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Suggestions on weight reduction for a true touring bike?

Posted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 3:35 am
by taztaylortaz
Here's my 80's French touring bike. (custom Albert Chiron 700c)
chiron.jpg


Reynolds 531 frame and fork - TA crank, Huret derailleurs, Mafac levers and 2000GT centerpull braze on brakes.

Brooks B17 anchor, assorted French parts from ostensibly aluminum but weight like lead.

I'd like to drop 3-4 lbs/2kilos without substantially changing it's 'essence'. I.E., still should look like a traditional French randonneur.

First thoughts are seat post and saddle. Possibly Ti bolts to replace water bolts and fender and rack bolts. Is this a good idea? They'll bear a little weight when loaded but mostly supported by handlebars and saddle.

I'm losing the behind the bottom bracket dynamo but picking up a SP or other dynamo hub front wheel.

Any other ideas? (please no carbon wheels/handlebars). I expect it's going to take a lot of small gains in many places.

thanks,
Taz

Re: Suggestions on weight reduction for a true touring bike?

Posted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 4:25 am
by BikeAnon
What sort of money are you willing to spend?

Will you continue to use it for touring? If not, a lighter wheel set with lower spoke count might get things done for you.

Switch from leather to nylon toe-straps.


The seatpost is probably very heavy. Ditch it, and go lighter. Start by cutting down the one you have.

This bike is a good place to use the "old methods" of WW. Dremel and drill-bits.


How does the bike get onto that tiny chainring? How do the three shifters work? Interesting bike. The more I look at it, the more I think "leave it as is". You are not this bike's owner, you are just its current caretaker.

Re: Suggestions on weight reduction for a true touring bike?

Posted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 5:36 am
by Lewn777
Hmm, I'm not sure about this, because things I might suggest ditching might be sacrilege to others.

-I'd remove the racking and the fenders and go with more modern soft type bike-packing bags and modern fenders if you need them at all.
-I'd also use modern lightweight aluminium wheels and all season tires.
-I'd change the seatpost and give it a more modern saddle, something that might look the part, but at least be under 250g.

You could change some bolts and maybe change the skewers, but I really think the best results would simply come from removing unnecessary parts.

Re: Suggestions on weight reduction for a true touring bike?

Posted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 7:13 am
by RussellS
As suggested by others, leave it alone. Don't mess it up by changing it. And as already suggested, you can also go with ultra light touring by using a frame bag, large saddlebag, and maybe handlebar roll. Get rid of racks and fenders. If you got to change parts. Put an aluminum threadless fork on it. And new stem and bars. Your current steel fork is very heavy. Your current quill stem is very heavy. Your current bars are also old and heavy compared to newer aluminum bars. Change the brake levers for newer models that weigh much less. There are lighter center pull brakes now too. And post and saddle.

Re: Suggestions on weight reduction for a true touring bike?

Posted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 9:34 am
by bikewithnoname
Only a few easy wins.

Saddle. Anything is lighter than a brooks, but to keep the look maybe look at their cambium line
Seatpost. How about a use titanium alien? Still keeps the vintage look
Tyres. You can go lighter but it will depend on you usage
Bottom bracket. I’m guessing you’ve got a steel square taper? Think about a ti version (White industries or Phil Woods would be a quality option)
Ti bolts. I wouldn’t advocate these on the rack mounts, but seatpin, quill bolt etc will be fine
Pedals. What you running? You can no doubt find something lighter
Wheels. Rebuild with modern butted spokes and a light box section alu rim. If your rims are steel/chromed they’ll be super heavy. H Plus Sons tb14 might be an option

Re: Suggestions on weight reduction for a true touring bike?

Posted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 7:38 pm
by bm0p700f
Remove rack and guards. That alone will save a kilo. Then ride. If other parts are changed keep the old ones to refit if you sell.

Or ride it as it is and accept it for what it is, old a bit slow but it fun anyway.

Re: Suggestions on weight reduction for a true touring bike?

Posted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 8:05 pm
by Calnago
It's a light touring bike. Looks great. Leave it alone. It's perfect as is. Strap a basket to the rack, go buy a baguette and a bottle of wine, and enjoy a picnic somewhere.

Re: Suggestions on weight reduction for a true touring bike?

Posted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 5:52 pm
by taztaylortaz
Some good suggestions here. Hadn't thought about a Ti stem bolt. Probably swap the seat post and saddle, kind of a no brainer.

The wheels are tied and soldered with MaxiCar hubs and Mavic rims. Not light, but pretty cool. Rear spacing is 126 so that limits options without modifying frame.

The third shifter behind the seat tube controls the Sanyo dynamo underneath the chain stays. Going to remove the dynamo and use a SON hub for night riding. And swapping the lights for brighter LEDS, but not sure if this will net any weight savings.

Pedals will stay for local riding but I'll swap for either Frogs or SPDs with recessed cleats for actual touring. no need to remove fenders and racks if there aren't lighter replacements. Defeats the purpose of this bike - have a C50 for fast days.

thanks for the comments - any other ideas? lmk

- Taz

Re: Suggestions on weight reduction for a true touring bike?

Posted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 6:37 pm
by joejack951
taztaylortaz wrote:Rear spacing is 126 so that limits options without modifying frame.


Not really. Even aluminum frames at 126mm spread easily by hand (without cold setting) to accept 130mm hubs. My 1984 Trek 660 is currently running a 130mm Mavic hub with an 11 speed cassette and I didn't even need to tweak the derailleur hanger.

Re: Suggestions on weight reduction for a true touring bike?

Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 2:36 pm
by basilic
joejack951 wrote:frames at 126mm spread easily by hand (without cold setting) to accept 130mm hubs.


true, but it's safer to buy a threaded rod, nuts and washers, fit the rod with washers/nuts inside the dropouts, and spread by turning the nuts. Go to 135 mm, release, and it'll spring back to 128 (if steel), do it again until you get the desired width.

To OP: it's a crying shame to mess with that bike, the racks are beautiful and made to measure, the chainrings unique, etc. You'll never use it for real touring anyway, it'll always be too heavy and unreliable. You are allowed to get a new Brooks with ti rails, that's it ;-)
For light touring, put modern framebags on your 7 kg roadbike, like someone suggested.

Re: Suggestions on weight reduction for a true touring bike?

Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 5:35 pm
by joejack951
basilic wrote:
joejack951 wrote:frames at 126mm spread easily by hand (without cold setting) to accept 130mm hubs.


true, but it's safer to buy a threaded rod, nuts and washers, fit the rod with washers/nuts inside the dropouts, and spread by turning the nuts. Go to 135 mm, release, and it'll spring back to 128 (if steel), do it again until you get the desired width.


You'll have to convince me on the safer part. And I'd never cold set an aluminum frame but I will and have put 130mm wheels in 126mm dropouts on one.

Re: Suggestions on weight reduction for a true touring bike?

Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 7:36 pm
by AJS914
Beautiful bike. I wouldn't touch it except for modern pedals and a seat that was comfortable if necessary.

If you want lighter weight, you can get a modern carbon endurance bike with 105 for $1000.

Re: Suggestions on weight reduction for a true touring bike?

Posted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 3:49 am
by basilic
joejack951 wrote:
basilic wrote:
joejack951 wrote:frames at 126mm spread easily by hand (without cold setting) to accept 130mm hubs.


true, but it's safer to buy a threaded rod, nuts and washers, fit the rod with washers/nuts inside the dropouts, and spread by turning the nuts. Go to 135 mm, release, and it'll spring back to 128 (if steel), do it again until you get the desired width.


You'll have to convince me on the safer part. And I'd never cold set an aluminum frame but I will and have put 130mm wheels in 126mm dropouts on one.

Ah sorry! I misread you, skipped right over "without cold setting"
I thought you were cold setting frames with bare hands rambo-style

Re: Suggestions on weight reduction for a true touring bike?

Posted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 3:09 pm
by joejack951
basilic wrote:Ah sorry! I misread you, skipped right over "without cold setting"
I thought you were cold setting frames with bare hands rambo-style


Haha! Now I get where you were coming from. That would be a sight to see, though. Probably available somewhere on Youtube :)

Re: Suggestions on weight reduction for a true touring bike?

Posted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 11:56 pm
by taztaylortaz
So... decided that I'm not making any significant changes. Probably swap the saddle and seatpost, pedals and possibly removing the dynamo and using a wheel with a dynamo hub instead. All things that can be swapped back to original.

Does anybody have any E6 lights hanging around? I have an Edelux which is better from a lighting standpoint but I like the look of the current big light - maybe even mounted dual like a Gruppe B rally car.