Wednesday, February 15, 2012

If It Weighs Less Than Poo, It’s Not 4 U

Cyclists are the only American’s that can convert grams to pounds without using Google, masters of the metric.  So don’t tell me you’re grossed out and never considered how much “it” weighs.  If you drop your shorts and barefoot the scale the 2nd thing in the morning, you are sooo guilty, but oh so smart.  If you’re going to drop 25 hundo on the new Sram Red to save 150 grams off the previous version, wouldn’t it be worth it to make sure you read the graffiti in the port-a-poddy before you roll up to the start line?  There’s cheaper and surprisingly pleasant ways to shed grams.

I’m considering a new Hydrapak hydration system.  My thought is that a lighter pack over the course of the 100k of the Mohican 100 MTB race in May will make for a faster Joe.  The Hydrapak Alivia tips the scale at an impressively sexy and svelt 7 ounces, 198.446 grams…definitely according to Rain Man.  The website says it nearly disappears on your back.  It should.  7 ounces is less than the weight of a spare 29er inner tube, listed at Competitive Cyclist at 219g.  However, if my hypothesis is correct, I can save pretty close to 7 ounces every day of my life by reading a couple pages of Road Magazine on the cold white chair next to the bathtub. 

Now I’m not going to fish it out and plop it on the scale, but I’m pretty certain the typical water breaker has to weigh 7 ounces, a bit shy of a half pound.  If not, I’m sure eliminating some incidental weight would do the trick, such as some of the electrical tape under my bar tape.  Yep, there’s more tape under that bar tape and you probably don’t need to have it double or triple wrapped in 14 places.  Pause now, if you need extra time to digest the term "water breaker."  

Throw Away The Broccoli and Keep The Band
Incidental weight is the weight of the things you never even consider when pulling the trigger at the local bike shop for a lighter weight bike-a-ma-jig.  It’s the dead bugs smashed and sunbaked on the front of your suspension fork and the mud caked under the crown.  It’s the big fat pink broccoli rubber band on your spare tube, the best rubber bands known to man.  It's three glopping fingers full of chamois cream when 1 finger full would do the trick on your taint.  It’s using a seatbag instead of your middle jersey pocket or the 7 inches of extra seatpost below the clamp.  It’s wearing deodorant for a bike race, because it's not about how fast you ride but how effortless it appears.  

For weight weenies sake, “Take a poo!”  It’s what we say to each other flipping through the pages of the latest Colorado Cyclist with the credit card by our side.  It keeps things in perspective.  It keeps us from dropping $300 dollars on a carbon railed saddle.  If it saves less than a poo it’s not for you.

Want Some Fancy Salted Mixed Nuts?  Boing!
Is that tube going to spring out of your pocket like a toy snake in a can if you don’t lasso it with that giant rubber band?  What difference does the 150g savings of new Sram Red make if you roll up to the start line with a typical 160g seat bag full of stuff you could fit in your jersey pocket?  Did you knock the caked mud from the bottom of your shoes?  Are you really going to be able to drink two full water bottles in a one hour crit?

Anyone of us can probably drop at least a half pound off their race-day set up without spending a dime.  Sure it’s not quite as sexy as a Sram Red solution, but now you know why cyclists really shave their legs.

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