Monday, May 4, 2009

Tiemeyer Track Frames

Sizing Calculator

Form for measuring and recording existing bike measurements.

Tiemeyer's overlay drawing based on the above sizing calculator and existing bike dims.

Picture of finished frame.

Assembled bike.

Introduction October 2008:
Is there something unique and special about a Tiemeyer bicycle frame, which I nick named the Copter Bike, since its bladed tubes resemble a helicopter’s rotor airfoils? David Tiemeyer was an engineer working on helicopters, so it is no coincidence some of his experience translated into designing fast bicycles. After doing some research and reading a few reports I decided to contact David Tiemeyer on purchasing one of his track frames. The process was easy with David paying attention to every little detail even though this was not a custom built frame.

Step 1:
The sizing calculator on Tiemeyer’s website allows you to input critical body dimensions and then it outputs what your frame dimensions should be depending on the events you want to specialize. David took these dimensions and the measurements from my current track frame and overlaid them onto one of his standard track frames. The dimensions matched perfectly to one of his larger Signature Series track frames which was suited for all round track events, but optimized for the sprint events with the overlay fit dimensions.

Step 2:
David then sent me a link to the Spectrum paint website to select a color which the frame should be painted. I selected a color and frame was painted and shipped to me in a couple of weeks after placing the order. The frame arrived with a Chris King headset, Reynolds carbon fork, warranty and a drawing with critical dimensions showing seat height, stem length and other important dimensions for fitting the bike.

Step 3:
Assembling the bike was done at the local bike shop. David recommended a Campy sealed bottom bracket for my Sugino Grand Mighty Crank. Other components which I selected were a Thomson stem, Deda Pista bars, Keirin heavy duty chain, Selle Italia seat and my existing Mavic Ellipse wheels.

Step 4:
It was now time for a test ride, after bike assembly and dialing in the positions as laid out in David’s drawing. I headed for the track on February 2009 but there was snow on the track. I ended up doing a few laps around the flag pole to get a feel for the bike. It looked like a thorough bred and felt like one, even though I was not able to take it for a full test on the track. My initial perception - the bike felt rigid and very stiff.

Step 5:
High speed tests on Kissena track confirmed my initial perception of the rigidity and stiffness of the frame. This was further reinforced by feeling every single bump on Kissena track which at some points could double as a washing board. This bike does not absorb the bumps, which means it would also transfer your pedal power to the wheels without any loss – for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The frame is slightly heavier than normal, but this does not matter on the track and would certainly add to the rigidity of the bike's rocket feel. I feel very comfortable on the bike; it handles well during my motor pacing sessions. The big test of performance would be during racing season. I am looking forward to using this bike in the Kilo and Flying 200 meter time trials.

Results opening weekend April 2009:
My results for opening weekend masters events were very promising with this new frame.
- 5th out of 19 riders in the 40+ Masters Kilo (personal best time)
- 18th out of 60 riders in all categories for the Kilo
- 3rd in the 40+ Masters Scratch race
- 4th in the 40+ Masters Points race
- 3rd in the 40+ Masters Match sprints
- 9th in the 40+ Masters Miss & Out
- 7th in the 40+ Masters Ominium

This is the configuration of my Tiemeyer bicycle:
-Chris King headset
-Reynolds fork
-Campy sealed bottom bracket
-Sugino Grand Mighty 170mm cranks
-FSA chain rings
-Dura Ace cogs
-Heavy duty keirin chain
-Thomson 90 mm stem
-Deda 42cm aluminum track bars
-Selle Italia titanium saddle
-FSA carbon fiber seat post
-Mavic Ellipse training clinchers with Vitoria open corsa tires
-Karbona racing rear disk tubular with Tufo extreme 21 mm tire
-Karbona racing tri spoke tubular with Tufo extreme 19 mm tire
-Bike Nashbar look compatible pedals

Yes, there is something unique and special about a Tiemeyer frame judging from my results and from the endorsements of the frame by other riders. Although I have taken training more seriously and approached it systematically this year, I would say the Tiemeyer frame has raised my level of performance. It is also worth mentioning the fastest Kilo time ridden at this year’s opening weekend was done on a Tiemeyer frame by Colin Prensky. At last year’s State Championships Andrew LaCorte did the fastest Kilo time on a Tiemeyer while Chris Barberi posted the fastest Masters Kilo time on a Tiemeyer frame.

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