Last week, I asked readers to guess how much mud my cyclocross bike carried at the end of a recent race. The answers varied greatly. Clearly, the mud around the bottom bracket and chainstays looked impressive, and some thought it added 30% to the weight of the bike. (Many readers also overestimated the weight of my bike.)
Others figured that there wasn’t that much mud elsewhere on the bike, and thought it amounted to just a few hundred grams (< 1 lb).
The answer lay in the middle: There was some heavy mud, but pine needles and wood were mixed in with the soil, and they are relatively light in weight. The bike carried 1040 g (2.3 lb) of mud. The bike’s overall weight, mud-free, is 10.0 kg (22.0 lb), so the mud added 10.4% to the bike’s weight. That’s quite a bit of mud weighing the bike down, and makes me wonder about using superlight parts on a ‘cross bike!
To my surprise, not just one, but two readers guessed remarkably close to the actual figures: Jesse Prichard from Spokane and “Paul in Dallas” both came up with 1 kg and 10%. Since Jesse was the first to enter, he is the winner. Congratulations! You won a 1-year subscription to Bicycle Quarterly, starting with the special 50th issue.