Lighten your bike
If you want to ride faster, making your bike lighter is a great place to start. From moving parts to what you pack on the frame, find out more about how to lighten the load…
The first place to look is to your wheels, tyres and even inner tubes. Rotational weight has the greatest effect on your climbing performance, so changing these moving parts will give you the most return. Ditch the deep-section wheels for some low-profile options for climbing. Tubs will be lighter than clinchers, but if you need the convenience of the latter then get some race tyres and ultra-light tubes. They can go down to just 50g.
Weigh all your pedals and make sure you fit the lightest for hill climb season. Carbon pedals with titanium axels can weigh as little as 170g per pair. Compare that to the 280g per pair for something as good as Look’s Keo Classic and the savings are clear. If you’re racing, be sure they fall inside the weight limit for titanium-axled pedals before splashing out though.
Strip it down
Aim to ditch any equipment you don’t need if you have a big climb ahead of you. Carry the lightest pump and saddlebag, and don’t take more bottles than you need.
Empty your pockets
This really falls under lightening yourself rather than the bike, but even if you’ve failed to shed excess bodyweight ahead of a hilly challenge you can make a few late savings by ditching your phone, food and anything else you keep in the back of your jersey that you don’t really need to carry.
Going to extremes
If you still want to get the weight down, you could even consider going to a singlespeed – you’ll loose all the weight of your drivetrain in one fell swoop, but you’d better make sure you judge that gear right because it will be the only one you’ve got…
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