When Big G finished building up his new Specialized Roubaix last week, he put it on the scale in the shop.
Twenty-two pounds. Carbon fiber and bla de bla,and the friggin' tank weighs twenty-two pounds.
Mind you, 22 pounds is a perfectly respectable weight for a top quality butted steel racing bike from the 1980s. In other words, thanks to tinfoil chains, cog-packed clusters and temperamental, expensive brifters, we have achieved equality with a simpler machine powered by the same engine 30 years ago.
I know: more gears! Convenient shifting! And with the simple investment of at least a thousand more dollars in crank, handlebars, stem and wheels the bike could be an easy two pounds lighter. Still temperamental, but the fancy ones always put you through hell. You have to decide for yourself whether the ride is worth it.
Planning to commute on his new steed, Big G has been checking out all the bag options. Frame packs, enormous, projecting seat packs, anything that doesn't require a rack. He's got a messenger bag on order. That would not be my first choice for a 25-mile open road ride to work. But then this whole acquisition went entirely where I will never go. All this baggage, of course, gets added to the basic curb weight of the bike.
I understand wanting a light bike. Last summer I got a frame pack to increase the cargo capacity of my own road bike. It's a nice break when I know I'm sticking mostly to pavement. But if you only ride a light bike it will eventually feel heavy to you. And when it comes to transportation I really like the secure feeling I get from wider tires, fenders, lights and a good tool kit.