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!