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dgasmd
Posts: 1618
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2007 5:10 am
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by dgasmd

MediumSizedMonster wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 4:52 pm
kgt wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 7:53 pm
Alpe d' Huez limited edition color:
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maverick_1 wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 4:11 pm
Scylon with Activ fork, French Edition.
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Well, if I had to choose between those 2 sexy as fock beasts, no question I would ahve to choose the Scylon. Very nice indeed.

by Weenie


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kgt
Posts: 7434
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Location: Athens, Greece

by kgt

There is a Scylon limited edition as well:
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dgasmd
Posts: 1618
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by dgasmd

kgt wrote:
Sun Sep 30, 2018 9:19 am
There is a Scylon limited edition as well:
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That looks even better and love the ISP!!

On serious note, I ahve been seriously thinking about a new build simply because we all need another high end bike like we need a hole in the head. I have been waiting for the new LOOK 795 Blade RS to be available just for the sake of seeing prices and since I suspect V4 EPS will be revealed by then as well. Frameset cost is about the same (Mid US$5K) except for the DeRosa SK. The short list is:
De Rosa Protos Bianco Rosso Rim Brake Frameset (likely not)
De Rosa SK Pininfarina Bianco Nuvola Frameset Rim Brake (likely not)
Look Blade RS Rim Brake Frameset
Time Scylon Rim Brake Frameset

I know, first world problems........ :smartass: :beerchug:

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kgt
Posts: 7434
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Location: Athens, Greece

by kgt

I have no inside information but I expect the new Scylon to appear next year so, maybe, you can wait for it! 8)

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dgasmd
Posts: 1618
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2007 5:10 am
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by dgasmd

kgt wrote:I have no inside information but I expect the new Scylon to appear next year so, maybe, you can wait for it! 8)
Maybe........I’m in no rush for sure after building my current C60 about 500 miles ago. It only took me 8 years since my last build for the new C60 to come alone, so rush is not something I do anyway LOL.....


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Calnago
Posts: 7792
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by Calnago

MiddMan wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 3:33 pm
@Calnago, is this your new ride or something you built up for a friend? (Looks great!) Do you have a thread on it, I would love to hear some comparisons between this and your Colnagos.
Calnago wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 4:13 am
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Ok, @MiddMan... since you asked... I don't have a specific thread on it. Was initially going to do one, but as I got more and more into it, I kind of just thought, why bother, after the build I don't have a lot of kind things to say about it. But in the interest of objective comments, and since I started this build with the intention of writing about it, I'm finally going ahead with this post. It's not like I have any advertising revenue to worry about.

First of all this is not my bike, but the owner/friend really wanted me to build it up for him. Last fall (a year ago) he dropped the frame off (no rush) and it sat in my family room under the tv for most of the winter. I'd stare at it's graphics thinking... could they have made the graphics any uglier. It never did grow on me. Of course, graphics are subjective, so if you like it, then great.

It was going to be a Campagnolo EPS V3 build, which was one of the reasons I agreed to the build since I like to see how things fit in frames I haven't built before. My experience with TIME frames in the past left me quite unimpressed with most of the design choices they've made, and continue with, but also up until this frame my ride experience with TIME has been sad to say the least... with the overused description of "stiffness of a wet noodle" coming to mind. So, I guess curiosity got the best of me in agreeing to this build in the first place. Many experiences in this build were same ol, same ol, but at least it now feels like a solid frame. It passes my "wiggle" test. Oh, and this frame actually has "SKYLON" written on it, before they were required to change the name to "SCYLON" due to some copyright infringement or something with the SKYLON name. Same frame, just different spelling of the model name.

The Saddle Clamp, Kill It With Fire!:
The saddle on this bike was initially intended to be a Selle Italia SLR, older version. I played with a bit of mock up, and noticed right away that the seat clamp on this frame was not a very good fit, even when torqued up. Here's a pic of all the daylight showing through when clamped tightly...
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When the build was finally done, the saddle just slid all over the place no matter how much torque was applied. Analyzing the rails of the saddle, I could see that the cross sectional profile was kind of diamond shaped, resulting in just a few actual contact points with the clamp itself, so I figured maybe that was the problem and not really a fault of the clamp. The owner really wanted to use an SLR saddle however, and the newest ones have rails with a more amenable shape, so he bought a brand new SLR and we mounted that one up. The clamp ears fit the rails much better, but still no matter how much torque was applied the saddle would not stay put. The problem is that the ears bottom out on the clamp body before they really get a full squeeze on the rails of the saddle. I contacted TIME in the USA and they actually said they'd never had any problems at all, but when I posted a query on Weightweenies about this, it was obvious from the responses that this was indeed a problem. Trouble was, it took literally months for TIME to send a new set of ears, and even then all they were was a roughed up set of the old ears. Seems like some guy just applies some glue and rough stuff then repaints them for the people that complain. Poor design. They actually sent the clamps by sea freighter to the USA. And here I thought I was joking when I asked after a month or two what the hold up was... "What, did they send them on a slow boat from China?". Ha, little did I know that's pretty much exactly they did, except from France I presume.

As an aside, in 2014 the founder of TIme Sport, Roland Cattin died of a heart attack. Then, in 2015 or 2016, Time was purchased by Rossignol, the ski company. In 2017 Rossignol also purchased Felt Bicycles. I guess Rossignol wanted to get some summer sports stuff in their lineup, and TIME, also being a French company, seemed like a good fit. So since it was taking so long to get a simple seatpost clamp, I started thinking they were just going to send the little ear clamps with the first shipment of skis for this winter's ski season to save a couple Francs shipping cost. Poor poor customer service to say the least. But the ears for the clamp finally arrived the first week of July, several months after I first contatcted them about the issue. Here they are, same clamps, with some roughness on the inner surfaces. So I put a healthy dose of carbon paste on them and torqued the bolt up to 8nm, and it now seems to be holding up ok, although we did ultimately switch saddles to a superlight Bontrager XXX... but nice rails.
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I noticed in one of the other threads, someone's solution was to use some adhesive sand paper stuck to the ears. Brilliant, I wish I'd have thought of that for use during the months we waited for the new ears. Probably works just as well as TIME's "fix". In the interim, I used thick Gorilla Tape which helped but would get pretty mucked up with use...
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Also tried the Selle Marco Aspide, but same issue. Note the chalk marks on either side of the clamp that we started using to determine if it was holding or not... no luck... after one ride there would be a centimeter gap between that rear chalk mark and the rearward edge of the seat clamp...
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Finally, with new clamp, and new Bontrager XXX saddle, with a lot of carbon paste and 8Nm of torque, the saddle seems to be staying put, but really... this whole process was ridiculous and even though I've heard the clamp was designed with the braided rails of the Fizik carbon saddles in mind (probably the thickest in the industry), if that's the case they might have been smarter to design it so that it would fit the vast majority of other saddles being sold today as well... but to date I think they are still shipping with this next to useless saddle clamp that came with this bike. They know there's a problem... they should fix it properly with a new clamp, not just coat the old one for the people who complain.
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Integrated Seat Mast:
What can I say, hate 'em. Owner was adamant that he wanted no space between the clamp and the mast, zero. Just hates the aesthetics of a bit of exposed seat post above the integrated frame mast. Which meant a one time, extremely exact cut of the seatmast, and I took ages in fitting and determining exactly where that cut should be. Even stressed that since he was using a very low profile saddle, that should he wish to use a saddle with a higher profile in the future, there would be no choice but to cut the seat mast again. Thankfully, the Bontrager XXX we finally ended up with (shown in above pic) is also about the same super low profile as the SLR, whew! The cutting guide is made of plastic or nylon or something, and is basically a one use item because it gets chewed up very easily. If you wanted to trim just a small amount from an already cut mast, it could prove difficult to do so cleanly. Nonetheless, I nailed the cut and all is good. But this frame will not fit in any travel case that I can think of due to the integrated seat mast. It's an XL frame by the way, the largest they make, which isn't even that huge. The harsh ride is also not helped by both the aero shape of the seat tube and the integrated seat mast... there is no give at all.
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Ok... let's put the whole saddle clamp and integrated seat mast fiasco behind us and get on with the rest of the build. Where to start. Well, it's a Campagnolo EPS V3 build, very nice, so I was anxious to see how it all builds into this frame.

Where to install the Battery:
Should be an easy enough question right? After all, Campagnolo provides a number of options and adpapters for this. Well, slow down a minute. At first, I figured I would use the water bottle boss method of mounting the Campy battery, it's pretty clean albeit a little finicky to set up at first. More to say about this later, but for now, imagine some big rivnuts extending inside the seattube to accommodate the derailleur mounting bolts... they were positioned and extended far enough inside that it made the waterbottle boss mount battery install impossible.
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With that option shut down, let's see if Time, like many other manufacturers with proprietary seatpost shapes has their own seatmast battery mount. Of course they do, their "Electric Kit", which for about $40 gets you the seatmast mounting hardware for both Di2 and Campy batteries. Trouble is, the Campy mounting hardware is for the V2 battery. Due to the offset shape of the V2 battery profile, it does not work well with the round shape of the V3 battery. At best it's a flimsy install and since the round battery profile does not have the offset mounting screw, the V3 version would end up being very close to the inside front of the seat tube with all kinds of potential for banging around. Surely TIME has some mounting hardware for the V3 battery I thought. I thought wrong. That's the kit, deal with it. Ok... well, after a bit of MacGyver type headscratching, I was able to modify the Di2 holder to work with the V3 battery. It meant getting and grinding down a washer to precisely fit the inner diameter of the "holder" so that the battery wouldn't slide down, but in the end I was quite pleased with the result, and it was a much better solution than letting it dangle out the end of the seatpost flimsily in the downtube held by just the screw on top and banging against the inside of the seattube. So, note to Time Engineer(s)... include a washer the diameter of the inside of the Di2 battery holder. That's it, really... it's as simple as that to provide for a really good solution to mounting the V3 battery using the Di2 holder. Really, it's that simple...
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Once that part was figured out, then the adapter gets shoved in the seatpost the same way a Di2 battery would...
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Mulitposition Front Derailleur Brazeon... WHY?:
Ok, when I talk about dumb design ideas, I truly think the engineer who designs this stuff must think that in order to justify his keep he needs to make things more complicated than they need to be. I can't really imagine that at least one other person there might have chimed in with "Hey, maybe we should just permanently mount a single hanger that fits all the front derailleurs, like every one else, no bolts to deal with, no different positions, etc., you know... like simple". Anyway, the final decisionn is pictured below...
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Note that there are three holes in the brazeon tab. Well, that's because you have to reattach it to different positions depending on whether you're using a standard crank or a compact crank. Perhaps they could have designed it such that it would fit either, like virtually everyone else does. It came installed at the position for a compact crank, so what you see in the picture above is the position after I removed and reinstalled it one hole up so that it would accommodate the standard crank. They specify 7Nm of torque on those bolts. That's a lot, and I cringe every time I have to tighten a bolt to a frame rivnut for fear it's going to break loose. I was lucky here, but super careful. I went to 5-6Nm, and left well enough alone. The other thing with TIME's mounting bolts I've noticed, is that they don't hold up very well against the elements and sweat. They corrode. I've spent more time than I would like trying to remove Time stem bolts after corrosion had set in. Same with the proprietary headset, and these current bolts are no different... Here's a look at the same setup on a Time frame that's several years old now...
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I may have been lucky unscrewing and tightening these bolts when brand new, but I'm not sure you'd have the same luck when they get corroded like the above. Also, the corrosion issue isn't limited to the bolts on this frame... however I doubt this new Skylon is at all subject to that type of corrosion since it's constructed differently...
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Aligning The Front Derailleur:
One of the most important aspects of getting a perfect setup with today's groupsets is front derailleur alignment/position. Perfect alignment is critical for perfect shifting, so it's one of the first things I do, after installing the crankset. But yet again, I ran into issues that simply shouldn't be there... take a look at this intitial setup of the front derailleur.... what do you notice right away...
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It was immediately apparent that the tail end of the derailleur is angled way far back from the chainring. At first I thought they got the mounting holes for the front derailleur tab misaligned, but on close inspection (after removing the front derailleur) I could see that there was a chunk of metal left on the slot of the front derailleur tab. So off it came again...
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That isn't just a chunk of paint, that's metal, and I had to remove it with a dremel. Then, since I want to limit corrosion, a repaint of the tab was necessary before reinstall too. Sheesh... this was turning into a real pain in the ass build.


Before I move on, there was a bright spot in this build, and it's that I got to use my genuine Campy Ultratorque BB tool, which I finally invested in. The drifts are thick, heavy, perfect fitting and fill the ultratorque cups completely. The whole tool is so beefy that it's really difficult to install the BB cups any other way but aligned and square. So much better than what I've seen some use.... big washers against the edges of the cups using a rod with bolts to squeeze them together...
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Rear Derailleur EPS Wire Grommet:
Ok, a new day... I was done with this build for awhile, so finishing this thing off should now be easy since all the heavy lifting and McGyvering had been done, right? I mean, what could go wrong now... all I had to do was connect the wires and finish things off. Of all the stupid things that could possibly hold up a build, who would have thought that something as simple as a rubber grommet would cause so much grief. But it did. The rear grommet that fits into the rear of the chainstay is next to impossible to fit. I say "next to impossible", because ultimately I did manage to get it to fit, but to this day, this is the only example I have seen of a properly fit grommet in this frame... Here it is...
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Here's how the grommet needs to be inserted... Long side in first with the flat section being able to press against the inside walls of the grommet hole in the frame...
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In the example below the grommet is backwards, and wouldn't stay put if inserted this way... the only thing holding it in would be a little pressure from the wire... and the slot along the grommet opens up and just looks plain ugly. Even still, the only way this would stay put permanently would be if it were somehow glued in...
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During the process I called TIME to see what the deal was, and whether I had the wrong grommets or something (there are two, one for EPS and one for Di2 as the wires' diameters are different). They assured me it would go in but that it was indeed a difficult task. We laughed about it on the phone but I went back and after spending well over an hour on the thing, with all kinds of lubes and heat, and finally with some little jewellers needle nose pliers and teensy flat screwdrivers I managed to wedge it in properly fitted. But I thought... how easy would it be for someome to slip and either scratch the frame or worse, cut through the casing of the EPS/Di2 wiring in the process. Afterwards, I called TIME back and told them how incredibly painstaking this process was and asked them to send me a picture of an install to prove that it could be done, because I couldn't believe the process I had to go through to get this installed properly could be normal. They eventually found a picture and sent it to me.... installed BACKWARDS... so much for that.
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I also had a friend who had purchased a used Skylon so asked him to send me a picture of how the grommet was installed. He sent it... Di2 wire coming out of the hole in the chainstay... no grommet at all. Well, I suppose that's another way of making it work. So frustrating, and I'm generally pretty savvy at these things. If you've had a different experience, let's hear it.

I guess at this point I should mention that if you were doing a mechanical install, then the process is super easy as there are internal continuous cable liners from entry in the downtube all the way to the exit ports, so you just have to insert the cable, and push it through till it comes out the other end. Even the cable guide is an over engineered piece of plastic which gets attached to the inside upper rear wall of the BB shell by way of a screw which goes through the backside of the bottom bracket shell. Obviously with an electric install, the cable liners for a mechanical drivetrain get removed, but I left the internal cable guide insde the BB shell, otherwise there would have been another hole to plug up in the frame due to the absence of the screw that holds this cable guide in place, and since you wouldn't want to ever lose this very proprietary cable guide, that's the best place to keep it, in the frame... that silver screw head in the picture below is what holds it in place...
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Ok, where to next, how about the front end...
The "Quickset Headset" or a more appropriate name... "SlowSet" :


Let's see... this is yet another unique process to TIME, and again... why? Let's have a look...
First let's start with the alloy threaded sleeve bonded to the fork. It's placement is critical, and is dependent on the size of the frame it's going into, which means if you need a replacement fork, it has to be specific to your frame size as well, even though they all use the same fork offset of 43mm...

The threaded bonded sleeve on the steertube...
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The QuickSet headset cover extends into the headtube and threads onto the sleeve in the picture above... it unscrews a half turn at time, and if it's corroded (yes, I've seen one pretty gummed up) it can be a pain in the ass to remove... it's like removing a manhole cover, just one half turn at a time till it's off... it is not by any stretch of the imagination quicker than the typical headset arrangements you see on virtually every other manufacturers bikes these days... but I guess "QuickSet" sounded good in the marketing department.
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Getting the preload right on this headset is very critical, in part due to the headset bearings TIME uses. The lower one has this kind of polymer wax substance around the edge. It's supposed to be there, but it does take some time to work in. But be very careful, because it's easy to make it too tight, and if you've ever tried riding a bike with no hands where the headset is even a little bit stiff, well, just don't. With "normal" headset bearings, even if you apply a little excess preload, it's sometimes hard to tell if it's too tight as the bars still turn just fine. And also with normal headsets, it's pretty easy to apply just enough preload to remove all the slack. But with the QuickSet, it's harder to tell when there's enough slack out of the system, because when new and adjusted properly it will still seem "stiffer" than normal headsets. Time says this is normal and it will wear in after a bit. But once the upper "QuickSet" cover has been set, that's it for preload, you can play with different stems all you want, and it doesn't affect the preload. But what does happen is that the substance on the bearing will eventually wear and then the headset becomes loose, and clunks; basically it's become too loose. No big deal, as long as you know that just turning that top cover with the two "levers" will take out the slack again. But then you'll likely have loose rattling spacers, and you'll have to loosen and retighten the stem again to make everything snug. Here's a shot of the lower bearing, the waxy substance on it's edge, and the thin beveled spacer that needs to go in as well...
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So, with the QuickSet arrangement providing all the preload, does that mean you can dispense with the steertube bung, kind of like Canyon did (not sure if they still do or not). Well, no... you still need an alloy steertube bung to support the steertube and help prevent crushing when you install the stem...
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I know some people, in the interest of saving weight, might be inclined to throw these things away if they're not necessary to provide the preload, but don't do that. You'll see that very little torque on the stem bolts is all that's needed to hold this thing in place, a good indication that the steertube is compressing and that this insert goes a long way in ensuring you don't crush the steertube. The plug is alloy, so it is definitely providing support to the steertube. Use it.


Ok, how about that new AKTIV Hz fork
Well, what can I say... it's big, it's heavy, and it's ugly. Where to start. It weighs a whopping 554 grams, not including the insert or any associated hardware except for the non-removeable bonded on threaded alloy sleeve already talked about above. They say it inlcudes some "buzz killing" technology which dampens road vibrations. Basically, it's the same technology that Bontrager used in these now defunct (I think), bar plugs... seriously, the idea is the same... I tried the bar plugs years ago, don't know where they ended up but they're long gone from my bike...
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You can't see it, but can you feel it? Well, good luck to you if you can. It just felt like a solid fork to me, no different than my Colnagos or the Trek Koppenberg, both beefy forks in their own right, and both over 100grams lighter than this monster...
Perhaps if you're Spiderman's mother, you'll find it attractive...
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In addition to the Buzzkill (AKTIV Hz).... it's also got "Physioperformance Technology"... but they really should do something about those varicose viens...
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The Fancy handlebars:
So, back to the top of the fork... the intital plan was to use TIME's fancy handlebars. Fine by me. Except the profile was really awful and once mounted we just had to say... these aren't going to work, and removed them. Why didn't we like them you ask, well... to illustrate I'm going to use another build from this forum to have a look at how they end up on the bike... (credit to Leej88)...
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Now, when I first saw this photo (it's a nice build by the way), my first thought was "God man, those bars are screaming to be turned forward a bit, those drops are pointing to your pedals". Unfortunately, that's about as good as it gets. They have an aero profile on the top and it is in the correct position when the bars are in the position you see above. If you turn the bars forward from here, the flat aero part on top just angles downward abruptly and forward leaving a small edge of uncomfortableness to rest on, and even if there wasn't, the levers cannot be positioned further up the bars in any meaningful useful way. So, if you think you'd like bars like this, then these are for you, otherwise look elsewhere, as we did. But first, let's have another look at TIME's amazing ability to make something simple, complex...
Here’s the bars we were going to use (same as in the pic above) attached to the stem we were going to use (tossed the stem too in the end)...
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And a look underneath... instead of a nice molded internal or even semi internal cable routing path, TIME chose to have two plates, each attached to the bar with two screws, which screw into some rivnuts bonded into the underside of the handlebar. Now, tell me, was all that extra work really necessary, when it could all be done in one piece like everyone else... sorry, I should have left the plates out of the bag for the picture, but I was growing impatient...
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Even the stem has four posts bonded into the main body which pass through the stem faceplate and then get held on by four special bolts. Don't lose them or damage the threads on the posts in the stem cuz it won't be a simple matter of just using a new bolt.

Ok, so what bar/stem combo did we go with. Well, the owner loves the one piece Pro Stealth EVO Compact bars, even though they don't play very nice with Campy levers. But I had an idea. First, let me show why they don't play nice with Campy levers...
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With the levers positioned where we wanted them, with as flat a transition as we could get from bar to hoods, a rather noticeable gap is presented that would definitely be felt under bar tape. I suppose I could have tried using the spacers that Campy provides with their levers for "big hands", which essentially pushes the bottom part out a bit and hoped that the top part would come down and in, but I didn't want the levers further away from the hooks than they were. I just like them close and reachable from any position. And it wouldn't relieve this gap completely anyway. So, out of my fridge I pulled out my Sugru (it keeps much better in there, next to the butter), and proceeded to fill in the gap and hoped that once taped you wouldn't even notice it...
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This helped a lot, and with the hoods pulled back down and a careful tape job, the end result was quite bearable, at least for the owner (it wouldn't be for me as I could still feel the lump). So, job done for the bars...
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Rim brakes and dropped seatstays
I'm not a fan of dropped seatstays at the best of times, from both an aesthetic standpoint and a functional one when it comes to using rim brakes. This particular build wasn't at all bad and certainly passable, but I'll use it anyway to demonstate a little bit about what I don't like. Here's a picture of how the rim brake housing needs to be routed to meet up with the rear brake. It's just an awkward bend, not nearly as bad as some however, as is the case where the stays are really low and the housing has to cut across from the top tube down between the top tube and downtube to get a decent line to the brake...
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and this is closer to how I would like that path to look, nice and smooth with a gradual arc... appoximately where it would be if the stays joined at the seatcluster...
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Final result from the other side... not bad, not great... kinda meh... it works...
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And what about wheel clearance
Ok, this is one that I could debate for sure, because just how much wheel clearance do you need, or even want, on a nice road bike. Personally, if I've got good clearance for a 25mm tubular on a bike like this, I'm good. But these days, if a road bike could fit a 30mm tire, someone would want 35mm. I think it's a bit ridiculous. So let's say 28mm max for a nice road bike. Will this bike take it. Well, most likely not very well. I tried a 27mm Vlanderen Tubular which is right around 27mm (surprise, it's a tubular). It barely fit. Now stick a 28mm clincher on there on any kind of wider rim at all and it's going to be a no go. Your call if you can live with that or not. Personally, I could, it's a road bike, not a mountain or gravel bike. But be warned, rear wheel removal will likely be a pain in the ass if you're using the new rear derailleurs from Shimano set up to spec. Two things are contributing to that here. First, the chainstays are very short at 404mm, even for their largest size frame. It's 404mm across all sizes actually, from their smallest to largest frames, a philosophy I don't agree with at all, but that comes into play in the handling part of things. For now, I'm keeping the discussion to the functional aspects of being able to easily remove the rear wheel. With current Campy derailleurs it's barely ok, but if it's tight at all up front, the problem will be getting the skewer nut past the rear derailleur knuckle since the front of the tire will be jamming up against the backside of the bottom bracket shell at the same time, and there isn't much clearance between the dropout slot and the rear derailleur knuckle, as shown bleow...
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But with the newer Shimano derailleurs you need at least a strong 350mm of distance from the backside of the bb shell to the center of the rear axle to be able to remove the rear wheel with no modification to Shimano derailleur setup, otherwise there's interference with the upper pulley and the cassette as you try to remove the wheel. This distance is just shy of 350mm...
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As for the compatibility of rear wheel removal with the newest Shimano derailleurs, it's really not so much the chainstay length as it is the distance between the backside of the BB shell and the rear axle that is the critical factor to look at. For instance, I've worked on a bike with 415mm chainstays and you had to deflate the rear tire to get it out, but since the distance between the BB shell and dropout centere was less than 350mm, a normal 25mm tire had to be deflated to remove it easily. So, with short chainstays, the chances of that distance being less than 350mm is greater, especially on designs with lot of material behind the BB. There are some workarounds which I've talked about in other threads on Direct Mount hangers and chainlength determination, but those involve a little compromise in ultimate shifting performance as it was intended to be.

Ok... what does this thing actually weigh:
I will say it right now, I'm not a fan of ultra lightweight bikes when they get up into the larger sizes. Firstly, the riders are generally bigger, and heavier. Secondly, the larger sizes typically demand longer tubes. And since they're supporting more weight, a little added strength is good, and since lunches are rarely free... that comes with some added weight. On the plus side, the last thing you want to be riding on while descending down some twisty mountain road is an uncontrollable noodle. So, to put things in perspective, let's look at three frames of fairly signifcant "robustness" in their builds, all about the same size (mine), and compare the total weight of each as it would be ready to build... meaning all proprietary stuff or special hardware needed to be able to compare apples to apples... essentially the minium common starting point that's needed to build either of these bikes up with a Campagnolo groupset (in this example):
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Ok, so it's not a featherweight, but you know what... it's confidently rideable. And that counts for a lot. Compared to a Time RXR ULTEAM for example, it is night and day. The Ulteam was definitely a noodle and didn't come close to even passing my "wiggle test" out of the driveway. The Skylon seems on a par with either the C60 or the Koppenberg as far as overall robustness of the frame and fork goes.

The Geometry:
Ok, there is one glaring thing that completely perplexes me about this frame's published geometry, it's not right. And no, I'm not saying that figuratively. It is literally not right, as in it's incorrect, and it's not a typo. By that, I mean that the seat tube angle is not the 73 degrees published, in fact it's somewhere between 71.5 and 72.0 degrees. And from looking at the bike, with it's integrated seatmast, it's clear that's a zero offset seatpost right?... I'm talking about a line from the center of the BB up along the seattube intersecting the seatclamp bolt... which produces a nice parralel line to the straight edge of the seattube. In other words, it's not some funky design which would make using the actual seatube impossible to come up with an angle for...
Image
So, why does that matter? Because as someone who might be asked to recommend whether a bike will work for someone or not, I often rely on these charts for analysis. If this bike had been for me, I would likely have written it off because of the published 73 degree seat tube angle coupled with a zero offset seat mast (which is what it is, there is no other option). For example, given that both the Trek and the Colnago in my size are both 72.8 degree seat tube angles, and I use a ~20mm offset seatpost on both, and at my saddle height, setback and tilt, that allows for a nice clamping of the rails around the center of the rail length, well... the Time's zero offset post on the even slightly steeper published seattube angle would surely have meant that the saddle would need to been clamped right at the front extreme of the rails, and I still couldn't be sure if that would be enough. I use a fairly average saddle setback for my saddle height. But the owner (very similar in size to me) had already purchased the frame so we were going to see how it came out, and I was hoping it would work even though the saddle may have to be clamped much further forward on the rails than I would like. But guess what, to my suprise when setting up the final fit adjustments, using the exact same saddle, with the same height, tilt and setback, the clamp was almost centered in the rails. This was good of course, and a pleasant surprise, but not what I was expecting. So, after a bunch of very careful measurements etc., sure enough, the published figures could certainly lead a knowledgeable fit person to make an erroneous conclusion. The only reason I can see for why they did this would be if they were thinking along the lines of "Look, we know we have this proprietary zero offset seatpost, but if we publish the actual very slack seattube angle, that's just going to confuse most people, so let's just publish something that they'd be more familiar with and they won't know the difference". Now, trying to second guess what someone may be thinking as a result of assuming the numbers in the geo table are correct is a bad way to go about things if you ask me.
So, for the record, if you are looking at one of these frames, and start thinking "well, damnit... that seat tube angle with their proprietary zero offset post just isn't going to work", take a step back and just assume that TIME has already taken that into account for you and basically has published a figure which would likely end up being close to another manufacturers actual seat tube angle using a seatpost offset of ~20mm or so. Confusing? Hell ya it is. And if you asssume that, you should probably add a few millimeters to their published effective top tube length as well. In the end, if you fit well on a 60-61 Colnago, you'll fit fine on this and your saddle will end up clamped in pretty much the same place on the rails on either brand bike.

Conclusion:
So that's it. I built it up, and actually had it to ride for several months as much as I wanted, since the owner/friend didn't even want it until the saddle would stay put. For many who just buy a bike and have someone else build it up, they don't really care about most of the stuff I've talked about in this thread, they just want it to work and have fun riding it. But to me, part of what makes a bike a cut above the rest and a joy to own is how well all the little details have been handled and thought out. This was not a fun build, I will tell you that. I will leave the ride comparisons for another thread some day, as this post is way long and I just want it done.

I leave you with one more pic from a ride when it was close to it's final incarnation, fitwise and component wise. Since this ride, the saddle was tweaked a bit and an out front K-Edge computer mount was added to the Pro Bars...
Image

Ok, that's it for this one.
Last edited by Calnago on Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Colnago C64 - The Naked Build; Colnago C60 - PR99; Trek Koppenberg - Where Emonda and Domane Meet;
Unlinked Builds (searchable): Colnago C59 - 5 Years Later; Trek Emonda SL Campagnolo SR; Special Colnago EPQ

nafaiutb
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2016 9:51 pm

by nafaiutb

That’s a fascinating insight - thank you for taking the trouble to post it.

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maverick_1
Posts: 741
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2007 4:20 pm
Location: Tokyo

by maverick_1

@Calnago,
I have to agree on most points, except the part on the effectiveness of the Activ Fork.

Had a C60 in size 45s since 2015 and the fork was so stiff and bone jarring that I have body ache all over after each ride. IMHO the ride quality on the SCYLON are miles better than the C60 (on smaller sized frames that is, not sure on larger sizes), the front end (with the Activ Fork) work wonders and it’s been a pleasure riding it as opposed to the C60.

Cheers

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kgt
Posts: 7434
Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 10:29 am
Location: Athens, Greece

by kgt

It's nice that Calnago posts such a detailed review but it is all about too much drama for no reason IMHO.

- I agree on the seatpost clamp. It is not well designed. The new 'sanded' version of the clamp works fine though. The integration does not look great. I agree. But that's it. Not a problem in practice
- Paintjobs. They are fine. Nothing exceptional but ok. The quality of the paint is very, very good.
- EPS V3. If I remember well the Skylon was designed in 2014, before the EPS V3. They could not have predict a custom solution for EPS V3.
- Rear Derailleur EPS Wire Grommet. If you use the correct grommet it just works fine. I don't know what happened.
- QuickSet. It is the most advanced headset system. Very well thought since it does not stress the steerer. See what Raoul Luescher has to say. You also don't have to adjust the fork anytime you adjust the stem. That's why it is 'quick.'
- The aktiv fork is heavy but it works. Simple andsophisticated technology without elastomers and other suspensions that degrade over time. Don't like its weight? Buy the standard fork which is both lighter and cheaper.
- The fd clamp. No, it is not like that. Something happened at this specific frame, who knows.
- The bars are fine. No, you don't have to make them point upwards in order for them to be aero. This is just wrong.
The plates underneath? What's the problem? They just makes for a more practical setup. They would have made them integrated if they wanted to.
- Dropped stays and cables. What's the problem? It works fine.
Contemporary frames route the cables through the stem and the headset. That is a problem, yes.
- Wheel clearance. Yes, it is an aero road frame, not a gravel one. 28mm are not for this frame anyway.
- The Geometry is correct. If you see Time's geometry chart everything is clear. They don't claim that the seatpost angle is the actual seatpost angle. They measure it their way.

Anyway, Calnago is too picky with some small details but he does not even recognize that TIME's quality and determination to produce in Europe (even weave their own carbon tubes) makes them pretty unique.
I am sure his comments on ride quality will be as biased.

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Calnago
Posts: 7792
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:14 pm

by Calnago

@Kgt... too "picky" am I? I'll take that as a compliment.

Firstly, where is this "new" seat clamp you speak of? You mean the one you get if you complain about the uselessness of the one that comes with the bike, and still does to my knowledge. It's only if you complain and you're lucky that someone will mix some glue and sand together and coat one of the clamps then send it to you when they get around to it, hopefully before a few months pass as was the case for me. That's if they even acknowledge there's a problem, which they didn't when I intitally contacted them about it. Thank goodness for Weightweenies who spoke up to confirm the issue, because it was that information that I went back to them with that prompted them to put the glue/sand guy to work again. Pesky customers.

Re the EPS mount, which even though I specifically said it's for V3 Campy, they sent me a kit for the V2 battery, which includes the Di2 battery. These are typically aftermarket items, and it's not rocket science. Do they have one now? I don't think so. How many years has V3 been out. Long enough. It's not a frame redesign, it's a simple mount for their proprietary seatpost, since it can't be mounted in the seattube due to the obstacles in the way. It's moot now, since my solution that I came up with and showed in my post above is by far and away better than the adpater they sent me. A simple washer which enabled the use of the Di2 battery holder. It fits perfectly, and all you need to do is add the washer on top to prevent it from sliding down. But that would be way too simple I guess.

Re the rear derailleur grommet. I had both, the one for Di2, and the one for EPS. They do not work fine as you say. How many have you actually installed? Even TIME couldn't produce a picture of one done correctly. I asked the same question to a couple of people on the forum that built Skylons. The answer was the same. It didn't fit.
Here's Lirek15's attempt... don't know what, if any, grommet he used, but it sure isn't the one supplied by TIME...
lirek15 wrote:
Sat Oct 22, 2016 10:13 pm
Image
And here's what he wrote when I posed the question in the Time Skylon Thread..."Calnago, I could not fit the grommet into the rear derailleur exit. I had to slightyly modify it by chopping some material off the ends, then shove it in there with a thin allen key. It stayed put for some time but eventually fell out."

And then there's the exchange I had with Leej88 in his build thread about the same issue...
leej88 wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 4:48 pm
Calnago wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:17 pm
@leej88: very nice, and I’ll have a few questions for you as well soon. In the meantime, I see your grommet for the EPS rear derailleur cable exiting from the chainstay is in backwards. Did you do the build? That grommet is next to impossible to insert the “correct” way, so I understand why it’s inserted backwards. But backwards like that it is just barely held in by the pressure from the cable, correct? Unless you’ve glued it on. The long side of the grommet should be the one that inserts into the chainstay. Or, maybe it’s in correctly, and I’m just not seeing it up close?
Yes I did the build myself. The grommet doesn't fit. Confirmed that with the local TIME agent and all of their bikes with electronic drivetrain had the same issue.
QuickSet... "the most advanced headset system"??? Maybe they have to put that alloy collar on the steertube because it would be too easy to crush if they didn't. Maybe I'll do a crush test on the piece of steertube I cut off, and compare it to some other pieces I have lying about. No other manufacturer seems to need it, and it's certainly not faster to work on, even to adjust the stem, unless you consider removing the top cap a burden. But by simply removing the top cap on most any other bike today (barring the hyper integrated aero machines) gives you complete and easy access to everything front end related, stem, spacers, headset, bearings etc., Steertubes have come a long way baby. TIME really does seem stuck in time, both literally and figuratively. You can keep your SlowSet, I think my description is pretty accurate.

Re the fork, I really wanted to feel something "special" but I couldn't. I'm not sure how much time you have had riding on one, and if it's not much or none at all, then I don't see how you can say "it works", anymore than you could say the grommet works. I rode this thing alot. It's a fork, the heaviest one I've ever ridden on a nice road bike of recent vintage. Maverick in a post just prior to this one said he thinks it really works and that his C60 is a much harsher ride. His is a very small frame. I've often wondered just what one of those little Colnagos rides like, as they look like little beefy mountain bikes with their thick tubes and lugs and all. Maybe it's just that the whole bike is stiffer in that size, I don't know. I'm just saying what I experienced. But I was back and forth on three different bikes all season long specifically keeping in mind and attempting to ascertain what I was feeling and why.

The front derailleur clamp... why do you say it's not like that? It was like that, till I fixed it. I built the bike, I experienced the problem, I took the hanger off, I took the pictures... I can assure you it was like that. I didn't take it off and add some slag to it then repaint it to take a picture just to annoy you, although in hindisght it might have been worth it. And of course it's not "supposed" to be like that, so yes... something did happen... and it's called poor quality control. Someone had to take it from production. Someone had to screw that thing on the frame.

The bars... have you used these? They are as I described. We did not use them for the reasons I mentioned. Simple. We couldn't bear to mount the bars the way they needed to be mounted.

Dropped stays is just a design I don't care for, and I've given my reasons. If you or anyone else prefers them, that's fine. Your choice.

The geometry... please read back to yourself what you wrote...
kgt wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:36 pm
- The Geometry is correct. If you see Time's geometry chart everything is clear. They don't claim that the seatpost angle is the actual seatpost angle. They measure it their way.
They don't claim that the seatpost angle is the actual angle? That would be like me saying "I'm 6'3" tall". Then someone says "But Cal, how can you say that?... you're actually only 5'11'". "Well, my dear, I never claimed it was "actual", I measure it my way". It's the most bizarre geometry chart I've ever come across in that regard, and I'm sure more than one person has looked to other frames because of it as well. People knowledgeable in bike geometry can tell the seatpost is a zero offset affair, and integrated into the seattube. They don't need to try to hide that fact in the geometry tables. When Cervelo came out with their R5ca, it had a much slacker seattube angle than would be normal for a frame in my size, and also coupled it with a zero offset seatpost. But they said what it was (actual), and also explained why they designed it that way (zero offset post to "save weight"). At least I knew what it was, and that was ok because I could take that into account when analyzing it's suitability for fit.

I'm sorry you think I'm just lambasting your favorite brand, it's no surprise to me that you feel that way... you're a staunch defender of all things KGT... and I almost just let this one go and never posted a thing. But I took the time and effort to photograph and make notes along the way, so finally I thought I'd just post it, it was a slow Christmas. So let the chips fall where they may. It's a nice bike once built up, but it falls way short of what I'd expect the build process to be like on a frame like this. Any biases I have are gained from actual experience... either building, riding, or tearing apart things that I need to see for myself how they work.

:beerchug:
Colnago C64 - The Naked Build; Colnago C60 - PR99; Trek Koppenberg - Where Emonda and Domane Meet;
Unlinked Builds (searchable): Colnago C59 - 5 Years Later; Trek Emonda SL Campagnolo SR; Special Colnago EPQ

robertbb
Posts: 835
Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2009 3:35 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

by robertbb

There's two choices for me tonight:

A blockbuster movie with Dolby 7.2.1 sound.
This build report.

My preference is embarassing.

leej88
Posts: 341
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 4:22 am

by leej88

@Calnago:
Excellent write up!

I guess I wasn't the only one who found the Scylon particularly difficult to setup.

My major complaints are:
1. Front Derailleur hanger design
I've seen about 3 Scylons with mis-aligned derailleur hanger holes drilled into the frame.

- QC department needs to work on that
- If you can't ensure that the holes drilled into the frame are aligned, at least make the hangers themselves adjustable. Something like what Cipollini does on theirs.
- My front derailleur hanger holes were drilled in such a way that it did not allow for proper front derailleur rotation and I had to put a -4 degree shim to get proper shifting.
- Sent an e-mail to time detailing my disappointment and they sent me a replacement hanger with a drilled out center hole but it was in the +4 degree rotation :( A huge disappointment given how I even included illustrations in my e-mail to make sure that that wouldn't happen.
Image

2. 0 Setback seatpost
I did a bike fit where they took down proper measurements of my bike and the 0 setback seatpost on the Scylon is actually equivalent to a ~20mm setback seatpost. That is great news for folks who run setback on their seatposts but at 183cm tall and with a relatively long cycling inseam of 89cm, I would be more suited for a 0 setback seatpost and that is not possible on the TIME unless I get their TT specific seatmast which in all honesty looks hideous. As such, I had to have my saddle clamped at the back of the rails to achieve the fit I wanted to.

3. Time Handlebars
The older TIME bars that came with my RXR Ulteam had a much better drop/ergonomics compared to the one that shipped with my Scylon. Something about the drops just isn't right (too little drops? Weird drop angle?) and after 17,000km, I've decided to swap them out to the new Enve Aero bars.

4. Short Chain Stays
Campagnolo 52/36 with 11-27 and 404mm chainstays is a total pain to work with. It took a lot of tries to get my shifting dialled in and lately, for some reason, I'm getting chain drops whenever I back pedal whilst on the 52-27 crosschained combo. I know this isn't a good gear to be in but it is unavoidable given the number of traffic lights that are on the roads where I stay.

Like Calnago, I too face the problem where Rear Wheel removal requires the QR skewer to be removed or else it will come into contact with the Rear Derailleur body.

On the handling part of things, the bike rides and handles well but can be a tad twitchy riding no handed. Also, I have the latest ENVE 5.6 with 25mm tires on them and tyre/wheel clearance seems to be pretty ample.

Here's a picture of my setup (ignore the saddle tilt, seat clamp came loose)
Image

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Calnago
Posts: 7792
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:14 pm

by Calnago

@leej88: Thanks, and you jogged my memory about the setting up of the shifting to work properly. I knew that could be an issue going into this with the short chainstays, and sure enough it was. Where I would normally have the front derailleur dialed, it sometimes had issues getting to the big ring cleanly. But I ended up dialing it in to as extreme position as I dared while ensuring that the EPS wouldn't throw the chain to the outside while shifting from small ring to big ring. Well, at least it's only the very rare occasion that it will do that now, which is better than having it frequently having to try a little too hard to get to the big ring and sometimes fail.

And what you describe about the geometry aspect is exactly the problem. In my case, or most people, it will work to their favor. But for you and/or your fitters, who probably studied the geometry chart and thought "Hey, this frame is perfect for you as you need to be positioned pretty far forward so this will allow you to get there and look aesthetically great in the process with the rails clamped in the center. But instead you ended up right back where you would be if you had gone with say a colnago or a trek with seattube angles designed around a fairly normal offset seatpost. Basically, you still ended up with a jammed forward saddle, and to top it off it won't even stay put. It's funny that your fitters calculated the effective offset to be around 20mm, as that's the number I came up with as well. It really is a messed up geometry chart that way.

@robertbb: Which movie did you end up watching? :)
Colnago C64 - The Naked Build; Colnago C60 - PR99; Trek Koppenberg - Where Emonda and Domane Meet;
Unlinked Builds (searchable): Colnago C59 - 5 Years Later; Trek Emonda SL Campagnolo SR; Special Colnago EPQ

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kgt
Posts: 7434
Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 10:29 am
Location: Athens, Greece

by kgt

So, the only actual issues that a few people had were the rear derailleur grommet size and the front derailleur hanger's angle. Calnago's fd hanger was as it was (I believe you Calnago) but that's an exception. I've never seen something like it and I know a lot of persons riding the Scylon. Maybe a series of these grommets and these hangers had issues that they fixed later. Who knows.

I have no reason to doubt leej88 either. I am sure he tells his truth. As Calnago does. But I also know a dozen people riding Scylons with mechanical and electronic groupsets, sram, campagnolo and shimano and nobody had such issues. Time's anniversary Scylon was on eletronic Campagnolo using the specific grommet:

Image

The geometry is pretty clear IMHO according to the drawing. How is this misleading? Unless you only read the numbers. Then, yes, you cannot understand what is going on.

Image

If someone does not fit well on a Scylon he bettter choose another frame. But that's not Time's problem.
If someone does not like the handlebar's ergonomics he can shoose something else too. But that's not Time's problem either. Their handlebar is pretty standard in terms of stack and reach. It is designed to be ergonomic, not aero. And in terms of ergonomy it is wrong to set it as Calnago or leej88 did. Obviously they prefer the ergonomy of other handlebars, that's fine.

I am not say that Scylon is the perfect frame. It is not the lightest, it is not the most comfortable, it is on the 'nervous' category of frames (short wheelbase, short stays, etc). The clamp is not acceptable for TIME's standards. I had contacted them about that. They send me another clamp. Is it great? No, but it works.

The short stays are not ideal for a wide range of gears. An aero frame designed in 2014 could not predict that 11-27 or 11-32 would be the standard. Having said that, I use 11-29 with 39-53 and I have no issues. Sure, it took time to adjust everything properly but at the end it worked (at least with the Campagnolo 11-speed group I have).

Anyway, the perfect frame does not exist, that's my point.
My problem with Calnago's post is that he finds small issues that can be found in every frame (including Treks and Colnagos, see our forum) and at the same time he cannot find even one thing that is positive according to his experience. I always appreciated his knowledge and experience but when he doesn't like something he just gets grumpy (he is a famous hater of LW wheels for example).
The Scylon is a 5 year old frame already but the reviews in Europe and US are rather positive. At least everybody appreciates TIME's uniqueness as a company. Obviously Calnago does not. For him it is the same as any mass made in China frame.
Last edited by kgt on Mon Jan 07, 2019 5:54 pm, edited 14 times in total.

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