The last time Maurizio Fondriest wrote on this blog, he spoke about the new frame model under development in Italy, the TF2 1.7 Aero. It’s been a while since the idea of a frame with aerodynamic features first surfaced in our headquarters in Cavarzere, and now four versions of TF2 Aero have landed in Australia and are available through our dealers.
The New Aero Kid on the Block: Fondriest TF2 1.7 Aero
Back in the day, tear-shaped steel frame tubes were the hallmark of aero frame design. How much air resistance these tubes reduced no one knew because no one measured anything. Nowadays, with easier access to wind tunnels and advanced computer-aided modeling tools, we can design a frame with aerodynamic characteristics matched to the bike’s purpose and know what the aerodynamic savings are. We’ve gone through scores of variants, alterations, and testing before the Fondriest TF2 1.7 Aero took its final shape, literally.
True to our pragmatic frame-building philosophy and appetite for innovation, our goal with TF2 Aero was to come up with aerodynamic, yet practical bike that a discerning cycling enthusiast would enjoy riding. The result is a tight chassis with a placid ride that would please anyone who likes a firm, stiff feel of a frame.
We won’t tell you the TF2 Aero is the most aerodynamically-advanced frame on the market because this is not so. As we said above, maximum aerodynamics wasn’t our aim with this project. What we will tell you though is that TF2 Aero is a well-rounded machine you can take almost anywhere and, on top of that, is aerodynamically-minded. The frame will work with you on a climb and give you full control when you’re bombing down a fast descent. It comes alive on flat or rolling roads when the speed goes up and the air starts fighting you more and more. This is where the time we spent in the wind tunnel translates into saved watts you can spare for an uphill sprint or a dash to the coffee shop.
TF2 Aero is built from Toray’s uni-directional 40 ton carbon fiber stock using the monocoque assembly technique. The medium size frame weighs 990 grams with 395 grams for the fork. Its aero-enhancing aesthetics are subtle, they don’t jump at you when you first look at the bike because we value the classic frame lines and want to preserve the beauty of a bicycle frame even when today’s fashion is to chuck pieces of carbon all around the frame. Yet, the aero enhancements are there when you look closer — the integrated fork, the truncated Kamm tail, the curves and the bends to help you slice through the air with less effort. The fork, in fact, is where most of the aerodynamic saving can be gained on the frame and we tweaked ours to improve the airflow by a large margin.
Cable routing on TF2 Aero is an engineering stroke we nailed with aplomb and yes, we feel like our thoughtful approach paid off here with a gusto.
The Ultegra-equipped TF2 Aero models feature direct-mount brake calipers for improved braking performance, yet another detail we added to boost the model’s caliber.
Looking at the stack height and reach length relationship, TF2 Aero is closer in these characteristics to the Giant Propel Advanced Pro and the Scott Foil but not as aggressive as the Specialized Venge.
Fondriest TF2 1.7 Aero is a worthy addition to our Pro line of discreet, elegant, yet sensible bikes to animate the joy of road riding.