[“Don’t look now m’dear, but we’re about to be passed by a Weight Weenie.”]
A Weight Weenie is a person who is obsessive about the weight of their bicycle; it is a trait, to this day I do not fully understand.
Shaving a few grams of weight from your bike will also slim down your bank account by copious amounts of cash, as you replace components with lighter, more expensive, and sometimes less reliable ones.
The question I always want to ask is, “Do you want to ride it, or weigh it?” Of course, a road bike or racing bicycle needs to be lightweight, but to what limit. What is the point of removing a few grams from your bike if your body is 10, 20 or more pounds overweight?
Even the serious racing cyclist who is a super fit athlete will want to consider whether, for example, is it worth it to buy a super light component and have it break and cost him the race. In bicycle racing it is always the rider not his equipment that wins races.
If you are trying to fly, become airborne, weight is a big factor. However, rolling on a flat surface weight has little effect, and you could argue that added weight would give you momentum.
Consider this scenario. A standard size water bottle filled with water weighs a pound and a half. If you are riding with a friend and you hand him your water bottle, you have instantly lost 1 ½ lbs. and he has gained the same amount.
If weight were such a large factor, you would expect that you would suddenly shoot forward and your friend would drop back. The fact is neither of you feel the slightest difference, even if you are climbing a hill.
It is on the hills, the Weight Weenie will argue that weight, or lack of it is an advantage. I sometimes wonder if this is entirely true. I used to build a criterium frame in Columbus SP tubing that was heavier that my road frame built in SL.
Owners of this particular model always remark how well the bike climbs. The reason is the stiffness of the frame, transfers the rider’s energy to the rear wheel more efficiently. Whether this criterium bike is actually faster or just feels faster is something that would be difficult to prove.
I will say this, if I am riding up hill on my 20 plus pound steel road bike with another rider of equal fitness level on a 14 lb. carbon fiber bike. I claim we would both arrive at the top at the same time.
Weight Weenieism is not a disease, there is no 12 step cure; it is a more like a religious or political belief. It is relatively harmless, although it can cause financial hardship, leading to marital stress.
What I write here will convert no one, and that is not my intention. This is just my observation.