When you’re looking for a mountain bike, there are multiple questions that arise in regard to which bike will be the best fit for you.
Of these, there are a few that are about the weight of the bike.
How heavy is the average mountain bike?
Is 30 pounds heavy for a mountain bike? What about 34? 36?
Does weight even matter?
All your questions about MTBs and their weight will be answered in the following sections.
How Heavy is the Average Mountain Bike?
The simple answer to this question is about 30 lbs.
The weight range depends on the type of mountain bike you get. The typical range is 21 to 37 pounds.
There are multiple factors that contribute to the bike’s weight.
Because each bike serves a particular purpose, they have attachments and constructs that affect the weight of the bike.
The four types of mountain bikes are:
The Downhill is the heaviest of the four due to its heavy-duty frame and larger suspension.
Cross-country is the lightest of the four, with an average weight of 26 pounds.
When taking a look at other bicycles, you will notice that mountain bikes fall on the middle-to-high end of the spectrum.
Here is a quick comparison chart to show you the range of weights:
|Bike Type||Average Weight|
|Track||17 – 18 lbs|
|Folding||25 – 28 lbs|
|Touring||29 – 30 lbs|
|Electric||50 – 60 lbs|
As you can see, the weight of the bike depends on what purpose it serves. Road bikes and BMXs are better suited when they are on the lighter side.
When you start adding features like front baskets or electric motors, the weight quickly increases.
This is why mountain bikes have become heavier as technology has progressed, opposed to the presumed outcome of the weight decreasing.
As technology has improved, the comfort and durability of mountain bikes have as well.
Advancements such as suspension forks and disk brakes have improved the experience of downhill and trail riding, but this comes at the expense of added weight.
Manufacturers are slowly transitioning from the standard size of 26” to 29” for MTB wheels. However, the additional inches to both tires increases the weight.
This is a big factor because the frame triangle, the fork, and the front and back wheels make up 60% of the total weight.
That said, something as minuscule as a wider set of handlebars can also cause a noticeable increase in the bike’s weight.
Are There Disadvantages to Bikes That Weigh 34 lbs? 36 lbs?
You head to your local bike shop and the mountain bike that has all the features you are looking for is an above average weight.
For the average rider taking the bike on beginner to intermediate trails, a few extra pounds either way will likely go unnoticed.
It may become slightly more difficult to pull the front wheel off the ground for a wheelie or get the tires off the ground for a bunny hop. But a rider at the level of performing stunts knows that the key is more in the technique than the weight.
For a novice rider, any weight above the average will only be noticed when traveling uphill, because you have to carry the extra weight with you.
To notice a change in the weight of your bike, there would have to be a massive increase/decrease of around 10-12 lbs.
What Can I Do to Decrease the Weight of My Mountain Bike?
If the weight of your mountain bike is of concern, there are numerous ways you can reduce it, ranging from inexpensive to excessive.
Let’s take a look at a few of the ways this can be done.
Although it isn’t the most cost-effective solution to reducing the weight of your bike, replacing components made of steel or titanium with ones made of carbon will help reduce your bike’s weight.
Keep in mind that most of the weight is in the frame, the fork, and the wheels so when choosing what to replace, these are a good start.
Even switching out smaller pieces like handlebars or even bolts for ones made of carbon will result in a lighter bike.
Every gram counts!
When it comes to the weight of your bike, the tires contribute immensely.
If switching out the rims for carbon is out of the question, you can also save some weight by going tubeless.
This results in a reduction in weight, and most riders prefer to ride tubeless tires because they equate to a smoother ride and improved traction in rugged terrain.
If you have yet to purchase a mountain bike, you’ll want to put some serious consideration into what type of drivetrain is going to be right for you.
Lower-end mountain bikes usually come with a 3X10 drivetrain. This means that you now have to try and manage a 21 to 27 speed drivetrain system.
This isn’t necessary for mountain biking because riders can easily get away with a smaller and less confusing 1×10 system, and it adds unneeded weight.
While the 1×10 system is simpler and contains fewer gears to fumble through, it is usually only found on higher-end bikes. This could deter beginners from committing to the more expensive bike, but in the long run, it will be well worth it.
If you already own a mountain bike and are looking to reduce the weight of it by switching out the drive train, you are in luck. You can easily change out most drive trains on any MTB.
The dropper post is a function that comes on higher-end mountain bikes. A dropper post allows you to adjust the height of your seat on the fly.
If you are riding more advanced trails or bombing down more advanced hills, a dropper post is a useful feature.
The one problem with a dropper is that it requires a fair amount of material to function. A cable is strung from your handlebars to the seat tube.
Pressing this lever allows the seat to move freely up and down, and releasing it locks it firmly in place, so you are able to adjust your seat while riding.
This aspect of weight reduction comes down to preference—which is more important to you? Shaving a few grams off the weight of your bike or the ability to adjust the seat height without dismounting?
For novice riders, the weight of their mountain bike isn’t an important detail.
Your mountain bike is most likely around 30 lbs. Anything lower than this, and its frame becomes flimsy.
If it happens to be substantially above thirty pounds, there are ways you can reduce its weight.
Just keep in mind that if you are new to the sport and aren’t taking the bike down high-level trails, you likely won’t be able to tell the difference.