NAHBS 2011 Roundup – Priority Cycles, Retrotec-Inglis and Ti Cycles
This is absolutely not the best picture to lead with, but I just had to put it first. Titanium front end, Santa Cruz Blur XC carbon rear triangle = one sweet hack. Ti Cycles put this together with their custom built front end, and wasn’t the only “different” thing in their booth.
We’ve also got some crazy-linkage mountain bikes from Priority Cycles and more traditional looking fare from Retrotec-Inglis, all right behind the break…
Ti Cycle’s commuter bike had matching titanium racks with built-in lights, and the front rack had a nice little trick up its sleeve:
U-Lock storage made super simple!
Founder Dave has a design and art background, so some of the design is for aesthetic purposes. They build with Ti because it won’t rust and is fairly indestructible, good for their hometown of Portland, OR. What Ti Cycles’ bikes lacked in total refinement they made up for with creativity. Perhaps the most shining example is their 69er double-forked mountain bike concept:
The 69er is a concept bike. The long top tube lets the seat tube pierce it so there are two continuous tubes. The fork is designed to give solid control and directional stability. The triangle space frame creates stability; since the fork blades are supported by the triangulation, they could use thinner tubes. Total fork and stem weight is just a hair over 1 pound!
The same arch is repeated on both fork crowns and on the seatstay for visual continuity.
To get the belt drive into the frame, there’s a break on the chainstay just fore of the dropout. The chainstay break uses male/female tubes that carry the load, so there’s no load on the screw, which is accessible behind the the skewer’s nut (click to enlarge…it’s pretty ingenious). This was probably the cleanest frame break I saw for using a Gates drivetrain.
Retrotec has this surprisingly elegant mixte step-thru bicycle alongside their usual designs.
This is a new frame design for them, and they’ve already made four of them. Pricing starts at $1,550 for a tig welded frame, fillet brazed is $300 more ( like shown).
Retrotec’s better known for their beach-cruiser style mountain bike frames. This one’s decked out with a Shimano Alfine 11 speed internally geared rear hub and EBB. . “We’ll see if it holds up, if not I can just run it as a single speed,” said Curtis Inglis. Wheel size is 650B.
The other half of the brand, Inglis, produces more traditional looking road bikes and such.
Probably the most interesting suspension design, if that were a category, would be won by Priority Cycles. The rear triangle is closedThe design has a 2:1 ratio and all frames have 142×12 thru axles. Single Pivot design puts the pivot forward of the chainrings and low. They had a small chain demo that let you spin a crank with their design versus others and, assuming no suspension interference, demonstrated a relative lack of pedaling impact on suspension movement.
The blue 29er has 5″ travel and comes in around 33pounds as shown. It has a shortish 17″ chainstay. Can be built for front derailleur or Hammerschmidt. Frames start at $1800 with shock and Maxle.
The green one is made for trail riding shown is beefed up a bit for super D and has a longer fork.
While the design appeared more for DH/Freeride bikes, they did have a 4″ travel XC/AM bike on display, too: