[Frame] what lugs would you buy if you could?

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Doug Fattic

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Dec 4, 2013, 12:48:38 AM12/4/13
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Last week I attended the Fabtech show in Chicago.  It included a combination of industries like welding, metal forming, painting, etc.  In attendance was the Nikko company that used to make bicycle lugs and bottom bracket shells.  Their primary business is bulge formed metal fabrication of all kinds for any industry.  They were the ones that provided Trek with lugs back in the 70's.  Bulge formed lugs don't have welded seams.  A few years ago I talked them into doing blank and spear point lugs which I now sell to make money for our Ukraine Bicycle Project.  They are still for sale so don't hesitate to get some!  Before that they hadn't made bicycle frame materials in years.  He asked me what kind of lugs would current American builders want to buy?  So I'm passing his question on to you.  

A little back history.  Companies like Nikko (or Haden or Nervex or Prugnat) used to make lugs in large quantities for mass produced bicycles.  I used some very old Nikko one piece head tube w/lug sockets and bb shells I got from Miele in Toronto to make our transportation frames in Ukraine.  Now of course frames are welded so the mass produced lugged frame market is long gone.  What Nikko is now willing to do is make lugs in smaller quantities for the American framebuilder market.  My interpretation of that means lots of hobby and part time builders that produce just a few frames a year.

This is how I see the framebuilding business change from my prospective of teaching framebuilding classes since 1976.  The majority of my students don't make the kind of frame that was like most lugged production frames requiring 73/73/59 angles.  They want to make something that replaces a car.  It is going to have fatter tires with fenders and a more upright position as they commute so they can look down the road instead of down at a back wheel.  The seat angle needs to be slacker because they often want to ride with a Brooks saddle.  They may be making a low trail frame so the head angle will be greater than the seat angle.  Greater tire clearance and a low bb creates a smaller down tube angle than a common 59 or 60º.  Some want a sloping top tube.

Another possibility is lugs that work with head tubes for 1 1/8" steerers.      

What lugs sizes and angles would you want or think is the trend for future?  I think one of the strengths of Henry James lugs is that they come in a variety of angles – especially the down tube lugs.  While it isn't a big effort for pros to change a lug angle some, rookies do better with lugs near the angle of their frame design.  Even tiny gaps create brazing challenges for them. 

Let the discussion begin,
Doug Fattic
Niles, Michigan

Eric Doswell

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Dec 4, 2013, 6:47:36 AM12/4/13
to Framebuilders

I would suggest a set that works for modern 29ers. Most everything else available already, but I think there is some desire for lugged 29ers. The lugs just aren't made. Possibly even head lugs to fit a 44mm head tube. I think there is probably more of an untapped market for those than anything else.

E

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Jon Norstog

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Dec 4, 2013, 8:57:50 AM12/4/13
to Eric Doswell, Framebuilders
Doug,

What I would like to see is a well-proportioned upper headtube lug.  Lose that awkward-looking high-rise spigot that mars so many US-designed lugsets these days.  Nitto makes a stem with a longer stem section, or you can use a threadless fork to get the bars up where you want them. 

jn

"Thursday"

David Bohm

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Dec 4, 2013, 9:35:45 AM12/4/13
to Jon Norstog, Eric Doswell, Framebuilders

All good ideas so far Doug, but like you I probably have issues with non-racing geometries nowadays more than anything.  Probably in order of preference.

 

1.        A O.S. lug set with 1.125 steerer.  Not too many of those and although I see nothing wrong with 1’’ steerer you would think you were serving them a dish of haggis when you bring it up.

2.       A BB without ports for the chainstays.   That way we could lug the front triangle and then just braze or weld the CS’s on so that we could accommodate wide tires.

3.       MTB lugs would be cool but the MTB guys are like herding cats and I don’t think they could agree on what angles would be the “right angles” but maybe a lug set with a heavy slop to the TT or being able to buy a combination of lugs that would allow it (like HJ does with the standard diamters)

4.       Modern lugset with provision for 44mm HT although, like the 1’’ steerer I only think this think is a big heavy tank of a piece on a steel bike, but it is what it is and I believe it will become the prominent standard.

 

 

Dave Bohm

 

P.S.  John, you can always just cut off the upper portion of the lug if you don’t want it.  It is convenient though to have that extension to get the height some people need.

 

From: frameb...@googlegroups.com [mailto:frameb...@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Jon Norstog
Sent: Wednesday, December 04, 2013 6:58 AM
To: Eric Doswell
Cc: Framebuilders
Subject: Re: [Frame] what lugs would you buy if you could?

 

Doug,

What I would like to see is a well-proportioned upper headtube lug.  Lose that awkward-looking high-rise spigot that mars so many US-designed lugsets these days.  Nitto makes a stem with a longer stem section, or you can use a threadless fork to get the bars up where you want them. 

jn

"Thursday"

On Wed, Dec 4, 2013 at 4:47 AM, Eric Doswell <trai...@gmail.com> wrote:

Hubert d'Autremont

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Dec 4, 2013, 12:20:01 PM12/4/13
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Hi Doug,
I think this is definitely a worth while pursuit. I tend to make my own lugs mostly for all of the above reasons you mention. 
I agree with Dave, that 1" ain't a big deal but unless you are making a stem it seems silly to tell a customer to shim a stem. The double OS stuff I think is a big problematic because of the seatpost issue, I thin the best thing to do would be to make a single OS set with a 1.125" steerer and maybe have the stack on the upper head lug tall but don't have the front cut to high so if you want to trim it down you can or you could bring the shoreline up. A 72 degree seat lug would be awesome. 

H

tom.m...@ymail.com

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Dec 4, 2013, 12:46:34 PM12/4/13
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I would vote for sloping top tube, head tube lugs for 1 1/8 steerer, and integral sti stops on the bottom heat tube lug
 
Tom

Brandon Ives

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Dec 4, 2013, 12:47:10 PM12/4/13
to David Bohm, Jon Norstog, Eric Doswell, Framebuilders
On Wed, Dec 4, 2013 at 8:35 AM, David Bohm <dave...@cox.net> wrote:

All good ideas so far Doug, but like you I probably have issues with non-racing geometries nowadays more than anything.  Probably in order of preference.

 1.        A O.S. lug set with 1.125 steerer.  Not too many of those and although I see nothing wrong with 1’’ steerer you would think you were serving them a dish of haggis when you bring it up.


Yea, 1.125" steer just looks a lot better with OS tubing, IMHO. 

2.       A BB without ports for the chainstays.   That way we could lug the front triangle and then just braze or weld the CS’s on so that we could accommodate wide tires.

Joe B used to carry one of these and they were pretty good, but I don't see them at his site any more.

3.       MTB lugs would be cool but the MTB guys are like herding cats and I don’t think they could agree on what angles would be the “right angles” but maybe a lug set with a heavy slop to the TT or being able to buy a combination of lugs that would allow it (like HJ does with the standard diamters)

I made a nice MTB with the Slant-6 lugset, but the fork wasn't too long and BB a bit high.  I think something with mix and match like Hank sells them. Lower head lugs in 56, 58, 60, 62 maybe even 3-degree increments would be OK.  Really I think lugs are a bust with anything other than standard designs, but bi-lam would be easy and have the same look. Pre-cut sections of vaguely lug looking sections for each of the tubes would be neat and would save a lot of time. I think that would give the most versatility with the fewest SKUs.
best,
Brandon Ives
Springfield, MO

Alex Wetmore

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Dec 4, 2013, 12:57:04 PM12/4/13
to Doug Fattic, frameb...@googlegroups.com

I'm going to vote differently than everyone else.  There are enough OS lugsets for 1.125" steerers in the world, aren't there?


I'd like a standard size (1" top tube, 1.125" downtube, 1" headtube) lugset for a 5-7 degree sloping top tube.  Basically a standard size tubing "slant 6". 


I have nothing against 1.125" steerers, they just look silly on bikes with 1" top tubes.  Look at any modern Rawland frame for an example.  I also don't have anything against OS, but I prefer the ride of 9/6/9 and 8/5/8 standard diameter 4130 compared to OS, and feel like as an amateur builder that I should be using non-heat-treated tubing instead of super thin stuff that makes OS ride decently.  


Tom and others who want a sloping top tube and 1.125" steerer can buy these:

http://www.cycle-frames.com/bicycle-frame-tubing/LUGS-ROAD-OS-36MM-HT-FOR-SLOPED-TOPTUBE-SLANT-SIX-OS.html


I'm finishing up a frame with them now and they seem pretty nice to me.  However it is my first lugged frame, the rest have been fillet.


alex



From: frameb...@googlegroups.com <frameb...@googlegroups.com> on behalf of Doug Fattic <fatticb...@qtm.net>
Sent: Tuesday, December 3, 2013 9:48 PM
To: frameb...@googlegroups.com
Subject: [Frame] what lugs would you buy if you could?
 
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Eric Doswell

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Dec 4, 2013, 12:59:33 PM12/4/13
to Framebuilders

Also, I would like a fork crown for 1 1/8" steerer with a 7degree offset and 45-50mm of tire clearance. I'd actually buy quite a few of those.
E

Steven Shand

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Dec 4, 2013, 1:06:24 PM12/4/13
to Eric Doswell, Framebuilders
Eric,

how about the D33 on this page :


58mm clearance too much?

Steven
Shand Cycles
UK Bicycle Manufacturer
01506 435 400
07789 430 720

Michael Catano

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Dec 4, 2013, 1:08:20 PM12/4/13
to Brandon Ives, David Bohm, Jon Norstog, Framebuilders, Eric Doswell

Dear santa:

For christmas I would like an exact copy of alex singer lugs in 28.6/28.6/31.8/36 with 3° of tt slope and a lower ht/dt angle suitable for a 395mm fork.

BB shell too, please.  I have been good this year.

Yours,
Michael

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Eric Doswell

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Dec 4, 2013, 1:08:44 PM12/4/13
to Framebuilders

Yeah, those are a tad wide for my taste.
E

On Dec 4, 2013 12:02 PM, "Daniel Eells" <thee...@gmail.com> wrote:
Daniel

Alex Meade

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Dec 4, 2013, 1:21:26 PM12/4/13
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Doug,
 
A few things I'd like to see:
 
1) The missing lugs for tandems - top lug for the captain's seat tube, lateral tube lug for the captain's seat tube, maybe the lateral tube lug for the head tube. 
 
2) I know you asked only about lugs, but I'd love to seem more bottom bracket shells with road angles and road sizes for the DT and ST but chainstay ports with angles for bent chainstays to allow wider tires.
 
3) Really dreaming, BB shells for tandems.
 
Tandem stuff is likely a non-starter because of the different angles and tube sizes that various builders use, but I could spec what I'd want !
 

Michael Catano

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Dec 4, 2013, 1:24:41 PM12/4/13
to Alex Meade, frameb...@googlegroups.com

Oh oh oh also!

MAX lugs that aren't hideous.

Thanks santa!

-michael

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David Bohm

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Dec 4, 2013, 3:48:49 PM12/4/13
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Alex,  there are practically no OS and 1.125 steerer.  Lots of O.O.S or 1.3/8th DT with 1.125 but most 1.250 DT/1.125TT lug sets are 1’’ steerers.  I only know of one or two sets as I described (just checked, Ceeway has two).

 

If we are being honest, I like the idea of a sloper for 1’’ but how many would they sell.  50 sets on planet earth?  I am not being facetious.  Anyone still building that retro  can make that happen anyways by making a lug or going lugless/ bilam.   I just don’t see how that could be profitable for Nikko and really that is what it is all about.

 

Dave Bohm

 

P.S.  The slant six uses O.O.S tubing and is very stiff.  It’s a race bike lug set/mtb/29nr maybe but something in what is really “standard” tubing today would be nice.   The mini-six is very nice but then again its 1’’ steerer, which I like  but as I said before makes people cringe in horror as they contemplate how many stems they may not be able to buy on cyber Monday.

 

 

 

From: frameb...@googlegroups.com [mailto:frameb...@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Alex Wetmore
Sent: Wednesday, December 04, 2013 10:57 AM
To: Doug Fattic; frameb...@googlegroups.com
Subject: RE: [Frame] what lugs would you buy if you could?

 

I'm going to vote differently than everyone else.  There are enough OS lugsets for 1.125" steerers in the world, aren't there?

 

I'd like a standard size (1" top tube, 1.125" downtube, 1" headtube) lugset for a 5-7 degree sloping top tube.  Basically a standard size tubing "slant 6". 

 

I have nothing against 1.125" steerers, they just look silly on bikes with 1" top tubes.  Look at any modern Rawland frame for an example.  I also don't have anything against OS, but I prefer the ride of 9/6/9 and 8/5/8 standard diameter 4130 compared to OS, and feel like as an amateur builder that I should be using non-heat-treated tubing instead of super thin stuff that makes OS ride decently.  

 

Tom and others who want a sloping top tube and 1.125" steerer can buy these:

http://www.cycle-frames.com/bicycle-frame-tubing/LUGS-ROAD-OS-36MM-HT-FOR-SLOPED-TOPTUBE-SLANT-SIX-OS.html

 

I'm finishing up a frame with them now and they seem pretty nice to me.  However it is my first lugged frame, the rest have been fillet.

 

alex

 


From: frameb...@googlegroups.com <frameb...@googlegroups.com> on behalf of Doug Fattic <fatticb...@qtm.net>
Sent: Tuesday, December 3, 2013 9:48 PM
To: frameb...@googlegroups.com
Subject: [Frame] what lugs would you buy if you could?

 

Last week I attended the Fabtech show in Chicago.  It included a combination of industries like welding, metal forming, painting, etc.  In attendance was the Nikko company that used to make bicycle lugs and bottom bracket shells.  Their primary business is bulge formed metal fabrication of all kinds for any industry.  They were the ones that provided Trek with lugs back in the 70's.  Bulge formed lugs don't have welded seams.  A few years ago I talked them into doing blank and spear point lugs which I now sell to make money for our Ukraine Bicycle Project.  They are still for sale so don't hesitate to get some!  Before that they hadn't made bicycle frame materials in years.  He asked me what kind of lugs would current American builders want to buy?  So I'm passing his question on to you.  

--

Mark Bulgier

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Dec 4, 2013, 3:51:11 PM12/4/13
to Eric Doswell, Framebuilders

Eric Doswell wrote:

I would like a fork crown for 1 1/8" steerer with a 7degree offset and 45-50mm of tire clearance. I'd actually buy quite a few of those.

 

Remember, Nikko is a company that does bulge-forming.  Not sure a crown made that way would be suitable for fancy artisan bikes.

 

Also to the person who asked for integral cable housing stops: not sure that can be done with bulge-forming. Maybe theoretically possible but quadrupling the cost of the lug?  They could make them as a separate piece and copper-braze them on (copper so they don’t melt off during later lug brazing operations), but I don’t think Nikko does that in-house.  Sounds like a perfect job for the framebuilder to do.

 

Unless the thread has just drifted away from Nikko into general wish-list, in which case my apologies, carry on.

 

Mark Bulgier

Seattle

 

Alex Wetmore

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Dec 4, 2013, 3:53:54 PM12/4/13
to David Bohm, frameb...@googlegroups.com
Hmm, I'm doing a lugged frame right now that has 1.125" steerer, 1.25" downtube and 1.125" top tube.  This is the order line from Nova:
NOV_LUGS_SLNT_SIX LUGS ROAD OS 36MM HT FOR SLOPED TOPTUBE SLANT SIX OS $51.45   1 $51.45

They aren't double oversized (I hate oversized enough already, I can't imagine building a city bike with double oversized).

I used a Pacenti bottom bracket shell that more or less matches.  I do agree with you that it would be great to have a chainstay-less bottom bracket shell so that one could more easily use single or double bend chainstays on a lugged bike to get tire clearance.

I think you are right about the number of 1" sloping top tube bikes that would be built.  It wouldn't be a lot.  There is a brief trend towards these fat tire rando bikes, but I don't know how long that will last.  It just happens to be the type of bike that I build.

alex



From: frameb...@googlegroups.com <frameb...@googlegroups.com> on behalf of David Bohm <dave...@cox.net>
Sent: Wednesday, December 4, 2013 12:48 PM
To: frameb...@googlegroups.com
Subject: FW: [Frame] what lugs would you buy if you could?
 

Mark Bulgier

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Dec 4, 2013, 3:56:21 PM12/4/13
to David Bohm, frameb...@googlegroups.com

David Bohm wrote:

If we are being honest, I like the idea of a sloper for 1’’ but how many would they sell.  50 sets on planet earth?  I am not being facetious.  Anyone still building that retro  can make that happen anyways by making a lug or going lugless/ bilam.   I just don’t see how that could be profitable for Nikko and really that is what it is all about.

 

True, but Alex’s request would have one advantage to Nikko, that being they’re already set up to make lugs just like what Alex asked for, only in slightly different angles.  Although it could well be that making new dies for a new angle in 1” top tube is just as expensive for them as making a whole new lugset in oversized.  I’m just hoping that some of their existing tooling for 1” lugs would carry over.

 

Mark Bulgier

Seattle

Eric Doswell

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Dec 4, 2013, 3:57:18 PM12/4/13
to Framebuilders

"Remember, Nikko is a company that does bulge-forming. "

I did not know that.  I assumed castings, my bad:)
E

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