Following his win at the national 10 mile time trial, Richard Bussell has been finding continued success on the hill climb circuit. This is the sub-6kg bike he has built to race the season.
Like many of his AeroCoach teammates, Richard is using a fixed gear bike to race the discipline. As well as removing the extraneous weight of derailleurs and cassettes, many hill climbers prefer a fixed gear for climbing hills. There is the added benefit of removing the necessity for a rear brake.
Bussell’s bike is built around a Giant Omnium track frame, weighing under 1600g. While well-padded road riders may sniff, the Omnium is one of the lighter track frames available while still offering plenty of stiffness. At a further 400g, the original fork is also used.
The wheels are built by Richard, using Planet X 20mm carbon rims with a Planet X front hub and Novatec rear. The wheelset is sub-1300g, and is paired with exceptionally light Schwalbe Ultremo Superlight tyres. Quoted at 120g, these tyres actually come in slightly underweight, and carry the ‘Indoor Only!’ disclaimer on the sidewall.
Using Shimano 105 pedals with leather toe straps is one area of the bike which pays little attention to weight. The fixed gear and the effort both call for security and practicality over weight savings.
Rotor 3D cranks, a 1/8” track chain and an alloy sprocket make up the minimal drivetrain. The chainring is always a 39t FSA model, but the size of the sprocket varies depending on the course.
The saddle and seatpost are both no-name carbon models from the Far East. 170g is spent on the post and 97g on the saddle, which offers little in the way of comfort. Fortunately, it is rarely actually sat on.
The single brake is a Planet X CNC model, and is connected to a SRAM TT brake lever. Little is offered in the way of stopping power, but racing uphill, by nature, rarely calls for it. Zipp Vuka time trial base bars and a Ritchey stem make up the cockpit.
Richard will be racing next week 25th October at the National Hill Climb Championships up Jackson Bridge hill. The course is around 1 mile long, and has an average gradient of 11%. The climb is made up of four steep sections with shallower gradients in between, making it disruptive to a rider’s rhythm.