Lighter is always better, right? One of the first questions we always ask when a new bike or component shows up is: how much does it weigh? Weight is the easiest performance indicator to measure and it’s natural to assume that lighter automatically means faster, but is that really true?
There’s no question that riding uphill is harder the heavier your bike is – that’s simple physics, but does that mean a lighter bike is better in every situation? Would a heavier bike actually push you down a hill faster? And what about suspension – does it perform better or worse on a heavier bike?
Our resident physicist and bike tester extraordinaire Seb Stott has set out to answer all these questions with a little help from suspension guru Chris Porter, the good people of Bike Park Wales, and a load of lead weights and duct tape.
Is lighter always better? BikeRadar’s Seb Stott aims to find out
Matthew is an experienced mechanic and an expert on bike tech who appreciates practical, beautifully-engineered things. Originally a roadie, he likes bikes and kit of every stripe, and he's tested a huge variety of both over the years for BikeRadar, Cycling Plus and others. For a long time Matthew's heart belonged to the Scott Addict, but he's currently enjoying Trek's lovely aluminium Emonda ALR and having a torrid affair with a Giant Trance e-MTB. At 174cm tall and 53kg, he looks like he should be better at cycling than he actually is, and he's ok with that.