Pursuit Cycles to launch June 1st
The much talked-about Pursuit Cycles will launch on June 1st with a limited edition run of 35 carbon fiber bicycles.
Three years after the date of conception, Carl Strong, the renowned frame builder from Bozeman, Montana, has announced that his new venture, Pursuit Cycles, will launch in just a few days, on June 1st.
"Actually, this brand is really not about me at all, it's a different bike and a different brand (from Strong Frames), and I absolutely couldn't have done this without the team. Pursuit is about the team and the customers," says Strong.
Founding partners Jared Nelson and Bill Cochran evaluate a frame after fatigue testing
Not including the outside help, the Pursuit Cycles team comprises nine individuals, and the bike is very different to anything Carl Strong has produced under the eponymous Strong Frames brand on which he has built his considerable reputation, first with custom steel frames and more recently titanium.
"Pursuit is a unique brand with high quality product that most smaller builders won't invest in. We wanted to bring the technical knowledge and experience that you might expect from a larger company with lots of resources, then combine this with the attention to detail and quality that you might find in a custom builder. We're sort of threading the needle between the two," says Strong.
The Pursuit Mark 1 is a stock-geometry carbon fiber road stage-racing frame available in four stack heights, from 54.6cm to 59.1cm with a wider range of sizes planned in future iterations. Up to 35 of these frames will be built this year, all in Strong's Bozeman workshop.
As for the road stage race design Strong says, "Unlike custom geometry, which is based on unique use and sizing considerations, this is a bike that a lot of us ride and we know a lot of people like. It's our take on what we want to see in a road bike, for us it's the ultimate road bike."
According to Strong, the highly personalized, direct sales approach of the company allows Pursuit to do things that mass manufacturers might baulk at. As an example he points to the bottom bracket, which is lower than on most mass-produced road bikes. "This will help with stability, the bike feels great in corners and riding no-hands. Because of the potential pedal scraping issue, mass producers don't do this. But since we're addressing orders individually, and say a customer has unusually long cranks, we will advise a different frame."
Prior to June 1, a pre-launch website provides full details, and is already receiving orders. The frame price is $5800, including a $1000 deposit. Lead time is four months. Bikes are sold complete, with Campag Super Record, Shimano Dura-Ace, and SRAM Red choices. Cockpits are Enve or Ritchey, and wheel choices are Enve SES 3.4 or Hed Belgium.
Strong makes no secret that fulfilling his obligations to the Pursuit Cycle team in getting the bikes to market, but at the same time keeping up his Strong Frames production schedule, has been a lot of work. "It's one of the hardest things I've done, getting all the resources pointed in the right direction at the right time, getting the right help, but I'm really happy with the outcome and I'm excited to see people riding these bikes."
Will Pursuit affect Carl Strong's custom frame production at all? "No, Strong Frames is not going anywhere, that brand is still my baby!"