Adam Kenway's hill-climb bike that he hopes will power him to national glory features a £250 Fizik saddle that was earmarked for the skip

The bargain-bucket in cycling shops rarely contain a few gems, but for hill-climb specialists who are weight-saving-hungry, items destined for the tip can be the difference between winning and losing.

Adam Kenway (SportGrub Kuota Cycling Team) is one of the favourites for the RTCC National Hill-Climb Championships at Jackson Bridge, near Holmfirth, on October 25.

The 28-year-old has had a strong start to his hill-climb season since refocusing his aims on negating steep gradients as opposed to road racing, with five wins and a second-place at the Monsal Hill-Climb.

Kenway, who was third at last year’s Nationals, is riding a featherweight Kuota Khan Hill-Climb bike, weighing 5.5kg, and he has embodied the spirit of marginal gains with his stripped-backed modification of his Fizik Antares carbon saddle.

Adam Kenway's stripped down Fizik saddle

Adam Kenway’s stripped down Fizik saddle

“At the shop where I work [Lovevelo, in Derby], we spoke to Fisik and asked if they had got any damaged saddles or ones that didn’t have any warranty on them because of the damage.

“They sent us this one for free and it was worth £250. The only thing wrong was that the padding was a bit ripped so they couldn’t sell it on.

“We stripped it down, took the felt off and have just kept the base of it.

“I may even drill holes into the saddle – I’ll see how bored I get!”

Kenway is using a Dura Ace chainset with one chainring, opting for 42t on the front and 11×27 at the rear. There is no front mechanism.

DuraAce-chainring

His gearing, however, scuppered his chances of success at Monsal, where his training partner Joe Clark won by 0.2 seconds.

“School-boy error alert: I put a Dura-Ace cassette on a four-month old chain. It wasn’t in gear, the chain kept slipping and I couldn’t get a good rhythm. I nearly got off halfway,” he explained.

“I’ll leave the gearing as it is, though. The 27 is there as a back up if I need it.”

Cycling Weekly photographer Andy Jones pictured Kenway’s bike on Sunday

Profile Design SVET bars. "There were no carbon bars so I bought a set of super-light, super-stiff TT bars," Kenway said.  "The TT shifters and brake levers are 200 grams lighter than the Dura Ace ones."

Profile Design SVET bars. “There were no carbon bars so I bought a set of super-light, super-stiff TT bars,” Kenway said. “The TT shifters and brake levers are 200 grams lighter than the Dura Ace ones.”

Di2-TT-Changers

Di2-TT-Changers

Di2-changers

Di2-changers

Kenway's wheels are Reynolds, but he will change to Reynolds RZR for the Nationals.

Kenway’s Edco Neggia carbon rims; he will change to Reynolds RZR for the Nationals which are 200 grams lighter. His tyres are Continental Grand Prix TT 23mm. “The GPs are good tyres,” Kenway said, “but I wanted Continental GP SuperSonic tyres but no one has them in stock.”

Rear-Brake-ZeroTI

The front and rear brake (pictured) is gold anodised Zero Gravity Ti brakes

Brake detail showing trimmed down brake blocks.

Brake detail showing trimmed down brake blocks.

Lightweight gold quick release levers

Lightweight gold quick release levers

 

  • James

    But it’s a national championship?

  • Hamish Mcdougall

    Hillclimbs are run under CTT rules not UCi. Ultra light bikes are part of the sport, within the rules and encouraged by everyone involved (the garden shed science is all part of the fun). The main reason for the uci weight limit is safety in bunch riding, this isn’t so relevant in a tt format.

  • Paul Hudson

    The expander plug and top cap are used to tension the headset bearings. The stem is what keeps the fork on, even if you keep the top cap in place.

  • Michał Woźniak

    Factory made Trek Emonda is 4.65kg. It’s also crazy expensive.

  • Rebecca Ramsay

    Yes, it is the UCI cycling limit for UCI races AND a guideline for the sport as a whole. If it’s a rule, it’s then breaking the rules and ‘cheating’ to have a lighter bike. I wrote an article about this on Easycycling when I built the lightest bike possible but maintaining integrity with the UCI rules…I much prefer to beat Emma Pooley on a strava climb KNOWING I’m not cheating….! 😉

  • noob_sauce

    Is no one going to comment on how he even didn’t use an expander plug and top cap? His fork was just hanging on by the stem. How much weight did he save there? 50g?

  • Semnoz

    Jim Henderson’s Dolan that he rode at the 2003 HC champs (near Halifax) was also 5.5kg. I wonder if that’s the absolute lightest weight possible ?

  • Adam Beevers

    He could also save a few more grams by binning his socks and jersey and cutting away the padding from his shorts.

  • IamFree

    Do they even have to wear helmets?

  • Tony Webb

    The 11 tooth sprocket, and probably a few others, won’t be needed – so why not bin ’em!

  • Nick de Rijcke

    Sometimes you have to brake even in the uphill 😉

  • Neilo

    The modified saddle would also be in breach of UCI technical regulations.

  • Danny Walmsley

    They should have to stick to it shouldn’t they

  • J1

    I think they’re part of the regulations imposed.

  • deanj

    If they’re just going uphill, why even bother with brakes?

  • David Pitt

    Why not cut the brake shoes down too; don’t understand the brake pad stop screw being left either! Shocking 😉

  • blemcooper

    Presumably it isn’t a UCI nor British Cycling sanctioned event, so their regulations aren’t applicable

  • John Westwell

    Only for UCI races.

  • James

    What about the 6.8kg limit?