Watch this video to see how easy it is to pack one of our S&S travel bikes. We do more than just install couplers though. Some of our other innovations really make the difference in the time it takes to pack your bike. If you have a travel bike, the easier it is to pack, the more likely you are to bring it on every trip. http://ow.ly/GnDPB
I’ve been working on fixing a bunch of stuff with the ZinnCycles.com website. Check out the updated Project Big Series Page. I think it’s a big improvement from what we had before. http://ow.ly/GXOn0
Front end shimmy, or “high speed shimmy,” or “death wobble,” is an unpleasant phenomenon that is the bane of many a tall rider. The taller the bike and the heavier the rider, the more likely it is to be an issue.
I first discovered it in 1981 by virtue of a new bike sponsorship with a new team when I was on the US Olympic Development Team. I was racing the Durango-to-Silverton road race of the Iron Horse Classic in southwestern Colorado. I was the defending champion and course record holder and was hoping to do well, although some recent crashes and illnesses made that unlikely anyway. The prior year, I’d dropped my breakaway companion on the descents and had won the race thanks to a bike that allowed me to go as fast as I wanted. This time, however, I had already missed the break before the first pass, but I had to drop off of the back of the chase group on the descent of that pass due to my bike shaking uncontrollably once I got up to speed. Hanging on for dear life, I was glad to get down that descent and onto the final climb up Molas Pass. But I dreaded the final drop into Silverton, which indeed required me to brake a lot and go very slowly to stay on the road. It was nothing like the prior year, when I had held a tuck all of the way down both passes and had blown past the lead vehicle. The police car that was supposed to stay ahead of the entire race had been sliding his tires on the switchbacks down to Silverton to stay ahead of me that time, but he would have had no such problem holding my speed this time.
After this experience, I was highly motivated to come up with a bike design that would not shake at high speed. I had a Physics degree, and I had built computer models of bicycle stability while working on it. I had also already built one bike frame for my girlfriend (now my wife) in the Physics shop at Colorado College and in the mechanics’ shop at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. It took me a while to work out all of the details to make tall bikes shimmy-free, but by 1990, I had it nailed. I’ve continued to improve on those designs ever since, including building with titanium and magnesium in addition to steel, designing an improved carbon fork and custom-length cranks for big and tall riders, and now even making full-performance tall bikes that not only don’t shimmy but also unscrew into a number of pieces to fit in a small travel case. Because, first and foremost, I’m a tall rider, and I want my own bikes to allow me to go as fast as I want, with or without hands, in complete confidence, anywhere in the world. Here is a letter I recently got from one of my customers who is 6’7″ and 245 pounds – body dimensions virtually guaranteed to produce high speed shimmy on any bike other than a Zinn!
“I was the victim of front wheel wobble and ended up with a broken elbow this last December… I was riding one of my other bikes; it was a [brand deleted] design with a fairly steep rake on the fork. I was only going 10 mph, I reached down with one hand to grab a water bottle, the other hand lightly on the handle bar. Unfortunately for me I did not have a secure grip. I sat upright to take a drink, my hand came off the handle bar for only a second, the front wheel went into a violent “speed wobble” motion and flipped me. Result: broken elbow.
Lennard, when you built the custom bike for me (a titanium road bike), I am 6’7″ to refresh your memory- 2008 model with 220 mm zinntegrated cranks, we talked about this issue of front wheel wobble or instability and you assured me that your bike does not have this problem. I have not had a problem with my Zinn bike, but almost all the other frames I have do have a problem either with front wheel wobble when I remove my hands from the handlebars or the bike does not readily track straight. I have triple checked to ensure that the wheels are aligned in the dropouts to prevent “crabbing”, however I am unable to balance the bike and ride hands free. I see many other…
We just received this great email from a Customer who has a Zinn Titanium Road bike and a Zinn Titanium Fat BIke.
January 4, 2015
Happy New Year Lennard,
Back in 2011 I decided to invest in what I hoped would be a road bike that properly fit me and solved all my riding problems. I was 48 years old, 6’ 7” tall, and weighed 240 pounds back in 2011 and I was frustrated with my bikes. Prior to working with you on my Zinn Travel titanium road bike I had gone through three off-the-shelf road bikes and two steel customs. Riding was a painful experience where I could not handle more than 25 miles. Around mile eight I would start to get left ulnar nerve issues and my left arm would go numb. This was solved by having to constantly shake my arms to get back feeling, if not I would loose grip on the bars. Furthermore, I was always dealing with saddle sores that would not go away and back discomfort. I have spent hundreds of dollars trying to find the right saddle and stem combination without any real success. My last custom steel bike did help, but I still could not go beyond 25 miles. I ride to keep in shape, as I cannot run due to knees that are suffering from years of playing ice hockey. During a visit with my doctor, who happens to be a past alpine skiing Olympian and avid cyclist, he told me to check out your site and invest in a bike that will be designed by someone that understands the needs of tall riders. I knew of you due to owning your bike repair books, but I had no idea you designed custom bikes.
During my initial review of the Zinn website I first looked at mountain bikes as I was working halftime in France and thought this would be the ideal set up. I found it less painful to ride mountain bikes and had some success with off-the-shelf MB’s. I will admit the prices for a Zinn custom bike scared me as it was a big investment and my small history with custom bikes was not good. My first experience with your company was with Nick. He was great in talking to me about all the options, components, how the customization process works, what to expect, etc. He definitely gave me confidence in moving forward with Zinn. I did up my measurements as outlined on your website, made my down payment, and within a couple of weeks I received a CAD drawing of the proposed MB. I then got the chance to talk with you about the bike, all my past riding issues, and get your insight on what would work best for me. It was through that conversation that made me decide to change to a travel road bike. I appreciate you having no issues with me changing bikes and it turned out to be a very good decision.
When I received the CAD drawing of the bike I just could not believe it would fit in a suitcase, I was skeptical that it would solve my riding issues, and I doubted myself for making such a large investment in something discussed over the phone. It was very helpful talking with Nick about components and I went with his recommendations. Being a scientist I found the whole concept of longer cranks intriguing (215mm), it made sense, and was looking forward to riding them. What most excited me about the travel concept was being able to easily take my bike over to France and ride while I did my 2-3 week rotations. After what seemed a year (actually about 9 weeks) the bike showed up in a suitcase and I was stunned that my ride was in that gray box. My first recommendation to any travel bike owner: take photos or a cell phone video as you unpack the bike! In my excitement to assemble the bike I just pulled out everything without even thinking that someday I would want to put it back in the suitcase. I am too embarrassed to tell you how long it took to figure out the “puzzle”, but I now have it well documented and within 45 minutes I can take the bike apart and put it in the suitcase.
After a couple of hours, taking my time to study all the details of the bike, I had it assembled and ready to hit the road. It is easy to remember…
Watch this video that highlights our fully engineered travel bikes. Zinn Custom Travel bikes with S&S couplers http://ow.ly/GnDIk
Got long legs? Check out Zinn Custom Cranks http://ow.ly/GnDEj
We are really proud of Emily Zinn for earning her silver medal at the State cyclocross championships in castle rock this weekend. Way to go Emily. She has been training hard this season on her custom Zinn magnesium #cyclocross bikes, and her hard work has paid off. Good luck at Nationals, Emily. We love you! http://ow.ly/i/7YMPi