Carroll Composites is a small brand based near Boone, NC, with a wide assortment of frames, parts and accessories from designer Donovan Carroll.
The latest is his full carbon 29er hardtail mountain bike, which he and a few other testers raced at the BURN 24 Hour Challenge over Memorial Day weekend. The bike pictured above is a 2nd generation test mule, and yes, it’s quite similar in appearance to the Specialized Stumpjumper and Merida Big.Nine bikes – for good reason, Donovan says they come out of the same factory.
More pics of that, plus his King Louie carbon cyclocross bike and VIP road bike and more (like that Race Mate folding bike stand holding the bike above) right after the break…
For his 29er, Carroll pulled separate front and rear ends from catalog options, then started tweaking. The result is a dead sexy bike with large weave patterns throughout the entire frame.
We’re expecting a test bike or two in here soon, which will give us the chance to see how that cable routing on the left side of the top tube works out. Carroll says he, like me, tends to ride with knees in but hasn’t had an issue with rubbing them (click the image to enlarge and you’ll see that they stick out a bit on the side of the frame). The headtube is tapered.
The downtube takes full advantage of the BB shell’s width. The original design had the rear brake caliper inside the rear triangle, but he moved it outboard to put a brace in for strength and allow postmount brakes rather than an adapter. They’re set up for 160mm rotors out of the box, which means 140’s aren’t an option.
The King Louie is Carroll Composites’ carbon cyclocross bike. The front triangle tubes are fairly large, which makes shouldering the bike a bit more comfortable and keeping it stiff. It has a tapered headtube and with heavily shaped seat- and chainstays. Frame weight is a claimed 1,100g (54).
The graphics and name hint at Belgian inspiration, but it’s named in honor of Louisville getting the first cyclocross world championships for the U.S.
The seatstays get a little external ribbing for stiffness. The fork is Carroll’s creation, too.
The King Louie has a BB30 bottom bracket and thick, shaped stays. Carroll says the geometry is tight for quick handling and stiff to handle off-camber turns and hills. The carbon wheels are built using parts picked by him, but he’s working on a full carbon tubular rim of his own design for launch soon.
The frame and fork retail for $1,399. Holding the bike is his Race Mate stand, which retails for $40 and should be sturdy enough to perform light repairs on your bike.
The handlbar is his as well. Called the GX12, it comes in at a remarkably light 169g but claims to be very stiff. The flattened, angled tops felt pretty good. MSRP $299.
His mountain bike stem is machined alloy and tips the scales around 120g (claimed).
Available only as a special deal for teams or friends and family is his VIP road bike. This is the 2010 edition.
Frame and fork are full carbon fiber with integrated seatmast.