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NAHBS 2016 – Ti Cycles brings the future w/ 3D printed dropouts, carbon fork & sick bikes

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At first glance, Ti Cycles’ booth was an amalgam of random. Each time I walked by, there was something else front and center, none of which could be confused for traditional.

Turns out, the bikes were as much a showcase of what they could build as what they could offer other builders. Ti Cycles supplies other custom builders with tubes and parts to make frames in addition to making full custom frames themselves. And some of those parts should be awfully handy, providing desired options where there’s currently very little to choose from…


This disc brake road racing trike lured us in. It’s built for speed. Scary speed if you have to turn quickly.


The front disc brakes are operated by a single lever thanks to this splitter. High end parts like Cane Creek’s carbon fiber headset, Di2 and carbon wheels live up to the titanium frame.


A simple Bell Crank steering mechanism turns the wheels, with adjustable tie rods to align them.


This touring bike had a gorgeous front and rear rack system and, despite titanium’s beauty typically being left uncovered, a very nice paint scheme.




This fast commuter used an fully enclosed, self contained e-bike motor/battery unit to speed up daily trips. As an add-on option, it’s hard to beat if you want to convert an existing bike to an e-bike.


And as standards change and your otherwise perfectly fine bike (especially if it’s a sweet custom titanium bike like this) starts to feel outdated, putting an electric assist system on it and making it your commuter breathes new life into it.


Or you could just get a sweet new ti urban cruiser. Check the handlebars, they make those, too.


OK, on to the new stuff. This looks like any other titanium cyclocross bike right?


Except it’s hiding these prototype 3D printed titanium dropouts from Reynolds (the tubing supplier, not the wheel company). That’s a big deal because unlike the small batch proprietary 3D printed dropouts from that Moots showed off, these will be available to any builder that wants a sleek option for flat mount/thru axle bikes.


Presumably, you could polish them to match the tubes, or blast the tubes to match them to the dropouts. The brakes are the upcoming TRP Spyre flat mount calipers, which join the new HyRD flat mount calipers we saw.


Up front they had a new carbon fork that marries two fresh specs – disc brakes and 12mm thru axles.


Like the dropouts, this’ll be available to anyone, and it’s one of very few full carbon forks that combine disc brake mounts, 12mm thru axle compatibility and fender mounts.


Price, weight and other specs TBD, but it’s coming.


Lastly, they had this little bit. Designed to ease rear wheel installation on belt driven bikes, here’s how it works:


Assuming your bike has Paragon Machine Works sliding dropouts (which many Gates Belt Drive bikes do), you simply put this over the bolt holes and use the extended bolts to connect them. One of the tricks with using belts is that you must have proper tension in the system for them to operate smoothly. Before, you had to pull on the wheel to get tension and then try to tighten the bolts with the other hand. With this part, you can either insert a large hex wrench or use a cone wrench on the big end, employing them as a sissy bar to tension the belt while the other hand tightens the bolts. Simple, and cheap, with expected retail under $20.


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8 years ago

Hydro brake averse?

8 years ago

*Rocker dropouts, not sliders. While it’s clever, this new little part seems a bit unnecessary. I have a belt frame with rockers, and it really only needs to be set up once. Since the wheel drops vertically, this is done easily by adjusting the rocker without the wheel, cranking it tight, then setting the hub to check tension. It takes some trial and error at first, but once it’s dialed in, you don’t have to touch it again.

7 years ago
Reply to  onion

that only works with QR or 10mm axles, if you are using a thru axle then the belt tensions restricts the axle from being removed and requires you to back the tension off to release it.

this is why Paragon Machine Works came up with the Toggle Drop Dropouts.

8 years ago

Isn’t the belt tension problem why Paragon came up with Toggle Drops? Seems like a tiny market, which I’m sure they’re well aware.

7 years ago
Reply to  shafty

yes, Toggle Dropouts are the solution to this but add another $240 – $300 to cost of the frame build.

if you are using a QR or 10mm axle with the Rocker Dropouts, once the correct position is set then all you do is drop the axle out downwards and re-install and it goes back to the original tension, but with thru axles the belt tensions restricts the axle from being removed and requires the tension to be backed off.

7 years ago

Howdy. Both the Rocker and Toggle drops are great parts, but as noted the Toggle adds cost and as such there are far more Rocker drops in use.

The PDX TI Rockerbone was developed to solve the tensioning issue with Rocker dropouts.
Using a 12TA setup does require releasing belt tension to remove the axle, but the belt will still need to be re-tensioned after the wheel is reinstalled.

There are many thousands of single speed belt drive bikes in use every day around the world. A growing segment of that market uses Rocker dropouts, which offer substantial benefits over sliders.

PDX TI Rockerbone is ideal for anyone wanting to properly tension their belt without side loading their (often very nice, light carbon) wheel as a lever to do so.

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