Introducing: MIN.D. California

Gerard Vroomen - 09-Mar-2022
As promised, here it is: The MIN.D. California. My previous update explained how this project wouldn't have happened in a rational company but I guess every company has its strengths and weaknesses :-). It's here and we love it. However, because of where and how we produce this frame, it won't be for everybody. For a lot of our customers, the regular MIN.D. will make more sense as I will explain below.

First off, what is the MIN.D. California exactly? Like the original MIN.D., it is a road frame with an old-school aesthetic but high-tech DNA, offering racing performance combined with extra-ordinary comfort thanks to its continuous seattube, unique geometry and beefed up tire clearance. The California-made version takes this but uses a completely new layup, new production tools, and a whole bag of different tricks to eke every last bit of performance out of the frame. Every gram of carbon represents at least one headache in developing this frame.

The end result is a lighter, stiffer version of the regular MIN.D. To be exact, the RAW MIN.D. California is 775g including the full seatmast. Obviously that's also the weight if you leave it RAW. To add a finish, you could add as little as 30g but of course depending on your desired paint scheme, it can also be more.

As for the stiffness, we perform a lot of different stiffness tests, not just BB and headtube stiffness as is the standard, but what you will notice most from the way the California's stiffness increase is distributed over the frame is its handling. The way it climbs and corners just has a different feel to it than you're used to (and I don't like saying that as it's such a cliché and in many cases, it's very tough to feel the difference in layup between frames. But here you really can). I'm not a poet so I can't really put it into words, it's just very different from the original (which I like anyway).

Before we continue, it's important to understand RAW. The MIN.D. California is delivered almost "out of the mold" with only minor finishing. This means what you see is what you get, it is a very industrial carbon finish (whereas RTP frames have a primer finish that show less of the actual carbon structure) with also some filler where needed. Some will like this and may even consider leaving it untouched, for others this look - showing all imperfections - is not for them.

Either way, the RAW look definitely polarizes. We already shipped the first frames to a handful of retailers around the world and one contacted us the next day saying he really didn't like the RAW finish (I'm putting it mildly, there may be children reading here :-). A week later, we talked again, he loves it and he plans to leave his personal MIN.D. California completely RAW.
The RAW finish also means that getting the frame custom painted is a little more more work for the painter than the RTP finish is. Not a problem for any of the custom painters we or our participating stores recommend, but it's something to keep in mind (no pun intended). In fact, because this is such a special frame, Andy and I decided that we should only offer the frame RAW; that way they will all end up being ridden RAW or custom painted which would be pretty cool. In order to not make it too complicated for our customers, we will offer some "standard custom options" for the paint, just contact Andy.

Three more points. First sizing. The geometry is unchanged and the MIN.D. California will be available in 4 sizes. Large is available at select retailers and from Andy now, Medium follows next month, S and XL shortly thereafter. 

Secondly, there's no way around this, pricing. It won't come as a shock that the MIN.D. California is expensive. The frameset including frame, fork, headset is USD 7,500 (plus sales tax) or EUR 7,500 (including sales tax).

Thirdly, how do you get one? The retailers below have all agreed to stock the MIN.D. California (so right now that means the Large and other sizes to follow) and equally important, they can arrange the custom painting and shipping for you. Of course you can also contact Andy for more information.


R&A Cycles:
Contender Bicycles:


Cyclefit (UK):
Mohawks (France):
Enjoy Your Bike (Germany):

All that remains then is the photo gallery of the Californian production followed by Andy's MIN.D. California prototype (in RAW finish):


Comments & Questions

WOW! Thats incredible. I want one.
Post #1 of 13. Posted by Jack Davidson on 09-Mar-2022 22:58:28 GMT in reply to blog [0<--24455]
I want TWO!
Post #2 of 13. Posted by Silvia Mac on 10-Mar-2022 00:31:00 GMT in reply to post #1 [24455<--24456]
Beautiful stuff @Andy and @Gerard!! Any plans to do something even more radical like joining forces with 3T to make a "made in Italy" woven frame? That would also be quite sweet :)
Post #3 of 13. Posted by Raphael on 10-Mar-2022 03:03:34 GMT in reply to blog [0<--24471]
Thanks Raphael. no plans for other future projects.
Post #4 of 13. Posted by Gerard Vroomen on 10-Mar-2022 03:07:57 GMT in reply to post #3 [24471<--24472]
Cool - I imagine you have more than enough on your plate to deal with right now. By the way, thanks for being such dedicated and passionate bike tech founders. I am the *very* happy owner of a 3T Exploro Team and every time I look at it, I silently thank you for bringing gravel plus to the world. Keep up the excellent work and stay small :)
Post #5 of 13. Posted by Raphael on 10-Mar-2022 03:11:28 GMT in reply to post #4 [24472<--24473]
Man that is good looking, I am really a big fan of the truely raw effect, which my Open UP was like that, I ride the RTP. I strop down my mtb frames to raw carbon too. now to win the lottery
Post #6 of 13. Posted by Christiaan on 10-Mar-2022 03:47:27 GMT in reply to blog [0<--24474]
With an uncut seatpost…what is the max height seatpost on your medium and large frame. I usually have BB - Saddletop 828mm
Post #7 of 13. Posted by Alex N on 10-Mar-2022 04:57:58 GMT in reply to blog [0<--24475]
SADDLE height is max 780mm for the Medium and 820mm for the Large. That's assuming a 40mm rail-deck height and 5mm safety margin. If somebody needs more than that, they're really on the wrong frame size or the model just simply doesn't work for them.
Post #11 of 13. Posted by Gerard Vroomen on 12-Mar-2022 07:16:02 GMT in reply to post #7 [24475<--24480]
This RAW aspect is fantastic! What a work. The photos are great, thanks for letting us see the careful craftsmanship.
Makes me want to ride one for ever.
Post #8 of 13. Posted by Besignss on 10-Mar-2022 05:20:36 GMT in reply to blog [0<--24476]
So how much stiffer (please try and quantify it) and how much lighter is this one?
Post #9 of 13. Posted by Dane Morrison on 10-Mar-2022 06:35:09 GMT in reply to blog [0<--24477]
Oh, I love it… I hope it is not a limited edition run, because I really want one, but now is not the time for me. But I already imagine a build with SRAM Red, nice carbon parts and Lightweight Obermayer Evo wheels… would be a perfect "special machine" to fit next to my UP and my Cervelo R2, but I promise it will be ridden a lot…
Post #10 of 13. Posted by JMM on 11-Mar-2022 02:52:08 GMT in reply to blog [0<--24479]
Well, it's limited but we will have it in our line-up for a long time, if that's what you mean.
Post #12 of 13. Posted by Gerard Vroomen on 12-Mar-2022 07:16:32 GMT in reply to post #10 [24479<--24481]
crazy - 7500. but it looks great and imagine it drives you crazy, too. I promise it's worth every buck like the upper! Really great stuff!
Post #13 of 13. Posted by Georg on 13-Mar-2022 06:19:03 GMT in reply to blog [0<--24483]