The build is based on the following principles:
1. Budget and seeking the most value - both in performance and weight savings for the price.
2. Endurance racing & riding foremost. While hill climbs are nice, the goal for ultra-light is, for me, more of a long term benefit. Over the course of 200mi/320km rides and races, weight ends up being a significant factor. Simultaneously whatever I use must be relatively durable and repairable wherever I may be. Which is why tubulars won't always work: if I'm caught without any spare in the middle of nowhere, I'm more likely to find someone or a shop with another tube to purchase than a tubular. While I usually carry two tubes, pump, micro-tool, spare boots and patches, there have been occasions where I've given away those things to fellow riders along the course while riding in areas that have no mobile reception at all. Practicality foremost.
3. Make it my own.
And, really, it's an open canvas to experiment. I'm still tinkering with the rear derailleur. The hoods on the levers are a work in progress that, if successful, will be sold as a product. I'm also experimenting with different options to allow Powercordz use on these brakes... which isn't easy so far. Just a canvas to experiment with, really. Logo included, which is a brand concept I've been playing around with. So it's my own design for wordmark and logo. Being the person I am, I already did a mini-side project and designed the brand's full identity suite, letterhead & stationary, everything. Why not be thorough about it? I don't like to half-ass anything in my life.
About the frame: This is/was a Figmo 900 RD. Figmo is a housebrand of Edge-Design out of Taiwan. They design & sell frames for the OEM market, not open-mould although these can be found on occasion from a sample lot. That said, I like it a lot. I've ridden quite a number of quality frames in my time, and certainly there are many that remain on my wish list (Parlee Z5, BH Ultralite, Neil Pryde Bura) but I'll be quite honest that the differences in performance between this and those is not yet significant enough to warrant a purchase. This frame is stiff enough for my needs and I certainly can't deflect it while I do put out some decent power for my weight. It has the right amount of comfort as well - I've ridden this for the past year over smooth roads, off road dirt paths, cracked streets and pavement slabs from the 1920's all without issue for hundreds of miles in a single ride. I absolutely love riding this frame and I appreciate it even more when I know that it cost me a very small fraction of what an equivalent frame might be. The frame was entirely stripped of its original paint, re-coated with 2K clearcoat, then sanded down again to a satin finish. Doing this revealed two things: there was a lot of paint on it and the carbon layup is surprisingly perfect.
I have another set of wheels I can switch to, a custom build which uses Alpha340 rims. If I use the Alpha340 build I lose about 40g but gain an alloy braking surface. I'll be using those wheels for days where I anticipate some wet weather.
Low priority component switches to reduce weight in consideration:
-Brakes -> Gravitas SL
-Cordz -> Powercordz
-Handlebar -> Something significantly lighter with a 'flatish' top and ample clamping surface
-Stem -> Extralite OC.
As it stands now, this build has a $/g ratio of $0.68/g (USD, everything included such as tax, shipping and anodizing costs).
|| Other projects in the works.