When it comes to choosing the perfect bike, one of the most considered factors is its weight. A lot of cyclists believe that the lighter their bike is, the faster it will be. But, is the weight of your bike truly all that makes the difference? And, are the extra bucks you pay for a lighter bike worth it? Although, whether you're a weight weenie or not largely depends on what you do with your bike. If you cycle purely for fun and as a hobby, weight might not be a big deal to you. But if you're going to be participating in a race or you're bike commuting, weight can be of great concern. Besides the speed benefits, lighter bikes are also easy to transport, store and lift in traffic. While the speed of your bike is dependent on several factors, which of course include its weight. Your power-to-weight ratio, strength, and resistance are also key factors that influence your bike's speed.
Chart provided by https://bikesreviewed.com/
Bike weight vs Bodyweight
Does the ratio of your weight as a cyclist, to your bike's weight have any impact on your bike's performance? The answer is yes. To better understand this, let's take the instance of two riders, each on a 20-pound bike. Rider A weighs 180 pounds while rider B weighs 100 pounds. Let's also suppose that they both apply the same power of 220 watts to the pedals. Rider B will move relatively faster than rider A because of his lighter bodyweight - which affects the overall bike weight. The overall bike weight of any bike in action is a sum of 3 different weights. These are the actual bike weight, the rider's body weight, and the weight of any other external accessories attached to the bike. The value of this total, in turn, impacts the amount of energy required to propel the bike to a certain speed.
Average bike weight
How much does a bike weigh? Generally speaking, there's no standard or specific answer to this. Just as there are countless designs of bikes, so there are various weight values for each of them. Depending on the type of bike, a bicycle can weigh as little as 7kg (or less) and as much as 14kg(or more). However, we shall be considering the average weight of various types of bikes in this article.
Average road bike weight
The average weight of a typical road bike is about 8kg (or 18 pounds). This includes the pedals and cages. Although, the weight may slightly or significantly vary, depending on the frame size, frame material used, and other components. Road bikes are built primarily for navigating paved roads at speed. Their tires are relatively smaller and smoother, and they have a lighter frame. They are good for on-road racing as they can take you several miles with minimum effort. Because they are designed to run faster, road bikes are generally lighter than others. And of course, their lightweight doesn't come without a downside. So, unlike other bikes, they are not capable of supporting heavy loads; which makes them unsuitable for commuting or touring.
Average hybrid bike weight
Since hybrid bikes are a combination of both road and mountain bikes, their weight depends largely on their design and purpose. Hybrid bikes that are mountain bike-style have an average weight of about 13.2kg (around 29 pounds). Road bike-styled hybrid bikes have an average weight of about 11.8kg(around 26 pounds), while a cruiser-styled hybrid bike has an average weight of about 14.3kg ( around 32 pounds). Hybrid bikes have large paddled seats, medium-width tires, and upright handlebars that make them comfortable while riding. They are suitable for casual riding within the neighborhood, running errands within the town, and short-distance commuting. They are also efficient on both paved and unpaved roads but are not as efficient as road bikes. Additionally, lightweight models of hybrid bikes are ideal for long-distance cycling and are generally faster as compared to heavier models. However, hybrid bikes are generally not ideal for rough off-road mountain bike trails.
The average weight of a mountain bike
On average, mountain bikes weigh between 9.5kg to 13.1kg. This is due to some additional details such as extra gears that help riders pedal up steep dirt trails and their large tires. Mountain bikes are designed to navigate rough and rugged off-road trails. They have a very low gear range and flat or upright positioned handlebars that make them effective on steep trails. They come in medium-sized tires and can also come in extremely wide ones, a factor that significantly contributes to their weight. Mountain bikes also sometimes come with suspension to enhance the ride quality and smooth out vibrations.
They can either have the front suspension only (called hardtails) or both front and rear suspension(called full suspensions).
The average weight of a carbon road bike
The average carbon road bike weighs approximately 8.2kg (18 pounds). Like every other bike category, the frame size, frame material, wheels, gears, and tire size can change the overall weight. Carbon fiber bike frames are strong, reasonably stiff and in fact, the lightest. As the name suggests, they are made from carbon fiber strands and a hard epoxy resin. Although carbon road bikes are quite expensive, they, however, provide you with a smoother and more comfortable ride. Also, they tend to have higher durability and strength compared to other bike categories. Despite their proven efficiency, most riders within budget would rather go for a different category of bike - until recently. Improvements in technology and manufacturing techniques are beginning to make carbon road bikes more affordable and available. If you're looking for speed and lightweight, and wouldn't mind what it would cost, an investment in a carbon fiber road bike would be worth it.
Steel road bike weight
Depending on the strength of your bike, a classic steel road bike has an average weight of about 10kg to 13.2kg. Although steel frames are not as strong as aluminum, titanium, or carbon frames, they also do a good job of providing smooth and enjoyable rides. For a very long time, steel was at the forefront of bike-building materials and continued to shine until aluminum and carbon fiber set in. They quickly displaced steel for their lightweight and easier manufacturing process. If you're getting a bike primarily for weight loss and would prefer a heavy machine, obtaining a steel road bike is most likely your best option.
Unless you're a weight weenie, your choice of bike shouldn't solely depend on weight. You should consider your purpose of getting the bike, where you would be riding it, and several other relevant factors before finally making your selection. The factors responsible for the weight of a bike are numerous and they include the bike frame material, tire size, seat, rack, bike accessories, and other components. These factors also are responsible for the functionality and efficiency of your bike.
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