Italian bike builder T°Red has just slipped another unique bike onto the track with their latest Horkokhan modern stayer. This fixie isn’t likely to become your neighborhood hipster’s next urban city bike. Rather, it has spent its summer pacing behind motorcycles, leading up to racing in slipstreams at the European Track Derny & Stayer championships…
TRed Horkokhan, modern alloy track Stayer bike
Velodrome racing has become one of TRed’s core projects, letting them develop high-performance custom alloy track bikes, as well as winning the Best Track Bike award at NAHBS the last two years. Choosing to develop a moto-paced stayer bike seemed like a perfect project – the opportunity to modernize what still tends to be very conventional steel bikes for this unique style of racing.
Pair that with young T°Red Factory Racing athlete Alessandro Mariani who had never raced as a stayer, but had recent success racing RedHook crits & other fixed gear races, and also competed on the track as a U23. Mariani was selected by the Italian National team to compete in the UEC European Stayers Champs with an eye towards developing in the discipline, so the development team of TRed set out to modernize a stayer bike to race behind the motor pacer.
How to reshape a motor-pace, stayer bike
TRed’s Romolo Stanco worked with Mariani to optimize the rider’s position & the bike’s unique geometry within the few UCI constraints of this strange discipline – the saddle can’t come forward of the BB, and the distance from the BB to the front axle can’t exceed 55cm.
Within those limitations, the goal is to get the rider up and as far forward into the slipstream of the standing motorcycle pacer, pulled along in the draft, which results in a wild looking bike setup.
Unique stayer track geometry
In the end what you gets is a 24″ front wheel and a negative rake fork for stability at high speed and when the bike inevitably contacts the roller on the back of the motor pacer. The bike gets a 75° head angle, 76.8° seat angle and a 225mm tall headtube. You want to get the position higher, so a tall trials stem paired with a strut back to the fork is apparently the best option to maintain stiffness without compromising the rest of the bike’s performance. TRed also worked with BLKTEC to develop a stem machined just for this unique bike as well, which will be available to future buyers as well.
TRed built the Horkokhan from a similar mix of hydroformed aerospace alloy tubing composed of aluminum, scandium & zirconium, like their recent track bikes, to maximize drivetrain & handling stiffness, while adding in some aerodynamic improvement to the conventional round-tubed steel stayer bike.
The bike sticks with a steel fork, but of course it is custom made with secret negative offset and a 1.5″ tapered steerer inside the hourglass headtube. The frame features deep aero downtube & seattube shaping, a T47 bottom bracket, and massive chainstays that extend all the way under the tips of the track ends for maximum drivetrain stiffness.
Complete bike build
The build is obviously unique as well…
The saddle gets a strut under its tip which allows some comfortable flex when compressed into the steep banks of the track without excess movement. An SRM Origin power meter collects ride data and send it to the Garmin strapped under the saddle. Racers aren’t allowed to compete on the basis of a cycling computer, but logging race data is key for training.
On that power meter spider, a 66T Royce UK chainring puts the power through an Izumi track chain to the 15T rear cog for a metric development over 10m, and a speed of 72kph at a cadence of 120rpm.
The 24″ mis-matched size carbon disc tubular race wheel was custom made for the bike by Brian Walker of Walker Brothers, together with their standard Ethereal SSD disc rear. In the end the EU champs jury didn’t allow the front disc, so Mariani raced with a five-spoke. Tires are Vittoria track tubulars, with very careful Mastic gluing.
If you want a Horkokhan, you’ll probably have to get signed to TRed’s racing team. But they say their development on the track leads to innovation on the road. So perhaps some lessons learned on this stayer, will inform some more conventional track or road racing bikes in the future.
UPDATE: TRed informs us that after a number of customer requests, they actually are making the unique Horkokhan available to the public. We’re not sure how many riders out there actually need a Stayer bike. But if you are one of them, TRed will custom build a modern motor-pacing track bike just for you.
We’ve asked how much one might cost, and will update if they come back to us with pricing. Pricing for the frame kit should be ~3990€ including frame, fork, stem with its support & seatpost, plus the saddle nose support.