Foundry Bikes, like the Whisky Parts Co. that also launched out of QBP this summer, is based around the idea of honest parts for hard working riders.
In the spirit of that honesty, brand manager Jason Grantz isn’t hiding the fact that these bikes started life as an open mold frame. But that’s just the beginning. Each of the models – road, cyclocross and 29er mountain bike hardtail are on tap – gets its own tweaks to make them special, and some of them are exclusive to Foundry.
UPDATE! Clarification on the open-mold issue listed after each model below…turns out the Ratchet 29er is their own mold, and details on the others added. QBP spent three years vetting suppliers and manufacturers in the lead up to creating the Foundry brand and says they work with two of the top five contract manufacturers in the world. Then, the products are third-party verified for CEN safety testing to exceed standards by 10% to 20%, which lets them give the frames a 10-year warranty with generous crash replacement program.
The Auger cyclocross bike gets two models, one with disc brakes (shown) and one with standard cantilevers. The frames are either one or the other, there are no disc tabs on the canti version, and no brake bosses on the disc version. They’re spec’d with the appropriate Whisky tapered carbon fork. It’s made with high modulus carbon fiber with a UD finish, PFBB30 bottom bracket shell and comes in four sizes: 50, 53, 56 and 59.
The frames are matte carbon with subtle glossing details and logos for an overall understated look. Two build kits are available on each version, one with a SRAM Red/Force mix ($3,399) and a mostly SRAM Rival build ($2,999). Given the minimal price difference, we don’t see much reason not to upgrade to the higher end spec. Oh, and each build is the same price, whether you get the canti or disc brake version. If we were betting folk, we’d say the disc models outsell the cantis.
The disc brake model gets Formula disc hubs, DT Swiss spokes and Alex 32h CX26 rims on both models, and that’s with 135mm rear spacing. The canti version’s wheels are the same except with regular Formula hubs.
This tube-to-tube frame is also available in Europe under a couple other brands, but Foundry has the exclusive for the U.S. market and switches from an English thread BB to the PFBB30. They’ll also add a 61cm size in a few months, and in about a year’s time they’ll have an entirely new ‘cross frame that’s designed from the ground up as their own.
Grantz says just the tooling for a full monocoque carbon frame is $30,000 to $50,000 per size. So, as the brand gets started, they chose to start with existing frames and tweak them to suit the U.S. market and meet their standards.
RATCHET ROAD BIKE
Foundry has the worldwide exclusive on the mold for the Ratchet road bike. They found a manufacturer that had a design they liked. They changed the rear triangle and geometry a bit and worked with the manufacturer to design the layup for the ride and feel they wanted. It’s a hi-mod monocoque carbon frame and fork but with a tapered 1-1/8″ to 1-1/4″ fork. It’s available in a wider variety of sizes: 48, 50, 52, 54, 56, 58 and 60cm.
Two build kits are available, a higher end SRAM Red kit with DT Swiss R 1700 Tricon wheels and Ritchey WCS cockpit ($4,199) and a SRAM Force, DT Swiss R 1800 wheels and Ritchey Pro build ($3,199). I didn’t get a chance to weigh any of these, but just lifting them by saddle and stem suggests they’re respectable…especially for the price.
ROUTER 29er HARDTAIL MOUNTAIN BIKE
The Router is also a UD-finished hi-mod full monocoque carbon frame that’s their own closed mold designed through a similar process as with the road bike. It has internally placed rear brake mounts and a top tube that bends just in front of the seat tube to give the seatstays a slightly more horizontal angle. Generally, that provides for a bit more compliant rear end without sacrificing lateral rigidity.
The Router uses a tapered headtube and comes in three build kits that trickle down from a Rockshox SID 29 to Reba RLT to Reba RL and drivetrains moving from XX to X9 to X7. Prices are $4,999 to $3,499 to $2,899. All three use 15mm thru axle forks, and they all get the same wheels and tires: Stan’s NoTubes Arch rims laced to X9 hubs with Continental X-King 2.1 rubber.
We’re trying to get a couple of these in for review. At a first glance, they look pretty good, but only time on the trail and road will tell if they live up to the non-hype that is the Foundry brand.
More at Foundrycycles.com