Monday, March 7, 2016

I Love Light Metal - MANAIA

I just saw this the other day from Kickstarter: "I Love Light Metal" -- the MANAIA from a group calling itself T°Red Bikes.

What exactly is "Light Metal" -- is it like Iron Maiden meets Yanni?

You know you're just dying to hear it.
Well, no. It's aluminum. A go-fast bike made from aluminum. Only, supposedly it's really special aluminum, from the aerospace industry. Yeah, I know -- pretty much all the aluminum tubing used in bikes today has some history of use in the aerospace industry. Humor them.

From the T°Red Kickstarter page:

"These light, aluminum-based alloys are enriched with rare materials such as magnesium, scandium and zirconium. . . The resistance of these alloys is typically 30-40% higher than that of Ergal and they were first used in the construction of submarine-launched missiles designed by the USSR, which were even able to penetrate polar ice layers."

So if you decide you'd like to punch through polar ice with your bike, you're all set.

"High-Tech" bike startups always want to highlight the aerospace connections, but basically, it's 7000-series aluminum with some traces of scandium in the alloy mix. The traces of scandium are supposed to affect the crystalline structure of the metal during welding and presumably mean stronger welds. I got that from Wikipedia, by the way, not MANAIA.

Speaking of welds, at least they smooth the heck out of these after welding.
There are lots of typically puffed-up claims about the bike on the website. For example:

"The impeccably finished TIG welding and the brushed surface enhanced by an indelible Maori tattoo make MANAIA a truly unique bicycle. It has been designed to offer its best performance when pushing for the limits . . . with a lightness and rigidity comparable to the best carbon frames . . . while the innovative rear triangle and integrated seatpost ensure a truly amazing feeling. A metal creature born to ride, whose sole purpose is to make you win."

As long as you were already winning on your old bike, that is. If you were a mid-pack "also ran" the MANAIA won't change that.

In any case, what we have here is a pretty typical welded aluminum racing bike, fairly short-coupled, and equipped with carbon wheels and disc brakes. Overall, not that different from most other higher-level race bikes today.

So, to distinguish it, the company makes quite a bit of the unique "maori tattoo" graphics that decorate the frame.

Act now and pledge on Kickstarter, and you'll even get a matching skinsuit:

Matching bike and skinsuit are the apex of Fred-dom.
I highly recommend watching the video. . .

. . . which opens on a half-naked Fred in an empty warehouse. Cue the overly dramatic music.
Include lots of shots of bike and skinsuit-matching Fred zipping around the tarmac (that's lower-case "t" tarmac, so don't sue me, Specialized).
Make sure to include some gratuitous skids "for your thrills."
Then make the Retrogrouch laugh out loud:

"will never be the same."
Yes. Yes, actually, it will.



  1. Who cares about MANAIA? Pretty much standard stuff. I'd be more interested in what happened to truly talented guys from Ferriveloci.

  2. The whole Soviet subpolar ice cap missile thing was brought out when Scandium first appeared in cycling more than 15 years ago.

    Not saying it's any less inconsequentially funny now, just, not new.

    Lower case tarmac, nice, I actually "lol'd".....

    1. Ironically, my auto correct keeps trying to capitalize the "t" in tarmac. NOOO!

  3. Doesn't look like anything bad. Also doesn't look like anything new. May be a good bike, but somehow I don't think it's anything to get excited about.

    1. That's pretty much it -- nothing bad, but nothing really new, either.

  4. "the brushed surface enhanced by an indelible Maori tattoo make MANAIA a truly unique bicycle."

    Ahaha, yes, their decal really makes it unique. By the way, I wonder if they know what indelible means?


  5. I'd launch into a grumpy rant about how you should just be a *man*, and start a company if you feel so passionate about it.

    Asking the world to fund your enterprise for you because you're too scared to DIY just really rubs me the wrong way.

    Kid's got cancer, you have an idea so far out that no bank will talk to you, etc? Those are crowd funding things.

    This is just lazy. It's a road bike, way to minimize the risk so you can join a sea of me too's....

    Hmm, guess I did!

    Yep nothing new here except a bunch of exceptional marketing gibberish. This right here just kills me. It would seem to infer the frame is actually intelligent, and lies patiently, quietly, just waiting for you to really lay into it, before stiffening up and probably losing a pound or two as well, seeing as it's so smart. Bah.

    "It has been designed to offer its best performance when pushing for the limits, with a shape that fosters reactivity and speed, and materials able to withstand power even during extreme sprints."

  6. With the "Maori Tattoo" maybe Guy Fieri will buy in...

  7. Also...the so called "Maori" graphics are 100: bogus and not even close to the real thing. And even if actual Maori tattoo symbols were applied, it would still be meaningless, as the culture was stone age and did not employ even the simplest of machines (no use of pulleys, levers, gears etc).