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Weight Weenie-ism

February 8, 2010

TRP 960 SL brakes

Over the past couple of days, I’ve been pondering what to do about my premium bike. I’d like to build up a mid 4-kilogram weight weenie. These bikes are somewhat different than the ones that I had previously in my dream stable of road bikes.

2010 Guru Photon

While I like the new Guru Photon, I find it quite expensive. At $4,900 USD for the frameset alone, it’s almost in the same price league as the Colnago EPS and Pinarello Dogma. Unless I can source the frame by becoming a reseller for Guru, I can’t really rationalize spending that much money on a frame alone, even if it is sub-800-grams. Still, the Photon beckons me. The lifetime warranty on the frame isn’t bad either.

There’s also the Storck Fascenario 0.7, although this bike is even more expensive,  $6,300 just for the frame, fork and headset.

Don’t get me wrong, the Colnago and the Dogma are great bikes. One is lugged, one is a monocoque, so they are different. However, I’d like something more exclusive, rarer, that isn’t recognized that easily and that is more personalized. Guru offer custom geometry and fitting, no extra costs. The Photon comes with an ISP or without, and is available in a BB30 version.

There's just something about this stem- the 60-gram AX Lightness Zeus

An interesting alternative might be the Scott Addict R1 frame. It retails for about $2,000 USD less than the Photon, but it lacks BB30, which would be a requirement on this build. The Addict leaves me a bit lukewarm to be honest.

AX Lightness AX 1000 55-gram saddle

Whatever the weight of the frame is, it has to be around 800gr. For wheels, I’d go with custom-made Edge 1.25 with Extralite SX hubs. Total weight, about 780gr. I’ve examined the costly option and have found some FFWD rims that will cost me significantly less new and have a combined weight of about 500g. I’ve thought about Tune hubs, but they are just too expensive, so I’ll go with C-4 FH36 and RH205 hubs instead. Total cost for these wheels will be less than $1000 and they’ll weigh 741g+spokes.

The gruppo would have to be SRAM Red. While this is supposed to be a a weight weenie, I’ll try sourcing some AX Lightness parts, but they are incredibly expensive. Their 55-gram saddle costs about $650 USD. All of their parts are extremely light and extremely expensive. While I believe in saving weight on this future build, I won’t have an unlimited budget. Still a saddle, stem, seatpost combo from AX lightness would weigh around 199 grams at the most, but cost close to $3,000 USD. Looks like I found some parts cheaper than expected. AX Lightness parts are starting to look quite appealing. Also, for this build, I don’t mind getting second-hand parts to keep the costs down.

AX Lightness AX 4000 handlebar

That being said, I’m sure that I can find less expensive and almost as light parts elsewhere. For example, the 74-gram AX Apollo saddle would cost about $400 USD. The new Tune Concorde RR 08 weighs 54 grams and costs $240. The Ax Daedalus seatpost is only between 95-135 grams and costs about $500 USD. If I take the Photon, it will be with an ISP, so all I’ll need is a lightweight clamp.

Johnny Yutah's Ax Lightness Zeus Stem

The AX Zeus stem weighs an astounding 64grams and costs about $860 USD. A Synatce F109 weighs about 100 grams and costs $120 USD. This is an example of where cooler heads should prevails. Sure the AX is lighter, but at 7 times the cost. That’s a lot!

Johnny Yutah's Ax Lightness Zeus

As for brakes, I’ve listed the AX Lightness Orion, but I might be able to find cheaper M5s that weigh just 30 grams more but cost half as much.The Orions are extremely light, but they don’t really brake much. Seems kind of an oxymoron: why would have brakes that don’t brake? Just for show? In fact, the more I think about it, the less I am interested in spending so much money on brakes. I’ll probably just source it through a supplier for some TRPs, Zero Gravity Gravitas (120g ~$875), or Zero Gravity Negative G GSL (140g ~$400). That being said, since the KCNCs are made in Taiwan, I’ll probably be able to find them for very cheap. So basically, it’s 20g more for the KCNCs, but a quarter of the cost, maybe less.

I found some Circus Monkey Feather brakes that sell for about $200 here. In the US, I’ve seen MSRPs for up to $480. I weighed these myself and they weigh 195g. That’s 30g more than the KCNCs, but I heard that these actually brake pretty well.

Coloclimber's Ax Lightness Zeus

My goal for this build is to assemble a lightweight bike, at around 4kg, that can still be ridden. I don’t want a show bike that will break as soon as you put the pedal to the metal. I want something solid that will last for a while.

I received some good news today. I can’t really go into the details, but it’s going to be a 900-gram frame that’s about to be released. It’s going to be really cool to test it out in a few months.

So, for now, the components look as such:
Guru Photon size M-55cm              747g    $4,900
Unnamed low weight frame  M      900g     –
{Edge 1.0 fork                                      295g   $710}
THM-Carbones Scrapula SP tun    235g     $853
AX Lightness Daedalus seatpost      86g     $468
{Tune Concorde RR 08 saddle          54g     $240}
Velocite SCS Saddle                           110g    ($169)
Extralite UL3  stem                             78g     $210
{Velocite LICOS                                  176g    ($229)   I have one ready to go}
AX Lightness AX 4000 handlebar   110g     $600
FFWD rims 20mm                            503g    (-)
{Tune MAG 150 Mig 45 hubs           195g    $1000}
C-4 FH36 & RH 205                           241g    $480
Spokes                                                  170g
THM Carbones Clavicula crank      410g     $967
Storck Powerarm SL BB30               440g    $938
Fibre-Lyte chain rings
AX Lightness Orion brakes               95g      $1,000
{KCNC CB1 w pads (115g)                  164g   $250}
Circus Monkey Feather brakes pad 195g    $150
Tufo tires                                             320g    $156
SRAM Red FD, RD, chain, shifters  760g    $700
SRAM Red cassette                             155g
Soul Kozak Top Cap                               4g
FD clamp                                                10g
Soul Kozak Seat Clamp                        10g
AX Lightness skewers                          35g
Bar Tape

* * * * *

[¹]: Curly brackets denote alternative choices that are still possible, but less favored.
[²]: Rejected options have been crossed out, others have been completely changed.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. David permalink
    March 1, 2010 10:55 pm

    Range – Which frame would you use …. Velocite Geos? Wonder what what the build weight would be with a wide profile (50mm) carbon tubular rim?

  2. March 2, 2010 1:43 am

    Hi David,
    I’d use the Geos, sub 900gr and it won’t cost $4,000USD. This would be a specific build to create an extremely light frame by sticking to a set budget. I’d also source second-hand parts as much as possible, because even though the AX Lightness stem is beautiful, I don’t want to pay $900 for it. Sub 5kg would be the goal.

    Velocite also makes 50mm profile wheels, the Velocite MONC50 are an example and they sell for $899. Weight is about 1,510g. The Velocite NOIR 38/50T is a full carbon tubular wheelset, with OS15 Ceramic hubs with ceramic hybrid bearings, DT Swiss Aerolite spokes. It’s handbuilt, weighs 1200g and costs $999. This is for the tubular version.

    There is a 50/90mm Noir set, but it weighs 200g more for the tubular version.

    There are ways of creating extremely light climbing wheels, if you’ve got the budget. They’d be handbuilt too, which isn’t bad. Something like 800g.


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