When bicycle or component weight is actually heavier


One of the first, if not the first thing a potential client (maybe you) checks about the bike or about the component he’s about to buy is its weight. In fact, it would very much stick to the truth to say that shaving off weight has become a burning passion among bicycle riders. And since weight weighs a lot in the eyes of a soon-to-be-new-bicycle-owner, the values of it tend to be slightly more tempting than they really are, of course, with the manufacturer’s magic touch. Ok, but shouldn’t the weight matter be crystal clear? A matter of „yes” or „no”?

Well, it is. Sort of. Because here come into play the standards and mentions (those little, italic-written words at the bottom of the page). Let’s take, for instance, the example of bicycle frames.

Here, more than anywhere else regarding bicycle components, there is enough room for variation. In order for a frame to be competitive, it must be light, of course. Light frames impress and climb better. Only that a frame is more than simple tubes welded together.

A frame must be painted, needs dropouts for the wheels and so on. All these little things translate into extra grams. Here is where the difference kicks in. Not all frame/bicycle manufacturers use the same standard when declaring the weight of the frame. Some include the paint job, or the dropouts or the saddle clamp, or only some of these or, simply, none. And this is where you’ll have to keep a sharp eye out, because you can’t use a frame if it’s not painted, doesn’t have dropouts or all the other small parts such as them. And if you’ll have to add them, you’ll be adding extra grams, otherwise your frame will simply be unfunctional.

Also in the case of frames you’ll have to pay attention to the size for which that respective weight is given. Most manufacturers state the weight for the M-size frames, but there isn’t any official agreement regarding this, so there is the chance that some will use the weight of a S-sized frame in order to make a better impression. Basicly, all comes down to the way in which the manufacturer evaluates the weight and the standards he uses.

Going further on to other components, you have to keep your eyes open for any mentions. For example, a pair of rim brake calipers can include the pads or not, a wheelset can include various parts but not have all the weights listed or the cassette sprocket may vary in weight according to the different teeth number of the cogs.