Roadies usually fall into two camps: aero geeks and weight weenies. While some get excited over the deep section wheels, aero frames and dimpled this and that, others can be found meticulously weighing components trying to save grams.
Both afflictions have diminishing returns when it comes to price vs. performance, and the majority of riders lean towards one end of the spectrum or the other.
I will admit I have swapped out a fair few components on my road bike because there are lighter alternatives
Personally, I’m more interested in numbers on the scale than seconds saved over a 40km time trial. I don’t go uphill the way I used to, but I’m also not built to be mixing it up in sprints or pushing the pace on the flats, so ways for me to remove unnecessary grams from my ride are much more attractive than cheating the wind.
Yes, aero bikes are getting more comfy and less portly with each new model, and deep dish wheels are getting lighter and better in cross winds too, but they still don’t quite match their climbing friendly cousins and it’s the compromises in practicality that really irk me.
Aero ‘innovations’ like fully hidden cables, hidden brakes and the headaches that come with them cause my blood pressure to rise. Plus, there are few things better than the feel and playfulness of an ultralight roadie.
I have my weight weenie-ism under control and you won’t find me in the garage weighing bolts, cables and housing, nor will you find me anywhere near my bike with a Dremel tool (anymore). That said, I do have to leave my frame pump attached to my bike and tape a few fishing weights to the bottom of my Garmin to make 6.8kg if I pin on a number, but it’s not often that I do line up to race these days.
However, you will still find me looking into wheels that favour weight to aerodynamics, fitting lighter tires on said wheels and I will admit I have swapped out a fair few components on my road bike because there are lighter alternatives.
So now over to you. Do components from brands like Tune, Lightweight and THM make you swoon? Or is it the ViAS Venge, Zipps 545 NSW wheels or the latest aero lid that gets your motor running?
What’s the most weight weenie upgrade or modification you’ve ever made or what’s the craziest aero component you’ve installed to slice through the wind?