ICAN is a company based in Shenzhen, China that has been building carbon fibre sporting goods for many years. They originally started off as an OEM and have recently started to sell items under their own name. These products have predominantly been wheels and of late bike frames.
The bike frame that was sent for review was a bare red ICAN A22, the retail value of this is circa $800USD. For what seems like a small sum, you get a lot of bike for your money, the frame, handlebars, thru axles, seat post, headset, bearings, top cap are all included. The frame is an “Aero” style disc equipped unit. It is shares some similarities to the Canyon Aeroad.
Frame manufacturing and quality
ICAN supplied this frame with a machined bottom bracket. That is quite unusual as that is a costly and time consuming process. Given the price of the frame and accessories it is a welcome addition. Some commenters on the YouTube video review suggested this may be a “Hambini Special” and would not be available to everyone, ICAN responded this was standard manufacturing method across the board.
The geometry accuracy across the frame between datum and accessory points was very good. There was little angular deviation or distortion.
Seatpost, Handlebars (Contact Points)
The seatpost features a knurled wedge, this is an intricate part and the addition of knurling to reduce the requirement of carbon grip paste is very welcome. The seatpost has a semi aerodynamic profile, the tail section being cut off for structural reasons. This is linked to a micro adjustment seat post which allows for a large degree of tilt adjustment. This seatpost may not be suitable for seats with carbon rails.
From a practical perspective, the inclusion of an integrated stem and handlebar combination means the angles and the lengths are fixed unless you change those components. ICAN do offer a number of different sizes so it is wise to check before ordering.
There are some other features on this frame that would be worthy of a premium unit. The steering tube spacers are anodized and the fitment is very good. Someone has thought about the cable routing and the bend radii are as large as they could reasonably obtain within the size constraints. The rider is unlikely to get a Specialized steerer tube type failure on this bike.
The front fork on this bike is carbon. It has a tapered headset arrangement, the bearings for this are included. The bottom bearing is approximately 1.5″ whilst the top is 1.1/4″. Both bearing seats are tapered do fit into the frame. The steerer tube has plenty of excess and will require cutting for all applications. The fork is set up for hydraulic applications and features a drilled hole to accept a hydraulic line which is routed internally to the front caliper.
Left and right fork leg alignment was good. The threaded inserts had a little overspray of paint on them which was easily removed. The threads were clean and uniform.
Internally, the frame was extremely clean, there were no displacement voids or indications of poor carbon layup. The drillings for the bottle holder rivnuts showed now fraying which indicates well compressed layers and care taken to drill the holes.
Transit times, packaging, customs charges
Transit times from China are around 3 to 4 weeks. The bike frame arrived well packed with no cosmetic damage. The instructions are quite sparse so if you are a newbie to bike building then you may want to get some external help for assembly. If you are familiar with bike construction then this should be no problem.