The Ride Of Your Life
There are riders out there that yearn for more than racing, that see the experiences of the open road as an equivalent to toeing a start line. The demands of this sophisticated rider equal that of any racer, for where racers want for speed, these riders demand a package that accounts for everything else, too. Sprightly climbs towards the clouds, wicked descents on the other side—they demand superior handling and an unrivaled ride from a bike that’s the epitome of quality, performance, and style.
Break The Rules
While this endeavour would allow us to apply everything that we’ve learned about making bikes over the last half-century, the goal was not to adhere to any of our preconceived notions around building them. But where would this take us?
We’re as well-versed in the norms of cycling culture as we are in the rules of the UCI, after all, yet neither of these confines would have any bearing on our process. That’s because we see creating this instrument of transcendent bike experiences as being far more important.
Billions Of Calculations In Pursuit Of One Thing – The Perfect Ride
Flipping The Script On How We Build Bikes
We know that shape contributes to the vast majority of a bike’s performance, and that’s why Aethos was born from a “Eureka” moment in the test lab. Our engineers studied the flexing and breathing of carbon frames in the pedaling test rig, and they realized the industry’s understanding of how forces flow through a frame was incomplete and ripe for massive improvements. We used staggeringly large supercomputer simulations—more than any humans can do in a lifetime—to subtly alter round tube shapes. This made their shapes more conical in key areas to deliver huge gains in stiffness and balance with the minimum amount of material. There’s nothing extra here except more stability and integrity.
Just so we’re clear, this is a shape story of how and why the shapes work within this bike. The outcome of Aethos represents an entirely new way of designing bikes. Why’s this really cool? Because it will shape how we build all of our bikes moving forward.
No Lazy Fibers
Now, if the vast majority of the frame’s performance is dictated by shape, then the remainder plays itself out in the actual materials used and the manner in which they are connected—the frame’s layup.
Continuing to study how these frames move under load helped determine that there were too many “stiffness layers” (or extra plies) added in the creation of traditional frames. So, with these new tube shapes, we needed an entirely new way to lay-up frames. Thankfully, it’s one which resulted in reducing the number of needed plies by 11% compared to the S-Works SL6 (which was known for being pretty damn great already). By utilizing larger, longer, and more continuous, unbroken plies, we were able to achieve more consistent positioning than on any frame we’ve made before.
The interesting thing to note is that the wall thicknesses of the tubes, themselves, are substantial throughout the frame, but because of the smaller number of the stiffness layers, the overall weight went down significantly. The only thing along for the ride should be you.
Stiffness To Weight Number Defines Efficiency
We chased ride quality with Aethos, not a number. That said, we know a light, stiff, and balanced bike is magic at the pedals. The result, however, is the lightest disc road frame ever produced, with no gimmick builds and a weight as light as 5.9kg. Aethos is very illegal in some racing circles, yet it’s still rated for a 275-pound rider and possesses all the telepathic handling, response, and stiffness targets that you’ve come to expect from every bike we make. (Psst – don’t tell the UCI).
The New Modern Road Bike Greater Than The Sum Of Its Parts
To say that “everything has been considered with this bike” would be an understatement. We spent weeks upon weeks iterating, designing, and obsessing over every piece of the puzzle. But with the rider at the centre of the conversation, our goal was to make a bike that would fit your riding lifestyle— not the other way around.
Perfection Is In The Details
From dropouts to derailleur hangers, no gram was overlooked. The same can be said about the approach of our partners at Roval Components. They’ve been working towards the same North Star of ride quality, and the 1284-gram Alpinist wheels and new Alpinist bar/stem combo were tailor-made for Aethos and the ride of your life.
We celebrate every new platform we introduce with a Founder’s Edition. Limited to 300 bikes globally, this is the lightest build on offer, and it features an exclusive, stunning paint scheme with colour-matching finishes on some of the more unique parts. This S-Works Aethos includes the lightest Shimano Di2 componentry, the Roval Alpinist bar/stem combo cockpit (the first production bike to feature these), and upgraded CeramicSpeed bottom bracket and pulley wheels.
South African Availability and Pricing
The Aethos S-Works frame will be available at R80,000 and the Aethos S-Works Di2 complete bike for R200,000.
More details available on Specialized.com.
Is the new Aethos Rider-First Engineered™?
Yes. Every frame size has the same legendary climbing responsiveness and descending prowess you'd expect from any of our Performance road bikes.
How much does the Aethos weigh?
The S-Works Aethos uses our most premium FACT 12r material and layup to achieve a painted frame weight of 585g in the lightest colorways.
The complete out-of-the-box weight of the S-Works Di2 model is 6kg in the Carbon/Chameleon Red Gold colorway.
What about the different colourways?
The lightest frame colorway is the Satin Carbon/Jetfuel that weighs 585g. Other colorways will add roughly 25g (like Satin Carbon/Chameleon Red Gold or Satin Carbon/Gloss Black Chrome) to 45g (like Gloss Clay/Flake Silver or Satin Flake Silver/Chameleon Red Gold) more.
As a lightweight frame, is it still reliable?
Aethos represents a new way of thinking about how to engineer a bicycle frame–like all Specialized production frames, it must undergo stringent testing to ensure it meets all quality and safety standards. In fact, due to the optimization of the tube shapes and layup, the Aethos frame is exceptionally durable, even as a lightweight bicycle.
What is the geometry of the Aethos?
The Aethos features identical fit and handling geometry as the Tarmac SL7. Detailed measurements can be found in the geometry chart.
How is stack and reach measured on the Aethos?
Stack and reach are measured to the center of the top of the headtube, as is customary. Although these numbers are different than the Tarmac SL7, the fit geometry is identical between the two framesets.
What offset will the Roval Alpinist seatpost come in?
The Roval Alpinist seatpost is available in a 12mm offset and in 300mm and 360mm lengths. All complete bikes and framesets will be spec’d with this Roval Alpinist post.
What build configurations is the Aethos compatible with?
The Aethos is only compatible with hydraulic disc brakes. All models can be built with electronic drivetrains, but only the 10r framesets can be built with mechanical drivetrains.
Roval Alpinist Cockpit: Is it compatible?
The Roval Alpinist Cockpit is compatible with all Aethos models and framesets. It was designed as a bar/stem combo to reduce weight, while giving riders the fit and performance they expect. It will be available in 10 different sizes (as combinations of stem length and bar widths) by early 2021.
Alpinist Cockpit: Is there an integrated computer mount?
The new Alpinist Cockpit offers an integrated computer mount with compatible mounts for the following brands: Wahoo, Garmin, Polar, Cateye, and Bryton. Additionally, there is a mount designed around GoPro devices, Specialized Flux Lights, and a new mount designed for Specialized Stix lights.
What’s the largest tire size you can install on the Aethos?
Every Aethos comes spec’d with 700x26mm tires, however, the frame was designed with much larger clearance in mind. You can fit tires up to 32c on 21mm rims with 4mm of clearance all around. Of course, this is all still dependent on the exact tire and rim combination as there is quite a bit of variation among tires especially. We suggest that you check fitment of the tire before you take it out for a ride
Can I remove the Front Derailleur Hanger?
Yes! The Aethos has a removeable FD Hanger, which gives you the cleanest set-up when running a 1x drivetrain. If the FD Hanger is removed, a cover for the routing hole and two bolt holes is included with your Aethos. The hanger’s construction is different between the 12r and 10r frames, so please refer to the User Manual for proper installation.
Front brake caliper adaptor: Why is there a proprietary part?
All Aethos frames were engineered to maximize the performance potential in the pursuit of the perfect ride–this includes optimizing the front disc brake caliper mount for 160mm rotors only. In doing so, the engineering team designed a new adaptor plate designed to work with any flat mount caliper to reduce the weight of the fork, without sacrificing any stopping power or reliability.
Where is the Shimano Di2 A-Junction Box?
The Shimano A-Junction will be installed in the handlebar.
What are the other tech specs of the Aethos?
All Aethos models have a 68mm BSA threaded bottom bracket. The Aethos has 142x12 and 100x12 thru axles and follows the Shimano flat mount disc brake standard.
Will Specialized sponsored race teams use Aethos?
No. The Tarmac SL7 can be built and raced at the 6.8kg UCI weight limit and represents a significant aero advantage over Aethos.
Why is Aethos UCI approved?
Although the Aethos can be built and ridden well below the UCI weight limit, UCI frame approval is still very important. This approval allows riders to utilize the Aethos as they wish, as many amateur events across the world require participants to use a bike that is UCI approved. UCI rules also dictate that these bikes each have a label in a conspicuous location permanently adhered to the frame.