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AX Lightness VIAL evo XC ultralight hardtail mountain bike in production at 870g

2017 AX Lightness VIAL evo XC ultralight hardtail mountain bike
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2017 AX Lightness VIAL evo XC ultralight hardtail mountain bike

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.

2017 AX Lightness VIAL evo XC ultralight hardtail mountain bike

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).

2017 AX Lightness VIAL evo XC ultralight hardtail mountain bike

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.

2017 AX Lightness VIAL evo XC ultralight hardtail mountain bike

A longer topheadtube 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.

AX-Lightness.de

 

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xxx
xxx
6 years ago

Seems like the other article is gone 😉
still seems too light for comfort

Mike
Mike
6 years ago
Reply to  xxx

I’d want to replace those furious freds stat, but if it’s passed fatigue testing and there’s a good warranty, ain’t no such thing as too light.

-a guy that weighs 170lbs and likes to abuse carbon hardtails

xxx
xxx
6 years ago
Reply to  Mike

haha yeah. i think thats why they replaced the previous article too.
still id be a little worried, i mean, a jump + crack can mean a visit to the hospital or a walk back.
itd be interesting to see real rough riding with it, but at this price and amount of pieces i doubt we’ll ever see it.

Another thing.. maybe someone can educate me – EFBE (http://www.efbe.de/pruefservicenew/statpruef/enindex.php) seems to have tests for road bikes and ebikes, but not mountain bikes. Does that mean this was tested to the standards of a road bike, or is there some mtb test I did not find?

iperov
iperov
6 years ago

is this for everyday commuting ?

Mateo
Mateo
6 years ago

I’m in love. Yeah, I wonder what the weight limit is. :-/

atlbikeshop
6 years ago

6.9kg suspended hardtail is pretty crazy! Looks good too.

Pete
Pete
6 years ago

We needed another US$10K bike to gawk at. Thanks BR! LOL

Alex from Hermes Sport

3000euro for a German made frame is pretty sweet! AX has been killing it with their newer frames.

me
me
6 years ago

I can build a 15.4lbs Hardtail for about 10k less.

Mike
Mike
6 years ago
Reply to  me

No you can’t.

Unless this is meta-commentary on the usual BR comments, in which case, stop being such a hipster, hipster.

me
me
6 years ago
Reply to  Mike

Yes I can. C’dale Flash 27.5 compatible with DT swiss XRC 100 fork…or even a lauf fork…Ritchey WCS C260 70mm stem (84g), china Handlebar, custom wheels with china rims, XX1 group used from ebay….that’s just some of the items.

I’m right.

jlg
jlg
6 years ago
Reply to  me

Do you have an exact list of components, prices (incl. shipping & customs) and sellers for your 15.4 lbs hardtail ?
I’m sorry but so far you proved nothing.

MIrwin
MIrwin
6 years ago
Reply to  me

“I can build a 15.4lbs Hardtail for about 10k less.”

9000 Euros is $10,062.55 USD as per xe.com. If you are going to build a new sub-16 lb HT for $62.55 you will have everyone beat and you should going into the bike building business today.

Strength, weight, affordable: pick two, but the third is not an option.

racingsnake
racingsnake
6 years ago

I wonder what a 15# mtb feels like to ride? It must feel like nothing underneath you.

sad
sad
6 years ago

Theres some criticism of the EFBe testing for bikes: http://www.tomsarazac.com/tom/opinions/frame-test.html

Also the tests are not designated for jumps. obviously. I’ve some doubts toward how robust the bike actually is.

Interesting experiment nonetheless!

Greg
Greg
6 years ago
Reply to  sad

Even though the EFBE test is not the end-all, I don’t doubt that this frame is plenty tough. Open has been making frames at about this weight for a while now. Plenty of top level carbon hardtails are under 1kg, and AX generally knows their stuff.
Hopefully their warranty department is more reasonable these days, however.

bearCol
bearCol
6 years ago

pretty cool they can make a frame that light and still usable. Personally i can’t keep air in 26″ tire that weighs 840g,

ascarlarkinyar
ascarlarkinyar
6 years ago

Other than the extremely narrow rims and paper thin tires, I would ride it.

TheKaiser
TheKaiser
6 years ago

This frame weight doesn’t seem outlandish or dangerous when you look at other super high end frames on the market from reputable manus. As someone pointed out above, Open has had a frame in this range for a while, and the new Specialized Epic Hardtail may even be lighter, although the official specs haven’t been released yet.

qwert
qwert
6 years ago

EFBE also test against the 14766 Norm (MTB) or has higher own mountainbike tests….
“kann das komplette Prüfprogramm nach
• den europäischen Normen EN 14 764 (Straßenfahrrad), 14766 (MTB) und 14781 (Rennrad) oder nach
• den darauf aufbauenden EFBe-Standards”
http://www.efbe.de/pruefservicenew/ermuedung/index.php
(Sorry it´s german 🙂

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