As a consumer, I can be pretty particular. Not so much from the “it must be the most trendy”, but it must be the best. The best does also not mean most expensive, but it should be of exceptional quality, durability and for me – design. Design can also take on many ideals and have a dozen interpretations. Design is a personal thing, and what transitions a product from something that “functions” perfectly to something that you love. My specialized Epic has always functioned perfectly – but I do not love it. When I decided to build an expedition-class adventure mountain bike, I started the long process of researching a bike that would perform exceptionally, but also be something I loved. I ran the gamut, from Moots to Surly and many frame builders in between. At the end of all this effort, I decided on the FORM frame. As with most bespoke equipment, the decision was based on much more than the “specs”, and in this case came down to Daryl and his wife Melanie. They are both well traveled, with Melanie operating significant conservation and humanitarian projects in Africa, India and other far-flung destinations. Why is this important for my adventure bicycling frame? They get it!
I could continue to discuss my opinions of the FORM brand, but I believe Daryl does a better job of describing what is important to him. I asked Daryl a few questions from the perspective of the adventure traveler. These are his answers.
- What makes the FORM brand unique?
- Daryl: We focus on customization. With metal frame materials, it can be easy to stick with the same things all of the time because that is easier than designing a new piece. We decided early on that making what people really want instead of forcing them into what we make is the best approach that could be taken. At this time, doing the customization has been the best part of enabling sells. It doesn’t stop with just the frames. We are actually building out the bikes with components that people want. We are not locking someone into a specific build kit but we do offer off the shelf kits to make a reference point for someone.
- Why titanium?
- Daryl: We also do steel and stainless steel. We primarily use Titanium as it is the perfect frame material after years of people trying other material. Titanium has so many unique characteristics that help to make it an ideal material for frame building. The tensile strength is extremely high, it dampens vibrations, it has a “memory” within the >material that causes it to spring back from movement rather than crack or fail and it can be fixed if anything ever happens to it. The last >characteristic is one of the biggest advantages of Titanium.
- What inspires your clean, classic design approach?
- Daryl: Our designs originate from the desire to build advanced performance bicycles, but offer a visual package that does not detract from the design cues. We have focused on making the overall bike something that is subtle with many hidden details that have to commonly be pointed out for them to gain attention. We appreciate simplicity and this is the way the designs are focused. We can integrate and build to suit the customer needs, so we do. It helps that we consider each frame build custom even though we offer stock frames. We do this so that every detail is thought out carefully and not taken for granted. Our inspiration is pulled from many of the auto designs from the past and present.
- Are your mountain bikes designed for serious, long-term adventuring(think crossing continents)?
- Daryl”: We build many different types of bicycles, so it is hard to exclude any style of riding. What I mean by this statement is that FORM will build the frame to suit any rider for their preferred style of riding. If that is cross country expeditions, we will build a bike to suit the demands of abuse taken by luggage and the long trek across the land.
- What are you most proud of?
- Daryl: I am most proud that we have been able to start a business with a focus on providing what people want. We do not want to be like every other manufacture offering 400 of the same model. Each person that orders from FORM has so many options to choose from that it enables us to build each model with the rider in mind.
- FORM makes some beautiful bikes, including fully custom frames, cyclocross units, mountain bikes and commuters.
Form Cycles, Sedona
The Triad Cyclocross bike:
Attention to detail abounds
I love these mini-me cyclocross knobbies
Daryl made a stunning commuter for his wife Melanie. What a nice guy. It is called the Viaje – a great life indeed.
Brooks Saddle – nice choice
I love the paint job
Form road bike
Other projects include a belt-drive single-speed
Feel the love!