Weight Problem: Solved

It has been said that balance is the key to life (by a non-cyclist, I’m sure). With this thought in mind I started wondering why I needed to go through the pain of physically losing more weight in order to ride faster up hills (my main goal this year because of the vertical nature of the two Etapes du Tour). Heck, can’t I lose pounds any other way?

Yes I can, and all I need is money (sometimes more readily available than the willpower needed to stay away from chips and beer). Take this real-life example:

My Current groupset (Shimano 105 – Triple): Weight = 2700 grams

Campagnolo Chorus groupset (compact): Weight = 2106 grams. 

My Current Wheels (Fulcrum Racing 7): Weight = 1949 grams

Mavic Ksyrium Elites: Weight 1550 grams.

There is the little matter of 1500 Euros for this upgrade, but the weight savings would be 1 kilogram. That’s like, how many bags of chips!? This calculation doesn’t even figure in the ‘awesome factor’ of riding Campy equipment, by the way. Imagine owning bike components that aren’t yet made in Taiwan or China (no disrespect T and C).

Stay tuned to find out how itchy Mr. Patterson’s ‘Buy’ finger is. And remember, it’s all about finding the equilibrium…and the money!

22 thoughts on “Weight Problem: Solved

  1. Nice gear. Since I have put on at least 3 Kg since the summer, I can get triple the weight loss by eating less and pedalling more and get the additional benefit of it being a net financial saving by spending less on potatoes. But I agree that eating less doesn’t have the same cachet as riding Campagnolo.

    • I’m still doing the math on your equation, but I’ll trust it’s correct.

      But I think you have something here; perhaps I could justify this purchase by eating less, thus saving money on potatoes (deep fried in my case), and using the difference as a first installment. Tootlepedal, you’re a genius!

  2. Got to agree with the Campag cachet ( said the Integra owner) and then double cachet for not doing it with a triple set up ( said the Integra triple owner) and a whole round kilo is a nice amount to shed but there again I’m not the Mistress of your Budget!

    €1500 is not sooooo much is it – 15 tanks of fuel in the car or some such – I’m sure there must be a bit of budgetry slack somewhere….:~}

    regards as always!

    • Budgetary slack – I could stop eating, like Tootlepedal suggested. That might help a little. Otherwise I’m pretty frugal these days (the Mistress of the Budget is back in school). You’re right though, it is that much to invest and I’m sure I can find all sorts of creative ways to justify it. I need more convincing. You got anything else?

  3. I like the way you think – slim down the equipment first before any more dieting!
    But, will the weight loss cost you in downhill speed and possibly have an effect on your overall time? I have watertight scientific proof to back this up! I’m skinny and Chris isn’t. I beat him uphill every time but not by as much as he beats me downhill every time. Momentum is a wonderful thing!

    • Steph, you’re right about the weight thing, although I’ve been told that more expensive wheels might roll better and theoretically even the playing field somewhat on the descents. But really, my guess is that there would be far more time lost on the climbs than the descents. I’m far more frightened by going up than going down!

  4. Interesting that you sould discuss Bikes/Money today. I had a talk this a.m. with a fellow that has an 80s lime green Bianchi hanging in his garage. He has not ridden it for twelve years and priced it at 400 USD. I am not in the market, but it is nice to dream…I might keep the other Bianchi and have [gasp!] Two road bikes!

    Steph has a point. Less weight, less momentum.

    Let us know how it all turns out.

    • Ron, this all started when I took a glance at my bike shop’s site the other day. They have Bianchi’s top of the line bike on sale (used) for 3000 Euros and I was convincing myself that I HAD to have it. Intelligence overcame emotion and now I’m down to HAVING TO HAVE a new gruppo and wheels…

      I don’t think I could handle having two road bikes. I’d always feel sorry for the one left behind.

  5. 2kg for wheels is crazy. You can get a set of Durace clinchers and knock 500 grams off there. There are PLENTY of options around 1300-1500grams. If you were racing you could have at some Reynolds DVT46 ULs and get down to 1kg (which is what I race on).

    Campy is too pricey especially Chorus. Why wouldn’t you get SRAM Force (basically Red, really) or Di2 or Ui2 and save the money? Bang for buck and weight wise, SRAM Red is the business. Pretty sure Red is about 500grams lighter than Campy. And there’s a lot more compatibility with SRAM/Shim parts and ebay availability is better (IMHO).

    I know it’s hard but keep looking for kg on the body. And do cross training. Weights, running staircases, squats, kettlebells, etc.

    • I’m sure you’re right about those 2kg. I was new and innocent when I bought my Infinito stock. At that time I didn’t even know wheels made a difference, but quickly found out that Bianchi sells (they’ve changed for the better since last year) their stuff with low-end wheels.

      SRAM, they are a little lighter and a little cheaper, as you said. But I have to draw the line someplace, Tim. I’ve got a little of the romantic in me and nearly the whole reason for this little experiment is to find an excuse to buy Campagnolo.

      I’ll keep on the weight efforts, too. Going at around 200 grams a week now, which should get me to racing weight by the 2014 season!

  6. At this point I pose a metaphysical question: If you lose the bike weight and change nothing else, what have you changed about yourself and how much pride in accomplishment should you take when you achieve a better result?

    Screw that. Push any answer to the above question way down inside yourself and have fun getting the best machine money can buy! 🙂

  7. Love the logic, but I’ve found the rate of diminishing returns increases too much the more money you spend. I just got a headache writing that! I have SRAM Force, which is plenty light enough. As much as I hate it, I’ll resist the hamburger or just climb slower.

    • Lighter than what I’m looking at, so I’d say go for that hamburger (especially if we’re in the same race ;-).

      Nice blog, by the way, Aaron. I hadn’t come across it, so thanks for commenting. If you’d like to come over to France for some bigger challenges, let me know. I’m on the doorstep of Mont Ventoux.

  8. Three words: Campy Super Record.
    And it should be on every bike. And one more thing….the formula for the number of bikes you may own is: N = S – 1
    N = number of bikes you can own
    S = number of bikes you can own before you get divorced

    • I like your thinking re the number of bikes thing. I wonder how you test that equation without getting divorced first, though…?

      Super Record looks…super, but I don’t want to go too awesome with the gruppo and not the wheels (must maintain ‘balance’, remember), so then I’d need to go with a carbon wheelset and then I’d fail in your calculation without even buying a new bike!

      • Go for the it.. its not like your throwing it away on drink and drugs or even worse a Rolex
        But a word of warning
        watch out for signs of early onset BicycleBoyRacer.symptoms include;
        Buying helium for your tyres
        Replacing all your bolts with titanium
        Telling lies to partner/wife about the price of kitt
        being aware is half the battle


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