Calfee Diversifies with Dragonfly Adventure
When it came out almost two decades ago, the original Dragonfly road bike was the lightest bike around, built up to what is now the UCI lightweight limit. The evolution to include the Dragonfly Adventure and Dragonfly Cyclocross came as inspired, purpose-built design using the same principles that made the original Dragonfly a cutting edge machine. Lightness, efficiency and rider comfort are the primary design features of the Dragonfly line-up.
Calfee has done a number of other innovative things. It pioneered the use of bamboo as a bike material, put the Di2 battery into the handlebar before the Di2 seatpost battery was available, which itself has evolved into the Calfee PowerPost, created an accelerometer activated, behind-the-seat bottle cage with a built-in taillight that illuminates the clear bottle when it is on and offers a DIY bamboo bike kit. After all, it was Craig Calfee that pushed the carbon bikes into the limelight with the bike Greg LeMond rode in the 1992 Tour de France.
Both Dragonfly Adventure bikes at NAHBS had 650B wheels with Compass Babyshoe Pass 650B x 42mm road tires on. The similarities though ended there. One bike was decked out for the randonneur with Honjo hammered alloy fenders, a front rack-supported cargo bag and the aforementioned PowerPost with the integral automatic taillight within the carbon cage. The bike had a Shimano Ultegra Di2 drivetrain with TRP Spyre brakes.
The second bike was set up as a gravel racer. It was the same frame with a quick release rear and the same tires, but a different paint job and Enve M50 wheels with a Rotor 3D crank and wide/narrow single Q-Ring. The shifting was across a Shimano M-8000 11-402 casette via an XTR Di2 rear derailleur coupled to R785 shifters and brake calipers. This bike had the new Enve GRD 12mm TA fork with its included fender that we covered a year ago.
Great stuff, as always, from Calfee.
More info: calfeedesign.com
Knight Composites: A New Name Under Familiar Guidance
A new wheel maker has entered the seemingly crowded market with the goal to make a better wheel. Knight Composites may be new but the founder Jim Pfeil, founded Reynolds Composites and later became general manager at Edge Composites, now called Enve. When asked why he decided to do it again, he simply said, “I know I could build a better wheel than what’s out there.”
Knight Composites’ design looks not only at the leading edge in aerodynamic design, but at the trailing edge as well since that plays a part in a bicycle’s total aerodynamic function. If wheel design can make the bike as a whole more aerodynamic, as well as stable in all conditions, then the rider will be more efficient and hence faster.
Knight Composite engineers also looked at manufacturing procedures to maintain more consistent fiber orientation as well as optimum compaction. This yields a lighter and stronger rim, both in desired stiffness as well as impact resistance, accomplished by use of a polystyrene form plus a small bladder that surrounds the form for the molding process. There is less fiber movement as the thin bladder inflates as opposed to the use of a bladder alone.
Though Knight Composites mostly had road wheels with brake tracks at NAHBS 2016, Pfeil showed us the available 35mm tubular rim re-engineered for cyclocross and disc. Removing the brake track lightens the rim and engineering analysis of forces in cyclocross specifically led to a different layup. It is also available as a clincher that has a tubeless-ready rim bed profile.
Also intriguing is a 25mm deep, tubeless ready clincher rim with a 22.5mm internal width and external nipples that will build up to a 1350 gram wheelset with DT Swiss 240 hubs according to Mike Fusaro, Sales Manager for Knight Composites. The rim was not designed for aerodynamics, but with strength, compliance and durability in mind. As a XC race rim with a 55 psi maximum tubeless rating, higher than many rims designed for “low pressure tubeless,” this could be the perfect rim for gravel events. The rim is available with 28 holes.
More info: Knightcomposites.com
New Center Lock Hubs From Industry Nine
Industry Nine, the small North Carolina wheel manufacturer and innovator, added a Centerlock option to its colorful and popular Torch Classic mountain bike hub.
Most of Industry Nine’s wheel components are manufactured and assembled at their facility in Asheville, North Carolina, by the small team of fewer than 40 employees. Only bearings and rims are outsourced. The new mountain hub uses 6 pawls with 3 engaged at any one time giving an almost seamless 3 degree engagement.
For now they are only available with 15mm front thru-axle either in standard or boost width. The rear is 12 x 142 or boost 12 x 148mm with either a Shimano/SRAM compatible cassette body or and XD Driver.
Eleven anodized colors are available in either the standard IS 6 bolt or the new Centerlock design, with either 28 or 32 hole flange drilling.
More info: industrynine.net