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How to Reduce Bike Weight for Lighter Rides


By Columnist Genevieve Whitson – Professional Cyclist 



Photo Credit: David Howard, 2012 – Olympic Cycling – 

Ever worried that you are carting around a couple of extra kg’s on your bike that could be slowing you down?

Then, why not give yourself the best chance ever on the climbs. Lighten the load by making some simple adjustments to your bike to reduce weight. Of course, this then means that you don’t have to cut back on those cakes.

You reduce weight on your bike without blowing the budget too much. It mainly requires a bit of research on the internet. But I can guarantee that the mental edge you’ll get knowing your bike has shed some debris will make it a far more enjoyable ride anyway.

No 1: Use Carbon Handlebars  Switch from aluminium to carbon handlebars/seat post and stem. Out of all the suggestions I am making, this may be the most expensive, but generally speaking, you can get carbon handlebars for around £70.00. If that feels pretty good, then why not also upgrade the seat post and stem? If you are worried about the brand and need some advice, get on a bike forum and get asking! Carbon is also better at absorbing shock and stiffer than aluminium so it will feel like a smoother ride.

No 2: Switch Skewers – Swap your standard skewers for some uber light weight ones – Tune DC14 Road skewers. I only just discovered these seriously cool and uber light road skewers a year ago. They feel like feathers in comparison to your standard quick releases and also look very funky.

No 3: Bicycle Tubes – Bontrager Ultra-Lightweight Latex Bicycle Tubes. They may be green, but they are light and latex is more subtle and puncture resistant. It is, however, worth checking with your local bike shop that your tyres are compatible with them, but you could be saving up to 20 grams a wheel with these.

No 4: Bar Tape – I didn’t even think it was possible save weight here, but yes you can. Try some Lizard Skin bar tape. They say this can take up to 10 grams off in comparison to standard bar tape. The polymar foam is very grippy, even in the rain and also dampens vibrations. Really? Why are we not all using this already??

No 5: Pedals – Try Speedplay Nanogram Zero pedals as these weigh around 130 grams. Riding Speedplay’s myself I can definitely vouch for how great these pedals are and I am not even riding using their lightest ones. Speedplays are also great because they last for donkey years. My first pair didn’t get replaced for 5 years – that is definitely value for money.

No 6:  Bottle cages – This is a very easy quick-fix for weight. Try some king titanium bottle cages. They are pretty light, but they are also extremely durable and they also won’t mark your bottles. After all everyone wants to have bling-bling looking bottles.

No 7: Tyres – If you want to save another 100 grams, swap your current road tyres for some Maxxis Relis TT. The only downside is that the longevity of these tryes isn’t fabulous, but in the meantime, you’ll feel lighter and they are fast. So, it will be a more comfortable ride. There are lots of things you can do to deal with ‘pre-race nerves’ to ensure you can keep your cool (but not too cool) on your race.




Thanks to my sponsors at www.genwhitson.com. You can now find me on twitter @GenWhitson https://twitter.com/GenWhitson.

About Our Cycling News and Review Columnist

Jarlath-Cross-20131-960x576_GenevieveGenevieve Whitson is a NZ born, British/Scottish cyclist, based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Gen has a raced at the highest level for Road, Cyclocross and Mountain biking, have competed in four World Championships, multiple World Cups as well as riding professionally on the road. Gen has raced all around the globe on the road bike and is currently riding for a Belgium team, Isorex competing in all the major spring classics.

Highlights of her career include gaining a top 30 finish at the World Cyclocross Championships, a stage win in a major USA road tour, and winning the 2015 Scottish National Hill Climb Champs. Gen also loves to ride a rickshaw in Edinburgh for strength training on the side and is heavily involved in supporting/mentoring up and coming female/male athletes to ride to their potential. Her mantra on the bike is: Eat the pain…

Disclaimer: The information published in this column is the author’s own professional and personal knowledge, and opinion. This information and opinion are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any manner. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition and consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on InShape News.

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