1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
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2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
Results 1 to 19 of 19
  1. #1
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    New question here. Make me lighter??

    Guys,

    I just purchased a Rockhopper and I wanted to start making it as light as possible. In what order should I start to replaced parts to make it a lighter bike?


    Thanks for helping out!

    Johnny Vegas

  2. #2
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    Wheels and tires are the best place to save weight. That's where you'll see the most performance gain. Rotating weight takes more effort to accelerate.

  3. #3
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    "As light as possible" - Hope you've got deep pockets.

    Tires, tubes, seat, seat post, handle bars, grips and stem are the easiest and cheapest.

    Then I would go wheels, cranks, fork, drive train and brakes.

    But personally I would go tires, tubes, grips, buy a new bike.

    It is far cheaper to buy a bike from the shop with the components you want than to build up a frame, let alone buy a bike and strip it.

    This is about as light as possible - link
    Not that all teenagers are evil mind, just most of them.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Blonde
    Wheels and tires are the best place to save weight. That's where you'll see the most performance gain. Rotating weight takes more effort to accelerate.
    And also one of the most expensive!I bought a set of Alex Vectra T2D's and at 1790 grams were the lightest wheels I could afford,if I wanted anything significantly lighter(150+ grams) I would have had to spend $500+ more then I did.I could have spent $100-$200 more and saved maybe a few grams,but not enough to make it worth it.

    Now the tires on the other hand are a good place to start!I could save 240 grams right now by replacing my steel beaded tires for the folding bead models.Another place to start that's not too expensive is your seatpost and handlebars,Raceface has a Carbon handlebar that comes in at 99 grams and I just bought a U.S.E. Aluminum seatpost that weights 160 grams!That's lighter then most carbon or titanium seatposts!Also the Titec Pluto Carbon Stem is light at 125 grams,it's actually carbon wrapped,but still very nice.

    One thing to remember though,if you're going to go light it's a good idea to stay away from the more extreme riding styles.They make some compromises with strength to make parts lighter.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by gumbymark
    "As light as possible" - Hope you've got deep pockets.

    Tires, tubes, seat, seat post, handle bars, grips and stem are the easiest and cheapest.

    Then I would go wheels, cranks, fork, drive train and brakes.

    But personally I would go tires, tubes, grips, buy a new bike.

    It is far cheaper to buy a bike from the shop with the components you want than to build up a frame, let alone buy a bike and strip it.

    This is about as light as possible - link

    Those bikes are incredible!And here I thought I was doing good at about 23 Lbs. and maybe being able to get it down to 22.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by CRed
    Those bikes are incredible!
    Incredibly goofy. Heinz Whitman is a dork. Has the lightest hardtail and number 4 FS.

  7. #7
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    Not to burst your bubble, but you probably should have just bought the next model up. Upgrading a lower-spec'd bike to match one with higher specs is going to put you way out of budget. Especially if you're trying to shave weight. Much cheaper to do it all in one go.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Blonde
    Incredibly goofy. Heinz Whitman is a dork. Has the lightest hardtail and number 4 FS.

    Heh.Maybe,but those are light bikes!They should post how much they have spent to get them that light.There's no way I could afford to be that much of an weight weenie even if I wanted to.I'm pretty happy with mine,I'll get it down to 22 lbs. while ONLY spending about $1400 doing it so not too bad.

  9. #9
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    For many of us a diet is the most cost effective way of reducing the weight on the bike...
    Why does your bike need to be lighter? You really should have started off with a lighter bike purchase as others have said, making your Rockhopper as light as possible will not be cheap. Best thing is to ride the crap out of it and replace things as they wear out...
    "...the people get the government they deserve..."
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrMook
    Not to burst your bubble, but you probably should have just bought the next model up. Upgrading a lower-spec'd bike to match one with higher specs is going to put you way out of budget. Especially if you're trying to shave weight. Much cheaper to do it all in one go.
    For the vast majority of people upgrading and customizing a bike is one of the funnest parts. Maybe it's not about coming out cheapest in the end. Maybe it's about getting a decent entry level bike so you aren't in over your head and improving that bike to
    YOUR preferences as you develop them.

  11. #11
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    Are you overweight at all? You can lose a bunch of weight for free that way
    :wq

  12. #12
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    Stupid question, why do you want to make it lighter so quickly after purchasing it? Ride, ride, and ride some more and after a year or so invest the money in the Rockhopper or buy a new bike with all the parts you want - read here long enough and you'll know what you want after a while...

    Heavier bikes get you in shape quicker than lighter bikes!

  13. #13
    i also unicycle
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    to get a light rockhopper go back to the shop and buy a stumpy hardtail. done. quick, cheap(er), and easy as pie. but legitimately, watch what you eat and ride more. everyone else has made good suggestions for making the bike lighter, but a rockhopper isn't a super light bike to start with so spending too much to make it light is kinda weird.
    mtbr says you should know: i work in a bike shop.
    bikes & beers (on my blog) http://idontrideenough.blogspot.com/

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Blonde
    For the vast majority of people upgrading and customizing a bike is one of the funnest parts.
    I can't argue with that, and if you've got the money, go for it. I also agree with your advice about eliminating rotating mass, such as the wheels. But in general, to buy a bike with a lower-end groupset, and immediately want to start shaving ounces sounds like the infamous "upgraditis".

    Yes, we all want fancy components, and we all upgrade here and there, but for someone just starting out, I'd recommend doing a little more research before buying the bike. Price out similar models, and look at components offered on other mfr's builds in different price ranges, then look at component prices online and do the math.

  15. #15
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    the guy wants a lighter bike, so instead of grilling him on what he should have done (although I agree), let him know how to make it lighter. jdnorris, you didn't mention a budget. as far as money goes, what are you able to spend? also ask yourself whether you'd rather have something that is lighter, or something that functions better. for example, spending money on a light saddle (seat) will in fact get you a more uncomfortable yet lighter seat. at the same time, that money could have gone towards a new rear derailleur that will make your shifting much smoother, thereby shifting better at crucial times. the one thing i recommend would be to use kevlar bead (folding tires) when your tires wear out. i would NOT recommend: taking your grips off and spraying on some kind of abrasive and adhesive so your hands can grip the handlebars, cutting the knobs off your tires half way or so, sanding down aluminum parts, cutting out the saddle foam and retrimming the cover to refit the saddle, or taking off one brake (rear, hopefully) and accompanying components.

  16. #16
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    i would NOT recommend: taking your grips off and spraying on some kind of abrasive and adhesive so your hands can grip the handlebars, cutting the knobs off your tires half way or so, sanding down aluminum parts, cutting out the saddle foam and retrimming the cover to refit the saddle, or taking off one brake (rear, hopefully) and accompanying components

    Personal experience? Definitely a good list of things to avoid doing

    With all the wonderful information on these forums, the OP should be fine figuring out what is within his budget and reason (or not).
    "...the people get the government they deserve..."
    suum quique

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by liv2rideride2live
    for example, spending money on a light saddle (seat) will in fact get you a more uncomfortable yet lighter seat. at the same time, that money could have gone towards a new rear derailleur that will make your shifting much smoother, thereby shifting better at crucial times.
    You are dead wrong about the saddle thing. The most comfortable saddle isn't necessarily the heaviest most padded one. The most comfortable saddle is the one that fits your butt best. In almost every case you eventually find that a saddle with less padding ends up working out very nice. Lots of people find the SLR saddle line extremely comfortable. Also, to a point, rear derailleurs won't do crap for your shifting performance. The technology is in the shifter.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikinfoolferlife
    i would NOT recommend: taking your grips off and spraying on some kind of abrasive and adhesive so your hands can grip the handlebars, cutting the knobs off your tires half way or so, sanding down aluminum parts, cutting out the saddle foam and retrimming the cover to refit the saddle, or taking off one brake (rear, hopefully) and accompanying components

    Personal experience? Definitely a good list of things to avoid doing

    With all the wonderful information on these forums, the OP should be fine figuring out what is within his budget and reason (or not).
    Yes, a weak attempt at humor.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Blonde
    You are dead wrong about the saddle thing. The most comfortable saddle isn't necessarily the heaviest most padded one. The most comfortable saddle is the one that fits your butt best. In almost every case you eventually find that a saddle with less padding ends up working out very nice. Lots of people find the SLR saddle line extremely comfortable. Also, to a point, rear derailleurs won't do crap for your shifting performance. The technology is in the shifter.
    The saddle thing is true to a point. I was thinking more extreme, along the lines of composite saddles that lack any padding. Rear derailleurs must be fully functioning, and that is why they are more critical on a bike because of long-standing durability needed. If you take a look at higher end bikes, the rear tends to be at the same level if not one above the shifters. This isn't for the "ooh ahhh factor" as lower end bikes manufacturers can do with the more average rider...these bikes are aimed at the more knowledgeable and avid biker.
    Anyways, my point to the original poster was that he/she should consider other factors before even worrying about weight because they tend to have a greater impact on the bike's performance, and in turn, making you a better biker (although there is no substitute for riding).

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