This article was first published on road.cc – read the original here.
New UK brand IRIS Bicycles has launched a titanium road bike called the Zero that’s aimed at racers and other performance-focused riders.
IRIS Bicycles was founded by Ben Pym, and sisters Sarah and Anna Hickman.
“The beauty of starting IRIS Bicycles from scratch was the opportunity to draw up exactly what we wanted, no compromises,” says Ben, who has worked as a mechanical design engineer in the marine industry for nearly 10 years.
“Having been heavily involved in titanium through my day job, the intention was to design a handful of bikes for our own use, but we soon realised that we shouldn’t keep it to ourselves.
“IRIS was an opportunity to bring a premium product to a market at a price point which was more achievable than some other manufacturers. This was hugely important. Titanium frames are often eye wateringly expensive and as a result are never considered as an option. We don’t have the overheads of our competitors or responsibility to shareholders and so we’re able to put the product first and price second.
“Titanium is robust and outlasts all other materials, as well as being a beautiful material for making bikes.”
The IRIS Zero uses Grade 9 3AL-2.5V titanium tubes. The machined parts – the bottom bracket, head tube and dropouts – are Grade 5 6AL-4V titanium.
That head tube is tapered, housing a 1 1/8in upper bearing and a 1 1/2in lower bearing. The bottom bracket is threaded (BSA).
The Zero is built to a performance geometry. The medium sized model, for example, comes with a 520mm seat tube, a 556mm effective top tube, a 140mm head tube and 73.5° frame angles.
The stack height on this one is 560mm and the reach is 390mm.
The Zero frame takes standard rim brakes and comes with internal rear brake cable routing. You can choose between internal electronic and external mechanical gear cable routing. The frame has a bead blasted matt finish with polished stays and detailing, and a claimed weight of 1.35kg (2.98lb). The completely built up Zero that Sarah Hickman has been racing this season is said to weigh 7.8kg.
The frame is priced £1,599. Built up with a carbon tapered fork and an external Chris King NoThreadSet headset, the frameset is £1,999.
The ‘Frameset +’ option, priced £2,599, has the addition of a Thompson seat clamp and IRIS’s own titanium seatpost, stem and bottle cages.
IRIS says that it explored manufacture in the UK and Europe but going down that route would not have allowed it to supply frames at the price it wanted.
“The result was a manufacturer of titanium products in China. They manufacture alloys, mill it, turn it, weld it and assemble their components in-house and we’ve been delighted with the quality and their commitment to our testing requests.”
“All the design work is done by us in the UK, as well as the finishing processes, polishing, bead blasting, and head badge manufacture, which we intend to maintain. We’ve also built a partnership with a specialist frame painter so we’re able to offer that extra service to customers from the beginning. All this together allows us to get as close as possible to our aim of supplying a premium product but at a more manageable price point for the majority.”
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