Home
Lightest bike we’ve ever seen on the road.cc scales. It costs £11,000

Poshbikes down in Kent have a reputation for pushing the boundaries of extremely lightweight road bikes, and they’re at it again, this time with this stunning 4.26kg (9.39lb) Olympia 849 superbike. It's been put together as a demonstration of what is capable, and though it's very expensive (it has been sold already) it's using readily available parts. Years ago you'd have had to get the Dremel out to get down to this sort of weight.

The Olympia 849 is the Italian company’s 120th anniversary frame, and represents their most advanced carbon frame to date. At 849g it’s also their lightest, and that weight makes it a great platform to build a seriously light build.

Before we delve into this build, we'll warn you that the frame alone costs £3,000, and you can get a Shimano Ultegra 11-speed build for £3,300, up to £8,95 for Dura-Ace Di2 with Mavic Cosmic Carbone SLE wheels. And if you've just won £11,000 on the Lottery, here is a look at the bike that sort of cash can get you.

Here’s the full list of components used:

Olympia 859 54cm frame: 874g
Olympia 859 carbon fork, uncut steerer: 365g
AX 3000 carbon brake calipers: 82.9g for the pair
ZX Zeus 11cm stem: 61g
Schmolke TLO carbon handlebar: 138.6g
Schmolke TLO carbon post: 70.2g
Clavicula cranks: 338.1g
Campagnolo Super Record Ergos: 333.3g
Campagnolo Super Record front mech: 66.1g
Campagnolo Super Record rear mech: 141.8g
Billet 7075 alloy cassette: 97.7g
KMC X11 SL chain - 112 links: 221.4g
Tune Mag 90 CX Super Skyliner rear wheel: 445g
Tune Mig 45 CX Super Skyliner front wheel: 353g
Carbon 50/34t chainrings: 49.3g
Ceramic headset: 52.3g
Tune carbon brake shoes x4: 25.5g
Corima brake pads x4: 8.4g
Power Cordz gear and brake cables: 17.6g
Tufo Elite 110 tubular tyres: 192g
Tune Concord Carbon saddle: 35.1g
Tune Skyline bottle cage: 3.4g
Tune Skyline skewers: 17.1g
Tune Wurger Skyline seatpost clamp: 6.4g
Schmolke headset cap: 3.5g

That’s quite an exotic parts list, make no mistake.

The wheels are rather special. At 798g for the pair they are insanely light, much lighter than the already very light Lightweight Meilenstein Obermayer wheels at 940g. If you paid close attention to the wheels Chris Froome and Bradley Wiggins rode at the Tour and Giro respectively this year, then you might recognise these carbon Skyliner rims.

They weigh a claimed 220g each, with a 25mm depth and 18mm width with 20/24 spokes. The rear hub gets its name from the fact the freehub incorporates magnets instead of conventional metal springs. It not only saves a load of weight but also gives the freehub a unique sound.

The frame all these parts are hanging off is Olympia’s latest generation carbon fibre creation. It’s constructed from a combination of three types of composite (T800, T1000 & M40J) to achieve the desired balance of ride stiffness and comfort. The T1000 carbon fibre is key to the frame's light weight. It has a very high tensile strength which means less material can be used while still achieving the required frame stiffness. It’s expensive though... obviously!

Up front is a tapered head tube (1/8in to 1 1/2in), cables are internally routed and the frame is Di2/EPS (electronic shifting) compatible. A 27.2mm seatpost is designed to work with the very slender seat stays and tapered top tube to dampen vibrations caused by riding over rough roads.

Despite being incredibly light, Poshbikes are confident they could make it even lighter by using custom parts, a shorter stem and post, and narrower bars. They reckon that would make a 3.5kg build entirely possible at an even higher price.

More info at www.olympiacicli.it, or you can contact UK distributor Poshbikes on info [at] olympiacicli.co.uk or telephone 01622 764440.

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

29 comments

Avatar
cat1commuter [1422 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

All looks fab, except for the saddle!

Avatar
Leviathan [2776 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

At least there is somewhere you can easily tape a spare innertube.

Avatar
jarredscycling [456 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

Yeah that saddle would have to hurt almost as much as the price tag

Avatar
badkneestom [135 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

Wonder if the weight weenie rides naked to keep everything down, maybe has tools and spare inside a helium balloon?

Avatar
russyparkin [570 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

hmmm this is why weight obsession is not so good. i think it looks a bit erm cheap..

the post stem bars and cranks are really ugly, would rather have heavier but aspthetically pleasing bits and the wheels look odd

a great excercise in what can be done but not my cup of tea at all

Avatar
jollygoodvelo [1672 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

I quite like that saddle actually - there wouldn't be any friction, although I might be tempted to put a gram of double sided tape on it  4

Avatar
Sadly Biggins [272 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

I really couldn't buy this bike - aside from not having £11k to spare, what excuse would I then have if overtaken uphill by someone on a Raleigh Shopper?

Avatar
ChairRDRF [362 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

Pedals and bottle cage(s)?

Avatar
robert.brady [155 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes
Quote:

Before we delve into this build, we'll warn you that the frame alone costs £3,000, and you can get a Shimano Ultegra 11-speed build for £3,300,

Am I reading this wrong, or does that mean you can get an Ultegra groupset, wheels and finishing kit for an extra £300?

Rob

Avatar
edster99 [338 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

Apparently you don't get tyres either. I suspect you could put some ultra light silk tubs on it ?

I couldn't take an 11k bike out. I'd be so paranoid about dropping /breaking/ scratching it.

Avatar
sm [405 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

Would be interested to see a ride report. On a non-windy day of course.

Avatar
Cooks [496 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

you could probably cut those brake cables shorter, and file those brake pads down a bit. That would save you 2% #marginalgains

Avatar
Raleigh [1667 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

The link's expired, but see my forum topic from last year:

http://road.cc/content/forum/57037-try-one-these

Avatar
Guyz2010 [304 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes
badkneestom wrote:

Wonder if the weight weenie rides naked to keep everything down, maybe has tools and spare inside a helium balloon?

I would imagine its been bought by a 55yr old pop bellied city accountant. I can just see him at a sportive in his Assos Lycra knocking out his 100Km century in 6hours. Oooh Lush. I could be wrong though.

Avatar
Joeinpoole [444 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

But does it have lugs for mudguards and panniers? If not that could be a deal-breaker for me.

Avatar
mathewshotbolt [90 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

why is it you people cannot just accept this for what it is? This is poshbikes pushing the boundaries of what is possible as a purely technical exercise and surely it doesn't matter who owns it.

Avatar
notfastenough [3728 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

It's good to see what can actually be done. We know that 6.8 is just arbitrary these days, but I didn't know how low you could feasibly get the weight.

It would be interesting to see some some sort of generic price/weight curve - vagaries of kit choices aside, of course.

That saddle, though, looks terrifying.

Avatar
thelimopit [144 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

The rear hub gets its name from the fact the freehub incorporates magnets instead of conventional metal springs. It not only saves a load of weight but also gives the freehub a unique sound.

How intriguing. Any chance of a video of it in action so we can see/hear how it works?

Avatar
arrieredupeleton [583 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

Are white hoods lighter than black? That's the only reason I can think of for them being there.  31

Avatar
RTB [190 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

Would save even more weight if they integrated the seat post.

Mind you combined with that seat that would be one cranky ride that would have you improving your out of the saddle skills.

Avatar
mathewshotbolt [90 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

it sounds lovely is a more mechanical way!

Avatar
Martin Thomas [384 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

That saddle weighs 35 grams?! Those wheels weigh less than 800 grams!? Etc etc. Well I for one think it's gorgeous.

Avatar
Northernbike [229 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

I've heard the 'my bike cost more than my car' boast before but this is getting into 'my bike cost more than my house' territory

Avatar
Skylark [194 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

Good for maybe 1 ride.

Avatar
mathewshotbolt [90 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

How do you qualify that kind of a comment?

Avatar
RouleurTwo [20 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

Raleigh - why must you be so offensive? I am close to 55,I own some Assos and I own a couple of very very nice bikes, one of which is very light indeed. I enjoy every second I spend riding it. I may not be as fast as you (I assume you are really fast) but I am pretty competitive and I can hold the wheel of people 20 years younger than me. More importantly I adore the time I spend on the bike, which is around 10+ hours a week (I assume you will spend much more than that in the saddle) and having worked hard all my life and looked after my kids, I don't feel bad about owning a good bike. In fact, I feel great about it.

By the way, I think you mean "pot bellied" rather than pop-bellied.
I do tend to put a kilo or two on in in winter. Obviously, you won't do that.

Avatar
Nick T [1091 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

Raleigh actually a true gentleman. I think you mean guyz2010 rather than Raleigh. The name under the post is the one to look at rather than on the top of it, so guyz2010 - which I think is the year that his opinions date from.

Avatar
zalamanda [12 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

A few years ago Gunter Mai spent a fortune building/customising a 3kg, 6sp road bike. The custom Lew wheels alone cost £10,000; now you can buy an off-the-peg 4.26kg machine with Di2 gruppo for eleven large. I call that progress.

Avatar
risb98 [29 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

how long does a carbon chainring last ?