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Readers’ Rides: Breaking the UCI minimum weight limit without any carbon fiber

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Non carbon UCI illegal road bike

6.8kg. 14.99 lbs. If you’re planning on racing any UCI road events, this is still the minimum weight requirement for your bike. It wasn’t that long ago that building a bike that came in below this magic number was a feat worthy of attention. Complete bikes sold below this limit were even the focus of their own advertising campaigns. And while the ability to create “illegal” bikes has evolved, the weight limit has not.

With sub 10lb bikes a fairly common occurrence among the weight weenie crowds, one reader decided to tackle the weight limit with a different angle. They decided to build a sub 6.8kg bike without using any carbon fiber…

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While the complete build is itemized over on 2lo8’s blog, the main details include a Javelin Amarone aluminum frame with an “awful, boat anchor” of an aluminum fork. Yes, there were a number of weight weenie worthy parts involved, but impressively the build shown on the scale above includes bottle cages, pedals, even a Wahoo RFLKT+ computer! Even by adding a saddle bag, flashing light, and bell, the bike is still under the 6.8kg minimum weight requirement. I think it’s fair to say that this is just another sign the UCI should reconsider their minimum weight requirement (though it sounds like that’s already in the works).

https://2lo8.wordpress.com/my-non-carbon-bike-6-7kg/

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36 Comments
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sad
sad
6 years ago

how flimsy does it rides though ? 😉

2lo8
6 years ago
Reply to  sad

It’s not a sprinter’s bike if that’s what you’re asking.

JBikes
JBikes
6 years ago

I don’t understand why the UCI limit has to be reduced? Are bike makers are limiting frame development with regards to reduce weight because of it? No. Component makers? No.
If one’s bike is below the min weight limit, ballast is simply added.
People always argue the limit is outdated. That would be a concern if it was actually hampering development, but it isn’t. At no point is a frame or component maker stating, well we could have made this lighter but why? Right? The mass produced emonda can be built to what, 10 lbs. Pro still race this very frame, so what exactly is the UCI limit hampering?

I know weight at some point, doesn’t account for much. But it does account for seconds, especially on climbs. The UCI limit promotes an equal playing field, rider vs rider, to some degree at least.

Dave
Dave
6 years ago
Reply to  JBikes

The UCI weight limit is a hinderance to light riders. A 120 pound climber has to use the same weight bike as a 170 pound sprinter so, in that regard it’s not reasonable. Let the weight go where the makers can take it and reliability and handling will limit the lower end.

It’s no longer a safety issue and the UCI’s original concept of cost containment is a joke.

JBikes
JBikes
6 years ago
Reply to  Dave

So if both are on 16lb bikes, are you saying the 170 lb sprinter will always have the advantage regardless of terrain and race type? Nonsense.

If what you say is true, the weight limit should apparently be some scaled % of rider weight right, because any limit or no limit at all will result in the same “hindrance” to light riders? Any then, that would have to carried to aero as well right? Stronger/heavier riders with higher power level should be provided aero penalties?

br
br
6 years ago
Reply to  JBikes

> So if both are on 16lb bikes, are you saying the 170 lb sprinter will always have the advantage regardless of terrain and race type? Nonsense.

Let’s say instead of 16lbs, it was 60lbs. Of course the heavier sprinter would have the advantage everywhere — the weight of the bike affects the lighter rider’s W/kg ratio more.

Asking how to make it fair is a good question. N% of rider weight would be fair wrt W/kg. As for aero, an aero helmet has more impact on drag than a bike.

John
John
6 years ago
Reply to  Dave

The 120 lb climber is already at a competitive advantage, and you want to increase that?

Ryan S.
Ryan S.
6 years ago

I don’t think weight limits prevent development. Having everything as light as possible allows a rider to then “overbuild” where they feel it would most benefit them with the weight allowances provided.

a
a
6 years ago

bikes –
The requirement to use ballast is pretty ridiculous really. And the weight is really a disproportionate disadvantage to a lighter climber, who already has a natural disadvantage on the windy flats.

Would be interesting to see what a guy like Quintana could do against a bigger climber if his bike weight were a smaller ratio of his body weight.

JBikes
JBikes
6 years ago
Reply to  a

It’d be interesting to see how Quintana could sprint against Kittel if Kittel’s aero+mechanic drag to power ratio were equal to Quintana’s….See how ridiculous this is.

Light riders are generally good in the mountains because small humans don’t tend to have lungs/hearts that are equally scaled down (i.e. their specific aerobic capacity tends to be better). Furthermore, Quintana only has his ~125lb to pull up a hill compared to a “large” climber that will have ~25lb on him. If anything, Quintana has an advantage in the hills. Its the flats were smaller riders are stunted, but other than ITT’s that isn’t a huge issue.

Veganpotter
Veganpotter
6 years ago

No reason why they can’t just lower it 500g or 1k for the moment and reevaluate. That said, the laws as they are, let people ride an aero road bike at all times when they’d maybe ride the lighter frames. That’s a great marketing advantage for the industry. If there were no weight rules, far fewer would ride these frames and it would hurt sales for companies with heavier aero frames like Trek and Specialized…only a few aero frames are under 1000g and not many are fast in the tunnel

Erik
Erik
6 years ago

Is that a size small? No wonder. I bet that thing rides like garbage. I don’t get the point. No self respecting roadie would ever ride around with a spacer stack like that. This just screams hipster all the way.

AlanM
AlanM
6 years ago
Reply to  Erik

You can insult the guy and call him names. Or you know, read the blog first and understand why he had the stack of spacers. But hey, whatever lets you get angry and yell on the internet. Okay, go ahead, now yell at me.

Tim
Tim
6 years ago
Reply to  AlanM

I’m with AlanM. Why be a jerk?

2lo8
6 years ago
Reply to  Erik

Also, about the size thing, the weight difference between a 50cm and 58cm CAAD10 is about 125g. The extra steerer is 25-35g and then maybe some 20g for cables.

Hardly insurmountable with a trimmed steerer and lighter pedals to go up a couple of sizes. It would be even easier if it didn’t have a power meter, speed sensor, and base level drivetrain consumables and steel cables.

Mike
Mike
6 years ago
Reply to  Erik

I’m normally a big critic of some of the stuff peddled around here, but c’mon, the guy stated his intent to build a non-carbon sub-UCI weight limit bike. Which he did. And he describes quite nicely how. It’s not like he’s trying to sell you snake oil (or anything at all). Hell, the frame is 10 years old and long since discontinued. It’s an interesting build; nothing more. Lighten up dude,

Steve Benes
6 years ago

@Erik – Not sure if you’re being sarcastic or not about the article. Did you look at his blog? The guy is knowledgeable, notes he hasn’t committed to his stem setup yet, and is completely aware of the pros and cons of the parts for the build.

Alex
Alex
6 years ago

The point of this bike is simple really: to generate content for the blog. The UCI weight limit is there as a benchmark to market around for the bike industry so they will always have one. Lowering the limit to some arbitrary number will only happen if the industry agrees that they need or want a sort of ‘arms race’.

2lo8
6 years ago
Reply to  Alex

The point of the bike is because I thought it was funny. I got the frame through serendipitous circumstance and decided to do a true sub-UCI build for once.

The point of the blog is a parts listing of exciting and snobbish weight weenie parts, like $1 bottle cages, so people looking for weight reduction can make educated choices, and a stem calculator that helps you find the same bar position instead of telling you that changes a new stem will cause.

My bike build is the only real “content”. The blog is secondary, that’s just me sharing my budget weight weenie findings, since there’s little information about those parts, and linking my stem calculator.

Eric Schiller
Eric Schiller
6 years ago
Reply to  2lo8

2lo8, I think your blog is fab and I loved the bike build article and your attention to detail about the construction of the Rival stuff.

Erik
Erik
6 years ago

Yes, I read the blog. I would recommend just doing your run of the mill ebike blog review if you really wanted to generate content and or clickbait. Why pour tons of money into a mediocre bike when you could have something much better for a lot less cost?

Schmese
Schmese
6 years ago
Reply to  Erik

Would a run of the mill ebike blog review get posted to Bikerumor?

Shanghaied
Shanghaied
6 years ago
Reply to  Erik

Why spend anything more than say $100 on a bike? Why spend any money on a bike? It’s his money and he chose to do something that he thought was interesting. I’m normally against all the hugbox-let’s-not-criticise-anything attitude that some here espouses, but in this case, it’s just a guy building a bike and trying to sell anyone anything, so why be so mean? Show us your bikes and see if we can’t find 20 things wrong with it.

Shanghaied
Shanghaied
6 years ago
Reply to  Shanghaied

“not trying to sell anyone anything”

dr_lha
dr_lha
6 years ago

Just think how much weight you could have saved on the bike pictured if you removed those 5 spacers and cut the (deleted) fork!

AlanM
AlanM
6 years ago
Reply to  dr_lha

Did you read why he had the spacers and uncut fork?

2lo8
6 years ago
Reply to  dr_lha

Exactly twenty-four grams. Eleven for the spacers, fourteen for the steerer.

bicyclecrumbs
6 years ago
Reply to  2lo8

Lol best comment ever.. I really dig your blog. Great budget friendly ideas to lighten up almost any bike. Keep it up.

Bill
Bill
6 years ago

RE: the Spacers – yes he does state they’re likely temporary. However, I would point out I’ve seen these (well, ones just like them in yellow) crack before. I think it’s because headsets don’t always put the loads purely distributed around the ring of the spacer, but rather at a point on the ring.

Burton
Burton
6 years ago

Yes, do away with the dreaded weight limit. Make it low enough to effectively eliminate disc brakes.

satisFACTORYrider
satisFACTORYrider
6 years ago

does weight affect drug use?

Eddie
Eddie
6 years ago

Ovious most commenters do not ride ROAD bikes at high speed. Lighter does not mean better.
Xc bikes is a different deal.

Eddie
Eddie
6 years ago

Regarding UCI weight limits.

GrantT
GrantT
6 years ago

The weight limit should be increased so more companies can add their products to pro bikes for promotional purposes. Just put everything on there.

Antoine Martin
Antoine Martin
6 years ago

Nice bike 2lo8 even if the fork is obvioulsy here only for fun and makes no sense. Part that would make sense also is such a build : New Giant Aluxx frame very light and cool and probably better ride thanks to advances hydroforming. Kinlin XR31 rim instead of 200, wider and tubeless compatible, still light.

Mark Forbes
6 years ago

Very cool build!!! My SS mtn bike is @ 18.5 lbs ready to ride (pedals, cages, bar ends, computer, etc…), and absolutely tough as hell. It is stupid that UCI keeps this weight limit around since technology has completely outpaced the bikes being ridden when they set it.

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