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  1. #1
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    Limit of Lightness?

    How light is too light for a XC mtb. Is there a threshold between ridability and light weightness? If in theory some one could build a 5 pound mountain bike would you ride it or race it?

  2. #2
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    depends on sooooo many factors....

    i weigh about 170 and would definately trail ride a ~14-16lb bike out west or in the central atlantic states (delaware, md, va, ect), but definately not around here (north NJ) ive raced all throughout the midatlantic states and nj still has the most haggard terrain.

    around here i wouldnt race or ride anything less than 17lb, but someone weighing 30 or 40lbs less would have NO problem.

  3. #3
    Cleavage Of The Tetons
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    Good gawd, Man, you are talking SMACK!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jersey
    depends on sooooo many factors....

    i weigh about 170 and would definately trail ride a ~14-16lb bike out west or in the central atlantic states (delaware, md, va, ect), but definately not around here (north NJ) ive raced all throughout the midatlantic states and nj still has the most haggard terrain.

    around here i wouldnt race or ride anything less than 17lb, but someone weighing 30 or 40lbs less would have NO problem.
    I am cracking up...you obviously need to get out and ride more. There is burly terrain all over. The stuff in Austin TX would chew up a bike like that, for example. Quit being so geo-centric...this planet has all kinds of crazy ass dirt and rock. Gooseberry, Maybe? Tear a stoopid-light bike apart in hours. Teton Pass? Bike wouldn't even be ABLE to ride the new stuff. You would be walking. Porcupine? At full blast? Cleaning all of it? PLEEZE. Seven Springs? Foolish.
    "We LOVE cows! They make trails for us.....

    And then we eat them."

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    YOU sir are clearly an idiot!
    why dont you READ before shooting off your big mouth.
    did i say anything about TX??
    i said out of the eastern seaboard states... and "west" as in west of NJ, perhaps i should have clarified, or maybe you couldve asked me.... and i would have politely answered you!
    YES, this planet does have some crazy stuff, but im not talking about that.
    put me on a 17lb XC hardtail ANYWHERE and ill smack you around up and down the trail all day

  5. #5
    Cleavage Of The Tetons
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    OK, I'm sorry...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jersey
    depends on sooooo many factors....

    i weigh about 170 and would definately trail ride a ~14-16lb bike []out west or in the central atlantic states (delaware, md, va, ect), but definately not around here (north NJ) ive raced all throughout the midatlantic states and nj still has the most haggard terrain.
    around here i wouldnt race or ride anything less than 17lb, but someone weighing 30 or 40lbs less would have NO problem.
    I would say you need to work on your linguistic presentation. It appears, as you worded it, that you were refering to other states OUT WEST, I just had to let you know that if you were proposing that premise, you needed to be severely corrected.

    BTW...I have been Mt. Biking probably longer than you have been alive. I raced CC, Trials, DH, CX-cross, and road, and have ridden in every state in the lower 48, (and yes, all over Jersey) five provinces, England, France, Scotland, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Spain, Peru, Bolivia...and in two weeks, Chile, Peru, and Argentina. I ride for a living. I would chill on the smackage...I was merely responding to what you wrote, not what you intended to write. You would probably school me on your local trails. Peace.
    Last edited by rideit; 11-17-2005 at 11:35 PM.
    "We LOVE cows! They make trails for us.....

    And then we eat them."

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    well now we aint strangers no more.....
    no worries, lol

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by fanghasyou
    How light is too light for a XC mtb. Is there a threshold between ridability and light weightness? If in theory some one could build a 5 pound mountain bike would you ride it or race it?
    Funny thing is - 40lb Walmart special may be less reliable.

    But sure, there is a limit. It is probaly pretty darn low, if money are no object.

    Let's see, mountain bike presumably includes a rigid single speed, right?

    Can somebody come up with a realistic setup using ~off-the-shelf-money-no-object parts?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jersey
    I weigh about 170 and would definately trail ride a ~14-16lb bike out west or in the central atlantic states (delaware, md, va, ect), but definately not around here (north NJ) ive raced all throughout the midatlantic states and nj still has the most haggard terrain.

    put me on a 17lb XC hardtail ANYWHERE and ill smack you around up and down the trail all day
    Whistler/British Columbia, although not part of the States, represent the kind of Pacific Northwest trailriding that will decimate even 25lb bikes. As rideit noted, Moab is certainly not a good idea with a featherweight bike of any kind. World Cup races are run at Mammoth, Big Bear and many "west of NJ" mountains. They do not happen in a vaccuum and surrounding geography needs to exist to make it possible. These areas, even when trailriding, are not for 14-16lb bikes.

    FYI, here in Socal, high-end (XTR/X.0) trailbikes are around 22 pounds, and rarely less than 20 pounds. No racer (privateers and collegiate teams), store owner, industry employee (aka EP affords everything), nor hanger-ons (me) that I know race with anything less than 17 pounds. And they never hit the trails with anything less than 22 pounds.

    I could make a comment about your terrain choices and/or riding style if you assert that you can get away with 17-lb hardtail ANYWHERE, but I'd rather just bring up the relevent point for the original poster:

    How light an XC bike can be yet remain rideable is not only dependent on the terrain, but also the approach of the rider to the terrain. So there is no good speculative answer as to how light an XC bike should be. You can only determine that for yourself through empirical testing. It needs to be noted that XTR/X.0-level componentry is strong enough for most except the heaviest of people at the aggression level of pro/expert racing, that is, riding as fast as one can on typical XC-course terrain without incurring any extra or unreasonable risks just for the sake of kicks.
    Last edited by DtEW; 11-18-2005 at 12:32 AM.

  9. #9
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    eventually, 5 lb mountain bikes will be a reality. hydrogen alloys, nano materials, gravity drive systems... teleportation...

    what was the question? was it a good question? or dumb?

  10. #10
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    I will throw this in. I own a set of Zipp 700c tubular wheels, a whole 1305g. When I stuck light road tubulars to it, the ride got scarily nervous. Accellerating standing up in crits wasn't fun, and I really had to hold on to the bars very tightly. For my body and skills, and use on the road, I had certainly broken the weight limit for wheels. With the same wheel setup I also totally flunked the team time trial nationals. I was much worse than in years before, when I just had Open Pro wheels with middle of the road tires and tubes. For whatever reason, it didn't work for me. With 300+g cross tubs the wheels are fine for me.

    Long story short : I would consider a sub-10lb bike if all the weight were in the wheels and of course I believed it was strong enough..

  11. #11
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    I think a rigid SS would be the lightest...

    Pick the scariest bike you've ever seen online, and think away the gears. The rear hub must be a DT240 S singelspeed, with the centerlock mount machined off (or filed, off course... ). Swap the 2 lb. tuned SID for a rigid Pace and presto!

    Then comes the problem: I dare say this would be waaaaay too impractical to be rideable. Most of us are too heavy, large and powerful not to have stiffnes and durability issues with such a bike, I suspect.

  12. #12
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    IMO, Nino's latest Scale built is pretty much the limit, if you wanna ride it and I mean ride it.
    Heinz' bike with sub 6kg is basicly "unrideable", but what does that mean?
    Of course you can ride it, but when it comes to durability and shifting performance and abuse, I certainly would pick another bike, but he said it himseld, it's just to show what's possible, he rides a completly different setup, when he's takin it out for a ride.....Discs, Sram triggers, Fox Fork, different wheels......

    It's a question that can't be answered with yes or no, too many factors, like weight of the rider and what the bike is going to be used for.....as a thumbrule, I'd say for a normal ~80kg rider who wants to go Cross Country and/or some races and wants some durability, Ninos current 7.something built is the limit.

  13. #13
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    Eric's on to something. If you want a light yet ridable bike, let's say for agressive riding, a singlespeed is a much safer thing to get the light feeling from. and, no chain slap. No tuned parts with alu bolts to deal with. Yeah, brakes are nice still.
    With such light bikes I think a rider is supposed to have a really good feel for the trail anyway, so a rigid fork shouldn't be a problem, and is anyways IMO safer than a tuned beyond reason SID. The stiffness multifold, which will certainly help performance.
    The good thing about the DT240 Singlespeed rear hub is that it makes for a stiffer wheel. You'll also get away with stupid light spokes more easily.
    Another thing, a singlespeed is much cheaper to build light, the geared stuff makes a light bike expensive.

    For my own 82kg naked I'm slowly collection parts for a 8.2kg or thereabouts rigid 29"er. Only the wheels will be borderline stupid, the rest pretty much dependable to even outright overbuilt. Only budget limits me to go even lower, but under 7.5kg I'd get into real trouble keeping it safe. I guess that translates into a 7kg 26"er with sub-1000g fork. I'll take a rigid 840g 29" fork over a 1000g 26" suspension unit any day though. Stability, precision, safety, future grandchildren...

  14. #14
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    cloxxki what does your star of david and ........

    Quote Originally Posted by Cloxxki
    Eric's on to something. If you want a light yet ridable bike, let's say for agressive riding, a singlespeed is a much safer thing to get the light feeling from. and, no chain slap. No tuned parts with alu bolts to deal with. Yeah, brakes are nice still.
    With such light bikes I think a rider is supposed to have a really good feel for the trail anyway, so a rigid fork shouldn't be a problem, and is anyways IMO safer than a tuned beyond reason SID. The stiffness multifold, which will certainly help performance.
    The good thing about the DT240 Singlespeed rear hub is that it makes for a stiffer wheel. You'll also get away with stupid light spokes more easily.
    Another thing, a singlespeed is much cheaper to build light, the geared stuff makes a light bike expensive.

    For my own 82kg naked I'm slowly collection parts for a 8.2kg or thereabouts rigid 29"er. Only the wheels will be borderline stupid, the rest pretty much dependable to even outright overbuilt. Only budget limits me to go even lower, but under 7.5kg I'd get into real trouble keeping it safe. I guess that translates into a 7kg 26"er with sub-1000g fork. I'll take a rigid 840g 29" fork over a 1000g 26" suspension unit any day though. Stability, precision, safety, future grandchildren...




    cross mean?

  15. #15
    Cleavage Of The Tetons
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    It's clear....

    coexist
    Last edited by rideit; 11-18-2005 at 05:44 PM.
    "We LOVE cows! They make trails for us.....

    And then we eat them."

  16. #16
    Cleavage Of The Tetons
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    Eric, just curious...

    Quote Originally Posted by eric
    Pick the scariest bike you've ever seen online, and think away the gears. The rear hub must be a DT240 S singelspeed, with the centerlock mount machined off (or filed, off course... ). Swap the 2 lb. tuned SID for a rigid Pace and presto!

    Then comes the problem: I dare say this would be waaaaay too impractical to be rideable. Most of us are too heavy, large and powerful not to have stiffnes and durability issues with such a bike, I suspect.
    have you ever ridden a fully rigid down Porcupine Rim?
    I have...fifteen years ago...and it was fun at the time, but just DUMB now, IMO.
    Kinda like skiing on skis with no edges...can be done, but shouldn't. Except for Shits-n-giggles...
    "We LOVE cows! They make trails for us.....

    And then we eat them."

  17. #17
    no shoes no shirt no dice
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    Good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by drunkle
    eventually, 5 lb mountain bikes will be a reality. hydrogen alloys, nano materials, gravity drive systems... teleportation...

    what was the question? was it a good question? or dumb?
    In all seriousness I don't think it will be long until bike companies start buidling frames and components from carbon nanotubes which are very strong and light so a 5 lb "rideable" bike might be around in 10 years. The gravity drive maybe a bit longer.

  18. #18
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    rideit, it's not fair to tease Dutchies with the amazing trails you guys get to ride on a regular basis. We congratulate each other here if we manange a dirt ride of some kind more than 3 times a months.
    Surely not all your trails in northern America are that extreme? Or you guys would win all the DH events in the world...

  19. #19
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    limit of lightness??
    I think that before looking for the lightness in the bike, we must watch one to us .A biker of 80 kg not to mount with a bike of 6,5 kilos, nevertheless to biker of 64 kilos, as it is my case, if that can go with a bicycle of less weight, for xc we are speaking. This happens thanks to that light biker but it will not make undergo but the pieces that one of 82 kilos. I mount, training and compete with a bike of now below 8 kilos and without problems, the last season weighed 8,5 kilos and any problem. I take to axlightness,xtr, tune, notubes,syntace, extralite...scandium frame and without any problem of breakage.
    Happy trails!

  20. #20
    Cleavage Of The Tetons
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    You are right, Cloxxi...

    Quote Originally Posted by Cloxxki
    rideit, it's not fair to tease Dutchies with the amazing trails you guys get to ride on a regular basis. We congratulate each other here if we manange a dirt ride of some kind more than 3 times a months.
    Surely not all your trails in northern America are that extreme? Or you guys would win all the DH events in the world...
    But I do have to say, after wrenching here in Vermont, Colorodo, Cali, and now in the Teton Range for 20+ years, I have seen...too much silliness. Too many broken frames, trashed wheels, Pooched forks, snapped handlebars, innefective brakes...and beat up people. I have watched 90% of the core cyclists go for bigger bikes, and suffer less failures, and have fewer injuries. (and also walk their bikes less downhill!)
    Yes, there are racer-bois who can ride a superlight, unsprung bike fast...but not usually the same bike...for long. I am a weight weenie to a degree myself. There are trails here (Wyoming.Idaho) that are perfect for an NRS or hardtail. But there are many trails that truly are just not fun to ride on rigids or SS's...or rideable safely by bikes with over a 68 degree headtube, for that matter. A individual might ride all of the stunts on 'lithium' once on a cross-country bike, but to do it twice would just be silly. I kind of miss flowy, buff trails like in Marin, Fruita, Durango, even Downieville, for example. I just think people do get too caught up in the weight issue...and this is from someone who has built up a 5.6" switchblade with 6" up front at less than 25 lbs! (It didn't stay that way, it was a silly project. Marta SL's simply CANNOT handle 12,000 foot downhills, no way, no how!)
    So to all those who have sweet, flowy, non tech singletrack...ride fast, ride light, and enjoy!

    final note..this is a phenomenon i have been observing over the last ten years. The absolute fastest, and most skilled riders that I know, both here and in South America, simply harbor no desire to compete. I dunno what it is. They just like to kill it, then chill it.
    "We LOVE cows! They make trails for us.....

    And then we eat them."

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