2014 – Looking Ahead.
The year 2013 was more a year of looking back at the previous ten years than it was looking forward to the next ten – while 2014 promises to be much different being solely focused on the future both near and far.
There are a number of things in the works that will be phased in this coming year and while there are a few I’m ready to talk about, the others I’ll keep under my hat for now.
The biggest product news is the introduction of two new models — the final details and model names are still being worked out but I can say that I will be offering a new road model and for the first time a full-on offroad bike.
First the road bike — I’ve always wanted to build a full stainless road frameset and offer it sans paint but have always held back because I didn’t feel the tubes available would give the ride I wanted — and – I guess I didn’t really care how good it looked if it didn’t ride how I feel a road bike should. But things have changed and the good folks at Reynolds have listened to my long time pleas and now offer a full stainless tubeset, including the super important chainstays and fork blades, that I feel will make the bike ride as good as it looks. So with the tubes in the bag it’s a matter of having my proprietary front and rear dropouts cut from stainless as well as getting lugs, crowns, bridges and braze-ons on the way. I should be ready to build the first sample very soon. As for the finish — I can say it won’t have any paint but beyond that I won’t say for now. Pricing has not been finalized yet but will be once the first sample is complete. If you really can’t wait and want to get in the queue sooner rather than later be sure to let me know.
The other new offering will be a first for Kirk Frameworks as a company but far from the first for me as a builder. I’ve had many folks ask about mountain bikes over the years but I’ve always been so busy that I never made the time to make it happen. But my past is calling and I feel the need to make the time and follow the strong urge to build some mountain bikes again.
My mountain bike riding, racing and design go way back and the first custom bike I ever had built for me (a custom fillet brazed Fisher – 1987) was a mountain bike and the first bike I built for myself shortly after starting work at Serotta in 1989 was a mountain bike. I also raced on a nationally sponsored team (Team Ritchey) up until about the time I started working at Serotta in 1989. Being as tall as I am (6’4”), and having strong technical riding skills, meant that as a racer I’d have more success offroad than on and I did pretty well even if I do say so myself. Over the years I really learned what made a mountain bike ride and handle well and while I was at Serotta I was instrumental in designing their mountain bikes — the T-Max, Ti-Max, ATi, and the Ti Softail were all designs I had a large input on and I’m excited to use those skills again. Couple that with the fact that we have more than a little mountain biking here in Montana to test the bikes on and I’m pretty excited. As with the stainless road frameset the details aren’t all finalized yet but I can say the bikes will be available with 29”, 27.5” or 26” wheels depending on the size of the rider and the use of the bike and that they will all be fillet brazed. As soon as the details are finalized I will be announcing pricing — that said if you know you interested please don’t hesitate to get in touch and we’ll work it out.
I’ll be announcing the other company changes as they mature and am excited to out the stuff I have in the works…………..so please stay tuned.
As always — thanks for reading.
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