Dare VSR disc rim brake bike (17)

Behind the scenes of many of your favorite bikes, there is a world of Original Equipment Manufacturers that is rarely seen. Working directly with one of the number of name brands they service, the bikes are built to the company’s specification and then shipped off to their destinations. Over the last few years though, a few of these OEM builders have realized that if they can create their own brand, they stand to gain a bigger slice of the pie, so to speak.

That seems to be the case with relative newcomer Dare Bikes. Founded in 2011, Dare is using their OEM experience from building bikes for brands like Lapierre, Norco, and Haibike, to launch a brand of their own. More than just creating their own brand though, Dare claims to have worked directly with Toray to develop a new carbon fiber – one that promises to push carbon frame design to even greater heights lower weights. Now focused on entering the U.S. market place, Dare is introducing a new aero road bike that can be equipped with both rim and disc brakes…

Dare Carbon Fiber HS HMC multi lay up prepreg

At the heart of the Dare VSR road bike construction are claims of a new carbon fiber construction method that Toray developed in conjunction with Dare. Referred to as a Multi-Ply Synthetic Hot -Melted Carbon Fiber Resin (HS-HMC prepreg), this new method uses more plies of carbon fiber but has a lower weight per square meter. Using 9 different layers of carbon, each layer is half the thickness of traditional plies which results in a lighter FAW (Fiber Areal Weight)(g/m²) with the same wall thickness. Due to the addition of extra plies in additional angles the frames can supposedly be made to be more stiff, lighter, and stronger. Dare frames are said to test at least 20% better than current EN or ISO standards in spite of the lower weights. Additionally, the frame is comprised of T1000, M40, and M46 carbon fiber.

Dare VSR disc rim brake bike (25)

Dare VSR disc rim brake bike (2) Dare VSR disc rim brake bike (13)

Dare VSR disc rim brake bike (19) Dare VSR disc rim brake bike (20)

While the carbon technology is definitely a talking point, the real interest in the VSR will likely come from the smart design which gives the rider options when setting up their ride. This isn’t the first bike we’ve seen to try and integrate both rim and disc brakes, but it might be the cleanest. We have one of these on the way for review so we’ll get more detailed pictures later, but the VSR includes the option to run direct mount rim brakes at the rear under the chainstay with 130mm dropouts, or post mount/flat mount disc brakes with 135mm dropouts. When not in use, either brake mount includes an integrated cover to keep things clean.

While the fork is compatible with either post mount (with adapter) or flat mount disc brakes, a different fork is needed to run rim brakes. Both front and rear axles stick with standard quick releases, with the rear using two different drop out sets to switch from 130 to 135mm.

Dare VSR disc rim brake bike (21) Dare VSR disc rim brake bike (15)

Dare VSR disc rim brake bike (23)

Along with the brake flexibility, the VSR has been designed to be as aerodynamic as possible with their Vetox tubing profile and integrated aero headset and hidden seat clamp. The ABAS (Aerodynamic Battery Ready Adjustable) seat post is adjustable from 73 to 77º and includes an internal Di2 battery holder. Just in front of the rear rim brake position you’ll find an asymmetric BB86.5 press fit full carbon shell

Dare VSR geometry

Offered in 6 sizes, Dare bikes will eventually be available in the US. We’ll have more information on pricing and availability in the near future along with full details and hands on impression. In the mean time, check out dare-bikes.com for more.


  1. They developed a new carbon…. Come here, stop over hyping. Complete fabrication there.

    Thought it was a cool frame till I noticed the cable routing.

  2. Props for this company announcing exactly what carbon they’re using.

    Most go with “high modulus” and 99% of them mean T700 or T800.

    A T1000 layout is pretty much among the best Toray stuff.

    (TXXX are just Toray labels for their carbon/epoxy variations, the higher the more advanced, although some part of the bike might require “lower” Toray stuff depending on the layout)

    • On the flip side who should care really?
      If you had two frames, one of which was amazing. Stiff, responsive, but forgiving and light. The other stiff, harsh and skittery.
      Would you judge them on their carbon fiber labels alone?

      I personally think the whole “HMCF” and “T800/T1000” is pure marketing BS. Sure they use those products were needed, but those products themselves do not make a good frame. If one wants a good frame, one needs to test it. And then buy the best one regardless of what type of CF it is made from. It would be akin to blind tests of bike performance with no brand labels (and hopefully inability to detect an OEM frame design). That is how people should buy bikes.

  3. To me, the brake cable routing would be a huge distraction. It may be aerodynamically cleaner than entering the downtube, but I would always be looking down and staring at cables. Maybe Cervelo owners would like to chime in.

    • Having assembled an Cervelo S5 for myself, the behind-the-stem entrance for the cables works nicely in terms of keeping the housing relatively short and free of kinks. Much better than a lot of Treks and Giants that have entrance ports at the front of the head tube. However, the internal housing path could be stupid on this bike for all we know. The S5 is pretty reasonable in that respect, fairly easy to run cables thru the frame. I suppose the visual aspect of the housing behind the stem could be an issue for those who feel compelled to have an issue, but practically the only time I notice is when I’m walking the bike in or out, since I tend to guide the bike with my hand on the stem.

  4. I’m not an engineer, so maybe I’m reading the layup wrong, but their +30 and -30 layers appear to be switched in the diagram “DARE HS-HMC lay up”. That’s not a great level of attention to detail on the secret sauce part of the bike there guys.

    -That Guy

  5. It is probably just me, but I would not buy a bike with brakes under the bottom bracket. Just to much dirt down that way. Also it is just a bad place to have to adjust those brakes.

  6. The use of carbon isn’t just marketing hype, but it does let you know that they spent some of the funds towards materials. Higher modulus carbon tends to cost considerably more, but it needs to be used appropriately. You can use either tube shape or fiber modulus to achieve certain stiffness metrics at a certain area of the frame, but when taking aero shaping in the picture, application of high modulus fibers (M40 and M46) is used for tuning frame stiffness within a specific area.

    T1000 is a very good base fiber and most of the frame is likely made of this. It offers good modulus and very high strength. T800 has the same modulus, but is somewhat less in tensile strength. Still a very good base fiber for almost any bike. You’ll see T700 used more on lower costs frames, where you achieve the designed stiffness by using more material and greater frame weights. It still producing a very strong frame overall. The best base fibers today are Toray T1100 used exclusively by Pinarello for now and Mitsubishi MR70. Both are extremely strong and have slightly higher modulus over the Toray T1000 on this frame.

    Materials are one aspect, but aero frames place shape restrictions on engineers as they attempt to achieve ride qualities desired. Aero frames don’t offer quite the same handling qualities as traditional designs and material choices and application can allow the engineers the tune as much as they can into the design. This is a costly effort as engineering time for modeling and testing concepts are a costly business. So while its nice to hear that quality materials are used, its the combined application of those materials in the design that make the final product. When a rider hits technical courses, handling qualities will be paramount as confidence from the rider is necessary. On flat courses that offer reduced handling challenges and are flat and fast, an aero bikes advantage stands out a bit more. Choosing your compromises is endless in engineering.

  7. They sure seem to be catering to the shorter crowd with that geometry. Their XL has only a 57cm top tube and is shorter than the seat tube. Pretty much unusable for anyone over 6’1″. Other than that, nice looking bikes. Would like to know the weights and prices.

    • I realize taller people may be the majority of bike consumers, but for once it’s nice to have a smaller option and no taller one!! I always get the short end of the stick when it comes to cool new bikes, being a short person 🙂 no complaining!

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