One of the main considerations when choosing a bike is the weight. The general perception is that a lighter bike is more performance-oriented and also costs more, and vice versa.
Today’s bikes can weigh as light as 13.3lbs (6kg) up to 66.1lbs (30kg), depending on the type and model. Many factors determine the final bike weight, which I’ll cover in the next section.
Average weight vs type of bikes
The table below shows the average bike weight range for each type of bike.
|Bike type||Range||Weight (lbs)||Weight (kg)|
|Road||Top tier||13.2 to 16.5||6 to 7.5|
|Road||Mid-tier||16.5 to 19.8||7.5 to 9|
|Road||Low tier||Above 19.8||Above 9|
|Road||Electric||24.2 to 33||11 to 15|
|Mountain||Top tier||20.9 to 25.3||9.5 to 11.5|
|Mountain||Mid-tier||25.3 to 29.7||11.5 to 13.5|
|Mountain||Low tier||Above 29.7||Above 13.5|
|Mountain||Electric||50.6 to 59.4||23 to 27|
|Gravel||Top tier||17.6 to 20.9||8 to 9.5|
|Gravel||Mid-tier||20.9 to 25.3||9.5 to 11.5|
|Gravel||Low tier||Above 25.3||Above 11.5|
|Time trial||All||19.8 to 28.6||9 to 13|
|Cyclocross||All||16.5 to 26.4||7.5 to 12|
|Hybrid / Urban||Non-electric||28.6 to 39.6||13 to 18|
|Hybrid / Urban||Electric||55 to 70.4||25 to 32|
|Kids||16″||17.6 to 22||8 to 10|
|Kids||20″||19.8 to 24.2||9 to 11|
|Kids||24″||22 to 26.4||10 to 12|
Factors that affect bike weight
- Type of bike. Road bikes are the lightest, usually from 6kg (top-tiered) to 10kg (low-tier). Professional cyclists’ bikes must be at least 6.8kg to meet the UCI regulations, but there is no upper limit.
- Frame materials. Carbon (lightest), aluminum, titanium, and steel (heaviest) are the most common materials used to make a bicycle frame. Carbon frames are lightweight, stiff, and responsive under load. On the other hand, steel frames are more comfortable, durable, and easily repairable. Titanium is usually used in custom bike frames, while aluminum is in low to mid-tiered bike frames.
- Components include the drivetrain, handlebar, stem, saddle, and pedals. Top-of-the-line components such as Shimano Dura-Ace (for road) or Shimano XTR (for off-road) will be lighter because they use materials such as aluminum and titanium compared to steel (heavier) for lower-tiered models.
- Wheels are either made from aluminum or carbon. A wheelset can weigh between 1.1 to 2.3kg. The carbon rims are lighter compared to aluminum for the same rim profile. Besides, the deeper the rim profile, the higher the weight due to more materials. Hence, most deep wheels are made from carbon to lower the weight.
- Tires. Slicker and slimmer tires (for road bikes) are lighter than wide, knobby tires used for off-road (mountain bikes, gravel bikes).
- Electric motors and batteries in e-bikes usually weigh between 5 to 7kg. A larger capacity battery weighs more.
- Accessories such as pannier racks and mudguards commonly found on hybrids add additional weight.
More reading : Road vs Endurance vs Aero Bikes Comparison
Why choose a lighter bike?
Apart from your body weight, the bike weight directly influences the effort needed to go up a hill. A lighter overall weight (body + bike weight) requires less effort as you’re fighting gravity.
Road cyclists refer to this as the power to weight ratio. Professional cyclists who thrive in mountainous terrains are often very light (60 to 65kg) and ride a bike as close as possible to the minimum weight mandated by the UCI, 6.8kg.
Generally, a lighter bike will cost more due to the lightweight materials used in the bike frame and components. You don’t necessarily need to get the lightest bike, but there is often a sweet spot between weight and price, usually in the mid-tier range.