LONG BEACH, CA (BRAIN)—Antonio Cruz, one of America’s most prominent professional cyclists over the past two decades, has launched Cruz Industries, a new bicycle company focused on re-defining high-end bike innovation and design for professional cyclists as well as cycling enthusiast.
Partnering with one of the industry’s top research and design engineers, Shane Fedon, the designer behind the lauded Fuji D6 tt/tri bike, and Fuji SST, as well as Rock Racing’s X-1/X-2 and 4815, Cruz will take aim at the high-end boutique bikes with designs that “are out of the box with no compromises," according to a press release.
Cruz, who was signed to the Rock Racing professional cycling team for the 2010 season was forced into early retirement after the team folded, and seized the opportunity.
“The change in plans created the perfect situation to launch the company,” said Cruz. “Shane and I were both looking for a new challenge and we both have a lifelong passion for the sport. I knew that together, we could create something incredible and push the limits of bike design and technology.”
The new bikes are designed under the Cruz Industries banner; however the racing division will be called Cruz Racing. It will include models from a top of the line carbon road Arenberg Series to an entry level, sensibly priced, aluminum Arenberg comp. The bikes will be limited to 500 carbon/1000 aluminum for a particular model year before Cruz retires that model year color way and graphic design.
“After we sell our stock, we start working on producing the next year’s stock, we really want to push our aesthetic design to the fullest, to give the consumer the most," Fedon said.
“In this economy you need to be smart,” Cruz said. “We are going to be strategic about where we place the brand. It needs to be in shops that fit the image and demographic of the brand.”
He adds, “The Cruz Racing frames look great and people are expecting that.”
Beyond the visual appeal, Cruz says performance is even more important. With Fedon designing the frame, Cruz says there are no compromises taken.
Getting feedback from Cruz and many other professional riders Fedon has designed a bike that isn’t just another open mold frame or that just follows someone else’s trends.
“I’ve worked for one of those companies before and I don’t want to do that again,” Fedon said. I’ve got great ideas that will make people take another look at how a bike is designed.”
So what separates a Cruz Racing frame from the rest of the peloton? Fedon enthusiastically explains that that the Cruz Racing frames had to have most of what consumers expect, such as BB30 bottom bracket, tapered 1-1/8~ 1-1/5 head tube, easy fast cable routing, but it's in the construction that other companies can't beat us.
“We spent a lot of time on research with the layup, using techniques from signal processing called Morlet Wavelet Transformation,” Fedon said. “Wavelet Transformation not only breaks down the harmonic component of a signal (freq and amplitude) but correlates and covariates data with the time domain. That’s what's important. Seeing exactly at what point during a ride vibrations occur, how they occur and what was the physiological response to these perturbations. In truly understanding vibration analysis, we can tune the carbon for real world needs.”
This analysis helps Fedon design a frame that is responsive as well as light weight.
“It’s easy to make a bike stiff and light, it’s pushing the boundaries in real manufacturing, actually analyzing what’s happening to a frame during testing, not just seeing when a frame breaks or if it doesn’t but why, how and what can we do to enhance ride quality,” he said.
Over the next 12 months, Cruz believes the line will be firmly established in the market with many clubs racing on the bike. He also plans to sponsor a domestic cycling team in 2012. And within five to seven years, having his bikes under a ProTour team.
While Cruz is known worldwide as a professional cyclist, in Southern California he is also known as the bicycle ambassador for the city of Long Beach, California. He has been instrumental in cycling related issues such as bike boulevards and lanes as well as helping develop bike programs for the local schools. Cruz has become an advocate for the sport—helping develop a younger generation of riders with coaching and mentoring.