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Component Weights

People often ask if they should spend extra on a lightweight groupset for their bike. Here’s what I think.

While having lightweight components is no substitution for training a bit harder, once you’ve done all those miles (or even if you haven’t) it makes sense to maximise your speed by reducing weight. As components get lighter, the additional technology required to maintain durability means that lighter components are generally more expensive. For example, the difference between SRAMs low-end Apex groupset and their top-line Red groupset is 460g and about £800. The law of diminishing returns applies; you’ll notice that spending a little extra may save you 300g while spending a lot may only save you an additional 100g – your approach will ultimately depend on how much you want to spend, how many excuses for being slow you want to have and how much those extra seconds actually matter. Each year the top bike companies release new versions often shaving grams off their previous models to feed the endless appetites of wealthy city-types with little else to spend their cash on.

When buying a bike you’ll notice large discrepancies between bikes that come with high-end, lightweight components and those that don’t. It’s always worth knowing what that extra spend will save you on your next climb.

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