Weight Weenie-ism

TRP 960 SL brakes

Over the past couple of days, I’ve been pondering what to do about my premium bike. I’d like to build up a mid 4-kilogram weight weenie. These bikes are somewhat different than the ones that I had previously in my dream stable of road bikes.

2010 Guru Photon

While I like the new Guru Photon, I find it quite expensive. At $4,900 USD for the frameset alone, it’s almost in the same price league as the Colnago EPS and Pinarello Dogma. Unless I can source the frame by becoming a reseller for Guru, I can’t really rationalize spending that much money on a frame alone, even if it is sub-800-grams. Still, the Photon beckons me. The lifetime warranty on the frame isn’t bad either.

There’s also the Storck Fascenario 0.7, although this bike is even more expensive, $6,300 just for the frame, fork and headset.

Don’t get me wrong, the Colnago and the Dogma are great bikes. One is lugged, one is a monocoque, so they are different. However, I’d like something more exclusive, rarer, that isn’t recognized that easily and that is more personalized. Guru offer custom geometry and fitting, no extra costs. The Photon comes with an ISP or without, and is available in a BB30 version.

An interesting alternative might be the Scott Addict R1 frame. It retails for about $2,000 USD less than the Photon, but it lacks BB30, which would be a requirement on this build. The Addict leaves me a bit lukewarm to be honest.

AX Lightness AX 1000 55-gram saddle

Whatever the weight of the frame is, it has to be around 800gr. For wheels, I’d go with custom-made Edge 1.25 with Extralite SX hubs. Total weight, about 780gr. The gruppo would have to be SRAM Red. While this is supposed to be a a weight weenie, I’ll try sourcing some AX Lightness parts, but they are incredibly expensive. Their 55-gram saddle costs about $650 USD. All of their parts are extremely light and extremely expensive. While I believe in saving weight on this future build, I won’t have an unlimited budget. Still a saddle, stem, seatpost combo from AX lightness would weigh around 199 grams at the most, but cost close to $3,000 USD. Looks like I found some parts cheaper than expected. AX Lightness parts are starting to look quite appealing. Also, for this build, I don’t mind getting second-hand parts to keep the costs down.

AX Lightness AX 4000 handlebar

That being said, I’m sure that I can find less expensive and almost as light parts elsewhere. For example, the 74-gram AX Apollo saddle would cost about $400 USD. The new Tune Concorde RR 08 weighs 54 grams and costs $240. The Ax Daedalus seatpost is only between 95-135 grams and costs about $500 USD. If I take the Photon, it will be with an ISP, so all I’ll need is a lightweight clamp.

Johnny Yutah's Ax Lightness Zeus Stem

The AX Zeus stem weighs an astounding 64grams and costs about $860 USD. A Synatce F109 weighs about 100 grams and costs $120 USD. This is an example of where cooler heads should prevails. Sure the AX is lighter, but at 7 times the cost. That’s a lot!

Johnny Yutah's Ax Lightness Zeus

As for brakes, I’ve listed the AX Lightness Orion, but I might be able to find cheaper M5s that weigh just 30 grams more but cost half as much.The Orions are extremely light, but they don’t really brake much. Seems kind of an oxymoron: why would have brakes that don’t brake? Just for show? In fact, the more I think about it, the less I am interested in spending so much money on brakes. I’ll probably just source it through a supplier for some TRPs, Zero Gravity Gravitas (120g ~$875), or Zero Gravity Negative G GSL (140g ~$400). That being said, since the KCNCs are made in Taiwan, I’ll probably be able to find them for very cheap. So basically, it’s 20g more for the KCNCs, but a quarter of the cost, maybe less.

Coloclimber's Ax Lightness Zeus

My goal for this build is to assemble a lightweight bike, at around 4kg, that can still be ridden. I don’t want a show bike that will break as soon as you put the pedal to the metal. I want something solid that will last for a while.

So, for now, the components look as such:
Guru Photon size M-55cm              747g    $4,900
Edge 1.0 fork                                      295g    ($710)  This fork comes with the Photon frameset
(AX Lightness Daedalus seatpost     86g    $468)
Since this will be an ISP, no need for a seatpost
Tune Concorde RR 08 saddle           54g     $240
Extralite UL3  stem                             78g    $210
{Velocite LICOS                                  176g    ($229)   I have one ready to go}
AX Lightness AX 4000 handlebar   110g    $600
Edge 1.25 + Extralite SX hubs         780g    $2,300
{THM Carbones Clavicula crank     410g    $967}
Storck Powerarm SL BB30               440g   $938
Fibre-Lyte chain rings
AX Lightness Orion brakes               95g    $1,000
KCNC CB1 w pads (115g)                  164g   $250
Tufo tires                                             320g    $156
SRAM Red FD, RD, chain, shifters  760g  $700
SRAM Red cassette                             155g
Soul Kozak Top Cap                               4g
FD clamp                                                10g
Soul Kozak Seat Clamp                        10g
KCNC Skewers                                       46g
Bar Tape


11 responses to “Weight Weenie-ism”

  1. Michael Cannon Avatar

    What’s the real kick for having such a low weight bike? My current ride is 11.3 kg, I’m shooting for 7 to 8 on my next.

    Still, what is a 4 kg bike really going to do for you?


    Really Curious

  2. range Avatar

    It’s kind of like a pet-project. I was looking for an interesting bike project and didn’t really want to order a Pinarello Dogma, nor a Colnago EPS, or a TIME RXR Ulteam. They are a bit overpriced for what they are, especially the Dogma since it’s either made in Taiwan or made in China by a Taiwanese company.

    I’m going to try to get the Millennium toward 6kg. That would be ideal.

    Lower weight means you have less weight to lug around. Just like loosing weight on your body is a great way of getting faster, having these on hill climbs is just superb.

    Since I’m probably going to be riding the Millennium and a Magnus, this other bike can be long term project. Also, I’d like experience in building my own bike up.

  3. range Avatar

    Also, some of the more boutique manufacturers get really expensive. Still, they are comparable to the Dogma.

    For most of these parts, I’ll try to see if I can find them second-hand. This will keep costs pretty low. There are also a bunch of other things that you can tune on your bike to reduce weight. You can change the skewers, seat clamp, etc. and that can save you quite a bit of weight. It’s just a question of being methodical.

    You can check out http://weightweenie.starbike.com . There are a bunch of interesting builds. Some of them use OEM or cheaper frames. Others go completely bonkers with the lightest parts.

    Most of these bikes cost less than the premium frames like the Dogma and Colnago EPS.

    Why do it? Because it can be done. I used to ride a 13 kg monster when I was younger. Now, there are bikes that weigh 3.5kg and that can still be ridden.

    I think that the important thing here is not to create a show bike, but an actual bike that can be ridden hard on the road.

  4. lalahsghost Avatar

    I’ve got a bike that hovers at 6.8/6.9 depending on unknown conditions, and I’m pretty satisfied. SRAM Rival to SRAM Red, and better wheels would be my only desires. Of course, I only paid $2300:


  5. range Avatar

    I’ve actually become an AX Lightness dealer, so prices have been reduced for me personally. The three items that I do want to get are AX’s 24mm and 42mm SRT wheelsets, weighing in at 820g and 905g, which is pretty awesome. Then, there is the 370g crank that I’d like to try.

  6. lalahsghost Avatar

    I’m slightly jealous!

  7. range Avatar

    Hey, lalahsghost, send me an email for some prices and I’m sure you’d be surprised at them. AX-Lightness makes some great gear. I’m probably going to order an AX 6000 fork and AX4000 handlebars, though I’m not sure if I’d rather get some Schmolke bars instead.

  8. lalahsghost Avatar

    If I had steady ground right now, I would be interested, but being unemployed for three months and getting ready for grad school leaves me wanting to pinch pennies. Very understandable, no?

  9. range Avatar

    I hear you. I’ve actually decided against ordering some of the AX gear because I’m trying to build a budget-weenie, within a certain budget. So spending $400 to lose 30g isn’t going to be possible. Right now, with Di2, I’m looking at a 5.5 kg build, with training wheels, not superlight climbing wheels.

  10. lalahsghost Avatar

    Impressive. Why the pick of Di2, instead of other somewhat lighter components (Although 7900 chainrings are ramped and pinned like a dream!)?

  11. range Avatar

    I didn’t really believe in Di2 until I researched it and had a few friends try it out. They were lifelong Campy lovers, but sold almost everything in order to get a few Di2 gruppos. Once you try it out, you’ll never go back. At least, that’s what they say.

    The main purpose is to hack the frame with internal Di2 cable routing. Should be pretty cool.

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