|A TIME ADHX (Image courtesy of TIME Bicycles)|
Last Thursday TIME Bicycles announced a new initiative which will bring carbon bicycle frame production back to the USA on a large scale for the first time since Trek was building carbon frames in Wisconsin in the very early 2000's.
The plans were detailed in a recent "Bicycle Retailer and Industry News" article which stated that the facility would be utilizing a process known as "Resin Transfer Molding", or RTM for short. This is a technology for manufacturing carbon products utilized by the aerospace and auto industries. TIME is owned by the Cardinal Cycling Group, a company that also owns USA bike manufacturer Detroit Bikes.
Comments: While these plans are still in development, this could be a big trend in bicycle manufacturing in the USA. Europe is experiencing a trend of "re-shoring", which is bringing bicycle manufacturing and component manufacturing closer to the products end users.
But this plan doesn't seem that it will be in place for TIME to make anything here until late 2024 at the earliest. That's if there are no delays, so with the economy in upheaval, and consumers tightening their budgets due to inflationary pressures, who knows how it will go? But it bears watching as this sort of thing gets talked a lot about in the bicycle industry but there hasn't been any real action on a large scale production facility until (maybe) now.
|The Fish looks to add chapters to this book|
Gary Fisher was in the news again recently as he announced his partnership with a company that claims it will produce HPC/eBike batteries that will have range up to twice that of current batteries used for electric bicycles.
The company is called :"Morelle" and apparently they will also be doing bicycles with these new batteries which Fisher claims, in the linked article, will be very "connected' From the "Cyclingelectric.com" article: "Our bikes will be connected. The Bikes will have quite a few sensors. Real time metrics on tyre pressure, power, speed, stress gauges, GPS and an algorithm that includes adaptation to the weather. The battery and the charger will be monitored as well. Our batteries need not be left charging overnight"
Comments: Once again, this is still a thing far off into the future. the linked article states 2025 as being a likely time for seeing this hit the streets, but aside from the battery business, what strikes me is how everything seems to be headed toward digital connectivity.
I made a comment to this very point last Friday in the "FN&V" and I bet many of you all reading thought I was being a little bit crazy. And I didn't even know about this quote from Gary. Don't be surprised if it happens, and I think it will. I think this is just the tip of the iceberg and will be required for bicycles in urban areas so that traffic with larger electric self-driving vehicles and robots can coexist without crashing into each other. Robots? Yes.... Robots.
Just wait and see....
You may know the name "Growtac" from seeing their brake calipers reviewed or from the "Velo Orange" site which carries their brake calipers for sale. Now the Japanese company is working on a new brake/shift lever, (amongst a few other items), that is compatible with any drive train system and will shift anywhere from 2 to 13 gears.
Shifting can be friction, or indexed by adding an indexing plate, and can be configured for several derailleur options via a changeable "winding pulley" which will change the cable pull ratio to match any rear derailleur.
Furthermore; the right lever can operate two shift cables and a brake cable, enabling single-sided shifting, or enabling the use of a dropper post with the "B Shift lever" operating as a dropper remote.
There is no price set and availability won't be until 2024, most likely.
Comments: I'm betting Russ, the "Path Less Pedaled" guy, is giddy about this product! (If you know- you know!) I see this as an outgrowth of the community of people who are looking for cross-compatibility, and therefore, personalization of their cycling set ups. Bikepacking folks are chief amongst those who I think will flock to a system like this, but gravel riders will likely be all over this as well. At least those who aren't buying into the current marketing trends for gravel. I think it is pretty cool, and especially if it actually works as advertised. The only bummer here is that there is no hydraulic brake option.
Tomorrow is the annual Gents Race, a team based gravel road event I have done every year, (except the COVID cancelled one) since 2011. I'll be getting up real good and early tomorrow to make it to this one, as I cannot go today and stay overnight since my son shares the "Truck With No Name" with me now.
Will it go well, or will it be hell? Hard to say, but the weather will be the typically cool, windy fare we normally get for this event with the long slog of ten or so miles straight into a Northwest wind forcast to be blowing at a nice 25mph.
I'm not as well prepped as I was hoping, but I am over that cold and I have a few rides in. So.... I'm not going into this with nothing in the tank! But I am not expecting this to be anything but a long training ride and as long as I can stay upright and turn the pedals I should be okay. Got the bags packed and ready to throw into the truck at "o-dark-thirty" for the two hour drive to get there.
Stay tuned for a report next week.
Monday of this week, "Bike Radar" had this image on their social media. It shows a "hangarless" design similar to the one shown off by SRAM last week.
As we should all recognize, this is really an "integrated hangar rear derailleur", since the piece that actually does the shifting has to attach somehow, and that is "hanging" off the rear axle now.
Anyway.... That's missing the point here.
If Shimano is buying into this design (or more likely, has had this in their development pipeline for a long time), then this signals a sea change in how MTB rear derailleurs will mount going forward. Even TRP is showing something similar now. Your MTB bikes with no SRAM UDH compatibility will not be able to be retrofitted with newer rear mechs.
|TRP is patenting something similar as well. |
And I believe this is coming to more than just mountain bikes. Remember, one of the main reasons SRAM stated for this design was that it could work better with high-torque electric motors. So, anything using a motor on a bicycle (electric, of course, but isn't that a "motor-cycle"? Anyway...) could use this sort of design. So, I can see gravel bikes, urban bikes, or most any derailleur equipped bicycle, really, using this design.
We will see.....
That's a wrap for this week! have a good one and Thank You for reading Guitar Ted Productions!