Signature Road Details and Options

Overview:

The signature road frame is the result of a long and interesting development process with some fun prototyping.  Hopefully you have read the series of posts on my design philosophy and so appreciate the approach that is taken to develop a frame design.  This road model is designed to be a proper road racing bike that will put a smile on your face. It is a great all rounder that is both comfortable enough for long, endurance miles but more capable than most when you wind up the pace.  The frame characteristics are designed specifically to be ‘biomechanically intuitive’; that is to say the frame is very adaptable and easy for your body to ‘learn’ to use it in a way that is best for you individually.  This is in contrast to most modern road bikes whose frame performance characteristics very much dictate how the bike must be ridden.

The front triangle has been designed to have very specific flex characteristics:  Paired with a fantastic Columbus Minimal full carbon fork the handling is very intuitive allowing you to corner exactly how you prefer to corner.  Unlike the super stiff front ends of many of the latest road bikes the signature road frame has just enough flex to give you great feedback.  It will not skitter around on uneven surface (common on many technical corners thanks to the braking loads of vehicles) it keeps the front wheel glued to the tarmac and has a very predictable response to steering input. This makes it very easy for your body to ‘learn’ to really rail corners, it also makes it easy and intuitive to make subtle mid corner line adjustments (not something that you can do with ease most modern frame designs).  The bottom bracket is also designed to provide a specific amount of lateral flex.  This really contributes to a complimentary ride feel and makes it easy to get ‘on top’ of the gear and a huge range of settings from flat out sprints to long climbs.

The chainstays have been specifically chosen to provide an extremely stiff ‘drive-train’  these ensure maximum efficiency and ensure that all of your energy (including that which is returned via the bottom bracket flex, read here!) reaches the rear wheel.

The delicate seat stays are used because, with a very stiff chainstay/rear wheel ‘triangle’, the seat stays are loaded solely in compression. the material and tube i use for these is extremely resistant to the buckling failure associated with this load. As such anything bigger would simply add unnecessary weight.

The frame is designed with a sloping top tube in order to leave a good amount of seat post/mast exposed in order to promote comfort. this aesthetic also ties in nicely with the proportions of the frame.

Features and options

Material

The frame is constructed from steel alloys from a range of specially selected sources including Reynolds (853 tubes used in front triangle), Dedacciai and other UK based aerospace metal suppliers.  Silver ‘brazing’ is used to join the tubes, the alloy used is as strong as the brass alternative but has a much lower working temperature thus reducing the impact of joining the tubes on their performance.  If you choose the carbon fibre composite integrated seat mast option a specially selected high strength carbon fibre layup is selected and cured with a toughened epoxy to create an extremely tough tube that is relatively compliant for a comfortable ride.

Proprietary components

Tubes aside almost all of the components used are designed in house to strict specifications.  You could be forgiven for thinking that the motivation for this was aesthetics but the primary driver for all of my design decisions is function, once improved function has been established a lot of effort goes into creating and aesthetic that does not compromise it!  Take the cable stops for example, these are neither easy or cheap to produce but the ‘cutout’ design is not simply there to complement the shape of the dropouts:  The footprint of the part heats up faster than on traditional braze ons and so minimizes the heat cycle required to fit it thus having less impact on the tube in what is usually a high stress area.  the footprint also allows me to use structural adhesive to fit the parts where appropriate.  The dropouts feature a full stainless axle seat so that anything that contacts the wheel will not corrode over time.  The brake bridge improves brake load distribution onto the seat stays and reduces weight versus a traditional ‘tube’ style bridge.

Carbon Seat Mast option

You can choose to have the frame constructed using a carbon fibre composite seat mast rather than the more conventional seat tube/seat post that comes as standard.  This option can save some of the total weight (dependant on size and geometry of your specific frame). It also gives a specific aesthetic that many find desirable.  If you choose this option a custom seat mast topper will be made to accept your saddle.

Custom fillet brazed stem option

You can choose to have a bespoke stem made to match your frame. These add weight vs and alloy stem but they look so much cleaner!

Paint theme highlights

Stick with the default candy dark- light blue fade or choose two of your own instead.

Parts integrated into paint theme

Choose to integrate the finishing kit into the paintwork. Just bear in mind that if you will be clamping bits to these the high gloss finish may be a bit 'creased' when you remove them.

Alloy wheel option

Chosen to fit the sweet spot between comfort and durability whilst still being light, responsive and fast rolling. The DT Swiss r460 rims have a great profile with a wide tyre seat, they are extremely well made and are durable without being too heavy. These are laced to goldtec road hubs (the smoothest, fastest rolling hub I am yet to find) with Sapim CX-ray spokes. The wheels are clad with Continental GP4000sII clinchers.

Carbon wheel option

Choose between the 35mm or 65mm deep carbon clinchers from Knight Composites. Head over to their site for more details. These will be clad with Continental GP4000sII clinchers.

Signature Road, BicyclesTom Sturdy