Specialized Austin – 2021 Aethos
What if we used every ounce of experience we’ve gained serving riders over the past 46 years and built a bike made simply for the love of riding? When we set out on this project, we promised ourselves that we would make a bike that elevated the moments when human and machine become one, when we lose ourselves dancing up a climb or carving through a turn. Well, we did it, and in keeping that promise, we broke every design, ride, and race rule along the way. And we’re not sorry.
FOR ONCE, WE’RE NOT IN IT TO WIN
We stopped worrying about winning, or the way things are supposed to be done, and instead chased the greatest expression of ride quality ever made. On the way, we broke the “rules” of carbon manufacturing, and we broke the unwritten “rules” of riding. Oh and by the way, at just 585 grams, it’s the lightest production disc frame ever made—we broke those sacred UCI rules too. It’s a revolution born of inspiration.
BILLIONS OF CALCULATIONS
An almost out of body test lab experience birthed Aethos. Meditating on the breathing and swaying of a bike under load in the lab, lead engineer Peter Denk had an epiphany when he realized that true performance lies in the shape, not the material. After a few hundred thousand supercomputer simulations, we knew we were right.
LET’S FLIP THE SCRIPT
“HEY, CARBON! SHAPE UP!”
A frame’s shape is what drives the vast majority of a bike’s performance. Through our obsessive simulation, we learned that tubes with subtle, elongated conical sections - aka our Continuous Curvature Design strategy - deliver the highest stiffness-to-weight ratio ever tested. Turns out the obsessive Germans at the Zedler Institute agree with us.
Contact the Specialized Austin team for more information:
NO LAZY FIBERS
This discovery of shape driving performance then gave us the opportunity to improve the ride quality delivered by material and layup. We were able to eliminate traditional stiffness layers, reducing the plies necessary to build the bike by 11% compared to a Tarmac SL6. Utilizing longer, unbroken plies, every fiber is structural and reduces weight substantially. This ensures that the only thing along for the ride is you.
“The first frame was 545 grams. We put it on the test machine and the frame behaved so beautifully—it was so stable. We only had to add 10 grams, and we could test-ride the frame. That was the moment we knew we had discovered something big.”
—Peter Denk, Aethos Engineering Lead
RULES? WHAT RULES?
Turns out, this bike may be *illegal in some circles. With Aethos, we chased ride quality, not a number, but we know a light, stiff, and balanced bike is magic at the pedals. The result? The lightest disc road frame ever produced with builds as light as 5.9kg, and all with the telepathic handling, response, and stiffness targets you’ve come to expect from every bike we make
(*Psst…don’t tell the UCI).
GREATER THAN THE SUM OF ITS PARTS
THE NEW MODERN ROAD BIKE
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 center 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 1248-gram Alpinist wheels and new Alpinist bar/stem combo were tailormade for Aethos and the ride of your life.
MEET THE TEAM
It takes a team of hundreds to deliver a bike like the Aethos, but that team is led by engineers and designers absolutely obsessed with innovation.
Aethos Product Manager
R&D Engineer (Simulation)
Industrial Design Lead
Manufacturing & Layup Engineer
Road & Gravel Category Leader
Senior Concept Graphic Designer
Principal Concept Graphic Designer