TSH FIREFLY PROJECT
Words by Dani Arman and Photos by Luke Batten
In this world of high-modulus monocoque carbon frames being printed out by the dozens, the idea of a true custom steel machine has always appealed to me. I was lucky enough to sync with Firefly Bicycles to create a one of a kind ride, light enough for the 18% slopes, the 50+ MPH descents, and the infinite amount of dirt riding in the Boulder area.
The best part of any custom frame is that it is custom. Obvious? Maybe. But it wasn’t until I worked with Kevin Wolfson and the wonderful people at Firefly Bicycles, that I understood the level of detail needed to create a frame fit for me and my riding style. Conveniently, I received a great bike fit a few months prior to the start of the build conversation.
Kevin’ suggested head tube angle and fork rake created an aggressive yet stable front end to keep me upright while attacking the squirrely descents of Colorado. He also encouraged a lower bottom bracket, allowing me to keep my weight down low and my speed up during those final criterium corners. Lastly, the main triangle tubes are specked precisely to my stack and reach creating an aesthetically appealing design, absent of skyward stem and shameful tower of spacers.
With the geometry design process finalized, it was time to put it all together. The frame itself is a beauty with Firefly’s meticulous TIG-welded construction. Steel is in fact real, just ask Hugh Jackman…(that’s a reference to his movie “Real Steel.” Not in reference to his portrayal of “Wolverine”, which would oobvvioussly be Adamantium).
The attention to detail begins with the front head tube, illustrating Firefly’s iconic badge. Next we see the slim seat stays creating a light-weight yet vertically compliant ride. Finishing with the beautifully crafted 130mm quick release rear drop outs.
The 2016 Tenspeed Hero Resort Collection features a ‘sprinkle’ design (by Lauren Ayers) that is the eye-catching component of this bike. This includes classy integration between Firefly markings and the TSH shield.
Complementing the classy steel construction, we carbon-ed the heck out of this bike. To compliment the American made steel frame we finished the build with the finest from Enve Composite: tapered fork, classic setback seat post, stem, SES handlebars, and SES 2.2 wheel set with Chris King R45 hubs. Keeping the continuity of all my bikes, and never forgetting where I came from, the bike is finished off with SRAM 2016 Red 22 mechanical gruppo.
From 5 hours mountain/dirt rides to 45-minute criterium races, this bike has demonstrated an all-encompassing demeanor. After spending my whole life in the Chicago area, this bike has assisted in the smooth transition to mountain life. The roads of possibility are endless!