Hedrick Cycles is a California brand launched by Carson Hedrick to honor his late father, Steven, a longtime cycling staple of the SoCal scene. Walking through their booth, I noticed the distinct lack of variation, which was intentional. They want to build one bike for a category and they want it to be the best. The pictures here don’t quite do it justice – the unique angles and tube shapes are eye-catching without being obnoxiously different for different’s sake. And each bend, curve and turn serves a purpose.
Made in Taiwan, the frames are 100% designed by Hedrick and are their own. Carson told us: “We take a lot of time and pride in the designs that we release. For the current Version4 (our flagship model) we wanted to produce a truly all-around road bike. We have built in aero features, such as proprietary tube shapes and hidden brakes.”
After the frames are made, they head to CA for paint and assembly. Here’s how it all comes together…
The cables are guided into the frame with their Omni-Cable ports. Using different versions for mechanical and electronic drivetrains, they bolt into the frame for a clean appearance with just the right number of holes for the intended application. TRP TTV aero direct mount brakes front and rear also maintain the streamlined appearance.
As for the unique front section, Carson explains:
“With the “all-around road bike” mindset, we gave all of the tubes a “kammtail” cross section that aids in aero performance, while giving incredible stiffness. However, the tubes are wider than traditional aero tube designs, allowing us to save weight and increase stiffness at the same time. In regards to the kink in the top tube, the idea is simple – design a frame that has great front end stiffness, but that is also comfortable. We found that after the 3” mark, the head tube stiffness didn’t change, which was awesome, because it allowed us to drop the angle of the top tube, which gives compliance and comfort by allowing the seat post to act as a suspension point.”
Flat sections of tubes (top of top tube, insides of seat stays) contribute to a really unique looking frame.
Claimed frame weight is 1000g, and Carson says when built up with SRAM Red 22 and an Envy cockpit, it comes in under 14lbs complete. They’re also working on an SL version that’ll be noticeably lighter.
Framesets start at $3,050 and include one of five paint schemes (add $200 for custom paint) and the fork, seatpost, FSA headset and brakes.
So, what happened to Versions 1 through 3? We asked, here’s the answer:
“Great question! Versions 1-3 are quite different from the Version4, and from each other (though they weren’t called that at the time). Version1 was the first design that I had, and was actually built in the graduate dorms at The University of San Francisco. At the time, I was (like everyone else) sourcing tubes from ENVE, and then bonding them together using a wet applied carbon. Admittedly, it was very heavy, and not that strong, but it was still awesome.
“V2 was similar to V1 in that I was still using ENVE tubing, but this time I was using prepreg carbon. This allowed me to increase the stiffness and drop the weight of the frameset considerably. I did this for a few years, and really enjoyed making custom bikes for our customers. But, as any custom builder will tell you, it’s hard to make any money doing it, especially when it takes 3-4 weeks per frame.
“V3 was a way for me to continue selling bikes, and having fun doing so. It was an open mold design that I sourced from China. V3 was very short-lived because I didn’t want to be another bike company selling open mold frames.
“So, with all of that in mind, I decided to take a chance and design a brand new bike and go into full production. I worked on the design for about 8 months, and then using inheritance money, and some startup cash, I started producing the Version4.”
Word is they’ll have a TT bike out in early 2015, followed by a mountain bike frame he’s working on now.