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  1. #1
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    Bike weight and effort

    How much additional effort does it take to pedal a 29 lb bike compared to a 25 lb bike?

    I have 2 Mountain bikes, a Klein Pulse Pro from 1997 and a 2008 Cannondale Prophet 2. I rode the Klein the other day and it seemed to climb well and pedal easy. Took the Prophet2 out with my GF and my daughter who were riding horses on trails and it seemed I could not get out of low low gear. Every hill was ratchet down to low and grind away and they were not that steep of hills. The Prophet has always felt a little sluggish but it could be I;m a little out of shape and not used to riding. It didn't seem that way on the Klein. Plus back in May we took a motorcycle trip to Bend OR and went for a ride with CogWild bike tours and I rode a Trek (not sure the model; edit: I think Trek Remedy) with the new 27.5 wheels and it didn't seem to be sluggish. I find that the Prophet2 seems to climb better with the suspension set to downhill mode and not CC mode.My 3rd bike is a Trek 1.7 from 2008 or 2009 road bike. It also seems fast.

  2. #2
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    On the same bike a 2-3 lbs difference in weight is pretty noticeable. A 5 lbs is definitely noticeable. But between different bikes rider position, tires, wheel weight, psi, suspension etc can add up to more than the apparent 5 lbs difference.

    If you think a bike is unusually sluggish then examine the drive train and make sure everything moves freely.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by borabora View Post
    On the same bike a 2-3 lbs difference in weight is pretty noticeable. A 5 lbs is definitely noticeable. But between different bikes rider position, tires, wheel weight, psi, suspension etc can add up to more than the apparent 5 lbs difference.

    If you think a bike is unusually sluggish then examine the drive train and make sure everything moves freely.
    I've checked all that and drivetrain is working smooth. When i test rode the Cannondale a couple different times before buying it didn't seem sluggish. I was looking at a Santa Cruz Heckler at the time but got this instead. It was a little less $$$

  4. #4
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    Weight your front wheel and tire. If you could drop 2 lbs. it would make a difference without a lot of cost.
    Carbonbicycle.cc has wide carbon rims. Build with a hub with changeable endcaps. Do the rear and you get faster spinup.

  5. #5
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    Before you get sucked into being a weight weenie, make sure your own weight is in check. If you can lose 5 pounds from yourself, those 5 pounds on the bike will feel lighter in comparison.

  6. #6
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    I used to think that bike weight was a really big deal but I'm less bothered now. I've had three hard-tails that weren't miles apart in weight but felt very different to ride. The bike I have now is very short and stiff and it turns effort into movement much better than the other two bikes did.

  7. #7
    thecentralscrutinizer
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    I don't notice the difference much until it's in the wheels/tires...then its really noticeable.
    2015 Kona JTS
    2014 Giant Anthem 27.5
    2013 DeVinci Leo SL
    2009 SE Racing SoCal Flyer
    2008 SE lil Ripper
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  8. #8
    Just a flesh wound
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    Wheels and tires. That makes the most difference for sure. I have a Prophet and I converted it to 650b a couple of years ago and went with a light wheel set. The bike flies now. As a single pivot design, the Prophet is susceptible to pedal bob which can suck the energy out of your efforts, making the bike feel sluggish. I use the Manitou 3way SPV rear shock to eliminate this. Make sure your rear shock is up to the right pressure. The Prophet is a tank, but I have mine down to 27.5 pounds and really like it. I was going to get a 29'er like all of my riding buddies, but for fun I converted the Prophet and I wouldn't switch now. Though the VPP suspension on the Santa Cruz bikes is really nice.
    My name is Chris and I ride a Prophet 650b with a Lefty.

  9. #9
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    A super basic single pivot needs a lot of shock valving to tune the suspension behavior into something manageable. In particular, you need adjustable compression damping. Some other designs don't require the shock to do so much work to tune out unwanted suspension movement.

    Yeah, 4lb is pretty noticeable, but I would bet that there's more than just bike weight going on here.

  10. #10
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    Re: Bike weight and effort

    Quote Originally Posted by Petti the Yeti View Post
    Before you get sucked into being a weight weenie, make sure your own weight is in check. If you can lose 5 pounds from yourself, those 5 pounds on the bike will feel lighter in comparison.
    Well there is that valid point. but I'm the same weight riding each bike.

  11. #11
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    Re: Bike weight and effort

    Quote Originally Posted by Prophet Julio View Post
    Wheels and tires. That makes the most difference for sure. I have a Prophet and I converted it to 650b a couple of years ago and went with a light wheel set. The bike flies now. As a single pivot design, the Prophet is susceptible to pedal bob which can suck the energy out of your efforts, making the bike feel sluggish. I use the Manitou 3way SPV rear shock to eliminate this. Make sure your rear shock is up to the right pressure. The Prophet is a tank, but I have mine down to 27.5 pounds and really like it. I was going to get a 29'er like all of my riding buddies, but for fun I converted the Prophet and I wouldn't switch now. Though the VPP suspension on the Santa Cruz bikes is really nice.
    Read about a couple of other guys doing that conversion. Need to change fork? Front derailer? I wonder if the klein frame is stiffer and more efficient at putting drive to the ground, with the weight being a slight benefit. Didnt try locking out the shock on the prophet.

  12. #12
    Just a flesh wound
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    I have the Lefty Max 140, so no issue with the fork fitting the bigger hoops. I presume you don't have a Lefty. Check the 27.5 Forum for your fork. It might fit.

    Which Rear Shock do you have? I wouldn't lock it out, but if you have a shock that has some adjustment for initial low speed damping, then tune it higher until you get rid of most of your pedal bob. For Fox it was Pedal Pro? Manitou was SPV. Others have different names for essentially the same thing, a threshold gate that prevents shock movement below the threshold.

    If I put Nevegals on my bike, it would feel sluggish compared to what I have now. Lots of reasons for a bike to feel faster than another. Wheel and tire weight are probably the most significant factors, except that with tires, rolling resistance can trump weight.
    My name is Chris and I ride a Prophet 650b with a Lefty.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prophet Julio View Post
    Wheels and tires. That makes the most difference for sure.
    So bigger 29er wheels are better because?....

  14. #14
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    That's a whole different animal. A lighter wheelset of the same size, in the OP's case 26", is a difference maker. 29'er wheels roll over better, but you lose some maneuverability. The longer chain stays and lower bb have some disadvantages, but I really like the newer Tallboy with the VPP. Very smooth.
    My name is Chris and I ride a Prophet 650b with a Lefty.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prophet Julio View Post
    That's a whole different animal...
    Yes, but the principal is the same. 26'' wheels and tyres will be lighter than the equivalent 29'' ones and the chain and seat-stays will be shorter. So the smaller wheels will accelerate, and slow down, more easily.

    Sure, the big wheels will roll over stuff a bit better but you can't have it all ways. Pros and cons to everything.

  16. #16
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    I was wondering about tires, stock maxxis right now. Maybe go to 2.1 size instead of 2.35. And a lighter carcass more for trails and xc riding.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilW View Post
    I was wondering about tires, stock maxxis right now. Maybe go to 2.1 size instead of 2.35. And a lighter carcass more for trails and xc riding.
    stock tires most likely are cheap wire bead. Get a folding bead tire (lighter without sacrificing ride quality). You could try something with a really light casing if your trails don't tend to shred sidewalls, but if you ride around a lot of rock, I'd recommend against it. Tubeless is another option.

  18. #18
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    I've used wtb velocirapter lazer version in the past and loved them. Really light and supple 220 tpi casing, and kevlar bead. Never had a flat on any trail ride.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilW View Post
    I was wondering about tires, stock maxxis right now. Maybe go to 2.1 size instead of 2.35. And a lighter carcass more for trails and xc riding.
    and if you still run tubes continental makes some quality lightweight. I just put on a specialized control 2.3 on the front that is sub 500 g , nuts

  20. #20
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    I ride a ton of unfamiliar bikes the diff. its only really noticeable only the first few mins.
    2010 D440 Redline Rigid 1x9
    2011 Trek Remedy 8 1x10
    2012 Jamis Dragon 2x10
    2013 Diamondback Sortie 3 1x10

  21. #21
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    Just ride what you have now until it fails and then look into something with less weight as a replacement.

    I have two wheel sets for my Pivot Mach 429:

    *Stans Crest
    *Stans Arch EX

    I don't even use the Crest wheel set anymore because I got used to the added weight of the Arch EX wheel set which is stronger. The Crest wheel set is mighty light though, so it's going onto my commuter pavement roller after I mount some skinnies on it.

    The moral of the story is, you will get stronger pushing the cranks with a little more weight. You will get used to it before you know it. JUST RIDE.
    ...and proud member of the anti-sock puppet desolation

  22. #22
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    I took my 32 pound mid-80s Trek mtb commuter, with it's 48x19 gear, up on the trails recently. 3 things surprised me; 26x2.3" slick tires grip surprisingly well - even on decomposed granite over hardpack, I could actually keep that gear turning over, and the 10 pound difference between the commuter and my nice bike wasn't that big of deal.
    www.seanhannity.com <=not what you think it is.

    Homeopathy is the Air Guitar of Medicine.

  23. #23
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    Too many factor. Back in the day my 32 lbs Reign pedal lighter than the 27ish lbs Klein Adept same tires. If you are a masher a hardtail would feel pretty good on the climb.

    But at the end of the day 4 pounds difference would feel lighter in general. The follow up question is is it more fun to descend on the Pulse or the Prophet. I have both and just want to know your answer

  24. #24
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    Have lots of descending on the Klein as well as lots of climbing, and it was fun no doubt. Changed the stock fork for a judy SL 100mm since about 2000. Got the cdale prophet because i wanted some extra cush on the downhill without losing much climbing. It's good on the downhill for sure but I'm not fast through the really rough stuff. Klein is definitely fun going down hill, handles well. I think i would like only 100mm travel both ends in a lighter bike. Anything like that now is a 29r

  25. #25
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    A more definite answer is the prophet is more fun DOWNHILL but i don't ride just downhill

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