Words by Becca Goesling
Once a hero sat before a suave Italian man. Not alone. In fact, not even in an especially small group, but that does not matter. It was as if Paolo spoke directly to her when he held his tenth scale 3D printed model of a yacht above his head and said, “this creation is second only to the bicycle.”
This hero certainly appreciates a good yacht or two but the word “bicycle” and the sight of an antique masterpiece stole her attention for the rest of the lecture (and let’s be honest, the rest of her life).
Today that same hero is once again presented with the same inspiring bicycle, and although she is in awe she also wonders at what point this blind devotion must end. Is it enough to simply worship the frame from afar? Of course not. Years of industrial design training have taught this hero that standing before an object is not good enough. You must take it apart, research the history, explore the intricacies and challenge tradition. And so we shall.
We begin with a frame. Not the top of the line, lightest, or most famous of frames. Rather a frame that, in our estimation, truly demonstrates modular design at its finest. It is not often that one encounters a Time VXS stripped of its seat post, saddle, handlebars, etc. but it is truly astounding.
The beauty of this frame is the perfect concoction of new and old cycling worlds. Each tube subtly morphs from precise circles to expertly engineered ovals in a way so rarely achieved since the glory days of steel tube construction. However, this frame goes far beyond the stiff steel frame and into a world of slim, light, organic carbon fiber (for more information we suggest that you consult a professional) beauty. Each intersection acknowledges the presence of bunching fibers without distracting from the overall form. Intricate weaves peer out beneath bold graphics in a seamless fashion, never apologizing for the history of its production. One may even say this frame has exceeded all expectations of a “designed product” to become what can only be described as the natural solution to a modern bike.
It has become apparent to the heroes that there is only one way to appreciate the pure beauty of the Time VXS, which is to momentarily ignore the functionality of all bike frames. How, one may ask, is this even possible? The answer is obvious: we must follow in the footsteps of Gabriel Orozco. We gently pick up the frame, close our eyes and place it on that white table. And the transformation begins. Perhaps we will start at the top and work your way down, left then right then back up the center until settling on that radiant white mark. Or maybe we are drawn to the weight of the piece, eyes darting left to right from the bottom on up to a single point at the top. But no, we prefer to dive right in to the action. Eyes jump straight to the intersection of thick black lines and sweeping curves, looping round until we make it back to that central triangle.
It is safe to say we now see past our immature “blind devotion” to fully appreciate the perfection that Paolo once spoke of.