Cyclists have always been obsessive over the weight of their bike. Seriously, we even have a word for people who take it just a bit too far, they are called 'weight weenies.'
What if I told you that bike weight is really the least of your worries. There are so many other factors that will really determine whether you have a good ride or not.
Obviously when it comes to bicycles there are some tires that are pretty crappy and some that are fantastic. Bad tires will ruin rides by either being too slipper or too draggy. If you have bad tires it doesn't matter if your bike is the lightest out there.
Road tires typically roll faster than most others, but did you know that 25mm tires roll faster than 23mm tires?
Like it or not, you can save yourself a lot of money by shaving 20 pounds. If you are heavier than you'd like and you buy the lightest bike thinking it'll counteract the weight, you're in for a surprise.
Not only does shedding pounds make you faster, it will also help improve your stamina!
Sizing and Fit
Almost everyone I see is riding around on a bike that doesn't fit properly. If you are in anyway interested in riding your bike seriously then you need to be properly fitted. This will not only get you into the most efficient pedaling position, but it will also make you less likely to get soreness or injury.
Practice trumps speed 9 times out of 10. Don't just put in the miles while you are practicing though, practice getting your pedal stroke more efficient, practice cornering, practice controlled braking, practice aerodynamic riding positions.
Doing all these things will make you a faster cyclist than a light bike will.
Speaking of aerodynamics, weight is no match for aerodynamics. You can be light as a feather, but with terrible aerodynamics you will be struggling. Like I said earlier, practice getting into and staying in an aerodynamic position on your bike.
And if you are going to spend money, you get more for your dollar by spending on making your bike more aero, not by making it lighter.
Sometimes you are having an off day and you'll ride like crap. It happens to all of us.
Conversely, sometimes you'll be having a great day and you'll ride like never before. It is researched and proven that your attitude while exercising will improve your performance, especially on a bike.
So next time you are going out for a ride, appreciate what you are doing! You may have a little more fun with that extra speed.
This ties into both aerodynamics and attitude. Not only will group riding save you 20% in effort, but you'll have a lot more fun cycling with other people than going at it alone. Who needs a light bike anyway when you've got friends!