Sometimes weight reduction goes beyond functionality and into the realm of an insatiable desire to just have everything as light as possible. Most aficionados are painfully aware the inverse relationship between weight and price, where reducing the former, increases the latter.
Weight weenies will be satisfied to know there are top-tier production bikes by some of the most successful brands producing bikes that sit well below the UCI legal weight of 6.8kg. The svelte nature of the following crop of steeds is achievable thanks to meticulous attention to detail, the use of lightweight high modulus carbon fibre paired with the top-of-the-line groupsets and lightweight hoops. Stand back an appreciate the sum of the parts, you have yourself a featherweight bicycle.
In a hypothetical world where money was no object, we would all secretly love to add one (or all) of these to the fleet, or indeed, forgo the fleet altogether in favour of one do it all superbike. Here we line up our top six of the best production road bikes under (or very close to) six kilograms, behold...
Conceptualised as a bike to complement the climber, the aim of the Specialissima frameset is to hit the perfect balance between light-weight and rigidity for acceleration when the road points up. In Bianchi's line up, this bike is the nimble superbike.
The hi-modulus carbon frame is embedded with Countervail technology, which is claimed to offer advanced vibration dampening technologies. Finished with a fittingly Italian Campagnolo Super Record, and available in a range of colour schemes, including signature Bianchi Celeste, as well as a Marco Pantani Signature edition, this bike isn’t the lightest on our list, but we think you'll agree that the whole package is something special.
Weight: Estimated 6.08kg (56cm)
Frameset: Specialissima super light carbon frame w/Countervail, Bianchi full carbon fork w/Countervail (weight)
Groupset: Campagnolo Super Record EPS 11spd (Shimano Dura Ace 9150 and SRAM Red Etap build kits offered also)
Cockpit: FSA OS-99 AL7050 stem w/ titanium bolts, FSA K-Force Compact handlebars, FSA K-Force Light SB25 setback seatpost
Wheelset: Campagnolo Bora Ultra 35 Dark
Liv Langma SL 0
Weighing in at a claimed 6.05kg for a fully built Advanced SL 0 (size S), the Langma is the lightest bike that parent company Giant has ever produced. The weight savings are mostly attributed to the ultralight frame and fork combo which tips the scales at a meagre 1155g (claimed).
The build kit for the Advanced SL 0 isn’t all about weight savings either, kitted out with SRAM eTap, Quarq powermeter, proprietary bar/stem combo and wheelset, there is still wriggle room for the weight weenies to drop the weight even further.
The Langma is also designed to excel on descents thanks to a mix of aerodynamically optimised tubing. Featuring a thicker d-shaped tapered downtube borrowed from the Propel Disc, a slender seattube, pencil thin chainstays and aero shaped headset cap and spacers, it's clear that the bike was not designed to be a one-trick pony.
Weight: Claimed 6.05kg Size: 52cm
Frameset: Advanced SL-Grade Composite w/ Integrated Seatpost, Advanced SL-Grade Composite Fork w/Full-Composite OverDrive 2 Steerer (1105grams)
Groupset: SRAM Red eTap 11spd w/ Quarq DZero Powermeter
Cockpit: Giant Contact SLR Flux stem, Giant Contact SLR handlebar, Integrated Design Advanced Composite SL seatpost w/ Liv Contact SLR saddle
Wheelset: Giant SLR-0 WheelSystem w/ DT Swiss internals
Cannondale SuperSix EVO Hi-Mod Black Inc.
No stranger amongst the World Tour peloton, Cannondale's flagship race bike features all the details you look for in lightweight, nimble and visually stimulating bike. The combination of the race bike geometry and super light build ticks all the boxes when it comes to a dream machine.
The Ballistec hi-modulus carbon raises it above the others in the Cannondale lineup, shaving grams, adding compliance and turning up the stiffness. The traditional triangle frame shape and short rear stays ensure this drool-worthy steed is responsive and eager to accelerate both when the road points up, or when nailing it on a flat section of tarmac. No detail has been skipped in pairing the SuperSix Black Inc with the componentry it deserves, as the full carbon Enve Composites build kit makes this bike worthy of its boutique classification.
Weight: Estimated 5.8kg (Size: 56cm)
Frameset: BallisTec Hi-Mod Carbon Frame (670g) and Fork (300g) w/ SAVE technology
Groupset:Shimano Dura Ace Di2 9150 w/ Cannondale Hollowgram SiSL 2 Crankset
Cockpit: ENVE Carbon Road 6° stem, ENVE SES 31.8mm Aero handlebar, ENVE Carbon Gen 2 25.4mm seatpost w/ Fizik Arione 00 saddle.
Wheelset: ENVE SES 4.5 Carbon clinchers
Trek Emonda SLR 9
When the original Emonda was announced exactly three years ago, it was pitched as the world’s lightest production bike, a title it flaunted well with its previous halo model, the SLR 10, which was claimed to weigh an amazing 4.6kg (10.25lb) with its 690g frame (56cm size). And yet, the 2018 Emonda SLR frame is lighter again with Trek managing to shave 50 grams off its predecessor with the new Emonda SLR fork weighing in at just 313g. The rest of the fit out is, as you’d expect, top of the range to complete the rig, with Shimano taking care of shifting and in-house proprietary brand Bontrager providing the finishing kit.
Weight:Claimed 5.8kg (Size: 56cm)
Frameset: 700 Series OCLV Carbon frame (640g) and fork (313g)
Groupset:Shimano Dura Ace Di2 9150
Cockpit: Bontrager Pro 7° stem, Bontrager XXX OCLV carbon handlebar, Bontrager RideTuned Carbon seatpost w/ Bontrager XXX Full Carbon saddle.
Wheelset: Bontrager Aeolus 3 D3
Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL6 Ultralight
When Specialized set about overhauling its peloton hero, the Tarmac in 2018, it left no stone unturned in improving the ride on all fronts. In addition to a more aerodynamic advantage, the new Tarmac comes in at an astounding 20% lighter than the previous version, meaning more watts per kilo by default! If you thought this build couldn't possibly satisfy weight reductions any further, think again. Specialized have gone the extra mile to produce this particular version of its Tarmac (the Ultralight) - of which it produced only 500 bikes globally with a proprietary paint process that only adds 10 grams to the raw frame, now that's detail!
Weight: Estimated 6.2kg (Size: 56cm)
Frameset: S-Works FACT 12r carbon frame (733g claimed), FACT Carbon fork
Groupset: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 9150 w/ S-Works carbon fibre crankset
Cockpit: S-Works SL Alloy stem, S-Works Carbon shallow drop handlebar, S-Works SL Carbon seatpost with S-works Toupe saddle
Wheelset: Roval CLX 32 Carbon clinchers with CeramicSpeed bearings
Canyon Ultimate CF Evo 10 SL LTD
This piece of machinery has redefined the meaning of lightweight, without the risk of compromising strength or durability, according to Canyon. This limited version is actually 140g heavier than its Evo stablemate (the Ultimate CF Evo 10 SL) yet will skyrocket the price due to the boutique componentry used. The integrated SRM power meter says that this bike is meant for performance, not just aesthetic. As Canyon itself admits “sometimes you just have to shoot for the moon and buy the best of everything. The Ultimate CF EVO 10.0 LTD is a bike with no compromises”.
Frameset: Canyon Ultimate CF Evo ultra-high modulus fibre, integrated carbon front derailleur mount, titanium screws. Frame 665g, Fork 290g
Groupset: SRAM Red eTAP 11spd, rear derailleur with ceramic speed bearings, Crankset, full carbon THM-Carbones Clavicula M3 with SRM Powermeter
Cockpit: Canyon integrated aerodynamic handlebar and stem, Canyon S14 VCLS 2.0 CF seatpost w/ Fizik Antares 0.0 saddle
Wheelset: Lightweight Meilenstein Clinchers with Ceramic Speed bearings,
Estimated weights are courtesy of independent sources. Discrepancies in estimated and claimed weights can be found in tyres, tubes, bar tape and scale accuracy. It is safe to say these weights are pretty close, +/-5%.
Has this drool-worthy list piqued your interest in a new steed? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Buying a Road Bike for everything to look for, or shop the wide range of Road Bikes for sale right now on BikeExchange.