Some weight saving ideas please...

Discuss light weight issues concerning mountain bikes & parts.

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by Boj

Hi guys,

I was wondering if anyone could give me some smart value for money weight saving ideas for my bike. I have alivio level MTB so potential to trim is great but I don't have big $$ to spend and simply think isn't worth it getting some super trick components for it.

So far I have replaced cranks, cassette and chain. I have gotten new rims (Aeroheat AT) laced with DT comps and last saturday I installed a flat XC bar. Tomorrow I will be picking up Contnental Explorer and Twister pro tires (both foldable) as well as some supersonic lightweight tubes. After that my calcs would be at around 1200 g weight loss and last time I weighed my bike, before all these, it was 13 kg. Next on the list are bar ends (170g), stem (230g), seat (410g) and seat post (350g) as well as my brake levers and skewers, so there is probably some 600g savings in those.

Anyway if any of you have some ideas on where more I could trim this beast, do tell, but remember I am just a student so it has to be a good value for money investment. ;)



by Erik

An effective move would be to change the fork.

I suppose you have an inexpsensive heavy supension fork now. If you think you need the suspension then i suggest you buy an USED air springed fork. It will both improve the ride and save you about 600 grams.

If you can settle without suspension then buy a rigid aluminium fork and save about 1200 grams. If you already have a rigid fork you probably still would save 300-500 grams on a new aluminium one.

If you choose to go with a rigid fork, go for tires with at least 2.1" width.


by Boj

Hey, thx for your reply.

The fork I have now is Manitou Spyder and from MBTR its weight is listed at 1.6 kg (3.6lbs) which, as far as I understand isn't that heavy for a suspension fork. I am assuming my fork internals now are elastomer so I have thought about changing the internals to air cartridges but know very little about them. Anybody here who can tell me more about them? One of these days I'll try disassembling it to see whats happening inside. Of the air sprung used forks that you suggest, which particular models would be what I am looking for?

Thanks for you help


by Erik

Have you found any light fork yet?

Take a look in the 'Listings' on Weight Weenies and consider some type of Rock Shox SID or Manitou Mars.

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by Bruiser

Sounds like you replaced the whole bike. Are you building on a nice frame? Tyres are the cheapest and most performance enhancing reduction. Pedals can be heavy too.

I've been 'restoring' a Sintessi so i know its lots of fun, but I've been thinking that realistically Iwould have been better of buying a light bike rather than upgrading my current bike.
I'm yet to upgrade my Forks :shock: hubs and rims, sadlle (180g), seatpost, but 'm already below 12kg. Just watch that you dont spend too much.

ride hard



by Boj

Hey thanks for all the interest ppl, haven't been here in a while and the beast is doing great.

I haven't replaced the fork nor do I intend to. For a bike that I have I simply don't think that it is a great value upgrade. There is no point is forking (get it :) out big dosh to save weight (in general) when the frame isn't that great to begin with. Even more so considering that I haven't got that much dosh.

All of the replaced components so far have been worn out parts I had to replace, with weight savings being a secondary consideration. Spending so far was with the primary goal of getting my bike mechanically A1.

Since my last post I have replaced my stem (for better rider fit with my flat bar), gotten LX rear derailer (now I know that that should have been THE first upgrade) and got those conti tires and tubes.

I am not so happy with my tire investment. First thing when I weighed them at home they were nowhere near the weight given in this site and while there was definitely weight savings there it was cause tires that were coming off were heavy not cause conti's were so much lighter. To top it off only one time that I was riding on road my chain fell between the cassette and spokes (that was with the old derailler) causing rear wheel to lock up which nicely flat spotted that skinny twister tire so I can't say that I have had much good karma with them from the beginning. They do perform well though but they definitely aren't worth the money so next time I'll stick with the non foldables.

Ever since I got the LX rear I haven't missed a shift which is a legitimate miracle on my bicycle so I am really happy with that. It works absolutely flawless with my alivio shifters too so that is a nice surprise. All up I don't think there is any other area where bike isn't reliable any more so I think it will stay like it is for a while unless something breaks or I find some really great bargain parts. Hopefully it'll be like this till I finish uni in a couple of years and start working and that's when I'll get some good shit.

But regardless of anything though, lets not forget when you go the races that for all of the tricknology on the show its the rider that counts in the end and that is where I am putting the hard yards and where you should too if you race. Any bike is fine as long as you are happy with it and it can stand up to it. I think this has been proven in your racing days as it certainly has in very few of mine. So as long as the beast doesn't break on me I will make sure I get it across the line every time, in better position. ;)

Catch you all later


by Mike MERLIN

Check out the March or February issues of Mountain Bike Action (USA) it did an article on cheap weight savings. Here are some of mine:
Seat Post, measure 3 inches below seat collar, chop off excess.
Take your reflectors off.
Performance Bike Lunar Lite inner Tubes.
Hutchinson Mosquito Lite Tires.
Egg beater pedals.
Remove padding from seat.
Switch to foam grips.
Remove granny gear.
Shorten your handle bar.
Remove bottle cage use Camel Bak.
Replace brake pads (when needed) with lighter pads i.e. AVID Rim Wranglers.
ENJOY :twisted:


by Robb

I don't understand the concept of getting a camel back to reduce weight. Sure it lightens your bike but it adds a lot of extra weight to the rider. Or is all this just about being able to brag about how light your bike is?

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by popawheelie

If you do any hard off road riding the water bottles fly out of their holders.

The R

by The R

The question by Robb was not why to use a camelbak -- it was why use a camelbak in lieu of a water bottle to reduce weight on your bike, when you just end up carrying the weight on your back. What difference does it make to carry the weight on your back or on your frame? Think about it people -- it doesn't make any sense. And on top of that, most camelbaks weigh more than a watter bottle anyway. :roll:

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by popawheelie

I think his question was open ended and I gave what I think is the best reason to use a camelback.


by visby(SK)

2the R: try to get 5kg on your back and try to add these 5kg on your bike, and i'm sure you'll fell the difference... i feel it when i ride 17kg FR bike and when i ride 11kg XC bike(on XC i have camel bak with 3L water and cca 1.5kg package)...

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by Mike Merlin

I think the question was: what's a cheap way to lighten your bike? I think removing the water bottle cage was one of the answers. Does it lighten your bike: yes. Is it cheap: yes. I think its a rather straighforeward reply. Bottlecage versus camelbak--that's a different issue. I get really thirsty so I'll use a camelbak...and when weight counts EVERY little gram matters...unless of course you ride at night and need someplace to mount the battery...but that adds weight...but not if you include night riding...but if you bike isn't light because you use lights, where else would you shave grams...but if you ride only in the daylight you wouldn't need a place to hold the lights battery...what if you use a helmet light therefor making the bottle cage usless....unless of course you get thirsty...but the camelbak weighs too much...and then....

"Traction is everything"


by MaLóL

I have a Kona Kula 98 of 10,8 kg. 11,2 kg with all the accesories...

Take the water on your back instead of taking it on bottles in your bike is totally stupid, no matter what you say.

A bicycle with a speedneddle seat is stupid. it´s better to ride 58,5km without touching the seat and removing the seat and the seat post. You can save about 300gr.

You can also remove your grips. it´s free and you can save 50grs.

You can also remove your front brake. it´s cheap and you´will save a lot of grams!!!!


I consider myself an absolute weight weeny, and if i had more money i would have a comfortable and light 8 kgrs bike, but I think taht some of the solutions we use are useless

P.D: the best investment is train hard... but if you also ride a 8 kg bike... jejejejejejeje


The R

by The R

This is to Visby -- what water bottle are you using that weighs 5 kg? That's over 10 pounds. If I had the choice of a 10-pound water bottle or a camelbak, of course I would go with the camelbak. But no water bottle weighs 10 punds. But one of the original posts said to cut down weight on your bike, take off the water bottle and use a camelbak. My argument still remains -- what's the point if you carry that weight on your back or on the bike? You're still carrying the weight. It's all about ego and being able to say you have the lightest weight bike on the block, not practicality.

For the record, I am not a weight weenie. The whole concept borders on ridiculous. It's all about whether your bike fits, your ability and your conditioning. I guarantee the top XC rider in the world can kick my ass doing wheelies around the course on a bike 10 pounds heavier than mine. As for me, I would rather roll over you weight weenie types like a tank with my 35-pound downhill/freeride machine. The 7-inch travel on my triple crown forks would absorb the shock of your carcass quite nicely. :P

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