Author Topic: Any ideas for shaving weight off a Bike Friday NWT?  (Read 2139 times)

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Offline geegee

Any ideas for shaving weight off a Bike Friday NWT?
« on: May 12, 2010, 11:05:55 pm »
I have a Bike Friday New World Tourist and while I am quite happy with it, it's getting about time to upgrade some parts. I would love to shave off a bit of weight, any suggestions for best components to replace? Cranks? rear derailleur?

Offline bogiesan

Re: Any ideas for shaving weight off a Bike Friday NWT?
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2010, 08:46:26 am »
You probably want to talk to other BF owners. I hear they have a good user forum, dunno. Shaving weight off of a folder is not a serious endeavor; expensive with no gain. Easier, cheaper, and far better to reduce the weight of the engine.
The success of mass reduction can be assessed by comparing two ratios: After Weight over Before Weight and Total Cost over Initial Cost. Let's just say you spend $600 to reduce the mass by two pounds, the cost of the bike (by replacing perfectly good parts) has increased to 130-140% but the mass has been reduced to only 95-90%. If you consider the total mass as your bike, your stuff,  and you, 220-250 pounds, loosing 2 or even 5 pounds off the bike is insignificant
If you take 20 pounds off your body mass, you've reduced the total package by maybe 5-10% but you haven't spent any money and you're going to feel and ride much better.

We used to say ti and carbon parts ran $400-600 a pound. That has come down a bit with the successful introduction of many more lightweight parts. Light can also mean fragile but not always, and that's a negative aspect for touring.

If you have the money to spend, get a lighter bike. If you must have a folder, the weight of the bike is one of the prices you accept for the convenience.

david boise ID
I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline waynemyer

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Re: Any ideas for shaving weight off a Bike Friday NWT?
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2010, 11:05:28 am »
Is  your NWT really that heavy?  I had a NWT; while I never weighed it, I could climb better and faster than with my Cannondale R1000.

If you're really counting grams, you're probably riding the wrong bike.  That said, I might start with wheels and even then, there's not a lot to take off of a NWT.

Bogiesan's suggestion of engine weight reduction is spot on.  Easier, cheaper, and much more drastic.  I switched to low-carb two weeks ago, dropped 13 pounds, and can do the same climbs much faster now.  Cheapest bicycle upgrade ever!  ;D
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Offline geegee

Re: Any ideas for shaving weight off a Bike Friday NWT?
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2010, 12:36:15 pm »
The engine might be able to shed a few pounds but my point is not to reduce the weight while I'm riding it but rather when I ship it. Last time I put it on the plane in its hard Samsonite case it barely squeeked in the maximum allowable weight per bag. I think some airlines are lowering this to about 40 lbs per piece. The other way I carry it is in a soft shoulder bag when I take it on a bus or train (where they don't allow normal bikes) and having 30+ pounds hanging off your shoulder while holding panniers in each hand is enough to cut the circulation off your arm while boarding at the platform.

My NWT is the basic model, with cheap Sora components. I have never worn a crank off any of my bikes, but the one in the BF is toast.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2010, 12:42:49 pm by geeg »

Offline waynemyer

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Re: Any ideas for shaving weight off a Bike Friday NWT?
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2010, 06:13:40 pm »
Ah, that makes it all clearer now!   :)

My NWT had all Ultegra and later Chris King hubs laced to Sun rims.  The lightweight fixed steerer mast will shave some mass, but the tradeoff is a lack of adjustment.  My BF trailer frame, case, and NWT, plus pedals, shoes, and tools came in at 49 pounds.

Even if you can get your NWT down to 22 pounds, that is still a lot of mass to sling on your shoulder.

I also used Nokon cabling on my NWT.  It only saves a couple grams, but the advantages are that the cabling behaves much better in the suitcase and the rear brake works better despite the tortuous cable routing around the bottom bracket.

If you have the money, give BF a call.  They have carbon fiber and titanium parts and masts in order to get your steed svelte.
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Offline CastAStone

Re: Any ideas for shaving weight off a Bike Friday NWT?
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2010, 05:16:14 pm »
If you have Sora stuff, depending on the model year, you might be stuck replacing the stuff with other Sora parts unless you want to upgrade a bunch of parts at once. Your rear Derailer will only work with 8 or 9 speed casettes, depending how old it is, and your shifters are set for one specific number of speeds as well. Tiagra is 9 speed, but 105/Ultegra/DA are all 10 speed and will be incompatible unless you upgrade multiple parts simultaniously. As to which parts, weight savings varies wildly. the Dura Ace FD weighs just 1oz less than the Sora one. But the Dura Ace Cassette weighs 7oz less than the Sora one, less than half as much. The biggest savings are going to be in the cassette, crankset, and wheels. But Durability in the wheels should not be ignored.