Sometimes it’s okay to forgo a little function for the sake of form. In the case of Bryan Paxton’s carbon fiber and aluminum Alan frame, we’ll overlook the structural integrity as this is one of the best looking assemblies we’ve seen. In most instances it’s not recommended to mix frame materials in the same bike but due to the similar rigidity of aluminum and carbon fiber they come together in Alan frames quite compatibly.
Alan first started manufacturing carbon fiber and aluminum frames in 1976, after successfully producing a frame set constructed from aerospace grade aluminum in 1972—a world first. Alan’s racing credentials are extensive: 20 cyclocross World Championships, 5 World Track Title Championships, numerous wins in the classics, as well as stage wins in the Tour de France, Giro D’Italia, and Vuelta De Espana.
Bryan’s Alan is an interesting mix of period components. Whilst not exactly correct (the purists may scowl), the overall effect is a triumph of art over technology. The frame is a 1984 Alan Super Record Carbonio and the cockpit consists of a WR Compositi quill and Italmanubri Super-Europa II handlebar.
Power is transmitted via a Sugino composite carbon SS chainring, Shimano Deore cranks and a Mavic SSC derailleur. They drive a Spinergy Rev-X rear wheel—providing a great visual and mechanical contrast with the front. The modern classic lines are continued up top by composite Modolo levers and Shimano 600AX TT calipers. The seatpost is a Corima Blade, a perfect stand for the Tioga Spider saddle. Even the front wheel is a wonderful blend of carbon fiber composite, an Araya Aero rim laced to a low flange Nuke Proof hub.
The whole bike weighs in at a whopping 14 pounds, and as previously mentioned, the structural integrity is something we’ll gloss over in the face of beauty: Bryan claims the cranks and the handlebars can be deflected close to 2 inches and rides, apparently, similar to what he would expect an inflatable bike to…
Let’s set aside carbon fiber’s technical misgivings, who out there has a positive report for Alan frames?
PS: Big thanks to Bryan Paxton and Joshua Hoffman for the impeccable photography.