Lightweight bikes

I was amused to read Chris' blog about plastic bikes.

As an ex-cyclist (I only go out on my bike a handful of times a year now), I can still spend hours admiring all of the exotic hardware in my local cyle shop. I wish I had a few thousand to blow on such exotica, and I even tell myself that I would ride more seriously if I bought one, but "white elephant" always springs to mind when I think this. Certainly if I did the lottery and came up trumps on it, I would blow some of it on a bike like Chris describes.

However, I'm always reminded of something my old cycling coach used to say to me: it doesn't really matter how much the bike weighs when your weight can vary by a few pounds between rides (well, it was something similar to that anyway!). I think what he was getting at was that you could have the lightest bike in the world, but if you eat too many pies, it won't make the slightest bit of difference to your performance.

Although, thinking about it now, the weight of the rear wheel might make the most difference because that is the mass that you are having to drive around. The amount of power you use in pushing the pedals translates to much less power at the point where the wheel meets the road because of the energy loss in the wheel being moved.

Oh well, it's all academic anyway as I'll be sticking with my 27lb mountain bike for the forseeable future, and I look at it from the perspective that the heavier my bike is, the fitter I'll get by having to pedal it (and me) up and down those whopping hills around my house.

Comments:

[Trackback] Trevor's cycling coach does have a point about light bikes; “it doesn't really matter how much the bike weighs when your weight can vary by a few pounds between rides”, has missed the point. The real question is this: How much would...

Posted by The dot in ... --- ... on June 11, 2005 at 05:25 AM BST #

Hi Trevor, I didn't know you used to be a cyclist! So did I. In fact I've become one again over the last couple of years because I've had more time to do it. You should get rid of the mountain bike and get a proper road bike. In which case, you should be able to get a much lighter bike and enjoy your cycling a lot more. Riding a mountain bike is just no fun, especially if (as I suspect) you mainly ride it on the road. A proper racing bike is more befitting for a man of your stature. Maybe we'll be able to organise a ride sometime? Gary

Posted by Gary on June 11, 2005 at 05:44 AM BST #

If I could afford to get a road bike, I certainly would. I was eyeing up a rather tasty "plastic" jobby in Decathlon a couple of weeks ago. Only 18.5lbs and £999!!! Not sure how good or bad Decathlon bikes are, but it certainly looked the part.

I'd be up for a ride as long as you don't go too fast :)

Posted by Trevor Watson on June 13, 2005 at 08:46 AM BST #

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