Monday, March 23, 2009

If I had a million

With the demise of Iron Horse I just posted about, I was daydreaming about what kind of bikes I'd make if I owned my own bicycle company. If you want to make a million in the bike business, start with 2.

I'd love to work with some designers to come up with a boutique line of bikes. Here's what would be on my hit list.

-A bike just like my Azure.

  • Aggro XC,

  • 70.5 head tube

  • around a 100mm fork.

  • 3.5"-4" rear travel,

  • very tight, balanced for climbing and downhilling.

  • DW link performance or similar.

  • Set/forget rear shock like my 5th element, none of this 3 position crap like the Fox RP3, I don't know why I dislike shocks and forks with knobs. Maybe it's because I invariably forget and end up downhilling with lock out on.

  • Rear tire clearance for some wide tires

  • Light alloy

  • long top tubes designed for short stems

  • sub $700 price point for frame (not likely)

A road bike designed for comfort but also doesn't look like a comfort bike. I don't like the aesthetics of a stem with really high rise. But most people who don't have the flexibility of a euro roady need a higher rise. Instead of a steeply angled stem, start with a taller seat tube and an uplsloping top tube. Maybe slightly shorter top tube than most to cut down on the reach in order to also maintain 110 mm minimum stem length. That way you can avoid those really short stems that some people have to resort to in order to get it to fit.

-high end steel only, no carbon, no AL, noTi. TIG welded,

Interesting, that I like short stems for mtb, but at least 11o or longer for road. It's weight distribution I think. I learned the hard way that too short a stem on a road bike and the front wanders too much.

A flat bar cross bike

This is not just a road bike with a flat bar. I've also tried this too, and it only works for climbing, in other situations it feelt too cramped to me. Makes sense because all this does is put a flat bar in place of your current bar tops of your drop bar. I ride on the tops when climbing a lot but prefer to be on the hoods for most of the riding, which is Xcm out farther. I think a flat bar cross bike would place the bar partway in between where the hoods are and the bar top of my current road bike.

Geometry similar to a stable road bike and maybe not as slack as a full cross bike. Disc tabs


26" light steel, long top tube, built around 100mm fork, convertible drop out to single speed.

Oh..beat to the punch by Soma Fab, see the side bar for their new hardtail.

Women's Specific

XS Petite versions of each bike, 650c for road/cross models. With a wife who is XS petite, I know firsthand the trials of finding a bike in this size. Even with the new proliferation of women's specific frames, it's still hard to find one for truly xs that isn't a kids bike.


At 6:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too bad about IH, they built some sweet bikes. I agree with you on the Azure, it just feels right. I rode my steel hardtail today and I kept stopping to adjust the seat post.
I cannot get the fit I have on the Azure. I'd rather push around a couple more pounds to keep the feel and handling of the Azure.
I'm not sure what my next bike will be, maybe a Giant if the fit is good.
My Azure is still in great shape, so I can get a few more years out of it. Everyone around here is going 29er, but I'm not convinced on that yet.

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