Always been weight obsessed?

Location
London
Question - how long has this apparent obsession with weight in certain cycling circles really been going on?

Got to pondering this after cleaning up/fondling an oldish ultegra rear mech for sale - I also have another one - and a nice 105 rear mech. These would have been used by racing cyclists I suppose but they definitely aren't light - very generous amounts of very solid sculpted steel, which of course also means that they are damn tough and one of my 20 year old ultegras is, sacrilege, now sitting on a 90s hybrid self build of mine and still giving great service.

Am aware that in times past some folk took to drilling to lighten the weight.
 

Venod

Eh up
Location
Yorkshire
As far as back as I can remember all the cyclists I have known have considered weight as important, the lighter the better, especially wheels, of course the components have to be fit for purpose as well, so it's usually a compromise between weight and cost.
I must stress that almost all the cyclists I am talking about are at the sporty end of cycling.
 

Dolorous Edd

Senior Member
Certainly exacerbated by marketing BS. I remember cancelling my subscription to Cycling Plus shortly after reading a bike review in which the reviewer claimed he was able to ride a gear higher than normal - on the flat mind - because of the lightness of the bike.
 
My two bikes are not light, between 23 and 25 lb, but not that heavy either. I obsess a little because I have to carry them down a flight of stairs. So long as the lift works, I don't have to carry them up...
 

DCLane

Found in the Yorkshire hills ...
Ever since they realised it would help in certain circumstances; i.e. climbing.

My club-mate Brian Robinson, Britain's first TDF stage winner, got his solo stage win by using lighter components on that day: https://www.cyclingweekly.com/news/...sons-tour-de-france-stage-winning-bike-144270

Oh, and son no. 2's hillclimbing today. Now there's a really weight-obsessed community. His hillclimb bike weighs 5.2kg.
 
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Drago

Flouncing Nobber
Location
Poshshire
Aye. Provided my bikes aren't total anvils its an irrelevance, far greater gains to be made elsewhere if that were my thang.
 

Punkawallah

Well-Known Member
At high levels of performance, even a minimal weight saving makes a difference. Those Nice Chaps at GCN have a recent video commenting on the final position of two top riders. The weight saved using a lighter inner tube over the race duration (watts saved or something) apparently would have reversed their position on the podium.

In the late 19th century, light bicycles were a selling point:
610763
 

Dolorous Edd

Senior Member
Also applies is, if you are at the peak of your performance and the optimum weight, one way to make cycling easier is to reduce the weight of your equipment.
If I were to reach this stage, I would be more than happy to reward myself with expensive kit made mostly out of soot.
 

Drago

Flouncing Nobber
Location
Poshshire
At high levels of performance, even a minimal weight saving makes a difference. Those Nice Chaps at GCN have a recent video commenting on the final position of two top riders. The weight saved using a lighter inner tube over the race duration (watts saved or something) apparently would have reversed their position on the podium.

In the late 19th century, light bicycles were a selling point:
View attachment 610763
This is very true (although citing the pseudo-scientists at GCN is dubious in support of your cause).

However, as aforementioned, in the case of most riders they're ignoring the biggest and most foundation gains (probably because it requires effort for a consistent period) in favour of something that is really an irrelevance if they haven't already sorted the fundamentals.

A rider of mediocre fitness and poor technique will not go any quicker for losing, say, 200g off their bike.
 

fatjel

Veteran
Location
West Wales
I recently built up a bike from bits in the shed that I had mostly bought and not liked.
I did it so a bikeless friend could come cycling with me.
It has a boardman carbon frame, ultegra 6800 , mavic wheelset , carbon seat post , deda bars and stem
I tested it on the local mountain road and it felt properly light,
A year later we were out on a longish ride and she wanted to try my di2 , so we swapped
I was surprised at two things a. how light it was . b. how stiff and uncomfortable it felt.

I prefer a smooth rolling. comfy cruiser . I don't mind if it's light but it's not a priority
 
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