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Custom aluminum frames

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Custom aluminum frames

Old 04-23-10, 08:38 PM
  #1  
Hendley
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Custom aluminum frames

I'm thinking about getting a custom aluminum road frame built. Looking at custom because I have some specific geometry wants that are hard to find in stock bikes.

However, aluminum builders seem to be a bit thin on the ground compared to steel builders. Did a quick search of this forum and didn't turn up much.

I know of Tsunami--anybody suggest any others?

Location doesn't matter as long as they are willing/able to ship to Japan. Budget can be anything up to, say, $2000 for the frameset.

In case it matters, I'm looking to build a standard road bike with Spec Roubaix-like geo; shorter TT, higher HT, longer chainstays.

Thanks!
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Old 04-23-10, 08:56 PM
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Old 04-24-10, 12:47 AM
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Old 04-24-10, 04:49 AM
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Aluminum frames are made in both 6061 and 7005. 6061 requires high temperature heat treating to bring it back to full hardness after welding. 7005 requires only a low-temp aging process, has slightly higher strength but suffers from fatigue corrosion.

Butted tubes are not easily acquired and only available in a few profiles from chinese mfgrs. and usually aren't available in small quantities. Simply knowing the yield strength of a piece of material isn't a decent way to engineer a frame and most frame builders are more focused on the craft of frame building and selling rather than understanding a strange material. Aluminum builders will also make their own dropouts, BB shells, seat collars, head tubes and all the tooling required to construct and process a frame as well as some metallurgy and engineering skills. Usually these technologies can only be supported with great volume.

When Easton drove aluminum to low-market in 92 it became difficult for most good builders to continue. Chris Herting at 3D racing is very good.
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Old 04-24-10, 05:06 AM
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Old 04-24-10, 06:39 AM
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Old 04-24-10, 08:26 PM
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Thanks very much for the leads, and also the information about building with aluminum. I imagine that partly explains why there aren't more custom aluminum builders out there.

I'll be looking at all the builders you suggested.
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Old 05-01-10, 12:24 AM
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There is also Paul Sadoff of Rock Lobster cycles in Santa Cruz, CA, USA. I believe he specializes in aluminum frames and his stuff is top quality. Highly recommended.
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Old 05-01-10, 12:26 AM
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