A Closer Look At T.J. Tollakson’s Dimond

Tollakson’s strange bike with a unique label on the downtube is a modified 1996 Zipp 2001.

Photo: Nils Nilsen

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Tollakson’s strange bike with a unique label on the downtube is a modified 1996 Zipp 2001. The Indiana-based wheel company stopped making frames a decade ago but Tollakson says it “still beats the pants off any of the new bikes in the wind tunnel.” Zipp technical PR manager Dave Ripley and wheel design engineer David Morse found this specific frame for Tollakson. Morse delivered it to Tollakson at his wedding last year, and the part-time inventor took his drill out to improve and adapt the frame. Seven-speed drivetrains were cutting-edge when this bike was designed, so the frame had to be altered to fit current components. Tollakson is designing a new carbon beam bike based on this frame that he hopes to race later this year and sell under the Dimond brand in 2013.

PHOTOS: Behind The Scenes With T.J. Tollakson

– Tollakson drilled the housing entry holes to fit cable stops made for modern cable housing, which is narrower than the 1996 standard.

– Zipp hand-selected the best 10 percent of the bikes made each year to be clear coated. This frame was, therefore, one of the best.

– Chainstay, dropout and derailleur hanger were all machined and spaced to fit a Sram Red drivetrain.

– The frame is old, but the Quarq power meter, Zipp wheels and Sram Red components are cutting-edge.

– The frame is only wide enough for an outdated 1-inch steerer tube. Tollakson says the Easton EC 90 fork is the only aero fork with a 1-inch steerer that is still easy to  find secondhand.

– A machinist at the Zipp factory adapted the frame to fit Tollakson’s favorite Chris King headset.

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