Pivot Firebird Bike Diet: Proxy wheels

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After getting my Pivot Firebird off the scales at the Downhill Zone, I was itching to find out if the sub-30 lb. target was doable.

I took the bike home and slapped on the XC wheels — Chris King, Mavics, tubed Nevies — for a basis of comparison. The wheels themselves are probably a pound and a half heavier than my target wheels — the forthcoming Easton carbon Havens (1450 grams rated). I figure I can get in the neighborhood of the tire weights with 2.3 Conti or Maxxis “lite” UST models. And the ti XTR cassette on my XC bike (an Ibis Mojo) is of course heavier than the hogged-out SRAM (although not by a huge amount).

With a pound and three quarters to lose, it’s gonna be close once I get the Eastons. But see what you think …


Pivot Firebird Bike Diet: Round 1 Results

Pivot Firebird Bike Diet: The story so far …


4 thoughts on “Pivot Firebird Bike Diet: Proxy wheels”

  1. You know all this “lightening” is mainly in your wallet. Knocking 2 pounds off a 32 lb bike at what cost? I can see it if you are a racer and wining means actual trophies or cash. But here you are removing working equipment for the sake of weight. You could drop 2 lbs of “frame” weight by eating beans an rice for a week. Or add it back by getting on a weight machine and gaining some upper body strength.

    I used to make jokes about “Bicycling” magazine which is full of articles about parts made from “unubtainium” or “chargieum” for faster rides to the ATM.

    My experience with the uber light stuff is that it breaks faster. That makes sense when you think about it, because mostly its designed closer to the failure point yet this side of it to be light.

    Dennis Conner used to say a sailboat that crumbles as it crosses the finish line on the last race of the series is build just right. Anything else it was over built. The same can be said for bicycles. But for the rest of us, spending a fortune on “light” parts is great to stimulate the economy and the R&D dept of the parts company but stupid financially. It’s generally better to buy something that will last than something that is light. Sometimes it’s both, but rarely.

    But who am I to say how you should spend your money? I’m just thinking that in a year when you look back on the pile of worn out parts, that you may not want to replace the expensive “light” stuff with more “light” vs sturdy parts.

  2. All the upgrades were improvments in function and in many cases stronger than the original parts (tapered steerer tube, pedals are made from better materials, brakes are forged instead of cast). Sure his old stuff worked, but if you have the means and the desire to maximize the performance of anything you own, why wouldn’t you? If you’re content to “get by” with the same old stuff thats fine. But guys like Paul (and myself) thrive on progression. A lighter bike carries more speed and handles better, two things that directly contribute to the size of the grin on your face at the end of a ride.

  3. Fine, but in my tightwad life I break it first and replace it second. Lighter and stronger can be great but often lighter is thinner, and comes with a cost in durability. That’s not to say you should ride a bike made of plumbing tubing but a hand machined cassette is unlikely to last any longer than a forged one.

    And I have brakes that were cast that lasted over 30 years, it all depends on the machining and casting process.

    As for losing 2lbs of weight, I can pee that much weight off. Losing 10lbs that’s a bit harder. The only thing that I’d have spent the same money on is the wheels. Not that I’d buy carbon fiber wheels though. I’ve had catastrophic failure of too many parts, (steel, aluminum, fiberglass, etc) and I’ve broken other things made of carbon fiber and it goes like this… first it’s the thing.. then it’s under stress… then without any warning…POW!…it’s shards of carbon fiber. Hardly the thing to have as wheels.

    I’m not saying don’t push the envelope, I’m saying spend your money on a trip to Moab or Greece and not on seat posts.

  4. Both you guys are correct, it’s just the orientation. Obviously I’m looking for excuses to upgrade and the lightening my wallet was just another way to lose a few ounces! But Adam’s correct in that what they’re doing technologically these days defies the old rules. Carbon wheels I wouldn’t have touched in the past but the tech and guarantees today make them irresistible. Time will tell but the stuff Adam fixed me up with is on another level than the past…

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