Unveiled at the San Diego Custom Bike Show this week, Canadian inventor Lou Tortola has taken a fresh look at bike frame design with the new RoundTail. On a mission to make long distance riding more comfortable, Lou got rid of the conventional rear triangle and replaced it with a shock absorbing circular design.
An avid long distance cyclist, Lou conceived of his idea during the last riding season where he racked up over 5000 kms. Noticing that many riders were having to quit after so many miles due to pain, Lou thought there must be a better bike frame shape to reduce impact energy and constant vibrations from being delivered directly to the spine.
With conventional bike geometry, you are in direct contact to all the imperfections in the road. The impact forces travel straight up through the seat post and seat-stay, directly to your spine.
The RoundTail frame removes the standard seat stay, chain stay and seat tube of the standard bike geometry and replaces them with two rings that come together toward the front of the frame and are open at the rear to accommodate the rear bike wheel. These continuous rings sit directly under your weight, absorbing road vibrations without compromising performance or lateral stiffness of the bike frame.
With the RoundTail design, the placement of other parts such as the bottom bracket, rear dropouts and seat post are not affected. RoundTail claims that the new frame will also greatly improve aerodynamic performance by eliminating the surface area of the bulky seat tube and seat stay.
No word yet on actual availability and pricing for the RoundTail bike frame. I would love to test one of these out during a GranFondo ride!