Upstart VAAST is bringing high end magnesium tubing to cycling with their new bikes. It’s an 8081 magnesium alloy called Allite Super Magnesium, comprised of aluminum, rare earth metals, and 91% magnesium.
Why? Because it’s light, and they say it has great ride characteristics. The tubes have a PEO (plasma electrolytic oxidation) coating inside and out to prevent corrosion, then are painted and clear-coated. The clear coat is tinted the same color as the paint so scratches are less likely to be visible.
Great, but isn’t magnesium flammable?
Yes, technically, magnesium is highly flammable…when shaved or powdered. But no, these bikes are not flammable, because you really can’t light solid magnesium on fire. But they’ll melt at 1,200°F. Because that Mg powder is flammable, they don’t sand down their welds. Because that would create powder. And maybe flames.
Frame weight is 1,200g for the Vaast A/1 Allroad gravel bike, but they say that can come down in future iterations. Compared to carbon, that might seem a little heavy, but many steel and titanium gravel frames hit close to or well above 1,500g.
Complete bikes start at $2,500 complete (pretty decent considering the build!), or $1,299 frame and fork, same price for either a Shimano GRX (700c) or SRAM Rival1 (650B) builds. Both come with Praxis Zayante carbon cranks, a house brand cockpit, WTB saddle, Stan’s rims and Maxxis Rambler tires.
Vaast Mountain & Commuter Bikes
They offer urban, mountain and gravel bikes. All of the full size bikes have rack and fender mounts, aimed at adventure riders.
The M/1 Mountain bike shown above is aimed at the adventurous beginner, with a 120mm Rockshox 35 Gold RL fork, Retail runs from $1,999 (XC, Shimano XT/SLX build with 29er wheels) to $2,099 (SRAM NX Eagle, 27.5″ wheels). The sizing is noteworthy for taller riders; the XL is recommended for riders 6’4″ to 6’8″!
Price is $1,199 for the U/1 Urban commuter bike, just one build available, but in 700c and 650B wheel sizes. Both get the rather good Microshift Advent 1×9 wide-range drivetrain, full carbon fork, hydraulic disc brakes, and internal cable and hose routing.
Not shown, kids’ bikes range from $799 (20”) and $999 (24”). Vaast frames are recyclable, and they’ll have a program for dealers to recycle them.