Quantcast

Do you believe that lighter is better?

Discussion in 'Downhill & Freeride' started by kickstand, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. kickstand

    kickstand Turbo Monkey

    Rep/Likes:
    44 / 390
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2009
    Messages:
    3,453
    Location:
    Fenton, MI
    Durability and reliability aside.

    I figure the average weekend warrior/ridemonkey DH bike to weigh in right around 38-40 lbs. i may be off by a bit but that seems to be about average based on my small amount of ****s to give about weight.....so is lighter better?

    If durability and reliability were not a concern would you WANT a 30lb DH bike? If so, do you think it would make you faster?

    I have ridden a few lightweights and didn't like the feel of it, my tr450 with a stock build and fox 40 weighs in at about 42 lbs, I wouldn't mind being under 40, but otherwise am not too concerned with going lighter.

    What say the e-riders of ridemonkey?
     

    Please register to disable this ad.

  2. jnooth

    jnooth Monkey

    Rep/Likes:
    2 / 1
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Messages:
    390
    Location:
    Vermont Country
    My bike is currently 37lbs. The advantages in my eyes of a lighter bike is in the acceleration. coming out of a corner, one pedal stroke on a 36lb bike will accelerate you more than one pedal stroke on 40lb bike. I think a DH bike looses its stability in the rough stuff at a certain point. my bike is 37 and i think i could drop 3 pounds or so and still be fine. Also I think a lighter bike is less work and if you are working less you can maintain a higher pace for longer.

    my answer is yes I do think a lighter bike is faster but I guess that I would have to say only to an extent.
     
  3. ianjenn

    ianjenn Turbo Monkey

    Rep/Likes:
    16 / 282
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Messages:
    2,485
    Location:
    SLO
    The Norco we are testing is 36LBS stock right now. I do not think I would be any fast on it if it was 36 vs 40 lbs. If riding a 3-5 mile rock filled descent I can see it saving some energy on say a 2 minute DH course for the average DH rider non WC qualifying variety I doubt it.

    There was a record set on a local trail here back in 2000 it was just broken last year by 1-2 seconds. Think about that with all the suspension, tire and weight advancements... Gwinns Trek is what high 36's according to MBA.

    Another thing to note I can bunnyhop the real way I dont need to be clipped in to move my bike around. I ride flats.
     
    #3 -   Nov 21, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2012
  4. demo 9

    demo 9 Turbo Monkey

    Rep/Likes:
    9 / 45
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2007
    Messages:
    5,924
    Location:
    north jersey
    I prefer quality, my bike weighs 44 lbs and i have no problems racing it (and doing well) If my exact setup could be 40 pounds, sure id take it, if it could be 35, maybe, have to see, but i would never swap to lighter stuff if i didnt like the product. (i wont be on a boxxer any time soon)
     
  5. klunky

    klunky Turbo Monkey

    Rep/Likes:
    0 / 6
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2003
    Messages:
    1,079
    Location:
    Scotland
    Where I live I dont often get uplift. This means I push or carry the bike up hills.
    A lighter bike means I can ride for longer without getting tired. I think my bike is about 38ish
     
  6. slyfink

    slyfink Turbo Monkey

    Rep/Likes:
    101 / 1,472
    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    Messages:
    5,633
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    I don't know what my DH bike weighs, if I had to hazard a guess I'd say it's around 42-44lbs. I also haven't been able to ride it as much since I've become a dad. On the local days when I get out for 3-4-5 hours, I don't think it would make a difference. But it's the times when I've been on bike trips, to the sea-to-sky corridor and to the Alps in France, that make me long for a lighter bike. I found this to especially be the case on shuttle days where the trails aren't perfectly all DH. I remember fighting with my bike in Pemeberton and on the North shore of Vancouver (can't remember the names of mountains and trails, it was almost 6 years ago now ;() on long days. I think in those situations a lighter bike would mean you could ride a little safer a little longer. I remember crashing hard when I was too exhausted to ride properly. Of course, I was on a 2005 Norco A-Line then which probably weighed 55lbs or something... the thing was a tank!
     
  7. Pslide

    Pslide Turbo Monkey

    Rep/Likes:
    5 / 0
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2002
    Messages:
    1,381
    Location:
    Feet on the ground, head in the clouds.
    The lighter bikes I've ridden have felt awesome. Tossable, nimble and fun to ride. Don't know about faster, don't care much about faster either, would rather have fun...
     
  8. HardtailHack

    HardtailHack used an iron once

    Rep/Likes:
    12 / 131
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    Messages:
    2,199
    I am a pretty fat person at the moment so I don't really care about the overall weight but I do like to keep the rotating and unspung mass as low as I can.

    I did find when racing my hardtail DH that a set of heavy cranks made the bike so much more stable through the chop, when it got below 30 Lb it got a bit scary.
     
  9. toodles

    toodles Turbo Monkey

    Rep/Likes:
    29 / 621
    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2004
    Messages:
    2,457
    Location:
    Australia
    In the last 3 years I've taken my DH bike to Whistler twice and Queenstown once. Given airline excess baggage fees, and the amount of sweet talking I have to do to avoid them, I'd have to say that yes - lighter is better :)
     
    #9 -   Nov 21, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2012
  10. Huck Banzai

    Huck Banzai Turbo Monkey

    Rep/Likes:
    6 / 21
    Joined:
    May 8, 2005
    Messages:
    2,531
    Location:
    Transitory
    I definitely like a little lighter, especially -as noted - over the long haul. (Longer runs, multiple runs)

    My bike is about 38 and nothing weenie (Ti spring and X9-SL chain cover the 'light' parts)

    this is an XL V10c with a 888 RC3-EVO (not ti) w MZ Stem, Spank 777's uncut, Rogue lock-ons, I Beam alu w/ Bel Air RL, Vivd R2C w/ 550lb coil), SRS+, E13 Cranks (2010 - not the newest lighter ones), Ultegra 12-23, 823's on Hadleys, Saint shift and brake (2010), Maxxis 2.5's (2.4?!) - front is tubeless. Oh, and a sh!t ton of Xpel 30 mil tape + a 2nd SC fake carbon weave pad thing under the DT/BB.

    Nothing light or not up to beastly standards, which is fortunate because Im a hack -- and I usually break me, not the bike.
     
    #10 -   Nov 21, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2012
  11. Tetreault

    Tetreault Monkey

    Rep/Likes:
    0 / 0
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2005
    Messages:
    880
    Location:
    SoMeWhErE NoWhErE
    There is definitely a limit to where things start to feel sketchy when going down hill. I found for my dj hard tails that even approaching the 23# mark gets a little shaky in the air when things aren't perfect.

    All mountain bikes start feeling off to me at the 26-27# mark.

    And DH bikes, the lightest i've had a chance to ride was 34 pounds, felt great on smoother lines and trails, but i could really notice that it got bumped around and required more work to hold a line when the trail started to get really rocky and technical.
     
  12. kickstand

    kickstand Turbo Monkey

    Rep/Likes:
    44 / 390
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2009
    Messages:
    3,453
    Location:
    Fenton, MI
    I will chime in with my opinion that lighter is ok to a certain point, but as others have mentioned only to a point because after that the bike loses that solid feel and stability needed in a DH bike.
     
  13. boylagz

    boylagz Monkey

    Rep/Likes:
    0 / 2
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2011
    Messages:
    473
    Location:
    SF bay area
    My V10 with a 180 sc is at 36.6, feels great. No light parts except the VAir shock, bike is all I could ask for. I can defo see as a dh bike approaches the low 30's might get sketchy when you need the weight for stability. Too heavy and itll be a chore to muscle it, or like how the others said accelerate when needed. The 35-38 lb range would be the sweet spot imo.
     
  14. kidwoo

    kidwoo Celebrating No-Pants Day

    Rep/Likes:
    158 / 1,508
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2003
    Messages:
    21,721
    Location:
    In my pants
    Lighter bikes both accelerate AND decelerate quicker AND redirect quicker.

    Hell yeah I'd love a 30lb dh bike......especially if most of it were taken from the wheels/tires.

    I also want a bike that works next weekend however so mine weighs about 38-39lbs.
     
  15. jonKranked

    jonKranked Press Button, Receive Stupid

    Rep/Likes:
    383 / 3,703
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2005
    Messages:
    54,363
    Location:
    media blackout
    qft.


    nothing against light stuff, but some of us are ballin' on a budget. a full season of riding without having to replace half the bike is worth more to some of us than playing gram wars.
     
  16. Deano

    Deano Monkey

    Rep/Likes:
    0 / 0
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2011
    Messages:
    234
    i think my summum comes in at around 37 lbs right now.

    i doubt i would notice it being 1-2 lbs lighter.

    Unless it was at the wheels/rims.
     
  17. ianjenn

    ianjenn Turbo Monkey

    Rep/Likes:
    16 / 282
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Messages:
    2,485
    Location:
    SLO
    I really want to see a legitimate test of the same bike set-up up with a lighter build kit and a comparison doing like 4 runs on each version. Fully covered rims to swap wheel, and any other parts. You can probably make a 4-5LBS difference. See what it really translates to on the stopwatch. Until then I will just say I will save weight where I can on the bike but I am not spending $2K extra to save 2 LBS.
     
    #17 -   Nov 21, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2012
  18. jonKranked

    jonKranked Press Button, Receive Stupid

    Rep/Likes:
    383 / 3,703
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2005
    Messages:
    54,363
    Location:
    media blackout
    let's face it. some guys just wanna jack off to their bike on a scale.
     
  19. kickstand

    kickstand Turbo Monkey

    Rep/Likes:
    44 / 390
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2009
    Messages:
    3,453
    Location:
    Fenton, MI
    Durability aside, do you think a 30lb bike is better than a 35lb bike? I think there comes a point where it is too light regardless of durability
     
  20. Nick

    Nick My name is Nick

    Rep/Likes:
    295 / 2,491
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2001
    Messages:
    13,727
    Location:
    behind you, don't wait up.
    My DHR weighs around 38-39 lbs.
    I rode a carbonz Trek 9.9 this past Summer that weighed in around 33 lbs.
    I'd opt for the lighter bike (so long as the ride didn't suck) every time. The Session rode really well, very 'familiar' to me immediately, jumped very well, didn't feel squirrley at all.
     
  21. Jim Mac

    Jim Mac MAKE ENDURO GREAT AGAIN

    Rep/Likes:
    32 / 281
    Joined:
    May 21, 2004
    Messages:
    6,458
    Location:
    the middle east of NY
    Boom, boosh, etc!
     
  22. demonprec

    demonprec Monkey

    Rep/Likes:
    0 / 14
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2004
    Messages:
    238
    Location:
    Whonnock BC Canada
    last thing i look at is the weight of parts i buy what my wallet allows and what is going to give me the most life and durability especially when it comes to wheels , ya it,s nice to have some nice like weight wheels but what good are they if they can,t take a beating and stay true and round . and yrs back when i raced i had one bike that was in the high 30lb range and another that was in the 42/44lb range and i was faster on the heavier bike by over 15secs and it was sporting a Monster T up front with double wides for rims
     
  23. kidwoo

    kidwoo Celebrating No-Pants Day

    Rep/Likes:
    158 / 1,508
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2003
    Messages:
    21,721
    Location:
    In my pants
    Oh god yes.


    I'm not sure I'd want a 20lb dh bike but who knows.......the concept itself is so foreign I really have no idea. Who's to say better suspension available at the time that conversation becomes a reality won't make up for the more momentum keep on truckin' factor. As it sits right now, I've had 5lbs off my dh bike and friggin loved it. But I got sick of replacing and straightening things.

    But a 30lb dh bike. Hell yeah, I'd be all over it if I could ride it like I do my current one from a durability standpoint.
     
  24. chillindrdude

    chillindrdude Turbo Monkey

    Rep/Likes:
    8 / 23
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2002
    Messages:
    1,864
    Location:
    Northern VA, a peckerwood with too many guns
    Hasnt this topic been hashed ad nauseum?
     
  25. kickstand

    kickstand Turbo Monkey

    Rep/Likes:
    44 / 390
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2009
    Messages:
    3,453
    Location:
    Fenton, MI
    probably, but that's what the internet and forums are for
     
  26. djjohnr

    djjohnr Turbo Monkey

    Rep/Likes:
    22 / 398
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2002
    Messages:
    1,777
    Location:
    Northern California
    Realistically, except for rim/tire weight I can't feel +/- a couple of pounds when pedaling. That's why I don't care about anything other then rotational weight on my AM bike. However, I can feel the weight of the bike in my arms when I'm throwing it around. It doesn't really matter until I get into the high 30s; then I start to notice the extra weight.
     
  27. Tomasz

    Tomasz Monkey

    Rep/Likes:
    0 / 0
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2012
    Messages:
    342
    Location:
    Whistla
    Lighter is better absolutely.

    "Sketchiness" of lighter bikes sounds ridiculous to me.
     
  28. www.amazon.com

    Rep/Likes:
    0 / 0
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2011
    Messages:
    241
    Yes.

    '12 Cove Shocker weighs 37#..It's hard to make bike light when the frame is 11#. And you dont have an income.
     
  29. Udi

    Udi RM Chief Ornithologist: “I Brake for Birds”

    Rep/Likes:
    93 / 785
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    Messages:
    4,700
    Can you get a discount on excess baggage if your bike rides lighter than it is?
     
  30. ianjenn

    ianjenn Turbo Monkey

    Rep/Likes:
    16 / 282
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Messages:
    2,485
    Location:
    SLO
    No but if you tell them riding a 35LBS bike vs a 40LBS bike would have made you qualify at that WC race then yes.
     
  31. frango

    frango Turbo Monkey

    Rep/Likes:
    0 / 5
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2007
    Messages:
    1,476
    If you do not take durability and reliability (till reasonable level) into consideration, lighter IS better.
    I think it's just physics. As already mentioned... Lighter bikes accelerate, decelerate, turn and jump lighter, easier. If you say, lighter bikes are tossed around more than plow bikes on rough terrain, I say you can control lighter bike will less force, so easier.
    Moreover, I am 135lbs and I am most probably weaker that 235lbs guy ;) So, coming from 44lbs 2005 Giant Faith to 33lbs 2010 Glory was a quite a deal for me.
     
  32. Udi

    Udi RM Chief Ornithologist: “I Brake for Birds”

    Rep/Likes:
    93 / 785
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    Messages:
    4,700
    This is correct. Obviously making something lightweight while also being stiff and durable is a challenge, but that's what good engineering is about.

    To the OP - for a good comparison I think you need to compare the same bike and setup (or as close as possible) with more and less weight, otherwise there's a good chance that other factors are affecting the comparison.

    The only real argument you could make for a heavier bike is that more sprung weight will help overcome friction more easily in suspension components, but you really need a bike much heavier to notice improvements there (i.e. a motorbike). Not a good trade off considering everything frango mentioned.
     
  33. iRider

    iRider Turbo Monkey

    Rep/Likes:
    23 / 231
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2008
    Messages:
    1,873
    And we have a winner!
     
  34. HardtailHack

    HardtailHack used an iron once

    Rep/Likes:
    12 / 131
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    Messages:
    2,199
    I'm still yet to see a current Glory that looks as stable through fast choppy sections as the earlier lead frame, I still prefer the feel of a heavier bike as I am a hack and I like to plow when on a dually. I paid good money for suspension that works so I'm gonna use it.

    Do the people with uber light bikes check their body fat levels and keep as themselves as light as possible or are they fatties shedding weight from the bike because they like Twinkies too much?
     
    #34 -   Nov 22, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2012
  35. UiUiUiUi

    UiUiUiUi Turbo Monkey

    Rep/Likes:
    6 / 0
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2003
    Messages:
    1,385
    Location:
    Berlin, Germany

    ah come on not this argument, the whole idea of the road bike industry is selling super expensive carbon frames and parts to fatties with ****loads of money...

    why should the same principle not be applied to downhill bikes? ;)
     
    #35 -   Nov 22, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2012
  36. Udi

    Udi RM Chief Ornithologist: “I Brake for Birds”

    Rep/Likes:
    93 / 785
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    Messages:
    4,700
    It's not the weight, the older frame has more travel and a fairly supple early stroke (i.e. respectably high leverage ratio at start of travel, plus you can run more sag if so desired). I've ridden both and agree with you that the older one feels good but it's not because it's heavier.

    This is why I mentioned previously that if you want to compare weight, you really need to compare like for like everywhere else if possible.
     
  37. HardtailHack

    HardtailHack used an iron once

    Rep/Likes:
    12 / 131
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    Messages:
    2,199
    Ahh OK that makes a lot of sense, the new ones look terribly unsettled but it seems most people want a "poppy" bike these days so I guess there has to be a tradeoff.

    From memory my frame(Nicolai Ion) can be set in the long travel setting with a slightly shorter shock stroke and you end up with a more progressive leverage curve supposedly making it perform better in the chop. I'm never going to experiment, my bike has way more potential than I do so it stays as it is until something breaks.

    I did go to light weight Middleburn cranks for a while and I couldn't believe how much quicker the bike felt when I replaced them with some decent cranks. The twist from the Middleburns under power made the bike feel really sluggish. I also had the same drama with my Straitline pinch stem, that thing twisted a stupid amount when mashing the pedals, that was replaced with a D2 and that thing had no flex at all which again made the bike feel quicker.
     
    #37 -   Nov 22, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2012
  38. daisycutter

    daisycutter Turbo Monkey

    Rep/Likes:
    3 / 31
    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2006
    Messages:
    1,506
    Location:
    New York City
    Several bike companies are selling 10 grand carbon DH bikes. Hell the new V10's suspension is the same as the frame before it. The big improvement is the loss off a box of paper clips. Lighter is better, and peeps seem to be willing to pay to make their bikes lighter.
     
  39. Lelandjt

    Lelandjt Turbo Monkey

    Rep/Likes:
    4 / 95
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2008
    Messages:
    1,681
    Location:
    Breckenridge, CO/Lahaina,HI
    My DH bike is 36.5lb and my 7" bike is 29.5lb. For sure he DH bike has better suspension and stickier tires but there's places I'm faster on the 7" bike cuz I can accelerate it faster and feel fresher toward the bottom of a run. My DH bike might be around 33lb next year and I expect to be faster on it, especially on pedally courses and in the second half of runs. I don't think stability becomes an issue till you get down to the mid 20s.
     
    #39 -   Nov 23, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2012
  40. sbabuser

    sbabuser Turbo Monkey

    Rep/Likes:
    6 / 32
    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Messages:
    1,080
    Location:
    Golden, CO
    I'll take a 30lb dh bike, please. The only thing slowing down my 30lb Enduro on descents is lack of travel and durability, not lack of weight.