Titanium & Franco

In the last update, I referenced titanium news coming in this email, so here goes.

We have been working on a titanium bike here at Franco for a long time. I'm intrigued by the material - the ride quality, the look, the craft. And when possible, I like making things here in the US of A.

For a variety of reasons (which can make up a whole other post), we've never officially offered a production Ti bike. And while you will find some Ti Francos out in the wild (pictured above), we're looking to release a lot more in 2020.

I'll be posting the progress we're making on these bikes, as we work towards getting these bikes to production.

Inspired by Grimes

I originally brought the titanium project back to life to replace the steel Grimes R1. Since 2015, we've had 3 versions of the Grimes - what we call the OG grimes (pictured above), with interchangeable dropouts and then two further generations of Grimes R1, which had increased tire clearance, chainring clearance, a return to bsa english and a few other in-line changes.

As the project moved along, I started looking at this, not just as a new Grimes, but as a good opportunity to define our dirt-friendly line-up.

Designing a Stable

Gravel bikes like the Grimes are awesome, for lots of reasons. A notable reason being versatility. One bike + two wheelsets = #newtwobikeday. Good stuff for sure.

But as more and more people discover gravel riding, and spend more time riding a range of different terrains, I think we'll see people select what types of terrains they're going to ride more of, and which types of bikes will make those rides more fun.

I think the gravel bike category will start splitting into more specific bikes, ie gravel do-it-all bike, gravel race bike, gravel plus, grountain, all-road, gravel endurance geo / race geo, weight-weenie, etc.

I think the versatile 2 wheel approach will still be king, but I do think that the bike stable will likely start growing again, as mixed-terrain riding continues to take up most of our on-the-bike miles.

Anyway, that's where my heads at right now and it's the thesis I'll be testing out with three upcoming Ti bikes, designed around type of terrain / tire size:

  • Gravel All-Around (Grimes)
    • 700c x 28 / 650b x 47c
    • 1x / 2x
  • Gravel Plus (Thinking Backbone's a good name for it)
    • 650b x 2.4"
    • 1x
  • Gravel Race (The Project Sycamore that's been floating around)
    • 700c x 40c
    • 1x / 2x

The geometry / feature phase has been a fun one, as it's an exercise in constraint. It's easy to throw every feature on every bike - water bottle bosses, rack mounts, max tire clearances, max chainring clearances, dropper posts, etc.

It's much harder to leave stuff out.

I could be right. Or completely off. No better way to find out than by putting out there in the real world.

Let me know your thoughts on the type of riding you're doing and see yourself doing in the future.

And if you're interested in some early-bird pricing and info on any of the above Ti bikes, shoot me an email by replying here. I'll add you to that email list.



Repsol Grimes - Now the February Promo

I showed this Repsol edition Grimes last week. The reception was great. Thank you to those that jumped in on one.

Following up on the last email I sent, let's make it the February promo.

Repsol Edition at no upcharge cost (normally $500 or so). I'm excited for mine!

Hit button below to select a build to get started.




Ready to Paint Grimes

Last week I also put out the idea of a ready to paint Grimes option, where you can buy a frame raw, and have it painted yourself, with your custom design. Seems like it could be something we do going forward. Need to think on it a bit more.

What I don't need to think on that much is a limited edition option that was inspired by this idea. I talked to multiple people in the days after the email, and it seems that a "raw finish, minimal stealth logo" option is something the people want!

I dig it - you cut weight, it looks stealth, you won't notice paint chips, it's got nothing to hide - a cool confidence in that.

More details to come, but a few folks are already in on it, so we'll make it official soon. Just need a good name for it...



One Last Thing

Those of you that know me personally, know that I'm a lucky man because my wife is awesome. She's been there all 13 years of Franco, through the ups and downs, supporting this craziness since day 1. 

Well, she just launched her own company, Everywhere, a line of plant-based, and good for you and the environment, air fresheners / room sprays.

We've been using them at the shop for years, and now she's finally making them (and soon other products) available to everyone. They're awesome - they smell great, they're fresh and no crazy chemicals flying around. She makes everything herself, one batch at a time.

Valentine's Day is creeping up fast. A thoughtful gift for the wife will very likely go a long way in helping you out with new bike day.

And this post is going to go a long way in getting me closer to new bike day or to sneak out on the weekends for more rides. So thank you for that :)

You can buy her sprays by clicking below. You can follow her instagram here.

Franco Bikes, making relationships stronger (new tagline).



Longer email this time! Back to working on bikes. Will try and go into geometry and the decisions there in the coming emails.

Keep it out there,

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