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5 Reasons Why Your Road Bike Is Slowing You Down

5 Reasons Why Your Road Bike Is Slowing You Down


– There are more than just a few ways that your bike is literally
wearing you down on the climbs. In this video, we’re
going to talk you through a few of the obvious, a
few of the less obvious and some of the slightly
more expensive ways that your bike can be
made a little bit lighter. (upbeat music) Let’s kick off today by
saving some free weight ’cause if something’s free,
it’s always better, isn’t it? Two 750 mil bottles
weigh around 1-1/2 kilos. When you include the weight of the bottle, it’s going to be a little bit more. I’m only going to ride for an hour, so I know that I don’t need
to take 1-1/2 liters of fluid. For me, that would be enough
for around three hours. For one hour, I’m going
to need around 500 mil, which is going to save me an entire kilo. Now, that doesn’t sound like a lot, but if you consider I’m going
to do quite a hilly hour’s ride, around 400 to 500 meters of climbing, that could be as much as one minute saved. And whilst one minute over
an hour doesn’t sound much, imagine if it was one steady
climb of just 30 minutes. That one minute is going
to feel like an eternity if Hank’s waiting for me at the top. By moving away from the
center of the bike now and up towards where my
saddle bag should be. Unfortunately Hank’s borrowed it for another bike packing trip, which he seems to be
doing a lot of these days, and good on him. He enjoys it. Now, picture they contents
of your saddle bag. What would you have in there? An inner tube, a multi-tool perhaps. Maybe you’d have some
puncture repair patches, some gas canisters, that kind of thing. Is all of that really necessary
for an hour long ride? Imagine you’ve got one
of those big multi-tools with a chain breaker, when was the last time
you used a chain breaker on a bike ride? Could you perhaps get away with using a much smaller multi-tool like this one? And then when you come onto you tubes, could you get away with maybe using one of those ultra light, tiny emergency tubes that you see on the internet these days? I think you probably could. That saves around 300 grans alone, and that sort of weight
up high on your bike is really going to make a difference, especially if you’re climbing quite a bit. Whilst we’re talking about saddle bags, how about the part of the bike from which they are hung, the saddle? Are you guilty of doing something
which I’ve done for years, which is using the heavily padded version of the same saddle, which I’m
currently using on my bike? It’s not saving me a huge amount of weight between these two saddles,
but going from a saddle which is wildly padded compared to using a lightweight racing carbon saddle could save you as much as 200 grams. That 200 grams might not sound like lots, but when it’s at the top of your seat post and being propelled from side to side as you’re climbing at the saddle, that’s costing you a lot of energy which could otherwise be put into propelling the bike
forwards up the climb. Now, when it comes to choosing a saddle, it’s actually the shape of
the saddle and the design not the quantity of the padding that’s going to dictate just
how comfortable it is for you. And you should always try
your best to find a saddle which matches your body and
makes you feel comfortable on the bike. One of the most often overlooked
ways to save a little bit of weight from your bike
is to change the tires. There’s a chance that
when you bought your bike, it was spec-ed to a price point, meaning that the tires
probably weren’t the priority. Something like the wheel set
or the group set probably was. I’m not saying you should throw your tires away straight away. That’s completely wasteful, but when they wear down,
it’s the perfect opportunity to upgrade to something
a little bit lighter. Maybe you can go from a
steel bead to a folding bead. That’s going to save a
little bit of weight, or you can just go to a
slightly more expensive version of the tire you already have. It’s going to do more to
make your bike feel zippy and fast on the climbs or on the flat than almost any other change you can make for that sort of price. If you are upgrading your tires, it’s also the perfect opportunity to upgrade your inner tubes, as well. Latex inner tubes are proven to have lower rolling resistance than standard butyl inner tubes. So you should feel a
bit of a benefit there, and if you’re playing
around with your tires and stuff like that, why
don’t you go tube-less? It doesn’t make it any lighter, but it buys you that piece of mind that you’re less likely to puncture, which may mean that you dare go out without taking a spare tube and a pump, and that is saving you weight. Now you know we’re clutching at straws when it comes down to saving
the micrograms from your bike, but there are a few things
that were on your bike when you bought it which
you don’t necessarily need for day to day use. For a start, valve caps
and valve stem collars. You don’t really need those, although the collars can
perhaps prevent the valve from rattling in your rim. When you bought your
bike, you may have noticed that your rear wheel
came with a plastic disc between the cassette and the spokes. That’s to protect the wheel from having derailleur
shift up and into it. If your derailleur is well adjusted, you don’t actually need
one of these at all, although it would be a
costly mistake if it wasn’t. Your bike probably also came
with reflectors on the wheels. You don’t necessarily need those, although I am a big fan of being
well seen when at the bike. I try and wear bright
colors, but most importantly, I always ride with my lights on, as well. And to that end, I’ve also
removed the standard reflectors that would’ve come with the bike. We really are only
saving a few grams here, but it does make the bike
look that little bit neater, that little bit sleeker,
and you can’t argue that when something looks
cool, it feels fast. On this video so far,
we have tried to focus on more of the cost effective ways to save a little bit of weight, hence the rotational mass of the tire. Other things that turn, the
rims, very expensive upgrade, disc brake rotors, cassettes. Now, surprisingly, you can
get a much lighter cassette. It’s not as much as a set of wheel, but it will save you
up to 200 grams again. I can’t believe that. That sounds staggering to me. Pedals is a place you
could lose a bit of weight, as is your chain set. And if you really want to go fast, maybe some ceramic bearings
in your hubs, as well, is a great way to upgrade. Now, if I was being really pedantic and I wanted to save every last gram, I could always choose to
remove my bike computer, the ELEMNT ROAM, the Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM and use its smaller
sibling, the ELEMNT BOLT. That is only saving me a few grams, and since I like big data on my screen, I’m going to keep that one there, but it is something to bear in mind. So there are just a few
of our favorite ways to save that little bit of
extra weight from your bike without really changing
anything about the way it rides. Have you ever tried any of these, and if you have, how much
weight did you manage to trim from your favorite ride? Drop it in the comments below, and also let us know if
there are any extra ways that you save weight from your bike. If you enjoyed this video,
give it a big thumbs up, subscribe to the channel,
and for more videos, click, click on my bike right now.

9 comments on “5 Reasons Why Your Road Bike Is Slowing You Down

  1. My 14mm chain weights near 5Kg! that's nearly 1/2 of my bike. Crazy you say? I agree but I live in NYC. As they say, it's gone in a New York minute.

  2. Ride with more kg, so when u decide to remove it u will be faster :D, and anyway if u train u will be faster even with additional kg 😀

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