• This topic has 25 replies, 15 voices, and was last updated 11 years ago by cp.
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  • UK frame builder who builds with aluminium?
  • Premier Icon garlic
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    Does anyone know of a good UK custom frame builder who works with aluminium? I’d Prefer someone who has experience of building good MTB frames if possible.

    Premier Icon cynic-al
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    I don’t think one exists. They all build in steel.

    Happy to b proven wrong

    Premier Icon thomthumb
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    why alu?

    Premier Icon BlingBling
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    Why not?

    Premier Icon thomthumb
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    i have no preference against steel. i’m just wondering why garlic has decided on a alu framed bike. 🙂

    it is, as proven, an unusual choice for custom

    Premier Icon turnip
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    alu is much harder to make in small numbers, people use steel because its cheap and easy to assemble.

    But then throw some marketing in and you all fall for the ” twangy souldful ride” crap

    Premier Icon BlingBling
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    turnip, that was my point.

    Premier Icon brant
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    Alu needs heat treatment which requires additional kit/large one off expenses (really, though you can do 7005 without to 85% with age hardening).

    Also “tubesets” are kind of harder to get compared to being able to buy from Reynolds stock.

    Premier Icon zokes
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    But then throw some marketing in and you all fall for the ” twangy souldful ride” crap

    So why does my double butted 853 steel HT ride better than my double butted alu HT?

    Premier Icon brant
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    So why does my double butted 853 steel HT ride better than my double butted alu HT?

    Because you want it to 😉

    Premier Icon BlingBling
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    best.putdown.eva

    Premier Icon zokes
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    Really? Because I want it to? Right…..

    Where does knock-off Lynksey Ti fit in then Brant? 😉

    EDIT: Ah, got it now. It’s because I bought a Cotic and not a scaffolding-tubed Inbred. I see….

    Premier Icon BlingBling
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    Lighten up dude, you’re not the only person to buy into that sh!t 😉

    Here we go…..

    Premier Icon turnip
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    roflol sorry i was in a grump, not trying to troll

    Premier Icon vinnyeh
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    best.putdown.eva

    Don’t reckon that’s a putdown- a fair bit of this game is subjective, and you’ve got to recognise that 😉

    Premier Icon big_n_daft
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    try Bob Jackson or Dolan

    Premier Icon hugo rune
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    Orange bikes – you might have heard of them.

    edit Oh you said custom, sorry!

    Premier Icon thepodge
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    google Vernon Barker in sheffield.

    he does Steel, Aluminium and Titanium.

    he does road bikes mainly but has and will do mountain bikes

    Premier Icon cp
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    there was a guy a few years back making full suspension frames in the UK, he did FS tandems aswell – all aluminium. Dont think he made hardtails though. i remember seeing them in something like mbi. they did a ‘profile’ of him. the bikes were available in two colours – a very pale matte blue (a bit paler than a 456) and a pale matte yellow.

    can’t remember for toffee what they were called though. I can remember what they looked like clear as day – shock mounted under the top tube, with a linkage swinging down from the top tube just behind the shock.

    Premier Icon garlic
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    Can you build a reliable 7005 alu frame without post-weld heat treatment? Brant mentioned 85%(I take it that means percentage of potential strength, correct me if I’m wrong though…). Would that make a safe, reliable ridable frame?

    Also, I’m aware of the different properties of different brands/types of steel tubing because this stuff get discussed to death but does anyone have opinions on the different types of alu tubing available: 7005, 6061, Easton tubsets, Alcoa etc? if anyone knows of any good resources on the web?

    Premier Icon jackthedog
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    CP – sounds like you’re thinking of Loui Colella.

    Premier Icon compositepro
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    85 percent may just be above the 100 percent of heat treated baseline 6061
    so in theory it could be stronger (sweeping statement not always the case)

    theres more that comes into play than just the material each alloy has its own little idiosyncrosies that you need to be aware of beforehand

    Premier Icon garlic
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    Thanks Compositepro,

    So why was 6061 so popular on posh ‘handmade in the USA’ bikes? My old Heckler was made of 6061 yet my Kona Cindercone was 7005?

    Anyone got any ideas?

    Premier Icon compositepro
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    6061 isnt a bad material at mountain cycle mucho 6061 – 6069 aluminium was used mainly it was cheap and good for what it was being used for and available abundently if we wanted 7 series it was custom drawn and 3 times the price

    There are some drawbacks to using any 7000 alloys in the weldable range and more to be had as you get to near to the 7050 range materials which need to be doped if you want to weld them

    6061 is a good tough all round aluminium it doesn’t suffer from some of the freakish occurences as with 7xxx material

    sometimes even if your using 7000 series to get it to resist certain freakiness there needs to be an oveageing process to securely make sure it isn’t going to die prematurely this in itself reduces the materials suceptability to freakiness but also reduces its ultimate strength by 15% so its the same as not heat treating so its just a different animal…anodize it it becomes a different animal again

    theres lots of little numbers after aluminium for example 6083 slightly different to 6061 but different properties

    the taiwanese liked to get rid of the heat treat cycle its an extra cost
    but then it also has its benefits
    heat treating is a bit of an art in itself and writing off a bunch of bannana shaped frames isn’t an option really

    of course the devil is in the details and you can design some pretty shit hot stuff if you know what your material is going to do

    Premier Icon cp
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    jackthedog – yep, that sounds familiar! Thankyou 🙂

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