Over the last few days I’ve been feeling extremely pleased with myself–smug, even–as I ride around on my Rivendell with little in the way of Fredly accoutrements:
Also, as a semi-professional bike blogger who ostensibly tests stuff, I should point out that I’m wearing the Vulpine Mens’ Merino Crew Tee as well as their merino blond socks for the third ride in a row, without washing.
Please note that when I say “without washing,” I mean the clothes, not myself:
If you get the reference then you’re a pretty serious Monty Python fan, and by extension, a gigantic nerd.
But yes, merino is slowly displacing Lycra in my cycling wardrobe, especially on vacation where you can just wear it day in and day out instead of bringing a pile of Lycra you’ve got to wash after every ride.
Anyway, the point of all of this is that I was feeling smug about my Rivendell–until I read about the new Canyonero Ultimate Ultralite Super SL SLR Lite, which is clearly way, way better than any bicycle heretofore wrought by human hands:
Yes, for just $7,999 (which in the twisted world of top-end crabon bikes is a relative bargain when you consider the new Sepcialized Tramac is twelve grand), you get a bike made from a plastic so special they had to get permission from the Japanese Ministry of Defense just to use it!
The ultra-light climber is fabricated from ultra-high-modulus carbon not commonly used in bicycle construction. In a press release, Canyon states that it, “initially had to be granted exclusive permission by the Japanese Ministry of Defense just to gain access to it.”
This is a strange boast. I mean, if this stuff’s so amazing why would the Japanese Ministry of Defense let some mail-order bicycle company use it? Tell me that six Canyon operatives died just to smuggle this stuff out of the country and then I’ll be impressed. Or at least make an espionage thriller about how you got your hands on it, a la “Cipollini Bond:”
Anyway, the lugs on my Rivendell are so ornate that Grant Petersen had to get permission from the local renaissance fair(e) in order to use them, but you don’t hear me bragging.
So what’s the big deal about this “special-use” crabon, anyway? Well, it allows Canyon to build a bike that’s “.39kg below the 6.8kg UCI minimum bike weight:”
The new climbing bike from the German manufacturer weighs 675g for the frame and 285g for the fork. When decked out with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 (including FC-R9100-P power meter), 50mm DT Swiss ARC 1100 DICUT wheels, and Canyon components, the Ultimate CFR Disc Di2 might come in at 6.5kg (14.33 pounds)— .39kg below the 6.8kg UCI minimum bike weight.
In other words, this racing bike is in fact too light to race, which means you’ve got to either downgrade the components, or else use the same components and put them on a “regular” crabon frame.
That makes sense.
But yes, I realize a bike this light gives you some wiggle room to add bottle cages and a computer and that sort of thing while keeping the bike right in that “barely legal” sweet spot, though you’ll probably have to use a pretty heavy computer to do so:
Aw, fuck it, I’m racing a Teledyne.