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Winter Project: Lightweight Climbing Bike(20 posts)

Winter Project: Lightweight Climbing BikeBurtonSpeedy
Jan 25, 2003 2:24 PM
A few months ago I was reading a post on here about one of Doug Sloan's races where he switched bikes to a super lightweight climbing specific bike. That post opened my eyes to what was possible for a bike that was simply designed to go uphill. I am a climbing specialist that has aspirations of sub 56 on Mt Washington this year. I have decided to build up an "ultra-light" for this race as well as a few other uphill time trials that I will do this summer (Whiteface, Mt. Ascutney, Bolton Valley)

I wanted to get this groups opinion on my component spec, as well as answer a few of my questions.

Frame: Something in the 2.4 to to 2.8 lb range. Obviously the lighter the better, but price is more important here than weight. This bike will only be used in a few races so I can't justify anything really expensive. Here is my list:
Cannondale CAAD4-5-6-7 (CAAD4's can be picked up for around $300! 2.8lbs)
Trek OCLV 2.4lbs but ~ $800
Fuji Team 2.4 lbs $???

Fork: Reynolds Ouzo Pro (465g)
Front Brake: Cane Creek 200SL Caliper (125g)
Stem: Ritchey WCS (124g)
Bars: Ritchey WCS (225g)
Seatpost: Thompson (195g)
Saddle: Selle San Marco Aspide (160g)
Rear Derailleur: DA 9 speed (195g)
Chain: SRAM PC-99 (296g)
Right Brake/Shift Lever: DA 9speed (~215g)
Left Brake: I just need a hood on this as there will be no rear brake. Suggestions?

Now here is where I have most of my questions: Bottom Bracket, Cranks, and Chain Rings. I was thinking about saving some cash and just pulling my FSA carbon cranks off my road bike and putting them on this when I needed it. But then I thought I could save some weight and use track cranks instead. I will only have a need for a single chain ring with no font derailleur. Could I use track cranks with a single 30 tooth chain ring on the front? What would be the lightest crank setup for this bike? Almost all of the climbs have sections over 20%.

These will all come off my road bike for when I use this one
Pedals: DA SPD-SL (277g)
Cassette: DA 12-25 (172g)
Wheels: Zipp 404 (1283g) I would like the 303's (1124g) but those might have to wait!

So what do you think? How light do you think I can get it with this component spec?

single front ringweiwentg
Jan 25, 2003 5:05 PM
you will need either two chainguards, or one guard and one chain watcher (eg Third Eye). skip those and you will probably derail your chain.
the smallest ring you can fit on a 130mm BCD is 38t. I don't do track, but I know that Shimano and Campy track cranks use their original BCDs. you will probably need a crank with a 110mm BCD or smaller. perhaps an MTB crank, but the q-factor will be large.
re: Winter Project: Lightweight Climbing BikeMRS
Jan 26, 2003 4:29 AM
This sounds like a fun project. Here are a couple of suggestions:
stem: Syntace is coming out with a new stem that will weigh in around 100g. You can take a look at it at
bar: as much as I like Ritchey parts (have Ritchey stem and bars myself) you could go lighter with the 3ttt Prima 199 (or even lighter with carbon bars, but that's an expensive option)
skewers: I don't know what you are using, but the lightest skewers are made by tune. They are 53g/pair! Shimano skewers are around 110g/pair.

You should also check if you can race with only one brake. You might be required to have two brakes on the bike, although that might depend on where you race.

Have fun with your project.
bolt on skewersweiwentg
Jan 26, 2003 6:02 AM has bolt-on steel skewers, $20, right around the weight of the Tune skewers except that you need an allen key. one guy I dealt with on ebay had titanium versions (probably control tech) for $30. unsure of weight.
bolt on skewersBurtonSpeedy
Jan 26, 2003 10:59 AM
great idea on the skewers! I had never thought of that, let me know if you know where I can get the titanium version.

bid here:weiwentg
Jan 26, 2003 5:26 PM

this auction is completed, but this is the guy I got mine from, and he probably has more:

good luck.
great thanks! (nm)BurtonSpeedy
Jan 26, 2003 6:49 PM
some more stuffMRS
Jan 26, 2003 8:05 AM
I don't know how much money you are willing to spend, but here are some pretty light parts:
-seatpost and saddle: AX-Lightness makes a carbon seatpost starting at 86g, also saddles under 100g, even a seatpost/saddle combination starting from 115g! But be prepared to spend some money...
-cables: Nokon cables will save some grams, but I don't know if it is worth to you

The 30 tooth chainring will be kind of difficult as weiwentg pointed out. Specialites TA makes cranks that except these small rings, kocmo makes a CX crankset that you can use with a 34 tooth chainring but I don't know if they are especially lightweight. Maybe you can post on the fixie forum if they know anything about suitable track cranks.
Good luck.
some more stuffDamn
Jan 26, 2003 12:06 PM
Ever consider a downtube shifter instead of the STI? That should same some weight and be cheaper. One other sure fire way to drop some grams is to get a drill and make some holes. I bet you could do a little drilling on your cassette, pedals, brake lever and shifter, strip the paint off the bike, saw off the drops of your handlebars, use a mimimum amount of bar tape.
RE: some more stuffBurtonSpeedy
Jan 26, 2003 12:34 PM
I thought about the downtube shifter, but I think being able to shift while on the hoods and climbing is a big advantage. However, on most of these climbs I have found myself sitting in my 25. No question the downtube shifter is a lot cheaper. I might try that route first and see if it bothers me. I think the shifter is only $30 or so vs 120 for the sti.

re: Winter Project: Lightweight Climbing Bikerogue_CT1
Jan 26, 2003 9:24 PM
First, how about C.A.T. titanium pro claw brakeset? They weigh an incredible 80 grms for the set with pads! Then try the Selle Italia SLR Evolution saddle. They have several models ranging from 135-125-90-64 grams. They are also cheaper than the AX-Lightness saddles. Also, try the USE Alien carbon seatpost. I agree with the other post that the 3T Prima 199 is probably the lightest and best bar for your money. I saw it at $45 on an add here on RBR. Finally, try the Phil Wood Ti bottom bracket with alloy cups- 137 grams + 11 for the cups. The Magnesium/Ti BB is only 2 grams lighter and costs $100 more so go with the Ti.
re: Winter Project: Lightweight Climbing BikeBurtonSpeedy
Jan 27, 2003 6:36 AM
do you have a link to the C.A.T brakes? I have changed my spec sheet to the SLR saddle and Alien Ti post (155g) (A friend was selling both so I picked them up).
re: Winter Project: Lightweight Climbing Bikerogue_CT1
Jan 27, 2003 1:47 PM
The CAT brakes can be found at
re: Winter Project: Lightweight Climbing Bikerogue_CT1
Jan 26, 2003 10:08 PM
Here's a suggestion:
3T Prima 199 bar - (199 grams)
3T Zepp stem - (130 grams)
Alpha Sub 3 fork - (362 grams)
Campy Record right ergo-shift (about 180 grams)
Campy carbon left brake lever (105 grams)
Campy Record rear der. (187 grams)
Campy Record chain - (279 grams)
Campy Record Ti cassette - (156 grams)
USE Alien carbon post - (130 grams)
Selle Italia SLR Evolution - (125 grams)or (64 grams)
Phil Wood Ti BB - (137 grams)
CAT Ti Pro Claw brakes (80 grams/ pair)

There are almost certainly going to make you use two brakes. Here's another idea. Make this your full time bike and use the Litespeed Ghisallo frame.
Cambria Bicycle Outfitters also sells Ti crank arm bolts (12 grams/pair) and Ti chainring bolts.
Let us know how it turns out.
re: Winter Project: Lightweight Climbing BikeBurtonSpeedy
Jan 27, 2003 6:50 AM
thanks for the great suggestions! I would like to go campy as the record carbon brake is super light but being able to use my current shimano stuff (wheels) is too big a cost saving. Anybody know what brake lever Lance uses when he is in the mountains with a left downtube shifter?

I am looking at other forks right now, maybe the LOOK or the Alpha (damn that Alpha is light)!

Why would they make you use 2 brakes? For Mt Washington you are not allowed to ride down! Anybody know the bike spec rules for Mt. Washington?

I would like a Ghisallo, but it is a liitle out of my price range. (I have a vortex and love it!)

IF this is a pure climberDougSloan
Jan 27, 2003 7:09 AM
For a pure climber, forget the back brake, front derailleur, left lever, and the large ring. You don't need them. Realize, though, that if you do go downhill, and your front tire blows, you'll have a really hard time stopping.

My climber had no rear brake, big ring, front derailleur (and cables) or left shifter/lever. I ran the front brake to the right integrated lever. I had no problem with no front derailleur or big ring.

Keep the integrated right lever, though, as you probably will do a lot of rear shifting, and any time you lose do to the weight would be offset by better shifting compared to a downtube shifter.

Some others suggested some lighter parts versus what you proposed, probably taking a couple of pounds off you ideas. For me, I certainly want to start with a frame under 2.5 pounds, and a fork under 350 g. Using some light tubulars, like Tufo S3 Lite 215's, is good.

Lance uses a Shimano (no sub group) left lever. They are about $40 a set. Campy makes non-Ergo levers, too, at $100 (carbon). I found I did not need a dummy left lever, though.

Mine was 12 pounds, as ridden. My guess is that your proposal will be around 15.

USCF rules, thoughDougSloan
Jan 27, 2003 7:17 AM
If this is a USCF race, note:

1J3. For track races, only a bicycle with a single cog fixed wheel and without derailleurs may be used;
brakes, freewheels, quick releases, and wing nuts may be used only in time trial and pursuit events. For road races, only a bicycle with a freewheel and one working brake on each wheel shall be used, except as allowed elsewhere in these rules.

Under California law, you only need one brake capable of skidding one tire on clean, dry pavement. Other states could vary.

re: Winter Project: Lightweight Climbing Bikerogue_CT1
Jan 27, 2003 1:55 PM
A real simple solution to convert from Shimano to Campy is use the Wheels Manufacturing 10 speed cassettes. They start with a 9 speed DA cassette and convert it to a Campy UD 10 speed cassette but retain the Shimano freehub compatibility. I use one on my HED 3 wheels with Record 10 speed components. The set up works great. The best price is from Excel sports - $159.00 with lockring. An 11-23 cassette weighs 178 grams and a 12-25 is 194 grams and the 11-27 is 200 grams.
my .02 centsatpjunkie
Jan 28, 2003 10:43 PM
I'm just not too sure about that Alpha Q. I saw the lay-up of the carbon fibre in the steer tube and it didn't look like a bi-directional weave. I compared it to the Reynolds, Look and Pinarello weaves and it was last on my personal QC. (The Pinarello looked the best, and now with Kevlar). if the Alpha Q is uni-weave it would be far more prone to vertical stress cracks and/or splitting. Also you have to glue-install a sleeve for the star nut.the sleeve has some play and if it doesn't go in perfectly true it could add to this problem. Also because of this glue-in star nut sleeve, once you set your steer tube height you are set, no changing so if you go this route get it right.
re: Winter Project: Lightweight Climbing BikeIF Guy
Jan 30, 2003 8:45 AM
As for Crank and BB suggestions, I would recommend going with the C'dale CAAD 6 or 7 frames with Cannondale's Hollowgram crankset and BB. It's reported to be 15% lighter than the equivalent Dura Ace parts and 4% stiffer. I would also recommend the Fizik Aliante saddle. The 165 grams can't compare to the 125 grams of the SLR evolution or the even lighter AX, but it's a more functional as I would imagine you're going to be spending a lot of time climbing in the saddle. I just bought a new CAAD 7. It's a 56 cm with full Record (and C'dale Cranks), Deda bars and stem (Newton 26 and 215 bar), Thomson post and Campy Nucleons. The total weight is 16.5 lbs. and I'm sure there is a lot of room to shave some weight here.

Good luck.