Aluminum is the new black.
We have been taught that carbon fiber is the best solution when searching for a performance bike, but this is simply what major bike companies want us to think. What are we talking about when we say carbon fiber? How is it produced? What kind of performance does it offer? Moving to mass production, the answer is clear: it’s quicker and easier to produce than aluminum Since it’s mainly molded in the far east with industrial procedures that ensure high-quality standards and rapid production times.
On the other side aluminum is now considered a cheap and non performing material. How is that possible, considering that many champions, such as Cipollini, were winning with aluminum bikes when everybody else in the peloton had a carbon fiber bike? The answer must be related to mass production choices, where aluminum is now used for cheaper and heavier bikes.
After hearing the story that many manufacturers told regarding their material choices, Romolo Stanco, who is the mind behind every and each project in the company, knew exactly what to do when deciding on his neck design.
Knowledge comes from research, tests, relationships with important laboratories and pro–cyclists and then must be mixed with deep competences and design abilities in order to create something new.
First the material, an alloy applied in the aerospace industry: aluminum combined with magnesium and enriched with scandium and zirconium. In terms of comparison, that means a material that is 20% lighter than normal aluminum alloys, 30% stiffer than Ergal, with an easier and at the same time stronger welding process.
A material with these characteristics can afford a super aero design or a stiff, fast, light and reactive bike. So Dedacciai tubesets are adapted and worked in order to comply with this very unique design.
Details are another important step: nothing has been left to chance, from the tapered headtube to the design of the dropouts. After the first prototype it was clear that thru-axle flat mount dropouts for disc brakes were needed to enhance the performances of the bike. Something that is not existing because components for aluminum are only for cheap bikes, of course. Well, Romolo Stanco designed new ones to complete geometry and efficiency. Tubes were hydroformed in order to for an local shape and allow the various pieces to become one merged unit and perfect aerodynamic shape. The integrated seat clamp completes the neat and functional design of the geometry. The brushed finish of the frame produced a surprisingly precise result, almost as if it had been manufactured by aliens endowed with superior technology. Graphics and name come from Maori culture: Manaia is a creature with the head of a bird, the body of a dragon and the tail of a fish, symbolizing the union of earth, sky and sea.
The Manaia designed on the frame and the tattooed graphics perfectly complete the idea of the bike and its characteristics. Each advance in the project reminded Romolo and T°RED that they were working in the right direction and that time was not to be wasted.
A claim was included, which underlines the theme behind Manaia and T°RED works: “I Love Light Metal”. Not only aluminum, but titanium and steel too, to create the perfect bike for the right ride.
On Kickstarter you can find the T°shirt with the claim logo, a skinsuit designed to match with the bike and different options of framesets.
T°RED partnered up with companies to complete the frameset, from Dedacciai to FSA and Vision for the components. The crankset is machined from one solid piece by OMC Italia and the wheels are produced by TOOT to complete the aerodynamic efficiency of the bike.
The muffled sound of the light alloy tubes with differentiated sections, the impeccably finished TIG welding and the brushed surface enhanced by an indelible Maori tattoo make MANAIA a truly unique bicycle. It has been designed to offer the best performance when pushing limits, with a shape that fosters reactivity and speed, and materials able to withstand power during extreme sprints.
The 7000 series scandium-zirconium reinforced aluminum/magnesium alloy performs over 30% better than ergal, with higher performance welding, and a lightness and rigidity comparable to the best carbon frames. The proprietary design D-THRU® dropouts, machined in Italy by OMC, are optimized for flat mount brake calipers, while the innovative rear triangle and integrated seatpost ensure a truly amazing feeling. A metal creature born to ride, whose sole purpose is to make you win.