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Stromm Track Bike might kickstart a revolution in frame design

stromm track bike closeup details
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With the demise of the UCI’s 3:1 tube ratio limit, brands have started revising their forks and some frame sections to create more aerodynamic bikes. But the new Stromm Track Bike fully commits, reshaping almost every tube on their passion project to help riders move through space faster and easier, saying goodbye to “brute force” speed.

The project started out as a personal bike for the founders, something they wanted for themselves. With that mission accomplished in a single size (that conveniently fit all four of them), they decided to launch it on Kickstarter to open molds for additional sizes.

stromm track bike in a wind tunnel

Wait, Kickstarter? Seriously? Before you dismiss it based on the launch platform, know that Dave Koesel is behind the design, and he was instrumental in developing the Felt Olympic track bike that won several Gold Medals and World Championships. He also helped reboot Specialized’s Roval brand with some of the lightest, fastest tubeless clincher wheels that have made their way into the pro peloton.

The rest of the team includes Daniel Holloway (accomplished pro cyclist), Ben Rothaker (professional aerodynamicist), and Stephen Doll (manufacturing and tooling expert).

stromm track bike tube profile cross sections

To accomplish the aerodynamic goals, the bike uses extremely slim, long tube profiles with full length air foils (as opposed to the truncated designs that were required to meet the prior 3:1 length-to-width requirements.

The fork takes this to extremes, with an extremely narrow crown and legs that are set very wide. The idea is to allow air to move more freely past the wheel, eliminating the turbulence found where it passes by a nearby fork leg. The shape also claims to direct air past the legs more smoothly, which are a major source of drag from the rider.

stromm track bike closeup details

They also shaped the top tube, seat tube, and seat stays to take advantage of the air coming off the legs, helping to decrease drag at the resulting yaw angles, so the bike is actually faster when you’re pedaling.

While most track cycling is indoors, they’ve adjusted some tube shapes to minimize drag and instability in crosswinds for those times when you are racing outdoors, too.

The bike will be made with high end Toray fibers and custom resins, baked on rigid EPS molds to optimize compaction and give them more control over wall thickness, shapes, and layups.

stromm track bike parts details

And it’s designed to use standard parts. Other than the custom seat post, it has a straight 1-1/8 steerer with standard bearings, a threaded BB, and fits any stem and handlebar you like.

The long sliding rear dropout has mini adjusters so you don’t need tiny allen wrenches, and the dropouts fit standard 100/120mm track axles. It fits 700×28 tires with wide lenticular disc wheels, and can turn (if you can) a massive 70-tooth chainring.

So, why Kickstarter? Because opening molds are expensive, and high-tech track bikes are an admittedly low volume item. But they want to see what can happen, and they want to compete in the Masters World Championships in 2024 aboard the bike.

Check out the crowdfunding campaign here for more details.

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SuperDave
SuperDave
9 months ago

Thanks for the coverage BR and Benedict!

Jason DW
Jason DW
9 months ago

Didn’t Hope do something like this?

Garrett Peck
Garrett Peck
9 months ago
Reply to  Jason DW

For $18k and an unknown wait….

Ohio
Ohio
9 months ago
Reply to  Jason DW

But it wasn’t really available to the masses. This will be if it gets the funding. Plus the UCI relaxed some of the rules so these tubes are probably even deeper.

Technician
Technician
9 months ago
Reply to  Jason DW

Exactly. They’re just trailing in the wake of existing designs. Go to Sophie Capewell Instagram and see that Hope bike. Appears almost daily in her feed.

SuperDave
SuperDave
9 months ago
Reply to  Technician

Hope made their frame before the UCI dropped the 3:1 rule. We aren’t using anything from that bike’s design from the tube shapes to the price point.

SuperDave
SuperDave
9 months ago
Reply to  Jason DW

Hope made a track frame with widely spaced fork blades and seat stays for the 2021 Olympics. Actually so did Zipp in the 1990s and so did Stephen and Ben from Stromm in 2016. They showed that bike at NAHBS in 2017. Just because widely spaced fork blades and stays were used on the old Zipp, the first Stromm project, the Specialized Shiv Tri, the Willier Twin Blade, the Cadex Tri, the Ku, the RedBull BMC, the new Canyon, and the Hope doesn’t mean there are just designers copying each other. More likely there are engineers who have discovered the same solutions to overcoming interference drag of the front wheel.

Roger Pedacter
Roger Pedacter
9 months ago

This looks like the wish.com version of any number of aero bikes. But oh, that blatant Hope HB.T fork ripoff…

And the beauty of Kickstarter is you get to take all that money, and never deliver anything if you don’t want to.

Bryan L
Bryan L
9 months ago
Reply to  Roger Pedacter

if by “wish.com”, I assume you mean you’ll be wishing you bought one when you get beaten at your next race by someone on board one of these Stromm frames?

RE: Hope fork…just because it’s wide doesn’t mean it’s a ripoff… I actually think it’s a ripoff of a trek, did you see how there is a triangle in the frame design? did you notice how there are handlebars on it, must be a specialized design. Seat?! I bet selle italia will be coming after them before we know it.

Bottom line, there is no imitation here. Only innovation. The team here actually started from scratch with known problems like front wheel interference and proprietary part requirements and went back to the drawing board with a blank slate and new UCI rules. Oh…and offering it at a price point that real people could actually afford.

SuperDave
SuperDave
9 months ago
Reply to  Roger Pedacter

To an ignorant observer a 2D photo might suggest the silhouette is similar to open mold frames on Alibaba or wish. And you may also be aware that the UCI has a template that must be followed in order for the bicycle to be used in UCI competition. So bicycles that follow the template will have a similar look if they are to be aerodynamically optimized. I’m not copying anyone. I’m following the rule book. As to the fork; when I worked for Zipp in the late 90s and early 2000s there was a custom Zipp 2001 beam bike with a special wide fork made by Dan Wynn, a custom frame builder from Washington state. Dan used some chrome-moly struts from an airplane to make a super wide fork that allowed the Zipp Eliminator 3000 tri-spoke to spin freely with less interference drag. That was over 20 years ago. Then when I worked at Specialized, the team lead by Keith Kimmel (also CLX50, and Roval 321 engineer) came up with the Shiv Tri; with widely spaced fork blades. Of course when Hope, and Ku, and Cadex and others started adopting this same idea of widely spaced fork blades it wasn’t to *copy* each other. It was because we all identified the advantages and created our own solutions. Nonetheless, the Stromm isn’t just designed to allow the front wheel to spin faster, or to help shield the rider’s legs; there is much more going on here with the shape – a shape nobody else dared try to make with bladder molding carbon techniques. There is risk in backing a Kickstarter of course; so I’m not hiding behind a brand name or shell company here. I’m putting my 30 year career in the bicycle industry on the line and making a bicycle for myself because I want it and nobody else seems to want to make an optimal bike based on the new relaxed UCI rules. It’s ok you want to shit on my dream; after all that’s what the comment section is for isn’t it?

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