Do light frames climb more easily?

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go4custom
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by go4custom

Lighter wheels make a bike "feel" lighter and to me climbs faster/better. The frame is static whereas the wheels are not. My BMC with xxx-lite tubies (1200ish) weighs 15.5lbs. My STEEL sycip with 900g wheels weighs 15.3lbs. Noticeable climbing difference comes when riding the Sycip...Heavier frame, but much lighter wheels.

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djconnel
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by djconnel

Noticeable, but measurable? Have you tried the experiment of riding the same hill with either bike, say 8 times total, 4 with each?

I'm clearly faster on my 11 lb bike with 170 psi TT tubulars than I am on my 18 lb bike with 26 mm clinchers. But that's fairly obvious.

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djconnel
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by djconnel

wassertreter wrote:On top of all the advantages already mentioned, it's easier to take a light bike up and down the roof rack. :beerchug:


Ironically, I'm looking at tandem options, and this is the dominant factor related to weight.

teddysaur
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by teddysaur

Yes light frames do climb more easily but it will not be noticeable. Let's do simple math. A frame probably have +/- 300g difference in current market range.

Assuming you and the bike are around 60kg. 0.6 out of 60kg will only be 1% difference between the heaviest and lightest frame. It probably easier to lose 1kg (eating less) within a month than to earn 4-5k in a month for the minor weight saving.

JWolf
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by JWolf

And let's not forget that a full water bottle weighs more than a cervelo R5CA. So really what is a few hundred grams extra on a bike. That said. Light bikes are cool.

konky
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by konky

I wonder if 7kg is a greater optimum weight than 5kg on an average race/ride with a course of hills/mountains, flat and down hill. The fact that pro bikes average over 7kg may be telling.

A 5kg bike feels different to a 7kg one. For me the 5kg feel is much nicer. I would rather sacrifice overal performance for feel. But I don't race, I just love riding and the feel of a top notch bike.

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elviento
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by elviento

Not sure if anyone has mentioned this --- but when you get down to the 5kg territory, you are most likely sacrificing some performance (stiffness, durability, comfort, etc.) already, which could actually make you slower.

If we are ASSUMING no performance difference in the bikes, then it's really just simple math.
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konky
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by konky

What is also odd is GC pros will drop down to crazy low body weight at the expense of power and then ride bikes that are heavier than they have to be.

It seems that way but I guess there is more to it or there is something I have not accounted for.

kevinkalis
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by kevinkalis

I'm gonna disagree on the sacrificing power in exchange for low bodyweight thing.
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konky
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by konky

I think you are probably right in some cases. Having said that in the power end of cycling, sprint and Classics participation, riders tend to run with more weight. Cav said himself he has lost power by reducing his weight for the Olympic course.

In my view if Sagan lost weight he would climb even better than he does already but he would lose power and may not have won as many TDF stages, which were sprint/ power/classics type stages.

Franklin
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by Franklin

konky wrote:What is also odd is GC pros will drop down to crazy low body weight at the expense of power and then ride bikes that are heavier than they have to be.

It seems that way but I guess there is more to it or there is something I have not accounted for.


Not all do. The top contenders used to run special setups not so long ago (Lance with his front shifter). I'm sure they still use special wheels for the mountains. And thats where the weight can be gained (especially considering the sponsor deal limiting choices).

What I find the most amusing is that pro's don't use the lightweight saddles. Practicality first for sure!

Related: The mass effect on acceleration: It's tiny in cycling, even in the rims. Consider that normally a sprinter accelerates 5 km at max and this at a relatively small wattage.

Weight is only an issue when climbing. Even wheels (if not ridiculously heavy) don't matter that much, simply because there is hardly any significant acceleration/deceleration.

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