carl strong launches pursuit cycles to create ultra high end carbon fiber road bikes

Carl Strong, who’s long been focused solely on steel and titanium bicycles, is coming back to carbon fiber with a new Pursuit-with-a-capital-P. He last built carbon bikes under the Strong brand about there years ago after moving to a smaller shop. Bolstering Strong’s expertise is Jared Nelson, a partner in the company with a PhD in mechanical engineering with a specialty in composites. He’s also an assistant professor at State University of New York at New Paltz.

The concept is to flip the script on what he does at Strong. With the full custom bikes, the customer is steering them to what they think is the perfect bike for them. With Pursuit, the builders and designers will use their cumulative materials, design and building expertise to deliver what they think is the perfect bike for a given category.

They’re working through the final designs now and will conduct testing over the winter, and the first bike will start shipping in Spring 2017…

The first bike will be a disc brake road bike with flat mount brakes and an ENVE fork. Eventually they’d like to build their own fork in house. There’ll be six sizes on tap, but only 35 bikes will be offered for the initial model. Each summer they’ll come up with a new bike, design it in the fall, test in the winter, and sell in the spring. Then start the process over again. The next batch will bump that up to 75 pieces, and they have a planned cap of 200 if demand leads to such growth. And if it goes beyond that, they may develop two models simultaneously.

The bikes will only be sold complete, with your choice of Campagnolo Record, Shimano Dura-Ace or SRAM Red, either mechanical or electronic. Three parts packages will finish it off, with your choice of alloy, carbon or painted-to-match carbon.

Customers will still go through the standard fit process as they would to buy a custom Strong frame, but the bikes will be offered in a stock range of sizes. The measurements are used to dial the component sizes and placement. For the first run, they’ll be taking pre orders. How the business develops beyond that remains to be seen, but Strong suggests pre-orders will be a big part of determining which sizes to make.

Nothing will be painted until the bike is ordered because you’ll have your choice of three paint schemes. They’ll be painted locally, with the eventual plan to bring paint in house, too. More details should be released in a few weeks, stay tuned…


  1. Kernel Flickitov on

    Carl Strong is a true master! If he can do this custom carbon rig under Argonaut prices (which are totally insane!), he’d be getting a build request from me soon.

  2. mudrock on

    Who wrote this, Tyler or Strong? This cleverly worded press release doesn’t even tell you where the frames are made. When he says “the concept is to flip the script”, it means stock sizes only. Customers fill out fitting forms, but that only gets you frame size, stem length, and crank length. How nice that they set the saddle height for you.

    Reading between the lines, custom frames are no longer paying the bills for Strong: smaller shop, new partner, stock carbon frames made in Asia. Don’t get me wrong, Asia makes good frames, but I would like a little more honesty from Strong, and BR.

    • Carl Strong on

      Hi Murdock, this article was written by Tyler after he received an introduction to our project that we recently went public with. It was announced primarily to our close knit group of friends, customers and followers of which Tyler is one.

      There will be a lot more info released shortly but to respond to your comments, my custom business is just fine. This project is a result of a team of individuals coming together and wanting to put to work a lot of experience and ideas that were developed over the last 20 to 25 years.

      The frames will be made entirely at our own facility by our engineers and technicians here in Bozeman MT, that is the whole point. They will not be custom for several reason but the main reason is that our method of manufacturer does not lend itself to the flexibility needed to offer true custom sizing.

      Thanks for reading


  3. Antipodean_eleven on

    “…the builders and designers will use their cumulative materials, design and building expertise to deliver what they think is the perfect bike for a given category.” Isn’t this what any frame company does?

  4. Desanthro on

    Carl is clearly being tight-lipped to generate ‘mystique’. Nothing wrong with that, companies do it all the time as a marketing strategy.

    These frames are being made in the US, you can quote me on that. If you’ve taken any notice you’ll know Carl has dabbled in carbon before, but the reality is as a guy who is very efficient and keeps his eye on the numbers, tube-to-tube carbon probably was too labor intensive for his model, would be my guess.

    If I had to put money on something, I’d say he’s figured out a way to build stock(ish) frames in the US in an efficient and profitable way. A new brand won’t eat into his current customer base as much as it would be if he built them under the Strong brand.

  5. TJ on

    Hmm, let’s see, about 30 seconds on the Pursuit Cycles site led me to their Facebook page, which yielded this:
    “About: Limited edition carbon fiber bikes, inspired by the moment and manufactured to uncompromising standards in Bozeman, Montana.”
    “As luck would have it, we have some very talented people in our lives and we were all excited about the prospect of assembling a team and starting a carbon fiber frame manufacturing company as a completely separate endeavor from Strong Frames.”
    But yeah, I guess we’re being hoodwinked.

  6. Alvis on

    Some body who knows composites in the team, limited numbers….the trick is in their tooling would be my guess. Urethane block patterns and carbon tools, cheaper than steel to make but limited life.


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