Continuing down New Builders’ row, we find another carbon bike this time out of Italy. Andrea Sega of Werking Handcrafted bikes creates full custom carbon creations out of Trentino, Italy, so naturally his bike was fitted with Campagnolo parts. From custom layup, to custom geometry, and custom paint, Andrea’s frames are another beautiful option in carbon fiber…
Working mostly in road frames with disc or rim brakes, Andrea does say that gravel frames are on the way. Built with a tube to tube construction, the frames are very light weight and capable of building a 6kg bike (claimed) as this one here. Andrea says a frame, Deda fork, and Chris King headset runs about $3500.
File this under things I wish I had when I was in college – this bike is the result of the Cal Poly Frame Builders club. Part of their Mechanical Engineering department, the club is available for anyone to join and they have the opportunity to play with some way cool technology. The frame is the result of the team trying their hands at a new-to-them welding/brazing technique called TIG brazing. It’s like brazing, except you use a TIG torch and no flux as well as silicon bronze instead of brass for the filler. The result is a brazed joint that looks like a TIG joint.
They also have access to 3D printers including one capable of printing in metal that was donated to the school!
As usual, there were a number of wooden bikes at the show including this beauty from Cio Bikes from Brisbane, Australia. Using a mix of Ash and composites, the frame is Ash on the outside with a hollow core that is lined with carbon fiber. The walls are said to be about 1/8″ thick which is possible thanks to the carbon reinforcement.
Easier to see on the frameset, the two halves of the frame are machined in about 4.5 hours our of one plank of wood which allows them to mirror the grain at the seams. Made from about 14 different parts, the frame uses aluminum head tube, BB, and seatpost assemblies, and is said to be about 4lbs or 16.5lbs for the complete bike above. The brand is just launching, but framesets with a 3t fork and CK headset should run about $4700.
There was also this build from B3 Bicycles which used a vastly different construction method. After studying wood technology at Pittsburg State University in south east Kansas, Max Burson decided he wanted to make bike frames out of wood. The solid frame is hand built out of many pieces of wood for a 12lb frame for bike number one above. The complete build comes in at 25lbs thanks to the single speed spec, and the frames have a $2500 starting point.
Another carbon builder, this time out of Singapore, Loue Bicycle’s Timothy Lim started as (and still is) a heavily certified and credentialed bike fitter and cycling coach. After starting with brazing steel, Lim moved to carbon last year and makes the frames in house. Using a tube to tube construction, Lim has been adding flax fiber to the seat tube for better vibration damping and uses 3D printing to create the cable stops. The frames are full custom with even the tubes being tuned to the rider, and he will be taking orders for frames soon.
Defiance Frameworks out of Homer, Alaska was on hand with this gorgeous steel/carbon fat bike. While most of their builds are steel, carbon makes an appearance every once in a while and in this case helps to lighten up the front end of the bike while keeping the steel chainstays and seatstays for durability.
They also had this 26+ 140mm travel bike with split seat stays and chainstays to allow for easy packing.
What do you get when you combine U of Michigan engineering students, a super computer, and basement composites? You get something like Stromm Cycles which may not be the prettiest bikes (yet), but what they lack in finish they seem to make up for in design and aerodynamics. Together, U of M students Ben Rothacker and Stephen Doll have been using their school’s super computer to design their first prototype which they claim to have 40 different size specific airfoils per frame to create the fastest bike possible no matter what frame size.
After breaking a frame right before the show, the duo literally built another in their basement in time for NAHBS so you can’t criticize them too much on the finish. Besides, the interesting thing here is the design itself which claims to result in a 900g frame that has been FEA and wind tunnel tested to verify the benefits of the size specific air foil shapes.
Finally, GRD bikes is what happens when accomplished steel fabricators decide that they’re going to build a bike frame. Making everything in house with the exception of the head tube and seat tube, the shapely tubes are created from laser cut sheets of steel that were rolled or pressed into shape. Local to Salt Lake City, Matt Wheeler says that they like bikes, and thought “we could do that” and whipped up two frames for NAHBS. The result is this stunning Pinion bike above with custom dropouts that keep the split in the dropout for the belt but still use Paragon sliders, and a standout finish that is the result of a chemical reaction which is then clear coated.
Their frame had a similar finish but was matte instead of clear. GRD has only built seven bikes to date, but their experience in steel fabrication makes it seem like a lot more. They plan on selling the sheet metal frames for $3000 and completes for about $9200, but without a website or facebook page for GRD or GMAC steel (their fabricating business), you’ll have to email Matt to get the ball rolling.