2017 update! Norm’s FRC came back for a little update – I removed the cable stops and repainted it to match his mountain bike. Then reassembled with SRAM eTap. We also set up two handlebar options – one for road and one for TT. With no gear cables, swapping them over is very easy!
Norm wanted a raceable bike that could travel – enter the Folding Road Concept! Featuring pivots at the BB shell and rear dropouts, the rear triangle can be folded flat under the mainframe to enable packing in an airline checkable (26″x26″x10″) case. This one was requested to be extra stiff, so uses very short taper Columbus chainstays along with an oversize Columbus Life aero downtube. A matching English stem with black titanium bolts securing a Paragon Machine Works faceplate holds the Enve fork in place, and the build is completed with a SRAM Red groupset (used, but nicely refinished by Ruckus in Portland) and Rolf Prima wheels (built right here in Eugene). Weight as shown is 17lbs. The finish was based on a photo of a Mini that Norm sent, and Eric at Colorworks did a great job of translating that to paint for the bike.
Photos as ever by Tina Buescher.
I’m writing to let you know how the new bike is performing for me. As I noted on that first ride on bike pick-up day, the fit is perfect. I never find myself squirming for a different position even on rides over 3 hours. That same sense of fit and comfort applies to the handling as well – nice and tight.
The responsiveness in both the BB and the front-end are just what I like –I don’t feel flex when standing-up to climb hard, and the bike is unfailingly true when taking corners fast. Even when I’ve taken a couple of descending hairpins too hot, the bike reacts predictably to –how shall I say– more urgent input. I’m 100% confident in the bike.
I’m impressed with the custom steel stem too. With the strong front-end and Enve fork, there’s no feeling of flex when pulling extra hard on very steep (15% and up) climbs. The same fork on my other steel bike with a shorter Thomson stem was a different story.
The bike rolls over holes and choppy pavement in a way that’s not jarring, nor is it bouncy like my other steel bike. I was worried about getting another steel bike after the handling issues (and slightly irksome softness in the rear) of my stainless steel.
I remember you saying early in the ordering process that I wouldn’t have to worry about the strength/stiffness of the frame. I was still skeptical. Now my sketpicism has been replaced by reality –a bike that performs so well that I don’t think about the bike at all (except that it looks really cool… and on that note, thanks also to Eric at Colorworks for the magnificent paint and to the Ruckus Components crew for the fine carbon refinishing work).
Thanks again for delivering excellence!