Shaving grams off the bike

So in my quest to find a replacement for my 10 year old cycling shoes I was reminded of how cyclists are so weight conscious. Cyclists will pay thousands of dollars to save a pound on their bikes. The funniest thing is that most people forget that its the total weight that counts – rider plus bike. Most people weight about 200 lbs and most bikes weigh about 20 lbs (in round numbers). Almost all cyclists except the elite racers could easily shave off 5% bodyfat (10lbs). Not only is that a lot cheaper to do but you look and feel better with the lower bodyfat! This all came to mind because when shoe shopping there were some outrageously priced cycling shoes (more than many used cars), but golly they were light as a feather. I passed on those and went with a basic shoe :)

Another thing, weight is often overestimated. If you are on the flats, weight is virtually irrelevant. On the flats, the increased weight increases the rolling resistance a very tiny amount, virtually unmeasurable. The only time increased weight is a disadvantage is
  1. going up hills
  2. when accelerating and decelerating often
Increased weight really, really hurts your ability to climb hills because you are needless storing potential energy that is just going to be wasted when you go downhill. You might say, well the heavier person will go faster downhill – only a bit. It is correct that a heavier rider will have a higher terminal velocity than a lighter rider, but not that much. And the heavier riders slight speed advantage going downhill will be dwarfed by their lumbering slow climb up the hill.
So, with my double century coming up am I going to spend thousands to make my bike 200g lighter? No way! I think I will do carb cycling to get down to 5% bodyfat!