TIME Bikes & Pedals

Built by hand. Made in France.

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TIME bicycles are well known to us at Contender Bicycles for their superior ride characteristics and excellent build quality. Many of our customers and employees alike have logged thousands of miles on TIME bicycles and are more than happy to share their enthusiasm with you. Word of mouth has allowed this small French brand to grow steadily amongst avid riders as more and more have experienced TIME’s exceptional ride quality for themselves. TIME does not rely on big marketing campaigns or an expensive race budget to make their name known but rather put their francs into building the best frames and forks possible while continuing to develop innovations that the rest of the bike industry is sure to follow.

The story of TIME bicycles actually begins with the development of a better pedal for elite cyclists. In the late 1980s clip-in pedals had taken over but didn’t allow the natural float needed to keep the rider comfortable during hours of training and long stage races. Making noticeable improvements to this crucial interface between rider and bike earned TIME a positive reputation amongst the world’s best racers. Being involved with the sport’s top teams quickly turned the company’s focus to producing high-end carbon frames and forks for professional riders. While TIME is more widely known for their road and mountain bike pedals, the carbon frame business had always been a passion of the founder of TIME, Roland Cattin. Over the years, he has produced the finest carbon frames which both Tom Boonen and Paolo Bettini rode to become world champions and Bettini rode to the 2004 Olympic road race gold medal.

While TIME was researching new methods to take their carbon frames a step further they studied the mass-tuned dampening systems found in F1 race cars and, in turn, filed a patent for what has become the Aktiv fork. This award winning development adds a tangible level of comfort through completely eliminating the vibrations caused by riding on asphalt, chip seal and other rough pavement. This isn’t suspension but an internally mounted counter-balance that is tuned to absorb specific vibrations that cause fatigue and numb hands. Think of this technology like noise canceling headphones, where the speakers block outside frequencies from disturbing your listening pleasure, the TIME Aktiv fork stops rough roads from deterring the quality of your ride. For now this technology is only available as part of a complete frameset as the vibration tuning is calculated to match specific Scylon, Izon and Fluidity models.

TIME Aktiv Fork

Revolutionary

The Aktiv fork’s goal is to take ride quality to another level through the use of an internal tuned mass damper. The movement of the damper cancel out unwanted vibration. Tuned mass dampers are used in everything from helping the tallest buildings in the world survive earthquakes to damping vibrations on NASA rocket boosters to being used by Formula One drivers (before being banned) to improve control of the car. In the Aktiv fork’s case, this is a small weight mounted to an alloy/composite lever arm inside the fork blade. Conceptually the Aktiv fork works on the same principle as a noise canceling earphone, via destructive wave interference. The movement of the damper itself is designed to in effect mute out or dissipate the unwanted vibration. In the Aktiv fork’s case, this is a small weight mounted to an alloy/composite lever arm inside the fork blade.  It sounds simple but it isn’t. The tough part is first figuring out what frequency range you want to try to cancel. Luckily, TIME has years of research isolating which frequencies are fatiguing to our body or detrimental to controlling the bike. Ultra high frequencies don’t have the same negative effect on our body as a lower frequency. Second, how the damper performs in one size or model of frame is different than in another size or model. In other words, the damper has to be precisely calibrated for a frame based on stiffness of the frame.

So that’s a lot of science. Does it work? The answer is undoubtedly yes. In a world where spongier bar tape or swapping from 23mm to 25mm wide tires has everyone chattering about how much more comfortable their bike is, the Aktiv fork might be the start of the second French Revolution.

Our initial testing on Salt Lake City streets with a narrower than average set of tires has us amazed at what the fork is doing. Although you still feel the bigger bumps, the effects of cracks or seams in the pavement are greatly reduced and overall road chatter seems to be minimized.  We definitely wonder how the Aktiv fork and a set of nice 25mm tires will eat up chip-sealed roads.

2017 TIME Izon Aktiv

2017 TIME Fluidity Aktiv Bicycle

2017 TIME Scylon

RTM

Resin Transfer Molding

TIME began with a method of frame construction called resin transfer molding (RTM), a process that is very difficult to get right but resulted in lighter, stronger bikes with improved ride quality. This represented a true innovation In an era when most carbon frames came from bladder molding processes or had tubes and lugs bonded with industrial strength glue. TIME also controls their carbon production by weaving all of their own in house and not relying on the same prepreg materials used by every other frame manufacturer. This not only makes a TIME frame unique but allows them to completely control each step of the production process, ensuring that every TIME bicycle rides as intended. This vertical production process lets TIME engineers experiment with a variety of materials to fine-tune the ride of their frames, such as the inclusion of Vectran in their popular Fluidity frameset. Vectran is a very pliable, resilient material – used in spacesuits by NASA – and is utilized by TIME to absorb vibrations from rough pavement. Known as Vibraser this singular advancement graces the Fluidity frame with an extremely smooth ride that few other bikes can match.

In this day and age when everything is constructed in Asia, a TIME bike stands alone being 100% built by hand and 100% built in France. A TIME will last a lifetime which is why they back up their frames with a lifetime warranty.

TIME Resin Transfer Molding RTM Process

A FRAME MODEL FOR EACH TYPE OF RIDER

From the Izon and Fluidity, to the Scylon there is a TIME model for each type of rider, so anyone can experience the unmatched quality of a TIME bike. For those looking for incredible performance characteristics at an amazing value the TIME First, available as a frameset or complete bike, is a great choice. Built using the same geometry as TIME’s famed Fluidity frame the First offers all the performance you would expect out of a TIME – a more relaxed fit than a Scylon or Izon frame but retaining the responsive feel that makes those bikes so much fun to ride. In order to offer the First at a more affordable price point TIME reduced the amount of Vectran woven into the tubes and simplified the seat stays to be easier to construct. While these changes certainly alter the vibration dampening characteristics of the First, as compared to the Fluidity, the First still offers  a very smooth and stable ride. As with all TIME brand frames the First is still built up from the raw carbon fiber, by hand in their Lyon, France facility. With impeccable quality control of the proprietary construction methods each and every TIME frameset, including the First, inhabits the premium feel that one would expect from a handbuilt bike.

In 2016 the TIME Izon Aktiv earned a place on Bicycling Magazine’s Editor’s Choice List for its superior ride quality. For a small company that spends very little on marketing, this is a huge accomplishment. In a world where a lot of  “top picks” are based on advertising dollars, you can rest assured that the Izon Aktiv was selected based completely on the bike’s unique ride characteristics. The Izon evolved from a previous popular model, the NXS, to become the new bike that most of us should own. Though not the flagship model the Izon has almost identical geometry as their top-model, now known as Scylon. Slightly less stiff than the Scylon, the Izon is idealized for anyone that is not over 200 pounds or a heavy hitting professional rider. The Izon blends lightness and stiffness with a lively road-feel that makes any rider feel like a pro-tour climber. For those seeking a more comfort oriented fit TIME produces their ever popular Fluidity frameset, featuring Vectran Vibraser in the rear triangle and available in models with or without the Aktiv fork. The Fluidity is designed with a 2cm taller headtube and slightly longer wheelbase, when compared to the Izon and Scylon, to offer a very accommodating fit and comfort for the long haul.

For 2017 the flagship model has been re-labeled Scylon (due to a copyright infringement with Team Sky) but still features their most race focused design. While their Izon and Fluidity frames share the same carbon construction quality as the Scylon, each is designed with very different riders in mind. The Scylon is specified for racers and designed to be the most responsive frameset in their range. TIME builds the Scylon to be stiff throughout with an emphasis on turning pedal power into pure speed. Engineered with larger chainstays and 30% stiffer front-end the Scylon responds instantly to rider input. Also, the Scylon features TIME’s most aerodynamic profile to save watts for the final sprint. TIME has kept their exceptional ride quality alive within the Scylon but with the feedback from road to rider that racers desire to perform their best. The handmade nature of a Scylon frame shines through as every size is designed to ride best for their designated user. Those seeking the pinnacle of power, precision and stability need look no further than the Scylon AKTIV. With a Translink seatmast and AKTIV fork this is one race bike that is a pleasure to pedal on long rides.

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At Contender Bicycles, our best tools for selling bikes are the people who ride them. Each of us on staff has extensive experience riding bikes across many brands. Ryan Littlefield is our expert on TIME bicycles. To contact Ryan regarding any questions on TIME, email him at ryan@contenderbicycles.com or call him at the shop.