Comparing Weight – Industry Standards Pt 1
Cervelo says the Rca is the world’s lightest road bike on the market. But other companies make the same claim. Is there an industry standard for comparing bike weight?
As a bike manufacturer it’s tempting to weigh our smallest frames with no hardware or paint. After all, everyone wants to boast about making the lightest bike. But that’s deceiving. We weigh our frames with everything necessary to make them function as part of a complete bicycle. We don’t sell unpainted bikes, and to ride them our customers need the headset, bottom bracket, seat post and all the hardware necessary to mount a saddle. In short, we include all the parts we engineer to be as light as possible. Cervelo engineers paint to be light? You bet.
In manufacturing a frame like the Rca we measure the mass of every individual part at every part of the manufacturing process to ensure that quality and mass are controlled. We do this with every single frame, so we can be confident in saying that the average weight of a 54cm Rca frame is 667 grams.
If you see a road-bike weight listed at less than 667 grams, make sure it includes the same effective parts. Was it weighed with hangers and clamps? Does it have a seat mast? If it has a seat mast, is all of the hardware included? What size was weighed? Was it painted? Frame set or “module” weights are becoming increasingly common. Don’t be fooled.
How do we know the Rca is the world’s lightest road bike? We compiled our own list of frame weights that compares apples to apples:
It would be helpful to consumers if all manufacturers published their frame weights based on the same criteria. But in this hyper-competitive market this is wishful thinking. Thankfully, unbiased publications like Tour magazine, Bicycling, Velonews, and Bicycle Radar often feature third-party weigh-ins. And guess what? The Rca comes out on top there, too.