Aug 30, 2018 by Evan Bailey
Who really cares that much about the weight of their bike? I mean all of us could drop a couple pounds pretty easily if we cut back on the barbeque, late night milkshake runs, and the "chocotastic" food group right?
So if the overall weight of the rider can be reduced fairly easily, why is that every year people spend thousands of dollars more to get the lightest, top of the line bikes and components?
Is it really worth that extra cost to shave a few pounds or in some cases just a few hundred grams?
Well…. it depends
Some of you may be professional racers or are aspiring to become one and I completely understand where every ounce matters. A tenth of a second could be what what separates you from the podium and just some guy who has almost won some races.
There are also those out there that have extra disposable income and just like to have the best things and feel that if you have the cash, why not buy something that is better and lighter than the others out there?!
Regardless of your reasoning, if you are in the market to upgrade or just want a light full suspension XC bike, then here are 3 of the lightest that I've seen currently on the market.
Yes I realize people can swap out certain components and cut grams in a variety of places. Take for example Gustav @dangerholm, he takes some of the lightest bikes and then makes them ultra light! He put a Scott Spark RC 900 SL on a diet and was able to get it to weigh just over 17 lbs!
For the purposes of this article however, I want to focus on XC bikes out the door from the bicycle manufacturers with warranties who are serious about weight. Also in case you have not noticed, this will be full suspension XC bikes… Sorry hardtail guys… I will have another article for you to read on your lightest bikes but not today.
Here is the list. Keep in mind that these weights are of course without pedals and have not been verified by BikingRoots unfortunately so we are going off of the manufacturer’s claim and/or review articles where they were able to weigh a test unit.
Also, generally most give weights in a large frame but some do not disclose the size soooo… this list could change once the same size is weighed from each manufacturer which could be an interesting test in the future.
3rd Place - Canyon Lux CF SLX 9.0 Race team - 21.82 lbs* $7500 (canyon online)
I was a bit surprised at this one as I did not expect it to be on the podium since honestly I did not know much about it. The Canyon Lux CF SLX takes the prize coming in 9.9 kg or 21.82 lbs (size M). Canyon went the Fox route for the suspension and with Shimano for the components. $7500 isn't exactly affordable but compared to the other two it is! To get all of these components in at this price is impressive. Oh, and it also comes with a dropper which is somewhat rare with these ultralights.
Price: $7500 + packaging and shipping. Sizes S-XL. Colors- Gray and not sure if anything else at this time.
Canyon sells direct to the consumer so check out their website here
*Weight per canyon website in a size M
2nd Place - Specialized S-Works Epic XX1/XTR - 21.12 lbs* $10,020 (see your local retailer)
The Specialized Epic S-Works XX1 at 21.12 lbs The specialized Epic S-Works has been kind of the bike I’ve always thought of when I would think of super light XC race bikes. They have been around for a good while and Specialized has done a good job at slowly improving on different areas to tweak the performance. The Brain technology that they've modified over the years is very interesting. I still don't completely understand how it works but I trust that it does what it says it does! It's worth noting that Specialized has been able to have their custom suspension setups which I think gives them an edge over other manufacturers but who knows.
* Weight per 2018 model tested by Flow. Read review here
1st Place - Scott Spark RC 900 SL - 20.94 lbs* $9,999 (see local retailers)
1st place for the lightest goes to the Scott Spark RC 900 SL coming in at 20.94. This full suspension frame with shock comes in at an incredible 3.97 lbs which is crazy light. Spark has the funky inverted rear shock that they went to a few years back but it looks pretty sweet. Scott has the proprietary twinloc suspension system with Fox which is an interesting concept and not a bad feature to have when you need maximum rigidity climbing up a hill. They claim you have 3 bikes in one. Not sure about all that but I'll have to ride one to make my final judgement.
*Weight per Scott's website here
I have to at least mention a few other bikes that unfortunately were too fat for this lineup.
- Felt Edict FRD - 22.11 lbs.
- Cannondale Scalpel SI Hi-Mod Black Inc - 22.33 lbs
Well there you have 3 options for you to consider when you are contemplating your next big light bike splurge. Is it worth the extra premium for such extreme weight savings? Maybe not. Many of the models above have slightly inferior builds available that can save you sometimes a couple grand if you are willing to pack on another pound or two to the overall weight. I'm cheap and cannot afford one of these so I won't be buying one in the near future, but maybe on the used market 3 or 4 years down the road? We shall see!
For reference sake, my 6 year old Cannondale Scalpel comes in at 23.10 lbs. If I bought some of the Synchros Silverton wheels like on the Scott (which look pretty sweet btw), I could get it down to around 21.45 lbs but that would set me back another $3500 and the entire bike cost me $2100 so yeah, no thanks :-)