After watching an interesting video about bike and body weight from GCN, it became more apparent once again what a difference a lighter bike will make. It took me a bit of time to decide, whether I should buy a new bike or to upgrade the giblets and components on my bike. I finally decided to buy the components, as it is most likely cheaper to get some good used stuff on ebay and get some money for the old parts. I could have sold my old bike as well of course, but I feel attached to the frame (VeloVie Vitesse 100) from the US that no one else rides over here in Europe.
A good website for researching the most important components to exchange is Weightweenies. It lists part weight going back over a decade. Unfortunately the most recent years are not available, but one can always search the brand website as well. Besides the weight itself, the rotating weight is an important factor for deciding what to exchange. A list of all the parts that were exchanged can be found in the listing at the end of the article.
The wheels including the tires are on the top of the list, next is the crank and pedals.
I am a big fan of the Bontrager Race X Lite wheels, but have finally decided to switch over to Mavic. The Ksyrium SR is a fantastic wheelset. I totally fell in love with it after the first ride. The wheels that were on that bike most of the time were ’99 Rolf Vector Comp. As far as the tires go, I am a little hesitant, since weight obviously also impacts puncture resistance. I have been riding Continental Gatorskin for years and rarely had flats. I have now changed over to the Continental Grand Prix 4000S II or the Schwalbe Ultremo ZX, they both have lower weights and are available in Germany. The Conti Gatorskin is not. Obviously folding tires are lower weight than wire tires. I am not a big fan of going to lighter inner tubes, so no changes there.
Since my Race Face Cadence compact crank is already at a relatively low weight there were no changes required initially, until I decided going to 2×11. I ended up buying a new Sram Red 22 compact crank. My frame only fits BSA brackets, but it still saves some weight compared to the Race Face crank. The pedals also offered some great improvement. The low end Forte pedals were exchanged with the Exustar E-PR200CKTI, a carbon pedal with a titanium axle. They are the lightest Keo-system based pedal system available, which almost cut the weight by 50%.
I had been using the Ultegra 6500 group from my ‘99 Trek 2300 until now, it worked like a charm. The Trek and I rode down Highway 1 in California, the Ultegra Parts on the Velo Vie frame road up Mt. Mitchell with my friends Sandra and Dave. All in all lots of good memories! It is now time to switch to 11 Speed and lighter components. It is relatively easy to figure out that the Sram Red group offers the lightest parts available. The trick is to get a good deal on used components, patience certainly helps. I ended up with a mix of Rival, Force and Red, both used and new. I had a problem finding used Sram 22 parts as there are not many available yet.
Where else can you save weight? That is very simple to answer on every single part, even bolts. But I am not yet going to that extreme. The other parts I have exchanged with carbon components are: The handle bar, the bottle cages and the seat. I am very proud of the seat, it is a Specialized Toupe Carbon. It only weighs 96g, compared with the Terry that weighs 266g. That means the saddle is the 2nd biggest improvement at 63.9%, only beat by the bottle cages at 64.6%.
What a fun project! I am not sure if it is always the most cost effective way of getting a light bike, but certaily the most fun. Although I am emotionally attached to the parts from my first real road bike, I am very proud about my new bike. Getting very close (6820g or 15lb and 0.57oz) to the long overdue UCI weight limit at 6.8kg is close to the best one can do with the Velo Vie Vitesse 100. A frame that runs at around 1230g as per the manufacturer. When comparing these numbers to off the shelf bikes, you would be looking at 6598g (without bottle cages andd pedals), which typically only comes with a fairly big price tag!!
Here the stats and some highlights.