How to Become a Better Climber – Lesson 3
This is the third post in my series about how to become a better climber. This lesson will not focus on you, but on your bike. In the first two lessons you were supposed to describe in details what hill you would like to climb faster and your optimal body weight / body composition. Since you will have to carry your bike up the hill, it’s obvious that bike weight is also essential for your performance.
What is the optimal bike weight for a road bike?
If you race under UCI rules the answer is pretty exact: 6800g. If your bike weight is more than that you will get a ‘weight penalty’ to your opponents. If your bike weight is less than 6800g you might be disqualified. I have never heard of any rider having trouble with this rule, but maybe this is because of extremely rare testing.
Rules are rules and should always be followed. As a rider under the UCI rules you should aim for a bike weight of exactly 6800g.
If you ride just for fun and want to achieve the best possible performance uphill, you might benefit from an even lighter bike. Today it is not that difficult to build a bike weighing less than 6kg. It will cost you, but it is definitely possible.
What is the optimal bike weight for a mountain bike?
There is no limit to how light a mountain bike can be. If you can make your mountain bike lighter, there is room for improvement of your climbing performance.
Reducing bike weight is challenging and does not have to cost a lot of money. Every single gram saved is an advantage on the climbs. Naturally it must not negatively effect the riding performance.
It is clear that weight savings can be really, really expensive, but for road cyclists, you are probably not far away from optimal bike weight regarding UCI’s 6800g rule. It is a little more tricky and expensive for mountain bikers since they must estimate how many grams or kilograms they are from the best mountain bikes in their competitions.
Your task today:
How light weight is your bike and how light weight would you like it to be?