Replace the straight seat post with round, shock absorbing rings, and what do you get? A more comfortable ride, according to Lou Tortola, an inventor and entrepreneur from Windsor, Ontario. Huh… Well, I will admit, personally I’m a bit taken aback by the design. My first thought was, ‘No… Really? Come on! Adding two rings, and what I’d have to assume is more weight to the bike, not to mention power-suck and a lack of shock absorbing modulation, can’t be a good thing, can it?’ But, then I read on…
Here is the full press-release sent out this week. Thoughts?
INTRODUCING THE ROUNDTAIL
An avid cyclist, Lou put in over 5000k (3000+ miles) on his road bike last year. He noticed that many cyclists were stopping riding, due to injuries and discomfort on long rides.
One day, he had an epiphany. What if “straight to your bum” seat stays were replaced with shock-absorbing rings?
He quickly went home and drew up a prototype on his computer, immediately knowing that he was on to something significant.
Armed with years of experience in metals and fabrication, Tortola produced tooling to create rings to test his concept, made sample rings, contacted custom bike builder Paul Taylor, and the Tortola ROUNDTAIL was born.
“Being somewhat of a traditionalist, I am typically skeptical when it comes to new bicycle designs, but the ROUNDTAIL works really well. The bike is stiff, lively and comfortable. What more could you ask for?” – Joe Parkin, Paved Magazine
The beautifully made frame was then sent to Microbac Laboratories, Inc., of Boulder, CO and tested in accordance with ASTM F2711-08, for Horizontal Loading Durability Fatigue, Vertical Loading Durability Fatigue, and Impact Strength resulting in a “pass” for this product specification requirement.
Finite Element Analysis shows that the ROUNDTAIL design provides ten times the vertical flex, and over sixty times the shock absorption of a traditional frame. The unique shape of the rings is expected to provide aerodynamic advantages, and is ideal for promoting the corporate sponsors that cycling teams so greatly depend on.
Be sure to look for the Tortola ROUNDTAIL in the Taylor Bicycles Booth at the San Diego Custom Bicycle Show this weekend, and for Titanium, Carbon, Mountain and Hybrid versions available by the Interbike Show in September.
“I’m really excited to unveil my new design at the San Diego Custom show, please come see us at Paul Taylor’s booth this weekend and join the ROUNDTAIL REVOLUTION” – Lou Tortola, Inventor