Introducing The Roundtail

Rather than using a traditional double triangle design, the Roundtail’s seattube, seatstays and chainstays are replaced with a pair of large rings which are said to give the bike a more comfortable ride, without being flexy. The bike is handbuilt by American frame builder Paul Taylor using Italian steel for the front ‘triangle’ and chromoly rings in the back.  This is a serious project and, for more info, you might want to checkout this youtube video.

While the builder is American, the designer is a Canadian Italian.  Which I just can’t wrap my mind around.  I thought Italians were all about design. More likely, I picture the Italians up-chucking their pasta when they see campy parts on this ugly frame.  Really, when it looks that bad, who cares what it actually rides like?  Why don’t some builders get it that bike building is art and function?   Then again, what do I know about design anyways.  I also think that the Pinarello, with it’s asymmetrical frame and wavey forks and seat stays, looks like a wet noodle.  Yet the Pinarello Prince was awarded Bike of the Year by Cycling Italy, no less, for two years in a row.  Beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder.

4 thoughts on “Introducing The Roundtail

  1. The word “inelegant” or not elegant comes to mind. It sure looks heavy—seems to have a lot more frame tubing as a normal bike. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line.

  2. The video says the above model, made with steel tubing, is around 17 lb. So, even though I agree it looks bulky, it doesn’t seem to result in a heavy frame. If they made this bike with carbon, or titanium (and they are currently doing that) it will almost certainly hit the sub-16 lb range.
    I think the thing about a straight line is that it’s also the most direct route for road shock to travel. The dissipation of road vibration is what the design is all about. A good technical idea, too bad it’s such an unappealing design.

  3. It looks like a collision with a couple of hoola hoops. Very ugly. Perhaps it will dominate at Paris Roubaix. I might buy one for riding washboard gravel if it succeeds there.

  4. One thing that no one seems to mention is the rings act like a gyroscope.Road vibration is translated to forward motion so you get faster acceleration and better handling as people who have ridden the bike say.

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