S and S Machine
Bicycle Torque Couplings (BTCs)
Your Travel Bike........Your only bike!

Framebuilder Comments

" As the head honcho here at Salsa I travel a fair amount. In doing so I sorely miss my daily rides. Until I saw the Bicycle Torque Couplings from S and S Machine I hardly considered traveling with my bike. The various hinged, small wheeled, and other such compromised 'travel bikes' just never called out to me. This travel system is different. Why? Because after about 10 minutes of assembly time I've got a regular bike that feels absolutely normal. The thing even breaks down to a size that the airlines don't charge extra for. Check it out, this is one of the coolest things to hit cycling since the balloon tire!"
Ross Shafer, Salsa Cycles, Petaluma, CA

"I recently returned from a seven week tour of the Southern Alps. I climbed over 200,000 feet on my Calvin and Hobbs road bike with BTCs. The ride was about as stiff a challenge as a bike is going to see. There is no degradation of efficiency even on the stiffest and hardest climbs. I am totally pleased with the bike."
Glenn Erickson. Erickson Cycles, Seattle, WA

"After riding my custom Merlin Titanium Mountain Bike equipped with S and S Bicycle Torque Couplings hundreds of miles, I can honestly say that it rides exactly like a Merlin should. It feels perfect and you can't even tell the couplings are there."
Gwyn Jones, Founder Merlin Metal Works, Cambridge, MA (bike built with TIG weldable 6Al-4V titanium couplings)

"The S and S Bicycle Coupling System works GREAT! Excellent machine work, beautiful finish--What a fine idea. I'm happy to recommend it as an option on new frames or as a retro-fit on pre-builts. I'm confident that frames which are coupled are as mechanically sound as those which aren't."
Richard Sachs, Richard Sachs Cycles, Chester, CT

"It is a rare pleasure to work with S and S Machine's Bicycle Torque Coupling. They are consistently perfect in every way, cleaner and more precise than any other frame tubing, fitting, or component that I've ever worked with. Because of their faultless performance, I find it impossible to find anything less than superlative to say about them, and the service from the people at S and S Machine is equal to the quality of their product."
Dwan Shepard, Co-Motion Cycles, Eugene, OR

"When riding, you're not even aware that the S and S Machine Bicycle Torque Couplings are on the bike. But when you check in at the airport--and put the extra fifty bucks in your wallet--the Couplings make their presence felt."
Scot Nicol, Ibis Cycles, Sebastopol, CA

"The S and S Torque Coupling is a great product. They are beautifully made, a pleasure to install and produce a travel bike that is indistinguishable from one without the Couplings. My customers have had nothing but great things to say about their bikes."
Steve Rex, Rex Cycles, Sacramento, CA

"Congratulations. Finally someone has designed a product that makes a difference! Your S and S Torque Coupling is that product. The more things change the more they stay the same. No new product or component has changed a bicycle so much. A quality custom built bicycle is still just a quality custom built bicycle; not much different today than they were years ago. Now thanks to S and S Machine, we have something new to offer--a quality custom built bicycle that can be fit into a suitcase for travel. Your coupling just may be the most innovative new bicycle product of this decade!"
John K. Cherry III, Cherry Bicycles, LaFayette, IN

"I think S and S Torque Couplings are revolutionizing bicycle commuting and touring and I hope it's increasing our awareness of cycling as an alternative means of transportation."
Kimo Tanaka, Tanaka Custom Frames, Davis, CA

"We're delighted that the S and S Couplings provide a good secure connection while preserving all the good ride qualities of our bikes."
Richard Schwinn, Waterford Precision Cycles, Waterford, WI

"The S and S Bicycle Torque Coupling system is an extremely well thought out system. It is well designed and is extremely applicable for someone who wants to separate a bicycle to make it smaller for whatever reason. It has a pleasing appearance. It's pretty cool.
Otis Guy, Otis Guy Cycles

"A typical comment from my customers is, 'It blows away any folding bike out there!' I agree. Now I can build a frame that rides right and is still portable like a folding bike."
Mitch LaMoure, Cycles LaMoure Custom Frames, Roseburg, OR

"Real bikes that get real small !; a precision product that elevates our frame building process and expands the utility of any type of bike we build."
Steve Bilenky, Bilenky Cycle Works, Philadelphia, PA

"S and S Torque Couplings are especially good for the extra length of a recumbent frame so it can be broken down for easy transportation. We also use them on tandem recumbents and there is nothing longer than a tandem recumbent."
Gardner Martin, "The worlds oldest tandem manufacturer" Easy Racers Inc., Watsonville, CA

"Excellent concept! Excellent Execution!" Ralph Ray, Designer of the Zip Bicycle, Ralph Ray Engineering, Boulevard, CA

"S and S Couplings allow us to build a bike for the active traveler with no compromises. The couplings are perfectly machined with precise tolerances so our installation is consistent and quick. The finish is excellent. Customers report that the lugs are undetectable in use and the convenience of a portable bike far outweighs the cost."
Christian Jones, Rhygin Racing Cycles, Sommerville, MA

"S and S Couplings are great! When traveling you get the freedom of a fold up. When riding you get the rock solid performance only a full sized bike can deliver!"
Peter Weigle, J. P. Weigle Cycles, East Haddam, CT

"I like them, very smart."
Grant Petersen, Rivendell Bicycle Works, Walnut Creek, CA

"Ti CYCLES builds Steel and Titanium bikes which incorporate the S & S Machine Couplings. These couplings allow for the ultimate travel bike. Couplings only add a few ounces to the weight of the frame, they don’t change the handling or the feel of the bike at all and almost any size and type of bike can be packed in a standard size suitcase for travel thus avoiding airline surcharges. We love them and ride them." - - - "I’ve been traveling with my coupling bicycle for almost a year and the only thing that I would have done different is to build one two years ago. There is no down side to these couplings." - - - "We have coupled all types of frames, some of my favorite have been the "Amp-style" full suspension mountain bikes. These titanium bikes are the ultimate in off-road fun, ready for you to fly in to Moab (or your favorite off-road Mecca) and ride. We are talking a full suspension bike that measures travel in miles."
David Levy, Ti CYCLES, Seattle, WA

"I’ve been building hand crafted frames since 1983. As an active cyclist I started racing road bikes in 1976. I raced for many years as a cat 1 & 2 racer and now race as a master. If you want a folding bike, the S & S coupling is the only way to go. You can ride your own bike with all the benefits of a folding bike. I ride mine every day, rain or shine (which is a must here in Oregon), with no adverse affects."
Mitch LaMoure, Cycles LaMoure, Roseburg, OR

" I think the coupling system is the best thing that hit the bicycle industry in awhile. I've only built a few coupling bikes but have had great response from them. I built one for my dad last year and I've been riding it lately and I love it. It feels just like any other mountain bike, and even better than my personal bike. I have been using it off road and it feels great. I might just have to build myself one." .
Jeremy Sycip, Sycip Designs, San Francisco, CA

"We have been using S&S couplings on our GTR Touring Trikes, our Sports Tourers, and our Tandem Trikes....Before I used them I tested them and found they were both stronger and stiffer than the Cro Mo 4130 frame tubes themselves.
As expected, the trikes built with them have also been slightly stiffer than that trikes built without them, thus unlike many folding bikes I have come across, there is a slight enhancement in the handling, instead of a deterioration, due to frame flex.
Because these stainless steel couplings are precision machined on a CNC, and have tapered, interlocking teeth, there is absolutely NO slop when correctly tightened, thus they are also completely silent. In fact IMHO it is completely impossible to detect their presence just from the feel of riding the trike/bike.....Thus I feel confident in recommending the S&S couplings."
Ian Sims, GREENSPEED, Ferntree Gully, Australia

 "BTCs are the greatest thing since sliced bread! OK, so maybe they're not quite that good, but they are the single most innovative product to hit the bike industry since the derailleur. The unique features of the BTCs allow for many interesting uses. The most obvious is, of course, to build a bike that breaks into two pieces (or three pieces for a tandem) for travel. Less obvious, though no less interesting, is to add more BTCs and use smaller wheels. This gives you a bike that's as easy to pack as a foldable, without any of the problems of a foldable. Even less obvious, and more interesting, is a convertible. No, not the kind with a removable top. The kind that converts from a single to a tandem. Or even a triple! I don't think that we've discovered all the uses for BTCs yet, but I sure am having fun with them! So are my customers!"
Matt Houle, Bicycle Specialties, Seattle, WA

 "Our demonstrator is a rather elderly and much abused Kona Cindercone, which has been fitted with BTCs for about five years. The bike has been used for commuting, offroading, jumping, etc, and almost every part of the bike has broken or worn out of all recognition. Apart from the BTCs - they are still as smooth and shiny as when I fitted them. In normal use, they are completely undetectable - there's no creaks or clunks (wish I could say that about the rest of the bike!), no flex and no loosening. My personal opinion - they are expensive, but not when compared to the cost of a decent folding bike (or the replacement cost of a new bike when the baggage handlers trash yours). They do not make your bike fold really quickly (although if you do not bother with taking out the seatpost, wheels or stem, you can get to a pretty small package in 30 seconds) but you get a real bike at the end of it - no matter what people will tell you, folding bikes always have to compromise on something."
Ben Cooper, Kinetics, Glasgow, UK

 "When folks turn up at our factory who are interested in demountable trikes I get a buzz out of handing them a coupling and watching their reactions...these things need no words from me, they are quite simply superb...."
Martin Arnold, LogoTrikes and HPVs, Spearwood, Western Australia

"First introduced in 1993, the S&S Machine Bicycle Torque Coupling (BTC) has revolutionized the bicycle industry and forever changed the image of travel bikes. Folding tandems with non-standard parts have become obsolete"
Dwan Shepard, Co-Motion Cycles, Eugene, OR

"These high precision couplings are beautifully CNC machined in the USA, specifically for cycle frames using 17-4 (chromium-nickel) stainless steel. The steel is used in a variety of critical applications such as jet engine parts and nuclear reactor components.
The couplings allow the main frame of your bicycle to be separated for easy transport. They are secure, perfectly aligned, strong, durable and undetectable in use." 
Robin Thorn, Thorn, Bridgwater, Somerset, England

"The thing that is most amazing about BTC™ is that they are like the electricity or water in your home. You never think about them. They have worked so well for me that they operate below the consciousness level. They are like the frame tubing on your bike. You just do not think about them after the first few miles on a new bike. A rider often has thoughts in the "back of his mind" about tires, crank arms, even his chain sometimes, but not about his tubing or couplers. Reliable, stiff, strong!"
Bob Davis, Zona Cycles, Peoria, AZ

"Such bikes (S&S Coupled bikes) are a pleasure to take traveling and the advantage over other designs of folding/traveling bike is that there is no compromise in performance or comfort - it's your bike, built for you."
Chase Robert, Roberts Cycles, Croydon, England

 "S&S frame couplers are a superior product that guarantees a quality travel bike. There doesn’t appear to be another system available that allows you to disassemble a single road bike and pack it securely in a hardshell suitcase small enough to travel as standard airline luggage with no oversize charges. Our globe-pedaling customers have been happy with the ease of packing and unpacking their coupler bikes. The S&S bike suitcases also protect the bikes from the bumps and bruises of airline travel."
Brian Myers, Ravello Bicycles, Escondido, CA

" I was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii and have been flying with my bicycle since I was about twelve. Years of logistically complicated bicycle travel, as well as my tendency to be quite hard on cycling equipment, attracted me to the elegance and strength of the S and S BTC design for myself as well as my customers. I have been training for the Cream Puff 100 Mile Mountain Bike Race on an S and S coupled, 29 inch, rigid, single speed mountain bike for the last eight or so months and I have been continually impressed with the S and S Couplers -- not only because they actually stiffen the front triangle considerably but also because they have withstood many miles of technical, abusive singletrack, proven to stay tight and they have required little to no maintenance. I have built several S and S coupled bikes for customers and all have been extremely impressed with the ease of travel and durability of the product."
Sam Hall, Ramblumtick Bikes LLC, Missoula, MT

  "These couplers are superbly designed and precision machined, whether in steel or titanium, to hold each tube together as strongly as if it were one piece. Naturally, we install them with impeccable workmanship into the tubes; we do this before mitering the tubes and building the frame. The couplers add some weight, but otherwise the ride quality of the bicycle is exactly the same."
Lennard Zinn, Zinn Cycles, Boulder, CO

 In general, the best systems available are those that provide key functionality, yet often go unnoticed by the user as a result of the fluid nature in which the system functions.  The S&S Coupler system is just this type of system – user friendly when you need it, and goes unnoticed otherwise.  The key functionality that the S&S system provides is take-apart capability.  When the frame is assembled, the S&S system is benign. The performance of a frame with S&S couplers installed is indistinguishable from the same frame without the couplers installed.  The mechanical integrity of the S&S couplers meets or exceeds the material it replaces.
This phenomenon is similar to what one experiences with a great frameset – the “feel” of a great riding bike - seamless integration of bicycle frame and rider, such that the bike seems to disappear as a separate entity – as a leaf is part of the tree, and the tree is part of the forest.
Matt Klucha,  MSH1 Bicycle Works

 " When I'm not building bicycles I'm riding them. I play a lot of bicycle polo, and this has me travelling to cities all over the world to play. Anyone who has travelled with a bicycle knows what a pain it can be dealing with airlines and all of their extra charges. Riding a coupled bike solves these problems, and other than the convenience when travelling, you'll never know the difference when you're riding your bike. I have seen no other solution that works as well as S & S couplings, so if you plan to travel with your bike S & S couplings are a must!
Justin Gullickson, Star City Cycles

"As a seasoned and intrepid bike tourist, I specialize in the value of mobility. It's my mission to provide a finely tuned and intelligently engineered travel bike; one that can haul you and your gear comfortably, anywhere you want to ride. Adequately equipped, even the roughest road is a passage... so long as there is ground beneath your wheels! Of course, this ground-beneath-the-wheels limitation means that much of the bicycle-navigable world is out of your reach without a lift. For a conventional bike this means a huge box and a big fat fee, followed by an anxious wait at the oversize baggage pick-up area, and a big mess of cardboard and chain grease as you assemble your bike at the airport (since that oversize box won't fit inside a taxi or airport shuttle.) S&S couplings are stronger than the tubes they connect, maintenance and worry free when they're coupled, hassle and surcharge free when they're not. I have them on my own Littleford and I forget they're even there... until, of course, I have to fly somewhere. " "S&S couplings... like wings for bikes." Jon Littleford, Littlford Custom Bicycles


4-2011

Framebuilder list | Cases | Packing | Photos | Reviews | Comments | Retailer list | Installation | Specifications | Cost | Retrofit or new? | Travel adventures

Contact Information

Home Page