Category Archives: carbon
Velo News: Not All Frames are Created Equal
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No, that $700 S-Works frame is not from the same overseas factory as the $3,500 original. Not even close. To partially prove a point and also educate internet consumers, Velo News took a look at a bootleg frame by comparing it to an actual frame in their laboratory. The results are interesting to say the least. Head over to Velo News to check it out…

Jul 1, 2015 23 comments
2015 NAHBS: Alchemy Oros Carbon 29’r Hardtail
2015 NAHBS: Alchemy Carbon 29'r Hardtail

For Alchemy Bicycles developing a new frame takes time. With a busy production schedule, an in-house paint department and juggling the day to day operations, there isn’t much time for R&D. So you can imagine how long this bike has been in the works. As their first carbon MTB frame, the Oros translates to mountain in Greek. Naming it was easy, developing it was not. The Denver based brand had to completely rethink construction.

Because Alchemy is using a unique tube-to-tube technique, they’re able to visualize the frame as a whole, while engineering and developing each section of the frame individually. The stays are shaped and continue to flow with the top tube, ending in a beefy head tube. While I can’t go into to much detail about their technology, I am eager to take it for a spin. Moves like this aren’t easy for small frame builders, but it’s evident this bike has a promising future ahead of it.

Fit with Shimano’s Di2 XTR, Fox suspension, ENVE carbon and Maxxis tires, this bike is a trail ready machine. While I don’t have a scale, the Oros feels well balanced and yeah, pretty damn light. The geometry is still in the prototyping phase, so we’ll omit those details. Once the Oros is ready for production, I’ll post updates. For now, see it in person at NAHBS, booth 501.

Mar 7, 2015 3 comments
Long Term Review: SRAM Roam 60 29r Wheels
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I’m pretty adamant in believing that out of any bike you own, your MTB deserves carbon wheels more than the rest. Now, my point that I’m trying to make – without getting too far off-topic – is out of all your bikes, your MTB gets abused the most and is required to do the most. With road and even cross wheels, you’re rarely taking big hits off-axis and you’re certainly not charging rock gardens. Regardless of tire size, a MTB benefits from a carbon wheel, both in durability and performance. Just ride a set and you’ll see what I mean.

That said, I’ve never been convinced that a set of proprietary wheels is a worth while investment, when compared to a set of hand laced wheels. The problem is, those hand-built wheels get expensive when you’re talking carbon fiber rims, laced to a DT, King, White Industries or the like hubset.

If you do decide to pull the trigger on a set of carbon hoops, there are so many options out there. Do you want XC race-light or “trail” wheels? Well, SRAM made it easy with the Roam 60. They’re nearing the weight of an XC wheelset (1650 grams for a 29r) with the durability of a legit trail wheel. I tend to over compensate my inability to connect what I see myself doing in my head, to what actually happens on the bike, with products that are engineered for even gnarlier undertakings. In short: I like riding beefy products on my XC rig, because it’s not just a XC rig.

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Nov 19, 2014 19 comments
Eurobike 2013: Argonaut Cycles Road
Eurobike 2013: Argonaut Cycles Road

It’s been a long two years for Ben from Argonaut Cycles but if he’s learned anything along the way it’s this: hard work and dedication pay off. In a lot of ways, the Argonaut Cycles road bike embodies the height of carbon fiber manufacturing. While this bike in particular might look like others that have been on the site, countless, minute changes have gone into making it unique. The design process and the final product are always improving.

Manufacturing in the USA allows Ben to tweak the layup process and continuously offer his clients the best carbon fiber road frame. Ben’s a good friend and personally, I’m very partial to Argonaut, so I took this bike out of the Eurobike tradeshow to photograph it. See more in the Gallery!

Aug 30, 2013 13 comments
James’ Ibis Hakkalügi Disc Cross
Beautiful Bicycle: James' Ibis Hakkalügi Disc Cross

James Adamson from Adventure Refugee has a long-time relationship with Ibis Cycles, so when the time came to prep for the Mission Workshop trip to China, he contacted them about a bike. Their Hakkalügi Disc Cross made the most sense for this tour.

Shown here, completely stock with cross tires or as it appeared in my post photos with Fyxation tires. The Hakkalügi retails with an Ultegra kit for $3699. Unfortunately, these are the last photos this bike will ever have taken of it because China Airlines crushed it in transport. Bummer! Check out more in the Gallery.

Apr 10, 2013 4 comments
Firefly Detail Photos by Heather McGrath
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Photo by Heather McGrath

For Firefly’s latest build, they had Boston photographer Heather McGrath come in for some detail photos. I’ve been following this bike’s process over on their Tumblr and the end product is quite nice. Check out more detail photos from the Firefly titanium and carbon road at their Flickr and see the full build right here.

Mar 6, 2013 5 comments
Mad Fiber’s High Tech Wheels are Made in the USA
Mad Fiber's High Tech Wheels are Made in the USA

A wise man once said “Don’t buy upgrades, ride up grades” and those words still hold true today but for those who are looking for cutting edge wheel technology to aid in their performance, the name Mad Fiber might come to mind. Now, I am the last person on the face of the Earth that wants or needs carbon wheels like this but they’re not even mine. So technically, “Don’t buy upgrades, borrow them from the rep” fits here.

Check out more below.

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Jan 8, 2013 24 comments