I wondering, when i ride my Gravel Bike on very steep hill on broken road/gravel i have to push my bike. My total weight on bike including bag etc almost 17kg (14kg on steel bike, 3kg on water and bags). Now before i buy lighter bike (which is expensive),

if i shift weight on rider will it make pushing bike easier?

I can use backpack, or hydro pack. But I am pretty sure even if i have most lightest bike i can buy, i still have to push the bike since the road where unrideable. The point is i want to make pushing my bike more easy and less tired.

2 Answers 2


If you speak about very rough surface, having a lighter bike would be easier yes. Not for the amount of effort, that should remain the same, but because you'll need to lift the bike to clear some obstacles.

...but if the trade-off is to have this weight on you the rest of the time, it may not be worth it.

  • 1
    Even on a relatively smooth, but slippy surface it'll typically be more favourable to have the weight in a backpack. Commented Aug 30, 2023 at 8:41
  • 1
    Regarding the 2nd paragraph, assuming this is a drop bar gravel bike, I've certainly found a backpack on rides of 50-80km to cause back pain on drop bar bikes. On my hardtail MTB I've done 160km with a well-fitting hydration backpack and no trouble (maybe 200km; I can't remember what I used for that ride). So posture and backpack suitability are big factors
    – Chris H
    Commented Aug 30, 2023 at 19:29

When the weight is in a backpack, you can shift the balance more easily than when it is on the bike. It can also improve traction in your shoes when there is more weight on them.

For biking uphill, it is best to have weight closer to the front of the bike, because this improves front wheel traction for steering. Unfortunately it is the exact opposite of what you want once you get over the hill and need to brake in the downhill segment. Here also a backpack can allow some shifting of balance by changing body posture. It also increases the force you can produce when pedaling standing up.

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