Interbike Tech: A $45,000, six pound carbon road bike assembled by Fairwheel Bikes

Zack Vestal /

Nope, there’s no “teen” missing from that “six” in the headline. You read “six pound carbon road bike” and that’s exactly what the wizards at Fairwheel Bikes in Tucson assembled about a week ago for the Interbike trade show.

The six-pound bike.

Six pounds barely qualifies as a healthy weight for a newborn baby, let alone a complete, rideable bicycle. And you might well argue that this baby was born a little prematurely. According to a Fairwheel representative, the nearly 100-percent carbon machine was quickly assembled. He mentioned that the build was hasty and they’re planning to revise some of the spec.

To get the scoop, I talked to Rico de Wert, builder of the bike’s aluminum cranks. He said that most of the parts are available from small, boutique manufacturers, but some key pieces are fully custom and might never again be built. But de Wert himself plans to bring his crankset and a new stem he’s working on to market sometime in 2011.

The SPIN Custom frame was built by Marc Siebert. As far as we know, it’s the same one built for Günter Mai and profiled by VeloNews in March 2008. But according to de Wert, it was purchased by “some American,” and now wears a few new parts to further drop its weight. De Wert says the frame itself is completely rideable and has already logged nearly 20,000 miles under its former owner.

Spec highlights include:

Customized AX Lightness brakes (we didn’t nail down if they’re the AX3000 or Orion model)

A 281-gram (with bearings) machined aluminum crankset built by Rico de Wert

Hubs by Dash Cycles of Boulder, Colorado

Custom 24mm carbon rims by AX Lightness laced with Pillar titanium spokes

AeroLite Lite Pedals, custom drilled to shave a little extra weight

NoRa CfK carbon stem, built by Oliver Grest of Germany and his Grest & Hanke GbR company

Schmolke custom TLO road bar by Stefan Schmolke

Carbon downtube shift levers by BTP

Custom one piece Tune Speedneedle saddle integrated with a Schmolke post

A heavily modified SRAM Red rear derailleur

To give you a sense of how insanely light the parts of this bike have to be in order for the machine to make weight, De Wert said the wheels alone weigh just 585 grams. That’s both wheels together.

Sure, it’s totally ridiculous. But it’s the kind of bike porn we all live for, so enjoy.

And even if you have an extra forty-five grand burning a hole in your pocket, don’t hold your breath. We’re sorry to report that it’s not for sale.