Über ßike part 2

5 08 2009

Hi Everyone,

Made some progress.   Seatpost is done, Stem is done,  Frame is all mocked up.  You would think that from the pictures the end is right around the corner, but the truth is I am probably about 1/3 to 1/2 way there.   The prep is where its at.  If you do all your prep correctly, the brazing/aligning should go pretty easily and takes a short time.   After that there is the finishing and the paint work, which on this bike will be extensive.   Paint can represent nearly as much work time wise as the frame itself.  In fact some of the newer carbon frames have far more time in them concerning painting than it took to manufacture the frame itself.

The tubing is working out well.  It is strong stuff and hard to work with.  I have been weighing everything along the way and I am not going to break 3lbs for the frame.  I wanted to bust 3 lbs but metal has this small density problem and getting any lighter than that just isn’t in the cards.   What the seperate components weigh is interesting.  The tubes don’t weigh all that much more than carbon tubes.   Where the biggest difference is the hard points.  The head-tube weighs a lot, so does the BB.  You see some bikes where all the hard points are metal and the tubes are carbon but more weight savings could be had if you wanted to make a hybrid material bicycle by having metal tubes and carbon hard parts and lugs.

The other issue, is everything is big.   The head tube is 1.5” to look modern, the tubing is large diameter.   For instance a standard sized head tube would be lighter only because there is less metal there.  Physics is physics.  Bigger diameter, more metal, even if it is thin.

The other thing I thought I would talk about is polishing stainless steel.  Um, the short of it.  It is a time toilet.  Very time consuming.  So far the entire project is borderlining on 100hrs of labor so far.   The stem is going to be about 16 for instance.   There is no shortcut for doing a quality job polishing metal.   Every flaw has to be removed otherwise you will see the result in the final finish.   With traditional chrome you can plate copper and polish, more copper and polish.   Copper polishes easily because it is so soft, but with Stainless steel you are looking at the raw finish and there is no way to cover flaws so it has to be near perfect.   I do have some cool tools but this process basically comes down to lots of file work, then 80-120-220-320-500-800 grit papers, then buff.   Every square millimeter must be gone over 6-7 times.

As always you can check out my flickr account for more pics.





2 responses

25 08 2009
Bicycle Renaissance | I want to ride my bicycle

[…] Über ßike part 2 « Bohemian Bicycles Blogorama […]

12 03 2010
Bryan Greatrick

Nice job, Going to look fab when it’s completed…

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