If you are going out to get a bike for yourself or your kids, one of the key considerations you’ll have to make is definitely the weight.
I’m sure you are asking why this is so? Well, you’ve seen how triathletes hoist their bikes over their heads using just a single hand during a segment of the race. Bike weight affects different aspects of the overall bike performance and how you use it.
Generally, people tend to associate lightness in bikes with speed, but is this the right assumption?
So, How Much Does a Bike Weigh? There is no standard weight, given the various designs. However; the average weight of differing types of bike available are as follows:-
- Road Bikes: 18 Pounds
- Mountain & Recumbent: 21-29 Pounds
- Beach Cruisers: 35-40
- Kids Bikes: 24 Pounds (5-7yrs)
Obviously, weight is really determined by the frame selection and the components used.
In this article, I will take a closer look at the average weight of different types of bikes that are commonly used while considering the various aspects that affect the bike weight. I will also tell you what to consider when thinking of acquiring a bike apart from the weight.
Bike weight is a subject that has been on bikers minds for a while, and rightly so. The thing is, you won’t find any industry standards that claim weights, and this is the cause for a lot of misinformation.
Variances in weight exist as a result of size, frame, material, hardware, as well as the finishing. As the bike gets lighter, such differences get to be more crucial.
It’s no surprise that some guys have been trying to cut down the weight of each bicycle part, hoping to enhance the overall speed and efficiency. However, the general weight of a bike can be tied to its type and the purpose it’s made for.
Let us consider the weight of the following types of bikes:
Road Bike Weight
The weight of a typical road bike is on average 18 pounds, including the pedals and cages. These bikes are designed for riding on paved surfaces and tend to have lighter frames with relatively smaller tires. They will easily allow you to ride very fast with minimal handling.
If you are just looking for a simple bike, the weight may not necessarily be a priority. In fact, if you are buying it for recreational purposes, a heavier bike may be better because it provides more exercise.
However, for a road race biker, the light components of these bikes play a crucial role in reducing the bike’s total weight. This is quite essential when it’s time to compete.
Furthermore, the International Cyclists Union recently set a weight limit of 14.99 pounds as the minimum for race-legible road bikes. So you could just get a bike that weighs lighter than the average road bike.
Mountain Bike Weight
These bikes weigh on average between 21-29 pounds. They are built for rough and rugged terrain and are generally heavier compared to other bike designs.
Mountain bikes weigh more because of the existing extra gears to cope with the uneven trails. They have front and rear suspensions which riders depend on for stability while navigating the rough topography. They also require stronger, more powerful brakes to handle the slippery descents and steep ascents.
Whether you own a suspension or hardtail mountain bike; the average weight remains at 21-29 pounds, although most people tend to prefer bikes weighing at 28 to 29 pounds.
Single Speed Bike Weight
A typical single speed bike has an average weight of approximately 20 pounds. These bicycles are generally lighter and mechanically simpler compared to other multi-geared designs. The gearing system is simple and parts are fewer on this bike, ensuring that it can be used with very little maintenance required.
The drivetrain efficiency in a single-speed bike is greater than in a normal multi-geared bike. The efficiency is also higher given the straight chain line, lack of chainrings, pin, ramps, as well as no chain drag.
However, you can find single speed bikes weighing as little as 13.7 pounds, such as the “TrekMadone” and those that go as high as 30 pounds including the “Karate Monkey”. This will generally be determined by the material that has been used on the major components like the frame.
Beach Cruiser Weight
Beach cruisers are quite heavy, especially when you go for the less expensive ones. The majority will on average fall under a weight class of between 35 to 40 pounds, although there are some that weigh more. These bikes are strong and built to withstand minor crashes. They are meant for touring long distances and feature larger and heavier tire sets.
Generally, the weight of the bike will depend on the kind of material used on the frame and any extra load. Components made out of heavyweight fabric will usually weigh more.
Recumbent Bike Weight
Recumbent bikes are not like your average bike. You’ve probably spotted them, the odd shaped bikes you almost mistook for lawn furniture? The weight of recumbent bikes will on average exceed that of a similarly priced road bike by around 5 pounds. They are more comfortable and faster on the road compared to diamond-framed bicycles.
On flat surfaces, the drag experienced is reduced by 30% as opposed to when someone is riding from an upright position. These bikes are different, and this is what makes them more fun. Designed for long touring cycles, they offer a greater thrust when you push against the seat, giving you explosive acceleration and persistent high speed runs.
Recumbent bikes apply more technology and use extra features than your average road bike, making them heavier than your traditional bike.
Kids Bike Weight
This might surprise you but your kid’s bike might actually be heavier than the one you are riding. On average, a bike meant for kids between the ages of 5-7 weighs 24 pounds. This is actually heavier than many road bikes for adults, which will typically weigh around 18-26 pounds.
For further comparison, consider a standard suspension mountain bike which weighs in at around 33 pounds. You could say kids’ bikes are made to be heavier because they get thrown around a lot. The weight also ensures that minimal maintenance will be necessitated.
Besides, there is more stability; especially when your child is still learning to balance on the bicycle. Your kids will keep on riding the same bikes long after they’ve grown up into their teenage years.
Nevertheless, some brands manufacture lightweight hybrid kids’ bikes that come in a variety of sizes and styles.
What Should I Consider While Purchasing a Bike?
For road racers, just a few seconds over your closest rivals could have such a significant impact on the whole race. This is why it is expected that racers will look to buy lightweight bikes, regardless of the price tag.
Given that other factors such as wind resistance and rider strength will come in, you’d be happy to go ride as fast as possible, even if it means having the advantage by just a few seconds.
On the other hand, if you are buying the bike for recreational purposes, you don’t have to pay too much attention to the weight of the bike.
You can actually compensate for the weight by improving your body fitness to reduce the drag. Ultimately, it is the biker and not the bike! While you can always prioritize a lighter bike, there are extra factors that count including:
- Level of comfort when sitting on the bike
- The degree of stability when riding the bike; especially at a high speed
- General feel and performance that you get from the bike
- Price of the bike in relation to your budget and purpose of use
What Factors Determine the Weight of a Bike?
There are quite a number of aspects that will influence the overall weight of a bicycle and the general experience you get when it. The following are the major determinants:
- Body weight of the rider, which affects the speed at which the bike will be moving
- Additional accessories including suspensions, brakes, helmets, rims, and luggage
- The weight of the main components such as frames and set of wheels; especially when you consider the materials they are made from
- Calculation of the total bike weight
There is no standard weight for the different design of bikes you will find in the market. It is all dependent on the components used and frame selection.
A butted Chromoly frame will be lighter than one with straight gauge tubing. Similarly, an aluminum bike will be lighter than a steel bike; whereas a carbon bike will be lighter than both.
Just remember that the heaviest parts of a bike are the frame and the set of wheels, so these will to a large extent determine the overall weight of the bicycle.