Going ultralight, help identifying a 5.2kg beauty

by bikeboy76   August 17, 2013  

At the exhibition at the Excel in London the other week I saw some very slender young bikes. I went round lifting them up to test the weight. I found one was 5.2kg, this produced a chortle and a certain amount of envy and avarice to get a next generation bike for myself. However I foolishly did not make a note of the manufacturer. After going from a mountain bike to a Carrera, um 'metal' bike, to a Jamis Carbon 8.5kg, even lighter and more aero has to be better right?

Are we always talking in the £3k+ region for 5-6kg weights? I was thinking a graph of weight to RRP cost would identify best buys and look cool, but perhaps the internet has got there first before I do this. Can anyone suggest what this ultralight beauty might have been or similar weight bikes? And anyone comment on the stability of v. light bikes?

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Well 'two wrongs' etc..

posted by 700c [541 posts]
20th August 2013 - 10:09

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It's strange how people ask questions then can't handle responses that don't match what they want to hear.

If you want to buy a light bike I don't have a problem with that. However, most people feel that the way to enjoy cycling more is to cycle more, just like the only way to get better on hills is to climb hills.

You can be as rude as you want but it won't bother me in the slightest, I can't even bring myself to be even a tiny bit upset.

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posted by Simon E [1886 posts]
20th August 2013 - 10:25

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I'm slightly perplexed as to how a post about lightness geekery has morphed into... oh sod it.

I bought 1 bike. Lost 20kg in 1 year. (80 to 60)

For the price of one bike I gained the weight advantage of ~three by riding it.

Only feasible way forward now is to congratulate myself by buying a superlight frame.... maybe.

On stability - there's a reason the UCI sanctions specific weights and it's not JUST because they're a bunch of annoying tools. After losing a load of weight and riding my Kuota here on the Isle of Man (where it's massively windy) - I can confirm stability SUCKS, at >20mph, passing a farm gate in a gust can get VERY hairy. But then does wonders for your technical ability. Every cloud Big Grin

I'd question stiffness and power transfer when you start getting into the sub UCI weight categories - it might be better for climbing but are you losing valuable watts through the fact that you're actually trying to climb on crepe paper?

[edit] my bikes ~1000g atm.

Merlin Cycles women's race team ~ http://www.merlincycles.com
Manx nerd peddler ~ http://mooleur.blogspot.com

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posted by mooleur [534 posts]
20th August 2013 - 10:43

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Yes there will always be a range of opinions on any topic, people have different views about the importance of equipment etc relative to other things.

No problem with that - in fact that's what you want on an internet forum!

I just thought it was getting a bit personal, that's all.

I like this forum. It's a nice relief from other sites in that it's usually informative and polite. Contrast this to bike radar, or worse,.YouTube, ask.fm, twitter etc - it's a hot topic in the UK at the moment.

Of course most of us have thick skins, but you never know, the person at the other end of the screen, might not have

Plus there's a general principal of being civil to others - should apply equally whether face to face or online - though I know it's not always easy or possible..

posted by 700c [541 posts]
20th August 2013 - 11:00

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Mooleur - agree completely.

PS really keen to cycle the isle of Man TT route. Looks fantastic, but wouldn't take my deep rims though! Can't do the sportive this year unfortunately, so will have to organise something myself

posted by 700c [541 posts]
20th August 2013 - 11:04

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Cannondale supersix Evo is less than 700g and is not exactly a noodle. Peter Sagan seems to manage ok and he is going to stress it a bit more than us.

posted by ilovemytinbred [164 posts]
20th August 2013 - 11:12

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700c wrote:
Mooleur - agree completely.

PS really keen to cycle the isle of Man TT route. Looks fantastic, but wouldn't take my deep rims though! Can't do the sportive this year unfortunately, so will have to organise something myself

It's hideous! In a good way, I've done the full route once (actually on that sportive!) and it is super challenging, just the mountain really - it's baron and windy and soul grinding, by the time you get to it you've already put your legs through some pretty rolling terrain so it's a tough old slog to the finish line.

Definitely not one for deeps although I think Kennaugh might have used his aero wheels when they did a TT round it last time?! (I'd have to check the photos)

Coming down the mountain is the best bit, I'm an OK descender and have clocked well over 50mph on good days Big Grin

Let me know if you're ever over, can take you on some nice routes! Smile

Merlin Cycles women's race team ~ http://www.merlincycles.com
Manx nerd peddler ~ http://mooleur.blogspot.com

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posted by mooleur [534 posts]
20th August 2013 - 11:13

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mooleur wrote:
I'm slightly perplexed as to how a post about lightness geekery has morphed into... oh sod it.

I bought 1 bike. Lost 20kg in 1 year. (80 to 60)

For the price of one bike I gained the weight advantage of ~three by riding it.

Only feasible way forward now is to congratulate myself by buying a superlight frame.... maybe.

That I would agree with.

People get all excited about equipment and aerodynamics before they do the basics.

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posted by abudhabiChris [494 posts]
20th August 2013 - 11:13

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ilovemytinbred wrote:
Cannondale supersix Evo is less than 700g and is not exactly a noodle. Peter Sagan seems to manage ok and he is going to stress it a bit more than us.

Peter Sagan also has exceptional control skills!

UCI sanctioned full build is 6.8kg - the Evo can be built at less, personally I wouldn't ride it at less unless I was hiring it in the Alps for a sportive or holiday - I don't have the power or experience to hold something that light upright when the wind starts having a hissy.

Also the Evo is on the cusp of top end when it comes to price - so you would expect them to weave in a reasonable stiffness to weight ratio.

Merlin Cycles women's race team ~ http://www.merlincycles.com
Manx nerd peddler ~ http://mooleur.blogspot.com

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posted by mooleur [534 posts]
20th August 2013 - 11:20

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abudhabiChris wrote:

That I would agree with.

People get all excited about equipment and aerodynamics before they do the basics.

Yup!

For an average rider, those gains won't be seen until they race. And then, they're generally not an average rider any more.

I don't even race on aero wheels and I'm stilling running a 105 set for the road bike.

The science is interesting but it often unfortunately clouds good judgement.

Merlin Cycles women's race team ~ http://www.merlincycles.com
Manx nerd peddler ~ http://mooleur.blogspot.com

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posted by mooleur [534 posts]
20th August 2013 - 11:24

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It is only 6.8kg because they put weights in it. I dont really get the idea that weight makes any difference to the handling if it is a decent frame. An aero frame/wheels will give you much bigger problems as they catch the wind.

posted by ilovemytinbred [164 posts]
20th August 2013 - 11:30

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I've been thinking about this and I think there's more to it than objective, scientifically measurable gains in terms of grams, stiffness,.aerodynamics etc of equipment

The relationship between rider and equipment is so important, confidence and even the knowledge that you've shaved a few grams, or invested a load of cash, can have a bigger effect psychologically than the numbers may suggest.

Similarly, knowing you have form, or having beaten competitors previously, will have am impact too.

I reckon there's a PhD paper or two in this!

posted by 700c [541 posts]
20th August 2013 - 11:35

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ilovemytinbred wrote:
It is only 6.8kg because they put weights in it. I dont really get the idea that weight makes any difference to the handling if it is a decent frame. An aero frame/wheels will give you much bigger problems as they catch the wind.

Weight will make a difference based on the grade and spec of carbon weave used to create such a lightweight frame. It's not necessarily the idea that a light frame will have you blow over in the wind (although it does make a spot of difference if you're a light rider) - like aero kit would. But more the fact that there is an ever increasing demand to cheaply manufacture off the peg superlights - many times to the detriment of frame stability.

This in turn will affect any action where you require a degree of required stiffness to weight ratio, such as climbing or sprinting.

Sh1t carbon makes for sh1t handling, don't let the pricetag fool you either - many top end manufacturers skimp on grading.

If we're talking about steel or alu the same rules apply it's just a different process. The new steel lightweight revolution is incredibly interesting, I was reading up on the manufacturing processes and the way they're doing things at the moment is incredible.

As a bike freak I get excited when a passionate manufacturer creates something that pushes boundaries - BUT at the same time, every time a manufacturer discounts quality for $$$ - somewhere, a puppy dies.

[edit] might see if I can overuse the word "incredible" any more...

Merlin Cycles women's race team ~ http://www.merlincycles.com
Manx nerd peddler ~ http://mooleur.blogspot.com

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posted by mooleur [534 posts]
20th August 2013 - 11:48

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700c wrote:
I've been thinking about this and I think there's more to it than objective, scientifically measurable gains in terms of grams, stiffness,.aerodynamics etc of equipment

The relationship between rider and equipment is so important, confidence and even the knowledge that you've shaved a few grams, or invested a load of cash, can have a bigger effect psychologically than the numbers may suggest.

Similarly, knowing you have form, or having beaten competitors previously, will have am impact too.

I reckon there's a PhD paper or two in this!

Definitely agree!

God I'd love to meet the people that get employed to write these papers!

Merlin Cycles women's race team ~ http://www.merlincycles.com
Manx nerd peddler ~ http://mooleur.blogspot.com

mooleur's picture

posted by mooleur [534 posts]
20th August 2013 - 11:49

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Maybe we are splitting hairs a bit. I totally agree that there is a lot of pretty average stuff about that is just painted pretty. But I do believe that good companies are making superlight frames that are superstiff too, Cannondale is just one example. I also think that there is a general trend for normal priced frames to be lighter than 5 years ago without having to be a poor quality ride.

posted by ilovemytinbred [164 posts]
20th August 2013 - 12:30

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ilovemytinbred wrote:
Maybe we are splitting hairs a bit. I totally agree that there is a lot of pretty average stuff about that is just painted pretty. But I do believe that good companies are making superlight frames that are superstiff too, Cannondale is just one example. I also think that there is a general trend for normal priced frames to be lighter than 5 years ago without having to be a poor quality ride.

Definitely true, it's nice that prices seem to be stable enough while good quality frames remain available to a larger market. Smile

My other half got a Slice recently, it's ridiculous! He took 20 or so seconds off his PB with it too.

If I ever win the lottery I'm buying myself an Impec though. Mmmm. Just because they look weird.

Sticking to my original Wyndy post though - those SL frames seem pretty sh1t hot for the price!

Merlin Cycles women's race team ~ http://www.merlincycles.com
Manx nerd peddler ~ http://mooleur.blogspot.com

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posted by mooleur [534 posts]
20th August 2013 - 12:39

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@Bike Boy, I reckon you should hire Simon E as a personal trainer, he seems keen to help you improve your riding through weight loss and I'm sure the unsolicited advice and any offence it has caused could be channelled effectively as you chase him up hills! Wink

posted by 700c [541 posts]
20th August 2013 - 14:21

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It can be irksome to have the same person banging on with the same response. I am quite aware that loosing weight will help riding faster, stronger, climbing and all. It is just perplexing that they think you might have lost weight since last week, since the last time they said the same thing. And even if I do loose more weight it wouldn't be because they told me so. Seems a bit obvious on a bike forum to tell people that the solution to their problems is ride your bike more; 'well obviously but that's not what I was asking...' So it is not an issue I am ignoring. However guys do like to talk about their equipment. This forum does have a higher class of poster so I try to keep my insult couplets to four syllables or more.

The advise about stability and stiffness is very relevant so off the shelf seems prudent, but I am 90kg not 100kg* important correction, so can reasonably go under 7kg without stretching any weight limits. A bit lighter but more aero too seems the best way forward, my Jamis has a 5cm diameter bottom tube, so the Canyon in the review looks very elegant to me.

Between the S and the LOW

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posted by bikeboy76 [1161 posts]
20th August 2013 - 14:45

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bikeboy76 wrote:
BEDS, I was thinking of attempting a 'million month' before the end of the summer, ie. a thousand kilometers. I already keep a 30 day rolling total which peaked at 748km after London. 800km a month, that is definitely a sustained challenge in the winter when it gets dark. It is hard enough to find time right now.

That's a great idea, good luck with finding the time to bust 1000km for the first time. An excellent challenge. Maybe I was going over the top daring you to do 800km a month over winter, I hope you find some more challenges to keep you going through the cold dark months. Did you end up buying that new cassette for the Etape Cymru?

Ah! Condor

posted by Bedfordshire Clanger [307 posts]
21st August 2013 - 9:57

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Bedfordshire Clanger wrote:
Did you end up buying that new cassette for the Etape Cymru?

Yes, a shiny new Ultegra 11/28 came today with Haribo from Wiggle. I spent a frustrating afternoon fitting it and a new chain, adjusting the chain length (don't let the pins drop out) adjusting the indexing. Then I had to work out why the brand new chain was dropping of the front ring outwards! After finding the rouge tooth that was making it skip off and a little tink with the hammer (Clarkson style) it is now running true and smooth.

Can I have my cake and eat it, now I have two weeks to hit some hills and see how the 39/28 helps me cope.

Between the S and the LOW

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posted by bikeboy76 [1161 posts]
23rd August 2013 - 18:35

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Excellent news, I recommend Snake Pass either as an out and back flying down to Ladybower or as a loop returning via Edale. The climb out of Edale (Mam Nick) is brutal in the middle but mercifully short. Long Hill from Whaley Bridge towards Buxton is another good long drag. If you take the right at Sandy Lane down into Goyt Valley there's a nice descent and then your choice of climb, following the valley up to the Cat and Fiddle or up the side and over the tops to Macclesfield.

Ah! Condor

posted by Bedfordshire Clanger [307 posts]
23rd August 2013 - 20:51

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Bedfordshire Clanger wrote:
Excellent news, I recommend Snake Pass either as an out and back flying down to Ladybower or as a loop returning via Edale. The climb out of Edale (Mam Nick) is brutal in the middle but mercifully short. Long Hill from Whaley Bridge towards Buxton is another good long drag. If you take the right at Sandy Lane down into Goyt Valley there's a nice descent and then your choice of climb, following the valley up to the Cat and Fiddle or up the side and over the tops to Macclesfield.

I hate that arrow-straight section into the goyt valley. It's worth it though, to go up long hill first, and follow the stream along the valley and up to the Cat and Fiddle. Then right, down, left and absolutely kick the shit out of it on the fast section to Wildboarclough!

If I could have, say, 6 bikes, would it stop me drooling over others that I don't have?

posted by notfastenough [2890 posts]
23rd August 2013 - 22:53

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Have you ever gone straight on from the top of the Goyt and over the North Staffs moors towards the Roaches and Longnor? There's a stunning view off the top of the hill. There's a great little cafe run out of a farmhouse kitchen in Hartington too.

Ah! Condor

posted by Bedfordshire Clanger [307 posts]
24th August 2013 - 21:51

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The club has, but not me personally. I do fancy trying it, although the ride I just described is possibly my favorite route.

If I could have, say, 6 bikes, would it stop me drooling over others that I don't have?

posted by notfastenough [2890 posts]
24th August 2013 - 23:09

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First off, congratulations on your weight loss - that's a huge amount in a year. Can I ask how tall you are? I'm finding it a total pain in the backside trying to get from 88kg to 80 - even at the end of my last half ironman prep I never went lower than 86.5. I'm bang on 6 ft. I reckon if I lost 20kg i'd be in danger of folding in half if it rained.

With regard to the bike question, ignore anyone mocking your interest in buying a lighter/better one. If you want it, and can afford it, do what you want and get something you'll enjoy owning. Haters gonna hate, and all that. My particular fetish if I were to get a new road bike would be a Look 695...mmmmmm

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posted by davecochrane [84 posts]
25th August 2013 - 21:47

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People like you are everything I dislike about cycling, overweight people riding around on zipp wheels. Jealous? Yes, but I'd like to think my riding skill is in proportionate to my bike (both aren't very good).

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posted by pants [71 posts]
27th August 2013 - 9:15

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We need a 'Troll report button' on this website!

posted by 700c [541 posts]
27th August 2013 - 9:41

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yeah if we had bikes proportional to out talent most of us would be on bike shaped objects from Tesco Smile

posted by ilovemytinbred [164 posts]
27th August 2013 - 10:27

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So it is true, haters DO have to hate. Why they bother to sign up is the real question.

Between the S and the LOW

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posted by bikeboy76 [1161 posts]
27th August 2013 - 14:18

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Definitely. If I could afford to, I'd love to upgrade my wheels and groupset, but then I'd get annoyed whenever somebody overtook me on a worse bike - might motivate me to cycle harder though! Wink

Dedicated cycling price comparison | http://www.leadoutbikes.com

posted by mckechan [177 posts]
27th August 2013 - 15:13

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