This is the latest build from the shop. The goal was to make a sub 15lbs bike for under $1000
Parts / frame used in the build: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNBY5cBH8WU
Here’s what I learned:
1. Ultralight is not going to be a production model – You have to find old team bikes, they come with a different carbon lay, usually a toray 1200 or 1800 weave, not the production models that use a toray 600 or 800. This is important in that it makes the tea, bikes stiffer and lighter bit the carbon is more brittle and not designer for 10 years of riding. So this is a trade off you will need to decide. If you don’t believe me, call Diamondback and ask them if you can buy and actual team bike. The frames are different. With the build in the video I went with the Kelly Benefits version of the frame because I was able to find it on eBay and has a super light lay-up.
2. Merlin is basically employee pricing on Shimano. I work one day a week at a bike shop and Merlin’s prices are within 10% of the shop deals. To the point where employees including myself at (Undisclosed national bike shop that owns Bike Nashbar) usually order from Merlin because they have better deals and less of a hassle.
3. Carbon isn’t always the lightest. Check out Woodman Components. For the price and weight their stuff is hard to beat.
4. Take offs will make any budget go further – Hang around local shops, you’d will be surprised what people will take off their bikes to save grams. What comes off, you usually can buy (no warranty) for pennies on the dollar. Hence where I got the bars and seat post in the build.
5. Work arounds – Sometimes its worth buying a bike you don’t want just for the parts. The Mavic wheels in the build came from purchasing Stevens that went straight to eBay without wheels. I think I paid around $1200 on Craigslist and sold the bike without wheels for around $1000. Hence the wheels cost $200ish
6. If you want to spend more time riding than building, just go to shop and pick up a decent road bike for $1500 (I can suggest some bikes if you need help). It’s not easy to build-up ultralight bike, understand they take time. Also invest in a scale haha.