Weight Weenie Project

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by jpanspac

In order to get more gears you're going to have to spread the rear triangle. It's not a big deal on steel frames, but it's not a DIY job, because you could end up throwing off the alignment. Take it to a good bike shop that has experience doing it.
My favorite components are the ones I never have to think about.

by Weenie

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by DaveLeeNC

For the most part I think that I have enough information to make a decision - EXCEPT - I am not sure what my objectives are. I need a lower gear, but I'm not sure how much lower. I'm pretty comfortable with a compact crank and 29t and quite possibly just a compact and a my 25t is OK. And all that is primarily driven by just what kind of hills I need to handle. My 53/39 and 12/25 is fine for the riding I do in my area. Beyond that, it depends. And staying with my current setup is quite limiting WRT wheel upgrades (8sp Campy). I'm not inclined toward either giving up my Bianchi or owning two bikes.

FWIW, I think that Miche sells a Campy 11sp compatible 11/29 cassette (that I assume would work with an 11sp Campy derailleur) but there is much I don't know.

Stuff to think about.


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by DaveLeeNC

jpanspac wrote:In order to get more gears you're going to have to spread the rear triangle. It's not a big deal on steel frames, but it's not a DIY job, because you could end up throwing off the alignment. Take it to a good bike shop that has experience doing it.

For the sake of completeness/accuracy ...

I think that (at least Campy) 8sp through 11sp all use 130mm rear dropout spacing. Am I wrong here?



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by c50jim

As another old guy of similar age to you, I can relate to keeping the old bike rather than buying a new carbon bike, even though it might be lighter. My steel Colnago (59 traditional) and steel Pegoretti were both in the mid 18s with carbon forks. So, if you have the weight of your bike, you can compare to that.

My own Campy group weight file only goes back to 1999 but I'd say the estimate of a one pound saving from the group is about right. Wheels will be a big savings too if you have 1996 Chorus hubs with narrow flanges since the rear hub alone might save close to 200 grams. Campy wheels like Neutron, Zonda, Racing Zero, One or Three would all be in the low 1500s without skewer or tape so you could weigh your wheels and compare to those. You might also be able to find something lighter, particularly if you're light. At 180+ pounds, I stick with wheels in this sort of weight range (although I used some Reynolds carbon clinchers that were about 1400 grams for a year without any problems and am considering Zipp 202).

Some other places you could consider:

- skewers - Campy skewers are in the 130-135 gram range. Zipp ti are low 80s. If you're light, you might even get away with something like KCNC or similar at around 50 grams, although they weren't tight enough for me
- seatpost - carbon posts can work well and save a lot of weight. If you're nervous about carbon, Thomson Masterpiece is sub 200 grams and works even under my fat butt.
- saddle - there are lots of light ones out there and even if you want something with decent padding, you should be able to save 50-100 grams over a saddle from the mid 90s
- 1996 should be 130 dropout spacing just like today
- if you can find a good carbon fork, that would also save at least a pound. The only problem here is that 1" carbon forks are few and far between in this 1 1/8 or wider era. If you can find one that uses a threadless headset, it would also be easy to swap out the bar and stem and make another big weight saving.
- if your bike is from the mid 90s, are you still using the old, original Look pedals? Another half pound of easy weight saving

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by DaveLeeNC

Jim, thanks for the helpful input. And I have finally come up with a strategy/goal that I am comfortable with.

1) Firstly I don't want to own 2 bikes - that is just me and maybe that gets me kicked out of the biking community :-).

2) Next I have a gearing range issue WRT my aging body and 8sp Campy Chorus groupset (assuming that I ever venture out of my immediate area which is nothing but smaller 'rollers'). I could go to a triple, but I just don't want to.

3) My 8sp is also quite limiting WRT wheel upgrades (re: 8sp freehubs)

4) I'm not looking to ride the lightest bike around. But my current bike (including new 260 gram pedals) weighs in right at 21.95 pounds. I'd be comfortable at 19 pounds. So I've got a 'three pound problem', and in fixing this I really don't want to 'change what this bike is'. All this is quite arbitrary. BTW, these are what I would call 'rideable without provisions' weights. So it includes water bottle frames, but no bottles/water. Under seat saddle bag but no spare tubes, tools, etc.

So I've got a 3 pound problem. Based on the work that I've done, I can get there via the following 'without doing anything extreme'. However, maybe a brand new Campy Chorus groupset might fall into the 'extreme' category. Anyway.

1) My wheels (with clincher tires, butyl tubes, skewers, and cassette) comes in at 3000 grams on the nose. I can stay with clinchers and alloy rims, go with slightly lighter tires and latex tubes (have always intended to try those anyway), and lighter skewers can save a whopping 670 grams (cassette change accounted for later). And I don't have to buy multi-thousand dollar wheels to get there. I considered carbon tubulars but it seems that, short of spending outrageous sums, the real benefit here is getting more aero at the same weight (and slightly more $ in most cases). I haven't ruled that out, BTW.

2) Looks like a reasonable upgrade to my seatpost and saddle could save me 210'ish grams, and that (other than figuring out which saddle is right for my butt) seems straight-forward.

3) My best estimate (with some great help from Quincy here on WW) is 525 grams saved (including cassette).

So just these three items get me to my target reduction. And this leaves out the fork and handlebar/headset/stem. The fork is particularly interesting because it could probably net a pound (or more) at a (relatively) reasonable cost. But I'm not sure if this does (or does not) violate my 'do not change what this bike is'. Part of 'what it is' is appearance and an ugly black fork isn't part of that. Painting it myself (or getting a local body shop to do it) is a possibility.

My inclination is to wait until this winter and do the work myself - this would be a huge learning process for me, BTW.


ps. This thread started in the 'Road' section of this forum (seemed like the right place). It got moved to the "Introduce Yourself/Gallery" section (which is where we are now). In looking at this forum the entries hardly look like typical 'Introduce Yourself' topics. I'm just curious as to what this particular forum is supposed to be.

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