And you thought your bike was light?
Bikes of such minimal weight that the only way to create them is by spending endless hours sanding, polishing and paring away the excess grams.
Gustav likes denim, punk and building the world’s lightest mountain bikes.
But we’re not just talking about choosing the lightest production bikes on the market. No, we’re talking about spending hours sanding, scraping and getting rid of every superfluous gram, from every component. Weight weenieing that leaves behind machines of such exquisite minimalism that they look more art installations than offroad weapons.
In the world of the weight weeny, Gustav Gullholm is a bit of a legend when it comes to producing featherweight mountain bikes. Not content with creating just one world beating build, Gustav currently has two machines ready to take on the world.
Working in a bike shop in his native Sweden, Gustav has taken two already light frames; a Scott Scale hardtail and a Scott Spark RC full suspension frame and endowed them with his magic to produce bikes that almost defy belief.
Show me the weights already!
How does 6.22kg (13.71lb) for the Scale and 7.68kg (16.93lb) for the Spark sound?
To put that in context, the lower weight limit for Tour de France ROAD bikes is 6.8kg, so the Scale with its proper suspension fork and hydraulic brakes comes in at half a kilo lighter than that!
Or to put it another way, Scott’s own weights for the Scale and Spark are 8.7kg and 9.6kg respectively. Gustav would have to strap two and a half bags of sugar to his Scale to get it up to the weight of the production version!
What makes these bikes even more extraordinary is Gustav regularly rides and races them and barring a tyre choice or two everything is designed to be durable and practical. This is actually pretty rare in the world of properly light bikes where often parts are chosen for their weight above anything else. There aren’t any carbon fibre chainrings or brake rotors for a start.
Many of the parts listed come from pretty small and specialist brands such as Schmolke, Berk Composites, Tune, Extralite and Hopp Carbon Parts.
All produce beautifully crafted components made from pretty exotic materials and are, of course, not cheap. Exact costs for the build are unspecified, especially if you take into account the many hours of painstaking labour that goes into the preparation.
But to give some sort of idea to the costs involved the MCFK stem/Schmolke handlebar setup would cost £458 without the additional carbon bonding costs. Suffice to say neither bike was cheap.
How do you set about making a really light bike?
First off get rid of any paint, that stuff is heavy! Then look at every component and either put it on a diet if it’s the right part for the job by sanding, polishing or swapping bits for super light carbon. Anything deemed too heavy is swapped for the lightest, usable versions or, like the original parts, sprinkled with lots and lots of exotic trick bits.
But Gustav isn’t resting on his laurels with just having two super light builds. He’s currently lavishing his time and energy on a Scott Genius that apparently will have some pretty special design features. To keep up with his projects, give his Instagram a follow.
If you’re interested in what it takes to create the lightest 29ers in the world, check out the complete spec sheets above.