Thoughts about road bike weight

Dan77

Active Member
Location
Worcester
A lighter bike is generally a good thing right? To what degree is this important though?

I'm looking at endurance bikes as a first road bike. Researching now and hoping to buy when I see a good deal in the next 3-6 months.

I like Trek as a brand but I'm certainly not set on it. I'm not sure they're the best value for the spec. The Domane is a nice looking bike but it's almost 10kg.

Now I'm overweight myself so it seems a bit daft to obsess about bike weight but also I could do with all the help I can get going up those hills. There are other bikes with similar specs that are around 8kg. Would that weight saving make a real difference to me?
 
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T.M.H.N.E.T

Disc brakes - Stopping things since 1902
Location
Northern Ireland
Nope
 

si_c

Veteran
Location
Wirral
A lighter bike is lighter. That's about it, it means you have less to carry up a hill with you. That being said if you consider the system weight - i.e. you and the bike, it doesn't matter too much. Gearing is more important.

The Domane is a good bike - I'm presuming that you are looking at the AL series of bikes rather than the carbon fibre - but 10kg is about par for the course for any aluminium framed road bike. The frame itself is a small proportion of the weight - for example Trek's Emonda SLR frameset weights about 1.2kg including forks and the Domane AL frameset weighs about 2.3kg. The rest of the weight difference is in the wheels, drivetrain and finishing kits. A good set of wheels and tyres can save nearly 1kg alone - and thats what the top end bikes use to get to their low weights.

Trek as a brand are a bit more expensive than others but I've had a number of them over the years and they always fit me well which is a key consideration for me and I've never been dissatisfied. They also offer a lifetime warranty on their frames for the original owner which is very nice to have.
 
I think the OP has looked at the bike radar SL6 review , the bike was fitted with 32mm tyres so came in at 9.5Kg. I googled further and the 2019 SL9 was 7.57kg. My road bikes are all shod with 25mm apart from the tandem which has 32mm. In my googling a few sites said the domaine overall was a couple of 100g over other bikes at a similar price point.
I find lighter bikes feel nicer to throw around but there are other factors ( tyres being a huge performance/feel factor)
 
OP
D

Dan77

Active Member
Location
Worcester
A lighter bike is lighter. That's about it, it means you have less to carry up a hill with you. That being said if you consider the system weight - i.e. you and the bike, it doesn't matter too much. Gearing is more important.

The Domane is a good bike - I'm presuming that you are looking at the AL series of bikes rather than the carbon fibre - but 10kg is about par for the course for any aluminium framed road bike. The frame itself is a small proportion of the weight - for example Trek's Emonda SLR frameset weights about 1.2kg including forks and the Domane AL frameset weighs about 2.3kg. The rest of the weight difference is in the wheels, drivetrain and finishing kits. A good set of wheels and tyres can save nearly 1kg alone - and thats what the top end bikes use to get to their low weights.

Trek as a brand are a bit more expensive than others but I've had a number of them over the years and they always fit me well which is a key consideration for me and I've never been dissatisfied. They also offer a lifetime warranty on their frames for the original owner which is very nice to have.
I've actually been looking at carbon fibre (SL4/SL5) but I'm still open to ideas. The frame weight for that appears to be 1365g. Want to spend a decent amount and not regret the choice.
 
OP
D

Dan77

Active Member
Location
Worcester
I think the OP has looked at the bike radar SL6 review , the bike was fitted with 32mm tyres so came in at 9.5Kg. I googled further and the 2019 SL9 was 7.57kg. My road bikes are all shod with 25mm apart from the tandem which has 32mm. In my googling a few sites said the domaine overall was a couple of 100g over other bikes at a similar price point.
I find lighter bikes feel nicer to throw around but there are other factors ( tyres being a huge performance/feel factor)
I've taken the weight from the Trek website as they come. The SL4 is 9.87kg with 32mm tyres according to that.
 

Milkfloat

An Peanut
Location
Midlands
A lighter bike is certainly nice on a stiff climb, but at all other times aero is far more important, add on to that rolling resistance and you have the two main factors. After that to me weight and colour are most important.
 
Fr'instance i've just bought 2 GP5000 tyres to replace the originals, each tyre is 295g as opppose to the 410g of the originals. 200g off the weight, not that I bought the tyres for the saving. I'm just replacing the originals with a better (IMV) tyre due to wear, and a sidewall cut
 
OP
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Dan77

Active Member
Location
Worcester
I've got a 2020 Domane SL5. This one. It's a fantastic bike to ride, and as others say it would be easy to knock a kilo or more off with aftermarket kit, albeit expensive. If you are carrying excess weight yourself, and are not fit enough to do the bike justice the money is better spent on good food and a training program if performance matters most to you
Fitness is improving (did a 74km ride on Sunday) as is weight. Desperate to keep up the training over winter so as not to lose the progress I have made. I'm sure it would be a big upgrade from my hybrid just got to figure out if it's right for me.
 

Dogtrousers

Kilometre nibbler
For endurance riding, comfort > weight IMO.

But what would I know, as I've never owned a particularly light bike. If I did perhaps the scales would fall from my eyes. I have ridden uncomfortable (or badly set up) bikes though, so I have a bit of experience in that regard.
 

RoubaixCube

~Tribanese~
Location
London, UK
Heavier bikes make for good training. Think of it as an extra layer of resistance and cardio training that will make you sweat more and burn more energy getting it up to speed, going up hills on it will also mean extra cardio from all the expletives you'll be shouting.

different strokes for different folks but sometimes its good to start off on an absolute dog of a bike so that when you get more fitter and get yourself a better bike, it will feel like more of a reward because you put in the time and effort to earn it.

With that said Ive seen racing snakes in full club attire doing laps on halfords Carrera bikes that are quoted to be slightly over 11kg. So there is methods to the madness apart from just having a cheaper entry level bike to thrash around on and run into the dirt.
 
wheels , wheels , wheels. If you want to notice a real difference IMO , that`s where to spend money. A decent set of wheels can transform a bike.
Yes, quite so. I have priced up a set of wheels from Light-bycycle that would take off over a kilo. But that comes at a price, in this case about £600
But I still maintain that to get yourself fitter and lighter should be the main aim, if you do want to see a quantifiable increase in performance.
 

si_c

Veteran
Location
Wirral
I've actually been looking at carbon fibre (SL4/SL5) but I'm still open to ideas. The frame weight for that appears to be 1365g. Want to spend a decent amount and not regret the choice.
Ah for the Carbon bike - just get it, you won't be disappointed. The SL5 has the isospeed system which sounds like a bit of a gimmick but it does smooth out small bumps in the road nicely, it's definitely noticeable and makes the ride much more comfortable - really good for an endurance focused bike. I'd go for the SL5 over the SL4 as 105 is much better than Tiagra shifting wise and the 105 hydraulics brakes are first class. Also the SL5 has a better gear range so go figure.

If you want to ride over winter then get some mudguards fitted by the shop - the Bontrager NCS mudguards work very well with the Domane as to be expected from the same brand and I'd budget a bit of money for replacing the tyres as @steve292 says the stock tyres are OK but not brilliant - they lack great puncture protection and are a bit heavy.

Stock wheels have always been OK for me from Trek - and I'm a fairly heavy rider - but if you want to upgrade later this is where I'd start.

Overall I'd suggest getting down to your local Trek dealer and organising a test ride - if you've had your eye on it for a while which it seems like, then that's the only way to confirm whether it's the bike for you. You could always buy a cheaper or lighter bike online but you'll always be left wondering....

Edit to add: White is the only colour I'd get the SL5 in :wub:
 
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