Random notes on new models and current:
Gran Paradiso: our skinny-tire race bikes gets a few tweaks in the form of Edge Composites forks and the addition of a 953 option. Edge are the new kids on the block but theyâ€™ve all done this for many years and their stuff is great. Iâ€™m trying to get a long reach fork from them for the Classic line â€“ are you listening, Jim? 953 is the new wonder metal from Reynolds by way of Carpenter. Itâ€™s a mar-aging stainless steel with pretty remarkable strength qualities, which allows a frame to be built that rivals titanium in terms of weight but with a ride very much like that of steel â€“ which it is. But it doesnâ€™t need to be painted; the finish is bright and shiny, and the welding is tiny and immaculate. Look for the Edge/953 combo here shortly, $3500.
New model, Team Pro – this is the lightweight lugged steel frame that weâ€™ve built off-and-on since day one, formerly known as â€œGiro â€˜88â€. Itâ€™s back, weâ€™ve made some tweaks, Martin will be building all of these here at the Towers from Sachs lugs and castings using True Temper/Columbus tubing, magazine review slated, $2600. Photos soon.
Strada Bianca â€“ no big changes but weâ€™re playing with some Bontrager forks that have rather hurking clearances. Still our best seller in titanium, steel, and S & S coupler versions. Rivendellâ€™s Jack Brown 33.3mm tires are a huge hit on this bike for most who try them.
New model, Travelissimo â€“ speaking of S & S torque couplers, weâ€™ve decided to finally build a coupler-bike page. Weâ€™ve sold dozens of these over the years in both skinny-tire and Strada Bianca configurations; likely the version we show will be for short-reach calipers but with the ability to take 27mm tires â€“ a one-design-fits-most approach, unusual for us.
Cinghiale Pro: our basic welded steel frame with brazed fork â€“ think of an IF-produced Team Pro â€“ remains unchanged for 2009. Currently the sleeper in our line-up, I canâ€™t think of a more perfect frame. It could the white paint works against the pictures â€“ look for this one to be re-shot soon in a new easier-to-see color. (Otoh, if they were all best-sellers then nothing would be a best-seller, right?)
New model, Mud Pig: as with the Team Pro weâ€™ve done quite a few versions of a cyclocross frame over the years. Unlike the Team Pro, weâ€™ve offered this in aluminum (with carbon rear!), steel, and titanium. The new version will be offered in Kent-built titanium and in-house welded steel, web page soon.
Classic/Leger: last yearâ€™s new kid, for 2009 this one is settling in nicely and selling briskly. Weâ€™re currently welding up another MAX version pour moi, this time with a steel fork and extended seat mast â€“ pictures soon. It looks like we have a good supplier for Columbus MAX tubes and the interest is certainly there. MAX frame slated for review, Classic OS (round steel tubes) bike for magazine review, likely a Classic OS at the IF booth in Indy at NAHMBS. Iâ€™ll be there, tooâ€¦
Carbon Z1/Z2/Z3 from Parlee: no price increases foreseen and the quality is still topnotch. Parlee will be rolling out a new tubeset this year, â€œCLâ€, for â€œcompliantâ€. Supposedly equal in torsional rigidity to their SL tubing but with 30% more vertical compliance â€“ hey, itâ€™s all in the lay-up and design.
Tournesol: no changes really but my preference is becoming that we focus on the lugged steel frames â€“ it just seems to make the most sense. Racks and fenders pretty dialed, lighting just got better with the new Gino mount. Tournesol review/piece coming to a Big Outdoorsy Magazine this summer, stay tuned.