What is your cost/gram threshold?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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by FastforaSlowGuy

I'm going over my race bike and looking for places to strategically drop some grams. Some of my choices will be driven by the cost/gram saved ratio, and I'm curious if others here have a general threshold they use for making these determinations. I know this is probably widely varying with peoples' financial means and degree of WW insanity, but an interesting exercise anyway.
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by TimmS

My threshold is 1 euro/1 gram saved, so if I could buy a new handlebar that would save me 50 gram I would pay 50 euro for it maximum.

It took a while, but now at 6,4 kg, it is hard to lighten my bike by using this rule...

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by sugarkane

You don't get well into the 5kg bracket with a $1 or 1€/gram. Heading sub 5 takes even more monies.. The grams a bike has become more costly the lighter you go.
My bike owes me around $2.05 per gram :|

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by Rick

It is a sliding scale depending on a number of factors:
What is the magnitude of the saving ? I sometimes won't pay anything extra to save 10 grams, but if I can save 100 grams on a crank set, I might spend an extra $4/gram!

Do I really need to new component anyway, or is it a change solely to save weight ?

Is there really a perceived difference in quality or reliability on the heavier or lighter part ?

Is it a part that I can order, receive, and install without my wife noticing I spent more money on cycling ?

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by WMW

It's a great exercise to do, especially when putting together a bike from scratch. My bike weighs ~7kg, and I'd generally spend $1/g and maybe $2/g if there is no loss of durability or function. So not a real WW at all.

That's a big consideration... most light parts cost more than just money.

For instance... I added 250g with heavier wheels, but I'm pretty sure the aero benefit is worth it most of the time. Stiffer and more durable also. Still using old Chorus calipers that weigh a ton, but I don't want light ones for those long switchback descents. I just got a saddle that is 40g heavier than my old one. Using 80g latex tubes because the 50g ones are too fragile. Don't want to deal with tubulars... etc.
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by n808

I have been staying surprisingly within the $1/gram range for wheels, brakes, skewers, seat, pedal axles, stem, except my new Scott frame which cost me $2/gram, and new SRAM Red Shifters, and derailleurs. Well worth it. All purchased new from eBay (except SRAM parts on closeout+additional 25% 41 anniversary discount from nashbar).

In total, I think my whole new Scott Addict R1 SRAM Red build compared to my 2004 Specialized came in at 1.7 $ / gram saved (1500grams lighter at 6.7kg)
(2012/2014) Scott Addict R1, SRAM Red 6.6kg | 2012 Scott Scale Pro, SRAM X0, 9.4kg

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by drainyoo

I think there's more too it than a simple cost/gram ratio. You have to also factor in comparable components and quality. For example, the Extralite RoadStem OC stem is probably the lightest stem you can get before going into the AX Lightness/Mcfk territory, so the extra cost might be worth it.

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by kulivontot

There was a thread where we discussed it more analytically. $/g is completely relative to the current weight of your bike. 5g off a 5kg bike is way more expensive than 5g off a 10kg bike. It needs to be a $ x g function that you're trying to minimize or maybe $/g/current bike weight to normalize as a percentage loss.

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by Zoro

3X as much around the rim and Tyre, 2X as much on the wheel and pedals as on the frame.

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by donald

My threshold varies but I like a very light bike but I don't like to spend a lot of money. I always try to find ways to get the lightest, best quality, for the least amount of money. I will barter and swap, but used parts, buy good quality parts that are reasonably light and then modify them, and other creative ways to get the lightest. That is how I can have a 3,400 gram bike for less than $20,000.

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by de zwarten

kulivontot wrote:There was a thread where we discussed it more analytically. $/g is completely relative to the current weight of your bike. 5g off a 5kg bike is way more expensive than 5g off a 10kg bike.

This! All gains relative with your current weight as a default are erhm. relative.

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by Bogan

In HiFi world this is the law of diminishing returns. With my limited knowledge of weight weening (that has already cost me a lot), it appears to be no different. The cost/gram so far for me has depended on the part.
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by liam7020

Interesting stuff. Just did a couple of quick calculations and my Colnago M10 works out around £1.11/g whereas my Simplon Pavo is only £0.68/g. So the Colnago name, and similar high end marques, weighs nothing but most certainly adheres to the law of diminishing returns. Worth it? You have to wonder....
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by Butcher

You mean there is a threshold? Oh dear.

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by Nejmann

I'm ridding a heavy pinarello, so don't even wanna know :shock: :D

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