How Much Do Bikes Weigh? [BICYCLE WEIGH-IN]
Bicycle weight varies according to use, materials, budget, rider preference plus regulations from the sport’s governing bodies. The difference in weight between the lightest production machine used by competing pros, and a robust commuter loaded with accessories, can be as much as 16kg (35.2lb).
Does Bike Weight Matter?
Bicycle weight doesn’t determine whether you’ll get to work earlier or faster, or corner more safely. The speed at which you ride, and your manoeuvrability, depends on fitness, experience and confidence. Weight matters for elite riders seeking advantages over rivals, including psychological cues.
Bicycle weights differ mainly because of the considerable amount of choice available to us about just how we ride. A cargo-bike built to carry shopping or even a tradesperson’s tools will weigh much more than a Tour de France winner’s bike, because they have different objectives in mind. Someone who lifts their bicycle regularly and into tight spots, like a train compartment, might prefer a lighter version than someone who doesn’t.
Of course, manufacturers and artisan craftspeople offer weight reduction for those who want it. A lighter bicycle will mean less energy to travel the same distance as a heavier one. A heavier bicycle may offer more comfort and flexibility.
Lighter bicycles cost more. Much more. Pound for pound, for the average commuter, it is more cost-effective and beneficial for the rider to lose weight as opposed to paying for a lighter bicycle which is lighter by the same amount. Some bicycles are designed with the weight of their riders in mind, as we see here.
Average Bike Weight
If we look across all ranges of bicycles and remove the weight of accessories, the average weight is around 11.81kg/26.03lb. But there is no such thing as an average bicycle these days. The range of machines available, at various price points, is one of the most attractive aspects of riding.
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To try to keep a sense of perspective, we chose from one well-known manufacturer which makes a wide range of bicycles, and publishes the weights for one frame size. This helped to reduce variables. Weight savings increased as the prices went up. Each of the different types of bicycle had a different weight range.
We tried to stick to similar types of bicycle – for example, only choosing front suspension on mountain bikes and removing all accessories like mudguards/fenders. We only chose stock bicycles.
There is an entire cottage industry devoted to producing the lightest versions of every component of a bicycle, but identifying all of these will skew the results and blow the budget!
How Much Do Road Bikes Weigh?
Road bikes will weigh between 6.72kg and 9.57kg on average. They weigh the least as they are built for speed. The lightest road versions will have a carbon-fibre frame and forks, as well as the lightest components. Lighter bicycles will compromise ride quality and offer fewer options to add accessories.
Road bikes are manoeuvrable, both to carry and out on the roads. You can expect to pay thousands for a road machine at the lowest weight range. The average cyclist will not significantly benefit from the weight saving, especially if they ride on the flat and carry little in the way of extra gear.
How Much Do Gravel Bikes Weigh?
Gravel bikes will weigh between 8.10kg and 10.55kg on average. They weigh more than road bikes as they need to be a little more robust. Some components have to stand up to more rigorous riding. Wheels and tyres tend to be heavier than road bikes. The lightest gravel bikes are built for racing.
Gravel bikes are flexible and offer more points to add accessories like mudguards / fenders and carrying racks. The average cyclist will not notice the difference between the weight of an average gravel bike compared to a road bike and they are roughly the same size and shape. Many argue that gravel bikes are the best all-rounder, pound-for-pound.
How Much Do Fixies Weigh?
Fixies will weigh between 7.95kg and 10.5kg on average. They are light across most ranges as they lack the weight of gearing and (some) braking components. Fixies do not tend to have carbon-fibre frames at the lighter end. They are robust, go-anywhere city machines not built for maintaining speed.
The weight of a fixie is important for those who use them repetitively. A cycle courier will enjoy their relative lightness if they have to pick one up dozens of times per day. Fewer components also means fewer trips for maintenance and repair.
How Much Do Mountain Bikes Weigh?
Mountain bikes will weigh between 10.26kg and 14.4kg on average. The lightest merge low-weight carbon-fibre frame technology and heavier suspension for speed and manoeuvrability. There are more components and usually heavier wheels and tyres on a mountain bike to withstand increased punishment.
The weight of an average mountain bike will be more noticeable to an average rider compared to most other bikes. They take longer to move away from a standing start and when slowing down. The dimensions also add a little to the weight. The overall package is a bit tougher to carry and push around.
How Much Do City Bikes Weigh?
City bikes will weigh between 9.47kg and 12.84kg on average. Some of the technologies used to make the lighter road bike trickles down to this range. Weight should not need to matter so much. Manoeuvrability is important in tighter spots. Reaching a top speed is not as important in urban areas.
The weight of an average city bike will be well within the comfort range of most riders. New cyclists will enjoy ease of pedalling and the geometry is designed for comfortable riding. A heavier city bike loaded with shopping or equipment might offer a challenge up steep hills and flyovers. Most come with gearing to cope with the town and cityscapes.
How Much Do Folding Bikes Weigh?
Folding bikes will weigh between 7.45kg and 12.1kg on average. The weight of the bike is influenced by the extra strength required to keep the bike stiff due to the hinge mechanism. Most are designed to pack down to help with the task of carrying. The smaller wheels will alter weight distribution.
We’ve talked before, here and here, about the pros and cons of folding bikes. It’s clear that manufacturers accept that weight is a key element of the enjoyment of riding them. They are smaller than standard bicycles.
Remember that they may need to be carried in and out of buildings or up and down stairs. Of course, if you need to move them around for a long period, you can simply leave your ride unfolded and use the wheels to move the weight around.
How Much Do E-Bikes Weigh?
E-Bikes will weigh between 17.96kg and 25kg on average. The weight of a battery will start at around 2kg. Motorised parts increase the weight. At this mass, the average cyclist will notice the difference from any other type of bicycle. They can become the most challenging to push around and ride.
Some batteries can be removed if you want to rely on pedal power. Adding accessories to E-Bike, or your shopping and the weight will make use of the boost to power feel urgent. However, you will be in control of how much support you get.
It’s important to remember that heavier things do take longer to slow down and are less manoeuvrable. The brakes on the best E-Bikes are designed to help you stop quicker.
What’s the Lightest Bike in the World?
Weighing in at 2.7kg / 5.95lb, the lightest bike in the world is thought to be a one-off created by Gunter Mai and modified further by a bike shop in Arizona. It looks like it was fun to build but expensive. Most parts were custom made. Best guess at cost? £47,012 / $57,238, using 2022 prices.
The world’s lightest production bike is the AX Lightness VIAL Evo Ultra, a road bike which tips the scales at just 4.4kg. We’ve highlighted that there is a market for so-called ‘weight-weenies’, where innovation and design are tested to the limits.
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