German carbon specialists Lightweight have released the Urgestalt road frameset, the latest addition to their growing range. It's aimed at the serious sportive rider, has a claimed weight of 1,340g for a 54cm frame, fork and seatpost, and is priced at £3,950/€4,460 (Euro price for Germany only and higher elsewhere). It should start shipping in mid-August for availability in September 2013.
The price actually seems modest by Lightweight's standards, but this is because the frame is made in Taiwan, not Germany. Lightweight's Frank Jeniche told BikeRadar that a German-made frame would cost about €12,000.
He added that Lightweight have been able to oversee the manufacturing process by sending two engineers and a production manager to Taiwan. When the frames are finished they undergo testing at the factory, as well as in Germany in order to meet European standards.
Jeniche described the Urgestalt frame as "stiff, reactive and sportive". That means it's raceworthy but doesn't have the stiffness of a frame that's ridden by WorldTour teams; rather, it adds comfort where needed. That said, it does have a UCI sticker so can legally be used for professional racing. We'll be testing one in future so will let you know how the stiffness and comfort claims bear up.
The Urgestalt is "handmade for legwork"
The Urgestalt is available in seven sizes, ranging from 48-60cm, with geometries shown in the table below. Each frame size uses a different carbon fibre layup in order to ensure a consistent feel across all models. Otherwise, for example, a 48cm frame might end up feeling substantially stiffer than a 60cm model.
The frame module can be specced with a Monolink or standard seatpost, and can handle Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 (with an internally mounted battery), Campagnolo EPS or mechanical cable routing. The seat clamp bolt is tucked away underneath the top tube, just to keep things neat on top.
Lightweight say they haven't decided on a warranty, although they have set a 120kg (265lb) rider weight limit for the Urgestalt. They plan on producing 1,500 units in the first year.
|A||Horizontal top tube length (mm)||515||530||545||560||575||590|
|B||Measured angle (mm)||460||490||520||540||560||580|
|C||Seattube angle (mm)||74.5||74||73.5||73.5||73||72.5|
|D||Headtube angle (mm)||71.5||72||73||73||73.5||73.5|
|E||Chainstay length (mm)||405||405||405||405||405||408|
|F||Fork rake (mm)||45||45||45||45||45||45|
|G||Bottom bracket drop (mm)||72||72||69||69||67||67|
|I||Head tube length (mm)||110||120||140||155||175||195|
The name 'Urgestalt' means 'original form' in English, and is a reference to CarbonSports' (Lightweight's owners) origins as a frame-building company, albeit one that never got off the ground.
CarbonSports founder Erhard Wissler took over the Dornier aircraft factory, in Germany, in the early 2000s, and with it he acquired a number of bicycle frame molds. He tried using them after the aircraft business folded in the wake of 9/11, but the bikes didn't fare much better. Fortunately, his attempts attracted enough interest for him to be able to set up CarbonSports, who then took over the production of Lightweight wheels in 2003.
Lightweight are well known as high-end wheel manufacturers but have recently branched out into Edelhelfer bottle cages and Rennbügel handlebars. The Urgestalt frameset is the latest addition to their list of carbon componentry, and we've no doubt there's more to come.