The Storck Durnario that we reviewed here on road.cc recently weighed in at just 6.4kg (14.1lb), well below the UCI’s minimum weight limit for racing of 6.8kg (14.99lb), and that got us thinking about the other super-lightweight road bikes out there. Here are five that barely trouble the scales.
Trek Émonda SLR 9
The Trek Emonda SLR 8 that we reviewed last year weighed in at 6.27kg, (13.8lb) but Trek’s Emonda SLR 9 lops almost a pound off that for a claimed 5.88kg (12.96lb). The frame is said to weigh just 690g.
Trek says that the Emonda boasts the most sophisticated tube optimisation of any bike ever, with both the tube shape and the laminate being designed to produce the highest stiffness-to-weight ratio possible.
The Emonda SLR 9 comes built up with a Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groupset, Bontrager carbon bar and carbpn whels and saddle.
Of course, that little lot doesn’t come cheap. You’re looking at a price tag of £8,500.
Trek does offer far cheaper Emondas, though, with carbon-fibre options costing from £1,500 and aluminium complete bikes from £1,000.
English Cycles V3.1 Tron steel/carbon superlight
Making a superlight bike with loads of the most advanced space age composites is all very well, but what if you've a soft spot for steel, like Oregon, USA framebuilder Rob English and his customer Irvin? You build this:
The frame is a marriage of True Temper steel tubes, including an S3 aero down tube, and carbon tubes from Enve. The use of carbon has allowed the weight of the complete bike to tip the scales at a low 5.8kg (13lb).
This build, from a few years ago now, used Shimano Dura-Ace 9070 Di2 shifting. A switch (sorry) to the electronic group du jour, SRAM Red E-Tap, would shave some more grams.
The attention to detail is what's stunning about this bike, as shown by the head tube area, above, which features the top and down tubes welded to a steel super-lug that encloses a carbon fibre tube.
Merida Scultura 9000 Ltd
The jewel in the crown of Merida's race bike line is the Scultura 9000 Ltd with a complete bike weight of 4.55kg (10.0lb)
How has Merida made the Scultura so light? It uses 400 prepreg pieces and alternative fibre materials to make each finished frame, putting the strength (and weight) only where it’s needed for performance. The wall thicknesses are as low as 0.4mm. Merida reckons the layup process is so complicated that it takes somewhere from 11 to 15 hours to produce each frame.
The Scultura 9000 is built up with a SRAM Red 22 groupset while the handlebar, stem, saddle and seatpost all come from German lightweight specialist AX Lightness.
The cheapest Scultura available in the UK is the Scultura 5000 at £1,700, but the most affordable with a superlight frame (not quite as light as the Scultura 9000 Ltd's) is the £3,600 7000-E (above).
Canyon Ultimate CF EVO 10.0 SL
Canyon boasts that its Ultimate CF EVO 10.0 SL weighs just 4.85kg (10.7lb). The German direct-selling specialist showed this featherweight special at trade shows, but it hs yet to actually become available to consumers.
To achieve that low weight, Canyon says that it has lightened the stock Ultimate frame by using ultra high modulus carbon-fibre in the construction, and integrated a carbon fibre front mech hanger to save a few more grams. That work has produced a 665g frame and a 270g fork.
“The Ultimate’s new seatpost clamp configuration reduces weight by 15g,” says Canyon. “A further 6g saving is made possible thanks to a titanium press screw.”
If you want to get down to these weights, every gram counts.
For its attention-grabbing show bike, Canyon included Lightweight Obermayer wheels with CeramicSpeed bearings, THM Fibula brake callipers and Clavicula SE chainset, a Tune saddle and a SRAM Red 22 groupset.
While you can't yet buy the Ultimate CF EVO 10.0 SL, Canyon still offers some feathery bikes. Its lightest offering is the Ultimate CF SLX 9.0 SL, above, which seems to be the result of a contest to see who could tag the most abbreviations on the end of a product name. It weighs a claimed 6.3kg, costs £4,499 and comes with SRAM's Red E-Tap wireless shifters.
The most affordable Ultimate in Canyon’s range is the Ultimate CF SL 7.0 (above) at £1,349. It weighs a claimed 7.6kg.
AX Lightness Vial Evo Ultra
This AX Lightness Vial Evo Ultra show bike weighed an amazing 4.4kg. That’s 9lb 11oz.
The frame is carbon fibre and weighs as little as 600g – that’s for the Di2 version of the small sized model. The proprietary THM Scapula CT-X fork adds just 265g. The bike uses coated CeramicSpeed bearings.
The Vial Evo Ultra is fitted with AX Lightness’ own U 24T wheels. Like the frame, these are handmade in Germany.
Many of the other components are AX Lightness’ own too, including the Europa seatpost, the minimalist Leaf Plus saddle, along with the carbon stem, brakes and bottle cage.
THM provides the cranks while the chainrings are Praxis Works.
The AX Lightness Vial Evo Ultra has a price tag of €15,000. There’s no UK price set, but that converts to £12,850 at today’s exchange rate.
That show bike was, as they often are, an exercise in just how light you can make a road bike by throwing money at it. But AX Lightness also offers a slightly less expensive version with SRAM Red E-Tap groupset including wireless shifters.
This incarnation weighs 4.8kg, which is unarguably still impressively light, and costs €11,899 (£10,200). That's not exactly cheap, but the fact that it costs nearly £3,000 to save another 400g demonstrates just how deep into diminishing returns you are when you get this fanatical about shaving grams.
Focus Izalco Max Disc
Focus claims that its Izalco Max Disc Red is the world’s lightest production disc-brake road bike. It isn’t anywhere near as light as the rim brake bikes above, but it comes in at 6.8kg (14.99lb).
The Izalco Max Disc is built around a 790g frame – 65g heavier than Focus claims for the regular Izalco Max – and a 320g fork.
The bike uses Shimano’s Flat Mount open disc brake calliper standard and Focus’s RAT quick-release thru axles at both the front and rear.
The Focus Izalco Max Disc Team, above, with SRAM Red E-Tap is priced at £7,199. There are two other bikes in the range: the Izalco Max Disc E-Tap is £5,199, while the 'budget' model is the Izalco Max Disc Ultegra Di2, a snip at £3,999. Focus doesn’t yet produce a more affordable alternative, although we hope that the brand will offer lower specced options over time.
It’s possible to build the Focus Izalco Max Disc frameset into a lighter bike if you wanted to. Focus showed us a frame decked out with a SRAM Red groupset and finished with some high-end carbon fibre components from the likes of Tune and Schmolke. That bike tipped the scales at just 6kg (13.23lb).
Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over 20+ years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for eight years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.