- Sports and Recreation»
- Individual Sports
Lighten Your Bicycle
Prioritized Weight Reduction
Power and weight are the two most important factors in a cyclist's ability to climb. Assuming two cyclists are able to produce equal amount of power, the cyclist with less total body and bicycle weight will climb the grade in shorter time. Focusing on the weight of the bicycle, it should be noted that there are two categories of components that make-up the total bike.
The components in the first category are the stationary components which are generally not a part of the drive train of the. Example are: the frame, saddle, handlebar, etc.
The components in the second category are generally dynamic or rotating parts. The reduction in the weight of the rotating parts contributes significantly more to a cyclist's climbing speed than the weight of the parts that are stationary. As a rule of thumb, gram-for-gram, weight reduction in rotating parts is three times more effective than the stationary parts in one's climbing speed. Examples of the dynamic or rotating parts are the wheels, cranks, pedals, chain, etc.
Competitive bicycle components are usually expensive. In addition, there seems to be an inverse relationship between the price of a bicycle component and its weight, the lower the weight, the higher the price! Therefore it is important to prioritize the list of the components, being considered, by their net contribution to the rider's ability to climb faster.
The following is a list, in order of priority, representing the components on a bicycle which, based on their relative weights, contribute the most toward a cyclist's climbing speed.
1. Tires, 2. Tubes, 3. Rims, 4. Spokes, 5. Shoes, 6. Pedals, 7. Chain, 8. Cranks, 9. Cassettes, 10. Hubs, 11. Bottom Bracket, 12. Frame, 13. Forks, 14. Brakes, 15. Handlebar, 16. Saddle, 17. Stem, 18. Seatpost, 19. Skewers, 20. Rear derailleur, 21. Bottle cages, 22. Headset, 23. Front Derailleurs.