People who ride road bikes fall into two real categories, those of us who like to ride as fast as possible as often as possible and those of us who like to ride for as long as possible as often as possible. The one common factor that these two groups have in common is that all cyclists like their bike to be as light as possible. If you are wanting to ride fast having a light bike makes the job that much easier and if you want to ride distances then having a bike that is as light as possible also makes the task easier. Grams matter where bikes are concerned, because of this the whole bike industry is geared towards making frames and components as light as possible. So what can you do to make sure that your bike is as light as you can get it.
Firstly i would suggest weighing your bike to see how heavy it is. Cyclists do get hung up on the weight of their bike without knowing what it actually weighs, you never know your bike might be as light as you are ever going to get it, in which case you will just have to start training harder!
The frame of the bike is generally going to be the heaviest part of the bike. If you are riding a steel frame you might want to consider changing to either a lighter aluminium frame or even an ultra light and ultra stiff state of the art carbon fibre frame. Either of these should save you quite a bit of weight but neither come in very cheap.
The next heaviest part of the bike to look at is your wheels. Again many older and cheaper sets of wheels were made of steel but nearly all wheels sold nowadays are either aluminium or carbon fibre. Although these are both much lighter materials the strength of theses wheels is comparable to older steel ones as manufacturing process have evolved so much over the last few years.
Whilst you are looking at your wheels you should look to change your tyres to a lighter alternative. In some cases when you reduce the weight of the tyres you ride you also compromise the puncture resistance hat the tyres offer you. This is not always the case though. The Maxxis Advantage tyre is such a tyre that offers really good puncture resistance through its different layers that go to make up the tyre whilst still staying on the lighter side. The Maxxis Advantage also offers very low rolling resistance which also helps to improve the ride quality.
Many of the smaller components on your road bike are also now available in aluminium alternatives instead of the old fashioned steel parts which used to be fitted to bikes as standard. The seat pin, the handlebars and the pedals are all areas where you can shave off considerable weight from your bike if you wish to.
And finally you might want to consider upgrading your groupset on your bike to a modern aluminium and carbon combined set. Not only will you save yourself quite a lot of weight from your bike you should also gain added reliability from your machine as parts on old steel groupsets do tend to wear out over time.
So there you have it, the lowdown on how to make your road bike lighter which should help you ride faster for longer.