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A couple weeks ago I bumped into Jonathan Cantwell at Cafe Racer and noticed his new SwiftCarbon model that I hadn’t seen before. When I asked about it he promptly told me to lift it up and once I did, I knew it was something more than just any regular bike.
The SCULP (SwiftCarbon Ultra Light Project) is SwiftCarbon’s collaboration with German manufacturer AX Lightness. The concept was born from Mark Blewett (founder of SwiftCarbon), Boris Sirmanoff (head of engineering) and Axel Schnura of AX Lightness who wanted to make the lightest, stiffest production frame in the world produced entirely in Germany.
Many people will say it’s a futile exercise to manufacture the “lightest bike” as it only sees a race to the most impractical bike being engineered. For those who say that, try lifting a bike that weights 4.5kg and I challenge you to be unimpressed. Or even better, try holding one of the individual components the bike is built with to feel it’s weight. And when you step on a bike like this and push that first pedal stroke, “wow” is often the first response.
When you lift 4.5kg as a bike it’s phenomenally light. But when you’re trying to lose 4.5kg off your waist, it seems insurmountable.
The hero feature of the SCLUP is undoubtedly its weight. At 4.5kg it sits amongst the lightest production bikes on the market. The frame itself weighs a mere 700g (size medium) which built on a combination between a modular monocoque design a butted tube-to-tube design. The frame uses a combination of round and square(ish) tube profiles with massive reinforced cross-sections across the down tube and chain stays.
There is no documented weight limit on the SCULP frame, but the AX Lightness website has weight limits of between 100-110kg on some of it’s parts such as the stem and cranks.
Price? Maybe you should sit down. At ~$17k AUD it’s not only one of the lightest production bikes on the market, it’s also one of the most expensive.
No, the SCULP may not be the most practical bike, but when I see the bikes hanging up outside Cafe Racer every morning, there’s most certainly a market for it.
Disclosure statement: Jonathan Cantwell works for SwiftCarbon however this article was neither solicited or paid for.