NAHBS 2013: Ti Cycles Full Suspension Fat Bike, Innovative Electric Cargo Bike & Hydraulic Brake Line Coupler
Dave Levy of Ti Cycles has been building bicycles since 1986. That experience really shows in the bikes Ti Cycles showed at this years NAHBS. Dave is a very qualified engineer, and one of the biggest bike nerds I know. One look at his full suspension fat bike and you will see what I mean. One look however, is never enough with any of Dave’s Bikes. And since I know you are all wondering, the full build comes in right at 32 lbs.
Power through for all the technical details details on the fat bike, plus one of the most innovated cargo bikes on the planet.
Up front, the bike is running a Cannondale Lefty set to 80mm of travel. It’s attached to the bike via Mendon Cyclesmith adapters.
The rear shock is set to 2.5 inches of travel, and the rocker plates ride on six sealed bearings. Ti Cycles considers this a 4 inch suspension system overall thanks to the give in the giant tires.
No lower pivot is used. Instead, Dave is makes use of his Flex Stay yoke. This also helps to add a fair bit of lateral stiffness to the rear end. That stiffness is aided by a 142 x 12 through axel. It’s not often you see an FSA K-Force crankset on a fat bike either. Dave has figured out over the years how to lengthen (and shorten) spindles using a proprietary technique he would not disclose, allowing him to use any crankset desired.
As you may have guessed already, this bike was handbuilt in the lovely city of Portland Oregon.
To keep things matchy matchy, an orange strip of Cordura plus some packing tape like material were used instead of a standard rubber rim strip. The wheel build is a bit unconventional as well. Ti Cycles used a standard 135 spaced hub and a 34mm spacer on the left side. The chainline is straight, and on my short test ride, the bike shifted great. This is a great set up because it makes use of much easier to find parts.
Once upon a time, Dave Levy lived, worked, and played in Seattle, WA. He had a car free lifestyle. Currently, he resides in Portland, OR on some acreage that is home to both his residence and his shop. The location is up in the west hills, and the automobile has become a staple in his life. The above cargo bike came about in an effort to go back to a car free lifestyle. The engineer in Dave really came through on this build.
Because hills are a pain to climb riding a monstrosity such as this one, an electric motor made it’s way into the specs list. This one is from Ecospeed, and has an output of 1300 watts. It also features a cruise control mode that lowers the output to 200 watts and only operates in an assist mode. This allows for 20mph at 60rpm.
This bike has 100% more belt, thanks to a Gates Belt Drive for both the electric motor and the crankset. The front half of the drivetrain is an FSA Metropolis (Patterson 2 speed) set up. Dave also made use of part of the mid shaft setup from Todd Schusterman (Davinci Tandems) to connect everything up front for maximum efficiency and helping to maximize battery life.
The rear gets a Shimano Alfine 11 speed hub.
A lot of thought went into redesigning the traditional cargo box. Space is typically lost up front due to the steering linkage. This bike is designed with two head tubes and three headsets, as well as a custom steering linkage that goes all the way under the box and up the front non-drive side tube of the box frame. This helps maximize the cargo space.
A generator hub keeps power going to the Light On light.
A clean cable routing solution.
Around the back is a long tail rack ready to carry goods or people. The rear wheel is 24″ for added strength.
To bring this beast to a halt, stopping power is provided by TPR in the form of a pre-release version of their new 4 piston downhill hydraulic disc brakes.
Because there are no stock hydraulic hoses long enough to accomodate a build such as this one, Ti Cycles created a universal hydraulic line coupler that can be used with either DOT4 or mineral oil. These should be available soon for purchase.
Pedaling motivation provided by Macallan.