The Quest for Lightness - How lighter parts leads to madness

I’ve been in a bit of a quest to lighten my test bike, a strange, obsessive quest that’s led me down the road of pretty continual upgrades. This all started when SRAM released Force and then followed it up with Red and my already-light bike dropped from about fifteen pounds to just under fifteen, and Mavic’s R-Sys wheels took the bike down to just about 14.5 pounds.

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Then the crew at Road magazine ran a story about the Cannondale 2009 SuperSix HM Project bike they were testing that was just 10.1 pounds with an almost complete build of off-the-shelf parts. That’s when the fever really started to set in.

My rule, when it comes to a bike designed to test components, is that I build it and outfit it with my own parts–anything that comes out to test has to compare against the gear I’d really ride. The Cannondale project bike features a frame around 100 grams lighter than mine and some super-fly components that I’d never actually put on a test bike (while the weight savings are significant, tubeless tires aren’t the best choice for a non-racing product editor) and there’s no chance I’m going to trust my seatpost-clamping duties with a carbon clamp like this but some things on the list caught my eye.

That’s when the Project David bike got underway. I created a spreadsheet (that’s a bad sign when it comes to obsessive behavior) and tracked the remaining few parts of my bike that could be lightened without being counterproductive. I’m not going to put a carbon saddle on a test bike (because you can’t feel anything on a carbon-only saddle except “ouch.” A few more upgrades Fizik Antares saddle, Zipp Vuma Quad and 3T stem) brought the weight down to just over the 14 pound mark.

Bicycle: people + ideas in motion

The Moore College of Art & Design celebrates “Philadelphia’s passion and commitment to the bicycle with a series of changing exhibitions, programs and events that explore the bicycle both as functional object and as a canvas for good causes, personal expression, civic mindedness and political beliefs.”

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Bicycle: people + ideas in motion runs from June 19 – October 13th and features an impressive calendar of events with handbuilt bikes, folding, custom, and vintage. Last Friday, Bicycle Shorts was presented to kick off the exhibition and included vintage short films and poster art.

We’d heard Philly was a bike town from Robert Jolly and Princeton-Tec. It’s a well-timed show, as we’re working now on bringing a Mobile Social to Philly.

Bicycle City

Reader ScottyBoy tipped us to Bicycle City in South Carolina – we knew about Pla d’Adet, but not this. Their site looks more like a collection of brochure-based, eco-news than a sales center.

More on Wikipedia. Also see More New Urbanism.

Bikes at Maker Faire

Bike valet, cargo bikes and more represented at Maker Faire .

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Uploaded by theglife, Marc Arsenault - Wow Cool | more from the Bike Hugger Photostream.

When in Rome

The Giro ends today on the streets of Rome. We rode there last year on the same streets, spotted a fixed or two. Those are some crazy, winding streets, and more churches than you’ve ever seen.

Fixed in Rome

And we’re chatting about the Giro this morning on Twitter with all the other fans. Follow #giro

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