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  1. #1
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    Getting Heavier & Lovin' It!

    I've been constantly trying to drop weight from my bike over the past several years, but I recently made a few changes that made my bike heavier, and I love them. Thought I'd share.

    First off, I'm running a 2011 S-Works Epic 29er (size L), which I got about a year ago. It came to me exactly stock at 24.03lbs/10.9kg. With a few tweaks (primarily moving to a
    1X10 setup), I got it down to 21.42lbs/9.72kg. However, I had a few issues with the lightest setup:

    TIRES
    The stock tires are 29x1.95 Renegades, which are an amazing tire. It has a lowish-profile knobby tread that doesn't seem like it would do too well in dirt, but they handle themselves brilliant in dry conditions, and have very low rolling resistance on tarmac. However, when muddy they accumulate a coating around them and turn into slicks.

    I got a sidewall cut, so decided to switch to some Rocket Ron EVOs (29x2.1), which have a bit more aggressive tread. These weighed 481g and 485g respectively. I didn't have weights for the original, un-gunked-up-with-sealant Renegades, but thanks to Meltinfeather's 29er tire weight database, I see they average 476g each. So, not a big weight increase.

    VERDICT: Happy with the small weight gain (+14g). Sad about losing the Renegades, especially on tarmac and dry. Not sad about Renegades in the mud.


    BRAKE ROTORS
    I mentioned in this post, that one of the things I managed to do is downsize my brakes to 140mm in the rear, and 160mm up front. I also decided to gamble on Kettle's startup for carbon brake rotors, mentioned in this other post.

    There are some problems (aside from the price) however:
    1. Power - Without having carbon brake pads to match, power is seemingly down over old-school steel rotors.
    2. Availability - I was an initial supporter via Kickstarter, but am still waiting on a rear 140mm rotor. Not sure how much longer I'd wait.
    3. Thickness & Runout - I just can't get my carbon rotor to stop rubbing in the front. Not only is it a tad thicker than a metal equivalent, but there is some runout that I can't correct. (Read: how hard do you want to press on an expensive carbon rotor to true it?)
    4. Pads - As per #1, the best performance is with matching carbon pads. I frequently swap out wheelsets for bad conditions, so that would mean I'd either have carbon rotors with regular pads, or carbon pad with metal rotors at some point - both of which are no-nos. (Or buy a second set of carbon rotors & pads - $$$$.)

    Long story short, I just got a matching KCNC 160mm rotor up front. Installed it, and instantly the rubbing is gone. Braking power was scary at first - had gotten used to the lesser power with carbon rotors and regular pads. Outgoing carbon rotor (160mm), 55g. New KCNC rotor, 73g.

    VERDICT: Happy with the improved (or back to normal) braking power. Happy that I don't have to worry about wheelset swaps and pads/rotors. Happy about the minor weight gain (+18g). Not angry with Kettle's carbon product and delays - it's new, and still a lot of potential, but for now I'm off of it.


    CASSETTE
    This is the only one that angers me. SRAM had initially indicated that the largest ALU cog was replaceable on their XX cassette, which is a good thing since that's the one that will wear first. Sadly, this is not the case, so you're looking at an expensive fix, i.e. new cassette. I've moved to an XTR 11-36 at 273g, which is super-smooth, but I'm pissed off at SRAM for the empty promise, and the weight gain from the XX at 210g (with lockring).

    VERDICT: Happy with the XTR cassette. Unhappy with the weight delta (+63g). Pissed at SRAM.


    DRIVETRAIN
    As mentioned, I moved to a 1X10 setup, with a 32T Widgit, as per this post. I actually like this product as it eliminates the need for a chain guide, but it also has a few problems:
    1. Cleaning - The Widigit sandwhiches the chainring between two ALU plates. While this works nicely, it is close to impossible to clean.
    2. Clearance - This would vary by frame, but I only had 1mm or less (no joke) of clearance betwen the Widgit and my frame. This would obviously vary by frame type, and you can add spacers to an extent (at the expense of chainline), but it was pretty tight in my case.
    3. Weight - At 127g, it is actually fairly heavy, at least in Weight Weenie circles.

    I decided to move to a Wolftooth chainring, which folks discussed in this next post. The teeth are somewhat longer (SRAM XXI-style) to help with chain retention, but a rear derailleur with a clutch is recommended, i.e. Shimano Shadow Plus, or SRAM Type 2.

    So, out went my XX RD at 184g, and in comes the XTR RD at 214g. This is a middling 30g increase, but I was also able to completley drop the 32T Widgit (127g) and replace ith with a 32T Wolftooth chainring at 39g. I actually lost weight here.

    VERDICT: Very happy with the Wolftooth solution - and BTW customer support was fantastic when I ordered the wrong size in error. No chain drops so far, and it's actually a weight drop overall, even with a heavier rear derailleur (-58g).


    At the end of the day, I'm up to 22.0 lbs on the nose (9.98kg), but I'm really pleased with the setup for now.

    Getting Heavier & Lovin' It!-img_7823_2_zps040d750f.jpg

    Getting Heavier & Lovin' It!-img_7825_2_zps20c7b924.jpg

  2. #2
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    nice write up, light is a factor, but function is where its at.

  3. #3
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    Thanks. I agree - I added a bit of weight, but I'm more pleased with the setup now.

  4. #4
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    I've been in a similar situation as yourself. But I tried to reduce the weight in other areas to offset the added weight I put back into the bike.
    I ditched my Dura-Ace derailleurs, and nine speed Grip-Shift, in favor of a Sram XX 10 spd group. Much happier with the guaranteed shifts in any situation now.

  5. #5
    I'd rather be riding
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    Those are all smart changes! Nice looking bike. I keep fighting the want to try a 1x10.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by zippinveedub View Post
    Those are all smart changes! Nice looking bike. I keep fighting the want to try a 1x10.
    why fight it? don't underestimate the power of the dark-side!

    swapping to 1x9 was free, I traded my worn tripple setup for a new single ring

    I'm almost due for a new cassette, I want a clutched rear der and my front shifter is getting old, so I may switch to 10spd if it doesn't cost too much more, but I don't NEED one more gear...

  7. #7
    I'd rather be riding
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    Quote Originally Posted by shupack View Post
    why fight it? don't underestimate the power of the dark-side!
    My 2x stuff is in good shape and I do a lot of long loops where I string together parks with road, too afraid to limit gear options. Iffff I get another bike I'd do it to my race bike in a heart beat.

  8. #8
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    .

    Quote Originally Posted by zippinveedub View Post
    My 2x stuff is in good shape and I do a lot of long loops where I string together parks with road, too afraid to limit gear options. Iffff I get another bike I'd do it to my race bike in a heart beat.
    No doubt, 1X is a trade off between high and low end ratios, but it has been one of the more satisfying upgrades I've done - both in weight loss, and simplicity.

  9. #9
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    I ride my neighborhood quite a bit and only get spun out on steep hills, where I don't need to pedal anyway. ......

  10. #10
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    smart changes.

    Whenever I see someone with furious freds or renegades, with a 580mm bar, I wonder what the heck they're riding! I'm on a pretty lightweight ht29er, but wide bars and big tires transform the bike.

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