What constitutes a good road bike? Many will answer by saying that the least amount of weight possible is an absolute necessity. Others love technology, and feel that an quality road bike must have the latest kit to be quality. For us? We love ride quality, or the idea of a bike that handles smoothly, blocks out road vibration without isolating the rider from what’s going on, and overall makes the rider feel connected to the pavement. For us, TIME Sport is one of the best manufacturers of road bikes in this regard, which the TIME Alpe d’Huez 01 Aktiv frameset is one of the best road bikes available.
How does the Alpe d’Huez 01 Aktiv frameset achieve it’s vaunted ride quality? The secret is skin deep. TIME starts by using their carbon fiber weave made in-house, from their own looms. They use over 7300 total threads which total nearly three km in length. Three percent of the Alpe d’Huez fibres are Vectran, a material more commonly found in tyres, which TIME says adds vibration absorption to a frame. They then use their Resin Transfer Moulding (RTM) build process, which consists of injecting resin under pressure into a mold to obtain a solid homogeneous structure of the future frame. 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.
The result? A claimed 840 grams (frame), 80 grams and 8.6% lighter than the Izon. But TIME also says the bike has a stiffness-to-weight ratios that is slightly better than the TIME Scylon aero race bike, and a ratio that is a whopping 25% better than the outgoing TIME Izon road bike. The TIME-exclusive Quickset headset, a favorite of the shop, is integrated into the frameset to provide lower stack height and a clean aesthetic. This newest variation offers an extra low headcap, and a headset that is 44g lighter than before. The geometry remains the same as the Scylon, too; Although it’s built for climbing mountains, the geometry is racey, with a sloping top tube and integrated stem to lower the rider’s position that communicate the bike’s racing potential.
Let’s talk about that fork. The TIME Aktiv fork lends the bike a feeling unlike anything else, a sense of stiffness without the normal repercussions (vibrations and harshness). It features a vibration damper inside of the fork which oscillates within the fork to reduce vibrations transmitted to the rest of the bike. In other words, the Aktiv fork makes this race-bred machine ride over the choppiest of roads with surprising smoothness. TIME claim a 30% reduction in road vibration transmitted to the frame, but more importantly The bike handles confidently over rough roads, and it leaves you, the rider, without the fatigue associated with longer rides. Aktiv is a game changer, one that provides the best of both worlds in comfort and performance. The Alpe d’Huez also offers TIME’s Directlink D-shaped carbon seatpost and a more aerodynamic, two-bolt clamp, which they used to lower weight while also improve ride quality in the saddle.
The result of these labors is immediate on the road. While not as stiff overall as the TIME Scylon (150 N-m/degree compared to 135 N-m/degree), it has a very firm road feel. The remarkable part is how well it deals with road vibration. Clearly, TIME knows their stuff when they weave in Vectran and use their Aktiv fork; the ride is very firm, but doesn’t transmit every single road vibration to the rider. Point it at the apex of a corner, and the bike moves confidently and without issue, just as a stiff bike should. That’s the value of good ride quality; it squelches vibrations without cosseting the rider with high stack and short reach. It is stiff out of the saddle without being unyielding. It’s hard to explain, but the new Alpe d’Huez 01 Aktiv frameset is no doubt one of the best bikes we have to offer.
We offer the TIME Alpe d’Huez 01 Aktiv frameset in six sizes (XXS to XL) and in a bevy of color options to fit your needs, as well as TIME’s custom color program. It comes with the frame, fork, headset, and seatpost.
Want a TIME Alpe d’Huez 01 Aktiv frameset or a complete bike for yourself? Give us a call during shop hours, or send an email to email@example.com to discuss options.