EB13: AX Lightness Shows Disc Brake Vial Road Bike, Insanely Light New Carbon Components


Usually, I can find a treasure trove of ridiculously lightweight parts within a few booths of each other by strolling through Schmolke, THM and AX Lightness. This year, THM had already announced their new stuff, and Schmolke’s line carried over unchanged. That left AX Lightness, which didn’t disappoint.

The Vial Road Bike was introduced last January with a 780g frame, which was on display with their 2013 collection last August. This year, they showed a disc brake equipped version that was laughably light and ever so gorgeous. Of course, it was decked out with their own parts, including a new ergo handlebar and stem. Float past the break to see the goods, plus a new (really light!) set of carbon mountain bike clinchers…


Talk about a low profile brake mount! Personally, we’d opt for some beefier rotors if there were any real descents involved, but Ashima’s AiRotors are definitely light.


The new graphics looked good, complementing the Vial’s flowing frame lines. No word on production yet (that is to say I wasn’t able to get an English speaking person’s attention at the booth when I passed through).


The bike was set up with the newer Rigid Stem and 4200 Ergo handlebar. The bar tips the scales at just 168g and will only come in a 42cm width. It has a 75mm reach and 125mm drop with a flat top section and ergo shaped drops.


Holding it to the bike was the new Rigid stem. It uses a full carbon body, relying on separate alloy clamps for the faceplate and nested nuts at the steerer clamp to grab the titanium screws. Weight is a paltry 68-79g depending on size (70/80/90/100/110/120). It has a +/-6º rise and a 95kg (209lb) rider weight limit. Surprisingly, they say it’s good for road or mountain bike use.


It the straight one’s called the Rigid, I’d call this one the Flacid. Nothing else to report on this one – I just couldn’t get excited enough about it to flesh out the details.


The Leaf saddle is 100% carbon fiber and weighs in at just 76g and can be used for road or cyclocross. The shell is flexible and uses a cutout, relieved center channel to provide the comfort the lack of padding may remove. Rider weight limit is 85kg (187lb), but they’ll make a reinforced version for heavier folks for a small upcharge.


The new AX Lightness SRT carbon mountain bike clinchers should make a lot of weight weenies happy, particularly those that actually ride hard. The rims are 25mm wide inside, and this 29er wheelset weighs in at just 1210g. That’s with trail-rated use (not just XC), 32 spoke counts and a burly 110kg (242lb) rider weight limit. A 650B size should follow in Spring 2014.


Extralite hubs and bladed spokes hold it all together. Thankfully, they’re standard 6-bolt brake mount versions, too!



Great Gazoo - 09/12/13 - 11:44am

I’ve heard of some real issues with trying to get this stuff in the U.S. is there a distributor now? The Wheels look awesome 25mm inside width!

Morgan - 09/12/13 - 12:08pm

Any word on if the wheels are tubeless compatible?

Jacob - 09/12/13 - 12:31pm

I think that the MTB wheels are the star product of that lineup. The weight is very XC light but they are trail rated. The “flacid” stem looks like an April Fools joke. Any rider caught out on the road/trail with that better get use to a lot of laughs from other riders…

Ben - 09/12/13 - 1:04pm

That stem would compliment the lines of a Selle SMP saddle quite nicely…

Psi Squared - 09/12/13 - 2:15pm

Fair Wheel Bikes sells AX Lightness stuff, but I don’t know if they’re a distributor.

Brian - 09/12/13 - 2:41pm

Although it’s probably safe, that stem/bar combo makes me cringe! Not willing to risk injury to save a few grams.

PrePreg - 09/12/13 - 2:47pm

Looks like a Thru Axle road fork as well! Sweet Ride!

Ventruck - 09/12/13 - 10:11pm

Mainly like that saddle. I’ll probably never dwell THAT deep into weight weenie-ism, but if a test ride ever came about I so would wanna know how that thing climbs. They can have the bike back at the top. Like Tyler said, it’s mainly the rotors that make me worry.

Hoppy - 09/13/13 - 3:34am

Will the wheels come with 15mm front and 142 x 12mm rear options?

fakemind - 09/13/13 - 8:29am

Any word on what type of alloy they’re using in the faceplate?

Shawn - 11/06/13 - 3:40pm

Get yourself some AX gear. I own leaf saddle, skewers, bottle cages, brake shoes and Zeus stem. Apart from being extreamly light the bits look amazing. Not cheap but well worth the money.

Xris - 11/06/13 - 9:31pm

I would imagine to get Ax-Lightness in North America one would go through Stage-Race distribution.

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