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TIME Bikes

Built by hand. Made in France.

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TIME Sport and Contender Bicycles have a deeply-imbued relationship based on impeccable build quality, outstanding ride smoothness, and delivered promises. TIME deliver framesets that routinely outperform the competition on ride quality without compromise, regardless of the frame’s intended purpose. 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.

RTM (Resin Transfer Molding)

TIME's Secret Sauce

TIME begins every frame constructed with Resin Transfer Molding (RTM), a process that is very difficult to get right but makes for lighter, stronger bikes with improved ride quality. TIME is the only bike brand to use the RTM production technique but TIME Sport likes to point out that it’s used in other industries by the likes of Ferrari, Lamborghini – prestige brands to be sure. The result for their efforts is a ride quality and unparalleled handling unique to TIME.

RTM consists of injecting resin under pressure into a mold to obtain a solid homogeneous structure of the future frame. This process ensures complete impregnation of resin into the fiber structure, creating a smooth surface and weaved layers without voids. The solid core ensures perfect complex structures internally.

This not only makes a TIME frame unique purely from a point of construction, 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 TIME 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.

RTM represents true innovation in an era when most carbon frames came from bladder molding processes or have had tubes and lugs bonded with industrial strength glue. TIME also controls their carbon production by weaving all of their carbon in house and not relying on the same prepreg materials used by every other frame manufacturer. 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.

TIME believes that their frames last a lifetime, which is why they back up their frames with a lifetime warranty.

Time Aktiv Fork

The Science of Smooth

The goal of the TIME Aktiv fork 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 mute out or dissipate 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 is simple in execution, but effective in practice. 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. The frame and fork are still surprisingly stiff, leaving the steering to be extremely precise instead of the elastomers and shock setups other brands use that leaves bikes feeling rubbery. 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 set of 23c tires has us amazed the fork’s effectiveness. 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. An Aktiv fork and a set of nice 25mm tires eats up chip-sealed roads voraciously, leaving riders better able to track their bike through high-speed sweepers better than nearly any other brand on the market.

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.

Aktiv fork technology is only available as part of a complete frameset as the vibration tuning is calculated to match specific Scylon Aktiv, Izon Aktiv, and Fluidity Aktiv models.

TIME for Some History

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 Sport, 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.

In making their bicycle framesets, TIME stands alone by not only eschewing typical carbon layup procedures, but by how clearly these frames are built by one person at a time. From carefully designed directional layups, to sanding down each frame for a minimum 45 minutes, it is clear that these frames are of the highest quality. This limits their overall output to just 70-90 frames made per week for the whole world, but it ensure that each bike rides equally well.

A TIME for Each Type of Rider

TIME Sport might be relatively unknown to the everyday world, but at Contender Bicycles, they are one of the best bicycle frame makers in the business. TIME is unique in their dedication to making their own carbon fiber in house. As a result, the quality of these frames in unprecedented, leading to bikes that are truly optimized for the rider. When they speak, we listen. When they put out a new frame, we expect nothing but the best in ride smoothness, build quality, and thoughtful design. Each frame, from the racy TIME Scylon Aktiv frameset to our Contender TIME First complete build, is unique and of the highest quality.

The TIME Scylon frameset is TIME’s most race focused design. They looked to develop a premier road racing frame that combines excellent handling, strong aerodynamics, and premier efficiency into a package perfect the most passionate cyclists. The frameset is said to be 45% stiffer in the bottom bracket, and 30% stiffer torsionally compared to the outgoing ZXRS. Weight is lowered to just 945 grams, which makes the bike feel whippy and easy to push on steep climbs. Further, TIME have focused on improving aerodynamics. To do so, they’ve shaped everything; the huge, teardrop-shaped downtube and the thin, bladed seatstays are mounted further down the seat tube to lower the frame’s aerodynamic frontal area. These match the aero seat tube and aero seatpost. Even the headtube is shortened slightly to accommodate the integrated fork. Like every frameset, it is available as the Scylon Aktiv frameset, as well as the Scylon Aktiv Disc frameset.

Often seen as the middle child, the TIME Izon and Izon Aktiv framesets are lauded for their ride quality quintessential to TIME bikes. The Izon is the next generation of lightweight race frames, built for low weight rather than to challenge sprinting titles. It shares stack and reach numbers with the aero Scylon frameset, meaning it shares similar handling characteristics; just like the Scylon it feels confident on descents and it’s steering overall feels impressively precise. The difference comes in the slightly smaller tubing profiles, which combined with the Aktiv fork, imbue the Izon with a ride quality more typical of a high-end road bike. It is plenty communicative without feeling buzzy at the handlebar, making any rider feel like a pro-tour climber.

For those seeking a more comfort oriented fit TIME produces their ever popular TIME Fluidity frameset, featuring Vectran Vibraser in the rear triangle and available in the standard Fluidity frameset, the TIME Fluidity Aktiv frameset, or as the TIME Fluidity Disc frameset. While each TIME frameset uses their Vectran carbon weave, the Fluidity frame uses twice as much Vectran as the Izon, leading to additional comfort and vibration damping. The Fluidity is designed with a 15mm taller headtube, along with shorter reach across the range and a slightly longer wheelbase when compared to the Izon and Scylon. While the Fluidity offers an accommodating fit and comfort for the long haul, it is less upright than the average endurance road bike that makes riders feel like they’re riding an armchair.

Built using the same geometry as TIME’s famed Fluidity frame, the TIME First frameset offers a more relaxed fit than a Scylon or Izon frame. However, it still retains 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, making them easier to construct. While these changes alter the First’s vibration damping characteristics compared to the Fluidity, it still manages to be uniquely smooth over chip seal and confident through high-speed sweepers. Like other frames, the TIME First frameset is built in Lyon, France with the same impeccable build quality that makes these frames unlike anything else in the market today. We are proud to offer this as both a frameset or as a complete build with Shimano Ultegra.

Regardless of riding style, there is a TIME model for each type of rider, allowing anyone to experience the unmatched quality of a TIME bike.

All it takes is one ride

Come talk to one of our TIME Sport experts today

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 Sport bicycles. To contact Ryan regarding any questions on TIME bikes, email him at ryan@contenderbicycles.com or by phone during shop hours at Contact Us.

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