Rodriguez Bikes wants you to rethink steel. Specifically, how heavy a steel bike has to be – especially if it has disc brakes. Claiming it to be the first “ultra light” disc brake road bike to be based around wide tires, we’re not sure if it is really the first, but the bike is certainly light and it will clear up to 35mm tires. The result is a MUSA steel road bike with a carbon fork, disc brakes, and big tires all under 16 lbs…

rodriguez-bikes-bandito-light-weight-steel-disc-32c-tire-7 rodriguez-bikes-bandito-light-weight-steel-disc-32c-tire-4

All photos c. Rodriguez Cycles

To get the weight down to the level (or lighter) than some carbon bikes, Rodriquez focused on areas like the head tube and bottom bracket where they were able to shave weight. That means the Bandito runs a 68mm threaded bottom bracket and a 1 1/8″ head tube. It also makes use of quick release dropouts front and rear, presumably making the rear spacing 135mm. However, it does make use of at least one modern standard with a flat mount rear brake.


Coupled with a Ritchey carbon fork that will also clear 35mm tires, complete bikes will include 28mm or 32mm rubber.


As shown here with a SRAM Red group, custom wheels, and Compass 32mm tires, the Bandito is at its lightest (and most expensive). The Bandito Red Lite will set you back $10,999, but tips the scales at 15.9 lbs with 32mm tires (no size listed). Also available as the Pro model for $4,599 or the sub 18lb Elite at $7,999, all of the bikes are also available with custom paint, upgraded tubing, and custom geometry for additional charges. Rodriguez sells each bike in a whopping 20 stock sizes, but custom geometry will run you $200 if you have to have it. You can also have the Bandito as a frame only starting at $1,999.



  1. I like it, but after having disc bikes with QR and thru axle, I have a hard time getting excited about QR disc brake set ups. Brake rub is enough of a challenge to minimize as it is.

  2. For $11k do you think people will want to invest in a deprecated standard to save a trivial ~50g of weight? This is a head scratcher. A bike that pretends to be progressive but isn’t.

  3. My average spend for a road bike has exponentially increased over time based on my income level, but at some point there is a diminishing return on investment. A steel custom made bike for over 10K better standout from the quiver and make me want to ride it over any other bike in the corral.

  4. Orrrrr…. I could just stay on my better equipped, lighter weight, thru-axle equipped, better riding carbon bike that costs HALF as much…

  5. Dat price tho. Sorry to use this term (which I hate), but this seems like a “look at my sub 16lb steel frame” dentist bike. I doubt anyone who is saving up for a dream bike is going to drop 10k+ on a steel bike. This is a 1-percenter’s trophy.

    • Agreed. I may not be a mathematician, but that doesn’t add up on my abacus…
      Secondly, I don’t understand why anyone would spend astronomical money on a non-custom frameset, or a bike that is a bit behind the times regarding proven designs for top disc brake performance (lack of through axles, especially up front). Beautiful bike on all other counts.

      • Rodriguez frames are custom made in Seattle. A thru axle would be nice, but would add weight due to the necessity of a 44mm headtube and tapered steerer.

  6. I now have three Rodriguez bikes. One is a copy of a 1980 Holdsworth Pro, using 531 tubing and lugs. Another is a road bike using True Temper steel, and the last is a touring bike with 753 tubing. All of them are excellent bikes to ride, especially the Reynolds bikes. If you love the feel of a steel frame, you would be very happy with what Rodriguez can make.

    (I also have two Stevenson customs with 1980 era Columbus tubing, a Classic Masi, etc etc. I love steel frames!)

    • Define “huge weight penalty”. A custom disc fork can be made, but will weigh roughly 1.5x the weight of a carbon fork. Forget having one built with a tapered steerer.

  7. The article says the frames START at $1999, the bike in the photos is the pinnacle in frame tubing, components, etc. The hubs ate DT 180 ceramic. The QR wheels are due to the fact that steel dropouts for thru axle would add WAY more than 50g, and any carbon fork for thru axle would have to have a 44mm head tube = more unnecessary weight. TLDR: Maybe ask the right questions before spewing nonsense about things you don’t understand. AND the frames are custom built! Thanks for reading.

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