Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Lighten Up, Its A Black Thing
Carbon fiber must contain crack! It is way too addictive. Once you get a taste, youre hooked . Considering that a feathery carbon bike can easily break the $100 a gram mark, im pretty sure its actually worse than crack on your bank account.
Now meet Günter Mai, a german rider with a penchant for lightweight rides. He has put together a 3195-gram (7.04-pound) road bike that he says is sturdy enough for him to ride up to 1000 kilometers a week.
Günter Mai from Lampertheim has modified virtually every part on the bike, including the set of custom Lew Racing Pro VT-1 wheels. Off the shelf VT-1 wheels weigh 850 grams a pair and are made for use by riders up to 185 pounds. They sell for about $6000, while custom wheels like Mai's cost $15,000.
Mai's wheels were designed around Mai's 150-pound body and were delivered to him weighing 734 grams (1.6 pounds). Mai took off another 30 grams by shaving material off the axle end caps, replacing the steel freehub pawls and hub spacers with titanium versions, using tapered carbon/boron axles and full ceramic bearings. He also carved off some of the freehub splines that are not needed with the six-speed cassette he uses.
The bike already had light weight fans on the web excited when it was shown at the EuroBike trade show last fall. The new wheels shaved 103 grams off the bike as shown there.
"The really astonishing thing behind this build is that despite setting the benchmark in weight, it is still perfectly usable," said Nils Wiedemann, LEW's European technical consultant. Wiedemann has done two 100km rides with Mai on the bik
704.4g for a complete wheelset. That's crazy, right? Nowadays light tubular factory wheels of similar rim depth are normally about 1,400g - or two pairs of these beauties.