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.