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/ Bike weight and rolling speed

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James Malloch - on 14 May 2018

Does it make much of a difference?

I'm changing from a road to a hybrid bike and wondering what style to go for. The choice is either lockable suspension or none. The weight differences seem to be 11kg vs 14kg. 

I'd be putting smooth tyres on which will make a big differed to rolling speed but I'm not sure about the weight.

My commute is going to be up to 15 miles a few times per week on pretty reasonable canal towpath (okay on a road bike but I just hate the drop bars and geometry of the bike hence the change). I'd probably lock the suspension most of the time unless I decide to commute from further when it gets more bumpy so it's more of a precautionary thing so I'd consider going without if it would make much difference. 

I'd also like to do the odd long weekend tour but speed would probably be less important for that...

Any thoughts would be appreciated!

due - on 14 May 2018
In reply to James Malloch:

https://www.outsideonline.com/1959681/will-lighter-bike-make-me-faster

Also don't dismiss using tyres as 'suspension'. I'd prefer a rigid bike bike with wider tyres (> 2") than the added hassle of front suspension.

ablackett - on 14 May 2018
In reply to James Malloch:

If it's flat it won't make much difference but if you don't need the suspension I wouldn't get the heavier bike just on the off chance.

It will make a difference on the hills, as the previous posed article says, just not much.

I can get up my local hill on my light road bike in 3.5 minutes.  On my heavy touring bike with suspension and 12kg son on the front it take me more like 11 minutes!  Not what you are asking, but weight does make a difference in some situations!

gethin_allen on 14 May 2018
In reply to James Malloch:

3 kg is quite a substantial penalty for a front suspension fork, is the rest of the bike significantly heavier?

I'm thinking that to meet a price point with a more expensive fork the manufacturer will have made compromises with the rest of the bike and that's where a lot of the weight will be.

Either way I'd avoid that bike just for the inevitable hulking it around as much as the difference in speed, which on the flat won't make a huge difference.

Personally I'd go for the rigid fork but I have other bikes I'd use for anything a road bike couldn't handle.

If you haven't got this option and you can find a bike with a less substantial weight penalty this could be good if paired up with a set of fat tyres for when you want to go rougher.

Rigid Raider - on 14 May 2018
In reply to James Malloch:

Unless you're bashing the off road trails at competiton speeds you really do not need suspension despite what the sales person might tell you. In the early 90s we all rode off road on full rigid bikes and we all survived.

Definitely go for light weight and simplicity.

thepodge on 14 May 2018

For that kind for riding I'd go for rigid forks and high volume tyres, not because of the weight but because hybrid suspension is rubbish and will no doubt seize up so why bother?

James Malloch - on 14 May 2018
In reply to James Malloch:

Thanks for the replies - some interesting reading on the links too.

The 3kg was based on some comparisons (within a c.£600 budget). The Trek I looked at yesterday was 14kg, and I knew a Boardman I had looked at previously was listed as 11kg for a non-suspension hybrid. The Boardman Hybrids are 13kg though so possibly a little smaller but in that ball park.

I'm definitely erring towards the rigid bike but need to have a proper think. Getting it in and out of a narrow boat everyday might make the few kg's saving more appealing!

 

James Malloch - on 14 May 2018
In reply to James Malloch:

The suspension bike was a very nice red colour if style points increase speed?

the sheep - on 14 May 2018
In reply to James Malloch:

I ride to work along canal tow paths, dirt track and road. I went from a front sus mtb with commute tyres to what they now call adventure road bike (beefed up road bike really) that doesn't have suspension and found a big difference in speed. Didn't notice any real reduction in ride comfort so would happily say save weight and go without the front sus!

elsewhere on 14 May 2018
In reply to James Malloch:

> I'm definitely erring towards the rigid bike but need to have a proper think. Getting it in and out of a narrow boat everyday might make the few kg's saving more appealing!

You'll regret every extra kilo!

I notice extra weight carrying up/down stairs but hardly when cycling.

 

krikoman - on 14 May 2018
In reply to elsewhere:

> You'll regret every extra kilo!

> I notice extra weight carrying up/down stairs but hardly when cycling.


Isn't that more exercise though, if you're riding to get fit, then what difference does a few extra kg make.

ClimberEd - on 14 May 2018
In reply to James Malloch:

Get a (fully rigid) gravel bike. 

Okay, it's the trend right now, but that aside they are basically 'go everywhere fast' bikes. 

Unless you are trying to peg it downhill properly fast, that will be the best option for you

thepodge on 14 May 2018

While I'm a fan of Gravel bikes they aren't for everyone and do command a trendy price. 

Something like the Pinnacle Lithium is bang on for what you are describing but as its listed as a hybrid its much cheaper. 

malk - on 14 May 2018
In reply to James Malloch:

another vote for rigid. this would suit? (10kg, tyres to 32mm): http://www.cyclingweekly.com/reviews/hybrid-bikes/btwin-triban-520-flat-bar

malk - on 14 May 2018
In reply to ClimberEd:

James doesn't like drops, but i do like the flared drops on my gravel bike..

elsewhere on 14 May 2018
In reply to krikoman:

> if you're riding to get fit

Commuting so more a mode of transport than a mode of exercise.

 

krikoman - on 14 May 2018
In reply to elsewhere:

> Commuting so more a mode of transport than a mode of exercise.


It might be both, but each to their own, I have a full suss, so I'm used to the extra weight.

 


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