It was a present. To himself. Ed had just finished a demanding graduate program. After all that time staring at books and computer screens it was time to splurge on something that would take him away from all that, where he could stare at trees and gritty roads. It wasn’t going to be just an out of the box present, either. After all that work, this gift needed to be special. He’d mulled over some options, including a Lynskey titanium cyclocross bike, but what he really wanted was a bike built right here in Michigan, something unique, yet within his budget. Titanium was pricey. He liked the idea of carbon, but he also liked steel. Hmmm…
Introduction of the Maker
So the carbon/steel Quiring (pronounced “Choir-ing”) filled his thought bubble. At the time, Scott Quiring’s shop was in Charlotte, Michigan, just a stone’s throw (and a skip, a big leap, and a hop or two) from Ed’s home in Ann Arbor. He’d met Scott before, liked his approach to bike making (ie., he was willing to explore different ideas and make them work), so he set up a meeting, grabbed his current ride as an example, a Surly Cross Check, and drove over to Charlotte.
He was right about Scott. He likes challenges, “likes to expand the grey matter,” as Scott puts it. He’s probably best known for his clean-lined titanium bikes, as well as those wild light blue and orange (imagine Oberon label) Bell’s Beer mountain bikes that seem to dominate races in this part of the country . Check out the Quiring website, though and you’ll discover that Scott’s an eclectic builder. Mountain bikes, cyclocross bikes, road bikes, titanium, steel, carbon, all colors, no colors–and now, fat tire winter bikes. This guy likes to explore his materials and styles (and as a rider he likes to explore as well, but that has to be another article topic).
The Mad Scientists Create their Hybrid-Materialed Monster
So, Ed and Scott concocted a carbon/steel cyclocross bike that Ed could occasionally race, but mostly ride on the back roads. The basic concept they came up with is a steel-lugged bike for durability in the high stress areas, and carbon tubes to reduce vibration. Now that Ed’s had a chance to ride it for a while he says there’s nothing he’d change. He’s very happy with the ride and with the unique look and feel of the bike.
How did Scott combine two such differing materials? When I talked to him recently, he used the phrase, coefficient of linear expansion that lost me with the first word, so I’m going to have to let Scott explain it if you go to his shop, but it I’m pretty sure he was saying that the carbon and steel can bond well together. Scott machined the steel lugs and bought the carbon tubing from Dedacciai and matched them together with a strong glue. That’s my simple explanation for what’s probably a very complex process.
Quiring Has Moved North
The Quiring operation has moved, by the way. They’re no longer in Charlotte. Scott moved earlier this past year up to a large space (4000sf, or so) on US-31 between Manistee and Ludington. He’s in the heart of some great mountain biking country, not to mention some nice roads, both paved and dirt. And, of course, there’s always Lake Michigan to fall into after a long day on the bike. If you haven’t explored this part of Michigan, I’d highly recommend it. The riding is fantastic. The Big M mountain bike trails are in this region, Arcadia, the North Country Trail, the Manistee National Forest, quiet side roads. And while you’re there drop into Quiring Cycles, where magic comes to life (and bikes do live…we know that, don’t we).
Cheap Promotional Opportunity Continues…The Central West Side
Downtown Manistee is one of the most interesting small towns in Michigan. Ludington is one of two places on the coast where the ferry takes you to Wisconsin. Nordhouse Dunes and Ludington State Park are phenomenal natural areas on the big lake. That’s my sales pitch for the region. I’ve spent some time up there in the past few summers and wondered why I hadn’t gone earlier. I’m smitten with Michigan anyway, but this area is definitely worth the wander.
We’re Back (I think…you never know)
Where were we? Oh, yeah. Ed’s Quiring carbon/steel. I rode with Ed recently and he’s a bit more fit than I’d prefer for a riding companion (he tended to gobble up hills like they were light snacks, putting my weary legs in ache mode), but he did prove that this bike was well suited to his style. (By the way, fit…as in, staying in shape…is good, just to keep the record straight.)
Frame: 2011 Quiring Cyclocross carbon/steel
Steel: 4130 CroMoly
Fork: Custom Quiring steel lugged crown using silver brazed construction
Bike Weight: n/a
Shifters: Sram Force
Front Brakes: Avid Cantilever Shorty 6
Rear Brakes: Avid Cantilever Shorty 6
Cassette: 10 speed
Rear Derailleur: Sram Rival
Front Derailleur: Sram Rival
Chain Rings: 50/34
Cranks: FSA SL-K Carbon, Compact 110BCD
Pedals: Shimano SPD
Tires: Maxxis Raze 700c x 33c
Wheels: Mavic Open Pro
Saddle: WTB Rocket V
Seatpost: Thomson Elite Setback
Handlebars: Ritchey Aluminum
Headset: Chris King
Color: Carbon black and Steel deep blue.