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What Does It Take for a Frameset To Cost Over $5K? Cannondale's Leichtbau LTD Tells All
Let's face it, some bicycles are reserved only for a select few, and one team helping keep this notion alive is Cannondale. It's here that we find the limited-edition Leichtbau frameset, individually numbered out of just 200 pieces. Oh, and for the price of $5,200, all you get is a, you guessed it, a frameset, let alone an entire bike. Time to see what's going on here and why the bare bones of a bike can fetch this much.

What Does It Take for a Frameset To Cost Over $5K? Cannondale's Leichtbau LTD Tells All

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Folks, Cannondale is one of those cycling crews that feeds the needs of world-class athletes. With a history dating back to 1971, this crew is one of the godfathers of modern cycling and continues to be at the head of the pack through constant innovation and a will "To do to be the best." Turn on any cycling channel, look out your window, and in the next few moments, you may very well see a Cannondale machine.

Well, this time around, Cannondale chose to show off precisely why they are at the head of this industry, revealing the Leichtbau LTD Frameset. And yes, it is a limited-edition piece, and only 200 will ever be made. Naturally, when I saw a price tag of $5,200 (€5,215 at current exchange rates) for nothing more than a frameset, I had to investigate. So, what the heck is going on here?

One way to describe this creation is to take a look at the roots of the word "Leichtbau." This term means "lightweight" or "lightweight construction." Starting to get the idea? So, how light is it? What if I told you that only 750 grams are all this sucker weighs? What then? Do you sell every bike you own to get yourself one of 200? Or do you sit idly by, waiting for the next batch that, mind you, may never come? What do you do!?

Sadly, my cycling gear doesn't come anywhere near the value of this frame, and even if I did buy one, I probably wouldn't ever ride it; it belongs on my wall, possibly growing in value as the years go by. Considering that the Leichtbau is based on Cannondale's SuperSix Evo frame, a racing frame style, I'm sure I can find some diehard Cannondale fan in the future and sell it for double its price.

Now, whenever you make something like this, it has to be unique, and this one indeed is. According to the manufacturer's website, various materials were used to create this frame. While carbon fiber sits at the center of it all, alloy and chromium are also found on the creature, typically used to accent certain traits or simply for aesthetics.

Diving further into this frame's magic, Cannondale also reveals that they employed different layup techniques and tube shaping than would typically be used on their mass-produced machines. As a result, this frameset yields up to 30% less drag, an 18% increase in compliance because of an integrated seat post and Save rear stays, and is 90 grams lighter than those other bikes. Starting to understand why they're asking us to drop this much cash?

If you're still not convinced why you need to drop this much cash on a construction like this, then maybe you don't have to be; it's possible this frameset is not for you. After all, being one of 200 in a world of 7.7 billion yields slim chances that you're the fanatic for this frameset. Hey, I'm just the messenger, and you know what they say about that. Just a little something-something if you're looking to see how gold-medal athletes like to roll.

As a little P.S., only one bike shop in the United States still has this frameset in stock; everyone else has already sold all the available options. You'll have to travel to California and check in with Newbury Park Bike Shop if you want one. However, it is a complete build.

Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third-party.


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