Paragon Machine Works was showing off a couple of new dropouts at the 2013 North American Handmade Bicycle Show. The two new dropouts for frame builders are called the Toggle Drop and the PolyDrop. We featured a post on the Toggle Drop a little bit ago and the PolyDrop can be seen on Engin Cycles’ 29+ tandem MTB from 2013 NAHBS. Now Mark Norstad of Paragon Machine Works has published an update on the performance of these dropouts.
by Mark Norstad of Paragon Machine Works
Now that NAHBS is over, I’ve had time to ride our new dropouts. The Toggle Drop received the most press, but I think the PolyDrop will ultimately be more popular.The Toggle Drop is a sound design and I’m very satisfied with the function and mechanics of it. There are a few things that need refinement before we can offer it to builders:- the release lever needs to have a more ergonomic shape since the current shape is difficult to operate.- the pin that holds the release lever will change from being pressed in to having a user-serviceable pin.- the linkage mechanism needs to be more robust, it will increase from 5 mm to 6 or 8 mm.We’re also working on versions that are applicable to steel and aluminum frames. There is no timeline for all this work, but if things go well, we’ll have Toggle Drops available in late Summer.The first rides were a complete success. The dropouts hold the belt properly tensioned, there were no creaks or noises, and wheel changes were simple and fast.The first PolyDrop rides were just as good. Again, no creaking or noise of any kind. The ten bolts that hold the pieces together stayed tight, and the frame felt as solid as any with one-piece welded dropouts. The big benefit of the PolyDrop is the interchangeability of the dropout inserts. I can use any mountain bike hub, traditional 135 x 10 or 142 x 12 mm, dropouts with or without rack eyelets, and ISO or post 160 brake mounts. Future inserts will include horizontal drops for single speed use. As bicycle standards evolve, we intend to make inserts for any innovation as long as it fits within the limits of the design.PolyDrops aren’t exclusive to mountain bikes, they can be used on cyclocross, road, and touring bikes as well. As disc brakes become more popular on these bikes, the PolyDrop will be able to accommodate them. Inserts will be available with ISO, 140 or 160 post mounts, and long or short derailleur hangers.