When Chad asked if I wanted to check out the North American Handmade Bicycle Show in Austin Texas, I jumped at the chance. It's a showcase of the world's top talent in the handmade bike world. Having worked at AC a few years back, as well as founding the AC elite team in 2008, I'd be visiting with some old friends in the industry.
On Saturday morning I finagled my way into the show an hour early in order to meet up with Dario Pegoretti and Giorgio Andretta. Giorgio is the man responsible for bringing Pegoretti bicycles to the U.S., and a good friend of the Above Category family. Dario is equal parts genius, artist, alchemist, and jester. I've spent time with him on his almost yearly pilgrimages to the Above Category shop in Mill Valley, and had the great honor to visit him in his workshop in Caldonazzo, Italy (I wrote about that trip here). He also sponsored our team with custom frames in 2009, which was an incredible privilege!
NAHBS is big, and it took me a while to find the Pegoretti booth. Wandering through the early-morning empty aisles of the show, I heard a familiar voice boom out. "Ciao Ian!" and there was Dario, wandering the aisles himself, in search of espresso.
Dario (R) and Giorgio (L) explained the many enhancements Dario has been working on... One of the most exciting is a brand new Pegoretti fork...
It's still in the prototype phase, and right now they only have six of them produced. Please remember that some of these details might change. This is what he told me about the new design:
The crown of the fork is very broad, mimicking the structure of traditional steel forks, to increase strength and stiffness. In Dario's words: "A very classic design." Also notice the aluminum cap. As Dario said, there's no point in having a flawless fork if you can't seat it perfectly in the headset!
The fork is all carbon, including the dropouts. In order to achieve the right balance of strength, light weight, and ride quality, it uses a blend of four different carbons. It's wide enough to allow 25mm tires, and possibly 28mm (depending on the final design). This is to accommodate a growing interest in riding wider tires.
The bowed shape creates a straight line leading down to the dropouts, increasing stiffness and absorbing shock.
"Falz" means "Sickle" in an Italian dialect.
The fork will be available in 45 and 50mm rake. Dario is still tweaking it, experimenting with different layups to further increase torsional stiffness. It's a race fork, and one that other frame builders have already expressed an interest in!
Check back for more from Pegoretti... the Falz fork is just one of many new developments. I'll be posting the rest over the next few days.