Want to make your road bike even lighter? Kirk Roberson tries to beat the UCI race bike limit with his Aero 883.
The Ribble Pro Cycling team spec (SRAM eTap and Zipp 404) Aero 883 bike weighs a mere 7.8kg yet it is, of course, possible to build lighter Ribble road bikes if you are inspired by ‘weight weenieness’ and that’s exactly the project that Kirk Roberson undertook.
The Aero 883 is by no means the lightest carbon road bike in the Ribble range – that honour goes to the SL, but nevertheless it’s still possible to spec an Aero 883 that will trouble the UCI weight regulation and that’s what Kirk decided to do.
The UCI weight limit
Since 2000, all professional race bikes have had to observe the UCI (cycling’s governing body) minimum bike weight of 6.8 kilograms with rider safety in mind when carbon cycling technology was in its infancy. With the relevant ‘Technical Regulation 12, Article 1.3.019’ now being nearly twenty years old and technology constantly advancing the rule is plainly outdated. Kirk’s initial target was to go below the UCI weight limit.
Starting with some of the smaller components, Kirk started to lose weight from the ‘team spec.’ A lighter SRAM cassette and a lighter handlebar stem made some savings. More small savings were made by cutting the fork steerer and seatpost which are supplied at full length for customers to alter if required.
Next a lighter S-Works saddle and Deda Superleggero carbon handlebars shaved off more weight.
When the Ribble Pro Team Aero 883 bike was launched at the start of the 2018 racing season, SRAM were yet to release a lightweight direct mount brake caliper option which are needed for this aero frame. Post launch of the SRAM S-900 calipers, Kirk has been able to spec one on the front and pair it with a Dura-Ace 9010 rear caliper.
With all the smaller weight savings made, Kirk had reduced the bike’s weight by 580 grams to make it 7.22kg.
Kirk then turned his attention to where he might make some more significant savings. By fitting Cannondale Si Hollowgram wheels – the weight of the bike dropped closer to the UCI limit and now weighed in at 6.96kg.
The Zipp 404 wheels of the team bike are chosen for their aerodynamics, but a deep section wheel is never going to be a super light option so Kirk’s finally experiments have been with other wheel choices. These are the weights of Kirk’s Aero 883 with a selection of other wheels and as you can see he has succeeded in taking this aero bike below the UCI limit:
Wheels: Mavic Ksyrium Pro SL 25 (wheelset 1346g) Weight: 6.86kg.
Wheels: ENVE SES 3.4 (wheelset 1273g) Weight: 6.77g.