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For The Weight Weenies: Specialized Aethos, Open UPPER Gravel Bike, & More

How important is bike weight to you? If it's at the top of your list, this bike quiver is for you. I picked out carbon road, gravel, and mountain bikes to create the lightest dream quiver possible.

Written by: Bruce Lin

Published on:

Posted in:Bikes

What’s the first thing you do with a new bike? If you put it on a scale and check the weight, you might be a weight weenie. It’s okay. I get it. Deep down, I know bike weight isn’t that important, but there’s just something so cool and exciting about a bike you can lift with your pinky.

Earlier this month, I put together a nice (hefty) all-metal dream quiver that showed a complete disregard for weight. But I haven’t forgotten about all you weight weenies out there. This time, I picked out a selection of featherweight carbon bikes to create the lightest dream quiver possible. Here’s what I came up with.


Specialized S-Works AethosRoad bike: Specialized S-Works Aethos - $12,399.99

Weight: 13 lbs 9 oz

Choosing the S-Works Aethos was a no-brainer. It’s the lightest disc brake road frame Specialized has ever created. This bike is decked out with a Quarq power meter, Roval Alpinist CLX carbon wheels, and a Dura-Ace Di2 drivetrain. I know from our recent Di2 vs. AXS comparison that Dura-Ace Di2 is the ultimate weight weenie drivetrain, weighing less than both SRAM Red AXS and mechanical Dura-Ace. There’s really nothing to upgrade, and even with pedals and bottle cages it will sit well under the UCI weight limit. Of course, these weight savings don’t come cheap. 

Open UpperGravel bike: Open U.P.P.E.R. - $7,902.99 

Weight: 16 lbs 10 oz

Gravel is the home of fat knobby tires, beefy frames, beards, and other knick-knacs. Hardcore gravel weenies may be rare, but if they exist, this Open U.P.P.E.R. is the bike they’ll want. Coming in under 17 pounds, it’s one of the lightest gravel bikes I’ve ever seen, and lighter than the majority of road bikes on our site! Though not as feathery as Dura-Ace, the Ultegra Di2 drivetrain is still plenty light and way more affordable. But the pièce de résistance is the ENVE G23 wheels. With shallow rims that weigh a scant 330 grams, it’s the lightest 700c tubeless rim ENVE produces.

Trek Supercaliber 9.9Mountain bike: Trek Supercaliber 9.9 - $7,999.99

Weight: 21 lbs 12 oz

A carbon hardtail is the obvious choice for saving weight, but a full-suspension bike is faster and more comfortable on rough terrain. That’s why the Trek Supercaliber is the ultimate bike for serious XC racers. Instead of a traditional linkage and shock, the Supercaliber sheds weight with an integrated IsoStrut shock and carbon flex stays. At 21 pounds, its weight and stiffness are comparable to the best carbon hardtails while still offering 60mm of rear travel to take the edge off impacts. 

Scott Genius 900 tunedFun bike: Scott Genius 900 Tuned - $7,299.99

Weight: 28 lbs 5 oz

All the weenies probably did a spit-take when they saw this bike’s weight. Any enduro bike that comes in under 30 pounds is impressive. Plus, you can’t crash-diet 24/7. Sometimes you need a cheat day where you unwind with a few brews, a plate of fries, and a long-travel mountain bike. You won’t feel too guilty riding the Genius though. The frame and shock only weigh 2,140g, meaning you get XC weight paired with 150mm of travel and a 65-degree head angle. That’s exactly why the Genius is favored by weight weenie legend Dangerholm

Total cost: $35,602.96 | Total weight: 80 lbs 4 oz

Ultra-light bikes don’t come cheap. But they’re damn impressive. Every bike here is over $7,000 and the S-Works Aethos alone costs more than my entire quiver at home. But if you loaded all of these bikes onto a barbell, I could probably curl them for multiple reps (no need to verify this, just trust me).

Does any cyclist need a quiver of bikes this light? Well if they make you happy then they’re worth it. But if you care about performance and budget, stick to bikes in the $3,000-4,000 range. These bikes will perform just as well and only weigh a couple pounds more than halo bikes.

Did I make good choices? What would you have chosen for the perfect weight weenie quiver? Or does weight not matter to you? Let me know in the comments!

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