“The world’s lightest road calliper set at 129 grams per pair” is how the new Ciamillo Lekki8 brakes made and sold by the legendary (some would say infamous) engineer Ted Ciamillo are described. The Lekki8 was launched in late 2018 and if it is what it says it is, then these brakes are certainly worth checking out by those riders who want to shave off every gram of extra weight.
Ted Ciamillo has been designing and manufacturing boutique brake sets since first designing his most famous stoppers: the Zero Gravity brakes in 2002. The Prologue had a pair of these for years and loved them, until the bike in question got stolen…
Ted did well, and sold lots of sets of brakes until the company went bankrupt in 2008. Ted, a scuba diving freak, is also a bit of an eccentric inventor and designed and built a 15-foot human-powered submarine in 2009. It is not known how successful the project was.
Fast forward to 2018. After having moved from the US to Poland, Ted Ciamillo’s new brakes: the Lekki8, received a lot of attention in the cycling press due to their extremely light weight of 129 grams a pair (without brake pads). To give you some point of reference, Shimano’s latest Ultegra 6800 brakes weigh 335g per pair. The Lekki8 are designed to accommodate wider tyres than the earlier models (up to 28mm, the company says).
The Ciamillo Lekki8 certainly appear impressive and if the stopping power is as good as the low weight, which the testers say they are, then anyone running calliper brakes may certainly want to give them a try: if you have US$600 spare for a pair of brakes, that is! Also, you have to be a good home mechanic, as fitting and adjusting the brakes on the bikes is apparently quite a chore.
There is a caveat for potential buyers, however. A number of cycling forum archives have both new and archive threads relating to delayed delivery, warranty issues and the general reliability of Ted Ciamillo’s company’s service in the past. We have no way of knowing if these experiences are exceptions to the rule or not. In the past we’ve enjoyed the ultra-lightweight stopping power of Ciamillo brakes but have no direct experience dealing with the company. Whatever the case, if these beauties are eventually fitted to your bike, you can be guaranteed that nobody else in your group of riders will have the same set up…