How Much Does A Bike Weigh? Average Bike Weights Explained – And Why They Matter

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reviewed by Ben Gibbons
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Anyone who has ever ridden a bike uphill will know the importance of weight. But just how much does a bike weigh?

The weight of a bike varies massively depending on its style, purpose, and quality. High-end racing bikes can hit the UCI’s minimum weight limit of 6.8 kg (15 lbs) or even less, while beefy downhill mountain bikes can weigh as much as 20 kg (44 lbs).

This answer isn’t very satisfying for any budding “weight-weeny” cyclists out there, however, and there’s a whole lot more vital information to know about average bike weights when you scratch beyond the surface.

In this article, we’ll be discussing:

  • Why Is Bike Weight So Important For Cycling?
  • The UCI Bike Weight Limit – And Why It Matters
  • How Much Does A Bike Weigh? Average Bike Weights For Mountain Bikes, Road Bikes, and Touring Bikes

Let’s get into it!

A cyclists cycles on a lightweight road bike with the words "how much does a bike weigh?" in the foreground.

Why Is Bike Weight So Important For Cycling?

Bike weight is crucial for cyclists due to its direct impact on performance and overall riding experience.

A lighter bike offers several advantages, the most important of which are reducing the energy required to conquer hills, snappier acceleration, and offering more nimble bike handling and maneuverability.

For competitive cyclists, the most influential of these factors is the impact of bike weight on climbing ability.

The professionals looking to win the Grand Tours obsess about their power-to-weight ratio. This has often been seen as the magic number that defines Tour de France winners.

A professional cyclist rides a lightweight turquoise bike in a criterium race.

The UCI Bike Weight Limit – And Why It Matters

As bike manufacturers strived for lighter bikes, particularly in the 1990s, the UCI started to take an interest in the possible safety implications.

Dramatically lighter bikes started to arrive in the peloton thanks largely to the switch to carbon fiber frames from steel and aluminum designs.

The main concern at the UCI was that material safety margins were being slashed in the race to create ever-lighter bikes.

Coupled with the fact that exotic carbon designs were much less understood from an engineering perspective, the UCI took action in 2000 to ensure that all bikes in the peloton were above a certain weight limit.

They landed on 6.8 kg (15 lbs) as the minimum bike weight for competitive cycling, and this has remained fixed in place since then.

At the time, there were very few bikes in the pro peloton close to this weight, but now we have the slightly absurd situation where recreational riders can ride lighter bikes than those sanctioned for use in professional races.

Some bikes in the peloton, especially before the development of aero road race bikes, were lighter than 6.8 kg, leading to riders having to add weights to the frame to make them race-legal, usually in the crankset or seat post.

The unintended consequence of the UCI weight limit has no doubt been the proliferation of heavier components; nowhere is this more obvious than the proliferation of disc brakes in the peloton.

Whilst there has always been pushback against the UCI weight limit, with many bike manufacturers seeing it as a block on innovation, the focus on aero designs has somewhat quietened much of those grumbles.

A cyclist lifts her mountain bike above her head while looking down into a sun-filled valley.

How Much Does A Bike Weigh? Average Bike Weights For Mountain Bikes, Road Bikes, and Touring Bikes

For generations, the cycling community was obsessed with light bikes.

A lighter bike, after all, took care of one-half of the power-to-weight ratio, which is the holy grail for most professional cyclists – especially for climbers with Grand Tour aspirations.

Then, something strange started to happen… bikes began to get heavier again.

This trend can be linked directly to the increased importance afforded to aerodynamics in bike design. Whilst aerodynamics has always been a fundamental design feature of time trial bikes, the same basic principles can now be seen on standard road bike frames.

The aerofoil shapes used to reduce drag require more material, and this ultimately impacts the overall weight of the bike frame.

Add deep-section carbon wheels and the heavier disc brakes that are now vogue in the professional peloton to the equation, and you can see where this extra weight comes from.

Bike weight varies massively across different cycling disciplines, however, and also with the quality and budget of the bike. The technology, research, and materials required to make bikes feathery-light don’t come cheap.

How Much do Mountain Bikes Weigh?

A mountain bike sits on a gravel path next to a grassy lawn.

Given the abuse they have to endure, mountain bikes tend to be the heaviest style of performance bikes.

However, there are so many different styles of mountain bikes, with such diverse demands and requirements, that it’s impossible to give a single figure as an “average mountain bike weight”.

Trail bikes tend to be the lightest mountain bikes, and usually weigh between 10 and 13 kg (22-29 lbs).

A good quality hardtail mountain bike is likely to weigh between 12 to 14 kg (27-32 lbs), with a typical full-suspension mountain bike is likely to weigh 1-2 kg (2-4 lbs) more.

Downhill mountain bikes are the heaviest mountain bikes, and typically tip the scales at a beefy 15 to 20 kg (33-44 lbs). As the name suggests, the downhill mountain bikes aren’t designed with climbing in mind, so weight becomes far less important.

How Much Do Road Bikes Weigh?

A man wearing black cycles uphill on a white road bike.

Road bikes exist at the opposite end of the weight scale.

Advances in frame materials and components have steadily trickled down from the professional peloton to the extent that even an entry-level road bike costing under $1000 will likely weigh less than 11 kg (24 lbs).

The average weight of a mid-range road bike exists on a sliding scale, largely determined by the bike’s quality (and price).

For reference, the 2023 Trek Émonda ALR 5, a mid-range aluminum road bike retailing at a little over $2000, weighs in at 9 kg (19.8 lbs) for a size 56, which is fairly typical for a road bike at this price. (Larger frames inevitably weigh slightly more, and vice-versa.)

As for professional-standard racing bikes which can often cost north of $10,000, it might come as a surprise that very few actually go as low as the UCI’s 6.8 kg (15 lbs) weight limit.

Research by Cyclist’s Hub showed that between 2020 and 2023, the average weight of a bike at the Tour de France hovered between 7.08 kg (15.61 lbs) and 7.2 kg (15.88 lbs).

While you would assume that the extra 400 grams or so of margin to the UCI weight limit would represent a marginal gain worth exploiting for professional cyclists, clearly the prevailing logic is that the performance benefits of innovations such as disc brakes, aerodynamic frames, and deep-section rims outweigh the small weight penalties they come with.

The lightest production bike is the Vial Evo Ultra. The frame weighs just 600 grams (21 oz), with the total build coming in at just 4.4 kg (9.7 lbs), making it illegal for UCI-sanctioned competitions.

Perhaps the lightest road bike ever built was a custom-built machine by a German named Gunter Mai and then later refined by Fairwheel Bikes in Tuscon, Arizona.

It might not have a name, but this feathery steed weighed a mere 2.77 kg. It laughed in the face of the UCI weight limitations.

It was built for hill climbing competitions where weight is everything. The modern carbon fiber all over the frame offers a weird juxtaposition to the old-school friction down tube shifters (which are lighter than modern “brifter” designs).

How Much Do Touring Bikes Weigh?

A man wearing orange is kneeling next to his touring bicycle.

Touring bikes usually weigh between 12 and 17 kg (26-38 lbs) before being kitted out with racks and bags. They might look like road bikes from a distance, but they use heavier components and stronger, heavier frame materials (usually steel).

The weight will easily double by the time they are fully loaded for multi-day bike adventures into the wild.

Now you know all about average bike weights…

Unless you live somewhere pan-flat (looking at you Dutch riders), then you will have to deal with the physics of weight every time the gradient starts to increase.

When I was a bike-obsessed kid, it seemed the only criteria my parents had when buying a bike was that it had to be the heaviest bike in the shop.

In their minds, a heavy bike meant an indestructible bike, one that could survive the rigors of suburban cycling with minimal maintenance. The laws of physics were not considered as part of the purchasing process.

As soon as we hit a hill, I would watch my buddies soar away from me as I tried to push my indestructible lump of metal to the top.

Ever since, I’ve had a healthy appreciation for the importance of bike weight – and hopefully after reading this article, you do too!

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David rediscovered his love of two wheels and Lycra on an epic yet rainy multi-day cycle across Scotland's Western Isles. The experience led him to write a book about the adventure, "The Pull of the Bike", and David hasn't looked back since. Something of an expert in balancing cycling and running with family life, David can usually be found battling the North Sea winds and rolling hills of Aberdeenshire, but sometimes gets to experience cycling without leg warmers in the mountains of Europe. David mistakenly thought that his background in aero-mechanical engineering would give him access to marginal gains. Instead it gave him an inflated and dangerous sense of being able to fix things on the bike.

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