Tuesday, October 28, 2008

As the lug turns

Do you remember, back in the day, when a bike was built out of steel in a jig?  For those of you who don't, a frame jig helps the builder put together the frame in such a precise manner as to keep it properly aligned from start to end.  That means the finished product is straight and true.

A frame built in a jig is going to coast down the road with less effort, much the way your car, with a proper alignment gives you greater control and less wear and tear on the tires.  This results in less power being wasted and more going into propelling you forward.  Also, a properly aligned frame has greater stability during a fast decent, a tight corner in a crit, and makes a steep climb a little easier.

How does this apply to today's carbon fiber frames?  Many of the current carbon frames are built as monobloc frames, the reason is to visually clean up the lines.  A frame that comes out of a mold will always be a little out of alignment.  You may not notice it, that is, until you try a lugged carbon frame that has been built in a jig from start to finish.  You will notice a level of stability that was not previously felt with a monobloc frame built in a mold.

Do a little research yourself.  You will be surprised at what you learn, I sure was.

Lugged Carbon?

What’s up with lugged carbon?

In this day and age, why are carbon frames still being built with lugs? The technology is there to let the lugs go, and still frames are being built with lugs. What’s up with that?

The monobloc triangle frame is the very cutting edge of technology, but still, carbon frames are being built with lugs… what’s goin’ on? It’s interesting the things one can learn from being both an owner of a monobloc frame and educated in the ways of the lugged frame.

I have a monobloc frame. A few month back I think I must have derailed the chain and jammed it into the down tube just in front on the bottom bracket, resulting in a one and half inch hole being punched in the frame. Great, what do I do now? Well, I send it to Calfee Design to give it a fix. It will come back every bit as strong as before, but with a rather bulging lump in its place.

If this was a lugged carbon frame, much like the days of the steel lugged frames that road so much better than the tig welded frames, I would just have the down tube replaced, and it would be every bit as good and new. Wow, a carbon frame that can be repaired; what will they think of next?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Evolution of a Hole

--green and brown--
It feels like a "little known" coffee shop.  Would you mind picking me up a blue berry bar and a latte on your way by?