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Time Sport’s Alpe d’Huez marks return for French brand

Published January 31, 2018

PARK CITY, Utah (BRAIN) — Evoking one of the Tour de France’s most storied ascents, Time Sport’s new Alpe d’Huez range is designed to tackle epic climbs and maintain a stable, predictable ride on long, challenging descents.

It’s the French brand’s first new model in four years, following the 2014 death of Time founder Roland Cattin and the company’s subsequent acquisition by French snowsports giant Rossignol two years ago. Leveraging Rossignol’s long-standing relationship with the French ski village of Alpe d’Huez, where the company provides rental and demo equipment, Time has secured exclusive rights to the name for the cycling market.

“The new Alpe d'Huez range symbolizes a turning point in Time’s history. After a period of transition into the Rossignol Group, we are proud to launch a new frame collection that marks the renewal of Time, with an iconic name and mechanical characteristics never before reached,” the company stated in a release.

The range starts with the Alpe d’Huez 21, named for the first of the famed climb’s 21 turns. Featuring a 930-gram carbon frame, it’s available only as a complete and starts at $3,500 with a Shimano Ultegra 8000 build — the lowest price point ever for Time.

Moving up the price range, the Alpe d’Huez 01 (for the climb’s final corner) is Time’s lightest frame to date, weighing 840 grams — 8.6 percent less than its Izon model.

“To achieve this, Time has developed a brand new optimized structure. The carbon braids, developed according to the desired mechanical characteristics, allowed for the removal of the finishing fabric,” Time stated. “These braids are meticulously positioned on the frame and remain apparent in the finished frame. A new thinner and lighter seatpost was also developed to match this new frame.”

The frameset starts at $5,150 MSRP. Completes will start at around $8,500, but Time expects to sell the model primarily as a frame kit.

“For a lot of people this is an aspirational product, and they’re going to want to build it up their own way. The one thing we know is that if we put a Di2 kit on it with Enve wheels, somebody is going to want eTap with Zipp,” said Ryan Green, director of sales and marketing for Time Sport USA in Park City.

The same frame also serves as the foundation for the model’s halo-level complete build, the Alpe d’Huez Ulteam, outfitted with a Dura-Ace Di2 groupset, Enve 3.4 tubular wheels and Time’s Aktiv fork incorporating a harmonic damper in each fork leg to reduce road vibration. Retailing for $16,200, the Ulteam will be limited to a run of 50 bikes.

The Alpe d’Huez 01 and 21 are available with a standard carbon fork or, for an $800 upcharge, the Aktiv fork. Customers can select frame and fork colors (including custom text), disc or caliper brake option, drivetrain, wheels, cockpit components and Time pedals using a new configuration tool on the Time Sport website. At the end of the online configuration, the customer is referred to their nearest Time dealer or dealers.

Alpe d’Huez framesets and bikes will be available in the spring.

For more on what Time has been up to since being acquired by Rossignol, look out for the March 1 print edition of Bicycle Retailer.

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