I have need of a new pair of pedals so I turned to my internet vendor of choice and, as is my custom, went immediately to the pricey end of the long list of possibilities. I found a pair of Shimano Dura-Ace pedals that were shinier than a shiny thing, made of pure Unobtanium and……… £120. A quick look a bit nearer the bargain basement end revealed a pair of Shimano 105 pedals – still quite shiny, virtually identical at a quick glance and only £55. This got me wondering so I took a look at the weights of both sets. For an extra £65 you save a mere 37g.
Using this rather crude method, the cost of saving weight by buying better kit appears to work out at about £1750/kg. If you are a professional cyclist this is fine, your sponsors will be paying and, since your body is pure muscle, there isn’t anywhere else to lose the weight from. Of course the total potential saving is finite and the law of diminishing returns will apply. If, on the other hand, you have a bit of a tum there is a much simpler way of reducing your all up cycling weight:
Keep your diet and exercise regime exactly as it currently is BUT add an extra 1 hour of brisk cycling per week (an exercise bike will do). There are a million opinions on how many calories cycling burns but I believe the following figures are reasonably cautious. You burn about 30 calories/mile so a brisk one hour session should burn about 450. Over a year this makes about 23,000. This many calories is the equivalent of 6.6lbs (3kg) of fat. By a happy co-incidence this is more or less exactly the difference in weight between an ‘ordinary’ road bike and a £5000 featherweight carbon jobbie.