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What Does a Bike Really Weigh For Real Riding?

Last updated 2011-12-25 - Send Feedback
Related: gear, Maintenance

When reading “reviews” at various online biking sites, weights are often quoted from manufacturers, but left out are the details which make the figures useful or actionable. For example—

  • Frame weights are quoted without paint, or a frame weight is quoted a model with minimal paint (a full quality paint job can add 100-200 grams to a frame).
  • Frame weights are quoted without various small parts, e.g., screws required to mount water bottles, derailleurs, adapters, dropouts, etc.
  • Frame weight is quoted while omitting the weight of required adapters for a bottom bracket if one uses a BB different than the default one (e.g., Shimano on a PressFit 30 bottom bracket).
  • Outright lying about what regular production frames weigh (this applies to parts, tires, wheels so much so that quoted weights cannot be considered reliable).

Riding a real bike

Setting aside the bogus claims about bike frames, to ride a bike safely and comfortably on a real ride, the bike is going to get heavier.

When whole-bike weight is quoted, there are these additional items almost always omitted, or glossed over without giving any details:

  • Pedals (bike weights omit this). Dura Ace pedals weigh 248g for the pair!)
  • Extra weight of a power meter.
  • Tire weight.
  • Adapters for bottom bracket differences.
  • Saddle (lots of padding or minimal)?. From 135g to 300g.
  • Speed sensor magnet, speed sensor.
  • Mount for cycling computer, cycling computer.
  • Water bottle cages and bolts required to mount them.
  • Mount for tail light and tail light.
  • Spare tire or tube, tire sealant, tire iron, saddle bag.
  • Tire pump.
  • Stem and handlebar.
  • Extra bar tape (for comfort).
  • Water bottles (regular ones are quite heavy), I use Evian bottles to save about 100 gram over standard water bottles (which also hold much less fluid).
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Example weights

Here are various parts that I weighed to get a handle on the extra weight as a realistic setup I have totaled the extra weight that I require on the bike for real rides.

As can be seen, my bike carries about 768 grams = 1.7 pounds more than a stripped down bike. That extra weight is how I raced the Everest Challenge; it was not optional. And I’m not even counting the water bottles or fluid in them.

Can I do without water bottle cages, my power meter or a repair kit? Certainly not.

Weights of extra items on a bike
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