PEARSON FORGE. THE MOST DATA DRIVEN BIKE FRAME GEOMETRY EVER CREATED FOR REGULAR ROAD RIDERS
2,000-plus test riders, one bike.
Over the past 13 years, we’ve conducted bike fittings for more than 2,000 riders. Based in our London studio, and using state-of-the-art computer analysis, we’ve established time and again the optimum set-up for male and female riders; saddle height and position, bar reach, crank length – in short, any and every factor that will make their ride more comfortable, minimise the risk of injury and maximise overall performance. Having now analysed the entire fit data of these many riders, we’ve taken all these variables and put them into one machine.
Forge is Pearson’s most rider-led design to date and the most data-driven geometry ever conceived for regular road riders.
LEARNING FROM big brands
In recent years top-end brands have made huge advances in bike design and produced some of the most stunning looking machines on the market. And although beautiful in form, we have found through numerous bike fits that many miss the mark to maximise rider efficiency and control. This is because the average rider ends up with a watered-down version of what is essentially a pro machine. That’s fine if your ambition is to win a Grand Tour, not so good if you want to spend comfortable time in the saddle.
The conundrum, of course, is that average riders don’t ride nearly as much as the pros, nor are they anything like as flexible. To combat this, it’s often necessary for customers of mainstream manufacturers to ‘hone’ their bikes during purchase. For example, by putting in lots of spacers, running shorter stems, increasing handlebar height and setting saddle positions on their limits. Not only does this compromise handling but it comes at the customer’s expense.
IN HOUSE RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
Our very own R&D department, Pearson House Design (PhD), has observed, appreciated and built upon modern bike innovation. We've started with what manufacturers consider the endpoint: the customer. Forge begins with our customers – passionate, committed riders – and works backwards. Where most bikes use industry data, we use customer data. As the world’s oldest cycling company and an independent bike maker, it genuinely sets us apart. Put simply, there is no other bike manufacturer in the world who has gathered such useful fit data.
O-Series, an optimum fit for all types of road cycling.
We’ve named this geometry innovation the Optimised Series (O-Series). Lightweight, durable and responsive, it offers a better fit for more riders than any bike on the market. Whether you’re 5 feet tall or 6 feet plus, a Pearson Precision Fit session will allow us to determine which of the five Forge sizes suits you best. We’ll then select components and build your bike for the most tuned-in, optimised ride you’ll ever experience – maximum speed, comfort and control.
No compromise on handling or aesthetics.
In Forge, we’ve created an exceptional bike for regular road riders, with no concessions. Built around a proprietary Pearson frame design, the bike has been kept fast and racy to keep the handling precise and nimble no matter the frame size. The fit characteristics are based on our detailed data analysis and have generally resulted in a shorter reach and taller front-end. To maintain a racing aesthetic, we've added features to keep the look sleek. These include increasing the fork length to shorten overall headtube length and adding a subtle ramp at the front of the top tube, which is proportional across the sizes.
We’ve put the frame through multiple rounds of testing to keep the weight as low as possible (eg. Size 3 is 890g), while also ensuring a perfect balance of comfort and stiffness using a blend of premium lightweight Toray carbon. With proven aero profiles across the frame, other features include a T47 threaded bottom bracket and full internal cable-routing. Tyre clearances can accommodate up to 700x35c tyres and Forge also boasts hidden mudguard eyelets (700x32c tyres with mudguards), triple bottle-positions and a robust direct-mount rear hanger.
forging ahead with craft and care.
At Pearson, we believe Forge to be a genuine breakthrough in bike design. And yet, while our data-driven approach changes everything, some things remain the same. We’re still a family business, transferring the same love of craft from our blacksmith forges to modern day manufacturing, with Guy and Will Pearson, now the fifth generation of Pearsons to provide cutting edge products and advice to cyclists around the world. We want you to get as much as possible from your riding, to realise your true cycling potential, reduce the risk of injury and maximise your performance.
That’s why we still offer a highly personal service, with customer care and engagement unrivalled in the industry. It’s another aspect that has made Forge possible; not simply the data but the sheer number of customers we engage with face to face. Such long-held relationships enable us to conduct research and development on a daily basis, and we believe that our 160-plus years of experience have all led to this point. Data-driven design, supported by exceptional customer care.
The solution – our data in detail.
maximising performance in numbers
The data doesn’t lie. Imagine, for example, you were looking at a bowler’s graphic, where Jimmy Anderson bowls most of his deliveries; or where Emma Raducanu lands most of her second serves. It’s data that helps build a picture, that tells the athlete what they need to fix. Which is precisely what Pearson has done in creating our Forge bike.
REVEALING TRENDS: SADDLE HEIGHT VS REACH.
By following the data, we are able to optimise fit at a ‘frame level’. By forensically analysing the variables around saddle position, handlebar drop and reach, we can confidently predict that Forge (available in five sizes) offers fits which cover 85% of the market. Or, to put it another way, recreational riders all the way up to aspiring racers. The graph here indicates that although in the middle section – the most common sizes – the red and blue lines are fairly close, they get further apart as you move out to the fringe sizes (the shortest and tallest riders). To combat this, we have focused on every Forge size, rather than simply taking a medium and sizing up or down in increments. By carefully considering each frame size and the grouping of fits within that category, we can offer the perfect fit for every size of rider.
And if you happen to be in the 15% of riders not covered by our O-Series bikes, the Pearson ‘Stealth’, or S-Series, is currently available on our new Shift carbon aero road bike. The S-Series boasts more aggressive geometry but is still optimised using our comprehensive data.
Optimal fit of Forge vs mass market road bikes.
When we compare these findings to the setups provided by many out-of-the-box bikes, we can see it suggests as many as 55% of cyclists start riding bikes with less than optimum geometry or component sizes to ideally match their fit. The origins of these setup are typically born from the pro peloton, and tend to be overly aggressive for the regular road rider Pearson has been serving for generations. We know many riders accept being uncomfortable as the price to pay for going fast but Forge is set to change all that.
Frame-size crossovers for Forge.
Forge uses Pearson’s extensive bike-fit data to create more options in our ‘mid-sizes’. This is because the majority of riders fit within these 3 sizes. By better overlapping Sizes 2, 3 and 4, and by pushing Sizes 1 and 5 to their limits, we can ensure Forge properly covers those riders who find getting the correct fit difficult.