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Existentialism-- Just a bloody good excuse to go riding...

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Weight Savings or Just Weenie-ing

Balance is the keyword.

Form follows function and sometimes it all really depends on one's intended purpose. Too often I have seen people shaving off weight without having the slightest clue as to why except in the never ending quest to impress others with owning the "lightest this and the lightest that".

Well I prefer to ride my bike more than telling others how light it is. Intentionally pounding it hard and unintentionally banging it up in rather stupid fashions more times than i care to admit.

Over the years I work out the following to follow when it comes to a bike build.

(1) Need to train on it, not racing-- durability of parts over prioritizing of weight.

(2) Lighten up for race or simply at a point of wanting to ride faster...still sensible components are prioritized over weight saving alone. Savings are focus first on the parts that matter, therefore its usually rotational weight followed by non critical things like mud guards or Ti screws for bar end plugs. Yea at times the "final touches" does border on ridiculous. Ok guess I'm still human afterall.

After the changes, weight distribution on a bike has to be balanced. There is absolutely nothing worse than a bike that when held up in the middle, the front decides to droop down like a tired horse or a backend that  sliding down like a boat anchor.

(3 Pure Weenism-- has no place in my biking life. I'm not jeopardizing my life by being a few grams lighter nor would sacrifice the fun factor by having to ride putty kat style in a bid not to break some uber expensive light but fragile component.

Let's see what can be done with a rear wheel..... this is halfway finished for now @ 2562gm. Nothing to post about in the Weenie's Hall of Fame but coming off from over 3kg, that's almost a pound of rotational weight off the rear yet retaining a combo that I have no qualms from taking a 10ft drop. Only thing lacking for such air lies in the rider, not the wheel.

And who said weight saving have to come with spending $$$$$$. Not here for sure.

Swap out some expensive and heavier tires, sold it off and there was still change left after I put an Ardent 2.4 on it. Great tire with all the characteristics I wanted and best part, real cheap too. Weight saving between 50- 125 gm depending on which of the previous tire its compared to.

Swapped out a smaller inner tube with an older larger one. Now that the Ardent needs to run at least 25-27 psi in the rear, the smaller inner tube is ok, unlike when I was running down to as low as 21-22 psi on some others. Otherwise will have to live with the additional 100gm or so from a larger inner tubbie.

After learning a little caliper adjustment tweak, swapped a 180mm back into a 160mm rotor and now have better rear braking power than before + 65gm saving.

Deore cassette is tough but heavy and rather stressful on the soft freehub body of the CK hub. So that's replaced with an old spare M960 XTR cassette, using the 6 pc cluster that was hardly used and mated with the smallest 3 cogs from another XT cassette. Drops 144gm.

Contemplated a light weight 160mm rotor that will reduce another 40gm or so but just can't justify forking the cash for such meager weight saving when the present rotor is probably good for another couple of years.

Should I swap the heavy duty axle with Fun bolts back to the QR-axle and the RWS skewer?
Well its probably just about as stiff and I wouldnt notice the difference much but I don't really like the idea of having a skewer lever sticking out on my bikes anymore.

  Parts Weight (g)
 Spank Subrosa 30mm Rim with foam rim tape 575
 DT Comp spokes, 32 pc with brass nipples 208
 CK ISO hub with heavy duty axle+ funn bolt 420
 A2Z 160mm rotor + rotor bolts 112
 M960 cassette (with lock ring) 240
 Ardent 2.4 with EXO  (folding) 812
 Inner tube (1.95-2.1) 195
 Total 2562

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