Tips for making your bicycle lighter
Even though aerodynamics is widely accepted these years, most cyclists still wish the bikes were lighter. Cyclists tend to think about taking weight off their equipment, and are happy to lose even a little weight.
In recent years, with the improvement and popularity of academic understanding and research knowledge of aerodynamics, and being accepted by the majority of cyclists.
The research showed that aero bikes are generally faster than lightweight-oriented bikes. Saving the bike’s weight is a welcome act between racers and cycling enthusiasts.
In this article, we will outline some weight-saving upgrades and tips to help keep the bike’s weight down.
While the effect may sound insignificant, actually you can save up to 80 grams by swapping out the aluminum handlebars for carbon fiber ones. You could go a step further and see them short.
But it wouldn’t recommend if you are going to be using the bike on a daily basis. It should be noted that while reducing weight, personal safety must be the first priority.
2. Tires and inner tubes
If the bike comes standard with heavier and cheaper tires, upgrading them can provide some solid weight savings and improve ride quality. This inexpensive upgrade also comes with the all-important problem of generally reduced puncture resistance. Lighter tires not only reduce weight but also improve the ride quality and feel.
To keep costs at a minimum, manufacturers often equip their entry-level to mid-level bikes with more durable components. Especially when it comes to wheelsets. Low-end and mid-end bikes are usually equipped with aluminum alloy wheels, which are usually heavier than carbon fiber wheels. If your wheels are heavy, upgrading them could save a lot of weight. Depending on the wheelset you choose, it may even be possible to save up to half a kilo.
4. Spare parts
Another simple weight-saving measure is the option to replace the saddle, Seatpost, and pedals that come with the bike with lightweight alloy or carbon fiber parts. These modifications are also less expensive than replacing your wheels and drivetrain.
Another good way to modify is to buy a lightweight Seatpost and ditch unnecessary items, such as the bottle cages; replace the stock steel bolts and nuts with titanium versions and upgrade to lightweight quick releases or barrel shafts.
You may also consider sawing off overly long fork steerer and seat tubes. Sawing off the excess can actually save a lot of weight. You can consult your local bike shop before proceeding, this will ensure you don’t see too much and fall short of the minimum recommended insertion height on the frame.
4. Tips for lightweight without spending money
There are some simple tips you can do to lighten your bike without spending money.
If you’ve already saved a lot of weight with component upgrades, trimming the excess length of the cable and bar tape can save a few more grams. If your bike has external cable routing, optimizing the cable routing will also help improve aerodynamics at the front of the bike. The brake and transmission cables of the whole bike are usually relatively long when they leave the factory. Cutting them as short as possible can save considerable weight. When operating, please note that if it is too short, will affect the braking and shifting performance.
Road bike’s handlebar tape and handlebar plugs also save weight. Inflatable handlebar plugs are much heavier than simple plastic ones. Thicker silicone bar tapes are usually heavier, thinner cork tapes are usually the lightest, and you can save on tape if you tie the bar tape as tight as possible.
If the valves are going to rattle against your rims, just secure them with some duct tape. You can also swap out the steel screws for bottle cage mounts, headset lid mounts, and other non-fasteners for lightweight alloy screws for even more weight savings.