What Makes a Spot Brand Bike, Plus New Aluminum and Steel Bikes
Spot Brand bikes showed off their first-ever aluminum bike, the Acme (above), which was designed by Avid’s original founder and Spot owner Wayne Lumpkin. Besides being Wayne’s first frame design, it’s also the first frame Spot has done that was concepted and designed first in 3D to get the shape and style they wanted rather than relying on stock tubesets.
The result is a shapely bike that has cyclocross geometry for quick, go anywhere handling. This one’s $2,000 with a Shimano Alfine 11-speed internally geared hub. There are two models underneath, one with Belt drive and one with a a chain, both with Alfine 8. The chain one can be swapped to belt drive. $1400 and $1700.
Like that fork? It’s a carbon-with-alloy-crown design that they’ll be selling on it’s own as a disc-brake cyclocross fork (yes, this bike has 700c wheels). Both the fork and bike are available at the end of May.
As for Spot itself, I had a chance to have their managing director, Andrew, run me through what makes a Spot a Spot. Check it out after the break, along with some prototype Shimano hydraulic disc brakes…
The Acme is designed for any sort of urban or commuter use. There are fender and rack mounts on the front and back of the bike. The frame break on the seatstay allows the belt into the rear triangle.
The carbon disc fork is their own design, created just for this bike, but is likely to have a healthy life on its own once it goes on sale.
Gavin was tight lipped (actually, I’m not sure he even knew) about what was new or special about these brakes, but they had just come in from Shimano with “prototype” clearly marked on both the rear caliper and brake lever. The master cylinder on their commuter line of hydraulic brakes is pretty small, so here’s hoping they’re testing some road-worthy disc systems that might just fit in their shifter levers.
One of the key features on a Spot Brand bike is their dropouts. On the Acme, it uses rotating pieces to tension the chain or belt. The difference for Spot is the tension screw is mounted on a rotating cross dowel that keeps stress off the screw.
On their trademark steel hardtails, the Kobe dropout has its own unique features. On the left photo, notice that the sliding part actually rests against the flat part of the frame’s dropout. This puts the pressure onto the frame rather than relying on the screws to hold your weight and absorb the impact of bumps. It’s a small touch, but one that seems really well thought out. On the right, notice that the same design can swap in dropouts for singlespeed or geared (background).
Another new model coming this month is the Coyote. It’s a singlespeed/fixed bike that’s clearcoated to show the welds and natural color change of the metal around the joints. It has the Kobe dropouts,
though, so you can make it geared but 120 rear spacing, so it’s singlespeed/fixed only. The complete bike will retail for $1,099.
The frame and fork is chromoly, and the seatstays have a slight curve to them to take the edge off.