road.cc Review - Lightweight Urgestalt Disc Frameset
The Lightweight Urgestalt Disc frameset is extremely lightweight and stiff with it, while the ability to take wide tyres (for a road bike) allows you to dial comfort into the ride.
Pros: Extremely lightweight, stiff
Cons: A lot of money!
We try not to focus too much on bike weight around these parts because it's really not as important as some people would have you believe, but it would be nuts to ignore it in this case. Lightweight claims a frameset weight of 1,175g (which we've listed above; we didn't weigh the frameset) and our built-up Urgestalt Disc hit the scales at 6.7kg (14.7lb) – just under the UCI's 6.8kg minimum weight limit for racing. That's without pedals, mind. Stick some on and you're good to go and race up the Tourmalet in the Tour de France. I'm pretty confident that makes the Urgestalt Disc the lightest disc brake-equipped bike we've ever reviewed on road.cc, although the new Specialized Tarmac Disc, with a power meter, has a claimed weight of 6.6kg (14.6lb). Let's not get caught up in a weights arms race, though!
We know that if you want to achieve the biggest advantage on a bike, an improvement in aerodynamic efficiency of a given order beats a lightweight tweak of a similar amount in most circumstances, but a lightweight (with a lower case 'L') bike can still feel good to ride. If you and whatever you're wearing come in at 12 stone, say, swapping from an 18lb bike to a 15lb bike is a total system (bike plus rider) saving of about 1.6%. It's not massive by any means, but you'd take it.
Anyway, enough of the figures. In use, the Lightweight Urgestalt Disc feels super-responsive when you put in extra effort, joining in energetically when you ask for a burst of speed to get away from the group or chase down someone with escape on their mind. The sharper the acceleration, the more you notice the lack of ballast.
The other time you notice it is on the steeper climbs, and we have plenty of those around our way. The Urgestalt Disc feels like it's working with you on the hills rather than reluctantly dragging itself up with an if-I-must attitude. Know what I mean? Some bikes seem to be asking why we couldn't have gone around the side rather than going over the top, whereas this bike just gets cracking.
As we've said a million times, producing a lightweight frame is simple, it's getting a lightweight frame that handles well that's difficult. Take any old frame and get whittling and you'll eventually end up with a world beating weight, but that doesn't guarantee a stellar performance out on the road. I try not to trade in clichés and certainly not in national stereotypes but – you knew there would be a 'but' – this German bike (okay, built in the Far East for a German brand) does have a massive focus on efficiency.
'Key aspects of [the design are] efficient power transmission, best directional stability and maximum stiffness,' says Lightweight.
Told you. None of those claims will surprise you one bit once you take the Urgestalt Disc for a ride. It feels direct. I occasionally got the slightest amount of front brake rub when riding out of the saddle and slinging the bike from side to side, but that aside it feels very stiff without any wandering of the bottom bracket during hard efforts.
The overall feel is firm but the Urgestalt Disc manages to stay the right side of harsh. Lightweight's 27.2mm Leistungstrager seatpost offers some flexibility and comfort but the main thing is that our review bike came fitted with 28mm tyres and they turn up the comfort dial a couple of clicks compared to 25s.
Race bike geometry
In terms of geometry, the Urgestalt Disc is a race bike all the way. We had the 56cm model in for test (I'm between sizes here; I could do with a 57cm frame but Lightweight doesn't make one) which has a 56cm seat tube, a 56cm effective top tube and a 15.5cm head tube. The head angle is 73 degrees and the seat angle is 73.5 degrees. The stack height on this size is 563mm and the reach is 393mm.
To save yourself translating that little lot into plain English, it means the geometry follows the bike's overall efficiency theme. At the risk of stating the obvious, you're going to be riding in quite an aggressive position here compared with what's on offer from an endurance bike, say, just in case anyone is in any doubt as to what the Lightweight is all about. You might not necessarily race this bike but it is definitely coming from that direction.
The Urgestalt Disc is sold as a frameset for £3,989 – that comprises the frame, fork, headset, carbon headset spacers, thru-axles, clamp for the seatpost and rear derailleur hanger.
Our review bike came in a top-end build that would set you back £10,499 (yes, you could buy a car for that; two or three if you really wanted), although you could opt for any other spec that takes your fancy. In this case, we had Shimano's Dura-Ace Di2 groupset, Lightweight's own seatpost and handlebar and a 3T stem.
Our bike was also fitted with Lightweight's Wegweiser Disc wheels (£3,499) which we first told you about 18 months ago. Check out our news report on Lightweight's Wegweiser Disc wheels here.
The Wegweiser wheels use rims that are 36mm deep and 24mm wide, made using automatic production methods that keep the price lower than Lightweight's other wheels, although it's all relative; they're still more expensive than wheels from most other brands. The wheels are built up by hand in Germany with 20 carbon spokes front and rear. The clincher wheelset we have weighs 1,450g.
In use, the Wegweiser wheels are quick and stiff. They accelerate beautifully and feel solid at the same time – which pretty much sums up the rest of the bike too, so they complement the overall feel.
I have a couple of criticisms, though. First, they're not tubeless compatible – that might or might not be of relevance to you. Second, I found them a bit more of a handful in crosswinds than other wheels with a similar rim depth. Don't get me wrong, these wheels don't get knocked about all over the place at the first breath of wind – far from it – but I did notice that keeping a line in gusty conditions was more of a challenge than with rivals. I won't go into any more depth on them here because, as mentioned, they're not part of the package you're buying.
In terms of price, the Lightweight frameset is a little more than the 3T Strada that we reviewed recently (£3,600) and a fair chunk higher than a Bianchi Oltre XR4 CV frameset (£3,400). You couldn't accuse it of being cheap, but you probably wouldn't expect it to be. It's a premium product at a premium product's price.
Overall, the Lightweight Urgestalt Disc lives up to its name in being the lightest disc-equipped bike that we've ever reviewed on road.cc, and it manages to combine that with offering very good frame stiffness, leading to a bright and sparky ride. You're not getting aero features thrown into the mix here, but if you're after disc brakes and you value light weight above all else, give this one some serious thought.
Superlight disc brake-equipped road bike with a high level of stiffness, but it doesn't come cheap