Q&A WITH PATRICK THOMAS
PROPAIN’S U.S. MARKETING COORDINATOR
TLW: HOW DID YOU MAKE THE DECISIONS ALONG THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE NEW TYEE? WHO WAS INVOLVED IN THE PROCESS?
Patrick Thomas (PT): Our pro riders are extremely valuable assets when it comes to developing and testing new products. Remy Metailler, for example, is an extremely calculated rider, and his precise riding style translates to meaningful feedback regarding frame design and geometry adjustments. We’re also always listening to our customers. Our award-winning customer service team does a great job of processing rider feedback, and a lot of that naturally gets funneled into the development process.
TLW: FOR CUSTOMERS WITH THE DILEMMA BETWEEN THE ALLOY OR CARBON FRAMES, HOW WOULD YOU SUGGEST THEY DECIDE? ARE THERE PERFORMANCE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE TWO THAT MAY LEAD SOME RIDERS TO PREFER THE FEEL OF THE ALLOY FRAME, OR IS THE CARBON BETTER IN ALL WAYS ASIDE FROM THE PRICE?
PT: The alloy and carbon models of the Tyee have the same geometry numbers, they are offered with the same wide variety of components, and they perform very similarly. The most notable difference in frame design is the alloy has traditional routing ports on the front triangle, so riders have the option to forego the headset ICR if they choose. Opting for alloy will save you a few hundred dollars over the carbon, but you will also gain about 500 grams in weight. We also offer 3 colors for each frame material, so 6 colorways in total. For the alloy model we have Raw Alloy Matte, Venomblack Matte, and Olive Gloss. In carbon, we offer Raw Carbon Matte, Safari Matte, and Deep Forest Gloss. Ultimately, this is another aspect that comes down to personal preference, but things like price, weight, available colors, and cable routing options are all things to factor in when making that decision.
TLW: FROM OUR INITIAL RIDE ON THE TYEE, IT’S CLEAR THAT IT’S A VERY QUIET BIKE. WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO REDUCE THE NOISE COMPARED WITH THE OUTGOING MODEL?
PT: Updated cable management is a huge contributor to the quiet ride. The new ICR solution prevents the cables in your cockpit from clanging against your headtube and one another, and the routing now leads cables above the bottom bracket as opposed to being corralled below the bottom bracket like in the previous iteration. We’ve also redesigned our chainstay protection with a new hollow camber design and a much softer rubber, keeping any chain slap totally silent while protecting your rear triangle from impacts.
TLW: BY ADDING IN THE FLIP CHIP TO CHANGE WHEEL SIZES WITH THE SAME FRAME, DO YOU FORESEE RIDERS SWITCHING BETWEEN A MIX AND FULL 29ER SETUP ON THEIR TYEE? WHAT KIND OF RIDER IS GOING TO BENEFIT FROM EACH WHEEL SIZE?
PT: I don’t think we expect riders to frequently swap between 27.5/29/Mix setups; most people find a configuration that works for them and stick with it. That said, riding styles and preferences change, and getting a feel for the setup that works best for you can take time. With the flip chip, you can experiment with these things without sacrificing geometry and more importantly, without investing in an entirely different frame. 27.5” wheels will result in a more playful bike; easy to maneuver in tight turns and feels right at home on the jumps. 29” wheels are generally faster with enough circumference to smooth out bumps that might slow down a smaller wheel. Overall, this results in a more stable ride, but there may be some loss in agility, and some riders feel that 29” setups are harder to manage on bigger jumps. The Mix wheel setup is the best of both worlds. You still get a lot of the stability and rollover capability from the 29” wheel in the front, but the 27.5” in the rear lends itself to a more playful ride. Some riders also find that the smaller rear wheel helps to prevent tire buzz on steep descents as well as on jumps. To sum it up, the answer really comes down to rider preference, and the flip chip makes this decision a lot less consequential for riders who haven’t decided what their preference is.
TLW: YOU OFFER THE TYEE WITH BOTH AIR AND COIL SHOCK OPTIONS. WHAT DOES EACH OPTION EXCEL AT, AND HOW WOULD YOU SUGGEST RIDERS CHOOSE THE BEST SHOCK FOR THEIR TYEE?
PT: Yes, we’re super excited to be offering coil shocks with the new Tyee launch and our newly expanded configurator! Our PRO10 suspension system offers a progressive platform that performs extremely well with both coil and air shocks, but there are a few factors that should be considered when choosing one over the other. A lot of riders choose coil over air because coil shocks are a bit more supple in the beginning of the shock stroke, allowing the suspension to react to small bumps more actively and providing a very planted feeling ride. This setup also makes the most sense for riders that regularly hit steep, technical, and sustained descents, as coil shock performance remains consistent even on long and gnarly runs. On the other hand, air shocks are great for riders who frequently hit more undulating terrain, or for folks who want the option of fine tuning their spring-rate on the fly.