Q: My Pivot Firebird weights 34 pounds. If I shed 3 pounds off of the bike, will I notice the difference?
– Rob, who wants a weight-loss product
A: When you reduce the weight of any bike by 10 percent, you are going to feel a difference. It will climb and accelerate better and will be easier to loft over obstacles and launch off jumps. The trick is how you trim those pounds, especially on a bike like the Firebird that is intended for aggressive downhill riding. Our project Firebird (May, 2013) came in at 29.5 pounds, and we didn’t skimp on tires (Maxxis High Roller 2 2.4-inch tires) or wheels (DT Swiss 1550 Carbon), two places you might be tempted to shave weight but shouldn’t, as it will undermine reliability. Instead, we turned to the drivetrain (a SRAM XX1) and stuck with an air-sprung RockShox Lyric RC2DH fork and Cane Creek Double Barrel Air shock. These are wise ways to lower weight without reducing reliability; however, they are also expensive.
You want to avoid going too lightweight on components like tires, wheels, handlebars and stems. Weight trimmed in these areas will possibly introduce flex to places where rigidity counts on the trail.
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