Roc d’Azur Sightings – Skyde Titanium Bikes, AeroZenith Carbon Wheels & Lightweight Goodies by FRM
Roc d’Azur’s expo is probably only second to Sea Otter Classic’s in size and scope, which gave me plenty to snap photos of and catch a few things we missed from Eurobike and Interbike.
Skyde is a small French titanium frame builder that makes everything from road to mountain to cyclocross to commuter and touring bikes. Above, an internal gear hub bed belt drive mountain bike that used a miniature looking S&S coupler on the seat stay to break the frame open for the belt.
His bikes were rolling on carbon aeroZenith wheels, which were rather unique. All that and some pretty trick upgrades and ideas from FRM past the break…
The shaped down tube provides fork crown clearance so you don’t, uh, dent your frame. This is (likely) the same reason Moots has redesigned all of their top tubes with a curve for 2012.
Nice integrated post mounts for the rear brake.
His road bike was overall very pretty, as most titanium bikes are (to me, anyway), but the hourglass head tube with internal headset was simply gorgeous. Nice internal cable routing for both Di2 and brakes, too.
AEROZENITH CARBON WHEELS
AeroZenith is a French carbon fiber wheel manufacturer. They use a mix of UD and woven carbon fiber fabrics with aerospace resins to manufacture all of their own parts in house.
Besides the full carbon construction, what really jumps out is the asymmetric rim profile. The non drive side on the rear is relatively flat, while the drive side has a deeper, curved section. Since the front rim is symmetric, we’re guessing this is to have a more even dish on the spokes. Their website doesn’t mention that, but does say the design reduces sensitivity to cross winds while being very light, rigid and durable. Product pages weren’t working when we checked, so we don’t have weights, but here’s a translated link describing their production process.
FRM had a number of trick lightweight components. Not all of these are brand new, but they’re items we hadn’t seen before. Above is the Urano XC Team 29er wheel set that comes in at just 1,400g for the pair.
The free hub body is very chiseled – the splines are about half what you typically find on most hubs. The rim was super shallow and had the weld left intact (as opposed to filed smooth) opposite the valve stem hole to counter balance the weight.
The 26″ Urano XC Team wheel set tips the scales at just 1,215g. Both should be tubeless ready with rim tape and sealant.
What’s most interesting about the wheels are the Urano Team hubs. Rather than a traditional 6-bolt mounting flange, FRM built the rotor mounts directly into the flange…
… and use a lockring to hold it in place. Claimed weight savings over a 6-bolt design (which would require a beefier flange to hold the threads plus the bolts) is 25g.
They’re available in these colors, too, with QR, 15mm, 20mm and Lefty front axles and QR and 12×142 rear axle options. Weights range from 109g to 225g (w/o lockring or skewer/axle).
They offer a number of lightweight chainrings for normal BCDs in both 2×10 and triples along with X-Glide compatible 2×10 rings for SRAM’s X0 cranks. The latter should give you more options for costomizing your gearing choices.
On the left, their 36T cog lets you slide in a much larger gear on the back of your cassette, then lose the 11T small cog, changing up your gears from an 11-32 to 12-36. On the right, they make a wide range of bottom bracket adapters for standard, press fit and bb30.