Sunday, March 09, 2008

Light bikes and forward thinking

There are some interesting sites out there dedicated to the pursuit of the lightest bikes in the World, and the Holy Grail of websites has to be Light Bikes.com.

On one side I am thinking "would I ride or race that bike?" Honestly, a lot of them I question their durability. Some, are inspiring and I think, "where are Shimano, Sram and others with products like these?" Owners modify and cobble even their own parts and bits to shave weight, take things to the Formula-1 degree. No piece is left to chance. The sum of all of these parts are stunning examples of minimalism and innovation. These bikes are equally intriguing and beautiful.

Here is one of my favorites, SPIN EPO Alpcross, owner Jose Luis Lobo.
Photo courtesy LighBikes.com
The vintage Rock Shox MAG21Ti is the crowning touch on this ride, weighing a scant 849! That is nearly half of a SID World Cup. The Ti cranks are nice piece of bling, but where this bike goes scary for me is with the carbon front and rear ders, along with the front chain rings. Ever had a cross-shift or piece of big debris go up into the drive-train? Two things I noticed he did not go for, which I know would have lightened this thing up more were a carbon chain, yes there is one. And carbon Nokon cables. I pretty sure there are lighter pedals out there as well.

Here is the crazy part on this bike, even at 11.69lbs, it is not the lightest mtb! This one is:

Owner: Heinz Wittmann, 11.22lbs

Devils work is in the details.

Beautifully Fragile

I admire these peoples tenacity to create some one-off machines. I have long been an advocate for a bike show like that of car or motorcycle shows, and these would be great pieces for such an event, even have a light weight category. This would also make for a great reality show, documenting the build of one of these bikes and even showing when things go wrong and they crash or blow some parts up. It happens.

Whatever may come, these guys should take pride in their pursuit, and I will for sure be one who keeps tuning in to see where things go from here.

6 comments:

phaty said...

Problem is they are the biggest bunch of nerds in the bike world ... but hey digital scale industry needs them!

Ken Bloomer said...

I love it when BIKE Magazin does one of those readers bike bits w/ these guys, they guys are usually a little over weight and definetly not anyone I would consider as a good rider. No doubt the effort they put into these bikes would be better spent on the motor to go fast...

phaty said...

The bike world needs more phat people!

Ken Bloomer said...

Phat schon, aber nicht Dick(s)...

Ich stehe auf Phaty's; PhatTires, PhatBikes, PhatFrauen, usw...

WUNNSPEED said...

I get it on many levels, but I'm also not a 150 lb. guy either. I don't see a bike like that lasting past a couple of rides and a couple of crashes. Kudos to those that have the money and the time to do something other than ride.

Tim said...

I think these guys are important to get the realm of possibility more open. What better way than these clowns pushing it?