Subtle, understated, feature packed, and value-based are all descriptors that easily fit when speaking of Foundry Cycles four bike range. But the one bit that sparked our interest in these Asian made carbon frames brought to the US under the Foundry name by Quality Bicycle Products is their 10-year warranty backed by QBP's customer service department.
Foundry's 'line boss', Ben Scherer took us through the range at Interbike. Their four models include a road bike, 29er mountain hardtail and two cyclo-cross bikes, one disc and one canti-lever design.
"These bikes are for people who value the long days associated blue collar work ethic," Scherer told BikeRadar. "We're for the rider who will make a ride happen even if they have to get up at 5am to do it. The ride is what counts. We understand that many riders don't want to be a billboard, and that riding isn't about playing dress up."
Subtle graphics on the Ratchet road frame
He talked up the points of the brand dropping their tagline "it's a tool, not a trophy," multiple times, but after a few minutes in the booth, pairing their look and seemingly sound design — the disc cyclo-cross bike's feature set really drew us in — with their claims of stringent testing standards and the above mentioned 10-year warranty, and we came away from the Foundry ready to jump on one.
"When you buy our bike you're going to pay for our third-party testing, our 10-year warranty, and our exceptional customer service," said Scherer. "But you're not going to pay for the expense of a Pro Tour team [sponsorship], a million dollar marketing budget, or wind tunnel testing."
Video: Foundry Cycles
Scherer believes that Foundry's bikes can stand up to anything else in the market, and go toe-to-toe feature wise. The US$1,899 monocoque molded Ratchet road frameset weighs a claimed 950g and sports a tapered head tube and full carbon fork, and PF30 bottom bracket. It's designed to fit the 'endurance road' category featuring a relaxed geometry and the ability to fit 28mm tires and fenders. Foundry will sell a complete SRAM Red/Force bike for $4,199.99 and a Force/Rival bike for $3,199.99.
The Router mountain frame is a complete monocoque molded carbon frame made from high-modulus uni-directional fiber and claimed to weigh just 973g with a PF30 bottom bracket, internally routed cables, chainstay rear post mount brake mount and tapered head tube. The frame carries Foundry's 10-year warranty and is available complete with three build kits ranging from $4,999 for the SRAM XX package to $2,899 for a X7 build.
The Router 29in monocoque molded mountain hardtail; the frame is claimed at 973g
The two Auger cyclo-cross models—disc and canti—are built with similar high-modulus carbon materials, and a feature set that includes a PF30 bottom bracket and tapered head tube, but using a tube-to-tube carbon construction rather than the monocoque method of the road and mountain models. Both bikes share the same geometry that may be best described as 'American'—with a 72° head, 74° seat angles paired to a 65mm bottom bracket—but differ by way of brake mounts and rear axle spacing; the standard version is 130mm, while the disc bike uses 135mm rear spacing. Shifter cables are routed internally and the standard frame is said to weigh 1,060g.
The Auger was one of the best looking disc ’cross bikes we saw at this year's Interbike show
Along with the wider rear spacing the Auger disc frame smartly mounts the rear disc caliper to the chainstay, rather than off the back of the seatstay, which likely is a lighter design that should allow for more vertical flex, since the bottom the seatstay needn’t be overbuilt.
Each Auger is offered with two kits, either SRAM Red/Force or Rival and costing $3,399 or $2,999, respectively.
Foundry offers seven sizes in the Ratchet road bike and four sizes for the Auger ’cross and Router mountain bike; the Auger frames will be available first in December, while the road and mountain models will be available in the very beginning of 2012.