8 Reasons To Buy A Tyrell
Tyrell bicycles, conceived, designed and built in Japan are testament to fine attention to detail and uncompromising quality of materials and parts.
The result is a range of bicycles that look great, that perform to the highest standard and are strong and long lasting
We also call this page "8 Reasons That Make Tyrell The BEST Mini-Velos in the World".
REASON #1 - Frame Design
One of the most distinctive features that makes a Tyrell stand out is its unique frame design. The impressive silhouette of a Tyrell is instantly recognisable and a key point of attraction for many. But beyond the aesthetic beauty of the design, there's plenty of functional reasons at play that contribute to a superlative ride quality.
When studying the design of many mini-velo bikes, company owner and designer M. Hirose saw the need to increase the rigidity of the long head tube common to many mini-velo bikes. Supporting the long head tube contributes to the strength of the entire frame. Compared to many bikes, Tyrell's patented X Slant design has little extension of the fork steerer above head tube, ensuring no unwanted flex, an important consideration particularly when riding fast. Tyrell bikes have the ability to track accurately wherever the rider points the bike to, a characteristic that inspires rider confidence whether turning in a corner or not.
The frame design has the added benefit of lowering the centre of gravity of the top tube. The frame’s low step over is allows even petite riders to mount and dismount easily. The wheel base and frame geometry have also been optimised for straight line stability at speed and nimble handling.
For the foldable Tyrell FX and FSX, the frame design offers the additional challenge of incorporating the folding mechanism.
Tyrell has maintained the high rigidity of the slant design in a new folding design that achieves both beautiful proportions and high riding performance. The success of this feat is apparent when many people looking at the FX and FSX for the first time are surprised that the models can actually can be folded as it looks indistinguishable from the non-folding Tyrell models. For the FX and FSX, the folding rear triangle doesn't compromise the frame integrity. The smart design continues with the design of the folding aluminium and carbon fork that weighs only 900g. A design that meets the requirements of the Tyrell user being able to carry his bike on a bus or a train
REASON #2 - Frame Material
Reason # 2 is all about the frame materials that Tyrell uses on their bikes.
Browse through a Tyrell website or catalogue and you'll discover a range of models using different materials. So let's explore the different materials that Tyrell use on their bikes. The decisive factor in material selection is the balance of weight and frame stiffness.
Aluminium is a popular choice of material for bike frames. Stiffer and lighter designs can be achieved with aluminium alloys than is feasible with steel.
Depending on alloying elements and heat treatment, aluminum grades can exhibit a wide variety of properties, from good appearance, ease of fabrication, good corrosion resistance, to high strength-to-weight ratio, good weldability and high fracture toughness.
Tyrell uses 7005 grade aluminium on their bikes. These higher strength 7000 aluminum alloys exhibit reduced resistance to stress corrosion cracking and are often heat treated and artificially aged to provide better combinations of strength, corrosion resistance, and fracture toughness.
This grade of aluminium is commonly found on aircraft and other high strength/light weight applications.
Aluminium is a great choice for stiffness, low cycle weight and durability and cost and is used for the FX and FSX models. With the greater complexity of a folding frame design, these models benefit the most as aluminum allows the designs to be made lighter and more cost effective than other materials.
One of the most abundant elements in the earth’s crust, yet titanium is also one of the most expensive metal due to its complexity in extraction and difficulty to work with. Widely used in military application, the end of the Cold War saw more widespread commercial use of titanium. Titanium's very high corrosion resistance, very high tensile strength but low density, fatigue resistance, high crack resistance make it a premium material.
3Al-2.5V titanium alloy is used in the top of the line the PK-1, PKZ and the new foldable Tyrell XF.
Titanium delivers great strength, durability as well as being super light – however, while it results in high performance bicycles, it is also the most expensive material for building a bicycle.
Steel has been a popular choice of material among custom frame builders. Steel is the perennial favourite for those looking for a responsive, pure ride. Many frame builders favour steel as they can fine tune the ride quality of the frame, from lively to stiff.
The major factors in determining the liveliness or stiffness of a frame tube are first, the tube diameter, then the tube walls, and finally the length of the thinner center section of the tube. Being able to combine the artistry and craftsmanship that goes into building a bicycle frame with the benefits of building it to meet the unique needs of the rider, can best be accomplished with steel.
Tyrell uses triple butted Reynolds 525 steel on the CX. Butting is a process whereby the internal thickness of the tubing varies along its length. Weight savings from butting provide a competitively priced, light frame set that gives the CX the best combination of price, comfort and performance. (the 22” wheels also help make the CX one of the most comfortable bikes in Tyrell’s increasing range). Ride a Tyrell steel frame and you'll discover the unique qualities that cause many to proclaim that "Steel is Real."
Carbon fiber is an integral aspect of Tyrell bikes. While they have not yet made a bike entirely from Carbon, Tyrell nonetheless have used carbon fiber in almost all their bike forks and for some models like the CSI, carbon fiber serves an important function in dampening vibration and maintaining frame stiffness.
Carbon forks help to shed unnecessary weight yet retain the stiffness to track the front wheel at speed.
Tyrell carefully considers the material to be used in the frame of their bicycles after carefully considering who trhe intended rider will be and how that rider will want to use their bicycle – for fun, for outright performance, for everyday comfort. Always with a thought to being responsive, maneuverable and above all great to look at!
So whether you're riding a non foldable model (PK-1, PKZ, CX, CSI, etc.) or the foldable FX and FSX, the inherent design characteristic of the Slant Design frame is a product of extensive testing by Tyrell. The design satisfies the twin objective of delivering the best possible ride characteristics and good looks as well.
For the IVE, Tyrell has maintained their basic principle of utilising a rigid frame. In the case of the IVE, the the purpose is different from the rest of the Tyrell stable. Rather than being focused first and foremost on speed and performance, the IVE has been conceived to be compact and a comfortable ride for those wanting a bicycle that is convenient and ideal for commuting or city recreational riding - and that folds small. However, the guiding principle remains. The frame is never compromised, the IVE folds around the frame. A rigid frame ensures the most stable and responsive ride
REASON # 3 - What Happens To A Tyrell Frame
In the manufacturing of the iconic frame, a lot happens to it - the process of welding, heat treatment, hand polishing and cold working.
The most popular Tyrell bike models are made using aluminum as a frame material. As mentioned in the second article in this series, aluminum is a popular frame material because of it’s relative strength and light weight.
Welding aluminum alloys can present quite a challenge due to it’s high thermal conductivity and low melting point. Whenever aluminum is welded, it requires the utmost precision to ensure a strong bond and to prevent the risk of cracks at the welds. Welding of titanium frames are even more challenging due to highly reactive nature of titanium to oxygen or nitrogen.
All Tyrell aluminum frames are subjected to heat treatment to increase strength. A two stage heat treatment process called T6 and T4 is used. The frames are annealed – a process of heating and softening the aluminium in an oven for a predetermined period and cooled gradually it to relieve any stresses caused by welding. This heat treatment also has the added benefit of strengthening the aluminum frame.
On some Tyrell frames, the frame material are extruded by cold working to achieve the unique shape or tubing thicknesses. This process also leads to weight reduction along with an increase in the material’s strength. Case in point are the hourglass shaped rear triangle that is visually appealing and offers vibration dampening.
Tyrell take the added step to hand polish all welds on its bike frames. This is a time intensive attention to detail that not only presents a seamless look, it offers the added benefit of a smoother surface when the frames are subject to paint.
So while many of us may never really know what goes into their Tyrell bikes, it is good to know that this is a product that has been manufactured to achieve the best possible performance, paying the most stringent attention to how the material in the frame is manufactured and manipulated results in a key reason why Tyrell mini-velos are among the best bicycles in the world.
REASON # 4 - Frame Geometry - A Common Design code
At first sight, all Tyrell frames have a common design identity. The iconic frame concept was the result of extensive sketches and repeated engineering trial and error to achieve a frame of high rigidity resulting in the "Slant Design" that we know today.
Consisting of two thin tubes that sandwich the top tube, the result is a frame design that is canted backwards with a series of interlocking triangles. This patented design is subject to repeated load and vibration resistance tests to ensure that every Tyrell frame is not merely beautiful to behold but meets safety standards too.
While the 20” small wheels exhibit ultra-quick acceleration, the challenge is ensuring stability at high speed. In order to achieve the necessary stability, Tyrell have designed the frame measurements to effectively extend the wheel base, yet meeting the requirements of high portability and a compact frame design.
Every Tyrell bike owner can take comfort that their bike has been the result of a thorough and extensive design process using computer aided design and working prototypes to bring together both aesthetic beauty and technical excellence.
With special emphasis and attention to safety, all Tyrell frames meet load and vibration resistance tests to ensure a stringent quality control of their products.
Reason #5 - Component Compatibility
Tyrell bikes are one of the easiest to work with, with wide compatibility with standard components offered by bicycle equipment suppliers. This easy compatibility is a conscious effort to use stock components and avoid proprietary components specific to the bike model.
This allows Tyrell bikes to be upgraded very easily in a modular fashion. Need a derailleur upgrade? Want to change to higher gearing? or convert from flat to drop bars? These are easily accomplished with every Tyrell bike. Tyrell customers can configure and personalize their bikes to their own specification of components, easily and cost effectively.
This has an important consideration for Tyrell customers too as repairs and fixes can be accomplished by most bike shops, even those that are unfamiliar with a Tyrell bike. This quality also ensures that the lifespan of your Tyrell is likely to be longer as progressive upgrades can be made to ensure that the bike will not become obsolete.
Reason #6 - Colors & Environmentally Friendly, Widest Choice – the Kadowacki Way
A distinctive feature of Tyrell bikes that stands out is the amazing range of bright and piercing colours. Right from the beginning, Tyrell have entrusted their frames to be painted by one of the foremost powder coating companies in Japan, Kadowaki Coating.
Powder coating delivers durability, weather resistance, corrosion resistance, excellent film strength, prevents chipping, and significantly improves the lifespan of the product. Paint is important finishing step in determining the value of the final product.
The proven quality, unique luster, shine, color variations, and wide choice of colors are important factors and in this regard, Kadowaki delivers on all fronts.
First established in 1961, Kadowaki began to showcase their work with bikes in 1999 at the Tokyo International Cycle Show. Since then, the company has become the front runner in high quality and custom paint work. Tyrell’s close collaboration with Kadowaki is significant as both companies have come to represent the best in their respective fields.
With the exception of the titanium framed models, every Tyrell bike is powder coated. Powder coating is a coating method whereby paint in powder form instead of liquid is deposited by the force of static electricity. The powder coat is cured by baking in the oven. Powder coating is environmentally friendly in that there are no organic solvents used.
Reason #7 - The Tyrell IVE
When we first published this series of "7 Reasons To Buy A Tyrell", Tyrell was a brand renowned for building the very best of Mini-Velos.
With their iconic "Slant" frame design, choice of the best and correct materials for each model and an obsessive attention to detail, Tyrell Mini-Velos have built a reputation a fast, Sports Performance Cycles of Desire.
Tyrell truly own the 406 / 451 sports / road racer category. Their fixed frame, all-titanium purebred road racing PK1 and PKZ (both 451) and their 10th Anniversary indulgence, the 406 folding all-titanium XF are the cream of the small wheeled speedsters.
And aluminium framed FX sports performance cycle and FSX road racer 406 folders.
Tyrell have taken their years of building fast, performance Mini-Velos and their inspiration for small wheeled cycling and created the IVE.
All of their principles of a fixed rigid frame can be seen in the IVE, but Tyrell have taken a next step to innovate on new ways to fold the rear fork and wheel and the front wheel around the frame and to build added comfort and control into the bicycle.
The IVE uses a cro/moly steel hydroformed frame, to give strength, comfort and lightness.
The quick release button on the handle bar and the folding mechanism make folding the IVE simple and convenient - essential if taking onto public transport or into the office.
If you are looking for a modern, compact folder that riders with a positive attitude but feels like a larger, strong riding bicycle, then the IVE is a great option.
Learn more about the IVE, click here
See more images of the IVE, click here
Reason #8 - Kaizen Continual Improvement
Since it’s early days, Tyrell have pushed the envelope in making continual improvement in their products and designs. The quest towards making a better design isn’t merely an exercise in improving the look but also in the performance the product delivers.
Case in point is the distinctive Tyrell frame design that’s the culmination of many sketches and prototypes. A design that delivers in both performance and looks meeting the parameters of a light weight yet stiff and responsive frame.
The Tyrell CSI is another case in point. This is the lightest Tyrell production bike and was derived from the earlier and now discontinued SI model. The SI was a lightweight bike but a side effect of the light weight from the thin tubing was comfort on long rides was found wanting. In an effort to make a more forgiving ride and improve high speed stability, Mr Hirose went back to the drawing board and came up with the design of the carbon SI or CSI.
Changing to larger wheels from 406 to 451 and changes to the wheelbase made the bike inherently more stable at speed. To address the ride comfort and yet keep the weight down, the new frame design incorporated a full carbon rear triangle that served to dampen road vibration, maintain stiffness and reduce weight.
This quest to improve is also seen in some unique components. The folding fork design found on the Tyrell FX and FSX and the folding stems solved the issue of space and keeping the folded dimensions compact.