Ax Lightness – Vial EVO frameset
The target of the Ax Lightness Vial EVO project has been to engineer a light usable frame with the best mechanical attributes. As usual with Ax Lightness light weight has been a key factor, however it has not been the leading theme in the development of the Vial EVO: Riding stability, safety and comfort have been the key criteria.
The slender seat tube and thin seatstays allow for vibration absorption but place the rider over the rear wheel for excellent traction and a positive feel when riding hard around corners.
The Vial EVO is available with two fork specifications – the 3T Rigida Stealth (340g) and for the Vial D the THM’s (275g) Scapula.
3T Rigida Stealth
Thanks to its discreet aesthetics it fits well into the unobtrusive design of the frame and is also sufficiently light (340g) for a top frameset. The Vial EVO frameset (frame, fork, headset) weighs under 1100 g for all sizes, the frame and fork even sub 1000 g for smaller sizes.
The Vial EVO D – the sub 1000g Vial Evo D is equipped with German made THM’s 275g Scapula CT fork. Thanks to it’s load-bearing capacity optimised design it is very stiff laterally yet offers a noticeable comfort and combines all of that with an exceptional weight.
The Ax Lightness Vial Evo frame features complex shaped and load-bearing capacity optimised tube cross sections. By means of complex data recording, load scenarios were analysed and directly incorporated into the design, construction and layup of every single tube of the frame. Inside the frame there are strategically placed structures that function as a double wall and improve stiffness in key areas.
The Ax Lightness Vial Evo frame is entirely and exclusively built with premium quality high-tensile fibres. Additionally the frame is being strategically reinforced with high modular fibres in selected regions. Ax Lightness exclusively utilise fibres from a well-reputed supplier, the same type of fibres that are as well being used in our motorsports parts.
Asymmetry: the frame features a profound asymmetry with the chainstays, the left side is a lot more voluminous than the right one. The right chainstay is higher than the left one in order to withstand the chain loading on this side.
The slim, traditional silhouette with hour glass shaped headtube offers an improved aerodynamic performance and the internal cable guides (for either mechanical or electronic shifting groups) contribute to this approach and as well cleaner aesthetics.
We have used the latest bio-mechanical approach to frame geometry. In finding a suitable geometry we have not simply been relying on our own (riding) experiences but instead teamed up with Scrane, one the most-experienced bike fitters in Germany.
The aim is in placing the rider into a power efficient and relaxed position in the drops as this is where races decided. Racers benefit from mostly being able to ride without any spacer and also with a very flat headset cover. For this purpose we supply our own ultra flat 3 mm deep headset. Everyone who wants to be sitting less aggressively as well as endurance / sportif riders enjoy finding their position without having to use too many annoying and often also unattractive spacer solutions. Another advantage is bearing load is reduced and the stress on the fork’s steerer decreased.
It is all in the details – BB386 EVO
The objective of the AX Lightness Vial EVO’s development has been to construct a lightweight road bike system without having to make any compromises. For this reason we have not only focused on the frame itself but considered the complete bike as a holistic concept – key being the connection of the fork and crank and specifically the bearing seats.
In contrast to other (light) frames, we exclusively make use of carbon bearing seats with directly pressed-in ball bearings allowing to bypass all sorts of adapters or bearing shells. Hereby we save weight and eliminate potential weak spots that can lead to creaking sounds.
For the bottom bracket we rely on the BB386 Standard. It is based on the BB30 standard for 30 mm bottom bracket spindles, but makes use of a 86 mm wide bearing stance (instead of the 68 mm of BB30) and applies a lower bearing load whilst keeping the improved stiffness and lower weight in comparison to conventional bottom bracket standards.
In contrast to usual BB386 frames we deliberately rely on directly integrated and laminated carbon bearing seats and bypass all typical nylon or aluminium bearing shells: The ball bearings are pressed directly into the frame and thus save a further 30+ grams over conventional PressFit solutions. Narrow tolerances and the eschewal of additional adapters reduce the likelihood of fit imprecisions as well as creaking sounds (an exasperating topic with many modern frame!) to a minimum.
In addition thanks to the wider and more voluminous BB386 EVO bottom bracket shell fitted to the AX Lightness Vial Evo allowing for an improved connection of the frame tubes as well utilising larger tube diameters in case of the chainstays resulting in a wider stance for a higher stiffness as well as more tyre clearance.
Q: Competitive prices despite being hand made in Germany?
The Ax Lightness Vial EVO frame is 100% manufactured in our factory in Germany (along with components for F1 and Endurance racing).
How do we achieve competitive pricing nonetheless?
As we produce and manufacture the frame completely by ourselves in our factory in Creußen, we are able to bypass additional margins and profits external manufacturers such as from contract manufacturing in Asia. In addition transportation costs / import duties are eliminated.
Our distribution channel: We supply retailers directly. This way additional margins for distributors or exclusive importers are omitted. This leads to lower prices and a comparable price level all over the world.
We do not run expensive racing sponsorships. Through this we annually save high million euro sums in comparison to the big players, that you would be refinancing with your purchase of the corresponding products.
Our highly technological and strictly controlled production yields a minuscule scrap rate. In addition we can react in-time on possible changes of constructional elements.
Controlled quality, tested safety.
Thanks to our highly technological and controlled type of production, as well as limited quantities and in contrast to mass production we are able to directly control each parameter upon production and to thus offer a consistently high quality.
We do not produce special versions for magazines or particularly demanding races or extraordinary powerful riders: With us you actually receive what is being promised to you! Consistent quality on the highest level thanks to high class workmanship from Germany – “Wertarbeit aus Deutschland”!
Our products undergo rigorous fatigue and stiffness tests according to internationally acknowledged test protocols. We are co-operating closely with a well-reputed German test institute to test our products for stiffness, safety as well as behaviour in case of failure to offer you the best possible safety and joy with our products despite of their light weight.
Our highly technological in-house quality assurance guarantees a consistent quality!
Awards + Reviews
Eurobike Gold Award 2014
“In this bike AX Lightness sets the bar higher for carbon-frame bikes. But it’s not just the weight and rigidity that are unusual in this racing bike, the frame, fork and the majority of the components are German-made.”
Bikeradar says “Superbike? Nah, this one’s an überbike”, giving the ‘ax-lightness VIAL evo D Di2’ a five star rating for exceptional, class-leading performance!
Review link here
RoadBIKE test winner top frames of 2015 (issue 01/2015)
RoadBIKE says: “In the comparison of the framesets AX-Lightness still is one step ahead: No other set combines light weight, stiffnesses and comfort properties as harmonically.” Verdict: Phenomenal
TOUR-Magazin test issue 3/2015
TOUR says: “Captivating lightweight construction, made in Germany: spectacular weight, strong stiffness values, phenomenal comfort, intelligently made components.” Grade: 1.3 Award “Best comfort values”
Ax Lightness Vial EVO frame hand built / supplied by Strada
- Frame sizes: S 52, M 54, L 56, XL 58
- Headtube: 1 1/8“ upper, 1 ¼“ lower, tapered
- Bottom bracket: BB386 (adapters available)
- Cable guides: internal, mechanical / electronic Di2-compatible
- Seatpost: 27.2 mm
- Guaranteed tyre clearance: 25 mm
- Frameset weight
- Vial EVO + 3T Rigida Stealth from 660 g / 340 g uncut
- Vial EVO D + THM Scapula CT from 660 g / 295 g uncut
- Weight (+/- 5 %) 660 g 680 g 700 g 720 g
- Frame size S 52 M 54 L 56 XL 58
- Top tube, horizontal 520 542 565 588
- Seat tube length 490 512 535 558
- Head tube length 131 152 175 198
- Head tube angle 72.5 73.0 73.5 73.5
- Seat tube angle 74.5 74.0 73.5 73.0
- Chainstay length 402 403 403 405
- Bottom bracket drop 72.0 70.0 70.0 68.0
- Stack 534.4 554.1 577.9 597.9
- Reach 371.8 383.1 393.8 405.2
- Weight (+/- 5 %) 660 g 680 g 700 g 720 g