Shown as a work-in-progress prototype at Eurobike last year, the AX Lightness VIAL evo XC hardtail is now in full production and available for sale. The formal unveiling will be at this year’s Eurobike, but they gave us a heads up on some frame details and complete bike specs that put their top level build under 7kg (less than 15.4 pounds)…with a price close to €9,000.
The frame has been race tested at the 24 Hours of Nurburgring in Germany, where AX Lightness is based and the frame is hand made. In addition to that field testing, it passes EFBE safety, fatigue and impact testing, all with a claimed frame weight of just 870g in size medium.
The VIAL eve XC comes in two sizes, Medium and Large, and is set up to run either mechanical or electronic drivetrains and stealth dropper posts. The bottom bracket shell is BB392, giving it a large diameter and wide berth on which to spread the chainstays for maximum stiffness. The frameset alone is €2,999, but take out a second mortgage and you can nab this XX1 Eagle bike. It comes equipped with AX Lightness tapered headset, Ultra 29C carbon wheelset, carbon stem, handlebar, seatpost and saddle, a Fox SC 32 Step Cast Factory fork and Schwalbe Furious Fred tires. Complete bike weight is just 6.9kg (15.21lb).
There’s also a full Shimano XT built with Truvativ cockpit for about €5,300 at a claimed weight of 8.5kg (18.74lb).
The rear end uses a Syntace X12 thru axle on the back of short 427mm chainstays. The dropouts and chainstays are molded as a single piece, which they say boosted total stiffness enormously while also saving weight. In total, they’ve spent a little more than two years developing this bike because, in their words, as their first mountain bike they had to get it 100% right, right from the start.
A longer top
headtube and slack-ish 68.5º head angle helps keep the bike stable on the descents, particularly helpful on such a lightweight rig. The head tube is short, putting the rider in a lower, race-ready position.
Look for more from the German brand in our Eurobike coverage starting at the end of August.