Lighter Bike Or Lighter Rider: Which One Is Faster?

Lighter Bike Or Lighter Rider: Which One Is Faster?

A common question that's asked in the cycling community is "Which affects my performance better, the size of my bike or my current weight?"

The answer isn't too simple to explain, in fact, both arguments are valid. In this post, we'll speak on how your bodyweight and your bike size will improve your cycling results.

Weight And Bike Performance

When it comes to weight, there are certain factors you'll need to understand. If you lose weight and muscle, then you're taking a negative hit on your performance. Your body needs strong muscles and losing them will destroy your efficiency once you begin to pedal.

However, you don't lose any power if your body loses weight and bodyfat. This is a recommended workout method for cyclists trying to lose weight. Keep your muscles growing and remove your body fat to become a better lightweight rider.

As a rule of thumb, your bike should be at least 10% of your natural bodyweight. For instance, if you weigh 80kg, then you should get your bike at around 8kg. You want your bike to be light enough to travel at high speeds, but sturdy enough to support your body weight while you ride.

Benefits Of Being Lightweight

Having a lightweight bike helps increase your power-to-weight ratio.

Man doing acrobatics with his bike

The higher your power-to-weight ratio, the better you'll ride. Make sure that you keep your body at its optimal weight to become physically fit for a race.

However, being light weight isn't the final decision maker in your riding performance.

Other factors such as aerodynamics come into play​

Lightweight Bikes Will Cost More

In the cycling world, the lighter the bike the more expensive it is. In fact, some bicycles that are designed to be lightweight can cost up to $10,000. At that price, you'll receive the lightest pedals, wheels, stem, saddle, and other bike parts.

Bicycles of this quality are usually seen in professional race events such as Tour de France. In most of these cases, those $10,000 bikes are paid via sponsors. For the average person, a $10,000 bike designed for lightness can be a bit too expensive.

Modify Your Current Bike

You don't have to spend thousands of dollars on a new bike to ride better.

Modifying your main bike is one of the most cost-efficient methods in cycling.

Simply buy lighter wheels and other lighter components to help reduce your bike's weight.

Man flying with bike

Which One Is Better?

Investing your money on bike upgrades is a waste of time. Instead, you're better off investing your money into activities that will enhance your riding physique and optimal weight. Once you get control over your body, then you can spend extra money on bike upgrades.


No matter what side you choose on the debate, your cycling performance is reliant on weight. Because of this, you'll want to maintain a healthy lean body while also having a bike that's optimized for racing.

This post was last updated on June 5th, 2018 at 02:06 pm

About the Author Max Shumpert

Over the last few years, I’ve taken my love of the outdoors, hiking, skiing, trekking and exploring to the next level by starting this site. I started a bike shop in Denver, CO, and have seen amazing growth over the last few years. Getting paid to do what I love has been a dream come true for me. That’s also what led me to start In my shop, I spend a large amount of time helping people find the perfect bike for them and the style of biking they’re going to be doing. It only made sense that I expanded my reach and got online, making it possible for me to help people all over the world. If biking and staying fit is your priority, too, you’ve come to the right place.

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