Gentlemen (and ladies),
i recently recieved an email from Rod Wylie wondering what was up with the aluminum frames i spoke so much of back in the day. the “day” being late december…
well here’s the update:
since early january i’ve been studying my ass off. this is the first intense term i’ve had since i began my miserable yet soon to be over career as a mechanical engineering student. school has taken up way too much of my time and i’ve almost completely put the uni project on the backburner.
some professors have gladly given me some very valuable advice on the heat treating process i need to use after bending and before welding of the sheet aluminum that i plan to use for the frame. this was my only hangup and has now been solved.
in short, i’ve been fairly unproductive as far as manufacturing goes. my school term will be done in a few weeks (we only have eleven week terms in which we cram sixteen weeks of class time, hence the intensity) so i will be back at home where the magic can happen.
I talked quite a bit with Ben plotkin-Swing on the AOL instant messenger and he gave me his opinions on seat tube diameters and some other things. ben, if your reading this i appreciate it all and your still on the top of my list for testing/sponsorship…
the design for the 20" trials frame is designed totally around a profile hubset and a monty tire. the spacing of the legs is such that the inside of the frames legs will be about a sixteenth of an inch from the outside of the hub. i plan on including custom spacers to properly and cleanly maintain this spacing.
the fork legs stay a constant 3 inches apart from bearing holder to where they beign to follow the contour of the monty tire, and the frame will be 4.5 inches wide at it’s widest point, the top. the inside of the frame will follow the profile of the monty tire very closely with more than enough room for mud clearance and whatnot.
the top of the frame will slope down slightly from the seat tube to its outermost part in two flat sections, but will not be angled froward like the holme frame. this should provide adaquate placement of the foot for gliding and such, but was not a primary concern in the design.
the aluminum frame was figured on a CAD program to wiegh just under a pound, but i’ve since decided to make the first frames from 14 gauge rather than 16 guage aluminum, so they’ll wiegh in at a bit more.
at first i planned on only making a twenty inch frame and then later considering a 24" version. i’m now going to be producing both at the same time.
the twentyfour will be very similar to the above described 20, but will be disigned around a 3" gazz. it will have slightly more room for mud clearance being that it will most likely see more dirt than a twenty incher.
i’m planning on making a flush mount brake option on every 24 incher that can accept a four bolt magura set up with some spacers that will be included with the frame. if brakes are not run, there will be no protrusions and everything will still look pretty.
ben helped me decide to go with a 27.2 diameter seat tube on both frames. i was considering running a bit larger to fit a uni specific seat post that i also plan on offering.
the seat post will be aluminum with an angle adjustment similar to that on a thomson seatpost and a bit of forward and back adjustments. they will come with a top plate that will mount deirectly to a velo seat and i’ll probably end up making optional plates to fit schwinns and miyatas bolt patterns.
i’ve yet to throw the 24 into cad so i’m not sure of what it will wiegh, but stiffness around the brake area should be adequate. if the first run shows any flex i’ll have to go with an internal brake booster type plate. i’m guessing without any such plate it will probably a pound and a half at the most and be stiff as hell.
Since i will be doing all the manufacturing in my garage (excluding the laser cutting) custom seat tube diameters and lengths will be very easy for me to offer. a seat tube with a permanently mounted plate at custom angles should be fairly appealing for durability and weight savings, as well as give you that “i’ve got a custom uni designed around me, and you don’t” feeling that everyone loves.
Rod, i appreciate your interest and promise you and everyone else that these frames will be made available to you within the next few months.
since my computer access is low while i’m at school i haven’t been visiting the forums on a regular basis. if anyone wishes to contact me with questions please feel free to email me at:
i will post any replies on the forum.
thank you to all that have shown interest and support. i’m looking forward to begining a career that will benefit those with similar passions to my own.
almost CEO of ALPHA Cycling Innovations, INC.