TOUR: There are lots of tuning suppliers offering their products on the market of extremely safety-relevant components, such as seat posts, handlebars, stems. Are those lightweight components safe?
Zedler: From my experience, the components of experienced German suppliers, such as Tune, Schmolke, AX Lightness, THM, are the most state-of-the-art components available on the current market. The manufacturing of these components is not suited for the series manufacturing in the Far East and therefore nothing speaks against them being lightweight. In this field the technology has reached Formula One level including all consequences.
TOUR: And what would those be?
Zedler: DIYs should keep their hands off these components. Such high-end components are only as good as the mechanic assembling them. As a minimum you need a good torque wrench, carbon assembly paste and the necessary amount of experience to tighten the bolts by starting from a minimum value and approaching the indicated tightening torques in small steps. Overtightening, even though by only half a turn, the combination of incompatible components, and yet a safe component turns into an accident risk.
TOUR: Where is a tuning reasonably priced, safe and promising?
Zedler: Virtually all bikes up to premium mid range bikes allow a weight saving of 400 to 800 grams in the area of the wheels without loss of function. A lot of weight saving can be achieved by using other tires and tubes and really acceptable system wheels with alu rims do not weigh more than 1,400 grams – these are however rarely included in the original equipment. As regards the gear and brake components, there is in my opinion only little potential for tuning beyond the top systems.
Graduate engineer Dirk Zedler, bike expert, www.zedler.de