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Home » Cycling » The Anatomy and Cost of a 16 Pound Road Race Bike

The Anatomy and Cost of a 16 Pound Road Race Bike

February 2016
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2013VengeCompIn all fairness, while all of the parts are what I actually paid, the bike itself was purchased on sale at the end of the season – I only paid $3,100 for the bike.  None of the prices include sales tax, so figure an extra $300 for that as well.  The S-Works crank was a little more expensive than just the parts because my bike originally came with plastic cups for the bottom bracket and those had to be replaced with metal.  The epoxy was very expensive and getting everything right was a lot of work.

When I took the bike out of the box, with cages and bottles, it weighed 18.5 pounds.  As it’s shown, it weighs just under 17 pounds.  16.8 to be exact.  The main weight loss came with the S-Works crank and the wheels…  3/4 pound for the crank and a full pound for the wheels.  The weight savings in the stem was about 50 grams and the handlebar was nominal, maybe 25 grams.  Take off the cages and pedals and it’s 16.2 pounds, give or take.

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9 Comments

  1. Very nice upgrades, I got my Felt on the bike stand awaiting a few more parts and some skillful surgery on the head tube.

  2. Manu Stanley says:

    It’s a beautiful bike. Especially with all the upgrades, it looks like a comfortable, fast and safe ride too. 🙂

    • bgddyjim says:

      Well, comfortable might be too generous. It’s a great bike, don’t get me wrong, but the Venge is a stiff bike, one of the stiffest on the market. It is comfortable, but that’s relative. Compared to my wife’s Specialized Alias, the Venge is like riding a skinny horse.

  3. A bit unrelated but today I got up close and personal with the S-Works Venge ViAS thanks to a work outing to the London Bike Show. Seriously OMG!

  4. Chip says:

    You got any advice or recommendations for a total noob?

    I’m planning on getting my first road bike, soon, and am wondering, if you were to do this all over again, starting way back in late 2011, is there anything you would do differently? Is there a bike progression you would recommend to someone just starting out who would eventually like to be doing what you’re doing now?

    I’ve done a tremendous amount of open water, long-distance, and Masters swimming in the past but I’m new to cycling. I live at the base of the San Francisco Peninsula, right smack in the middle of coastal hill country, and after getting fitted first I plan on buying a road bike, a power meter, and some respectable mountain bike clothes (because at my weight I think I would feel and look ridiculous in a bib and jersey) in the next month or so. Then I would like to spend the next year or two getting myself into shape, gradually losing weight and dressing respectably, and endearing and earning my way into some weekly fast group rides around here.

    However, my body is the size of a linebacker — a Clydesdale, I believe is the cycling term — my Bod Pod lean weight is 200 lbs. and I’ll never be able to keep up with the skinny ectomorph big dogs, especially on hill climbs or in acceleration. But down the road, after I’ve lost a truckload of weight, I’d certainly like to try. At any rate, whenever I walk into a local bike shop around here, they take one look at me, start making assumptions, and I’m not sure they’re paying attention to my goals and giving me the right kind of advice.

    In my purchasing decisions, I’m adhering to the peak to peek principle: where I stay focused on reaching the peak of my first goals before peeking around to see what my next goals should be. My first focus is fitness, fun, and weight loss, keeping in mind fast group rides down the road: so I’m thinking of starting with a steel frame road bike, perhaps endurance geometry, with threaded bottom bracket (no squeaking), Shimano 105 or Ultegra group, compact chain rings with 11-32 cassette, disc brakes, and some decently light, but solid, high-spoke-count wheels — whatever they may be — all squarely configured for safe Clydesdale hill climbing and descents. I think this makes sense, but I could definitely use some guidance.

    Before I go running out and buy a custom-made Seven Cycles Steel Axiom, it seems like a very good idea to start with something comparatively modest, at first, where I can both learn about cycling and learn about myself on a road bike. A frame, wheel set, and brakes that are beefy is required in my case, I believe, with enough structural capacity to handle 250 lbs. safely, where I can build endurance, lose weight and, most importantly, have fun — so I keep at it — something like a Surly Pacer, perhaps, which is around 23 lbs. and realistic for my purposes. The Pacer has everything I need except the disc brakes. I’m not stuck on the Pacer, though, and am totally open; this is just where I’m currently at.

    I’ve been doing a lot of reading (books and sites), visiting shops, and talking to people and have formed some pretty solid ideas about where I might start. However, I would like to duplicate successful work habits, too — and you’re doing now exactly what I would like to be doing in next year or so, and you’ve traveled the road ahead — so I thought I should at least ask. I would certainly appreciate a nudge or two in the right direction.

    Maybe this isn’t the right place to post this but it seems fitting, since I would like to begin with the end in mind. Anyway, I don’t know how else to contact you.

    I’ve been relishing and reading your site with great interest over the past several weeks. Good stuff! Thanks for sharing all of this. 🙂

    • bgddyjim says:

      First, thank you, and it’s my pleasure. People like us are exactly why I write about what I do.

      Now, there’s a lot to go over and I’m just about to go to sleep for the night so I’m probably going to wait until the morning but I can absolutely let you know what I’d do had I to do it all over again… I’d have gone with the 5200 and saved $400 and some change.

      At 250 you’re plenty light enough for any carbon fiber, aluminum or steel race bike. Usually weight limits are about 275 for road bikes. However, because you already want disc brakes, you might want to look at a cross bike to start. Steel frames, while highly touted for their plush ride, are actually quite bendy. In fact, carbon is actually stronger that steel and it lasts longer.

      Now, here’s why I would go with a cross bike (and probably a mid range one at that $1,500-$2,000 new will get you everything you want, call it $800-$1,500 used): It’s already got the beefier wheels that will offer you mental comfort. Second, nowadays they almost all have disc brakes and thru axles. Finally, you can take them anywhere and with a decent set of road tires, they’re plenty fast enough.

      Lose your weight, get yourself lean and mean, THEN get the road bike. As you drop weight, your ability to ride a little more aggressively will improve. Whatever you buy and set up now will have to be changed later anyway… and this way you end up with two great bikes at the end of this. One for dirt road and trail riding and a great road bike when you’re comfortable on lightweight equipment.

      I’ll think more about this. If you want to email me, I can be reached at BDJ.fitrecovery(at)gmail(dot)com. Thanks Chip.

      • Chip says:

        Thank you so much, Jim! Very helpful. I hear what you’re saying and I’m taking your advice to heart. Thank you for the Email invite, too. I do have a few questions and I’ll be in touch.

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