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…