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bike frame weight difference
May 17, 2014 1:39 PM   Subscribe

If two bikes are set up completely the same way with the same components, but one is a butted chromoly frame and the other a tensile steel frame, what would the weight difference be, ball park?

I am looking to buy a bike for commuting in a major city. I care about weight a little bit for the few times when I have to carry the bike up the apartment, but I am not a weight weenie. I'm going to build up the bike myself so components won't part of the consideration; just the frames. Obviously chromoly is better, but after having my last nice bike stolen I'm reluctant to spend too much on my bikes.
posted by atetrachordofthree to Health & Fitness (6 answers total)
 
about a pound says my +1 who works in a bikeshop.
posted by sciencegeek at 1:48 PM on May 17


Grams, according to my + 1 who is a bike mechanic.
posted by tatiana131 at 1:50 PM on May 17


Just an anecdote - 400g for me. They were both 56cm frames, but made by different companies/mildly different dimensions so it's tough to compare like/like.
posted by rutabega at 2:07 PM on May 17


There will be a lot of variation in weight depending on tubing strength, etc. My semi-custom Boulder All Road frame, made of lightweight, oversized tubing, weighs 1.95 kg. My Surly Long Haul Trucker touring frame, made of heavier oversized tubing (but still double-butted CrMo steel), weighs about 2.3 kg.

Compared with the weight of the components and accessories, the frame won't make much of a difference.

Depending on your budget and space constraints, you might also consider a folding bike, if you can bring it inside at work and at home. I've ridden a Bike Friday Tikit on rides up to 40 miles, and quite enjoyed it. It folds and unfolds very quickly. Bromptons are the gold standard for compact folding bikes that nonetheless ride well. If it's a short, relatively flat commute, the Strida might work, and could easily be tucked in a corner.
posted by brianogilvie at 3:11 PM on May 17


Weight is only part of it; hi-ten tubing is rarely butted (not even sure if it can be for these purposes) and is almost always small-diameter tubes. You'll get better ride out of a double-butted frame, especially a modern oversized one.
posted by a halcyon day at 4:30 PM on May 17


Hi tensile frames are really only used for department store bikes. it will be hard to find one that's reasonably well made.
posted by werkzeuger at 4:47 AM on May 18


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