Last fall Fabike added the titanium T1 frame to an updated C2 carbon frame as part of their flexible, adjustable all-road bike concept when they made the jump to disc brakes. But with framesets running just over $2500 for either of those variants, they realized that price was still a limiting factor for many riders looking at their bikes. So now they have developed the A1, an aluminum option that cuts the price more than in half while keeping all of the features of the previous disc brake versions. Then even have build kits on the way for either a single speed townie, Alfine 8 speed commuter, or Apex 1 Hydro, all for less money that either the carbon or ti framesets…
The new A1 aluminum Fabikes come in the same two variants as the more expensive bikes, both with the same frame paired with two different forks for a tailored ride. The A1R (with orange ano bits here) is the road variant and gets the full carbon, tapered steerer Fabike R fork with its shorter axle-to-crown height and quite small 25mm max tire limit (although still with reasonable clearance, even on modern width rims.) This shorter fork give the bike its racier 73.5° head angle and 72mm of BB drop.
The A1X (with blue ano bits here) on the other hand is the cyclocross variant with it longer Fabike X fork. That fork give the bike a max tire size of 38mm which is the same as the frame. The longer fork slackens the bike by 1° and raises the BB drop to 65mm for a bit more stability off-road.
The difference in the frameset and resulting frame angles is a result of the longer axle-t0-crown measurement of teh gravel and cross version. The road going R fork is 368mm axle-crown, while the X fork is 395mm.
The frame itself which is shared between both models uses double butted 6061 T6 aluminum tubing. It gets an integrated tapered 1.125-1.5″ headset, flat mount disc brakes, a 31.6mm seatpost, and modular routing for either mechanical or electronic drivetrains. Like the ti bike, the A1 has an oversized 55×86.5mm press fit bottom bracket shell that is designed to work either with Fabike’s own eccentric cups for belt or single speed tensioning, or to be reduced to a standard press fit BB.
The bike is disc brake only, and includes a splitter in the driveside seatstay to make it work with belt drives. The versions we have had a chance to see first hand all stick with quick releases, but they use a modular replaceable dropout on both sides of the frame and 12mm thru-axles will be available. The replaceable dropout also means that you can get one either with or without a derailleur hanger depending on your intended build. As for the forks, we’ve also only seen QR versions, but buyers will have the option for QR or thru-axle, as well.
Claimed frame weight for the aluminum A1 (in a size Medium, without a fork) is 1.6kg, making it around 100g lighter than the ti bike which is more than double in price. Geometry for the A1 framesets generally stays the same as that introduced by the titanium bike, however chainstay lengths do grow by 1cm to 415mm to take into account the additional tubing sizes required in the aluminum bike to get the same tire clearances. The A1 framesets will come just in black in 5 different sizes, but will offer 5 anodized color highlights. Pricing for either frameset will be the same at $1200/1100€.
Complete bikes will be offered in a few stock configurations. A singlespeed, flat bar with a Gates belt drive and hydraulic disc brakes will sell for $2200/2000€. A Shimano Alfine 8 speed internally geared (also belt drive), flat bar bike with hydraulic brakes will set you back $2400/2200€. And a
SRAM Apex 1 Hyrdro cyclocross build will cost $2500/2400€.
The new A1R/A1X framesets will be available from the start of January 2017, with complete bikes shipping from the end of February/beginning of March 2017.