We got a preview on the lightweight road bike’s move to disc brakes back in July, but now having sat down with BH at Eurobike we have some more tasty details on the new bike. Developed as an update to the light mountain climbing road racer ridden by their Pro Conti Direct Énergie team, BH made the bold move to phase out the rim brake Ultralight EVO. That bike had been available at two separate frame levels, but will now carry on at the lower non-EVO level. The top-level carbon fiber and tube shaping technology will only be offered on the disc brake version of the Ultralight EVO Disc, much like BH did with the latest iteration of their G7 Disc aero road bike. BH is certainly making a statement of their position on road disc brakes and, as a team sponsor, on their place in the peloton. Take a close look and specs and pricing below the fold…
The new Ultralight EVO Disc builds off of the climber character of the rim brake Ultralight EVO, but pretty much all of the tube shapes have been optimized in this new generation. While some of that was just updating the handling and road feel of the bike, the entire fork and rear triangle tubing got ground-up redesigns with all-new layups designed to address the unique disc brake forces on the frame. The bike does use the same Hollow Core Internal Molding tech as the previous generation Ultralight Evo, G7 Disc, and the recent Lynx Race Carbon to keep weight low and frame quality control high.
This new bike is said to weigh just 790g for a medium size frame, and comes without rider weight limit. BH seemed to think that weight figure might even be somewhat conservative, saying that production frames could come down to just 750g. The bike is helped to that low weight through the use of the PressFit386 standard that BH pioneered, which spreads carbon frame wide over the bearings of the bottom bracket and lets them build a stiffer, more responsive rear end with bigger section and lighter tubes. The bike also gets flat mounts to tuck its new disc brakes in low and close to the frame for both weight and aero benefits.
The all-new full carbon, tapered steerer, thru-axle fork builds in an integrated carbon bearing race for even better steering rigidity and light weight. BH is also debuting some new more shallow carbon wheels on the new Ultralight EVO Disc. Their house brand BH Evo wheels apparently weren’t ready yet, but the two lower spec bikes will get the new 38mm deep, house Evo carbon clinchers with a claimed weight of 1425g. The top bike will roll on 40mm deep Vision Metrons.
Both front and rear the wheels are clamped down with 12mm thru-axles. BH pairs those with flat mount disc brakes (specifying hydraulic calipers from Shimano). That gives buyers the option for either the stock 140mm rotors or larger 160mm ones depending on preference. The bike also gets BH’s modular internal cable guide system, which makes it easy to swap from mechanical to electronic groupsets with grommets and cable stops to suit any type of setup.
While the seatstays and chainstays look very similar to those of the G7 Disc that do an admirable job of making that aero bike’s rear end comfortable, the Ultralight swaps in a traditional round 27.2 seatpost for both comfort and a degree of choice in your individual setup. And inside that seatpost, BH has a clamp to secure your Di2 battery for a clean electronic installation.
One big update to the Ultralight EVO Disc that also follows inline with the G7 Disc is the accommodation of fat tires. While rim brake calipers out of the way, and BH already using the wide-spaced PF386 BB, they’ve bumped tire clearance up on the new bike to a whopping 30mm. You won’t find much better than that on a pro-level carbon race bike anywhere. The bikes don’t spec huge tires – they stick with 25s – but with the trend of growing rim widths, that could still offer a lot of comfort and low pressure grip at a light weight.
The Ultralight Evo Disc will be available in three different complete builds in most markets. The top level is a new Dura-Ace Di2 version that will retail for 8500€. It will include a FSA Vision Metron 40 carbon disc brake clincher wheelset, and since not even Shimano has more than one complete R9170 groupset so real images of that build exist yet. The next step down will be the Ultralight Evo Disc Ultegra Di2 for 7000€. It comes spec’d with BH Evo 38 carbon clinchers and FSA SL-K cranks for a claimed weight of 7.1kg/15.7lb. It will also be offered with a mechanical Ultegra group for 5500€, including the same BH wheels plus a Rotor 3D crankset for a couple hundred grams more at 7.3kg/16.1lb. Those are all about 500€ more per spec above the previous range-leading G7 Disc, which shared a pricing scheme with the rim brake Ultralight and G6. Availability is set for January 2017.