Having a bike that breaks down for travel can save a significant amount of money in baggage fees, especially for frequent travelers, and it also makes lugging your bike and gear around that much easier. To that end, we were intrigued by yesterday’s announcement from New York-based No. 22 bicycles—known for their high-end semi-custom titanium bikes—who just unveiled an all-new coupler system. Reminiscent of Santana’s Z Couplers, No. 22’s new couplers are almost invisible when compared to the industry standard S&S couplers. And when paired with their new “Brake Break” hydraulic coupler for brake hoses, they look to make for one of the most seamless permutations of the travel-friendly frame to date.
By designing their own coupler system, No. 22 bikes could create something that was a part of the frame itself, rather than added on to it. Their couplers are precision machined into the top tube and down tube, meaning they almost disappear when the tubes are tightened together. Rather than needing to carry a spanner wrench to de-couple the frame, as with S&S couplers, the No. 22 system simply uses a standard 6mm hex bolt for each of the frame’s couplers.
Their Brake Break means running hydraulic brakes on a coupled frame is no longer a complicated logistical issue, since the internally routed quick disconnect allows the brake line to be instantly separated without any loss of pressure or hydraulic fluid. The tool-free design provides a perfect seal and doesn’t require any rebleeding of the brake lines.
While they’re beautifully executed, the new couplers are anything but budget friendly. Buyers can expect to pay an extra $1,250 to have their frame coupled (including the Brake Break), on top of No. 22’s base price of $4,499 for something like a Drifter all-road frameset. For most of us, affording a coupled titanium frameset from No. 22 isn’t in the cards, but we tip our hats to them for pushing the envelope of beautiful and functional design.
Learn more about No. 22 and their line of titanium bikes at 22Bicycles.com.
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