Svelte Cycles without comproise

Friday, October 3, 2008

Time VXR Proteam Module. In Disarray.

First and foremost the Time VXR is a race bike. Along with Colnago and Look, Time is perhaps one of the only remaining carbon frame companies that is putting something in the hands of the consumer that can perform at the ProTour level without compromisation, alteration or modification. Granted Tom Boonen needed stiffer chainstays on his Time VXRS Ulteam but the fact is Tom is the exception to the aforementioned and it says a lot about Time's production that they are able to made custom modules due to their in-house, handmade carbon lug construction.
All Time frames are handmade, in-house at the Time facility in France. Resin Transfer Molding allows Time to shape the tubes and use special layups in the carbon thus creating a more functional yet lightweight tubeset. All "VX" modules have shaped tubes while the more economical Edge series uses less sophisticated yet adequate round tubes.
The VXR comes with a standard seatpost but uses the same tubeset and lugset set as the ISP'd VXRS Ulteam with the exception of 3 things:
1. The VXR uses a conventional seatpost and not an integrated systems like the VXRS (obviously)
2. The VXR does not have the extra Vibraser Polymid Fibers that any of the "S" modules have.
3. The droupouts on both the fork and frames are aluminum. Only the VXRS Ulteam uses carbon molded dropouts which helps shave some grams from the module.

The frame is all carbon with the exception of the aluminum bottom bracket and headset sleeves.

Check out the elevated "VXR" logo on the seat tube...
... and the neat chainstay protector. This is some sort of laminated polymer and much cooler and effective than a strip of electrical tape.
Another feature that struck me were the neatly riveted frame fixtures.

Check out the serial code:
The "Quickset" headset really is a snap to use and it's design is clean, simple and effective.

Simply place the bearings in the frame (top and bottom bearing are the same size FYI).
Slide the fork up and in.
Then using the included Time prong tools, thread the "Quikset" topcap onto the movable metal sleeve on the fork's steerer tube.
A nice little feature in the headset spacers are that they have rubber sleeves embedded in them... makes for a snug fit. No slop or rattling around.
So far we have discussed some of the nuances of the frame itself but this is really only half the story. The Time fork is claimed to be the best performing fork on the market and when I held it in my hands for the first time, I could just feel how this bold statement would most likely be validated after only a few rides. It felt solid and muscular yet feathery light. The blades were boldly shaped yet seemed to flow down to the droupouts with grace and elegance. The steerer tube looked meaty and organic due to it's kevlar and carbon weave... more like some sort of baton weapon then a steerer. The bearing race was smooth and molded and looked like it would cradle the bearings with rock solid precision.

Next up I will build the module with a parts kit and snap some shots with a first impressions ride report. Stay tuned...

Update: I rode this today and it absolutely kills. Felt like my Pegoretti's without the knocking your fillings out feeling.

A handful of corrections/additions:
1. The bb shell is carbon with bonded aluminum thread insert.
The vxrs does not contain extra vectran. That is reserved for the S model that is a grand fondo bike.
Note also the mark on the top tube indicating the ctr of the bb... put there to assist in bike set up.
Very convenient. I will include better pics of this feature in next week's update.
4. Karen O is super hot in a Courtney Love yet not a crack-whore, without the dyed blonde hair sort of way.


Anonymous said...
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CXRACER said...

JS - can you shoot me an e-mail at (feltslave_at_yahoo_dot_come), I have a question, follow up from the NE Velo CX races. Thanks - Matt S

Anonymous said...

Excellent review. I'm staying tuned for part 2. When you get it on the road, you will be in for a real treat...

Anonymous said...

Karen O... hum, I'm not sold on her yet.

Anonymous said...

Makes me want one even more.
Top review, Photo`s show bits cyclist like to have a look at!
give yourself a pat on the back!