High End Bicycles: presenting the new S-Works Aethos

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Next up! Our friend Terence Chan has upgraded! And now we have the opportunity to feature his new S-Works Aethos with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2.

We have featured Terence Chan’s Trek Madone earlier in these pages. But that was in 2022, and since, Terence has upgraded. Today, we take a look at his new bike. We have also featured Terence as a watch collector, see here for that article.

ChillOut TGIFridays: The 2024 S-Works Aethos with Roval Alpinist and Shimano Dura-Ace

The brief for this bike is a certified Weight Weannie, if there ever was one. The entire bike weighs in at only 5.9kg in a size 52 frame, including pedals, bottle cages and computer mount. And specced with the ultimate high end lightweight components. This bike is not legal to race in UCI sanctioned events, as it is well below the minimum weight of 6.8kg that the official racing body requires for participation in its events.

Frame: S-Works Aethos FACT 12r

The frame chosen is the S-Works Aethos FACT 12r. S-Works is the high end version of Specialized, let’s say, somewhat similar to what Lexus is to Toyota. The Aethos is S-Works’ lightest frame, coming in at a tiny 585 grams in 56cm, a mid-sized frame size. As a comparison, my Pinarello Dogma F10 frame weighs in at about 830g for a size 53cm.

The colour is what S-Works call their Cool Grey/Chameleon Eyris Tint/Brushed Chrome. The frame looks blue with a tinge of purple blended in at certain angles. Certainly a mesmerising finish.

Each component of the bike is chosen for high performance as well as for ultra light weight. For example, small details like the bottle cages are specially selected. These are the Alpitude Superleggero Carbon Cages, and are full T-700 Toray carbon with black titanium bolts to weigh in at a miniscule 9.5g each! (without screws).

Wheelset: Roval Alpinist CLX II

The wheelset chosen is the Roval Alpinist CLX II. Roval is in-house branding for wheels from Specialized. The Alpinist CLX II is their top of the line offering, weighing in at only 1250g for both wheels set up for tubeless.

However, Terence has set it up as tubed clinchers. Mainly for convenience, as tubeless can get messy if not properly maintained and tubed clinchers are the easiest to maintain. Tyres are the Specialized Turbo Cotton with RideNow Superlight inner tube.

Groupset: Shimano Dura Ace R9250

The groupset chosen is the Shimano Dura-Ace R9250 Di2. This is the latest iteration of the formidable Shimano top of the line groupset with 12 speed cassette. The Di2 specification means that shifters are electronically activated. But this is not a standard full Dura-Ace setup, as Terence has opted for upgrades in several components. Even for a top of the line group set like the Dura-Ace, there is room for upgrades of the weight weannie kind. While the chainring is standard Dura-Ace 52/36, instead of the Dura-Ace power meter, Terence has selected the 4iiii Precision Pro Dual Sided Power Meter.

On the rear, the cassette is stock Dura-Ace 11-30 with the Dura-Ace rear derailleur attached to the frame by a special Sigedi Direct-Mount Derailleur Hanger, in a special Oil Slick finishing. Ultra light and sick looking!

The rear pulley wheel is also upgraded from stock Dura-Ace to the Ceramicspeed OSPW Cerakote System in a Limited Edition Purple colourway. The Ceramicspeed is an expensive upgrade and replaces the standard Dura-ace pulley wheel / jockey wheel assembly with an oversized pulley wheel with ceramic bearings.

And in place of the Dura-Ace bottom bracket, the one selected is the BSI threaded set by CeramicSpeed. Again, an expensive upgrade.

Finishing kit & accessories

The saddle chosen is the Alptitude Gardena Unica Saddle in a special Limited Edition Oceania Colour. This is a special version of the standard Gardena Unica ultra light carbon saddle, and is handmade in Italy by Alpitude’s founder, Andrea Sega. The carbon fibre is infused with ocean blue metallic fibres for the special look. Needless to say, the saddle is ultra light.

The seat post is also not the standard S-Works post, but an ultra light carbon model by Bjorn Glagol. Even the clamp is made by Yuniper and is their Ultralight model.

Shown here is the Burgh Ossa White Bar Tape, named after Tasmania’s highest peak, the pattern shows a topographic map of the location. The bar itself is the Darimo Ellipse Road Handlebar measuring 40cm center to center.

With a matching Darimo IX2 90mm stem. Both the stem and bar are full carbon construction.

The bar end plugs and spacer for the cockpit feature custom 3D printed for a flush and seamless fit with minimalistic weight.

Up front the head unit is the Garmin Edge 1030, which is the same as the one Terence had on his Trek and one which I use on my Pinarello Dogma F10, but the mounting is a carbon Alpitude Stelvio out-front mount.

Pedals are Look Keo Blade Carbon Ceramic.

Even the through axel skewers of the disc brake wheels are not spared from the weight weannie treatment. These are purple anodised version of the Hardlite weighing only 35g each, compared to the standard Shimano E-Thru skewers which are 65g.

Concluding thoughts

What an interesting weight weannie bike. Though not quite as light as the 3.6kg shown at GCN recently. This 5.9kg build is still very impressive. I did not ride the bike, so will be unable to tell you how it rides, but I am assured that it rides very nicely, very responsive and feels…well, very light.

Photo Notes: Photographs supplied by Terence Chan.



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