The Italian frame builders at T°Red have given us an exclusive first look at the new Hedera titanium cross-country hardtail they’ve just brought out of development. A project of R&D head Romolo Stanco and TRed’s own TOOT Tech lab, which crafts their most advanced new bikes, the Hedera will be the first dedicated mountain bike to find its place in their production catalog. The premium XC hardtail uses some apparently unique & even patented nickel-titanium metallurgy, along with a dropped seatstay design, to provide controlled vertical flex for a ride quick enough to race XC and comfortable enough for all day marathon events as well…

The new mountain bike will make its debut this weekend at the cross country marathon in Monza, Italy before being put into XC race service next week under TRed’s multi-discipline athlete Mattia Finazzi.

The Hedera is one to the latest crop of hardtails to mix XC & trail riding geometry to create a more of an endurance race bike, but the way it goes about it seems pretty unique (if not entirely transparent because it is hidden in the metal alloy.) Titanium never tends to hurt in building in comfort, but even so this bike is said to be built from four different titanium alloys to create a ride that claims to be both stiff and vertically very forgiving.

The Hedera designs flexion into the rear triangle using patented “shape memory nickel-titanium alloys” that work together with other titanium alloys that cannot be readily compressed. The idea is that the seatstays (and to a much lesser extent the seattube as well) are able to significantly deflect like a controlled leaf spring to absorb bump inputs at the rear wheel.

That’s all something we’ve heard before. But the TRed Hedera takes it to a new extreme, with test figures suggesting the rear axle can deflect up to 37mm/1.46″ (and forward 7mm, keeping the chainstay length fixed) under a maximal load input. That puts it beyond the max. 30mm travel realm of a typical softail, without the need for a spring or elastomer, due to the damping character that seem inherent in the alloy composition.

Chainstay length for the 29er needs to stay fairly long at 442mm to allow for that movement in the rear end, but the rest of the bike’s race geometry keeps the ride fast. A steep 70.5° headtube places the Hedera firmly into the XC race category, with the frame paired with a 100mm RockShox Sid WC fork to round out quick, precise handling.

The curved seattube gives it an effective 73° seat angle, and this size Medium bike ends up with fairly average (for an XC hardtail) 618mm of stack and a 419mm reach. The Hedera will be available in a four size stock sizing range, plus the full custom geometry that TRed offers on all of their bikes.

Standards-wise the XC hardtail gets a 12mm Boost 148 rear end, a T47 threaded bottom brackets, a tapered 1/5″ internal headset, and a 31.6 seatpost (making it dropper post friendly if you want to go that route.)

This complete bike we’ve been shown hung on TRed’s scale at 9.62kg with a SRAM XX1 Eagle groupset, FSA K-Force wheels & cockpit, and Vittoria Barzo tubeless tires. They say it will be no problem to build race-able complete bikes well under 9.5kg if buyers want.

TRed tell us the bike has been developed with the oversized bottom bracket and stiff chainstays to deliver excellent power transfer & snappy acceleration. But really it is the ability of the rear axle to move up and down that will stick the rear wheel to the ground through the rough stuff, for a level of traction unlike any other hardtail out there.

The new Hedera will be available as part of TRed’s official catalog later in the month of June 2017. The unique frames will start at 3900€ in stock sizes, with custom geometry not adding anything in price, but the sky being the limit for custom complete bike builds.

TRedBikes.com

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Rich W.
Rich W.
4 years ago

Looks cool.

Mark
4 years ago

I wonder how much force is required to deflect the rear axle 37mm.

Erica
Erica
4 years ago

It’s not your force but the materials choice and the reaction of the bike!

Mark
4 years ago
Reply to  Erica

The manufacturer claims the the frame acts like a spring. So, I’m wondering what the spring rate (force/deflection) is. Pretty simple concept, assuming a person has the technical background to understand it. I have no clue what reaction of the bike means. Perhaps you could explain it to me.

tyler
4 years ago

any maximum seatpost insertion lengths required?

brettrobinson
4 years ago

Good lord thats a lovely looking steed.

jbnuts
jbnuts
4 years ago

I would worry if nearly 4cm of deflection at the rear axle was the normal operating parameter. The chain stay welds in any material you like aren’t going to tolerate that deflection over and over for very long. The weakest point will be the pivot point which will be the weld. That angular change is huge if correct.

Fred
Fred
4 years ago
Reply to  jbnuts

The ‘pivot’ does not have to be at the bb and likely is not. Just like many other softtails , the chainstays probably flex over their length and not at a single point.

knarc
knarc
4 years ago

beauty

TheKaiser
4 years ago

I am curious if that 37mm figure is measured relative to a fixed point, like the BB, or is it measured from axle to saddle. If it is axle to saddle, then it would be the sum of both rear triangle deflection, and seatpost/tube flex (like on a Domane). You can pretty easily achieve over 25mm of deflection just from a flexy seat tube, so that makes the total figure less surprising. Engineering in flex and actually publishing figures for it is something that I have wished for in this age of unsubstantiated and questionable claims of “vertical compliance” so I laud these guys for what they are doing, but would like to see even more detail.

Eds.: We are told the numbers/calculations are relative to a fixed bottom bracket point. It is no doubt a big movement.

Mark
4 years ago
Reply to  TheKaiser

What I found odd was the test data “suggesting” 37mm was possible. Given the shape memory alloy technobabble I’m pretty sure this is just a regular old hard tail, with nearly all the R&D taking place in the marketing dept.

scaramanga
scaramanga
4 years ago

Allelujah praise be to the Lord. The Princess of Titanium has disrobed herself and presented her raw beauty to the World.

Tim
Tim
4 years ago

The right spelling is “pseudo” not “psuedo”.

ELEVEN_g
4 years ago

While I look at that and my back looks at me and asks “are you serious?”, I have to say, oh my that’s a sexy looking beast.

Willis24
Willis24
4 years ago

So they have created a dog that wags it’s tail up and down and not side to side? That is some serious tube profiling if it does not have any perceived lateral or axial movement. I am not sure if those are even the right terms, just a casual bike riding enthusiast watching in wonder.

Doc
Doc
4 years ago

Alloys of a material a have the same modulus of stiffness, right?

Doc
Doc
4 years ago
Reply to  Doc

a/all..

Penn Teller
Penn Teller
4 years ago
Reply to  Doc

Yes, Doc, in general, that’s true. Part of the confusion here comes from the fact that they’re referring to this alloy (likely nitinol, which is also common in eyeglass frames) as a “shape memory alloy.” I mean, it is, but they’re not using the shape memory aspect of it. They’re using the alloy’s superelasticity instead. That basically means that the alloy can endure large elastic strains, on the order of 7-8% without experiencing plastic strain. In other words, this alloy can bend really far without taking a set.

Many shape memory alloys are also superelastic; they change between martensitic and austenitic phases as they’re strained. But saying that your frame can endure large strains because it uses a shape memory alloy is a little like saying a frame doesn’t rust because it’s steel. A frame made of *stainless* steel will resist rust, but not all steels are stainless. Similarly, not all shape memory alloys exhibit superelasticity.

Dustytires
4 years ago

This is a gorgeous frame, soo f’ing sexy, so much to like about the workmanship is beautiful too. I love Ti and the hopes of greater impact resistance than the current crop of disposable carbon XC race frames. Also nice to see geometry is customizeable, as that head angle is stupid and only gets steeper as soon as the rider is on the bike and gets literally road bike steep when descending. 38mm of vertical travel out of a triangulated system like this seems like marketing bullsh*t, lets see the force required as Mark asks. It might just be that to achieve that amount of deflection your 24psi light weight race tire and 400g carbon rim will explode, and the shaping is not so far from round to keep the rear from also wagging as Willis is infering. Marketing hype can come from many angles from enduro bikes able to leap tall buildings and Titanium XC hardtail whips that ride like suspension. They would be closer to the truth by saying it’s Ti, it rides better than alloy and most carbon, won’t dent when it is dinged and looks stunning.

Penn Teller
Penn Teller
4 years ago
Reply to  Dustytires

I agree; the manufacturer should answer Mark’s question, or, better yet, post force/deflection curves. If they’re getting that much deflection, then they’re clearly depending on the seatstays to buckle. A superelastic alloy (here misleadingly called a “shape memory alloy”) would allow the buckled stays to return to their original shape, but it’s a little surprising that they’re not bending (basically “pre-buckling” the seatstays to smooth the response. I agree that this doesn’t fully pass the sniff test. It may work as described, but there’s a lot the manufacturer isn’t explaining.