Thursday, March 5, 2009

Team Bikes - Part One

Some encouraging news today on the team equipment side of things. The first images of our team bikes came in and I'm starting get really excited about these things.

Here's some background: When we decided to start up the road team this year, we were in the market for new bikes and we knew we wanted to do something handmade and local, if possible. At the same time I heard that my friend Craig Gaulzetti was starting up his own venture - Gaulzetti Cicli. We talked and agreed that the Embrocation road team would be the ideal way to launch his new bike brand.

Craig is not a builder himself, but he is a designer with an incredible knowledge of frame materials, geometries and the requirements necessary to make bikes race-worthy. He's importing alloy tubes and stays from Dedacciai to his specifications. Once Craig completes the designs, the tubes and build sheets are sent out to Joe at Primus Mootry in Colorado where the assembly is completed. This past weekend, Joe did his magic and our first four team frames are complete. Check it out:

Team bikes are made from Dedacciai Light Alloy and feature integrated seat masts that will be topped with Deda's own adjustable seat clamp. Craig designed the bikes with very specific tube selections for specific riding characteristics: Stiff bottom brackets and front ends. Most modern carbon bikes have stiff bottom brackets but lack appropriate stiffness in the front end. Craig hates this as he feels it degrades the ride quality and handling, so stiff front ends it is.

Gaulzetti frrames use BB30 bottom bracket shells. BB30 is supposedly stiffer and lighter than normal cranks. Probably the best thing about BB30, though is that the cranks have a lower Q-factor and hence more heel clearance for the crankarm. Using a BB30 shell with metal bikes also provides more real estate to work with when welding. This means larger diamter downtubes and chainstays can be used in increase stiffness and overall strength.

As opposed to the bottom bracket, which is using the latest configuration, the headtube will take a standard 1 1/8" press-in headset. In the case of the team, we'll be using the Nothread headsets supplied to us by Chris King.

Joe at Primus Mootry does really nice work. These are as nice welds as you're likely to find on any aluminum bikes. You can also see here how small the seat stays are relative to the chainstays and the other tubes. This is to allow some degree of comfort in the rear end of the bike.

Our first batch of 4 team bikes ready to go to paint. These are intended for Josh, Bradshaw, Jay and me, respectively. The two smaller frames are approximately size 54cm, while Josh's bike is the largest and is about a 62cm - he's a big unit.

Here's a good view of the relatively svelte seat stays and the integrated seat masts themselves. The Deda seat cap has about 4cm of vertical adjustment once we've cut these to size ourselves. We also have the option of cutting them completely off to use standard seatposts if we so choose.

So that's our first look at the team bikes. These four are off to paint and then over to us for final assembly. Stay tuned to see how this project comes out in the end.



Blogger RMM said...

That photo of all of your frames lined up in descending order by size is cute.

March 7, 2009 at 6:15 AM  

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