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The worlds lightest production road bike

Introducing the Ax-Lightness Vial Evo Ultra, 35% more illegal than the lightest professional road bikes.

Ax-Lightness Vial Evo weight
James Spender
2 Oct 2015

Four point four kilos. Just mull that over for a bit. That’s less than the average cat, a lovely bunch of six coconuts, or the largest commercially available Toblerone (yours for £92 since you ask). It’s also the total build weight of the Vial Evo Ultra from German maestros of carbon fibre Ax-Lightness, making it the lightest production road bike in the world.

‘The frame weighs as little as 600g in a small [up to 685g for an XL] and the fork is 285g including the expander bolt,’ says Ax-Lightness’s founder, Axel Schnura. ‘Framesets are therefore under 1,000g – even with a headset – making it a world first.’

Ax-Lightness Vial Evo crankset

What’s more, save for the THM Clavicula chainset, Extralite Cyber hubs, Sram Red mechs and shifters and Continental Podium tubulars, every part on the Vial Evo Ultra is made by Ax-Lightness, right down to the 125g brake callipers (that’s for both) and 15g bottle cage. There’s a rider weight limit of 100kg, but as for the rest, Schnura says it performs much like any other top-end road bike, being stiff, comfortable and handling well to boot. So how do they do it?

Ax-Lightness Vial Evo SRAM

‘By using less material!’ laughs Schnura. ‘Actually we do so by two “simple” measures – our expertise and experience with the material at the highest level for 15 years, and our skilled workers. We do everything in-house. It makes everything very expensive and makes sponsoring a UCI team prohibitive. But it is also why we are able to do this. Mainstream companies’ Asian manufacturers are not able to advance into these weight spheres due to technological and cost restrictions.’

Ax-Lightness Vial Evo

It’s no surprise that Ax-Lightness also currently supplies carbon parts to three Formula One teams, however what is stunning is how quickly Schnura answers the question, ‘Will we be able to get under 3.5kg for a bike in the next five years?’

‘Yes. For us. No for the mainstream companies.’ And you’d have to believe him. Ax-Lightness Vial Evo Ultra, €15,000 as built (approx £10,500),

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