Just In (Time for Cross): Foundry Harrow B3 Disc Brake CX Bike

Foundry Harrow Cyclocross Bike192

The cyclocross courses may still be grass covered and flyovers unassembled, but cyclocross season is right around the corner. This year, more than ever there will be a push towards disc brakes as just about every manufacturer now has a cross bike without cantis. In the case of Foundry’s CX race oriented Harrow – disc is your only option. In addition to the disc, the Harrow is all about stiffness and performance with a Whiskey No. 9 carbon disc fork complete with a 15mm Maxxle lite.

The Harrow is ready for bacon hand ups and barriers, are you?

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Disc brakes for cross seem to be at a point where you love em, or hate em. Discs offer improved mud clearance at the rim due to the lack of cantilever brakes or mounts, and generally have much better performance in terrible conditions and continue to work if your wheel is badly out of true, however there have been instances where pad life has been an issue in certain races and rotors have to be shimmed out for perfect alignment between different wheelsets. In spite of the few draw backs, with frames and brakes continually improving the future of cross discs looks pretty bright.

Our test bike was built with Hayes CX-5 mechanical discs with 140mm rotors, though the B3 is speced with 160s officially.

Foundry Harrow Cyclocross Bike181

Of course, the other slight oddity to some may be the inclusion of a thru axle fork. There is a lot of discussion about which is faster – a QR or TA, but in our experience the repeatability for perfect disc alignment that a TA offers is well worth it (not to mention the additional stiffness for the front end). Whiskey uses a 15mm Rockshox Maxxle QR which requires indexing the lever (which functions like a normal QR lever) with the locking collar and then spinning it open or closed.

Foundry Harrow Cyclocross Bike179

Foundry Harrow Cyclocross Bike183

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The cable routing on the Harrow is internal for the shifting and external for the brakes. Each uses full length housing, though the front derailleur housing terminates just before it enters into a hole in the chainstay just behind the bottom bracket. This orientation allows for the use of a standard pull front derailleur without the use of a pulley, but it does leave us wondering what front derailleur performance will be like in sloppy conditions.

The Shimano CX-70 crank (36-46) is held in in place in the PF30 frame with a Parlee PF30 adapter though spec is an FSA Gossamer crank. The rest of the drive train is 105 with a Tiagra cassette and FSA parts group.

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Tire clearance seems generous with the Clement PDX 33c tires and should be helped by the lack of rim brakes. We’ll see what our mud/frozen slop has to throw at it. Wheels are built by QBP’s in-house wheel program Handspun and feature Formula 6 bolt hubs with Alex 32h disc specific rims.

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Harrows are offered in three builds, the B3, B2, and top end B1 for $2850, $3499, and $4915 respectively. Our 52cm review B3 bike fits me very well at 5’8″ with the ability for a fairly upright seating position or slammed if you’re into that. On the scale the B3 measured 19.6 lbs or 8.9kg while Foundry lists the frame at 1150g for a 54cm. Check out Foundry’s site for spec on the other models.

Foundry Harrow CX Geometry

First Impressions:

We haven’t seen the first race yet, but CX season is off to an anxious start with out weekly CX TTs attracting big crowds on Wednesday nights. Arriving a bit late after getting back from the POC Octal launch, I got a chance to sneak in a few laps on the Harrow. It has rained a lot this year, so the course was muddier than usual this early in the season, but still fairly dry.

Out of the gate the Harrow is a fast bike feels razor sharp through the turns, likely due to the thru axle up front. My last CX build had Avid Shorty Ultimates which were great brakes, but I have to admit so far I’m loving the discs. The ultimate test will be pad wear during a muddy race, but the modulation they offer is great. Quiet, powerful, and completely shudder free.

The end of summer is admittedly my favorite time to mountain bike, but a part of me is secretly looking forward to the cold, wet days of cyclocross ahead.

 

Comments

Mindless - 08/26/13 - 12:23pm

Needs 142×12 and 1×11 or 1×10 drivetrain with narrow-wide front ring and clutch derailler.

CXisfun - 08/26/13 - 12:35pm

@Mindless – Why a clutch derailleur if you already have the narrow/wide chainring? Lots of people I know are having success with a standard RD for CX.

A Dork - 08/26/13 - 12:35pm

@Mindless
Add clearance for tires up to 2.5″ and you’ve got the recipe for an all-mountain road bike.

1Pro - 08/26/13 - 1:32pm

isnt this just a fong chu FM-0U812?

couldn’t resist.

SugarBear - 08/26/13 - 1:50pm

Wow what a completely boring-looking bike, I suppose they were going for the ‘understated’ colorway but gimme a break. These Foundry tools look too dull.

logic - 08/26/13 - 2:18pm

@A Dork and @mindless — and then just stick a dropper post on it and you have a CXENDURO bike!

enduro! enDURO! ENDURO!

Rich W. - 08/26/13 - 2:35pm

Foundry seems to be coming up short. I have a FR-602 from eBay. It looks just as nice if not nicer than the Foundry. The only design shortcoming of FR-602 is the “shelf” behind the bottom bracket that is likely to collect mud. Unfortunately, the much-more-expensive Foundry has the same problem. If I am going to pay a premium for a Foundry I would expect them to address these (and other minor) issues. Otherwise, what’s the point of Foundry? Is the difference in price solely because of the warranty?

Mindless - 08/26/13 - 2:35pm

@CXisfun: Quieter and better chain retention. Try Zee, 11-36 and Wolftooth 38t or 42t.

Mindless - 08/26/13 - 2:37pm

…obviously needs a proper cable pull adapter. Stupid Shimano.

mudrock - 08/26/13 - 2:38pm

Not many Cx bikes will come stock in a 1×10 – still a minority of riders doing that (altho I love it myself). They need to seal that FD cable where it exits the chainstays somehow.

Joel - 08/26/13 - 3:26pm

@Rich W. How do you like your FR-602 frame? I am thinking of getting one.

CrazyCross - 08/26/13 - 4:35pm

@Rich W, If you want to buy cheap carbon off ebay or direct from hong fui, I say go for it.
Some people seem totally happy with this approach. There are many cheap deals to be had on ebay.

What I know about Foundry is this: (I met them at Cross Nationals last year, and was able to ride 2 of their cross bikes)
They support the Cross scene, with sponsorships, beer, bacon, and GOOD whisky. They actually show up there and participate. They develop bikes based on experience.
They support local bike shops. Which I grew up in. Not sure Ebay does – or China direct.
Yes, their bikes have a 10 year warranty, real customer service, and one of the biggest bike distributor engines to back them up.

Accountability is key here. If I get crazy and try to bunny hop a barrier into a mudpit and fold my frame in half. At least I have somebody to talk to about my stupidity.

Ben - 08/26/13 - 5:09pm

@CrazyCross, good luck explaining something like that to people like @Rich W. There are people that complain about the economy, quality of goods and experiences, cost, jobs, etc. and then there are those that do something. Unfortunately, many say one thing and do another.

ScottO - 08/26/13 - 5:25pm

There is no discussion about whether TA or QR is FASTER. Have you ever needed to change a wheel in a hurry in a pit?

handup - 08/26/13 - 6:17pm

Correct, there is no discussion about which is faster or better.

QR (with lawyer tabs):
Open lever, hold nut with one hand, twist lever with other, pull, twist one more time to get past lawyer tabs. Replace wheel, hold nut with one hand, twist lever with other, make sure wheel is straight, flip lever to tighten, loosen or tighten nut to micro adjust tension. Done.

TA (No lawyer tabs!!):
Open lever, twist out axle. Replace wheel, insert axle, twist till hand tight, close lever. Done.

Oh, and it’s more secure, similar in weight (including hub weight differences), tracks better in nasty cross conditions, keeps the disc brake aligned, and has more surface contact between fork and hub which keeps your wheel where it is supposed to be.

Ajax - 08/26/13 - 6:44pm

It needs rear thru-axle 142 x 12.

And if the defenders at Foundry don’t believe in the 142 x 12 thru axle concept, then at least make the rear dropouts replaceable so that the rider can swap in new dropout chips and decide if he wants to run standard 135mm or 142 x 12 dropouts.

Ham-planet - 08/26/13 - 7:22pm

@ScottO
Exactly how many turns does it take to get a QR to clear lawyer lips?

Freddie T. - 08/26/13 - 7:40pm

Does anyone know if these have the same stack and reach issues the Augers have? I tried to get fit for an Auger and turns out the stack on the 56cm Auger is equal to or shorter than the 50 and 53cm. I ended up with a C-Dale cause I just couldn’t get fit on one correctly. It’d be ashame if they made the same mistake here.

farneybuster - 08/26/13 - 9:28pm

generous tire clearance? doesn’t really look that way in the pics. wonder if 38c or bigger tires would fit for the gravel application.

CXisfun - 08/26/13 - 10:46pm

@Mindless – An 11-36 cassette in cross!? No thanks. Those gearing jumps are crazy! And when would I ever need a 42/36 combo? My 36/25 small/big combo already never gets used. If it’s that steep, it’s faster to run.

ScottO - 08/26/13 - 11:33pm

If you’re racing with lawyer tabs…

G-Man - 08/27/13 - 12:18am

Put some hydraulic Di2 on that and I’d make it my primary bike all year barring road racing.

FM - 08/27/13 - 12:20am

Seriously, who still uses lawyer tabs?

Fragglepussthechaste - 08/28/13 - 6:43pm

The Foundry brand has always caught my attention. However, I recently saw one of these up close and have to agree with some of the sentiment regarding the murdered out black/raw carbon they’re doing on all their bikes. That look works in some applications, but I didn’t find this bike to be all that appealing aesthetically. That being said, the thru axle and disk brake spec is spot on. I would still love to throw a leg over one and see how it rides.

MulletRacer - 09/02/13 - 10:27am

That FD housing is going to get fouled up after the first mud pit. What an awful design. What is wrong with TT cable routing?

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