Of all the obsessions commonly observed in cyclists — coffee, Strava, sock length, etc — nothing occupies the average rider’s mind more than the weight of their bike. Without further ado, here are our five favourite examples of staggeringly light tech that are new, or newly updated, for 2017.
Think your 120 gram brake calipers are light? Well THM Carbones’ Fibula brakes weigh just 65 grams each. How do they get it that light? Obviously lots of lovely carbon fibre, but that doesn’t mean they’re a performance slouch.
The updated 2017 Fibula has a clever wheel, which means you can adjust the brake for different rim widths without moving the cable or affecting the translation ratio. As you can imagine, they’re not for the budget-minded, but you can’t help but admire the engineering required to produce something as light and functional as the Fibula.
Giro changed the footwear game when it released the Empire and brought laces back into the cycling world in a respectably feathery way. This goes to a whole new level in 2017 with the 136 gram ProLight Techlace.
The weight savings are achieved with an almost see-through upper and a new carbon sole made from Textreme, which sheds weight without compromising too much stiffness. We really wouldn’t want to crash in a shoe so minimal, but if you’re on a quest for the absolute lightest then look no further.
German brand AX-Lightness specialises in making uber lightweight bikes and components, and its Vial Evo road bike weighs a mere 4.4kg. But that’s old news; we’re more interested in the Vial Evo XC model.
This carbon hardtail weighs, wait for it, 6.8kg. In other words, it’s lighter than some pro road race bikes. There are lighter mountain bikes out there, but this one comes built up with a very normal and capable Fox 32 Stepcast fork and trail-ready SRAM brakes and groupset, meaning it should survive in the real world despite its weenie credentials.
As always, from strong, light and cheap you get to pick two, and there’s no prizes for guessing where the Vial Evo sits on that scale. This particular build will set you back €9,000.
4. German Answer Xcite Zero
If you’re speccing something truly silly though and need a fork even lighter than Fox and RockShox’ typical 1,300 to 1,400 gram offerings, but still want properly damped suspension, then you’re going to need one of these.
The German Answer Xcite Zero fork trumps the more established brands with a 998 gram suspension fork. As you can imagine, there’s lots of carbon fibre involved and some compromises in terms of adjustability, but for the ultimate lightweight build the Xcite Zero comes top of the list.
5. Selle Italia C59
Selle Italia makes lots of nice saddles, but its C59 model is by far the lightest. We know what you’re thinking and the clue is in the name: the prototype model weighed just 59 grams.
The production version is slightly heavier, with ours coming in at 62 grams, but even the most weight-obsessed weenies shouldn’t notice that.
Built from carbon fibre and thin air — courtesy of a generous cut out in the middle — it probably isn’t the comfiest of rides. So, perhaps true weight weenieism comes at a physical as well as financial cost. You have been warned.