Click to view in pdf format, Tsubasa Interview.
Chatting with Ed Vavilovas of Tsubasa Bicycles it all started with the desire to help his war torn
country and follow citizens of the Ukraine. With the cooperation of Reginald Vorontsov, the
frame designer of the Olympic gold medal track bike Takhion, together they built a frame called
the Takhion + Tsubasa Mass. This could possibly be the fastest track bike in the world. The
frame was auctioned off in 2015 to the highest bidder and the proceeds were donated to the
International Committee of the Red Cross to provide food, shelter and support for the orphans
and victims of the war. Below is the Takhion+ Tsubasa Mass bicycle.
Ed’s imagination and creativity in his bicycles is to incorporate nature since he believes nature is
the best design. The Tsubasa lineup consist of two road bicycles called the Bee and the Crow,
but also includes track bikes such as the Tsubasa 2 and 3. Each of the bicycles are truly
handmade as you can see each layer of carbon fiber is hand laid down to create a single body
without joints. The finish remains me of one off prototypes and works of art. Interesting natural
materials he used in his designs also include wood and fabric.
Another concept he incorporated in his design (Bee) was to layup carbon fiber over honeycomb
core so that the finish product of tubing would have a dimple effect on the surface. This dimpling
effect aids in breaking up the turbulence of airflow thus reduce drag. That is a very ingenious
ideal using the additional strength of honeycomb and the hexagonal shape to create these
dimples. This is a double bonus.
The Crow design seems to focus more on a stiffer frame then the Bee. The three corners of the
frame are enhanced to create a more stiffer and stable ride. If you look at the head tube, it is
tapered at the bottom to allow for more stiffness and control. I suspect this frame has a more
precise steering compared to the Bee.
The second design feature to this bike is the full carbon fiber bottom bracket. This gives
additional stiffness compared to an aluminum bottom bracket. This should be noticeable when
pounding on the pedals in a sprint or climbing.
The last corner to be addressed is the rear stays near the seat tube. The Crow uses a titanium
brake bridge for lightness and strength. The material is also corrosion resistant.
I am looking forward in seeing the Tsubasa bikes and take up Ed’s offer for a test ride. It’s a
coincidence we are the same height so I am hopeful he will have a bike for me. I will give a
review on the ride later.
Check out the Tsubasa bikes website (Tsubasabicycles.com). They will be at the North America
Handmade Bicycle Show on Feb. 26-28. Don’t miss it.