It was the first week in August and the Deerfield Dirt-Road Randonnee , or D2R2 as it’s know in these parts, was just a couple of weeks away. What better excuse to build myself my first Firefly. I wanted something nimble, quick and road worthy yet able to handle some larger tires for dirt road stability. Let’s take a look at what we came up with…
I wanted to keep the bicycle as light as possible without sacrificing strength so I chose titanium as my frame material. Using titanium gave me access to a large palette of tube diameters and thicknesses, more than is available in stainless steel. The frame weighs in just shy of 3 lbs meeting my lightweight goal. The material choice and geometry created the fit and ride characteristics I desired meeting the rest my criteria for the perfect bike.
Here at Firefly we have been getting a lot of requests for frames made for Shimano Di2, the new electronic grouppo. It was high time for me to ride it myself and get experienced with all of its capabilities. The D2R2 ride presented some difficulties (9000ft of climbing on dirt) so I needed to make some some adaptations to the Di2. Mainly, I needed a lower gear than the stock Shimano drive train could provide. I solved this issue by using a 42 x 28 tooth mountain crank. This crank mated with the Shimano 11-25 cassette provides the low gears I require and keeps the chain length well within the capacity of the derailleurs.
One of the nice things about Di2 is that the wiring can run internally. The wire is small in diameter and has no moving cable so there is no worry about making tight bends. In this frame the wires run inside the down and seat tube, through the drive side chain stay passing through the bottom bracket. This makes for a very clean set up.
To keep with this aesthetic I routed the rear brake cable internally too. Full housing runs inside a 1/4″ titanium tube welded inside the top tube.
The internal brake routing makes for extremely clean lines. At the front of the top tube the housing enters the frame from below following the natural curve of the cable.
At the rear of the top tube the housing exits the frame near the top of the tube.
The result of this is that the housing travels directly to the brake, minimizing any tight bends in the housing and maximizing stopping performance.
Placing the battery inside the Firefly titanium seatpost also added to the simplicity of the overall look of the frame, and it just seemes to make sense.
The frame is bead blasted with brush finished anodized graphics. I wanted to play a bit with the colors to show what was available in the high voltage octave of anodization. The main logo and down tube marks are green, one of the hardest colors to get when anodizing titanium. The top tube graphic is brushed parallel to the tube prior to blasting and is anodized in a blended fade.
The fade below showcases the complete high voltage octave from yellow all the way up to green.
The bicycle’s performance exceeded my expectations and will surely be delivering many years of fine riding experiences.