Bikes
Episode 29 - Freeride or Die
Episode 30 - Would You Rather?
Episode 31 - Wet Weather Riding Tips & Tricks
Episode 32 - What Needs to Change in the Bike Industry?
Episode 33 - Behind the Scenes at Pinkbike Academy
Episode 34 - Grilling Levy About Field Test Trail Bikes (and His Bonspiel)
Episode 35 - Story Time - Stranger Than Fiction
Episode 36 - Grilling Kazimer about Field Test Enduro Bikes
Episode 37 - The 2020 Privateer Season with Ben Cathro
Episode 38 - Editors Defend Their 2020 Best-Of Picks
Episode 39 - Predicting the Future of Mountain Biking
Episode 40 - The Pinkbike Awards!
Episode 41 - Racing Rumours and Team Changes
Episode 42 - Mountain Biking's Guilty Pleasures
Episode 43 - Dangerholm's Wildest Custom Mountain Bikes
Episode 44 - Mountain Bike Suspension Decoded
Episode 45 - What Makes a Good Riding Buddy
Episode 46 - The RockShox Zeb vs Fox 38 Deep Dive
Episode 47 - High Pivot Bikes: The Good, The Bad, and The Why?
Episode 48 - Rides That Went Horribly Wrong... & Why That Made Them So Good
Episode 49 - What's the Best DH Bike?
Episode 50 - Are Bikes Actually Getting Less Expensive? (Value Bike Field Test Preview)
Episode 51 - Should MTB Media Post Spy Shots?
Episode 52 - Our Most Embarrassing MTB Moments
Episode 53 - Should Climbers Still Have the Right of Way?
Episode 54 - Best and Worst MTB Product Marketing
Episode 55 - Big Dumb Rides & Staying Motivated
Episode 56 - What Were the Most Important Inventions in Mountain Biking?
Episode 57 - What Were the Best (and Worst) Trends in Mountain Biking?
Episode 58 - Debunking Mountain Biking's Biggest Myths
Episode 59 - Value Bike Field Trip Surprises & Spoilers
Episode 60 - What Kind of Mountain Biker Do You Want to Be?
Episode 61 - Athlete Pay, Lycra, Equality and More from the State of the Sport Survey
Episode 62 - Editor Preferences and Why They Matter
Episode 63 - Our Best (And Worst) Bike Buying Advice
Episode 64 - Who's On Your MTB Mount Rushmore?
Episode 65 - The Hardtail Episode
Episode 66 - The Best and Worst of Repairing Bikes
Episode 67 - The Story of Mountain Biking's Most Interesting Man: Richard Cunningham
Episode 68 - Who Are Mountain Biking's Unsung Heroes?
Episode 69 - The Good, Bad, and Strange Bikes We've Owned - Part 1
Episode 70 - The Good, Bad, and Strange Bikes We've Owned - Part 2
Episode 71 - The Story of Mountain Biking's Most Interesting Man: Richard Cunningham - A Pinkbike Podcast Special, Part 2
Episode 72 - Hey Outers!
Episode 73 - The Details That Matter... and Some That Shouldn't
Episode 74 - The Best Trails We've Ridden and What Makes Them So Special
Episode 75 - Things MTB Brands Waste Money On
Episode 76 - MTB Originals and Copycats
Episode 77 - Interview with Outside CEO, Robin Thurston
Episode 78 - Modern Geometry Explained
Episode 79 - What's the Future of eMTBs?
Episode 80 - The Best Vehicles for Mountain Bikers
Episode 81 - You've Got Questions, We've (Maybe) Got Answers
Episode 82 - Behind the Scenes at Field Test
Episode 83 - Does Carbon Fiber Belong On Your Mountain Bike?
Episode 84 - Explaining RockShox's Computer Controlled Suspension
Episode 85 - Is the Red Bull Rampage Too Slopestyle?
Episode 86 - Greg Minnaar on the Honda DH Bike, World Cup Racing, and Staying Fast Forever
Episode 87 - How to Love Riding When it's Cold and Wet
Episode 88 - Mountain Biking on a Budget
Episode 89 - The Derailleur Pickle
Episode 90 - Is Supre the Future of Trouble-Free Drivetrains? (with Cedric Eveleigh of Lal Bikes)
Episode 91 - Riding Every Double Black in the Whistler Bike Park with Christina Chappetta

Author Info:
mikelevy avatar

Member since Oct 18, 2005
2,032 articles

  • 39 1
 The problem with the "it's just science!" argument is that it's conveniently just cherry-picking some (very very simple) science and doing very over-simplified calculations but ignoring other things, such as human physiology. Human beings riding bikes aren't perfectly efficient engines that produce steady amounts of power for a linear cost that can be applied perfectly when needed, we don't put out a steady amount of power for half an hour when climbing, and mountain bike trails aren't perfectly smooth idealized surfaces like those that only exist in 1st-year physics course exam questions. If the bike's heavier what's the effect going to be on how the suspension works? What's going to be the difference every time the back wheel wants to get hung up on a rock, and how much extra power might be required to get over it (or if you're holding power constant how much more is that rock going to slow you down)? What's the effect of that extra power requirement to get over all those obstacles going to be on your heart rate, when you're probably already at yoru maximum? How will your body perceive that effort? How is the extra mass of the bike going to affect your acceleration through all those switchbacks that many climbing trails have?

It's nice to do back-of-the-napkin calculations using high-school physics to help think about things, but please, drop the "science, bitches!" argument unless you're prepared to actually wade into the deep end and do * all * the scieney stuff.
  • 18 0
 The biggest simplification is assuming constant velocity. Pedaling leads to bikes being periodically accelerated and decelerated, it becomes very obvious on steep slow climbs that weight matters much more.
  • 1 4
 @SickEdit: very true. But if you’ve reached the point where you are basically slowing to a stop in between each pedal stroke, just get off and walk.
  • 4 0
 @AyJayDoubleyou: Admit defeat? Never.
  • 1 0
 I had the same thought when I read Seb's article. The human body does not have a steady power output and the rotational kinetic energy input does not drop to zero at a steady rate of speed. There has to be some amount of kinetic energy applied twice a crank rotation when traveling at a "constant" speed, since the whole bike slows down and speeds up just a little bit each pedal stroke. I don't know if you get this stored energy "back" as the wheel slows down, due to the flywheel effect. A follow up article would be nice to put a little more science behind the original article.
  • 1 0
 I have a 30 lb XL Banshee Phantom... Wheels are around 1600g Tires are about 950g apiece.... 140 pike. 10 speed 210mm dropper post.... If anyone out there knows a term for this genre of bike, let me know, I thought maybe I'd call it a downcountry bike, like a combo of downhill and cross-country, does that make sense?
  • 7 0
 A friend of mine taught a class on this phenomenon at the university. It's called scientism. Maybe the most famous instance is the trope in hair care advertisements, where it was common to see actors in lab coats and imaginary visualizations of molecules interacting with hair strands. The kind of scientism on PB is aimed at a different demographic, so not everyone is going to recognize it as basically the same. The ones who find PB science really appealing or identify with it or who have some contempt for hair care and the demographic those ads target will likely not appreciate the comparison. The most important commonality to bear in mind isn't the PB author's training or funding (though these matter), it's the system of incentives around their work. Content creators don't need to be right. Being right doesn't even necessarily make better content. But they have to keep posting and drive engagements. There's a weird meme going around this site lately about gathering salable data. I think that idea is way under-supported by the evidence for a website like this. It's not about data, it's about clicks.
  • 2 0
 @RobertGrainier: Holigans trail bike :p its what i call my commencal meta 4x that has a 130mm fork, 11-50t rear cassette and a 150mm dropper. Not the fastest up or down but its a stupid amount of fun on the trail.
  • 1 0
 Empirically the non-technical climbs were faster on my lighter 26" Gary Fisher, vs slighter heavier 2020 Optic with 29" wheels. It was a clue that it does take extra energy to push that increased rotational mass.
  • 1 0
 The experiment that you are proposing is likely out of the reach for outsides funds and outside of the knowledge base for this podcast.

An interesting experiment would be to take the same frame and measure watts and timed climbs for a variety of conditions and components that will vary. I'd be interested in seeing if heavier wheels (tires et al) climb slower or the same on technical climbs. While the rotational inertia would be harder to overcome with my feeble limbs, the rocks would also have to stop the inertia, and maybe there isn't a real world difference.

Instead of adding weight to the frame, add a heavier shock/fork. Make it real world. Then see if #dangerholm can ride and climb it faster on his build.
  • 1 0
 Yeah, so wait a second….. is Dangerholms bike wrong….and right at the same time??

Brain explodes
  • 30 0
 I find that a heavy bike makes a great scapegoat when my friends have to repeatedly wait on me. I bet they have no idea that I’m terribly out of shape.
  • 7 1
 I changed my bike for a bigger, much heavier 29er one this year.

I also spent all winter training endurance hard because of covid shutdowns/boredom. Hit PRs in every trail I rode the summer after. Where I live trails are 95% singletrack with lots of climbing / technical pedally terrain

No amount of dollars will make you faster than improving your fitness and health. Making your bike lighter has the same significance as fine tuning an engine ; no matter how much you tune a 4 cylinder, it will never outperform an 8. Fine tuning has its place in the mtb world, but we tend to forget we're often responsible for our own bottlenecks
  • 7 0
 @AST29: but a ligher 4 cylinder car will be faster then a heavy v8.
I do agree with the fit and fitness.. since I gave up on it and I am basically a pig that pedals bikes.. I'm slow af. I did not was fast to begin with but, now.. now I am the definition of slow.
  • 3 1
 A heavy hardtail is the best excuse. Or the best way to embarass your mates on their light plastic squishy bikes when you're smashing them.
  • 4 2
 @AST29: "no matter how much you tune a 4 cylinder, it will never outperform a i>similarly tuned and much larger/i> 8" FIFY.

The Americans showed us that it's perfectly possible to build an 8 that's better used as a boat anchor.
  • 20 0
 Yes. It does. For me at least. I'm fed up of people saying it doesnt. Heavier parts are often better performing, but that doesn't mean we should just give up on making bikes light. I love DD tyres, coil shocks and metal bikes, but unless all the climbing is on fire roads it all gets way too heavy way too quickly
  • 2 0
 I know, I know, rolling resistance, pedal bob blah blah blah. None of those things mean anything when you're carrying the bastard on your back, or lifting it over a fence 3 hours into your ride, or pushing back up to try and clean a section
  • 2 0
 @Bobadeebob: I think I've just come to the conclusion that a 1 buke quiver us impossible. If you wanna shred the gnar, get the burly bike with the burly parts. If you want to rip local xc or upper downy trails, get something lighter that will pedal and turn without having to do a pushup on the bar.
  • 6 0
 IDK, this industry wide push to justify heavier bikes is starting to smell a lot like their effort to jam e-bikes down everyone's throat. I don't like it! My Alu Giant Reign is tough as nails, super capable and weighs 30.5lbs. There's something nefarious at play here!!
  • 1 0
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: the problem is, at least where I live, the burliest trails also have the biggest and techiest climbs
  • 14 1
 Light bikes fly up the climbs so much easier. If climbing is part of the ride, yah i want a light bike. If im just climbing a fire road to get to a down. Dont care so much.
  • 9 0
 Before I decide to buy anything light, I always go for a proper lung-buster of a ride. I usually end up deciding to get in better shape before investing in light stuff.

If you're after climbing efficiency and can sacrifice downhill capability, buy lighter tires in harder compounds and better rolling tread patterns. Efficiency gains will be beyond any reasonable weight you can drop from your bike and body combined.

But, granted we're all total beasts lets go light:
a) Lower unsprung mass. Lighter alloy wheels. Optimize your tire choice (width, casing, compound, PSI) for your trails- ex. no 1400gr michelin dh tires unless you race dh. Lots of WC downhillers and EWS riders run high PSI- which lets you get away with lighter casings and no inserts (which is less of a big deal with cheap alloy rims).
b) Lighten high-points of your 'system' to lower your center of gravity. Lighter helmet (ex. my rampage pro carbon is 1200+ grams, I could buy an enduro fullface for 700 grams), put tools on the bike instead of in the backpack, light bars/stem/grips, and a light and comfy seat (seats are an easy to justify long-term investment).
c) go full nerd. Find where the relative gain per dollar is highest on your bike depending on your budget, the current spec and cost of light parts. Example- losing 40 grams with $15 foam grips is a pretty darn good deal. Losing 290 grams from an SX to X01 cassette for $300 might also be a great deal, compared to $2000 for a carbon wheelset.
  • 9 0
 IMHO grippier tires have more impacts to bike feel than actual bike weight does. Slap on a set of Maxxgrip tires front and rear on a 30lbs or 35lbs bike and it will feel slow, change it up to Maxxterror and it will feel like a rocket...
  • 8 0
 This for sure. Most of the trails around here aren't very steep and are just kind of rolling and flowy and I figured I had way too much tire on my trail bike. I went from a DHF/DHR combo to a Dissector/Rekon combo and the first ride out I felt like I was riding an ebike. I've been very happy with it. The trails around here close when it's wet, so no worry about grip in the mud, and I've got a long travel Enduro bike with burly wheels and tires for park riding.
  • 1 0
 @BlackVR: I run the Dissector up front as an experiment with Aggressor in the rear and like the Dissector
for sure. Not sold on the Aggressor due to limited traction and mud shedding for the NE; prob going back to DHR or HR 2, but maybe Dissector rear too but need some
mud shedding and grip on slippery climbs
  • 2 0
 Hard pass for me on any Maxxterror tires. .
  • 17 7
 Does constant recycling of topics really matter?
  • 6 1
 I don’t think weight matters (to a point). A few pounds here and there won’t make much difference. But it does make a difference eventually. Look at all the people on ebikes (I’m actually in the pro-ebike faction) who struggle to throw them around and manoeuvre them well due to the extra mass. And trying to power a 39lb bike up a hill is definitely harder than a 30lb build of the same bike, but it’ll depend on you style, strength, fitness and trails.
  • 3 0
 Didn't listen to the podcast yet, but as a 100kg rider I'm not too worried about bike weight.
I recently just bought front & back cushcore though, and I'm curious how much I'll notice the added weight at the wheels.
  • 4 0
 A LOT, ran cushcore for two years after taking it out and just going DH casing F and R the bike feels a lot more lively. I still put it in for really burly places like Angel Fire etc. however.
  • 1 0
 Ditto at about 95kg (in me birthday suit). I need a bike that wont break.
  • 1 0
 @Mc4air - I'm only 185 lbs but the keep in mind the Cushcore weight isn't just about puncture protection - it primarily and foremost excellent suspension (and Cush was designed originally for that) - adding 3-5% more suspension and I can attest to it by doing back to back non-Cush to Cush wheelset rides @ Snowshoe (USA). This summer I rode a a few runs on non-Cush Assegai / Dissector (front / rear) wheelset at Snowshoe and it felt terrible at any tire pressure so I switched off to my exact same set of Cush-installed wheels and the difference was stunning. Add a carbon handlebar and its easily some of the best feeling I've ever had on a bike. That's lift access, but most of my pedal-climbs (western NC / southern Blue Ridge) are fire / USFS roads vs. technical singletrack uphills (in which case I hike-a-bike) I'm thrilled. Strength, experience, skill and just knowing any given trail has a lot to do with speed and comfort and increasing strength I'd say probably offsets by far just about any bike-weight additions, but where there's lift access and bomber DH drops it's all the better to have a bit of extra bike weight in my view, and the Cush isn't that much compared with total bike and bike-body weights. Overall, in my view, Cush is a total game changer for chunkier terrain and rougher descents, and it's apparently the only (or among few) brands that were actually designed for suspension - which matters - and not just puncture protection.
  • 2 0
 Yes obviously, clearly it does. Going down more weight adds stability and confidence. Going horizontal and up less weight adds sprightliness, maneuverability and better power to weight ratio. With good geo add more or less weight depending on what you are looking for and you will have a hell of a bike. This whole weight debate is so stupid and l can't believe we still having it. Durable parts generally weigh more then light parts thats just how it is. Do l want to spend nearly 10 grand on a Spesh Evo? No (l would if l had that kind of cash) but damn, its just as down as it is up!
Once you ride a lighter bike the difference very noticeable on a heavier bike.
  • 2 0
 Being a tall lightweight rider, I find so many bikes are over built, my Mondraker Foxy is light but also rides better because it has a bit of give in the frame. Often good design involves removing unnecessary material and allowing flex.
I feel so many riders take super heavy duty tyres that is only better 0.5% of the time, the rest of the time they slow you down, which means less riding
  • 2 0
 Once again the West Coast Bias is strong. Not many of us in the East and North ride fire roads. I’m guessing for the vast majority of riders “going up” happens on punchy technical climbs, and our trails have us in tighter quarters that need us to spool back up to power, all the time.

I have a Ripmo and an Exie and seat of the pants data and Strava show that I’m faster on the less rowdy stuff on the Exie. It’s just much faster feeling and I feel stronger on the lighter bike.

Much of it likely has to do with the drag of the tires on the Ripmo, bu t why would you spec the lighter tires on a bike with that much travel.
  • 2 0
 So seb talks about drinking the pack bladder before the drink bottle for that weight difference.
So do we ride to the top of the trail then pee into a massive water bottle to transfer weight into the most effective place to come down?
  • 1 0
 Recently sold my 33 lb Trek Stache. I don’t miss it at all. I replaced it with an old school Stumpjumper 26er w/ a SID up front, weighing in at 26 lbs. Absolute night and day difference. For the flat trails that I ride and the amount of pedaling/climbing involved I’ll never go back to the bulky 29er. I demo’d a 23 lb supercaliber and it was was eye opening to say the least. I’d rather be underbiked w/ a light bike than overbiked w/ a heavy, bulky rig.….

I’ve felt that way about GIANT bikes for years. Outside of a few non-MTB models (TCX, TCR) Giant is just waiting for all that trek and specialized money to roll in. Over the past few years they’ve been cheaping out on builds, putting SRAM NX on everything w/ garbage wheels, lack of thru axles, proprietary stems and seatposts. They know where their bread is getting buttered.
  • 5 0
 I think terrain makes a huge difference. On aggressive rocky terrain you want burly equipment that will hold up (thick fork stanchions, meaty tires, big brakes, wide wheels/spokes, etc). On flatter, undulating terrain, you want a light zippy bike with fast rolling tires.
  • 1 0
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: and body weight. Heavier riders need heavier (stronger) bikes. A 40lb bike to someone at 100kg is the same as a 28lb bike to someone at 70kg.
  • 1 0
 Damn that's a heavy stache. Mine was about 25 and a half pounds in XL. I DO miss the weight!
  • 1 0
 Any thoughts out there in Pinkerland about which is a better option:
1.) A carbon bike with alloy rims
2.) An alloy bike with carbon rims

My current bike is option 1, and as I contemplate my next ride, I doubt I can afford carbon on both. I'm still very much learning the nuances of MTB, but it seems like the carbon rims with an allow frame could be a better choice as it would be reducing the unsprung mass of the bike.
  • 1 0
 If heavier components (tires, fork, etc..) give you more confidence to pick up some speed on the downhill at minimal uphill cost, why not. But there are a lot of places where weight is added that does not add noticeable downhill performance.
  • 3 1
 my DH bikes both made with 7005 series Aluminum..
2001 Schwinn Straight 8= 43lbs.
2011 Canfield Jedi= 40lbs

My All Mountain bikes
1999 Schwinn Homegrown 4Banger= 32lbs
2016 Canfield Balance= 32lbs
  • 1 0
 Are those Schwinns the ones with pull shocks? If so, are the holding up two decades later?
  • 1 0
 @JDFF: .. both are push 1997-2000 were pull
  • 1 0
 @shwinn8: ah, thanks for the clarification.
  • 2 0
 Buying lightweight stuff and enjoying the performance is great, until it breaks and you end up replacing it with something heavier and more reliable. That's been my experience anyway.
  • 1 0
 I think it's impossible to totally break down the reason why a lighter bike with less travel FEELS so different. I do think you can design more subjective experiments that encompass and highlight these differences. For example ride a 27 lb dc bike vs a 35 lb enduro on a long epic ride with a wide variety of terrain. What kind of experience does each bike provide? How do riders rate the differences and most importantly how do the riders rate the fun factor?
  • 1 0
 A lighter bike will change direction under the rider quicker from side to side between rocks, trees, roots, turns, and 360’s (hehe): as there is less weight (think momentum) and therefore effort needed to change direction.

Someone (an owner) brought it up at the bike shop with Ebikes: a 40 lb bike is much harder to trick. Once you get it going one way (e.g. whip) it is harder to change direction back due to momentum.

This becomes more important relatively for smaller and lighter riders.

On the extremes: Kids have problems throwing adult bikes around or even light kids bikes: a bikes weight to a person’s weight/strength ratio makes a difference in level of riding. It’s hard for a 60 lb kid to bunny hop a 25 lb bike, even if it fits.

Fun to toss around these ideas: thanks for bringing them up.
  • 1 0
 I do not think overall weight is the all that important, but rather where the weight is. I Ride the same 35lbd Enduro bike for Shuttle runs and XC laps, and simply change up the wheels and tires to, what I feel is a very noticeable, change in the ride feel. that change has me riding my 35lb enduro bike faster on local XC trails vs an trail purpose hardtail weighing several KGs less. And, I have discovered i do prefer forks on the heavier side, it seems to provide a better control anchor.
  • 1 0
 This article is deja vu from an earlier discussion we had on pinkbike. The other good option to consider, if possible, is body weight. Reducing 10 lb makes a huge difference for climbing, at least for me (not 25). Faster but also less energy to push a lower mass.
  • 1 0
 I love the article. I like the point. Weight is not everything, no doubt it changes the feel of the bike and can help but similar to the crank length, you need to go to the further ends of the range to see a noticeable difference. Generally how I feel seems to be a bigger factor than anything. Riding the same bike all year, some days I get winded more than others. Some days it feels like I can go all day without an issue and some days, the first hour I am already fatigued. There is so much that goes into this science. Being that we are not machines that can run all day at the same watts, I think the weight discussion has more to do the type of terrain and how that will equate to fatigue over time. If I ride a 35lb bike all day versus a 30lb bike all day, I think I will notice it. I do not think it will be mind blowing on a short run. Just my two cents.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy PBPodcast question: I just built an old school 26" trail hardball to compliment my more aggressive fs trail bike. Since it is an old school frame, it has cable stops so I had to cut little lengths of outer cable and install lots of ferrols for the shifter, the dropper and yes mechanical disc brakes. I went with BB5s and I have the set up perfectly on my single speed but after hours of fidgeting I have completely failed to set these ones up. My test ride in the Cleveland snow was practically brakeless. My latest attempt to set up used a business card to space the outer pad. I feel like I just don't have enough tension on the cable even with the barrel adjusters extended.

Can you get in the way back machine and give me some tips?
  • 1 0
 Got a question sort of related to all of this, future new dad here in a couple months, anticipating my riding time will drastically decrease once the little one comes so I'm in the market for an e-bike. What is the theory for choosing one? Go burly, with 27.5 wheels, long travel and big motor/battery to pull all that to the top, or go lighter 29er, mid travel and smaller motor/battery and drain the battery every time out? For reference my normal bike is 27.5, 150 rear, 170 front and typically like the rougher terrain with mid size jumps, gaps, drops.
  • 2 0
 I like my bikes to be durable. If that means a few more pounds, I'll live with it. There's no prize money waiting for me at the top of the climb.
  • 1 1
 @mikelevy Have a look at this:

(Drivetrain lab testing, since you guys talked about derailleurs the last two weeks and also because you like to make fun of Geman magazines doing lab testing.)
  • 4 0
 We're just jealous of their labs tbh.
  • 1 0

But you said Outside has labs!!!

  • 1 1
 Cadence is what really matters, i ride an 18kg commencal MetaAm (750 ml water bottle, tools and Enduro cushcore on both tires) and beat everyone in my group on the uphills, there is people with sub 13 kgs Downcountry bikes.

Just start slow to gain a controlled rhythm and increase it at your own pace, next thing you know your legs will be warmed up spinning at a very nice consistent pace and you will be passing people you never thought you were gonna pass, the pace and your legs will be enticing your brain to shift to faster gears one by one and that's how you enjoy the uphills.

Warming up and stretching before riding helps a lot too.
  • 2 0
 Waiting for the crank length podcast. Went from 175 to 165 and noticed very little difference in pedaling, but way better ground clearance.
  • 1 0
 I'd love that topic too! My next cranks will definitely be shorter.
  • 1 0
 I think there is a market for even shorter cranks than 165mm. The big players will start making 160 or 155mm cranks to meet the needs of all the new people riding.
  • 1 0
 Is it just me or does it sound like someone is clicking the touchpad of a laptop when Seb is going on about the Bright fork? Hugely distracting
  • 1 0
 My C2 Optic weighs about 31lbs I think, and that's about perfect. I remember lifting the A2 (alum) Sight and it felt heavy, so an additional 4lbs makes a difference.
  • 3 0
 I'm starting to regret getting my kidney removed to save 100 grams.
  • 2 0
 Specialized also tested different weight in the swat box. And remember them saying 2 lbs in the box was fastest.
  • 1 1
 If you could build a bike up for your favourite style of riding for yourself from the frame up? What components would you use and why?
  • 1 0
 Well i ride a 24 porn king with monster T forks so id say weight isnt an issue lol
  • 1 0
 ...I hope you're serious, and also can you ship it over to us for a test? I have all the nostalgia.
  • 1 0
 I am serious mate lol @brianpark:
  • 2 0
 You can see my bike on the profile msg me we can chat more mate and il send dome pictures over @brianpark:
  • 2 0
 Cranking these podcasts out. Is the weather bad in BC or somethnig?
  • 1 0
 BC was flooded not a long time ago and more rain is expected. My brother in law is living in the BC interior (not very far from Kamloops) and the stores start to be empty because all the majors highways are closed because of flood damage.
  • 1 0
 Very crappy.
  • 2 4
 always.. there is a fine ballance, especially for an enduro type bike. over 15.5-16 kgs, and it will be a drag on the pedaly bits.. and a slight nuisance while manuvering it. below 14 kg, it will be too ligh to be a real smash bike. For a big bike in this category, the sweet-spot is between 14 and 16 kgs, depending of how the terrain looks in the place where you ride...gnarly and rocky.. heavy with protection.. rolling and smoother, light and agile.
  • 2 17
flag sheabuggbutter (Nov 26, 2021 at 8:35) (Below Threshold)
 Fuck you nerd
  • 6 0
 @sheabuggbutter: f me?, no my friend.. f you! ☺️
  • 5 0
 @sheabuggbutter: time for a time out.
  • 1 0
 What (which components) are the best choices to save weight?
  • 7 0
 Wheels for sure
  • 2 2
  • 1 0
 @redmountaingoat: What hub with aluminum rim is the lightest going?
  • 7 2
 wheels in general, spokes in particular: a set of 64 sapim 2mm straight spokes costs about 20€, weighs 431g, has about 1100Nm strength. Sapim Laser 2-1.5-2 costs about 50€, weighs 283g and has 1500Nm strength. Your bike'll get stronger AND lighter
  • 2 0
 @sonuvagun: I don’t know 100% for sure but DT 240 have alway been pretty light. And a Stan’s arch MK3 is actually lighter than most carbon rim at same width.
  • 4 0
 I would say that aluminium Newman wheelsets are pretty good considering weight and stiffness
  • 1 0
 @redmountaingoat: muchos gracias senor goat, I'll heed your advice and take a look at that combo
  • 3 0
 Impactful weight savings without losing too much performance (within reason): cassette, hubs, bars, pedals, cranks. It helps if you're starting with a reasonably light frame.

Marginal gains can actually add up though, and can be done cheap-ish: threaded EDC top cap, cut off extra spacers, aluminum bottle cage bolts, lighter cage, lighter bottle (Elite), push on grips, etc can save you 150g+ for about $50.

I'd also consider if you NEED a 38/Zeb when a Lyrik or 36 have won lots of EWS races and weigh significantly less. Same with your rear suspension, some of the full fat coil offerings out there are pretty hefty.

Places I'd rather not compromise: tires, rims, brakes (just say no to small rotors), structural bolts (stem/etc.).
  • 2 0
 Wheels. DT XM1501 wheelset built with souble butted spokes can come in under 1700g (25mm version) and still take beating. Built with an e series rim would add 100g... but 1800g for a fairly bulletproof wheelset is pretty light.
  • 2 0
 @brianpark:Rear suspension is the problem Big Grin I'm trying to trim weight since switching to coil.
But aluminum cage bolts, and a lighter bottle??? Now that's the spirit!
  • 7 0
 @sonuvagun: I find that stuffing chips in my face while scouring the internet for the lightest aftermarket derailleur mounting bolts is the most efficient way to save weight.
  • 2 0
 Cranks and hubs.
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: Chips, shmips; bon bons are where it's at, my friend.
  • 2 0
 @redmountaingoat: yeah, but that stans hoop is made of warm brie. lol
  • 1 0
 @tofhami: I had never really given spokes much consideration...until now.
  • 1 0
 @pakleni: These are looking pretty good.
  • 1 0
 1. water 2. food I ride in a warm and very dry climate and on hard rides up to two hours I leave the snacks and water at home. Doesn't seem to impact my performance at all, easy to rehydrate afterwards.
  • 1 0
 That bright racing fork sounds absolutely garbage, the worst of all worlds
  • 1 0
 Watts per kilogram Obviously a light bike helps this equation! Hahaha
  • 4 4
 If it's too heavy go to the gym
  • 1 0
 but......I want to ride.
  • 1 0
  • 1 0

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