Author Topic: Cutting Weight  (Read 9163 times)

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Offline DaveB

Re: Cutting Weight
« Reply #15 on: August 08, 2010, 09:08:47 am »
Additionally, you've got to a wee bit of math. Your total mass––you, bike, water, food, gear, clothing, tools, spares, everything--must be objectively measured before you begin going ultralight. Say your total moving mass at the moment is 250 pounds. Whittling away a whopping 10 pounds is a mere 4% reduction in your total mass! (240/250=96/100)
Those ten pounds don't gain you anything you can feel in your legs
By your logic then, adding another 20 pounds to the OP's load would also be an "insignificant" difference.

Like staehpj1 my experience doesn't support this at all.  On a recent credit-card trip I carried only 13 additional pounds on the bike including the rack, panniers and my clothing and extras.  The weight difference was VERY noticable and completely changed both the handling of the bike and the effort needed to climb the hills on route.  That 13 pounds only represented 6.5% of the entire system (the bike + me + the load) weight. 

Also, when I took off the loaded panniers (~12 pounds total) at the motel to ride the unloaded bike to dinner, etc. in the evening, the improvement in performance was very obvious.


Offline bogiesan

Re: Cutting Weight
« Reply #16 on: August 16, 2010, 12:23:25 pm »
> By your logic then, adding another 20 pounds to the OP's load would also be an "insignificant" difference.<

That is true, according to the physics. But adding mass is not the topic. It should be obvious to anyone who has had high school or college physics your 20 pounds of additional mass will require more work, more effort, to get moving and to keep it moving. When discussing vertical movement, up or down, adding mass changes the equations and, of course, changes the handling of one's rig, especially when accelerating downhill. Your post, which is purely anecdotal, indicates you might have packed your mass incorrectly and contributed to your difficulty handling your bike at speed--another excellent reason for reducing one's traveling kit.

going ultralight was a delightful revelation for me. There are only four places one can make significant weight savings: tent, sleeping bag, backpack (panniers), and kitchen. Everything else--clothing, toys, furniture, toiletries--is trivial until you start adding up the savings. With a bivvy, one-pound down bag, ripstop shoulder bag, and an alcohol stove I started hacking at the other stuff. An ounce or five here and there added up to another ten pounds of stuff I did not really need to carry. It was liberating: setting up and striking camp required only a few minutes and I didn't have anything to keep track of or lose. Rampaging boredom was an issue.

From my days of ultralight backpacking, I know, anecdotally, reducing the mass on my back from 45-60 pounds to 15-20 pounds was not trivial; I literally ran up into Idaho's White Cloud Mountains instead of slogging along and hating every step of the climb. I also know, equally anecdotally, reducing my mass a mere 5 pounds was utterly insignificant; I was just as sick and tired of hauling my stupid 40-pound pack as I was hauling 50-60 pounds.

New issue of Adventure Cyclist magazine arrived while i was on Ride Idaho. There is an article on exactly this topic showing the objective (if unverifiable) analysis of different masses on the time required to complete a known climb.

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

Offline DaveB

Re: Cutting Weight
« Reply #17 on: August 17, 2010, 01:17:51 pm »
Your post, which is purely anecdotal, indicates you might have packed your mass incorrectly and contributed to your difficulty handling your bike at speed--another excellent reason for reducing one's traveling kit.
Please reread what I wrote. No, I did not "pack.... incorrectly" and I never said the bike's handling was difficult or unstable.  It wasn't and we were touring in both the Finger Lakes of NY and in Central PA, both of which have long difficult climbs and screaming downhills.   The bike was predictable and stable at all times. 

What I did say was that the extra weight, although relatively a low amount,  was noticable in the increased effort it took to both climb and accelerate the loaded bike compared to the bare bike and my statement was intended to counter the posting that implied that extra weight wasn't significant.   


Offline Westinghouse

Re: Cutting Weight
« Reply #18 on: August 17, 2010, 07:48:07 pm »
Post the particulars of each item you carry at the 35-45 pound range and how much each item weighs. Surely there are several persons here who can tell you what to do, bring, and leave at home to reduce weight. Your question is a bit general and vague. I read a story about a cyclist in Asia who was so fanatic about gear-weight he cut all his maps down to the smallest allowable strips and then cut the corners off the strips.
More gear-weight in winter and less in summer is the general rule.