Re: [CR]Bike Weight

(Example: Bike Shops)

Date: Tue, 1 Jul 2008 19:37:49 -0700 (PDT)
From: Jerome & Elizabeth Moos <>
Subject: Re: [CR]Bike Weight
In-Reply-To: <>

I'm not entirely sure the obsession with weight comes solely from racing. Between the wars, by which I mean WWI and WWII, it seems that it may have been the tourist/ randonneur/ audax crowd, primarily in France, who were more on the cutting edge of lightweight bikes than the racers were. It is certainly true that in terms of gearing, these guys were years ahead of the racers, and for a number of years tourists with a much better gear selection, and perhaps lighter bikes, were capable of of making the climbs of the Tour faster than the much fitter racers. It may have been the "Technical Trials" rather than the TdF where the lightest bikes were to be seen.

BTW, just got my latest issue of Bicycle Quarterly, and it is devoted almost entirely to lightweight bikes and components. One featured article compares a new carbon fibre randonneur bike to a surprisingly light 1947 Singer. Surprisingly, many of the Singer's alloy components are lighter than the new bike's carbon ones, and the article concludes that the new bike is lighter overall solely because of the weight advantage of its frame.

There are several reference to the Technical Trials. I've seen numerous references to these in books and articles about this era. I take it these were organized by the tourist/ randonneur organizations which were completely separate from, and at times at odds with the organizations governing racing. I have a vague idea that the famous Velocio was key in organizing some early Technical Trials and that while not races, they were definitely competitive events, perhaps involving elapsed time competitions, essentially time trials. But I don't think I've seen a complete description in one place of exactly what events were involved, by what rules they proceeded, and how they were judged. Can someone direct me to a through account of these events?


Jerry Moos Big Spring, Texas, USA wrote:

I understand that the weight of one's machine matters to some more than othe rs.

The true beginnings of the weight concern lie in racing, of course.

And one place in particular comes to mind:

l'Alpe d'Huez

Try adding even 1 gram to a racer's bike when they about to assault that pla ce.

It won't be pretty.

For the rest of us, it doesn't really matter so much. Weight has simply beco me a reference point.

Except when we assault our own personal Alpe d'Huez, and our power-to-weight ratio ain't what it used to be...

Yours in weight-consciousness,

Chris Wimpey

San Diego, California


not very close to that particular Alpe