Tweaking and Upgrading our Bikes is a game within the game, something which many of us avid cyclists strive off of more than the pleasure of cycling itself!
It leaves some folk in confusion and may end with a passive remark such as:
"pfft, 1kg lighter? Wouldn't it make more sense to just lose it from my waist?"
My personal conclusion: Why not do both??
In light of this, we have outlined some of the best cost-effective methods below to losing unnecessary weight from your beloved machine at a price that won't break the bank.
1. Finishing Kit
The finishing kit on your bike is typically dead weight. If its comparably stiff and reliable to other options, the next factor that matters will typically be the weight
Stem: Manufacturers will often include a cheap, heavy, stock stem on their range of bikes. A saving of circa. 70 grams could be made with the purchase of a cheap weight weenies favourite such as the Kalloy Uno with a claimed weight of only 87grams (90mm with titanium bolts)
Handlebars: Similarly to the stem, the handlebars on your bike when purchased off a shop floor as also quite possibly heavy by any standard.
There are many options available to choose from at reasonable price points depending on whether you would prefer a better alloy bar or a carbon option.
Seatpost: Typically the Seatpost attached to your bike will be 400mm~ long. With any traditional shaped frame, chances are you will have quite a lot of excess Seatpost in the frame. For most alloy seatposts, cutting them to length will be an issue (just ensure you measure how much needs to be left sitting in the frame and not to cut it too short).
It appears latex tubes will soon be caught in no man's land between cheap and lightweight with the introduction of plastic compound tubes.
Butyl tubes will still remain as standard but for those looking for a much lighter option with a whole lot less rolling resistance, new options from companies such as Schwalbe (who have paired with plastic giants BASF) will be the go-to option. It provides many benefits and doesn't lead to air loss in the same fashion as latex. Did we mention its also a whole lot lighter?
3. Fork & Steering
If you are fitted to your bike correctly and have little to no interest in selling it on, having your fork steerer cut to length can save you from carrying useless weight and conclude with an aesthetically pleasing cockpit area. This is no more than 5-10 minutes of labour for any skilled bike mechanic and could potentially save 30 - 40 grams if your steerer is currently quite lengthy.
Replacing your headset expander with a lighter option such as our own JRC Components Super Lightweight Headset Expander Plug could also save lots of weight for a small price. A heavy headset expander can weigh as much as 60 grams compared to our expander which weighs a mere 11 grams.
This one is not always black and white and will boil down to users preference of pedals, something which can only be concluded from trying a variety of pedals.
The difference in weight between entry-level pedals and a higher quality option is quite staggering (not to mention that they will also perform much better).
If you're looking for an extremely lightweight pedal, look no further than the Speedplay range. Other lesser-known options are also available such as aerolite however they may prove harder to source. These options will prove much lighter overall when compared to any other pedal/cleat combo from other brands.
As mentioned, besides the pleasure of owning a lightweight bike it must be kept in mind that the real driving force of any bike will remain the person who's pedalling it. Having a lightweight bike can act as strong advantage both mentally and physically however other factors cannot be disregarded; aerodynamics, rider weight, fitness levels, an overall well-maintained bike etc. to provide you with all-around best performance