FALCO Bike Design Diary 2 -- Titanium Bike this this time.

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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elviento
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by elviento

Someone suggest the ti bike should have its own thread -- so here it goes.

Ti bikes always mean something special to me, so now that I am going at it, I wasn't going to skip ti...

And several months into the project, I have a finished product. I call it the "Eternity". At first glance, there is nothing special about it, but that was deliberate. Ti bikes should have a classic look. Tapered head tube and top tube, oversized downtube, PF30, were the key features.

As I have a personal weakness for ISP, I had one made on this as well. Geometry mimicks the carbon bike, except with a slightly slacker seat angle (due to no-offset seatpost) and slightly longer top tube to compensate.

The cable routing is similar to the carbon bike but since Ti can't be made into a monocoque, I had to do some thinking about how to route the rear shifting cable. Intially I thought about an external hook along the seat tube cluster but decided against it for the sake of big-thighed riders. In the end, I decided to route it through the seat tube. A tiny (2.4mm ID) ti tube welded inside, against which the cable slides, was the answer. The tube had to be strengthened here. The cable stopper near the rear dropout was hidden (in side view) right behind the seat tube. See pic below.

Dropouts were a main head ache. Light, beautiful, affordable, seems I can only pick 1 out of the 3 with any one option. I have some wing'ed equivalent of the Lynskey Shamrock dropout, but ended up not using it.

For riding comfort, I have opted for an 28.6 seat tube with a 31.8 topper (which is butted externally so OD is 30.4~31.8). For big riders, it will probably be better to go with 31.8 seat tube with a 34.8 topper.

The frame came in at around 1450g, which I am happy with, because firstly it's an ISP frame, and secondly, I know for a bit extra cost, I can have the main tubes butted to save 100g.

Here are some larger pics:

https://c9kpjg.sn2.livefilestore.com/y1 ... jpg?psid=1

https://c9kpjg.sn2.livefilestore.com/y1 ... jpg?psid=1

https://c9kpjg.sn2.livefilestore.com/y1 ... jpg?psid=1
Attachments
IMG_0611B.JPG
20120501_33d9619156a9a60406b36v7pEERmSTuS.jpg
IMG_0611C.JPG
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Sam
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by Sam

Very nice. How much will it me? Please provide me an approximation if possible.

What has been the hardest thing to overcome in the design process compared to your carbon frame?

by Weenie


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elviento
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by elviento

The hardest thing was the seat tube cluster in order to achieve smooth cable routing and strength of the tube. Head tube was painful and expensive to make but I was able to fix that with a semi-integrated upper headset cup, and a fully integrated lower headset cup, which essentially cut my cost in half for the head tube. That's still light years ahead of the INSET so popular these days.

Price for the frame I am trying to keep at an affordable level of $1600. Add headset, fork, and seapost, it's around $2K. Full custom also available.

Sam wrote:Very nice. How much will it me? Please provide me an approximation if possible.

What has been the hardest thing to overcome in the design process compared to your carbon frame?
Fast falcons: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3mTPEuFcWk" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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roca rule
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by roca rule

i really like the tubing that you have used on the frame specially on the main triangle. it looks really simpleyet functional with the exception of the rear drop outs. a couple touches of black on the frame would look better along with a completely black fork. the topper is the only part that makes me go "?" but i bet it look great in person. actually now that i think about ita black topper, blck fork and little touche of black on the frame would really look nice. what size is the frame on this particular frame? does the frame weight include the topper? What is the topper weight?

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elviento
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by elviento

I will admit transportation issues with ISPs. Re adjustment, I can make a long topper and a short topper. The long one provides 50mm+ of adjustment, which is a lot.

Let me consider the black comment.

The frame in the pic is a 53 (53.8 top tube and vertically very similar to a 53 Colnago/C'dale, etc.). Frame weight does not include the topper, which, with the carbon cradles pictured, is fairly light (forgot the number but def below 150g).

roca rule wrote:i really like the tubing that you have used on the frame specially on the main triangle. it looks really simpleyet functional with the exception of the rear drop outs. a couple touches of black on the frame would look better along with a completely black fork. the topper is the only part that makes me go "?" but i bet it look great in person. actually now that i think about ita black topper, blck fork and little touche of black on the frame would really look nice. what size is the frame on this particular frame? does the frame weight include the topper? What is the topper weight?
Fast falcons: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3mTPEuFcWk" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Sam
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by Sam

Can you tell us more about the approach regarding the integrationsprocess between different parts of the frame?

RTW
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by RTW

Really beautiful work. Elviento - do you get to the Taipei show, or Taichung Bike Week? Perhaps I will see you there. I would love to see these in person.

cmdr199212
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by cmdr199212

I must say I love the headtube. I have a Lynskey Cooper, and the one thing that has always kinda bugged me is the headset, it just looks kinda clunky, especially at the junction of the fork, which you seem to have solved perfectly!

aeroslave
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by aeroslave

I like it! I have two Titanium bikes (1 Litespeed Road and 1 Dean Mtb). I always liked classic fluid metal lines with just a touch of modernity with compact geometry. This one has it!

I also like that it is not painted. One of the most fascinating colour combos are that of the Titanium greyish/silverish/champaigne metallic sheen over carbon....This one has it again! :-)
"Light bike? Its still about the engine!".

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elviento
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by elviento

The head tube has been a major battle between the head engineer and me (we are beer buddies so all is cool).

He is more concerned about manufacturing process and cost limitations, while I am more of the idealist driven by fetish. I wanted a smooth and curvy head tube (think Coke bottle) that would "flow" into the fork. But the cost for CNC'ing such smooth lines into a block of titanium would be ridiculous (it's like building a mould, just into a tougher metal). In fact many "premium" brands are reluctant to depart from straight head tubes, which is why the King Inset rocks for them.

Then we thought about a tapered shaped head tube, but short head tube would look more "tapered" than long ones. So we settled on the bulge at the bottom and consistent diameter above that, good enough to accommodate the tapered fork, and consistent enough in terms of looks and manufacturing.

SAM -- titanium manufacturing has been what it is for many years, people get used to what they believe to be golden rules of ti frame building. I came in with all sorts of ideas and I get blasted by "WTF r u thinking?" comments from the engineer. The end was a compromise.

Originally I was going to run the rear brake cable through the seat tube as well (so 2 "nostrils" at the back of the cluster), but the routing wasn't optimal for the brake cable. So we end up with 1 hole at the back.

The seat tube and topper combination was a bit unusual as well. The topper essentially is butted to save some weight.

RTW -- Taipei is in March, so I have better news for you -- I am coming to Interbike if you have plans to go.
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bones
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by bones

I like your design sensibilities. Don't trust your head designer if he works for the manufacturing facility. They are governed on their own bottom line, not necessarily yours or your customers.

I really like the routing on the rear shifter. Unique! Have you thought about adapting this design to a standard seatpost? The industry seems to be moving away from seatmast toppers back to the traditional style seatpost.

Good idea on the headtube with the taper on the bottom, but straight continuing afterwards. This should save on manufacturing costs since you don't have to do a taper on the top and bottom of the headtube. I assume this is a 1 1/2" to 1 1/8" tapered fork steerer, correct?

Great proportions on the tubing diameters. What diameters (DT, ST, TT) do you have going on for the bike you have pictured?

Great start. I have a feeling you are going to have a lot of interested future Falco riders soon.

BayAreaWingsFan
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by BayAreaWingsFan

I LOVE this bike. For $1600 its a great deal. keep us posted for when they are for sale

xrs2
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by xrs2

Beautiful work!

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elviento
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by elviento

Thanks for the kind words.

Non ISP is a bit hard as the seatpost would need to go down the shaft where the cable would be going through. You could have a high enough collar like the BH G5. You could also route the little tube externally, kinda like the plastic cable guide from Shimano/Campy, but only on the cluster rather than below the BB.

It's a 1 1/4 taper, so fairly moderate. The head tube is still machined from a thick pipe, but the looks will be a lot more consistent.

tt is a 40-29mm taper, dt is 45mm, st is 28.6 but can easily be 31.6 if rider weight is on the higher side.
Fast falcons: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3mTPEuFcWk" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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by Weenie


RTW
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by RTW

Can you do me one with S&S couplers, and send me an FOB price! :P

Interbike - I expect I will be there. ISPO Bike (Munich), Eurobike, The Austrian Show, Madrid, Interbike (perhaps) and Taichung Bike Week are all on the calendar!

Rich

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