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Berner pulleys and a Rafael singlespeed

Road Bike 4 2176

Photo credit: James Huang,

If you have checking out the tech sections of the various cycling sites lately, you have probably noticed the SRAM Red rear derailleurs with carbon fiber cages developed by Wolfgang Berner. Rafael Hoffleit, whose bikes I have mentioned on the blog a couple times before, points out that he is handcrafting the small carbon pieces for those rear derailleurs. He mentions that though it is a very small part, he is a bit proud:

”Now I see the absolute elite of our sport cornering around with a small piece that starts in my hands – very nice.”

Rafael also recently received recognition for the Heidelberg singlespeed, which was selected as a BrandNewAward finalist. That bike, along with others from Rafael, will be on display at the Bike Expo in Munich from July 22nd to 25th. In addition to the urban oriented singlespeed Heildelberg, Rafael also has a new track bike based on his r-011 time trial bike. The “Spyder” (pictured here) looks very nice. As with his time trial bikes, I like the integration of a fairly standard stem into the frame. Nice details all around.

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  1. Jay Parkhill July 13, 2010 at 5:52 pm -  Reply

    The Spyder does look nice. It also looks unrideable. The angle of the stem elegantly continues the plane of the top tube but the result is that the in-drops hand position is level with the front tire. That would be a scary bike to get out of the saddle on.

    The is the Bicycle Design blog so no criticism of the coverage intended at all. Rafael talked a big game with its adjustable mold system. It’d be nice to see less concept and more rideable bikes to back up the hype.

    • Nick July 17, 2010 at 9:20 am -  Reply

      Nah, that’s not true at all.

      I had my bike setup with a similar bar position for years. Sprinting, both in and out of the saddle, was great. Beyond my anecdotal evidence, take a trip through cycling history and look at all the pursuit/funny bikes that graced the 80’s. A lot of them had bar positions level with the front wheel and they were using 24″ or 650 front wheels. It might not be ideal for people with back or neck problems… but I don’t think that’s the market a concept track bike is aimed at…

      Actually, lower handlebars will make a bike inherently more stable, as long as your hand position is in front of the stem. The lower they are, the more your body weight is thrusting forward to be supported by your hands, essentially pulling the front wheel straight.

      What doesn’t look right about this bike is the saddle angle. With that much saddle-to-handlebar drop, there’s going to be nothing but the thin nose of that saddle and your soon-to-be-ineffectual genitals to support your weight when your hips rotate forward as you bend over.

  2. Ross Nicholson July 14, 2010 at 6:20 am -  Reply

    Both photographs show black on black background. They’re impossible to see, even with magnification. Black backgrounds behind black parts my be being used to discourage photography or to hide details?

  3. weisenheimer July 14, 2010 at 6:37 pm -  Reply

    the “lightweight” disk wheel on the Spyder was on display at Interbike last fall. Eighty-something carbon spokes integrated into the disk.

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