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TECH NEWS

Introducing the world’s lightest road bike

AX Lightness’ new Vial Evo Ultra weighs just 4.4kg

The new AX Lightness Vial Evo Ultra that we saw at Eurobike last week is the world’s lightest production road bike. It weighs an amazing 4.4kg. That’s 9lb 11oz.

To put that in context, the £11,000 Trek Emonda SLR 10, fitted with a wheelset and saddle from lightweight merchants Tune, weighs 4.65kg, and the Merida Scultura 9000 Ltd with DT Swiss Mon Chasseral carbon clinchers weighs 4.55kg.

The UCI’s minimum weight limit for racing is 6.8kg, so the Vial Evo Ultra is 35% below what’s allowed. You’d need to strap two-and-a-half bags of sugar to the top tube before the Vial Evo Ultra would be permitted in a UCI-sanctioned race (and just imagine what that would do to the handling!).

The frame is carbon-fibre, of course, 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.

The carbon rims are 24mm deep and weigh 195g each while Italy’s Extralight provides the CyberHub hubset. The spokes – 20 at the front, 24 at the rear – are DT Swiss Aerolites. AX Lightness says that the complete wheelset weight is 800g (or within 5% of that either way). They’re fitted with Continental Podium TT tubular tyres.

Many of the other components are AX Lightness’ own too, including the Europa seatpost and the minimalist Leaf Plus saddle. Although it might not look it, the brand claims that the saddle is comfortable thanks to its flat, wide and ergonomic shape.

The Rigid 6 carbon stem is usable for riders up to 100kg (220lb), says AX Lightness, and the AX 4200 Ergo handlebar comes with oversized tops.

The carbon brakes are from AX Lightness too, as is the bottle cage that weighs a scant 18g.

THM provides the cranks while the chainrings are Praxis Works. You might think that a bike this light should have standard-sized chainrings but AX Lightness has gone with a compact setup (50/34-tooth) to save a few grams.

The groupset is SRAM Red – the existing cabled version rather than the wireless eTap version that we told you about last week.

How does the Vial Evo Ultra ride? We haven’t got a Scooby Doo. We only got the chance to photograph it.

If you want this bike in your life you’d better get saving because it has a price tag of €15,000. There’s no UK price set, but that converts to £11,049 at today’s exchange rate. Well, it was never going to be cheap, was it?

http://ax-lightness.de/

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, 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 winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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