One of the key factors you should consider is the bike’s weight when looking to buy a bike.
The majority of bikers associate the weight of a bike with its speed. But weight is not the only thing you want to consider before buying a bike.
Other factors, such as the material used to construct the frame and the intended purpose for the use, also come in when selecting a bike.
|Bike Type||Average Bike Weight|
|Road Bike||22 lb|
|Mountain Bike||30 lb|
|Hybrid Bike||30 lb|
|Recumbent Bike||65 lb|
|Tandem Bike||50 lb|
|Electric Bike||38-70 lb|
The reason why you want to acquire a bike might cause you to compromise on weight and force you to end up buying a heavier bike. If you compete professionally, the bike’s weight and its aerodynamics will be your top considerations when choosing a bike.
That being said, we all know that different bikes are made for different purposes. A road bike, for example, is intended for fast and safe riding on roads.
Road Bike Weight
Road bikes are built for speed and agility on the road. They have slim tires and thin frames, making them the lightest type of bikes in the market. According to a study done by road.cc, a road bike‘s average weight is around 10 kg.
However, there are some road bikes, which cut the weight to as little as 4.8 kg. The frame material plays a huge part in reducing the weight of a road bike. The frame on a lightweight bike is thin yet strong enough to hold the rider’s weight as it goes through different road surfaces. Carbon fiber frames achieve this, but the result is a drastic price increase.
Road bike designers also try to reduce bikes’ weight by fixing feather-light tires on the wheels. Since the bikes are intended for use on designated road surfaces, the wheels are made as thin as possible to reduce the weight.
Achieving a balance between the ultra-slim wheels and the bike’s weight support calls for lots of research and development. That is why some of the lightweight road bikes are sold at exorbitant prices.
Road bikes with frames made with other materials such as steel, aluminum, and titanium can be heavier, but they come lower.
Mountain Bike Weight
Mountain bikes are built to handle tough and uneven roads. The wheels on mountain bikes are mostly wide and the frames thick to enable the bikes to withstand harsh riding conditions in the outdoors.
Performance mountain bikes also come with dual suspension systems and disk brakes on both wheels, significantly impacting their weight.
Moreover, mountain bikes also have robust gear systems with high-grade shifting systems that add to their overall weight.
Manufacturers try to make lightweight mountain bikes, which according to research done by Bicycle Universe, can range around 10kgs. Lightweight mountain bikes are rare because it is hard to keep the weight low while still optimizing mountain bike performance.
The average weight for mountain bikes is around 14 kgs, according to hobbybiker.
Mountain bikers also carry many accessories like water bottles and recording equipment to share their expeditions. Such factors add to the weight of the ride.
Bikers prefer heavier mountain bikes because most come with extra features, heavy-duty frames, extra space on the carriers, and performance brakes, making the ride more controllable when riding uphill or downhill.
Hybrid Bike Weight
Hybrid bikes go-between for riders who might find it hard to pick between a road bike and a mountain bike. Some hybrid bike designs draw inspiration from road bikes while others borrow from mountain bike designs.
The weight of a hybrid bike is determined by which bike type it draws inspiration from. For instance, a hybrid bike that closely resembles a road bike will be heavier than the average road bike, but lighter than a hybrid bike that closely resembles a mountain bike.
The average weight for a hybrid bike ranges from about 10kg to 20kg. Factors that affect how heavy or light a particular bike are are the material used to construct the frame, the stem’s thickness, suspension, type of brakes, and tires on the bike’s wheels.
Hybrid bikes are great for recreational riding around the home, the city, or in the suburbs. They bridge between the advantages of high-end road bikes and mountain bikes and the price by offering the same features in high-end bikes at slightly lower customize rides.
Recumbent Bike Weight
Recumbent bikes differ from other bikes because the rider sits in a laid-back position, which is more comfortable, and pedals on the bike are located closer to the front wheel instead of the center on the other bikes.
Some recumbent bikes are 2-wheelers, while some are 3-wheelers. The 3-wheeled recumbent bikes have a lower center of gravity and distribute the rider’s weight evenly, making the ride more stable.
Recumbent bikes have large frames and allow extra storage space, enabling the rider to carry along accessories to improve the riding experience such as helmets, bags, and water bottles. They also come in optional leg peddling drivetrains or hand peddled designs.
The wider frame and extra wheel make the recumbent bike heavier than road bikes and mountain bikes. The average weight for a recumbent bike is around 30 kilos.
Tandem Bike Weight
Tandem bikes bring a unique riding experience by allowing two individuals to ride on the same bike. They provide for a great bonding experience between family members, friends, and spouses.
Tandem bikes come in different sizes where some are designed for riders with the same level of experience while others have low step frames in the rear so that you can ride with a child.
The different design on the frame that supports two riders makes these bikes heavy. The average weight of a tandem ride is around 50 pounds.
Tandem bikes are optimized for the safety and comfort of the riders. However, the weight of the bikes still affects ride quality and speed. Frame material, gears, wheels, and suspension systems affect the weight of tandem bikes.
You can find tandem bikes made using aluminum, steel, titanium, or carbon. Tandem bikes also offer riders lots of customization features, which add or reduce the bike’s weight.
What is the lightest bike in the world?
Engineering designers keep pushing boundaries and have designed one of the lightest bikes ever made. The most lightweight bike is custom made with parts from different manufactures. All parts of the bike weigh a total of 2.7 kg.
The frame is custom made from Spin, and the custom carbon material used to make it does not feature on many of the bikes already available. It features a saddle and seat post, which are fused and weigh only 80 grams.
Lightweight carbon fiber is also used on the handlebars, brakes, and stem, while the pedals are hollow, which reduces the weight even further. It features a 10-speed gear cassette, which only adds 84 grams to the total weight, and a Dash hub on the front wheel.
The chain is custom-made, and a modified RAM derailleur aids the chain shift between the 10 gears. The engineering that has gone into the design is one of a kind, and experts say trying to replicate it could set one back by more than $45,000.
Does a lighter bike make a difference?
Contrary to popular belief, a bike’s weight does not impact how fast you go when riding the bike. This is because the weight of the bike itself is only a small percentage of the whole ride.
The factors that affect how fast you go on a bike are your body mass and how well you handle it. According to an experiment done by triathlete Jim Gourley, the advantage a lighter bike gives you over a heavier bike when going uphill cancels out when both bikes are going downhill.
The more lightweight bike ascends just a little faster, giving the rider only a 2.5 seconds advantage, but the heavier bike accelerates faster when going downhill. Improving the bike’s aerodynamics, such as fitting thinner wheels, wearing a pointed helmet, adjusting your position on the bike, and positioning your elbows on the handlebars are better ways to reduce drag and improve the ride.