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Show us your unique bike that no one else has

Old 05-13-21, 06:00 PM
  #701  
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I didn't own it, and I have no photos to prove it, but maybe 20 or 25 years ago I got to ride a true unicorn - a beryllium-framed bike. I swear on a stack of Clement Criterium Setas.

A friend of mine worked for a company that made aerospace components. They had a competitive advantage because the owner had bought a bunch of beryllium in the 1970s for fairly cheap and could therefore underbid others and still build quality stuff to very exacting tolerances. For whatever reason, somebody in charge got a bug up his (almost certainly his, not her) backside to try designing and building beryllium bike frames. Beryllium is plenty stiff and really light, so it seemed like a workable idea. Yeah, working with beryllium requires extreme care (inhaling pretty much any beryllium dust is fatal, although you can lick a solid tube of it and suffer no ill effects, not that I'd recommend it) but they had plenty of experience with that. So they built a couple frames. I know they built at least one mountain bike frame and one road frame - they may have built more, but very, very few, as in single digits.

I never saw the mountain bike frame, but my friend was able to bring the built-up road frame home and invited me to take it out for a shake down cruise. Granted, that's like inviting Ma & Pa Kettle to test-drive a Lamborghini, but hey, who was I to say no?

It was rather small for me, but I took it out for maybe ten miles. IIRC, it was decked out in the then-latest Dura Ace everything. It looked . . . like a road bike. The tube diameters and angles looked perfectly normal. I don't recall if the tubes were oversized or old-school, but their dimensions were nothing out of the ordinary for the time. It was unpainted and in my memory it was sort of oilive-ish dark-khaki-ish green (I could be misremembering that). If you didn't know what it was, it looked like just another high-end road bike.

It rode . . . like a bike. I wasn't able to get a full sense of the frame because of the shortness of the ride and my less-than-stellar shape at the time, but I recall it riding like any good, stiff, responsive, steel frame. It certainly got going right now when I did my pathetic imitation of dropping the hammer, but mostly it felt quite normal in a good, familiar way.

What was remarkable was the weight - that thing was idiotically light. No, I don't know how much it weighed but it was noticeably lighter than anything aluminum, titanium or anything else. My friend also handed me a beryllium bottom bracket axle (loose, not installed). It was light as a feather - literally, not figuratively. A real eye opener.

Nothing further ever came of these, at least not that I heard. My friend thought the Sultan of Brunei bought the mountain bike (that's perfect, somehow), but I never heard a word about what happened to the road bike or any additional frames, if indeed there were any.

So if you want to talk about unobtanium, I've ridden it, however briefly.
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Old 05-13-21, 06:22 PM
  #702  
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Originally Posted by steelbikeguy View Post
I think we need a photo of someone riding this while using the aero-bars! That would be a sight!

Steve in Peoria
I need to lose another 20 lbs before I get back on it - otherwise I'll pass out as my stomach chokes me to death. It's also very unforgiving of neck fat. If you have any, cranning your head back so you can see the road ahead makes you go blind.
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Old 05-13-21, 06:27 PM
  #703  
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Originally Posted by bikingshearer View Post
I didn't own it, and I have no photos to prove it, but maybe 20 or 25 years ago I got to ride a true unicorn - a beryllium-framed bike. I swear on a stack of Clement Criterium Setas.
.
I do recall seeing an article about a frame built with beryllium tubing. I think it was made of sheet that was wrapped into a tube and seam welded. I think I remember it because I was working on a satellite project at the time and understood how special beryllium was (I think it was often used as a structural material for some satellites due to the low weight and possibly some thermal properties)

Clearly, there was no chance it could ever go into production. Not sure what the point was...

Steve in Peoria
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Old 05-13-21, 06:36 PM
  #704  
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Originally Posted by Johno59 View Post
I need to lose another 20 lbs before I get back on it - otherwise I'll pass out as my stomach chokes me to death. It's also very unforgiving of neck fat. If you have any, cranning your head back so you can see the road ahead makes you go blind.
this is the only photo that I have of someone riding a funny bike that is handy....



I guess I can imagine how someone could get down on the aero-bars.. but, yeah, it's not for amateurs!

Steve in Peoria
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Old 05-13-21, 06:39 PM
  #705  
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Iverson Grand Touring folder, strange handlebars, 451 wheels




Kinda looks European(?), rides just incredible.




Exclusiv German folder


Added a seatpost (25.8mm) and seat

I wonder who actually made this bike.

EXCLUSIV "Deluxe"
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Old 05-13-21, 07:25 PM
  #706  
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Originally Posted by steelbikeguy View Post
this is the only photo that I have of someone riding a funny bike that is handy....



I guess I can imagine how someone could get down on the aero-bars.. but, yeah, it's not for amateurs!

Steve in Peoria

The idea was to get your back horizontal to reduce wind resistance. Moser here showing how it's done.
Your Raleigh guy looks like he's going to the pub.
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Old 05-19-21, 03:05 AM
  #707  
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Does it have a serial number on the non drive rear dropout? There are many possibilities but it might be a Freddie Grubb frame. Serial number will help determine.
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Old 05-19-21, 06:35 AM
  #708  
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Originally Posted by Murray Missile View Post
Probably not what the OP had in mind and I doubt anyone else would even want one LOL but I've only seen one other and that was very beat up white one on a YouTube video. Guessing by the stars and stripes graphics maybe a 1976, made by Nissan..... it's a "Cherry"...... It appears to be about entry level LBS quality, aluminum wheels, Suntour derailleurs, etc. It was so obscure I just had to have it, plus it was wearing a brand new pair of Kendas that cost what they were asking for the bike.







I find this bike very cool! Just low-key, understated kind of cool except for the saddle. That must be straight up the ugliest saddle I've ever seen

I'd love to find something similar
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Old 05-19-21, 07:10 AM
  #709  
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Originally Posted by bikingshearer View Post
I didn't own it, and I have no photos to prove it, but maybe 20 or 25 years ago I got to ride a true unicorn - a beryllium-framed bike. I swear on a stack of Clement Criterium Setas.

A friend of mine worked for a company that made aerospace components. They had a competitive advantage because the owner had bought a bunch of beryllium in the 1970s for fairly cheap and could therefore underbid others and still build quality stuff to very exacting tolerances. For whatever reason, somebody in charge got a bug up his (almost certainly his, not her) backside to try designing and building beryllium bike frames. Beryllium is plenty stiff and really light, so it seemed like a workable idea. Yeah, working with beryllium requires extreme care (inhaling pretty much any beryllium dust is fatal, although you can lick a solid tube of it and suffer no ill effects, not that I'd recommend it) but they had plenty of experience with that. So they built a couple frames. I know they built at least one mountain bike frame and one road frame - they may have built more, but very, very few, as in single digits.

I never saw the mountain bike frame, but my friend was able to bring the built-up road frame home and invited me to take it out for a shake down cruise. Granted, that's like inviting Ma & Pa Kettle to test-drive a Lamborghini, but hey, who was I to say no?

It was rather small for me, but I took it out for maybe ten miles. IIRC, it was decked out in the then-latest Dura Ace everything. It looked . . . like a road bike. The tube diameters and angles looked perfectly normal. I don't recall if the tubes were oversized or old-school, but their dimensions were nothing out of the ordinary for the time. It was unpainted and in my memory it was sort of oilive-ish dark-khaki-ish green (I could be misremembering that). If you didn't know what it was, it looked like just another high-end road bike.

It rode . . . like a bike. I wasn't able to get a full sense of the frame because of the shortness of the ride and my less-than-stellar shape at the time, but I recall it riding like any good, stiff, responsive, steel frame. It certainly got going right now when I did my pathetic imitation of dropping the hammer, but mostly it felt quite normal in a good, familiar way.

What was remarkable was the weight - that thing was idiotically light. No, I don't know how much it weighed but it was noticeably lighter than anything aluminum, titanium or anything else. My friend also handed me a beryllium bottom bracket axle (loose, not installed). It was light as a feather - literally, not figuratively. A real eye opener.

Nothing further ever came of these, at least not that I heard. My friend thought the Sultan of Brunei bought the mountain bike (that's perfect, somehow), but I never heard a word about what happened to the road bike or any additional frames, if indeed there were any.

So if you want to talk about unobtanium, I've ridden it, however briefly.
There is a beryllium plant near my house that processes the metal into bars and rods for machining. I got to handle some finished pieces while on a factory tour and I can vouch for the lightness. A bolt the size of your thumb had the weight of a paper clip. I would guess the reason beryllium never caught on for bikes would be the cost. From what they said at the factory tour, all their product goes to military and aerospace use.
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Old 05-19-21, 09:11 AM
  #710  
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Originally Posted by bikingshearer View Post
It was unpainted and in my memory it was sort of oilive-ish dark-khaki-ish green (I could be misremembering that)
Sounds like it could have been made of beryllium copper alloy, which often contains 0.2 to 2 % of actual beryllium. Then again, what you said about the bikes' weight, that percentage would have been much higher to compensate for the copper. I read that there are aluminum-beryllium alloys too, and that pure beryllium is hard but fragile and cracks easily.

Very interesting indeed! Would be nice to have one of those pop up in an auction or a collection.

​​Kinda bugs me that they blow up this rare material with the missiles it's used in. There could be so many other uses too

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Old 05-19-21, 11:05 AM
  #711  
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Originally Posted by Krov9 View Post
Sounds like it could have been made of beryllium copper alloy, which often contains 0.2 to 2 % of actual beryllium. Then again, what you said about the bikes' weight, that percentage would have been much higher to compensate for the copper. I read that there are aluminum-beryllium alloys too, and that pure beryllium is hard but fragile and cracks easily.

Very interesting indeed! Would be nice to have one of those pop up in an auction or a collection.

​​Kinda bugs me that they blow up this rare material with the missiles it's used in. There could be so many other uses too
Beryllium-copper is used in some electrical connector pins. IIRC, it makes a nice spring material that is also conductive.
I recall some semiconductors using beryllium oxide as the thermal path (again, IIRC). There was always concern because particles of beryllium oxide are quite toxic.

Missiles and that sort of stuff are chock full of fancy materials. Considering that they might be protecting an aircraft worth a hundred million dollars, that's probably money well spent.

Steve in Peoria
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Old 05-19-21, 11:59 AM
  #712  
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Originally Posted by Pompiere View Post
There is a beryllium plant near my house that processes the metal into bars and rods for machining. I got to handle some finished pieces while on a factory tour and I can vouch for the lightness. A bolt the size of your thumb had the weight of a paper clip. I would guess the reason beryllium never caught on for bikes would be the cost. From what they said at the factory tour, all their product goes to military and aerospace use.
From what I understand, what is needed to set up an acceptable welding environment for beryllium makes working with titanium look like an 8th grade shop class project. Such welding environments are spendy.

I know the folks who made the frames did a lot of aerospace work (including for Space Shuttle payloads). I suspect but don't know that they did a goodly amount of military stuff, too. I do remember hearing that the tolerances to which they had to build stuff were beyond my imagination, and waaaaay beyond anything I could ever accomplish. As a Poli Sci/History major, my knowledge of such things is less than detailed.
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Old 05-19-21, 02:27 PM
  #713  
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I don't know that anybody else has an orange '86 Miyata 912 with Campagnolo 3x9.
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Old 05-19-21, 03:41 PM
  #714  
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Originally Posted by Krov9 View Post
I find this bike very cool! Just low-key, understated kind of cool except for the saddle. That must be straight up the ugliest saddle I've ever seen

I'd love to find something similar
You'll get no argument here BUT, it has the tool bag sewn into it! How cool (odd) is that? Ugly or not it's gotta stay with the bike, they were made for each other. I've only seen one other of those as well online. I haven't ridden it yet but I have to believe it is as uncomfortable as it is ugly. I'm going to clean this one up, tune it and preserve it just the way it is.
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Old 05-19-21, 04:00 PM
  #715  
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A 1987 Cannondale "Competition ST", I got it off eBay back in 2016, if I remember correctly it was from Bedford PA (which caught my eye). I believe the paint to be a custom order, done-at-the-factory, there's a clear-coat over all factory lettering and it all looks very original, not a respray. I had it shipped to my mother's house in Oil City PA, then shipped it to Ireland. Most expensive "inexpensive" bike I ever bought, customs got me for VAT and duty, it didn't matter it was secondhand (there are special rules for bikes, I think it's designed to keep people from bringing in containers of crappy bikes that end up getting dumped).

I built it up for my wife w/Ultegra 10 speed; she rode it once, didn't really like it. I'll keep it forever.



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Old 05-20-21, 09:59 PM
  #716  
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Since @ridelikeaturtle presented such a beautimous example, here's my counter: a PK10. Liked or hated by all, there are no neutral reactions. Original owners dad hand painted kaleidoscope color over a pearl white Peugeot. One of my best buys as it was crashed. Cost me $50 plus a six pack of gratitude beer for @gugie to straighten the fork, I added a replacement Normandy Luxe front wheel, bar tape, cables and Gravel King tires. Don

1979 PKN10

My Bike Spot

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Old 05-21-21, 12:06 AM
  #717  
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Originally Posted by ollo_ollo View Post
Since @ridelikeaturtle presented such a beautimous example, here's my counter: a PK10. Liked or hated by all, there are no neutral reactions. Original owners dad hand painted kaleidoscope color over a pearl white Peugeot. One of my best buys as it was crashed. Cost me $50 plus a six pack of gratitude beer for @gugie to straighten the fork, I added a replacement Normandy Luxe front wheel, bar tape, cables and Gravel King tires. Don

1979 PKN10

My Bike Spot
i like it! some black rims with machined sidewalls would really make it pop, but the silver ones look great as well

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Old 05-21-21, 12:13 AM
  #718  
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Originally Posted by Murray Missile View Post





"luke...i am your saddle!!"
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Old 05-21-21, 07:11 AM
  #719  
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Originally Posted by mirfi View Post
Iverson Grand Touring folder, strange handlebars, 451 wheels




Kinda looks European(?), rides just incredible.




Exclusiv German folder


Added a seatpost (25.8mm) and seat

I wonder who actually made this bike.

EXCLUSIV "Deluxe"
I think I have seen a similar frame on some DDR bikes, maybe same manufacturer but under a different brand?
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Old 05-21-21, 07:15 AM
  #720  
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Originally Posted by ridelikeaturtle View Post
A 1987 Cannondale "Competition ST", I got it off eBay back in 2016, if I remember correctly it was from Bedford PA (which caught my eye). I believe the paint to be a custom order, done-at-the-factory, there's a clear-coat over all factory lettering and it all looks very original, not a respray. I had it shipped to my mother's house in Oil City PA, then shipped it to Ireland. Most expensive "inexpensive" bike I ever bought, customs got me for VAT and duty, it didn't matter it was secondhand (there are special rules for bikes, I think it's designed to keep people from bringing in containers of crappy bikes that end up getting dumped).

I built it up for my wife w/Ultegra 10 speed; she rode it once, didn't really like it. I'll keep it forever.



Looks on par with the so-called vaporwave aesthetic.

That frame must be 49 cm tops, I've never seen the top tube attach to the downtube like that! Wonder how much that downtube to crown tube joint will be flexing?
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Old 05-21-21, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Krov9 View Post
Looks on par with the so-called vaporwave aesthetic.

That frame must be 49 cm tops, I've never seen the top tube attach to the downtube like that! Wonder how much that downtube to crown tube joint will be flexing?
Yeah, it's tiny. It's got 48 in the serial number (first two digits) stamped in the BB shell, so I'm guessing it's a 48cm.
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Old 05-21-21, 03:07 PM
  #722  
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ALPINE built up with Shimano 600






For a few years, I had a 49 cm steel bike which had a fillet brazed top tube/down tube joint with lugged joints everywhere else. Seller got the bare frame/fork from a shop in Washington DC that sold a custom frame built to their specs under the "ALPINE" logo. It also had an "Eisentraut::Oakland" decal on the seat tube, but in correspondence, Albert said he built less than 12 for the shop, but none with fillet brazing combined with lugs, didn't know who built it. Saved the bike for a young grand daughter, but she had a growth spurt, so I traded for something that fit me. It qualifies as unlike any other I have seen, so here's some pics. Don
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Old 05-23-21, 07:41 PM
  #723  
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Originally Posted by Krov9 View Post
I think I have seen a similar frame on some DDR bikes, maybe same manufacturer but under a different brand?

Yeah, no telling who made it. Seems like 90% of the 70's European folders had the same frame. It's like there was one manufacturer of frames
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Old 05-24-21, 09:51 AM
  #724  
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Based on my searching, this one seems rare. I bought the frame from OTS earlier this year and built it up with parts on hand. It currently has a Soma Clarence bar on it as I needed the drops on this one for another parts bin build. It has a date with a local frame builder next month to have the u-brake mounts removed and regular canti mounts added. This will enable me to run big tires and fenders which will be handy.

Netroh by Andy Beichler, on Flickr
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Old 05-24-21, 03:54 PM
  #725  
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Originally Posted by Krov9 View Post
That frame must be 49 cm tops, I've never seen the top tube attach to the downtube like that! Wonder how much that downtube to crown tube joint will be flexing?
I built up a Cannondale frame that size for my wife. One of my dealers had one coming in and sold it to me cheap, and when it showed up it turned out to be a Black Lightning frameset so I felt obligated to find as many black components as I could for it. Did a pretty good job but don't have a good photo, unfortunately. Might show up in one of my "group" basement shots.
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