Cervelo Diet – Ultimate Mods for the Ultimate Bike – Part 5 – One year later, 13 pounds 13 ounces

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Almost exactly one year later, the Cervelo is now a whopping 587 grams (1lb 1.6 ounces) lighter…and about $3700 heavier on the wallet. Each gram of weight savings cost $6.30. Is it worth that additional money? Of course, that is subjective. It is less than buying a brand new bike and offers the satisfaction of being completely customized. On the other hand, it is still a lot of money :-)

More importantly, the bike now climbs better due to lighter weight, better low gear range, and stiffer cranks. And it descends with greater confidence and ability due to the phenomenal fork and handlebars. In a word, the bike has gone from competent to fantastic.

There are a few more upgrades that I did:

  • Nokon brake cables; definitely challengiinnng to install but they offer firmer braking and some weight reduction (didn’t measure)
  • Gore shifter cables that came with SRAM rred
  • Schwalbe Ultremo tires. Beautifully made and light (184/186 grams). They are more supple than Conti 4000′s and very easy to mount. Jury is still out on puncture resistance and wear.
  • “Wet Black” Ritchey stem. Gorggeeous compliment to the rest of the carbon parts. At 117 grams, stems don’t get much lighter. This replaced the “matte” finished WCS 4-axis which weighed exactly the same.

Stay tuned for continued upgrades…wheels are next!

And if you have any ideas on how to continue to shave weight, please let us know by leaving your comments below.

About the author: Twain Mein

Twain Mein has been a fan of mtbr.com & roadbikereview.com since 1996. After meeting Francis, he became fascinated with the technology and gear aspect of cycling and became one of our first product reviewers. Twain has been doing triathlons since 1987 and was ranked in the Top 50 U.S. National Age Group in 2012. He’s recently been learning swimming tips from his 10 year-old daughter who has way more natural talent!


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  • Richard says:

    speedplay pedals?

  • Twain says:

    Absolutely, the Speedplay Ti (150 grams) and Nanogram (130 grams) pedals would cut 48 to 68 grams. I used to use Speedplays but have migrated back to the larger feeling platform. Weight-wise, you are right on.

  • Hugh G Rection says:

    I don’t understand, if it was a project to make it as light as possible. You failed. If it was to improve the bike’s comfort/handling/durability as well as lightening it up then you tell us; did you accomplish it?
    I agree though; Speedplay pedals,Lightweight wheels, Storck cranks, no bar tape and helium in the tires should help with the scale.
    I remember the MTB stupid light craze ofr the 90′s. At least the carbon stuff now is made better than the cnc’d stuff of then.

  • Twain says:

    Hugh-my apologies for not making it clear and for the wimpy conclusion on the performance side.
    By all accounts, the bike performs much better now. Most dramatically, my notoriously conservative descending skills have been improved many fold.

    By component, not talking about weight:
    - SRAM Red: 10 speed upgrade and wider gear range, faster shifting, better ergonomics
    - Easton EC90 Cranks: better power transfer
    - Fizik Antares: ok, not as comfy as an Aliante. But compared to other lightweight saddles (sub 180 gram), much more comfortable
    - KCNC quick release: well engineered; not fragile
    - Seatpost: you kind of got me here; hard not mention weight. Easy to set up and beautifully made
    - Handlebars: fantastic shape-much improved control while descending
    - Forks: the Ritchey WCS carbon forks are by far the #1 upgrade of the whole package. The bike has improved road feel that is responsive yet magically damped.

    Thanks for calling BS :-)
    Hope this clarifies better.

  • Dr_John says:

    Congratulations. Interesting project.

    BTW, your column labeled “ounces” should be pounds.

  • Wayne says:

    The text says the bike lost 1 pound and 1.6 ounces. But the prior weight is listed as 15 pounds two ounces and the new weight is listed as 13 pounds 13 ounces. That’s a difference of 1 pound, five ounces.

  • Mike says:

    “Ultimate Bike”? I tend not to agree.

  • Twain says:

    What do you think the ultimate bike is? Would love to hear some examples!

  • Anonymous says:

    The ultimate bike would not be an overpriced mass produced frame like the Cervelo. Made in China (low wages and low civil rights) but the high price of a handmade American frame like Calfee.

  • water meter says:

    Congratulations. Interesting project.

  • malk says:

    Isn’t it amazing how there will always be some jealous idiot who wants to disrespect your build…in this case “anonymous” struggled to find a mechanical reason to criticize this one but finally settles for the human rights issue…absolutely pathetic…probably rides a Schwinn as he will never be able to afford a Calfee.

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