As far as I’m concerned, my Katy Tail Century is a go. But, being a bike weight-obsessed dipshit, my first thought was, how do I get my bike to its lightest before the ride? Fortunately, I have years worth of experience in this sort of dipshittery, so I’m hard at work
making my wife question marrying me eliminating weight from my Fisher Wahoo before the big day.
Getting my bike under 18.5lbs is actually easier than it sounds, since many of the parts currently on it were initially bought with light weight in mind. Still I had to swap a few things…
My SR Suntour Epicon RLD fork weighs just shy of 4lbs, so I replaced it with the Carbon Cycles eXotic rigid fork I took off last fall. That’s a savings of roughly 1.9lbs, and I don’t really need suspension for a flat trail anyway.
Next up, and even more importantly, was to get rid of rolling weight. I swapped to a set of Kenda Klimax Lite tires which, together, weigh about the same as just one of my more aggressive tires alone (649g/pr). I put in some Forte LunarLite tubes, as well.
Since I already run 1×9 gears, I decided to swap the Shimano XT 11-32 cassette for a Sram PG-970 11-23 9-speed road cassette, shaving off close to another quarter-pound. The close gear ratios will also help keep my cadence steady as I spin my cranks for 7-8 hours.
Finally, I pulled an old Easton CT2 carbon handlebar out of my parts bin. It’s been chopped down to 20.5" and weighs 119g with end plugs, 28g less than my Titec Ti 118 bar (I told you I was being ridiculous). I actually prefer the narrower width of the Easton bar on the long flats I’ll be riding, so it wasn’t all about taking off weight with this piece. I normally don’t trust carbon bars for XC riding, but on the Katy, you could just about ride a bar made out of straw and not worry about overloading it.
I didn’t have any foam grips laying around (I swapped back to rubber grips after having the foamies come loose a couple times), so I used some Easton road bar tape instead. I’ve been wanting to try this out to see how it feels on a trail bike, so I figured this was a good excuse.
All told, the bike is now at 18.33lbs. I have a Selle Italia Signo T1 triathlon saddle on the way ($26 on eBay–woot!), so that’ll add 30g back on, but it’ll be worth it to have the additional padding since I never have reason to stand up while pedaling on the Katy.
I’m also re-thinking my food and water situation for the trip. I had planned on 100oz of water in my CamelBak, plus two 33oz bottles on the bike with Gatorade in them. Since I’m passing through 22 towns along the way, I may take a 70oz bladder of water, and stick to just one bottle, refilling them along the way when needed.
Less weight means an easier bike to push for all those miles, and I see no sense in making it anymore difficult than it needs to be. Colin Chapman would be so proud.