National Champion Jack Pullar took stripping down his bike for this year’s hill climb championship to something of an extreme.
While the frame is just his team issue Cannondale Super Six Evo, all that remains of his Selle Italia SLR standard saddle, for instance, is its carbon rails and hard plastic shell. And even that’s been repeatedly attacked with a drill.
“I’ve had a bit of fun with it,” Pullar explained. “Basically it’s the bike I’ve been riding all year in Premier Calendars but I made some modifications.”
Below the saddle, just one inch of a short Bontrager Race XXX Lite seatpin -borrowed from team mate Stuart Reid- is sleeved inside the frame. Similarly precarious reductions can be found in sawn off brake blocks and a completely hollowed out fork steerer.
The bike also displays the often seen hill climber’s tricks of cut down handlebars (sponsors Wheelbase helped him with the chopping) and discarded outer chain ring and front mech. The chain has also been reduced by eight links – as much for increasing tension as losing weight. A 39 tooth chain ring combines with an 11-25 cassette – the biggest sprocket of which Pullar admitted to using when his legs gave in during the final 30m.
For the title race, Pullar used Mavic Ultimate wheels shod with a friend’s lightweight track tub on the front and a standard Vittoria Corsa Evo SC on the back to give him some traction in the wet.
The brake blocks have been reduced, showing the effort Pullar has made to shave off every last gram possible.
With both the top cap and star cup removed, the stem and fork are
held together simply by the stem bolts. “They’re done up very tightly,”
says Pullar. “But I probably wouldn’t recommend it.”
Bar end plugs may carry a few extra grams but prevent fingers catching on the holes.
Pullar has proudly reduced the weight of his saddle to just 92g by
ripping away the covering and padding and perforating it with holes. “A
bid sad, I know” he concedes.
Last year, Pullar rode a 17lb Basso Astra to success on the Ramsbottom
Rake. For the nationals this year, his modifications reduced the overall
weight of his Cannondale to just 12.2lbs.
This article was first published in the November 8 issue of Cycling Weekly. You can also read our magazines on Zinio and download from the Apple store.