We have been hard at work for the past few months updating and improving the Little Wing, and are excited to announce that production has commenced.
First, what's not changing on the Little Wing: the bike's core elements that made the original Little Wing such a success are all intact. The revised Little Wing keeps the stiff yet comfortable ride quality, track specific geometry and striking design of the original.
So what has changed?
Our move to our new in-house production facility in upstate NY earlier has given us much tighter control over the finishing quality of our bikes. Each new Little Wing is finish welded by Frank Cenchitz, who gained over 18 years of titanium welding experience at Serotta before joining us earlier this year. In addition to Frank's expert welds, the new Little Wing will feature crisper graphics similar to those currently seen on our "raw" finish Great Divide model.
Clean welds and crisp graphics.
The Little Wing retains its integrated seatmast and we have completely redesigned the seatmast topper, offering several key improvements. First, the new topper is a one-piece, zero offset cast titanium part, which results in a lighter and stronger part than the previous welded piece. The new topper is also more compact, which allows a greater range of height adjustment on every size frame. The new topper still uses Enve's excellent saddle mounting hardware to ensure a solid grip and easy adjustability on any saddle.
Rendering of the Little Wing's cast titanium seatmast topper, now in production.
In response to feedback from racers on the previous Little Wing, we have lengthened the bike's horizontal dropouts to allow up to 1" of fore/aft adjustment. This now allows for larger chain ring or cog changes without having to break the chain—especially helpful when making gearing changes at the track. Unlike most horizontal titanium dropouts that are welded from two separate pieces, ours are machined from a solid 2" 6/4 titanium bar.
We have also designed new, stiffer seatstay bridges. Water-jet cut from a solid plate of 6/4 titanium, these bridges add strength and a bespoke signature to the Little Wing stays.
One-piece titanium dropouts now offer a full 1" of adjustment.
The new brake bridge is water-jet cut from a solid plate of 6/4 titanium.
For the first time, we are offering the Little Wing with two fork options: with or without a brake mount hole. Both forks are full carbon pieces with tapered carbon steerer tubes, and a custom rake to suit the Little Wing's geometry. The forks are finished with subtle black No. 22 graphics to complement the frame.
Along with some minor geometry tweaks on all sizes, we have added a 50cm frame option to fit more riders. The Little Wing is now offered in six stock sizes, with full geometry details below.
The new Little Wing is offered in three configurations: frame, frameset, and complete build.
We are now accepting orders for the first production Little Wings. Production on the first Little Wing frames is beginning now, and we anticipate the first frames will ship within 3-4 weeks of order placement. To start the order process, get in touch by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The No. 22 welding team is led by Frank Cenchitz, who personally has over 20 years of welding titanium bike frames. Sam Dries, our young prodigy (and hotshot CX racer) has added nearly three years of training under Frank to his previous welding experience. The knowledge and experience of our weld team is a key element of what makes every No. 22 special. Click through to read more about our welding process.
Many different materials can be used in the manufacturing of a bicycle, each with their own set of benefits and challenges. Before launching No. 22 Bicycles, we put significant time and energy into considering the type of performance, comfort, durability and aesthetics we wanted to offer to our customers.
With the frame qualities established, we researched which material would best deliver the ride experience we were working towards. In the end we agreed that titanium was the best solution.
In this post we examine some of the attributes of titanium, and how its properties deliver the ride experience every No. 22 frame offers. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but may help point you in the right direction when choosing your next frame.
Trade shows are a logistical challenge at the best of times, and this year the Toronto International Bicycle Show and the North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS) were separated by four days and nearly 2,000 miles. The whole No. 22 team was scrambling: from late nights anodizing tube samples, last-minute catalogue production, nerve-wracking customs clearances and coordination with our suppliers to make sure not just the bikes, but all of their parts, were there on time. Throw in a blizzard at home and the result has been one of our more ambitious show schedules to date.
So, was it worth it? Absolutely.