Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Wherever good bikes are sold
Bikes: Thylacines...only Thylacines.
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Almost all frames are 7005 these days, or versions thereof, whether low-end or high-end (See: Easton Elite). 6061 is a pain in the ass, as this sad sap who's solution heat treated frames before will attest. 7005 just needs an artificial age, which is much lower temp and much easier to do than a solution heat treat followed by an artificial age.
Having said that, solutioning frames isn't a massive hurdle if you're geared up for it.
There's no royalty to be paid on 7005 frames that I know of. That patent excerpt is vague and appears to be alluding to a manufacturing process rather than an alloy type, or a combo of both. Anyone who can afford the tubes and knows how to weld can weld up a 7005 frame.
Vote #1, 7005!
No, wait! Steel is Real!
No, wait! Ti is Fly!