Tortola Roundtail – A bike frame with a twist

A Canadian inventor has unveiled a new bike frame design that he claims is significantly more comfortable than a traditional double-diamond setup while maintaining the same lateral stiffness and pedaling efficiency.

Lou Tortola’s ROUNDTAIL replaces the seat tube and stays of a standard frame with two hoops of tubes. The idea is that instead of the seatstays transferring impacts and road buzz directly to your posterior, they are dispersed by the shock-absorbing rings.

Built by Montana-based American bike builder Paul Taylor Taylor Bikesthe first alloy frame was unveiled this weekend San Diego Custom Bike Show. Apparently, titanium and carbon road frames will be available at the Interbike show in September, as well as mountain bike and hybrid versions.

Tortola cites finite element analysis results that show the design provides 10 times the vertical flex and more than 60 times the shock absorption of a traditional frame. It sounds like a lot of up and down movement for us. He also believes it will provide aero benefits. The ROUNDTAIL is said to have passed rigorous fatigue and impact resistance tests.

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