The Best Lightweight & Custom Bikes From The British National Hill Climb Championships 2019

– I’m here at the British
National Hill Climb Championships in Haytor which is in Devon right in the South West of England. And what I’m keen to find
out exactly what bike tech is being used on this course, because it’s relatively
steep, then it flattens off a little bit and then ramps up again. And there is an old
term: horses for courses. So today, let’s see what
horses are going to be used on this course. (percussive music) (upbeat instrumental music) All right Dan, I’ve got your bike. I’ve got to say, it’s pretty kitted out. I’ve just picked it up and
what with the wind that’s blowing around, look at
the state of my hair, it’s worse than ever, I
daren’t lift it off the ground. I am going to weight it later
on, but I’m quite frankly scared to, because I’m
worried it might blow away. Tell me, what have you done to it? – Right, so it’s a
Cannondale Supersix Evo. – Yep.
– It’s the Hi Mod frame, but as you can see it’s got
some seriously trick bits on it. We’ve got the Hunt Hill Climb Tubulars, so they’re sub one kilo for the pair. With some Vittoria Corsa Speed Tubulars, they’re the big thing for
hill climbing you know, wheels is where it’s at. You want light, stiff, and
they tick all the boxes. The next thing, and this was a big one, this has helped me go
crazy light this year, is the Mcfk stuff. So I’ve got stem, bars,
seat post and saddle, it’s all hand made in Germany
and it’s, as you can see, you know it’s pretty exotic looking stuff. – It’s cool innit?
– Yeah it is. – I think we can just say it,
it is really cool looking. – I’ve got the Cane Creek EE Brakes, which come in, the pair, is about the same weight
as a dual race caliper, so – Half weight.
– Yeah. So a big weight saving there. I’ve got standard Sram
eTap with a 44 tooth single Cannondale Spidering on the front, Cannondale cranks, mega
light, really stiff, and some nice titanium keo
blades on there as well. Hill climbing’s ace, because
everyone gets to geek out on the bikes, and you know. – That UCI rule
– Out the window – It can do one can’t it.
– Yeah, out the window – You can go as crazy as you want. Now, you’re not running
a front neck on there? – No.
– Save weight, or you prefer just a single ring? – Save weight, and just
I’ve got the kind of gear in that I want for this
hill climb from a 44 tooth, 11-28 on the back, and
that gives me everything I’m going to need. – It’s so different seeing
bikes, basically outside of the world tour because
people can do to them exactly what they want,
and that’s what I love about the hill climb scene
actually is, you know, just the bikes, everyone
goes crazy for them. – Yeah, and there’s so many different, everyone’s got their
own ideas of what works, what doesn’t work, so there’s
so many different bikes out there, it’s cool. – Yeah, all right. I reckon we should weigh it. All right, and it’s coming in at 5.1 kilos which is pretty impressive. What’s more impressive is the
fact the wind is catching it and the scales aren’t
being allowed to settle. I just want it to stop being so windy, because we’re freezing. All right Ed, we’re going
to check out your bike now, and when I think hill
climbs I think about people chopping off bars,
drilling holes in things, but I’m pleasantly surprised
really that you’ve not got out the dremel and you’ve
kept everything reasonably standard, but what have you done? – Well, quite simply, just
not put on any bar tip at all and I’ve swapped my
normal physique saddle out for just a standard carbon fiber saddle, weighs around 90 grams, and
what I’ve done is I’ve taken like a sample square piece
of bar tape and stuck a few on the nose so it allows
me to tilt the saddle down ever so slightly but also keeps the grip because that’s something
I found I was obviously with a carbon saddle and no
kind of padding or texture you kind of slide on the saddle. On the rest of it, I mean fairly standard. We’ve got some carbon fiber finishing kit with the Deda Superleggera. We’ve got 4iiii power
meter just left sided so it adds, you know, less than 10 grams. And as it is now obviously
it’s got training wheels on because of this horrendous weather today. – Yeah, it is literally absolutely
terrible right now innit. – It is, but. It’s got to be done for
tomorrows preparation. We’ll have the race wheels on tomorrow which are custom built race wheels, we’ll have latex tubes
and I’ve gone for some super light weight clincher
tires so we’re not running anything kind of fancy so to speak, it’s 160 gram tires
we’re running tomorrow. – [Presenter] You’ve got on there, it looks to me like a 36
inner and a what’s that, a 52 outer, what’s your thinking behind that for this course then? – Well to be honest
I’ve always ridden a 36, just I enjoy being able
to spin a bit more. But the 52, allows me to
sometimes be in the big ring when I might not be in it in a 53, for this course in particular
I probably won’t be in that big ring until the
flatter section which is actually just past here, past the hotel. Maybe two km to go I’ll
be in the big ring, just allows me to keep
that chain alignment a little bit better than being in a 53, but I’ve always wanted
the confidence of having, you know, a kind of
normal set up so to speak rather than taking the
front derailleur off and having a single speed,
well front chain ring. – Here’s a minimalistic style bike, we’ve got Scott Addicts R1 frame and forks which from memory were a
really light frame set, I can’t off the top of
my head actually recall exactly what it did weigh, but we’ve got a pair
of AX lightness wheels, you try and find those,
it’s not very easy. A relatively small German
brand, but just check them out, you know low profile rims, I love looking at bikes like this. Now the tires fitted onto
there, a pair of Vittoria Pistas in just 19mm wide, that’s right, so we’ve got tubulars fitted
on there and they are so thin. Now, because of the conditions
here they’re not pumped up rock hard like you might expect
to see Pista tires normally pumped up to, because of
course you need some traction over the hill here at Haytor Vale. We’ve got a single ring set up there, 36 tooth Wolf Tooth ring on
there, paired up we’ve got some Sram Wireless Rear Derailleurs. I say pair, we’ve only got a rear one, but where are the controls
for that you may ask? Because on these bull
horn or cow horn style, oh yeah they’re called
bull horns, not cow horn, ignore that bit, it’s pretty cold. The actual gear levers
are just underneath here. So the Sram Blips, normally
what you’d find on the time trial bars, of course
this is a time trial of sorts. So they wirelessly
connect through to those, well just through to the rear derailleur, and then we’ve got the
little Blip Sender unit taped underneath the stem there. Something that I’m just
going to point out as well is the Dia-Compe Gran Compe brakes, and they’ve got titanium
hardware in there too, they’re just a single pivot
brake, and they really hark me back to my early days of cycling. And the final piece de
la resistance if you like is the saddle from Berk Composites, I think they’re from Slovenia
and they are really cool and light and sometimes when
you go around the World Tour you spot bits of his bits
of kit on their bikes too. When I think hill climbs, I
think about modified bikes with nothing left to the imagination and quite honestly this
is what’s happened here. So we’ve got a steel frame,
bonded in some carbon tubes there too which is very cool. So it’s Columbus Spirit
tubing and then the carbon, well you can see it
through the actual lug work if you like or the joins of the steel, so here you can see it
popping out the head tube and also the seat tube,
and it’s things like this which I can’t get enough of really. Check out that front wheel. We got those Berd Dyneema
spokes, you’ll remember maybe when I did the video about
some weird and wacky wheels, these were in them, so it’s a
Dyneema so it’s like a nylon, a really tough nylon if you like, spoke and you’ve got the head
and also the thread of it embedded into the actual fibers of that. We’ve got a pair of
carbon rims on here too, we’ve also got a Crono,
so a time trial specific tubular tire here, nice
and narrow on the front, I really like the file
tread pattern on this, it reminds me of the old
Corsa CXs from Vittoria. On the rear there we’ve got a
more modern one if you like, so a bit of graphene integrated, and what the rest of the bike,
I just spoke to the owner, and he said “basically,
it’s been put together with old bits of campag lying
around in the workshop.” Which is cool as. I mean look at these handlebars,
they have been cut off, and then some sort of cloth tape, like the old handle bar tape
of the 70s that the riders would have used back then,
the 70s and previous to that. So it’s been sort of gone
over the end of where it’s been cut off so you’re not
going to dig your hand into any carbon shreds or anything. Single ring up front, and one
ErgoPower Lever there too, and a carbon fiber saddle, after all, comfort doesn’t really need to matter. He’s only going to be on the
bike for about 15 minutes, well less even. But finally just check out the
clearance of the back wheel with that super steep seat tube angle, I’ve been told that’s 79 degrees. It looks almost 90. But when I talk about a fag
paper clearance sometimes as well, that means the distance
where you could literally slide a little bit of
cigarette rolling paper in between the frame and tire, and that is almost what it is there. I love it. Right now we’re talking. A bike, I looked at it, and I thought well it looks
pretty standards really. No cut off bars, anything like that. You know, we’ve had
nothing stripped off of it, only the bottle cages but then I got looking
a little bit closer. Because I went over,
picked it up, believe me, this is a lightweight machine. First up, we’ve got a pair
of Oxygen wheels on there, they’re about a kilo for the pair, and a pair of Veloflex
Record tires on there. Now they are a very lively bit of kit. We got some EE brakes
they’re from Cane Creek too. They seem to be a bit of
a hill climbers favorite but one of the most
interesting things about this has to be the fact we have
got mismatched brake levers on there, so on the left
here we’ve got a Sram one, and on the right we’ve
got a Shimano Dura-Ace. Now at first I thought,
well maybe it’s just to save a little bit of weight but
well it’s got a one bite system on the front there and
the actual lever feel, you’re not going to be on a
bike that much in a hill climb remember so you’re probably
not going to notice it to really worry you to
go ahead and change it. Got a big old ceramic
speed oversize pulley wheel system there too on the rear derailleur. And I’ve just got to show
you actually how smoothly this drive train spins in reverse. Obviously you’re not going
to be going in reverse, but it’s worth pointing it out. I love going up to a bike and doing that. I’ve never had a bike myself
that’s actually done it. We’ve got a pair of Look Keo
Carbon Blade pedals on there too, and they’ve got the
titanium axles in there again just to save a little bit of extra weight. I love looking around at these bikes, not forgetting very slim
downed pair of skewers there, and well, no carbon saddle on there, you know not one just a carbon shell but instead Selle Italia SLR. Now we’re talking then,
a Ridley Helium SL. Helium of course a pretty light gas, and SL that stands for super light and this bike is super
light because I’ve already weighed it but I’m not going
to tell you the weight just yet you’re going to have to hold your horses. Let’s talk then about the
bike, because at first glance you could be forgiven for thinking, well it’s just an everyday
average road racing bike, minus of course the bottle cages. There’s not very many bikes
here that tend to be fitted with bottle cages on it. We’ve got a pair of Tune carbon fiber hubs so if you look at them here
there’s actual hub shells there, carbon fiber straight pull
spokes come out into these Reynolds KOM rims, KOM of course we know, King of the Mountains, nice and simple. Fitted onto them though is a pair of Vittoria Pista 19mm tubs. I think they’re 19, yeah they
are 19, just had to check because they’re so super
narrow the fact that the rim is actually wider than
them is quite remarkable. Brakes wise, standard Shimano
Dura-Aces the 9000 series, but stopping them, and
also changing the gears, are these Jagwire link
style cables, so these save quite a considerable amount in
weight really over a standard cable set up, approximately
50%, and if you think, you’ve got quite a bit of them on the bike that can all add up. Now chainset, we’ve got a
50-34 so a compact chainset, an 11-25 cassette on the rear. But that cassette is fitted
onto here thanks to a Shim. So I reckon it’s probably
a 10 speed specific hub, but they’ve managed to
actually get the free hub body just outwards a little bit
in order to accommodate the 11 tooth or 11 speed cassette on the rear, which I think is great. Remember bikes like this
they don’t have to last anything over 15 minutes say. We’ve got a carbon fiber saddle on there, I know what you’re all thinking
though, what does it weigh? Well let’s weigh it in. There we are, 5 and a half
kilos, this one has had nothing chopped off, it’s had nothing
really removed from it, it’s a, well, everyday
bike I guess, in a way. There we are, a look then
into the tech being used at the British Hill Climb
Championships and it’s been great to see, undoubtedly, the most
popular modification on a bike had to be the removal of handlebar tape. A nice and simple one there
too, let me know though which was your favorite
bit of tech down there in the comments section
below, get involved, cause I want to come back here next year and see even more of
this, remember as well, like and share this
video with your friends, don’t forget to check out the GCN shop at And for two more cracking
videos, how about clicking just down here and just down here. Me, I’m off to remove my bar tape.


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