The Lightweight Urgestalt Disc frameset is extremely lightweight and stiff with it, while the ability to take wide tyres (for a road bike) allows you to dial comfort into the ride.
- Pros: Extremely lightweight, stiff
- Cons: A lot of money!
We try not to focus too much on bike weight around these parts because it's really not as important as some people would have you believe, but it would be nuts to ignore it in this case. Lightweight claims a frameset weight of 1,175g (which we've listed above; we didn't weigh the frameset) and our built-up Urgestalt Disc hit the scales at 6.7kg (14.7lb) – just under the UCI's 6.8kg minimum weight limit for racing. That's without pedals, mind. Stick some on and you're good to go and race up the Tourmalet in the Tour de France. I'm pretty confident that makes the Urgestalt Disc the lightest disc brake-equipped bike we've ever reviewed on road.cc, although the new Specialized Tarmac Disc, with a power meter, has a claimed weight of 6.6kg (14.6lb). Let's not get caught up in a weights arms race, though!
We know that if you want to achieve the biggest advantage on a bike, an improvement in aerodynamic efficiency of a given order beats a lightweight tweak of a similar amount in most circumstances, but a lightweight (with a lower case 'L') bike can still feel good to ride. If you and whatever you're wearing come in at 12 stone, say, swapping from an 18lb bike to a 15lb bike is a total system (bike plus rider) saving of about 1.6%. It's not massive by any means, but you'd take it.
Anyway, enough of the figures. In use, the Lightweight Urgestalt Disc feels super-responsive when you put in extra effort, joining in energetically when you ask for a burst of speed to get away from the group or chase down someone with escape on their mind. The sharper the acceleration, the more you notice the lack of ballast.
The other time you notice it is on the steeper climbs, and we have plenty of those around our way. The Urgestalt Disc feels like it's working with you on the hills rather than reluctantly dragging itself up with an if-I-must attitude. Know what I mean? Some bikes seem to be asking why we couldn't have gone around the side rather than going over the top, whereas this bike just gets cracking.
As we've said a million times, producing a lightweight frame is simple, it's getting a lightweight frame that handles well that's difficult. Take any old frame and get whittling and you'll eventually end up with a world beating weight, but that doesn't guarantee a stellar performance out on the road. I try not to trade in clichés and certainly not in national stereotypes but – you knew there would be a 'but' – this German bike (okay, built in the Far East for a German brand) does have a massive focus on efficiency.
'Key aspects of [the design are] efficient power transmission, best directional stability and maximum stiffness,' says Lightweight.
Told you. None of those claims will surprise you one bit once you take the Urgestalt Disc for a ride. It feels direct. I occasionally got the slightest amount of front brake rub when riding out of the saddle and slinging the bike from side to side, but that aside it feels very stiff without any wandering of the bottom bracket during hard efforts.
The overall feel is firm but the Urgestalt Disc manages to stay the right side of harsh. Lightweight's 27.2mm Leistungstrager seatpost offers some flexibility and comfort but the main thing is that our review bike came fitted with 28mm tyres and they turn up the comfort dial a couple of clicks compared to 25s.
Race bike geometry
In terms of geometry, the Urgestalt Disc is a race bike all the way. We had the 56cm model in for test (I'm between sizes here; I could do with a 57cm frame but Lightweight doesn't make one) which has a 56cm seat tube, a 56cm effective top tube and a 15.5cm head tube. The head angle is 73 degrees and the seat angle is 73.5 degrees. The stack height on this size is 563mm and the reach is 393mm.
To save yourself translating that little lot into plain English, it means the geometry follows the bike's overall efficiency theme. At the risk of stating the obvious, you're going to be riding in quite an aggressive position here compared with what's on offer from an endurance bike, say, just in case anyone is in any doubt as to what the Lightweight is all about. You might not necessarily race this bike but it is definitely coming from that direction.
The Urgestalt Disc is sold as a frameset for £3,989 – that comprises the frame, fork, headset, carbon headset spacers, thru-axles, clamp for the seatpost and rear derailleur hanger.
Our review bike came in a top-end build that would set you back £10,499 (yes, you could buy a car for that; two or three if you really wanted), although you could opt for any other spec that takes your fancy. In this case, we had Shimano's Dura-Ace Di2 groupset, Lightweight's own seatpost and handlebar and a 3T stem.
Our bike was also fitted with Lightweight's Wegweiser Disc wheels (£3,499) which we first told you about 18 months ago. Check out our news report on Lightweight's Wegweiser Disc wheels here.
The Wegweiser wheels use rims that are 36mm deep and 24mm wide, made using automatic production methods that keep the price lower than Lightweight's other wheels, although it's all relative; they're still more expensive than wheels from most other brands. The wheels are built up by hand in Germany with 20 carbon spokes front and rear. The clincher wheelset we have weighs 1,450g.
In use, the Wegweiser wheels are quick and stiff. They accelerate beautifully and feel solid at the same time – which pretty much sums up the rest of the bike too, so they complement the overall feel.
I have a couple of criticisms, though. First, they're not tubeless compatible – that might or might not be of relevance to you. Second, I found them a bit more of a handful in crosswinds than other wheels with a similar rim depth. Don't get me wrong, these wheels don't get knocked about all over the place at the first breath of wind – far from it – but I did notice that keeping a line in gusty conditions was more of a challenge than with rivals. I won't go into any more depth on them here because, as mentioned, they're not part of the package you're buying.
In terms of price, the Lightweight frameset is a little more than the 3T Strada that we reviewed recently (£3,600) and a fair chunk higher than a Bianchi Oltre XR4 CV frameset (£3,400). You couldn't accuse it of being cheap, but you probably wouldn't expect it to be. It's a premium product at a premium product's price.
Overall, the Lightweight Urgestalt Disc lives up to its name in being the lightest disc-equipped bike that we've ever reviewed on road.cc, and it manages to combine that with offering very good frame stiffness, leading to a bright and sparky ride. You're not getting aero features thrown into the mix here, but if you're after disc brakes and you value light weight above all else, give this one some serious thought.
Superlight disc brake-equipped road bike with a high level of stiffness, but it doesn't come cheap
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Lightweight Urgestalt Disc frameset
Size tested: 56cm
Tell us what the frameset is for
It's a road frame with a race focus.
"The new Urgestalt Disc opens a new chapter for Lightweight in the construction of bike frames," says Lightweight. "The initial idea was as simple as it was challenging as the frame is the essential link between the wheels and the rider. Key aspects of these developments were most efficient power transmission, best directional stability and maximum stiffness.
"For the second generation of Urgestalt the engineers in Friedrichshafen [Germany] started where they did with the first: from scratch. Their mission was to improve all performance values while considering the implementation of latest technologies such as disc brakes, electronic gear-shifting systems and the mounting of measuring devices.
"The hard work was rewarded with the best and most versatile race bike frame that Lightweight has ever built. The new Urgestalt Disc is a further step in the evolution of the perfect racing bike."
State the frame and fork material and method of construction
Both are full carbon. The frame is a monocoque construction with a 1 1/8in to 1 1/2in tapered head tube, BB386 bottom bracket, and accepts a 27.2mm diameter seatpost.
Tell us about the build quality and finish of the frame and fork?
If you want a disc brake road frame and light weight is your chief concern, this is a seriously good option.
Tell us about the geometry of the frame and fork?
I cover this in the main body of the review. It's a race/performance-focused geometry with a fairly short head tube for a given frame size.
How was the bike in terms of height and reach? How did it compare to other bikes of the same stated size?
The 56cm model has a 56cm seat tube and a 56cm head tube.
Riding the bike
Was the bike comfortable to ride? Tell us how you felt about the ride quality.
I wouldn't say comfort is chief among its qualities. It's firm but not harsh. Our review bike came fitted with 28mm tyres and I'd say that's a good choice.
Did the bike feel stiff in the right places? Did any part of the bike feel too stiff or too flexible?
Yeah, pretty stiff. I occasionally got a little brake rub (disc brakes not rim brakes, remember) at the front when riding out of the saddle but never any at the rear. The centre of the bike always felt solid to me.
How did the bike transfer power? Did it feel efficient?
Was there any toe-clip overlap with the front wheel? If so
A little. I usually have a bit, but it's never a worry.
How would you describe the steering? Was it lively The lively side of neutral. This is a bike that's easy to manoeuvre.
Tell us some more about the handling. How did the bike feel overall? Did it do particular things well or badly?
It descends and corners well.
How did the build components work with the frame? Was there anything you would have changed?
The Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groupset performed superbly. The Wegweiser Disc wheels accelerate fast and feel solid, although I found them a little less stable than some in a crosswind.
Did you enjoy riding the bike? Yes
Would you consider buying the bike? I'd rather have something with better aero credentials.
Would you recommend the bike to a friend? If they wanted both light weight and disc brakes.
Use this box to explain your overall score
If you want disc brakes and you're after something exceptionally light, this is a great bike. However, you have to pay a lot of money for it. Loads, in fact! I reckon that works out at an 8 overall.
About the tester
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding
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.