Conflicted weight weenie?

Okay, so I’m mixed up (ask my GP who prescribes my medication) but right at the moment I find myself in a very odd place. Half way between “weight weenie” and “steel-framed, high-mass luddite”.

You see… Waaaay back in the day I first began singlespeeding because I viewed it as a simple way to dump a kilo or so off my bike. Think about it for a second: No derailleur (200g at least), no heavy cassette (300g or so), no shifters (another 200), no front mech (another 150) no triple chainrings, no cables… Bingo, 1kg straight off the top! I was riding a light weight alloy frame (Yeti ARC) and with some carbon bars, a Ti seatpost and a kevlar/carbon saddle that nearly cut my butt in half (before it broke) I was in (fairly) low mass heaven.

Okay, so the SS bit was good, and after a dalliance with shifty stuff again, I’ve gone back there. However, I decided that light but uncomfortable was not for me. I ditched my custom tweaked air sprung fork for 100mm of plush Fox Vanilla steel spring, I binned the Kevlar saddle for a 500g Brooks B17, the ally frame is gone and replaced by a steel On One Inbred, my SPD pedals are gone and replaced with flats so I can dab a foot without thinking about it…

So far so good until last weekend when I was out riding and a buddy said “Hey, can I have a shot on your SS?”. Happy to spread the word I was only too pleased to let him hop aboard, while I rode his Anthem for a while. Nice bike, really quick, but the fork had so much pressure in it, it was basically like riding a rigid front end…

Okay, so the only downside to my SS is weight and I don’t want to give up the Brooks, and yet Niner make a carbon rigid fork that at 550g weights nearly a kilo and a half less than my Fox Vanilla… (You can see where this is going can’t you?)

Yes, having foresworn the dark side of weight weenieness, I now find myself awaiting the arrival of a rigid fork (albeit a very nice rigid fork) to pop on the front of my steel framed “heavy” bike.

Watch this space (for a bloke in his late thirties bitching about how much his back and arms hurt).

EDIT: Update

Back, arms wrists etc are fine, a decent puffy tyre up front (2.35 Lopes Bling Bling or 2.4 Conti Mtn King) and you don’t even remember that you’re not on a squishy fork for most terrain.  Handling is great, bike doesn’t feel unbalanced.  I’m sold.

More Opinions...

How To Tidy Cabling

A little while back, my good lady wife’s bike was in need of a spring clean so I took the opportunity to finally cover something I’ve been meaning to do for ages – cables. But this is not so much a ‘how to setup and tune your brakes and gears’ and more like ‘how to keep…

Go on then, tell me more...!


Didn’t I already write a bit on what I thought of the crotchety old men of the UCI and bicycle design?

Go on then, tell me more...!

SeaSucker Review

Our car was big enough for all of the baby stuff plus her bike, surely?

Go on then, tell me more...!

earHero Review

Headphone use on bikes is always a hotly debated internet forum topic…

Go on then, tell me more...!

Fit for use

Last week it happened, I met the ground with a thud.

Go on then, tell me more...!

The Schlumpf

It’s every rider’s little dirty secret. I’m sure it’s the same theory for all activities, but for cycling deep in the back of every cyclist’s mind they secretly like to think themselves as being ‘hardmen’. Some just think it, others are quite overt about it but either way it lingers there, simmering under the surface.…

Go on then, tell me more...!

The Hype Cycle

I’m allergic to production bikes. Ok, that’s not strictly true, but I will generally avoid most production machines – usually based an irrational dislike of the brand, a less irrational dislike of the available colourschemes, ill-suited geometry or a combination of the above. Recently, on the hunt for a new project, I had a (rather…

Go on then, tell me more...!

Bikes are boring

I bet that title caught your attention!? Let me expand on that. Bicycle ‘design’ is boring and I mean both in terms of visual appeal and in terms of design and designing. It’s funny when you think about it but somehow, in the world of bicycles, we seem to have ended up with a never…

Go on then, tell me more...!

Be seen – Orfos bike light review

Orfos lights started as one of those Kickstarter campaigns that did rather well. What was the final result…?

Go on then, tell me more...!

What Type of Cyclist Are You?

At the London round of the Rollapaluza National Series during the week a conversation got my cogs whirring… Nick Hussey, Damien Breen (of that most excellent In The Saddle blog) and myself were talking – it was like a mini bloggers convention (although not ‘mini’ in that any of us are particularly short I might…

Go on then, tell me more...!