How important is bike weight?

I am currently toying with the idea of getting a new trail bike (replacing my giant reign advanced) with so many great options it can be hard to narrow it down. One question I have for everyone is how important bike weight is. Is wheel size more important then adding a few pounds? Any recommendations for a trail/enduro bike? Would anyone be open to letting me demo there bike? With a big purchase like a new bike I want to make the right decision. Thanks.


Weight doesn’t really matter to me. It is cheaper to lose weight myself, than on my bike. Carbon does have different properties than aluminum so that would be a bigger factor in my mind. If you are racing, certainly weight comes into play more.

Fit is the most important thing in my mind. Stems can be changed and saddles can be adjusted but the frame can not be altered. Try different suspension systems as well. Some feel better for different types of riding.

I know what works for me, and if you are down the valley way for a ride you can try my Stumpy during a ride.


Depends what direction you are pointing in :smirk: if you intend to do a lot of climbing you may want to shave grams, otherwise a couple lbs shouldn’t make a difference. I went from a 50+lbs 2009 downhill bike to a brand new all mountain hardtail. I may not have the best reference guide but I find all modern bikes to be so well balanced and light that the weight of a new bike would not be on my list of considerations. Focus more on geometry, suspension travel, wheel size - if you know what type of riding you like to do these blanks should fill themselves in :grin:


Thanks for the response! Carbon is definitely the road I’m going to take, stiffness and weight. Right now I am considering a GT Force Expert or pro. Trying to decide to go 27.5 or 29. The 29er force is a whopping 35+ pound bike (12 pounds heavier than my revolver​:joy:) and the regular force is around 32. Another bike is the specialized stumpy evo 29 or 27.5. All these bikes are 32+ pounds. Coming from my giant reign which is 30 pounds I’m concerned I will feel like I’m jumping a bus :joy: if the bike weighs 35 pounds lol. The reason I’m so focused on weight is because when I got my xc bike one of my favourite things about how fun the bike felt was how light it is. Easy to hop around and just rip. Also the 29er hoops and how they roll over everything. But it’s also a 23 pound 29er. So a 35 pound 29er May feel very very sluggish. Long text to read, thank you! So much to consider when buying a new rig! I may have to take you up on that offer to demo your stumpy.


I made an embarrassingly large spreadsheet when I started shopping for a new bike last Fall. Weight was a column but a pound or so wasn’t a big deal to me for trail riding. You are welcome to the spreadsheet for your reference but you’ll have to update new bikes for 2020. I had a 2011 Reign 26” and a 2012 Anthem 29er. I settled on a Trance Advanced Pro 29 2. It is better than both bikes though I do occasionally miss the extra travel of the Reign on the bigger hits. It is 5 pounds lighter than some of the longer travel bikes which I think makes a difference for longer rides with more elevation. I ride moto brakes so I don’t usually lend my bike.


Personally I find the weight makes a huge difference. At least in the amount of 3+ pound differences. I borrowed a super light Klein hardtail (20lbs or may have been less with one piece bar/stem, carbon, XTR) years ago for a race and it definitely climbed much easier than my 25lb aluminum hard tail. Having said that, on the trail bikes most of us ride these days it’s hard to get a low weight, and a pound or two makes no difference. Most are sitting from 26-30lbs.

I opted for aluminum for my last bike as the carbon version weighted the same, and sacrificed the higher end suspension and dropper. For an extra $1000 carbon just aint worth it in my opinion. The weight difference is minimal. Ride quality feels the same to me. Carbon does sound cooler, and companies like Rocky Mountain make the carbon paint jobs much better. If that is worth $1000 extra, then go carbon and be a pound lighter at most.

I ride a Rocky Mountain Instinct A70 and love it. Rocky’s bikes come in various versions of awesomeness in carbon or aluminum. I choose higher-end parts on the aluminum, as opposed to cheaper(still highish-end) parts on the carbon for the same price. If you can wait, check out all the demo days in the spring and ride them all. Cannondale, Giant, Kona, Rocky, and Specialized all do demo tours with a full fleet. Honestly, it’s hard to go wrong with any these days as suspension and geometry have been so well tuned in on today’s bikes in all the brands.

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FYI, the Advanced was 3lbs lighter and came with wider carbon wheels too.

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Knowing you a bit, Ryan… bike weight may be more important for you than most of us here. With racing as a priority and a lighter physical frame, a pound on the bike may be significant and worth optimizing.

I suspect you may be able to answer this better yourself though.


You know me well, figured I would still ask because I don’t have any experience with trail 29ers. The people on here are great!

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Seems like most are in around 30 pounds. Orbea/Cruz may be worth looking at. I think the new tallboy is right near 30! I personally ride a 35 or 36 pound sled and have had some strava success and a bit of race success. My next rig I’d like to be nearer 30 pounds pending my bodyweight!

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Unless you are racing and can afford a sub 25 lb bike I wouldn’t get hung up on weight or carbon. Sure, if you are looking between a 35lb bike and a 30lb bike definitely go with the 30. Affordable carbon bikes aren’t necessarily better than the identical bike in aluminium for a lot less money. If you want to spend money, invest in a quality aftermarket wheelset, reducing rotating weight is a bigger bang for your money.


That made my 35 pound bike feel like a million bucks. Good wheels is my biggest thing to look for from here on out.

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There’s an old bike saying - “Light, strong, or cheap - pick any two.”

Light weight is always better performing. But you pay big bucks to get light and strong.

Since I don’t race, durability is more important to me than weight. I tend to be especially hard on wheels and drivetrains. I can count on the stock wheels on bikes I purchase to last about a year. On my old Stumpjumper, I upgraded the DT Swiss Rim wheels to Mavic Crossmax ST’s. Lighter and stronger wheels than the old ones. I could feel the difference. I bought them used, but new would have run over $1000. On the new Stumpy, I killed the hub on the Specialized Roval wheels, and replaced with Mavic EX-A’s. A high quality wheelset can make a world of difference to a ride.

One question you may ask yourself is how hard are you on gear? If you don’t break stuff often, and don’t leap off tall buildings, you can probably go light. If you tend to break stuff, go big, or plan to go big, go a little heavier and stronger.

Others can chime in on the wheel issue, but my take is

29’ers - roll over rough stuff well, hold speed well, but don’t accelerate, turn or jump as well. Better for wide, open trail.
27.5 - don’t roll over rough stuff as well, but jump and turn better - more playful, better for tight, punchy trail.
27.5+ - heavier, but roll over anything and have great traction - good for straightlining through rough stuff, slippery conditions, and cornering hard. Traction allows you to climb anything, if you’ve got the legs. Not as good for jumping.

Not that you can’t use any of these for the less than optimal situations. Lots of people ride tight trail on 29’ers and are quite happy. You can certainly jump 27.5+. It’s just a question of what’s optimal.

The choice of wheelsize depends on how you ride and where you ride.

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This is a pretty good option for a rowdy trail bike that will pedal. Not sure of the weight.

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Thanks for the link! I’m still keeping my options open in terms of travel and wheel size, so I’m open to new ideas. Currently the GT Sensor Carbon Pro is my front runner. I wish someone locally had one I could test out though.

A bud of mine got the alloy version. It’s a bang for the buck! Good Enduro racing tool!

Do you know what size? Had a size medium in the shop that I got to sit on. Felt like a size small, really short reach feeling. Had he had any experience feeling like that? I really like the bike on paper. The force carbon pro is also really sweet but a lot of bike.

As I ride my reign more I’m getting used to it again, big travel bikes are lots of fun, now I’m leaning towards for force with more travel. As time goes on I will note my likes and dislikes and weigh in on a final decision. Thank you to everyone who has responded!