Does mountain bike weight matter?


To help answer the question, in short, it only matters if you are an intermediate or expert level biking rider.

If you are a beginner cycling a simple trail, your bike’s weight is not that important. On the other hand, in the range of models you can you can buy, there is only a small weight variance.

The answer is short and straightforward, but there is other information you need to know as well, and we have outlined these aspects here for you, so continue reading.

When is it important?

For the beginner, the weight is not of too much concern for two reasons. When you start on a beginner entry trail, you do not have tricky stuff that needs avoiding on your path.

On the other hand, the incline and decline are not so steep, and even the turns are not sharp. Therefore, you can comfortably move through these trails with a mountain bike weighing a couple of extra pounds. The second thing is you only have beginner skills that are not complicated to use.

Your body movement is not aggressive, and even the bunny hops are not high. For this reason, using a heavy than your average bicycle, won’t negatively affect your riding.

Now, if you are riding an intermediate or expert trail with a mountain bike, the weight makes a huge difference when it comes to performance.

With heavy bikes riding these trails become difficult and hold you back, but it doesn’t mean you cannot execute your skills. However, it will take loads of energy to get up the incline and need higher speeds when making a turn.

As a result, you expel more energy, and you will end up tired faster, affecting you negatively. For that reason, the weight plays a more significant role for intermediate to expert trails.

What is typical?

Over the years, bikes have become lighter and made with modern materials compared to older bicycles. Therefore, the standard weight of most mountain bikes is in the 30-pound range.

However, there is more to it as you can buy different types as well with the same total weight. You can get an XC (cross-country mountain bike) that weighs less than a DH (downhill mountain bike.)

With the heavier models, riding downhill is more comfortable as you face a declining slope with a lot more momentum. Even with all the types together, the average weight is 30-pounds.

On the other hand, when you look at a specific group of mountain bikes, you can get a heavier model or find an average model that is lightweight.

When you do buy one, look at the bigger picture as well. For example, if you have DH mountain bikes (average 30lbs), many expert riders will advise you that you have a lightweight bike.

However, if you use XC mountain bikes with the same average weight, then that is pretty heavy. So look at the type you plan to buy according to your primary use as well from riding cross-country, downhill, or uphill.

bike weight for carrying

Can the size of the rider make a difference?

To some extent, your rider weight matters and plays an important role when you journey through mountain trails. Are you a heavy rider?

Then you may find it challenging to keep control of your bike compared to lighter riders. Your rider weight is on top of your bike and helps with control when leaning to the sides.

As a result, your weight with the bike weighs matter and makes a huge difference.

Will extra gear make a difference when biking?

Compared to your riding and bike weight, the gear your carry with you matters to some extent. As you use a backpack, the majority of your equipment packed inside it.

Therefore, the pressure will be behind you pulling your body backward. Imagine cycling with 30lbs of weight on the back; it will affect you even when riding a lighter bike with a full suspension. For this reason, make sure your gear is lightweight and evenly distributed throughout the backpack.

On the other hand, if you do keep gear and make sure it is lightweight and centered as well.

So, how do you reduce your overall load?

When riding, you need to take the total weight into consideration.

Once you calculate all weights together, you get the overall riding weight. Therefore, if you feel you are carrying too much load, get rid of some of the extra stuff you are carrying.

Reducing the weight of the bike itself isn’t easy, and can takes loads of money to replace the parts with lighter ones.

For this reason, it is better to reduce your overall weight to help improve your riding ability. So head out to the gym and put in some extra hours to shed the pounds. On the other hand, you can invest in lighter gear or do not take too much with you.

Impact of different terrain and scenarios

As mentioned, if you are a beginner rider, the weight wont make a huge difference—the important thing for you it the durability and capability if you are a novice rider in mountain biking.

With a bit of added load, it may be better when starting as it provides you with sturdy support.

Weight only matters when:

  • When you want to go faster, and with a lighter bike, you can move at a higher speed.
  • With a lightweight full suspension bike, you can maneuver easier when starting, turning, and stopping.
  • A lighter bike means less stress on the bicycle and even for riders, making it easier to start, turn, and more with less wear and tear on parts.
  • With lightweight bikes, it is easier to climb hills when a beginner and gives you reason enough to reduce your weight when on your bike.

So, what contributes to additional load?

While we have already mentioned the biking gear and your total body weight, there are other factors to consider as well.

Firstly, the material used to make the frame and wheels is significant factors determining the overall weight of the bike.

The frame carries the most load, and upgrading to carbon frames is costly. Even if you improve your wheels, it can reduce the weight and performance of the bike.

The components also add some weight, and upgrading the handlebars is the first step to make a lighter bicycle. However, the bike parts play a small role in the total load.

Can lightweight bicycles cost more?

Yes, buying one might cost more, but it doesn’t mean it will cost more than heavy bikes, as there are different factors to take into consideration when you purchase one. The lightweight bikes cost more, as the manufacture needs to make lighter parts.

For example, if the frame weight ten pounds and the manufacturer wants to fabricate a new frame with the same features with a load of eight pounds, they need to use other materials, and it costs more.

Therefore, buying the bike costs more as well, and this is the easiest way to understand and explain.

Final thoughts

Stop going nuts trying to find a lightweight mountain bike available online when buying one. If you are intermediate or expert-level trail riders, the weight of the bike can make a difference. However, a pound or two wont make a huge difference.

On the other hand, if you do have the money to spend, you can use a BikeCAD program designed to create your dream bicycle.

Alternatively, you can also check out some services llc sites or services llc associates to provide a means of helping you to remove some weight from your bikes.

Before heading out on the trail, drink a bottle of water, and the likeliness is that you will weigh a couple of pounds more.

So stop worrying about the difference in your weight, as it wont make such a huge difference when it comes to riding your bike and your cycling skills.

Sources:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/18/style/bike-buying-commute-exercise-questions.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_frame

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