Lighten Up - Details
article & images by Nick Salazar
Mar 21, 2011
When it came down to the details of our Lighten Up bike, we didn't want to cut corners. We sought out the lightest bits of kit to finish off this build, while maintaining the aerodynamic theme of the bike. First up: the fork. Most high-end tri bikes now come with full carbon forks, which are reasonably light. 390-450g for a fork is pretty common to see in a full carbon fork. But we wanted to go lower than that. We ended up going for one of the lightest production forks in the world, the Scapula SP. This is the production version of the custom fork featured on the World's Lightest Bike. The Scapula is a marvel to behold. The whole thing is carbon, and the 3k weave is exposed, unpainted, to admire.
Mounted on the front of this gorgeous fork is THM's own Fibula brake. The brake, which is available in a front-rear set, is made of 3k carbon fiber. It's a single-pivot design, but has more than ample stopping power. Fairwheel Bikes did a thorough review of these babies, and we agree with their findings - this is one slick brakeset. Moreover, it is small enough to "hide" in the aero profile of the fork, leaving only the little arms sticking out in the wind. Although the whole setup was engineered for light weight rather than aerodyamics, we can't imagine it does too bad a job there.
Riding the Sky
Skewers were one of the last pieces we finished up for this build. After much deliberation, we chose these beauties from Tune. They're called the Skyline skewers, and they come in at an astonishing 17g ... for the PAIR. That's right, this pair of skewers weighs less than most top caps. But they're not just light. They're also so small that they barely stick out from the fork dropouts. Smaller frontal area means better aerodynamics.
The drawback with these babies is that they are a bit less convenient to install. They're bolt-ons, and require a special wrench, supplied by Tune, to tighten down. So, you'd never want to use these in a situation where lightning-fast wheel changes are critical (say, in a criterium, or a draft-legal ITU race). But if you're going for speed on the road, these are the skewers to beat. Team BMC famously used bolt-on skewers during the Tour de France for this very reason. Super light, purpose-built, and narrow-minded? Sounds like the perfect addition to our Lighten Up bike.