The little company that could. That pretty much sums up the evolution of Franco Bicycles. From a single
bike introduced five years ago, the family-run outfit has grown each year and now
offers five road models and a tri bike.
Additionally, they’ve refined their
consumer-direct business model—so
much so that they’ve actually just opened
up a retail outlet in San Francisco with
plans to open another one soon.
Company growth is a good thing, and
when it’s a bike
growing, well, that’s even
better. Always a competition-
based brand, the Francoites
have been telling us for months
about the coming of a new race bike
that they planned to get under a local
team. Always looking for a competitive
edge ourselves, we decided to sneak one
away to test before the race team gobbled
them all up.
The Franco Balcom Road S carbon
frame was introduced in late 2012 and is
intended as a racier version of their
standard Balcom, which first hit the streets
three years ago. “Racier” in this case,
means lighter and stiffer, thanks to a more
efficient lay-up process and an oversized,
1.5-inch, lower headset bearing. As with
every Franco frame that’s come our way,
the Balcom S frame is full of nice details.
From the carbon dropouts to the pierced