Bike weight saving more costly than silver

Mountain bike buyers paying over £2,000 to save a kilo

Buying a 10kg (22lb) mountain bike instead of an 11kg (24.2lb) one will cost you £2.48 per gram saved, according to the Environmental Transport Association. To put that in some sort of perspective, that's over five times more expensive than the price of scrap silver.

The ETA looked at online mountain bike prices last month and says it found that a 10kg mountain bike cost £2,483 more than one weighing 11kg on average.

Weight loss on heavier bikes was much more reasonable ETA says; a bike weighing 13kg over one of 14kg cost £736 more on average, while buying a mountain bike with a weight of 12kg would cost an additional £656 on average. Definitely a case of diminishing returns as you go lighter.

Bikeradar's own quick web survey based on published weights and full RRPs of roadbikes on www.chainreactioncycles.com gave the following results:

WeightAvg priceNo. of models
6-7kg£44624
7-8kg£31979
8-9kg£147817
9-10kg £8064

Price gaps between the average prices, from low to high weight, were £1265, £1701 and £672, suggesting you are paying most dearly if you want to break the 8kg barrier and there being least difference between 9kg+ bikes and 8kg+ bikes.

While ETA say that weight is only one factor potential bike buyers look at, they were quite clear that finding out the weight of any given bike is a lottery as relatively few manufacturers publish bike weights.

Indeed, ETA single out Cannondale's statement on Evans' website to highlight the difficulty of finding out accurate weights and the pitfalls inherent in relying on manufacturers' quoted figures;

“WEIGHT: Don’t see a weight listed for this bike? Wondering why that is? Well, we used to list our weights based upon medium or 56cm frame and err on the side of caution when we know there will be variances due to welds, paint thicknesses, etc. But some of our competitors are weighing their small or extra small frames and rounding down. Then you’re left wondering what’s going on and making important buying decisions based upon faulty information. That’s not right. So because weight is too important to you as a consumer, we encourage a healthy bit of scepticism over published weights. Go to your local dealer, see it, feel it, weigh it and test ride it for yourself. We’re that confident. You should be, too.”

Note, BikeRadar's own bike reviews have weight as tested listed in the full specification on the right.

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