You heard about the three former Independent Fabrication employees who started a new bicycle company in Boston. And you heard them talk about why they weren’t quite ready to show a bike at this year’s North American Handmade Bicycle Show. Well now they’ve got something to show: Firefly #001, a Columbus XCr stainless steel road bike. I was lucky enough to see this bike in person last night at the Ride Studio Cafe’s kick off party for Tim Johnson’s ride on Washington (he’s raising money for BikesBelong and you can still donate here). If I were the type of person who felt comfortable using the word “tight” to describe anything besides the fit of jeans, the torquing of bolts, and Joan Rivers’ face, I would say that this bike is “tight.”
A bunch more photos and words from Firefly Bicycles’ Tyler Evans after the break.
The parent metal used to make the top tube starts as a 31.75mm diameter butted round tube. It is then swaged into a bi-axially ovalized shape, horizontally at the head tube and vertically at the seat tube (opposing ovals at each end). This counters the forces that cause top tube flex in the frame while standing and sprinting.
Not just any XCr tubing, this is the first ever frame to utilize the famous Columbus Max profile tubeset in XCr. We call it Firefly MegaMax because it is based on the Max profile but uses larger diameter tubing to better take advantage of the properties of XCr.
The down tube starts as a butted 38mm tube and (like the top tube) is bi-axially swaged into opposing ovals. It is ovalized vertically at the head tube and horizontally at the bottom bracket. The vertical oval at the head tube makes for the strongest possible non gusseted TIG welded joint at the most heavily stressed area of the frame. The horizontal oval at the bottom bracket adds considerably to the lateral stiffness of the frame while sprinting, stiffens up the bottom bracket, yet doesn’t detract from the compliance or feel of the revered XCr tubeset.
The surface treatment on this frame is a glass bead blast, we are also offering a brushed finish and polished detail accents. The decals are black with orange accents and the headbadge is painted stainless steel with brass rivets (brushed or blasted is the standard headbadge finish). Right now we are outsourcing our paint to one of the most high-tech paint studios in the country, so if paint is what you want that is not a problem.
This frame was built to use the new Press Fit 30 bottom bracket standard, further lightening the frame, providing added stiffness to the bottom bracket area and making it possible to use lighter and lower profile parts. We built the bike up with Campagnolo Super Record shifters, brakes and drivetrain but mixed it up a little and threw on the the FSA SL-K Light crank set. We also added a slew of aftermarket parts from our friends over at ENVE Composites including some 45 carbon clincher rims laced to DT Swiss hubs and their flagship carbon bars stem and seatpost. Making for an incredibly light and fast bicycle.
We are working closely with Columbus to develop even more XCr tubing profiles in the coming months. This will give us even more options to dial in the ride characteristics of our stainless steel frames for the individual rider. We also use the more traditional round tubes when we find they are more applicable to the individual rider’s needs.
Fore more info visit Firefly Bicycles’ website.