You asked; I listened.
When I wrote about an imaginary super light bike
last week, a few of you made it very clear that you don't care about light bikes and were for some reason, uh, upset that some people do enjoy riding light bikes.
But I'm here for you, the 'weight doesn't matter' crowd. This bike is built to be burly. Because you love your bike, you won’t ever want to forget it’s under you, and believe me – you won’t forget you’re riding this.
Plus, since the gyms are still not all open (and also don't always have much sunlight, which is kind of a dealbreaker), kettlebells are probably still sold out, and running isn’t very fun, to shave grams off your bike would be to deny yourself a much-needed workout. So here you go. We at Pinkbike are committed to fitness, and we are putting those beliefs into action by giving you an imaginary trail bike that weighs more than 45 pounds, or 20 kilograms for those across the pond or literally anywhere else.
Next, I've decided to spend $10,000 USD because spending a bucket of money on a mountain bike is a surefire way to become a better rider, plus it bestows bragging rights and definitely successfully masks any deep feelings of inadequacy.
As with the light bike project, this one has a set of ground rules:
No motor, no gearbox, nothing too weird.
Please understand that these are not the heaviest parts ever, or, necessarily, the heaviest part for the price. They’re just some heavy parts that are also pretty nice, all put together. It is nearly impossible to verify that any part on this list is the heaviest in its category, since when a company makes a new part, rarely is “Heaviest in its class!!!” part of the marketing material.
Also, it would take forever to comb the internet to keep comparing the weights of different parts. The forums are of little help, since there are very few discussions about maximizing a bike’s weight, and I’m sure our dear, sweet @brianpark
would prefer that I not spend my entire week of work time trawling the internet for heavy metal.
Many of these are just claimed weights. Reality may be heavier, as reality tends to be.
All parts have to be reasonably nice. In general, they have to be heavy because they are burly, not because they are shitty. Most of these parts are downright kickass. Almost all of them are parts I would at least consider putting on one of my real-life personal bikes.
The balancing game of weight vs. price also played a part here, since I was not looking to build a 60-lb demon bike that would fall apart on the first ride.
No parts modifications. All parts are recent model years and are theoretically available for customers to buy, pending stock post-pandemic.
Also, all prices are given in USD and are rounded to the nearest dollar because I can't stand when companies price things at $X.99.
Frame: Privateer 141 - 8.15lb - 3700g - $1759
This baby is built to survive the apocalypse, which we really might need at this point.Wheels: Hunt E_Enduro - 2621g - $539
A bike this robust calls for a sturdy wheelset, and that’s exactly what the Hunt E_Enduro Wide wheelset is. Brakes: Hope Tech 3 V4 w/ braided hose - 768g pair - $500
Hope makes some of the best brakes out there, with their E4s being an all-time favorite of mine, and the V4 even more powerful. These will provide some much-needed stopping power with the added bonus of giving us a few more much-coveted grams. Also, as this bike is equal parts beauty and brawn, they're absolutely f*cking beautiful.Rotors: TRP 41 2.3 rotors 203mm - 484g pair - $80
TRP’s 2.3mm rotors are the perfect complement to the stout Hope brakes, and with more material, they’ll provide nice heat dissipation and plenty of confidence.Fork: Marzocchi Bomber Z1 Coil - 2552g - $779
We aren’t interested in pulling any punches here. This bike needs to be capable.Alternate option:
Since this is the age of trail bikes with dual crown forks, we could use a Manitou Dorado pro, which adds almost exactly a pound (at 3093g) and can be lowered to 150mm, which would totally work on this bike. It would, however, take some changes to make sure the front hub is compatible with the Dorado's 20mm thru-axle.Shock: RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate Coil w/ 450lb spring - 970 g - $519
Another instance in which heavy also coincides with really nice, the RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate shock is just what this bike needs.Tires: Michelin DH22 - 3000g pair - $180
Michelin’s DH22 tires are sturdy, super grippy, and are a good start to building a bike with more rotational weight than you’ve ever seen.Tire inserts: Tannus Armour 324g pair ($40) + Michelin Protek Max MTB tubes 746g pair ($14) - 1070g - $54
Remember the days of tubes filled with sealant? Then tubeless technology got really good? Then we started putting inserts in all our tires? Well with this sweet combo, you can actually do all of that. No sacrifices here.Rim tape: 40g - $5
Specificity here seems unnecessary.Grips: Sensus Meaty Paws - 162g - $33
The Meaty Paws are exactly what they sound like, with a massive 38mm diameter and this excellent introduction video ft. Kyle Strait.Pedals: DMR V-Twin - 566g - $195
There’s a wide range of numbers on the internet about what these pedals actually weigh, likely due to the many possible setup configurations with removable bumpers, etc. Since I don't have a pair of V-Twins and a scale right in front of me, I’m choosing one of the mid-range claimed values.Honorable mention.Saddle: WTB Speed Steel - 379g - $39
Like I said above, it’s not worth it to me to seek out something shitty just to try to maximize the weight of this bike, so I’m going with a nice compromise: a quality product from a quality company, but the steel version, which certainly isn’t light.Headset: Cane Creek Hellbender - 117g - $80
This bombproof headset has some mass, though I’m not going to make a big deal out of finding the heaviest headset ever. Let me know if you need someone to shout at.Seatpost: PNW Rainer 200mm - 688g without lever - $179
PNW Components makes my favorite seatposts ever. They are well-made and dependable, and performance is about as good as it gets. That said, the 200mm version of the Rainier is pretty hefty, which is perfect for this imaginary bike.Dropper post lever: PNW Components Loam Lever - 48g - $69
The things that make this lever the best lever ever - the rubber thumb grip and gorgeous machined aluminum - also make it marginally heavier than average.Seatpost clamp: Chromag QR - 54g - $46
There’s a price to pay for wanting a seatpost clamp with a quick release for some reason, and that price is giving up on all weight weenie aspirations.Stem: Chromag HiFi V2 - 200g - $99
In many cases of bike v. tree, bike tends to lose. But probably not in this case. This stem, like the figurehead at the front of a ship, will protect you on your journeys by simply smashing through anything in its way. Charge through all the trees you want and call yourself a forester. It doesn’t get much better than the nearly-half-pound block of aluminum that is this beautiful, colorful, and burly Chromag stem.Handlebars: Fasst Co Flexx alloy bars - 550g - $325
Not only will this bike make you strong as f*ck, it will also be a delight to ride*. To ensure the best experience possible, we’ll outfit the bike with Fasst Company’s Flexx Bars, which are designed to flex in the direction of the rider’s arm movement while remaining torsionally rigid in order to reduce arm pump.
*This statement applies specifically to when the bike is pointed downhill.Shifter: GX AXS w/ battery and clamp - 82g - $150Derailleur: GX AXS - 463g - $370
No cables to speak of here. The new GX Eagle AXS drivetrain provides a less flashy entry point into the wireless drivetrain market, giving you the same cool robot noises as the XX1 version.Cassette: NX Eagle - 629g - $100
Praise the powers that be for groupset cross-compatibility.Alternate possibility:
While Shimano's Linkglide is still very new, the 11-speed cassette weighs 780g and has spacing that isn't all
that different from SRAM's Eagle cassettes, making it a possibility. No, we haven't tried it. No, it might not work. Yes, we would try it. Yes, I realize that Eagle cassettes are 12-speed and the new Deore Linkglide cassette is 11-speed. I'd still run it.Chain: NX Eagle chain - 272g - $26
The appropriate 12-speed chain. Unless, of course, we went with the Linkglide option, in which case we would obviously run the compatible Linkglide chain. Which, although Shimano hasn't publicized weights of non-cassette Linkglide parts, is likely heavy.Cranks: Shimano Saint ($335) w/ Wolftooth 34t steel chainring ($100) - 919g - $435
While not traditional on a trail bike, this is no ordinary trail bike, so Saint cranks seem appropriate. The Wolftooth narrow-wide steel chainring makes the crankset appropriate for a 1x12 trail bike setup.Bottom bracket: Hope BB - 110g - $120
More nice stuff.Chain guide / bash guard: MRP G5 CS - 236g - $100
This bike is made for bashing, and that's just what it'll do.
Total weight: 20.683 kg / 45.503 lbs
Total price: $6,781 USD
With the numbers all added up, it's clear that my commitment to fitness and my commitment to extravagance are fundamentally incompatible, meaning that I couldn't figure out how to keep the bike this heavy and still reach my spending goal of $10k. So I'll do what anyone would do who has an extra $3.2k and an inability to meet goals: buy some other stuff.The remaining $3,219 could be spent on:Pedro's Essential Bike Care Kit
- $30A Stan's DART tubeless tire repair tool
- $25An S-Works carbon bottle cage
- $70A weighted vest
- $40A cool light-up bike horn
Six months of therapy - $3,250A pleasant hat
20 pints of fancy coconut milk ice cream
10 cups of coffee - $25
Two parking ticket fines, second and third offense (first time is free)
in downtown Missoula, Montana - $30
There you have it. I know that this (imaginary) bike is the physical (imaginary) embodiment of perfection and there's not much to improve, but I guess I could understand wanting to do things differently. So what would you change?