The 5 Stupidest Ways to Drop Weight on a Road Bike

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Valve stem cap, washer nut, and skewer spring

Valve stem cap, washer nut, and skewer springSo you’ve got extra grams on your bike. Minute particles of weight that are absolutely unnecessary *cough* to drag over that next mountain with you. But what are these magic parts that, if tossed in the garbage can, would immediately help you in your pursuit of faster?

Whether or not you believe that this scenario actually exists, you should appreciate some of these extreme weight-saving tips. (Hopefully you can tell this list is somewhat tongue-in-cheek. Remove bike parts at your own risk. They’re probably doing something important).

1. Remove Springs from Skewer: A fellow road cyclist passed me this tip while he was changing a flat. Apparently, those little steel or alloy springs that sit on either side of your wheels are nothing more than a heavy load to drag over mountains. They must weigh at least .0000467 of a gram. Chuck them. They’re holding you back from your goals–you know that sprint you lost by two bike lengths? This is the reason.

2. Remove Washers: There are extra pieces of metal all over your bike. Namely, washers. Another fellow cyclist clued me in to this one. He pretty much stripped down his road bike and removed any “extra” washers. There are probably a few chunks of metal keeping your brakes in the proper place and stopping your bike when you need them to. Why would you need to stop when you’re supposed to be going faster? These are probably doubling that .0000467 grams that you shaved when you removed your skewer springs.

3. Remove Your Seat Post and Saddle: This is where we turn a corner. Significant weight savings. Significant muscle burn. Significant results. Drop these unnecessary luxuries and win your next race.

4. Remove The Valve Stem Extras: OK, ok. This is true. If you’re riding around with that black cap on your presta valve, it is totally slowing you down–from being cool (and we all know how desperately important that is). The screw-down washer and black valve cap are generally regarded as useless. They protect the stem while they’re being shipped around, but otherwise they have no real purpose. Debates rage on about the usefulness of the washer nut, but if you have long valve stems (which you should), they’re totally useless. Trust me, here’s some weight shaving that no one will think twice about.

5. Remove Reflectors: I admit it. I actually couldn’t think of 5 stupid ways to drop weight on a road bike. So this one is a freebie. Any high-end road bike won’t come with reflectors. Pop them off of wherever you find them. If you’re riding on a busy road, I actually recommend adding weight to your bike with a daytime rear light. If you don’t know why reflectors are a bad idea, I did a whole post about it a while back. Read it if you’re curious: Why Reflectors Are Actually Dangerous . . . and Mostly Pointless.

 

So how many things have you taken off of your bike?

 

About Bek 297 Articles
SLO Cyclist's chief editor and recovering road snob, Bek makes sure everything runs smoothly around here. She's also the one who reminds us not to take ourselves too seriously--unless it involves black socks. Black socks are always serious.

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