Thank you for the thoughtful reply!
Some context for me (and in case its helpful to anyone else)
I don’t like such simplistic back-of-the-envelope calculations.
Quantitative science is my profession and one of my passions. I really enjoy this sort of intellectual exercise…there is certainly no single right answer (as is true in my work). But…we can often put some boundaries around what a reasonable answer is, which was my goal in thinking about and understanding based on those with more experience than I have
Ditto for your backpack: I cannot drink from bottles when I navigate technical terrain, which is why I love hydration packs on longer mountain bike rides. I also sweat a lot, which means I need to drink a lot. (Some of the really fast riders seem to be camels, hardly needing any water.)
I agree - I bought a good hydration backpack (but heavy, which is great for my long non-race MTB rides) and carry a single bottle with calories in it (And gels for longer rides). Its nice to have the space in the pack for everything. I have always been sweatier than most in the sports I play and I find I need more water than most of the people I cycle with. Not sure why, if its biology or training (I am relatively new to endurance sports, started in my late 30s )
Here is another suggestion: take the money you have saved up for that new, lighter bike and invest it in bike handling. Get a skills coach or do a skills clinic. Then practice. Just like with training your legs, if you push your limit up, you also raise what 50–80 % risk level feels like
Completely agree! I took two skills clinics in the past 9 months and it really opened my eyes to my lack of MTB fundamentals. I had a lot of hours in the saddle on a MTB prior to that and thought I knew what I was doing, but I was wrong - I learned so much in just the two clinics and it really changed my riding this year. I did it in Boulder through Boulder MTB alliance - highly recommended. They are a non-profit with reasonably priced group clinics with progression all summer, and year round private coaching. I took a private lesson for two hours and it was unreasonably cheap (100 bucks or less I think), and it was really quality. Looking forward to doing more of that. I ride MTB about once a week on blue/black trails in the front range of CO. For the leadville stage race I just completed I did not find my MTB skills to be holding me back , but certainly my excess body weight and relatively low FTP made it harder. It was my first race or organized ride of any kind, and the longest effort I have ever completed.
Then lose weight. I don’t know how tall you are and what your body fat percentage is, but at 93 kg, I am sure you could lose a few kilos.
Agreed again…not sure what my body fat percentage is, but my stomach sticks out several inches past my chest. I am ~ 6’2" and 201 on the scale this morning. I lost ~16 pounds in the past 3 months prepping for the stage race, and hoping to lose another 20-25 in this next 12 months (or as low as I can reasonably get, maybe lower).
Re: money / buying a new bike…money is relative to be honest. I wouldn’t say I am saving up for a bike and doing more skills clinic means I couldn’t buy a new bike. I work a fair bit and have limited hobby time, so these days I am able/willing/interest to drop $$ on my hobbies for the smiles. Over the next 8-9 months…If I can get down 20-25 pounds, raise my FTP from current 280 up to 310-320, and thought I had a good shot at going sub-9 hours, I would happily spend the money on lightweight equipment for that extra advantage. If I fail to lose the weight/gain the power, I have no interest in spending the money on the bike
But I think this stuff is so personal…if you have the $$ and it brings you smiles, why not…life is unpredictably short some times…earlier in my life there is no way I would spend the $$, it would have been irresponsible given my poor finances and cause too much stress. Now the thing I lack is time rather than $$, so when doing something like this, time is the scarce resource rather than $$