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  1. #1
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    Weight weenie rethink - Whats it really all about?

    I had an interesting wieght weenie awakening experience on Saturday.
    Long story, short-ish:
    Mate and I took the girlfriends for a social MTB ride, we wrenched up a couple of old stumpjumpers as spare bikes (one was an old 21 spd with rockshock indys, the other an ancient 15spd stiffy). I rode the old 15spd and let G/F ride my light-ish <23lb Apex hardtail with Comp S light tyres. My mate had an abused loner C'dale Prophet sramx9 from a local bikeshop (lefty, 2.35 highrollers, rack with camelback and tools on it), probably 35lbs+ and very little damping left.
    Mate and I swapped bikes late in the day, I thought the Prophet would feel like a tank with my 63kg on it. I was not looking forward to the one or two steeper climbs.
    I was amazed! Hills which I previously had to part walk up due to steepness and loose rocks/sand etc were easily tackled on the 'tank' of a Prophet. When cruising along the flat the losses were slightly noticeable but really not so bad. Downhill was, well, fantastic - even with little damping. The bigger tyres were a bit draggy but lotsa fun.

    Now i'm reconsidering putting priority on the weight weenie philosphy. Of course, I suppose a sub 24lb Prophet would be something else again.

    This post is not a troll, just wondering if others have had similar experiences.
    Ride Safe.

    www.lighttouchchiropractic.com.au Manly Sydney

  2. #2
    That's right....
    Reputation: Jersey's Avatar
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    im willing to bet my bike that you were climbing better on the prophet due to a better geometry that fits your body/riding position better.
    have you ever tested different stem sizes/rises, seat angles/position, tt lengths, st lengths?

    ive seen sooo many people grab a different bike for a quick ride and say "wow this bike is so much better than mine" simply because theyve been riding a poorly fit bike for so long.

    for about 3 years i rode a bike, that i later figured out, was simply too big for me. it took me quite some time to realize that a smaller frame would be more conducive to my riding style.

    in the end though, weight still plays a huge a role in your climbing prowess so dont dismiss that fact only because you found a better climbing, heavier bike. just imagine how well youll be able to climb on a WW'd, properly fitted rig! :-)
    Last edited by Jersey; 01-22-2006 at 07:58 PM.

  3. #3
    I <3 29ers
    Reputation: AndrewTO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by purdyboy
    This post is not a troll, just wondering if others have had similar experiences.
    Nope, lighter is better, IMHO, but there's always a compromise, wether you admit it to yourself or not. When i'm looking at parts to buy or tune I look at reliability/function FIRST, then weight. Right now i'm in the middle of figuring out my "worst" purchase - hubs. (don't ask how it's going)

    I'm with Jersey - further, bike fit is one thing to take into consideration, but so is geometry. Bike's today are far more efficient then they were 10-15 years ago. An "ancient 15spd stiffy" up against a heavy Prophet? Yeah, light is one thing, geometry is another. I'd say there were far too many variables to compare the two bike's, but fit and geometry would be very high on the list, if not tops.
    I ..... need ..... DIRT!!!!!

    ... and cookies.

  4. #4
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    to summarize the last two posts....

    all things being equal, lighter is better.

    would a lighter slick tire be faster or more fun to ride? probably not, but that's more subjective

  5. #5
    mtbr member
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    I'm not being down on the WW thing, my WW'ness even carries over to lightweight hiking, x/c skiing etc.
    I wasn't comparing to the 15spd vintage that I was riding that day, I've ridden the trail on my bike a fair few times and the couple of steep climbs are representative of what we get in the Blue Mtns (Australia), sand/gravel fist size loose sandstone rocks etc. I was suprised at how the bike allowed me to just churn away up the climb, focussing on breathing and pedalling. My hardtail bike would have required forward/backward weight shifting and all the tricks to keep momentum/traction over the terrain. I think my lesson was the advantages of the Prophet outweighed the negatives of the extra weight.

    The Prophet didn't fit me really, it was a medium, I ride a small/16". I didn't even lower the seat when we swapped as I didn't think i'd ride it for very far. He had an 'oldschool' leather saddle that was slippery and my hands were slick on the grips (I gave my gloves to my G/F in case she fell off her bike...). To ride I had to really go on tippy-toe and stretch down at the bottom of each pedal stroke so I could stay over the saddle. I can only imagine what a correct fitting Prophet with working dampers (and a bit of a diet, say 26lb) would ride like.

    I spose its more that I looked at bikes like the Prophet and thought, that barge is just a downhiller pretending to be an all-round bike. So maybe its just my prejudice against the new big FS bikes that needs adjusting. Certainly food for thought when my next bike purchase/build happens.
    Ride Safe.

    www.lighttouchchiropractic.com.au Manly Sydney

  6. #6
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    So were the poodles just struggling like hell on their/your late model bikes?

  7. #7
    Driven by watts inside
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    Riding an FS bike up steep, rough sections is generally easier than riding a hardtail up the same section. The negative and positive travel of the rear end really help the tire follow the terrain and find traction.

    - Jeremy -

  8. #8
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    Yep, I think it was terrain specific, i've just never ridden such a bike on this type of ride. A Prophet type bike is probably a very suitable bike for the Blue Mtns.
    OK so i'm now working out how to get a Prophet down to an acceptable riding weight without having to rob a bank.
    Ride Safe.

    www.lighttouchchiropractic.com.au Manly Sydney

  9. #9
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    weight, i mean wait... before dropping the lb's, consider that maybe added weight helping in climbs by keeping the front end down and the bike tracking straight...

  10. #10
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    The thought did cross my mind that heavy stiff wheels and the hi rollers kept me moving up the hill smoothly when my little light hoops would have been twanging of the obstacles and lifting. I'm considering that a 'Rush' might be worth looking into as it is similar to the Prophet but not as much overkill for the riding I do.
    Ride Safe.

    www.lighttouchchiropractic.com.au Manly Sydney

  11. #11
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    yeah

    fs gives far superior traction climbing (as all of us die hard HT riders learn at some point). a fs ride is also easier on the entire body, so you will feel better longer. try a few fast down hills without front suspension as a reminder (can you say fore arm burn).

    don't think the prophet is the only bike that can add those benefits, it is just the one you made the discovery on. if you are thinking about a fs ride, there is probably a few other options to try before buying.

    overall though, for racing at least, lighter is better (as long as you don't give up performance). a bit part of the the whole WW thing for racing is the mental edge it gives you as well. when you are on the starting line, you want the confidence that you have trained harder (better) and that your bike is lighter.

  12. #12
    monster member
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    All good comments I have to agree with. In addition to the suspension helping a lot with that terrain, that social ride with girlfriends probably left you with a lot of pent-up energy you were dying to use by the time you got to that hill.

  13. #13
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    Prophet VS. HT

    I have a Prophet that have gotten to weight just about the same as my hardtail. I spent some time upgrading (but not a lot so it's not SUPER light) my hardtail over the last couple of years with a 100mm front shock with infinite travel and so I can drop it down when I climb, put good rims and tires on it (likem so i put the same ones on the Prophet).... ect. anyway my point is that except for the frame and the fork the bikes are pretty comparable wieght/component wise. they both fit me about the same. I can outclimb and do it faster with more energy at the top on the Prophet than I can on the hardtail. I have decided that the Prophet geometry and frame is not an overkill for XC racing. If I am going to spend the day fartin' on it I'll just change the wheels and geometry and whammo I got the big-mountain bike, if I am going to race back on with my light wheelset and XC geometry and off I go to the races. my HT now only gets to bike to the grocery and back.....

  14. #14
    Te mortuo heres tibi sim?
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    got to find that compromise.

    such as buying a Prophet, and lightening it up.

    seen some odd things on this site, but nothing as bad as this guy......

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=168766
    Florence Nightingale's Stormtrooper

  15. #15
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    weight

    Tires&tire weight/function can make a huge differance!Bike fit is more an issue going down the road.A bike that feels small on the the street might be really sweet down a trail.Just my dumb idea.My friend has a sherman flick he can lock down in short travel.Very cool for going uphill.I got a a total lock out on my RS World Cup.Great for the street.So there are alot of options out there.You just can't say one bike over another is better.It's how you build it.

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