Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 24 of 24

Thread: copper bike?

  1. #1
    Senior Member meangreen's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Gainesville, FL
    My Bikes
    Schwin Twin, Rayleigh sports (1968), Bianchi (dont know year or type), Green fixed - built to my own desires, Cannondale CAAD9, Schwinn ss build, Fugi something-or-other.
    Posts
    101
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    copper bike?

    Hey everyone, Do you think it would be possible to make a copper bike? I think copper is a pretty soft metal, but is it softer than some of the finer steels? Anyway, I was thinking about looking into this, but I don't really know where to start. I can to calculations, probably, to figure out wall thickness and tube diameter if I can get all the metal properties. I just don't want to do that until I know it is worth it. Also, how would you welt this? Anyone worked with copper before? Brass is an option, but I don't know if would patena.

  2. #2
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    YEG
    My Bikes
    See my sig...
    Posts
    26,407
    Mentioned
    21 Post(s)
    Tagged
    2 Thread(s)
    Build a steel bike, have it copper plated and clear coated.

  3. #3
    tuz
    tuz is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Toronto/Montréal
    My Bikes
    Homemade mixte, track, commuter and road, Ryffranck road
    Posts
    1,160
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    yeah... copper plating is best, it has been done before.

    If you want to look at the numbers, check the Young Modulus, yield strength and density. Cu and Bronze have half the modulus of steel, thus to preserve stiffness, you need twice the wall or increase the diameter by 30%. And Cu/bronze weight a bit more (15%) than steel, so you can see where this is going.

    Then Bronze has half, and copper 1/6th, the yield of steel. So you would need to stiffen up even more to leave a margin of safety... Copper and bronze can be silver brazed, and probably welded too...
    homebuilt commuter, mixte, road and track (+ Ryffranck road)
    bla bla blog

  4. #4
    Senior Member mulveyr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    In the wilds of NY
    My Bikes
    Box Dog Pelican, Raleigh Sojourn, Specialized Secteur, 1991 Cannondale tandem
    Posts
    1,305
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by meangreen View Post
    Hey everyone, Do you think it would be possible to make a copper bike? I think copper is a pretty soft metal, but is it softer than some of the finer steels? Anyway, I was thinking about looking into this, but I don't really know where to start. I can to calculations, probably, to figure out wall thickness and tube diameter if I can get all the metal properties. I just don't want to do that until I know it is worth it. Also, how would you welt this? Anyone worked with copper before? Brass is an option, but I don't know if would patena.
    You realize that a reasonably fit person can bend a copper pipe with their bare hands, right?
    Knows the weight of my bike to the nearest 10 pounds.

  5. #5
    Psycholist radshark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Canada
    My Bikes
    Devinci Amsterdam, Litespeed Teramo
    Posts
    516
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Interesting idea. As others have commented overcoming its mechanical limitations could be a challenge. It would certainly be unique. I'm not sure what fittings you can use.

    Polished up I can imagine it would look awesome.

    If you decide to make one send us a picture.

    Cheers,
    -R.

  6. #6
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    NW,Oregon Coast
    My Bikes
    7
    Posts
    3,088
    Mentioned
    44 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    We had a tank of a mild acid, to clean copper and silver art metalworking stuff
    fire scale, etc.

    dissolved copper would jump on any steel piece put in the cleaning 'pickle' solution.

    that is usually 1st layer of a 3 metal plated chrome part, the 2nd one, nickel,
    so chrome on top is brighter.

  7. #7
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    My Bikes
    ariZona carbon fiber tandem & single
    Posts
    10,102
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Build a copper bike? Sure.
    Ride a copper bike? NO!

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    England
    Posts
    12,418
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    There is a Brooks saddle with copper-plated steel rails that looks really classy. Its a good look, try it out on an old bike first.

  9. #9
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    15
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

  10. #10
    Senior Member meangreen's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Gainesville, FL
    My Bikes
    Schwin Twin, Rayleigh sports (1968), Bianchi (dont know year or type), Green fixed - built to my own desires, Cannondale CAAD9, Schwinn ss build, Fugi something-or-other.
    Posts
    101
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks Guys,

    It looks like if I was planning on riding the bike I should go with copper plated steal. I just need acid and desolved copper to do this fietsbob?

    If i am thinking of making it from an artistic perspective: would be pretty cool.

    I will upload pictures when I get working on it!

  11. #11
    commuter and barbarian scroca's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Potomac, MT, USA
    Posts
    2,210
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Flux and solder. Then you could fill your frame with water and forgo the need for carrying bottles.
    2011 Felt Q620
    2010 Motobecane Jury fixed gear
    2010 Surly LHT
    1992 Trek 1200
    1977 Schwinn Le Tour II fixed gear

  12. #12
    Senior Member meangreen's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Gainesville, FL
    My Bikes
    Schwin Twin, Rayleigh sports (1968), Bianchi (dont know year or type), Green fixed - built to my own desires, Cannondale CAAD9, Schwinn ss build, Fugi something-or-other.
    Posts
    101
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by scroca View Post
    Flux and solder. Then you could fill your frame with water and forgo the need for carrying bottles.
    I dont understand what you mean. Is this a joke or something?

  13. #13
    Senior Member mulveyr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    In the wilds of NY
    My Bikes
    Box Dog Pelican, Raleigh Sojourn, Specialized Secteur, 1991 Cannondale tandem
    Posts
    1,305
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by meangreen View Post
    I dont understand what you mean. Is this a joke or something?
    Consider the most common use for copper piping...
    Knows the weight of my bike to the nearest 10 pounds.

  14. #14
    Senior Member meangreen's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Gainesville, FL
    My Bikes
    Schwin Twin, Rayleigh sports (1968), Bianchi (dont know year or type), Green fixed - built to my own desires, Cannondale CAAD9, Schwinn ss build, Fugi something-or-other.
    Posts
    101
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    This could be the same one
    \http://www.cycleexif.com/ant-bikes-copper-and-wood

    This is awesome and exactly what i am looking to do. Is this copper plated?
    Last edited by meangreen; 05-20-11 at 04:33 PM. Reason: I keep referencing the wrong link and misread the post. It was a long day.

  15. #15
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    YEG
    My Bikes
    See my sig...
    Posts
    26,407
    Mentioned
    21 Post(s)
    Tagged
    2 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by meangreen View Post
    I dont understand what you mean. Is this a joke or something?
    Yes.

  16. #16
    Senior Member meangreen's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Gainesville, FL
    My Bikes
    Schwin Twin, Rayleigh sports (1968), Bianchi (dont know year or type), Green fixed - built to my own desires, Cannondale CAAD9, Schwinn ss build, Fugi something-or-other.
    Posts
    101
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by mulveyr View Post
    Consider the most common use for copper piping...
    I see. What a great dad joke. :-)

  17. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    114
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    One of his bikes that particularly spoke to me was this wood and copper creation, built for show, and what a showpiece it is. The Phil Wood hubs have been copper-plated, as was the bar and stem combo, lugs and forks. Mike hand cut the plates for the pedals which were then also copper-plated, engineered a spoon-style brake, and sourced wooden rims to match the main tubes. Wooden grips and a Brooks saddle with copper-plated rails are the finishing touch.
    Presumably you can read since you're posting and replying.

  18. #18
    Senior Member clasher's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Kitchener, ONT
    Posts
    1,515
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You're thinking the wrong way... best way to go would be a cast bronze frame.

  19. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    4,757
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Just because I find this intriguing and I want to refinish my Salsa, I called some electroplating services.
    A copper finish that can patina from a new penny to the Statue of Liberty over a period of years will cost about $500-$600 less sandblasting.

  20. #20
    Senior Member meangreen's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Gainesville, FL
    My Bikes
    Schwin Twin, Rayleigh sports (1968), Bianchi (dont know year or type), Green fixed - built to my own desires, Cannondale CAAD9, Schwinn ss build, Fugi something-or-other.
    Posts
    101
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    That's not too bad. Someone said something about about using an acid solution. Can you leave more information? I am a chemical engineer with materials research in stuff similar to electroplating. If you don't need a vacuum we could maybe come up with an at home sop? Maybe it would be too dangerous. I have an problem of never seeing the sky.

  21. #21
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    4,757
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by meangreen View Post
    That's not too bad. Someone said something about about using an acid solution. Can you leave more information? I am a chemical engineer with materials research in stuff similar to electroplating. If you don't need a vacuum we could maybe come up with an at home sop? Maybe it would be too dangerous. I have an problem of never seeing the sky.
    http://www.advancedplating.com/pricing.htm
    ^^^
    Those guys quoted me that price.
    Google comes up with some home kits that work in 5 gallon drums. For a bike frame though building the tank would be more trouble than I'd care to deal with--especially since I want to do just one frame.

    edit: http://www.caswellplating.com/kits/flashcopper.html
    ^^^^
    That's the home kit I googled up.

  22. #22
    Senior Member meangreen's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Gainesville, FL
    My Bikes
    Schwin Twin, Rayleigh sports (1968), Bianchi (dont know year or type), Green fixed - built to my own desires, Cannondale CAAD9, Schwinn ss build, Fugi something-or-other.
    Posts
    101
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I wonder how they get rid of the cyanide? Anyway, I will have to look into that link. I was worried this would be impossible because of the hazards of cooper cyanide.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Captain Blight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Minneapolis
    My Bikes
    -1973 Motobecane Mirage -197? Velosolex L'Etoile -'71 Raleigh Super Course
    Posts
    2,474
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    This is really interesting to me. I'm kicking around the idea of ***-bluing the main tubes on one of my bikes and having the lugs copper-plated. I think I'd have to blue the whole frame, and I really don't want to go to the trouble of a traditional rust-blueing. There is a process called 'fume-bluing' where the part is placed in a cabinet along with separate, open containers of hydrochloric and nitric acid. Apparently when they combine on the steel it can give a very deep, lustrous blue. Phil Pilkington, the inventor of this process, claims it can be painted and plated over with no ill effects; and I'm thinking that if i do a phosphoric acid wash before bluing it will provide some greater measure of rust protection. Of course, so would a good coat of carnauba wax and not riding it except on the sunniest of days.

    Now that the bike shop season's in full swing and we've got the financial rubberbanding straightened out, I can afford to spend some money on stuff other than the bare necessities. Hopefully I can get back to y'all with some pics of how it turns out.
    '71 Raleigh Super Course ("Loose Change")
    '74 Raleigh Professional
    '7? VeloSolex L'Etoile rando build ("Chocolate Star")
    '77 Peugeot UE/O-8/10/9 mongrel
    '81 Trek 616
    '87 Trek 560 Pro Series
    '88 Schwinn Impact ("Burning Chrome")
    '92 Specialized Allez Comp
    '08 Specialized Crossroads winterbike ("Icicle the Bicycle")

  24. #24
    Senior Member FlatSix911's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Los Altos, CA
    Posts
    1,632
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks for sharing this artwork ...


    Quote Originally Posted by rjtedge View Post
    Last edited by FlatSix911; 05-22-11 at 07:42 PM.
    You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
    You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
    You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
    You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.
    You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •