Video: Stunts on a carbon road bike

Fair Wheel Bikes present 'The Clutch and the Sack'

How does a carbon fibre bike respond to stunts?

Taking a leaf out of Martyn Ashton’s book, the guys from Arizona-based Fair Wheel Bikes have been trying to find out how capable a carbon fibre road bike is as a trials machine.


They came up with the idea several years ago but put it on the backburner when they saw our video of Ashton doing something similar in the run-up to BikeRadar Live in 2010. With some time free over Christmas, they felt the time was now ripe to make their own edit.

“Several years ago we posted a brake review on our blog,” said Fair Wheel’s Jason Woznick. “When talking about raw stopping power we mentioned that we tested this by how hard we had to squeeze the brakes to get up on the front wheel and do a few wheel hops. Someone mentioned that they’d love to see a video of that. We tossed around the idea for a bit and then got sidetracked with other things.  

“A year or so later BikeRadar released their video of Martyn Ashton doing something similar on a road bike, so at that point we shelved the idea. I just wasn’t able to completely let the idea go so we waited a year or two from that release and then decided to see what we could come up with. Unfortunately we had only two three-hour sessions over the Christmas break to do the shooting so a lot of what we wanted to do was never included. We’ll save that for the next one.”  

Riding in the video are former Fair Wheel employee Tony Roth, who has plenty of experience on the road, and his brother Ricky, who’d only ridden a road bike once before. They used NeilPryde Alize frames that were specced as they would be for road riding, except with wider 28c Continental Top Contact tyres. 

Woznick said the main companies supplying equipment for the shoot – Shimano, ENVE Composites, NeilPryde and Tune – were fully behind the idea and had no doubts about their kit holding up to the rigors of stunts. Were they right? For the most part, yes. 

One pinch flat, a chipped fork (caused by the crash at the end of the video) and a couple of slightly bent chainring teeth aside, there was no damage to speak of, and both bikes are still being used on a daily basis. You can check out the video below:

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Courtesy of Fair Wheels Bikes

And to see why they originally shelved their idea, here’s our video of Martyn Ashton pushing his Raleigh Avanti Team to its limits on his way to Brands Hatch:

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Bike 1 specification

  • Frame: Neil Pryde Alize, black
  • Stem: ENVE Composites
  • Handlebar:  ENVE Composites
  • Brakes: EE Cycleworks
  • Saddle: Tune Concorde
  • Cranks: EE Cycleworks
  • Derailleurs/shifters: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2
  • Chain: KMC X10SL
  • Cassette: Shimano Dura-Ace
  • Wheels: ENVE Composites 45/65 clinchers, Tune hubs, Tune DC 14 skewers
  • Tires: Continental Top Contact, 28c
  • Inner tubes: Michelin latex

Bike 2 specification

  • Frame: Neil Pryde Alize, blue
  • Stem: PRO (exact model not specified)
  • Handlebar:  PRO (exact model not specified)
  • Brakes: Shimano Dura-Ace
  • Saddle: Specialized Toupe
  • Cranks: Shimano Dura-Ace
  • Derailleurs/shifters: Shimano Dura-Ace 7900
  • Chain: Shimano Dura-Ace
  • Cassette: Shimano Dura-Ace
  • Wheels: Shimano Dura-Ace C50
  • Tires: Continental Top Contact, 28c
  • Inner tubes: Michelin latex