I’ve been in a bit of a quest to lighten my test bike, a strange, obsessive quest that’s led me down the road of pretty continual upgrades. This all started when SRAM released Force and then followed it up with Red and my already-light bike dropped from about fifteen pounds to just under fifteen, and Mavic’s R-Sys wheels took the bike down to just about 14.5 pounds.
Then the crew at Road magazine ran a story about the Cannondale 2009 SuperSix HM Project bike they were testing that was just 10.1 pounds with an almost complete build of off-the-shelf parts. That’s when the fever really started to set in.
My rule, when it comes to a bike designed to test components, is that I build it and outfit it with my own parts–anything that comes out to test has to compare against the gear I’d really ride. The Cannondale project bike features a frame around 100 grams lighter than mine and some super-fly components that I’d never actually put on a test bike (while the weight savings are significant, tubeless tires aren’t the best choice for a non-racing product editor) and there’s no chance I’m going to trust my seatpost-clamping duties with a carbon clamp like this but some things on the list caught my eye.
That’s when the Project David bike got underway. I created a spreadsheet (that’s a bad sign when it comes to obsessive behavior) and tracked the remaining few parts of my bike that could be lightened without being counterproductive. I’m not going to put a carbon saddle on a test bike (because you can’t feel anything on a carbon-only saddle except “ouch.” A few more upgrades Fizik Antares saddle, Zipp Vuma Quad and 3T stem) brought the weight down to just over the 14 pound mark.