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With the demise of the UCI’s 3:1 tube ratio limit, brands have started revising their forks and some frame sections to create more aerodynamic bikes. But the new Stromm Track Bike fully commits, reshaping almost every tube on their passion project to help riders move through space faster and easier, saying goodbye to “brute force” speed.
The project started out as a personal bike for the founders, something they wanted for themselves. With that mission accomplished in a single size (that conveniently fit all four of them), they decided to launch it on Kickstarter to open molds for additional sizes.
Wait, Kickstarter? Seriously? Before you dismiss it based on the launch platform, know that Dave Koesel is behind the design, and he was instrumental in developing the Felt Olympic track bike that won several Gold Medals and World Championships. He also helped reboot Specialized’s Roval brand with some of the lightest, fastest tubeless clincher wheels that have made their way into the pro peloton.
The rest of the team includes Daniel Holloway (accomplished pro cyclist), Ben Rothaker (professional aerodynamicist), and Stephen Doll (manufacturing and tooling expert).
To accomplish the aerodynamic goals, the bike uses extremely slim, long tube profiles with full length air foils (as opposed to the truncated designs that were required to meet the prior 3:1 length-to-width requirements.
The fork takes this to extremes, with an extremely narrow crown and legs that are set very wide. The idea is to allow air to move more freely past the wheel, eliminating the turbulence encountered where it passes by a nearby fork leg. The shape also claims to direct air past the legs more smoothly, whi are a major source of drag from the rider.
They also shaped the top tube, seat tube, and seat stays to take advantage of the air coming off the legs, helping to decrease drag at the resulting yaw angles, so the bike is actually faster when you’re pedaling.
While most track cycling is indoors, they’ve adjusted some tube shapes to minimize drag and instability in crosswinds for those times when you are racing outdoors, too.
The bike will be made with high end Toray fibers and custom resins, baked on rigid EPS molds to optimize compaction and give them more control over wall thickness, shapes, and layups.
And it’s designed to use standard parts. Other than the custom seat post, it has a straight 1-1/8 steerer with standard bearings, a threaded BB, and fits any stem and handlebar you like.
The long sliding rear dropout has mini adjusters so you don’t need tiny allen wrenches, and the dropouts fit standard 100/120mm track axles. It fits 700×28 tires with wide lenticular disc wheels, and can turn (if you can) a massive 70-tooth chainring.
So, why Kickstarter? Because opening molds are expensive, and high-tech track bikes are an admittedly low volume item. But they want to see what can happen, and they want to compete in the Masters World Championships in 2024 aboard the bike.
Check out the crowdfunding campaign here for more details.