Making my Mountain Bike lighter — Part 3
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After changing a few parts and paying attention to the tools I used to carry with me the weight of the bike has dropped down to 12.8 kg from the original 14.2 kg. But I wasn’t happy with that yet.
When I bought my Superfly 8 second hand it came with a Ritchey aluminum handlebar, but I also got the original Bontrager made handlebar with it. Despite both bars being 720 mm wide the Ritchey bar was much heavier than the original one at 276 grams when the original was around 230 grams. With a bit of luck, I managed to get a Carbon fiber bar, taken from a Felt fat bike, for just 35€ second hand. It’s 760 mm wide, yet weighs only 176 grams. Granted, I could get even a lighter narrower bar but I have learned to like the width. Especially in winter when riding on narrow paths the extra leverage turned out to be very helpful at keeping the bike in control. The bar is definitely more flexible and thus absorbs some vibrations, making for a more comfortable ride.
The only complaint I have is that with a bar this wide it’s much harder to navigate through dense forests without the bar ends hitting trees, but I can live with that.
Price: 35€ second hand, much more brand new
Weight lost: 100 grams.
The earlier owner had also changed the grips to Ritchey’s lock-on foam ones. Nothing wrong with them besides the fact that they weren’t very durable. Eventually, they needed to be replaced and I decided to give cheap silicone grips a try. You can buy them on eBay/Amazon for less than 5€ shipped. Much to my surprise, they turned out to be decent quality and after a few months of riding, they don’t show any significant wear. They also turned out to be 79 grams lighter, not a bad weight loss for less than 5€! I’m sure some would find these grips too soft, but for me, they have worked well. Alongside with the carbon bar, the comfort was improved drastically to a point that I hardly experience fatigue in my hands anymore. Can recommend these.
Weight lost: 78 grams.
The original stem that came with Superfly 8 was quite heavy at around 150 grams. In my case, the stem had been replaced by Ritchey’s 90 mm, 6-degree stem, 122-gram stem. The stem was great quality, but I like my bar very slammed so I ended up getting a Hylix 80 mm, 17-degree stem. It was also slightly lighter at 112 grams, although for 10€ more you can get one with titanium bolts. That model is claimed to weigh around 100 grams, although I can’t confirm that.
When I got the stem I was kind of skeptical about the quality, judging by the terrible graphics, but it has held up just fine. I have used a torque wrench with it and haven’t managed to strip any threads yet, so I guess I can trust it. Quality can be a hit or miss though, so keep that in mind before purchasing.
Weight lost: 10 grams.
Carbon spacers and top cap
Bought this for a few euros on eBay. Quality is pretty bad, but for the price can’t really complain. I know I could save weight by cutting the steerer tube, but I don’t want to do that just yet in case I end up changing the fork. So I ended up replacing the aluminum spacers and top cap with Carbon ones, losing just 10 grams with it. But for the price it’s decent.
Weight lost: 10 grams.
With all the modifications I was able to lose around 200 grams for around 55€. Not a great price per weight lost value, but especially the Carbon bar and the grips improved comfort significantly. The bike is much nicer to drive now that my hands don’t get as beat up as they used to. Best upgrade from the bunch was the grips, for the value I can highly recommend them. After these modifications, the weight of the bike drops down to 12.6 kg, over 1.5 kg lighter than the original! Part 4 coming soon!