making a bike from scratch scratch scratch



Nas_kaj

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Aug 14, 2006
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if any of you know me, you'll know that i have a taste for expensive sports. that means that i need to channel my $$ into different areas. does anyone know a place or person can propperly weld some ti tubes together into a bicycle frame in the new york city area? i'm hoping to spend less than $500 this way. super thanks for the help
 
Nas_kaj said:
if any of you know me, you'll know that i have a taste for expensive sports. that means that i need to channel my $$ into different areas. does anyone know a place or person can propperly weld some ti tubes together into a bicycle frame in the new york city area? i'm hoping to spend less than $500 this way. super thanks for the help
IMO, this is a really foolish idea ...

There is a lot more involved with frame-building than simply welding/brazing/gluing tubes together ...

Unless you actually find a framebuilder who has worked with Titanium, you have to expect the FIRST frame to be "unrideable" -- it may not be, but you have to make that allowance.

And, buying the tubes + BB shell & dropouts will set you back a significant amount.

Check Habanero Cycles if you want a relatively inexpensive Ti frame.
 
Nas_kaj said:
if any of you know me, you'll know that i have a taste for expensive sports. that means that i need to channel my $$ into different areas. does anyone know a place or person can propperly weld some ti tubes together into a bicycle frame in the new york city area? i'm hoping to spend less than $500 this way. super thanks for the help
What Alf said...

... plus you really don't need an amazing bike to go fast. If you can't average 24mph on a used $1,000 Cannondale that's a few years old and has a 9 speed ultegra group set on it, then don't expect to be averaging 25mph on the latest team issue $10,000 Trek used by team Astana.

If you're new to the sport the concentrate on getting something that fits well, has reliable equipment and a robust set of wheels. Plus, you're more likely to hit the deck within the first year or two anyway and I can't imagine that trashing a $2,000 set of wheels and a $1,000 of carbon cranks being a 'happy experience'

If you are hell bent on getting a custom made bike then stick with steel or aluminum. There's more people with experience building with those materials. Titanium welding is very tricky and isn't like welding a steel tube like Reynolds 853.
 
thanks for the input and caring for my safety, but there is just something about riding something that YOU made, that no $10,000 bike can come close to
 
Nas_kaj said:
thanks for the input and caring for my safety, but there is just something about riding something that YOU made, that no $10,000 bike can come close to
There's the satisfaction of building it for sure... but then again that could be more than offset a little when you face plant at 40mph and the paramedics are sweeping up your teeth and bits of skin off the asphalt.

While I can weld a few cro-mo tubes together, I aint gonna try and weld something as reactive as titanium when it comes to my butt being a few feet off the ground in lycra shorts going downhill at 50+mph. I'd be hesitant to ride that bike even if I had a full set of Dainese motorbike leathers, back protector and helmet.

If you wanted something that special and unique, work with a good framebuilder to build a frame that fits like a glove, sprayed in the colors that you want and enjoy that instead...

... or by a used bike and take it around to the local custom paint shop and get some more decals/stickers from the manufacturer if you wanted something a bit different for less money.
 
swampy1970 said:
There's the satisfaction of building it for sure... but then again that could be more than offset a little when you face plant at 40mph and the paramedics are sweeping up your teeth and bits of skin off the asphalt.

While I can weld a few cro-mo tubes together, I aint gonna try and weld something as reactive as titanium when it comes to my butt being a few feet off the ground in lycra shorts going downhill at 50+mph. I'd be hesitant to ride that bike even if I had a full set of Dainese motorbike leathers, back protector and helmet.

If you wanted something that special and unique, work with a good framebuilder to build a frame that fits like a glove, sprayed in the colors that you want and enjoy that instead...

... or by a used bike and take it around to the local custom paint shop and get some more decals/stickers from the manufacturer if you wanted something a bit different for less money.
A good frame builder wouldn't charge me less than $500 unless I actually knew the guy. That's where fantasy meets reality. Even if i settle for a steel frame, who's going to do it for me?
 
Nas_kaj said:
A good frame builder wouldn't charge me less than $500 unless I actually knew the guy. That's where fantasy meets reality. Even if i settle for a steel frame, who's going to do it for me?
At your target price, your best bet would be to start looking on eBay for a frame, but I really think that Ti is out of your range, even if you know someone! You can get some great steel frames for $500 or less. You might even be able to get a cheap CF frame for less than $500 if you look hard enough. Good luck.
 
There's a lot more to putting a frame together than just welding up tubes: shaping the cut tube ends; having the proper jigs; getting the BB shell and head tube right so that the right bearings fit properly and are concentric about the tube axis......Frankly, I don't think I'd want to ride a Ti frame that some guy welded up for me for $500, unless that guy had a history of good bike frame makin' mojo.
 
Nas_kaj said:
A good frame builder wouldn't charge me less than $500 unless I actually knew the guy. That's where fantasy meets reality. Even if i settle for a steel frame, who's going to do it for me?
If we're not talking a skilled bike builder, then: even if you find someone who is fit to weld Ti for NASA, who will design the frame for you? How will you ensure you don't wind up with something heavier and stiffer-riding than some gmc denali from wal-mart?

If you hire a skilled machinist to create the dropouts, mill the head tube and seat tube to the correct diameter, and thread the bottom bracket, his setup costs are sure to exceed a frame maker who is already set up.

How do you design the dropouts? how strong of a weld do you need? how far should they insert into the frame tubes or fork?

How will you shape the chainstays?

Do you use butted tubes on a Ti frame? Do you have to heat treat it after welding?
 
alright dammit. i'm convinced. it's not a good idea. guess i have to go spend $3000 on indy fab (sweet ass frames)
 
Nas_kaj said:
alright dammit. i'm convinced. it's not a good idea. guess i have to go spend $3000 on indy fab (sweet ass frames)

Independent Fabrication frames better be sweet for what they charge.
 

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