Looking back at some more of the new builder creations that stood out at NAHBS, Métier Velo’s bike featured carbon bonded into 3D printed titanium pieces. Italian brand, Carrer, brought this year’s wooden bike to newbie row. And Japanese builder Biwakoguma Bicycles had classic steel and a paint job that’s out of this world. Check out these and more after the jump…
Jamie White had been working as a neuroscientist. Unfortunately, due to a biomedical funding crisis that never fully recovered after the recession, Jamie found himself staring down a necessary career change. Having been passionate about bikes and cycling for decades, Jamie decided that bikes were the direction for him.
He went to NAHBS and realized that he didn’t have the skills to become a master TIG welder. And because he loved riding in carbon, he found himself inspired by builders such as Nick Crumpton and Matt Appleman. Initially, he looked into 3D printing as a method for producing molds. But then he thought, “Gee, why would I print molds when I can print the junction itself?”
Realizing that by 3D printing titanium lugs and bonding them to carbon tubing, it would not only allow him to create the level of frame he set out to make, but that it would exploit a lot of talents he possessed (he’s worked crafting “fancy canoes” with his father). “I can do the calculations and I know I can set up a good, clean, strong bond that’s as strong as those guys’ welds. Maybe even stronger.”
The advantage of the process is also that it’s repairable and able to be totally customized per consumer. The titanium lugs are designed on the outside of the tube to provide for a larger, stronger bonding surface than internal plugs.
Fleur de lis themes are abundant throughout his 3D printed parts. Jamie is just getting started now, having made less than a handful of bikes so far, but hopes to extend the process to encompass cyclocross, city, mountain, and fat bike designs as time goes forward.
One of the most interesting aspects of the frame is the seat clamp and adjustment mechanism he created. Jamie has had a series of poor experiences with slipping seat posts and breaking seat binder bolts. So he developed a threaded sleeve that bonds into the seat tube. It ensures precision height adjustment, as well as security after positioning (a boon to the more sensitive riders among us). The head uses a two bolt design because Jamie feels it is proven and secure, and the saddle clamp tilts around a neutral position designed to be right above the center of the saddle so rotation is more predictable.
Carrer has been making wooden boats for 60 years and decided three years ago to get into bicycle building.
After examining the frame close up, the boat building influences are certainly evident. The brand currently makes city bikes and has production geared to produce between 60 and 100 bikes per year across five sizes. They will soon be rolling out a step-thru city frame to match the standard diamond step-over design displayed at the show.
Biwakoguma Bicycles, by Tsuyoshi Ishizu, was the only Japanese builder in new builder row. It was hard to miss this classic steel beauty, complete with chromed lugs. The frame name is “Galaxy,” named and themed for the customer who goes by “UFO.” The builder not only built the bike, but also created the paint and graphics. The frame is covered in a mix of finishes with gold and silver leaf accents, what Tsuyoshi calls “Japanese painting of material.”
Journey Bicycles, who we covered in our NAHBS pre-coverage, brought a single speed belt drive, pursuit-style road bike to show off his carbon prowess (builder Matt Conrad got his start working in the material building bodies and parts for Indy cars).
The chainstays of the frame are raised to allow belt installation without splitting the frame. The resulting structure is unusually three-dimensional for a carbon frame, making for a unique submission to the show.
Another builder we covered in our pre-show coverage, Patrick Cycles, brought a thoughtful steel road frame, number seven for the brand. “It’s just a steel road bike. It rides true.” Builder Patrick Gauci does not intend to make frames as his full-time occupation, saying that he wants to continue to love the craft and does not want to have frame building turn into work for him.
In his day job as an aerospace structures repair mechanic, he welds in advanced and exotic materials professionally, which is why he is attracted to brazing steel with brass and silver in his spare time. The seat tube and head tube feature a bi-lam “lug” construction, then fillet brazed to adjoining members.
Patrick looks forward to experimenting in different categories in his future projects. When asked if he would attempt a steel full suspension frame in his future, he responded, “Yeah, I love steel for mountain.”