The latest news out of Specialized this week is a fresh limited edition S-Works Aethos LTD road bike kitted out with the cream of the Campagnolo crop – a full carbon Campy Super Record Wireless gruppo and top-tier ultralight Hyperon Ultra wheels. Just a few hundred of these killer lightweight road bikes will be built, topped off with a hand-painted finish that Specialized is for some reason labeling ‘Satin Birch with Black Pearl. But there’s no denying that it’s really faux Italian marble!
S-Works Aethos LTD road bike gets Campagnolo’s best!
With carbon frames as light as 585g, Specialized’s S-Works Aethos ignores aero optimization and overly integrated designs to create a bike too light to race according to the UCI. They call it the ‘lightest production road bike in the world‘. So, why not give it some ultralight 1240g carbon Campy wheels and the most advanced road bike groupset that Campagnolo has ever produced? As much as this is a ludicrously over-the-top bike build, the S-Works Aethos LTD is a bike begging to be ridden.
“In 1973 it was a love of riding and Italian craftsmanship that inspired Mike Sinyard to sell his VW bus, pack up his bike, and go ride in Italy. He made it his mission to bring the same Italian craftsmanship to riders in the US, and Specialized Bicycle Components was born.”
Italy’s the place where people really care about bikes. At the time, that was the best product out there. If you could afford Campy, you’d just get it. There was no question. I look at some of my old Campy bikes, and the stuff is still really good! It was really beautiful, and it still is.
I sold my Volkswagen before I left for Italy and said, ‘Let me see what I can do!’ The craziest thing was I didn’t really know how to do it. I was staying at this youth hostel. I asked the woman there to help me get a hold of all these companies. She called them up for me and said this American businessman wants to come over. I looked like a bum! So I went to downtown Milan and bought a suit so it would look like I knew what I was doing.
Then a Swiss woman staying there who spoke Italian said she would go with me. I kind of just made it up! ‘I said I have a company in the US,’ I didn’t have a company! I said I really admired their components. They could tell I was really sincere, and they sold me the products.
I was crazy about the Italian components. I read everything about everything. We still have the same fondness for products today.– Mike Sinyard, Specialized founder
Limited edition bike build
A build kit fit for a king, a pope, or anyone else with deep pockets.
Specialized adorns the featherweight S-Works Aethos FACT 12r Carbon frameset with a lightweight S-Works Short & Shallow carbon bar. Plus, an S-Works AL alloy stem, Roval Alpinist carbon seatpost, and full carbon conventional S-Works Power saddle.
The complete build features the made-in-Europe Campagnolo Super Record Wireless 12-speed hydraulic disc brake groupset. And a big 48/32T chainset pairs to 10-29T cassette out back.
Rolling stock are the ultralight 21mm internal tubeless carbon Hyperon Ultra wheels. (Not the standard Hyperons that debuted today.) Then, wrapped with 28mm S-Works Turbo 2BR tires. The wheels come fitted with Turbo Ultralight butyl tubes. But Specialized does even include RapidAir sealant so you have everything you need to go tubeless out of the box.
S-Works Aethos LTD – Pricing, options & availability
The limited edition S-Works Aethos LTD sells for a cool $15,500 / 15,500€ – offered in six stock sizes (49-61cm). Specialized describes the project as a celebration of founder Mike Sinyard’s “long standing love of Italian components” after 50 years. And they will make just 300 S-Works Aethos LTD bikes. Each features a unique hand-dipped paint job so everybody’s Italian marble effect will be one-of-a-kind. And each limited edition bike is individually number, and available no online, then thorough your local Specialized dealer.