Time is pushing their envelope with the Alpe d’Huez 01 Frameset. It’s the lightest frame Time has ever produced, at 840g for the Small, excluding paint. It also boasts the greatest stiffness-to-weight ratio of any bike they’ve produced, thanks, in part, to that low weight.
They were able to drop weight and increase stiffness thanks to the fact that they produce all their carbon-fiber in house in France. They weave their own tubes, and are thus able to control the composition of the fibers as well as the density and directions of the weaves. They turn the soft tubes into a finished product via Resin Transfer Molding, where they are able to precisely control the epoxy mix and minimize things like voids, which reduce strength. Even the carbon dropouts and seatpost fixing plate are produced in house via molding.
The Alpe d’Huez is very much a racing bike, as defined by both the stiffness and the geometry, which it shares with the Scylon. Short, 404mm, chainstays. An oversized BB386 bottom bracket shell makes it easy to keep the joined tubes as wide as possible. Boxy chainstays are paired to skinny seatstays. An aggressive head angle with a moderate amount of trail. A somewhat low stack height for the given reach means you can get a slammed position easily, and a slammed stem is stiffer than one with spacers underneath.
While Time certainly thinks of this bike as a climber, they also designed it as a good descender. The stiff front end makes it sharp and predictable when speeding down sinuous roads.
Aktiv places a low-mass metallic damper in each fork leg. Vibrations that enter the fork transfer to the damper, which oscillates at the same frequency to cancel out some of the buzz. It’s the same basic physics used to stabilize the famed Taipei 101 skyscraper against wind and seismic movement (although in that case, the damper weighs 728 tons; Time’s Aktiv system only adds about 200 grams to the fork weight).
Time also manages to work in some comfort. Besides flattening the top tube and shortening the seatstays, they also give you the option of installing their Aktiv fork on the frame. While this does add a little weight, the internal tuned mass dampers of the Aktiv stalls lots of vibrations just above the hub, rather than letting them migrate up to your handlebars.
They also have added clearance for wide tires. 28mm tires can fit easily.
Time includes their own seatpost with the frame. It’s a zero-setback D-shaped post which itself is made to be as light as possible and add vertical compliance over its length. It’s fixed into the frame with a two-bolt clamp that integrates nicely with the frame. They also include their Quickset headset, which is notable for letting you adjust it without having to adjust your stem at the same time.
Time sets internal cable runs. Standard is mechanical. An Electric kit provides plugs for the cable stops and a seatpost hanger for an internal battery.
Complete bike available for $6800 with:
- Shimano Ultegra Rim brake R8000
- Alloy wheelset ( Mavic, Fulcrum, Vision)
- Deda Elementi Zero2 Stem/handlebar