Steelworks bicycle. The future of bike building?

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  • Steelworks bicycle. The future of bike building?
  • I was at a 24 hr cycling event st the Nürburg Ring at the weekend and in the expo area was a huge stand from Steelworks bikes presenting their new bikes. They basically produce the steel frames from flat sheets, press them and then ,with a robot welder, join the two halves together. The frames look more like carbon apart from a thin ridge running the length of the frame where the weld is. Didn’t get to test ride one as I was busy racing but seemed like a very interesting idea.
    Steelworks

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    Nothing new under the sun:

    Premier Icon Mary Hinge
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    Aren’t Orange 5s made like that?

    willard
    Member

    Nice looking bike on their website, shame about the website.

    I thought Orange bikes were many small bits of steel welded together, rather than just two bits welded in the middle.

    IHN
    Member

    Nothing new under the sun:

    Cor, remember when those Spesh Enduros came out and we all thought that they were a proper big burly bike that most people didn’t really need?

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
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    Orange downtubes are made from a single sheet, folded to make a tube and welded. I think they’ve been getting other tubes hydroformed for a while now though.

    Originally it was because they had the kit to do it and it had advantages. Back in the days of the 222/patriot/sub5/sub3 it made sense as the alternative was a butted tube but with a constant circumference. Folding it meant they could change the shape and dimensions along the tube so it could fit to the BB, pivot and headtube. The 222 was IIRC both the stiffest and lightest DH bike of the time? These days they could probably hydroform it but it’s become a bit of a USP.

    Premier Icon Northwind
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    Also, they’re not steel.

    Premier Icon tthew
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    The slogan at the top of the website – engineered to be unbreakable – seems a bit rash! Sure there are riders that would like to put that to the test. Maybe they give some to Ineos riders, they seem pretty handy at snapping them Pinarello’s in half. 😊

    brakes
    Member

    might they be manufactured in Port Talbot? tested at Afan?

    randomist
    Member

    “Engineered to be unbreakable” just means it’s poorly engineered for the vast majority of users and vastly heavier than it needs to be. It’s very easy to make something that won’t break, but very difficult to make it as light as possible without breaking.

    Clamshell or monocoque constructions are nothing new, in steel or aluminum. They have a lot of advantages in a lot of applications, but are often superseded by more recent fabrication methods. Still, if you want a frame that is manufactured in the same way as an Easter egg…

    just means it’s poorly engineered for the vast majority of users and vastly heavier than it needs to be

    Would generally agree but they are making some bold claims about the frames being light as aluminium. Maybe they could be onto something here and making some genuine innovations.

    Premier Icon funkynick
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    Considering the company behind it appears to be Thyssonkrupp, one of the world’s largest steel producers, and also a huge engineering company, I’d be more inclined than not to believe what they are claiming…

    Now, whether it actually ever makes it further than a few special project bikes will be interesting to see…

    hols2
    Member

    The old Spesh P3 got its name from the “Centerfold” construction where the two halves of the frame were welded together (Centerfold = naked lady pictures = page 3). My guess is that the Centerfold bikes would have started out with a sheet of metal that was rolled to varying thicknesses depending on the stresses in that part of the frame, then folded and welded. That would give much more control over the distribution of material than just using round tubing. I think that was abandoned because of developments in hydrofomed tubes made it possible to control wall thickness on complex shapes. However, IIRC, Spesh had a lot of problems with cracking frames around that time.

    mt
    Member

    As I recall Cunningham made a pressed frame with bolt on Steat and chainstays. It subsequently became the Nishiki Alien (I think).

    Also motorbike frames have been made the same way.

    submarined
    Member

    *looks back at images of his Marin Quake, shudders a bit, leaves thread*

    Premier Icon funkrodent
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    Not sure about the science behind it, but certainly it looks amazing. Nothing like any other steel bike that I’ve seen. The fact that Thyssen Krupp are behind it lends it credibility. It’ll be interesting to see if it ever makes it to mass production, and if so how much one will cost..

    Premier Icon ratherbeintobago
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    might they be manufactured in Port Talbot?

    Try Essen?

    jkomo
    Member

    Too much: stupid punctuation #imout.

    hols2
    Member

    Their “Unbreakable” claim is nonsense. What they are saying is that it didn’t break when subjected to an industry standard test that any quality bike should pass. In other words, any good quality bike is “unbreakable” by their standard, even though they do break quite frequently when people launch them off big drops, etc.

    Here’s a critique of the ISO standard:
    https://www.zedler.de/en/zedler-aktuell/publikationen/news-detail/the-iso-4210-standard-for-bike-tests-sets-a-floor-not-a-ceiling.html

    Premier Icon mick_r
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    Tooling cost for making steel pressings? Especially as bikes come in different sizes (unlike car body shells which just replace a few pressings rather than the whole thing for long / short versions).

    It’ll be a publicity project for Thyssen – interesting to see if it ever ends up as a full range of products you can buy.

    Ive been involved in the testing of an axle made on similar principles for weight reduction. It has been on sale for a number of years and has been pretty successful, but again only needs one size of basic pressings.

    eddyesi
    Member

    Just found this as found a story about the bike, led me here.

    Being able to stamp out with variable thickness, and keep it flat enough to weld together isn’t easy
    https://steelworks.bike/en/story

    Tooling is more expensive than a carbon layup mould, but a lot quicker to make, so has a proper long term benefit for higher volume, and eminently more recyclable too.

    Now appears to be taking pre-order, Does look rather special, but should be for the price €6k basic !

    Premier Icon jameso
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    mcj78
    Member

    Looks interesting, I like the engineering concept – not entirely sure they’ll find many roadies willing to shell out £9k on a bike that weighs 8.5kg & only comes in M or L though

Viewing 23 posts - 1 through 23 (of 23 total)

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