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  1. #1
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    Weight reduction

    Even after working towards getting myself back in shape my bike is still too much on the heavy side. It weighs somewhere between 34-36lbs (not exactly sure) what could I do to shave weight and not break my bank. I was thinking a new saddle as I don't like my current one for comfort and its too heavy. But what else could I do?

  2. #2
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    Ouch, that is heavy.

    What bike is it?

    To start, you should get a gram scale of some kind then weigh different components to see what weighs what so you can shop around and see how much weigh you can drop where and for how much.

    My 2011' Hardrock was heavy in
    Wheels
    Bars
    Stem
    Fork

    Your saddle could be heavy too, as well as the seatpost. Weigh them and find out!!

  3. #3
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    What bike is it? Gram scales aren't going to make a f-all of difference here, it should be obvious when you list what bike you have.
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  4. #4
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    1999 Raleigh M30 (not an amazing bike but cant afford to buy a new one for a couple years) I know the seat post isn't heavy ive taken it out before, but the seat has to weigh at least 2 pounds. Other than that not sure what anything weighs besides the fork being heavy but not worth it to replace.

  5. #5
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    Well if you don't know the weight of what you are trying to replace to drop weight...then you are just shopping blind and could end up with something with little weight dif., same weight, or heavier.

    I went through exactly what this person wants to do, and the grams scale was the best tool. Otherwise it was pointless since it was a guessing game without it...and it's also part of the fun.

    In his case because of the age and level....there could be some heavy stuff on there haha.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfb12 View Post
    1999 Raleigh M30 (not an amazing bike but cant afford to buy a new one for a couple years) I know the seat post isn't heavy ive taken it out before, but the seat has to weigh at least 2 pounds. Other than that not sure what anything weighs besides the fork being heavy but not worth it to replace.
    Saddle sounds like a very good place to start then! And you should feel the difference (assuming there is a big difference) since it sits so high up on the bike.

    I have a bike that is very similar to yours, an old Hardrock from the same era. I'm sure my saddle is just as heavy as yours (its big and ugly too). What i also noticed was that the stem and bars were steel, and very solid. I would imagine those parts to be pretty heavy as well (can't say for your bike) so that is another place to look at.

    My seatpost looks heavy, but i've never had it out so i don't know.

  7. #7
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    I know replacing certain things is also very expensive which would not be worth it to do on this bike. Such as wheel sets. But I will make sure to weigh the parts. I know that the crankset and derailleurs are all shimano SIS parts but thats what basically what I know.

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    Also the frame is steel as well.

  9. #9
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    Tube or go tubeless, tires, wheelset, fork, in that order.

    Lighter tubes and tires will bring significant improvement in how light the bike would feel, at the lowest amount of upgrade $$$.

    Fork and wheelset are substantially more $$$ but still improve lightness feel.

    Other static components like shifter, stem, post, bar, and brakes may improve performance and overall weight but bring little to the light bike feel. A 27lb bike with monster Knobbies tires would feel significantly heavier than the bike of the same weight but low knob light race tires.

    When choosing the tires, skills would dictate the type of tires you should get. If you have good skills, cornering and braking, you know how to shift your weight for maximum traction then lower knob light tires would be ok. However, if you are struggling with traction on the trails then stick with just lighter, high volume, grippy tires. It would serves you better in the end. If you can demo your friends it's the best way to go, if not the. Do some research, tires are the only thing that you should not compromise. Not many riders can tell the difference between a $40 seat post and a $100 one but all can tell the difference between a $25 tire and $80 tire.

    It's not a bad idea to pick up a $15 digital scale and do the research yourself. You'd be surprised how much difference between the publish weight and the actual weight of any components and usually they are heavier.


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  10. #10
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    I just replaced the tires from what ever the previous owner had on there that was my first improvment actually . I put specialized The Captain Sports on it. The difference was massive but I want to keep reducing the weight.

  11. #11
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    My old steel hardrock (rigid fork) weighs 30.4lbs last time i weighed it. All stock except for the Maxxis Overdrives.

    But yes knowing component weight is key as it will allow you to see everything, compare, and find where you can get the biggest bang for the buck in dropping weight of your bike. For example on my 2011 Hardrock replacing the handlebars dropped the weight of my bike by 543g or 1.19lbs for <50 bucks.

    You just have to look and see where all the weight is on the bike.

    Another idea is if it is an old heavy suspension fork...maybe you could go rigid for cheap and be way lighter? I don't know as i've never shopped rigid forks before but I don't think they are expensive.

  12. #12
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    The saddle is a good choice because you want a good one regardless of the bike and it will transfer well to the next one. Aside from that I would highly recommend leaving it mostly alone and just ride the heck out of it and enjoy it. Save your nickels and dimes, research, dream, and there will soon come a day when you can afford a better bike and I think it makes more sense economically to start from scratch.

    You could sink a lot of money into that M30 and though it may end up a fair bit lighter for the amount you could have a complete bike with not only a lighter, but a better frame.

  13. #13
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    I don't really like the idea of a rigid fork even if my current suspension fork isn't great. I like that idea alot J.B. Weld I just wish that day wasn't so far away. And all the talk about the specialized hardrock's makes me miss the last one I had. I wish it hadn't been stolen.

  14. #14
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    So I'm not sure where to begin looking for a seat. My LBS or what?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfb12 View Post
    So I'm not sure where to begin looking for a seat. My LBS or what?
    A lot of LBSes [correct usage?] have trial seats you can test to see if you like the saddle prior to purchasing. That could be an opportunity to get a feel for whether it agrees with your @$$ prior to dropping the dough.

    Would likely be cheaper online but getting some advice and the opportunity to try one out might be worth the additional cost.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ilikebmx999 View Post
    Are we just ignoring balls? Lol

  16. #16
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    That's very good to know I will try to make my way over to one of the two good local LBS soon. Thanks everyone for the help.

  17. #17
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    My issue here is that you are trying to upgrade a 14 year old entry-level bike. To me, its time to think new bike and start saving your money for that rather than small upgrades.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by TiGeo View Post
    My issue here is that you are trying to upgrade a 14 year old entry-level bike. To me, its time to think new bike and start saving your money for that rather than small upgrades.
    A saddle, though, is something that can easily be transferred over to a new bike. And a comfy saddle is important on any bike.

    I wouldn't f- with forks and all that on an old bike, but a saddle replacement to get rid of one that isn't comfy makes sense. If it shaves some weight, fantastic.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ilikebmx999 View Post
    Are we just ignoring balls? Lol

  19. #19
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    I wouldn't go on a serious weight loss plan for a bike like that in an attempt to upgrade it.

    I would replace the saddle and I would replace the tires, because those are essentially wear items, anyway.

    I would not go so far as to replace the wheels or the fork on it unless you got really great prices on those things.

  20. #20
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    I've started saving and as far as how old it is, it is all I have for now and plan to treat it well and when I get another it will become a commuter bike. Ive decided to only replace the seat and possibly the pedals but nothing else and save the money towards the next bike.

  21. #21
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    I started with forks,then to bars,tires,and now wheels.Not much but bike feels better to me and noticable when climbing.

    The things left is out of my budget i will wait til i build another bike.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by TiGeo View Post
    What bike is it? Gram scales aren't going to make a f-all of difference here, it should be obvious when you list what bike you have.
    I couldn't agree more. Drug dealers need gram scales, not mountain bike riders.

    OP...you will have the most effective weight loss in parts that rotate. Wheels and tires will probably show the biggest weight loss, but not cheap.

  23. #23
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    Like others have said, upgrading this bike is a loosing battle due to its age and its budget design level even when new. That said, you have to pick your poison:

    One is to do nothing and save money for a better bike (modern one off craigslist would do nicely).

    The other option is to buy parts for your M30 that are also compatible with a modern mountain bike, so that you can transfer the parts over when you finally get a new bike. For instance, shifters, derailleurs, cranksets, tires, etc. But don't touch the fork or anything connect to that, because I think your bike uses a 1 inch steerer, while modern bikes all use 1-1/8 inch or greater parts. And also know that if you upgrade the rear wheel, you're also going to have to buy a cassette to go with it, as your current wheels use a freewheel system. I'm basing all this on the supposed accuracy of this cut sheet for your bike.
    BikePedia - 1999 Raleigh M30 Complete Bicycle

    But if you choose to upgrade, you have to buy high quality parts. Otherwise, what's the point of transferring an average part to a new bike later on when it won't make any difference?

    As for a saddle, that's a pretty safe investment, since you can transfer that to a new bike in the future.

    What's your budget?

  24. #24
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    I'm not sure probably $75 max on a saddle budget.

  25. #25
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    One thing that really helped on my bike was replacing the chain (not for weight savings). The stock chain on my 2009 GT Avalanche 3.0 had 150 miles on it and I'm pretty sure it was well past due to replacing it. It was almost like pedaling through sand! I didn't notice it was so bad until I rode a friends bike.

    I kept it well lubed and all of the links were free. Everything on the bike is cheap but I really thought it would last a little longer than that. I've spent more upgrading this bike than if I had just bought the 2.0. For the same total price or less I would have gotten hydrolic brakes, better forks, and no need to replace bottom dollar parts. I like the bike... just not the cheaper components.

    When you do replace your old bike spend the extra few hundred dollars on something good!

  26. #26
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    I am looking at the parts list on this bike, and frankly, it's spec'ed entirely with really heavy, weak, flimsy junk parts. no offense, but I don't think you should spend too much money on that bike. replace a few items here and there, such as...

    new tires will make the biggest difference for the price, plus they will probably grip better. get something like Continental Race King or X-King tires.

    new handlebar and stem. the stock handlebar is steel and the stock stem is most likely thick and heavy! a decent aluminum handlebar should not be too expensive.

    seat and post. you might not think your post is heavy, but have you weighed it and compared that weight to a light seapost? you might be surprised at how heavy it actually is.

    if your budget is very slim and there is absolutely no way you can save up for a decent bike, is there a bicycle co-op near you? here is a pretty extensive list- Community Bicycle Organizations - Bike Collective Network Wiki a co-op will likely have decent parts you can buy very cheap. the one where I volunteer sells everything for basically $5 a piece unless it's something very nice.

    my experience has shown that most people who "cannot afford" a decent bike simply have not prioritized their budget to allow for it.

  27. #27
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    150 mile replacement?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fajita Dave View Post
    One thing that really helped on my bike was replacing the chain (not for weight savings). The stock chain on my 2009 GT Avalanche 3.0 had 150 miles on it and I'm pretty sure it was well past due to replacing it. It was almost like pedaling through sand! I didn't notice it was so bad until I rode a friends bike.

    I kept it well lubed and all of the links were free. Everything on the bike is cheap but I really thought it would last a little longer than that. I've spent more upgrading this bike than if I had just bought the 2.0. For the same total price or less I would have gotten hydrolic brakes, better forks, and no need to replace bottom dollar parts. I like the bike... just not the cheaper components.

    When you do replace your old bike spend the extra few hundred dollars on something good!
    First I agree with sticking with seat and tires. You're throwing good money away in trying to upgrade this bike. Regarding the weight: It's a training aid. Ride the heavy bike and save your money. When you can afford to upgrade to a lighter bike, you'll be that much stronger.

    Second: a chain won't go bad at 150 miles. I don't ride as much as I'd like to these day, but I'd be replacing the chain on my cross bike every 2-3 weeks at that rate.
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    ...

    new handlebar and stem. the stock handlebar is steel and the stock stem is most likely thick and heavy! a decent aluminum handlebar should not be too expensive.

    seat and post. you might not think your post is heavy, but have you weighed it and compared that weight to a light seapost? you might be surprised at how heavy it actually is.
    ...
    I'm not sure that the OP can do this easily. I believe his M30 is from the era where the fork steerer is a 1 inch treaded part, and the stem is a quill. To use any modern 1-1/8 inch threadless clamping stem would mean he would first have to buy the 1 inch to 1-1/8 adaptor quill, which would negate any weight savings.

    As for the seatpost, I totally agree that replacing his current one (probably steel) should make a difference. But remember that his frame is steel, so if the new one is aluminum, it needs to be monitored for bonding.

  29. #29
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    I know that the seatpost was replaced and the current one is aluminum not steel. And to everyone else who says tires thanks for the suggestion already did it last week though.

  30. #30
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    I was going to make a case for a rigid fork, I went this way years ago on my 26' bike, and it still sees trail time.
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't 1.1/8" a standard by 1999.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by elwoodturner View Post
    I was going to make a case for a rigid fork, I went this way years ago on my 26' bike, and it still sees trail time.
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't 1.1/8" a standard by 1999.
    I honestly don't know if there's any particular year when 1-1/8 became standard, but I was looking for pics of his bike, and the closest one I found was a 2001 M30, which still had a quill stem. So I figured his '99 would also have it.

    BikePedia - 2001 Raleigh M30 Complete Bicycle

    Only the OP could tell us.

  32. #32
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    I sure it does i've never taken it apart but when I get home later I may take it apart to look at it. I'm not sure if its even worth replacing handlebars, how much does a decent one cost?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken in KC View Post
    First I agree with sticking with seat and tires. You're throwing good money away in trying to upgrade this bike. Regarding the weight: It's a training aid. Ride the heavy bike and save your money. When you can afford to upgrade to a lighter bike, you'll be that much stronger.

    Second: a chain won't go bad at 150 miles. I don't ride as much as I'd like to these day, but I'd be replacing the chain on my cross bike every 2-3 weeks at that rate.
    I didn't think it would either which is why I didn't think of changing it until I noticed how much less resistance a friends bike had. It was a night and day difference between the stock chain and the new one. I don't know what chain they used but like I said all of the components are (were) bottom dollar which is how much the bike cost me new. I had to replace the wheel set because I bent one after a very minor fall. The wheels didn't even stay true after the first 60 miles with the spokes adjusted correctly and I only weight 140Lbs. I didn't jump it either.

    Besides the OP's chain may be well past its prime so I thought I would just throw the idea out there.

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    I might try that thank you for the idea. I know the chain on here is stock.

  35. #35
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    If you're looking to reduce the weight of your bike, replacing the wheelset will likely make the single biggest difference. If you're using your bike for commuting, for example, you could try swapping your current tires for something smaller, thinner, more road-oriented. Buying a new wheelset can get expensive, however, so you might want to look at used options if you go that route. Upgrading your saddle/seatpost will shave off a couple of pounds at most; it's a fine investment if you're desperate for a more comfortable seat, but as a method of weight reduction it won't yield a lot of bang for your buck.

  36. #36
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    according to Bikepedia, the 1999 Raleigh M30 had a 1 1/8" threadless headset. it likely has a 25.4mm handlebar too.

  37. #37
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    Ive already decided to cut my losses with this bike and only pay for something if I have too. I'm going to buy another bike when ever I rake together funds for it. I'm sure thats a good decision on my part too.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    according to Bikepedia, the 1999 Raleigh M30 had a 1 1/8" threadless headset. it likely has a 25.4mm handlebar too.
    That's what I saw too, but when I went up the years until I found one with a picture, it was a 2001. The stats for that also said 1-1/8, but the picture looks to be a quill. That's kind of confusing.

    Even more confusing is the 2000 model lists with a 1" headset, in between the two years that list 1-1/8".

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfb12 View Post
    Ive already decided to cut my losses with this bike and only pay for something if I have too. I'm going to buy another bike when ever I rake together funds for it. I'm sure thats a good decision on my part too.
    Good call, I agree with most everyone in here you would be better off and a lot happier saving your $$, beg steal or borrow and get a new bike. When all is said and done you would spend way more and possibly still be heavier than a new ride. There are some really good "budget" priced bikes out there, visit as many bike shops as you can. There is no greater motivator than a new bike

  40. #40
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    Unfortunately, the frames on those Raleigh steel bikes are absolute anchors. A friend has one and I was astounded at how heavy they are. I think your plan to only replace the saddle for now (and maybe pedals) is a wise one.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfb12 View Post
    Ive already decided to cut my losses with this bike and only pay for something if I have too. I'm going to buy another bike when ever I rake together funds for it. I'm sure thats a good decision on my part too.
    that decision is full of win.

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    My question is where to even begin. I wont be able to afford anything big and great. What entry level 26" HT frame is one that has durability in the long run and one day when stuff brakes I wont have to question whether its worth it or not? Oh and lighter than this bike.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfb12 View Post
    My question is where to even begin. I wont be able to afford anything big and great. What entry level 26" HT frame is one that has durability in the long run and one day when stuff brakes I wont have to question whether its worth it or not? Oh and lighter than this bike.
    If I were in your shoes: I'd ride several different bikes from different oems. Determine which bike (frame model, size, mfger, etc) you like best. Then set your max budget based on that specific bike.

    Keep your eye out on Craigslist and local bike forums for that bike while you continue to save. At some point you'll save enough to buy the bike retail or you'll find it on the local market cheaper.


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  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfb12 View Post
    My question is where to even begin. I wont be able to afford anything big and great. What entry level 26" HT frame is one that has durability in the long run and one day when stuff brakes I wont have to question whether its worth it or not? Oh and lighter than this bike.
    I would strongly consider using Craigs List and pick up a lightly used bike. Start looking now and use the "Reviews" section of this site to evaluate the quality and the asking price vs the new retail price. Soon you will be able to sift out the good deals from the junk.

    This will also give you an idea on how much you will need to save to get a good used bike.

    Good luck and save your $'s. Soon you will be riding a newer better bike.

  45. #45
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    Late to the party but I think a new pair of handlebars is still a good idea - modern bars are a bit wider and more comfortable. And odds are you can get a decent aluminum bar for $25 or less - here is a pair for $10.99 (XLC Mountain Riser Handlebar > Components > Handlebars and Stems > Handlebars | Jenson USA Online Bike Shop). If you are unsure about the clamp size and don't want to take it off to measure I'm sure that your LBS could help you find something cheap with a bit more assurance that it will fit.

    Basically anything made in the last few years will be at least a little lighter than what you have now, and I'd imagine a lot more comfortable. When I swapped for a 31.8 mm bar/stem on my main bike I put the old 25.4 mm low-rise bars onto a VERY old trek that had an old-style flat/narrow bar and the difference was pretty huge. I even ride the old bike on singletrack some days now (my primary use for it is pulling a dog trailer).
    Yeah I only carry cans cause I'm a weight weenie.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfb12 View Post
    Ive already decided to cut my losses with this bike and only pay for something if I have too. I'm going to buy another bike when ever I rake together funds for it. I'm sure thats a good decision on my part too.
    Good decision
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

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