LUIGI riding the TIME VXRS Assos Factory Team Edition.
This fantastic frame was made by the genius of a French engineer called JEAN MARC GUEUGNEAUD (an unpronounceable name) who was one of the forerunners of carbon fibre in cycling. TIME bicycles is the “Phoenix” which rose from the ashes of TVT, company which in fact was fathered by engineer Gueugneaud. TVT frame made its debut in 1985 with the team La Vie Claire of BERNARD HINAULT, GREG LEMOND and the visionary PAUL KOEKLI and it in fact went on to win the Tour de France of 1986. Lemond immediately fell so in love with the frame that he introduced it to the United States becoming its importer. From that point onwards the TVT frame accompanied for the rest of his career even if at times obscured and relabelled underneath the paint jobs of demanding sponsors.
He won, always on his TVT, the Tour in 1989, the year of his rebirth at the hands of poor LAURENT FIGNON, the Worlds of 1989 at Chambery, and the Tour in 1990. And before him it had been PEDRO DELGADO who in 1988 won the Tour also on a TVT (relabelled Pinarello) and then in 1991 another Spanish champion enamoured with TVT won the tour: MIGUEL INDURAIN who would go on to win another 2 and a bit Tours on TVT (even if here it was also occasionally relabelled as a Pinarello).
But he wasn’t the only one, numerous were the professionals who used TVT frames which were relabelled and repainted, the glorious PDM team of which almost the entire team used TVT: ROOKS, THEUNISSE, ALCALA, BREUKINK, SEAN KELLY and many others, then later also STEVE BAUER, and MAURIZIO FONDRIEST (in 1991 when he was at Panasonic he won the UCI Road World Cup aboard his TVT).
Subsequently the engineer Jean Marc Gueugneaud landed at TIME in 1993 and for them he developed the ‘Time Composites Department”, using its exclusive Resin Transfer Moulding (RTM) technology. During these years carbon fibre became ever more ‘domesticated’, as it were, to use in cycling, to the point that it became the material of choice for race frames.
2003 TIME presented the new VXRS frame. It was a condensation of the innovations which signalled a new conception of the construction of carbon fibre frames and beyond that, the very essence of the racing bicycle frame itself. The presented numerous innovations which have in time become standards: the VXRS frame presented for the very first time the integrated seatpost mast, then, less visible but even more important in terms of steering and stability of the bicycle, the variable headtube diameter – from 1” 1/8 in the upper part to 1” ¼ in the lower part. Also present were a whole other host of small but significant details and technical innovative strategies which further added to the value of this frame: the ‘quick-set’ system for the adjustment of the fork separate to the stem and handlebars, carbon fibre fork tips and a new method of working the carbon with RTM technology.
This new TIME frame debuted in the world of pro racing with the Quick Step team which at the time was comprised of JOHAN MUSEEUW, TOM BOONEN, PAOLO BETTINI, FILIPPO POZZATO, LUCA PAOLINI, RICHARD VIRENQUE and with these riders the VXRS very quickly began to collect and extraordinary string of results, 3 World Championships, the Olympic Gold with Paolo Bettini, Paris-Roubaix, Ronde van Flanderren, Milano-San Remo, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Flèche Wallonne, Giro di Lombardia, etc.
All this, simply, to evidence the thread which lies hidden beneath a product (or in this case two products, borne of the same father) which is connected with the history of cycling and its heroes by virtue of the passion, knowledge and innovation whose attention was turned to the search for the apex of performance.
Text by Luigi Bergamo. All rights reserved.
Excellent summary of a “real” story, not a marketing gag!
It prefectly shows us that perfection always takes time.