Enjoy this series of flashback posts imported >here< from my old Svelte Cycles blog. I now do business under the Luxe Wheelworks label offering custom, handbuilt wheelsets and complete bicycles exclusively.
Luxe Wheelworks is a proud dealer of TIME bicycles and should you be in the market, please contact me at "firstname.lastname@example.org" or call (+1) 603 943-4202.
Dated: Friday, Jan 5th 2010
Time does not make the best production frame sets in the world, however Time does make the best production carbon fiber framesets in the world.
Time has been fabricating carbon fiber frames longer than any other major frame producer in the world. From start to finish everything is done in house and is made by hand. As such Time has complete control over the quality and consistency of both the raw materials and production.
This particular example just so happens to be my own little present to me. I went ahead and hooked myself up proper with a full Super Record 11V gruppo, some nice 3T Carbon LTD bits, a Fizik Carbon Arione Saddle (more comfy than you might think) and some Edge 1.45s on DT Swiss 240s for good measure.
Why did I go mental with all the carbon bits and why did I select this model Time for myself? Comfort. This is the machine I will take on daily training rides up and down the hills of New Hampshire and over the rough, back country dirt roads that link one good climb to the next. Much akin to the VRS Vibraser, the NXR has extra shock absorbing Vibraser fibers (yes, they do work even though you can't see them) woven into the tubes. As with all Times, this frameset also has specially layed up braids of carbon thus controlling the ride characteristics of each and every different size frame.
The process by which Time produces its raw materials and then subsequently manufacturing its frames and forks is far too vast for one blog post alone. I will start by saying their proprietary "RTM" and "CMT" technology are enough to make the fabriction process' used by those big box-brands *insert name here* look like child's play.
Time holds the patent on many technologies we see today. That's right folks they actually use their OWN designers. Imagine that! For every spring leaf pedal system, Translink ISP system, Vibraser Fibers (also used currently in F1 cars) and 1 1/8 - 1 1/2 Head Set System; Time gets royaltie$.
Each tube is formed from a sock of tube-specific woven carbon fiber thus there are no seams and the shaping is perfect. RTM technology ensures there are not voids. What the heck is a void and why is it important you ask? Basically put, voids make carbon fiber frames feel like crappy, lifeless objects underneath you. Ever ridden a nice aluminum, steel or titanium bicycle? It has life right? A certain feeling. Transfer that feeling over to a frame and fork that can weigh 3-4 pounds less than an alloy frame and fork. Brilliant!
"Yeah but what happens when I drive into my garage door with my bike on the roof and crack the carbon tubes?"
Time frames have a lifetime warranty on everything but the finish. Also everywhere you see a lug, you see an piece that allows the individual tube(s) it is connected to to be replaced. So as long as you don't leave your Time out in the sun all day, every day for the next 15 years, you are pretty much covered.
Time also produces its own forks. Little fact that is big time (pun) important: Time forks adhere to the new European Fork Safety Standards. If you do a little research you will find many forks currently available do not.
This particular Time module (and also the RXR and RX) are fabricated from start to finish exclusively in Europe. This particular frame is of 100% French origin.
Like it or not BB30 is becoming the new industry standard and Time has followed suit on all its new modules.
Time uses and extra layer of Vibraser threads in the drive side chain stay to offer increased protection against chain slap. Also, the chain stays each have their own shape designed to withstand the different torsional forces exerted on the rear end by the drive train.
I am a huge fan of the Translink system. Say what you will about whether or not it makes the frame stiffer whilst climbing in the saddle or making the frame as a whole lighter (it does)... the Translink just looks totally bad ass! We all know this is what's most important. The internal diameter of their carbon tubing is so precise that Time can use a small stub of a seat post instead of a "topper".