A recurring theme during the recent Eurobike show in Germany was the emphasis on ultra lightweight componentry. Crazy-light brakes, hubs, headsets and suspension forks were everywhere in 2009.
BikeRadar captured some of the lightweight highlights below, with photos to the right.
German carbon fiber specialist THM-Carbones has taken road brake exotica to a new level with its new Fibula calipers. Primarily carbon fiber construction brings the claimed weight down to just 100g – for the pair! The rear brake is a simple single-pivot layout but the front features a leverage amplifying carbon fiber linkage for additional stopping power. Both brakes also use large-diameter pivots to cut down on flex.
Suggested retail price, however, is an astronomical €900 – but at least that gets you both calipers.
German compatriot Carbon Ti was also on hand with a wide range of weight-saving carbon fibre, titanium, and machined aluminium bits. Among the highlights were full titanium and titanium-and-carbon fibre disc brake rotors weighing as little as 45g (roughly a third of typical stainless steel rotors), quick-release skewers starting at just 31g for the pair (!), and carbon fibre and aluminium threadless headset top cap assemblies at a paltry 6g.
Carbon Ti also offers a range of road and mountain hubs, too, featuring oversized 7075-T6 aluminium axles and shells, cartridge bearings with adjustable preload, and alloy freehub bodies with four-pawl drivers and titanium ratchet rings. Claimed weight for road hubsets is just 285g while disc-compatible mountain bike sets are still light at 405g.
Danish outfit New Ultimate showed off a new offset seatpost head, which mounts atop the same ultralight machined aluminum or carbon fibre mast as the zero-offset version for current owners that need to switch. The design is simple but additional details make it a bit easier to live with, such as a locking central pin that won't rotate when you're trying to install a saddle.
That same head design has also been incorporated into a new integrated seatmast head, weighing just 69g. New Ultimate also offers a feathery conventional seatpost clamp with a claimed weight of 7g.
FRM has discontinued production of its machined aluminium mountain bike V-brake, but has now adapted the design for 'cross with shorter arms that mesh better with road levers. Cartridge bearing pivots eliminate off-axis slop while the direct-routed cable should also kill brake shuddering related to fork flex.
Acros displayed its usual diverse array of headsets, which now includes the novel BlockLock range for use with dual-crown forks. A built-in stop prevents unwanted stanchion-to-frame contact and the entire mechanism is neatly contained wholly within the machined aluminium cup. Also new from Acros are a collection of platform pedals with a generous surface area and easily replaceable pins.
German A is best known for its intriguing Kilo cross-country linkage suspension forks but is now looking at the longer-travel range with the addition of a dual-crown air-sprung XCite Double X. Based on the single-crown XCite, the Double X uses 36mm stanchions, a paper-thin but deep arch for maximum mud-cutting ability, and non-offset dropouts. Up top, separate left and right handlebar sections clamp directly to the top of the stanchions.
Travel on the XCite Double X ranges from 150-180mm and claimed weight from 1610-1690g. German A will also offer an optional remote lockout.
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