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T-Lab Bikes: “The Shape of Titanium to Come”

Leading Off

Once upon a time, a cycling aficionado named Tony Giannascoli set out to make a better bike out of metal. He did things differently by combining aerospace-derived methods with the attention-to-detail he inherited from his Italian ancestors. Thousands upon thousands of world-class frames later, he has embarked on a new mission: to take the everlasting ride quality of titanium and take it to the next level of performance.

Pushing Forward

To redefine what’s possible with Ti, our engineering and design team was pushed to innovate at all levels. Starting with the development of proprietary precision forming techniques that allow us to radically shape the most noble of bike-building metals without compromising its inherent properties. Given that capability, our designers were unleashed to create something remarkable: shapely Ti bike frames that produce composite-inspired performance characteristics while turning heads along the way. From there, no part of the frame was overlooked in our quest to build a next generation titanium bicycle.

Doing it Right

Under the guidance of our fearless leader, we meticulously engineer, manufacture and finish every T-Lab frame out of our home base in Montreal, Québec. We only work with select bike fitters and retailers who share our desire to deliver outstanding bicycles. We choose to make a limited number of bikes because we believe focus is the precursor to higher quality and performance.

Fabrication

With your exact specifications in hand, the T-Lab fabrication team sets out on a single-minded mission: to make you the best bike you’ve ever had.

1. TUBE SELECTION

We verify every tube shipment from our titanium suppliers to ensure we’re starting with tubing that is perfectly straight and circular.

2. MITIRING & DE-BURRING

With the assistance of specialized machinery, the tube sets are mitred and simultaneously de-burred based on specifications.

3. DEGREASING

We use an ultrasonic cleansing method that deep-cleans the metal in order to assure the surface purity needed for optimal welding.

4. WELDING

Where it all comes together. Welding is the most critical phase in the fabrication of a titanium frame―the one that determines the structural integrity, durability and performance of the bike. We take our time and sweat the details throughout this multi-step process:

  • Positioning: Our welder places the tubes in a specialized jig that has been precisely set to accommodate the frame dimensions.
  •  Purging: The inside and outside of the titanium tubes are carefully purged—using argon gas and a specialized welding lens, respectively—to promote stronger, longer-lasting welds.
  •  Tacking: The weld master strategically places tack welds in a very specific sequence for titanium. Precision at this stage is particularly critical, as the smallest error will basically scrap the frame (based on our standards). 
  • Final Welding: Moving millimeters at a time, the welder painstakingly applies weld beads to bond the tubes together into one everlasting frame. There’s no mystery to the exceptional quality of our welds—nobody applies more time, focus and expertise than our crew. 
  • Final Alignment

One last alignment step is performed to eliminate any remaining distortion in the frame. 

5. POST-WELD MACHINING & FRAME PREP

Before heading to the paint / finish shop, our frame goes through a fine-tuning session where its key parts are machined to make sure components will fit flawless.

6. PAINT / FINISH STATION

As with the rest of our fabrication method, laying on the finish to one of our titanium bikes is a meticulous, multi-phased process that requires state-of-the-art facilities and skillful hands. We wouldn’t have it any other way. 

Bike Models

The R3

Advanced engineering pushes the limits of stiffness-to-weight in an everlasting frame. The result is the T-LAB R3, the titanium road bike of tomorrow, available right now.

Our engineering team was given a simple but monumental challenge: create a titanium road frame that delivers the performance characteristics of one made of high-end composites. Their initial response was to take a step back; they proceeded to push forward with technical innovation at all levels. Beginning with the development of a proprietary forming technology that allows us to precisely shape seamless, Grade 9 titanium tubing into a unique frame profile that produces 30% more stiffness, with no weight disadvantage, versus leading titanium bikes. The drive to break new ground permeates the R3 completely, from the beautifully weight-optimized, fully integrated headtube design to the proprietary and fully adaptable T-ONE dropout system. Put it all together, and what you get is the most advanced titanium road bike ever made.

The R1

The performance advantages of titanium are optimized and made accessible in a timeless frame design.

The R1 embodies our desire to take the best of what titanium has to offer today and bring it to the cycling masses. Premium quality, seemless, 3Al-2.5V tubing is expertly configured by our engineers and then impeccably brought together by our welders. The result is a road bike that captures the elusive balance between performance and comfort. The intrinsic ride quality of Ti is enhanced by a compliant back triangle design which, through the use of uniquely designed assymertical chain stays, also boosts stiffness while accomodating a tire of up to 30c. Muscle, finesse, versatility, legendary durability and relative affordability. With T-LAB’s R1, you can get it all.

The X3

The all-world, all-conditions performer of your dreams is now available.

When it comes to blazing a trail, X3 stands above all others. This is a supremely talented bike, combining pure speed, exceptional comfort and assured multi-strata handling. At the root of all this capability is a proprietary forming technology that allows us to shape seamless, Grade 9 titanium tubing into a remarkable frame profile that optimizes stiffness-to-weight ratios with no added weight. We’re talking 30% more rigidity versus leading ti gravel bikes, with no compromise to ride quality. Power transfer is further maximized via a shapely and integrated head tube, assymetrical chain stays and a standard BB-86 bottom bracket. The perfect marriage between form and function, T-LAB’s X3 will allow you to master roads that make other bikes falter.

The X1

Outstanding mixed terrain capability and ride quality delivered in a streamlined frame design.

The idea behind the X1 was to create a bike that was simply exceptional when ridden on the roads less travelled. To turn that notion into a reality, you have to sweat the details, starting with impeccable welds applied to premium quaiity, seamless Grade 9 titanium tubing. The legendary all-day comfort of Ti is supplemented with a series of performance-enhancing design features. Like an an oversized down tube combining with a beefed-up head tube to optimize stiffness under load. What’s more, every X1 is made to order when it comes to geometry and completely modular with regards to tires and cable routing. Regardless of where your off-road adventures take you, this is the bike that’s made for you.

You can learn more about T-Lab’s range of models and customization options by visiting their website here. 

You can read a recent review of T-Lab’s R3 road bike here.  

 

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