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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 9:33 am 
Newbie

Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2012 8:46 pm
Posts: 4
Location: Midlands
Midlife wrote:
Hi Simon

Thanks for taking the time to reply, much appreciated. Sounds more complicated than what I remember the rep saying at the time.

I had a vision of a "normal" framebuilding set-up (like we had at Cliff Pratt's in the basement) but with an Argon gas cylinder sort of "blowing" the inert gas at the weld whilst it was being formed........

When I bought my modern Basso last year I looked at titanium frames by the likes of Van Nicholas but nothing as complicated was mentioned. I guess joining titanium tubes has changed over the years. The only one I fancied was the Enigma Esprit as it looked like a real bike and not some sloping top tube compact :)

http://www.enigmabikes.com/bike/bike-enigma-esprit.html


Just out of curiosity, were you employed by Speedwell?

Cheers


Shaun

PS thanks for not locking the thread John.


I can only assume that the modern methods of making bike frames out of titanium have changed since Speedwell were manufacturing them. I do know that a certain very well known Japanese component manufacturer came to Speedwell and bought 10 frames, in the 70's... no doubt an attempt to try and unlock the then quite unique technology for the cycle industry. They did not figure it out! My father a former director of Speedwell was responsible for the devlopment and marketing of the frame, and its sucess in the 1973 TdF with the Bic Team and Luis Ocana. The link below will take you to a site in which you can see the bike in use on the Tour, badged as a Titanium Speedwell Frame.
http://www.cyclinghalloffame.com/riders ... ider_id=71


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:15 am 
Old School Grand Master
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 2:04 pm
Posts: 3364
Location: Completely in the dark, thanks to me good mate Terry....
Midlife wrote:
Love the drilled out bell :)

Titanium frames BITD looked slightly yellowish compared to the modern one's I have seen. I wonder if the Titanium alloy is different?

Shaun


The yellowish tinge suggests nitride formation - possibly very minor contamination of the argon stream in the welding chambers, or perhaps an age-related condition seeing as Ti frames were, and are, often sold in burnished or polished form with no lacquer or paint protection (like high-grade stainless steels, Ti & Ti alloys form a protective self-healing oxide layer at the surface).

David


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:19 am 
Old School Grand Master
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 2:04 pm
Posts: 3364
Location: Completely in the dark, thanks to me good mate Terry....
Midlife wrote:
Not sure if it's 100% titanium as I use it in dentistry on a daily basis,

medical grade titanium usually contains Aluminium and Niobium (Vanadium has been removed).

Bike frames might be different though :)

Shaun


Speedwell and Teledyne frames apparently used commercially pure (CP) grade material, pretty much 100% Ti and very flexy. Modern Ti bikes use alloy grades with, chiefly, combinations of 3% Al & 2.5% V (3-2.5) or 6% Al & 4% V (6-4) although the latter is harder to work with than 3-2.5 grade and butted 6-4 tubes using a Reynolds-like method are very tricky to fabricate.

David


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:17 pm 
Newbie

Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2012 8:46 pm
Posts: 4
Location: Midlands
Midlife wrote:
Hi Simon

Thanks for taking the time to reply, much appreciated. Sounds more complicated than what I remember the rep saying at the time.

I had a vision of a "normal" framebuilding set-up (like we had at Cliff Pratt's in the basement) but with an Argon gas cylinder sort of "blowing" the inert gas at the weld whilst it was being formed........

When I bought my modern Basso last year I looked at titanium frames by the likes of Van Nicholas but nothing as complicated was mentioned. I guess joining titanium tubes has changed over the years. The only one I fancied was the Enigma Esprit as it looked like a real bike and not some sloping top tube compact :)

http://www.enigmabikes.com/bike/bike-enigma-esprit.html


Just out of curiosity, were you employed by Speedwell?

Cheers


Shaun

PS thanks for not locking the thread John.


Shaun,
I have been able to review this thread with my father who developed the speedwell titanium frame.
Very early on in the evolution of the speedwell titanium frame, the first frames produced in very small numbers were called mk I frames. These did not have the same degree of finishing applied to them that the latter mkIII frames had. The images that I posted up were of the mkIII frame, which had a very highly polished finish. It is highly likely that you had a very early mkI frame in your shop. I will try and get some images of a mkI frame to post up to show how the mkI frame looked. These were only produced in very small numbers and as such are very rare indeed. Such a pitty that you did not keep hold of one.
Simon


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 12:00 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:15 am
Posts: 16
Just to let you know I have a frame for sale. I have put a price of £500 but open to offers as i'm not sure of it's real worth.

http://www.retrobike.co.uk/gallery2/v/u ... ums/foggy/


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 Post subject: Speedwell
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 6:29 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2009 9:57 pm
Posts: 641
Speedwell frames were sold to the trade via Ron Kitching - I rode one to set the Pennine Way Cycling record in 1975. The first frame snapped the top tube with 20 miles to go on top of the Cheviots which caused a 5 mile diversion before getting to the end at Kirk Yeholm..
They were years ahead of there time and its a shame it was not a succes as they were lovely to ride...


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 Post subject: speedwell
PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 11:40 pm 
Newbie

Joined: Sun Nov 25, 2012 11:22 pm
Posts: 6
Location: E.Yorks
Hi,
Is this frame still for sale? :?:


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 Post subject: Re: speedwell
PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:38 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:15 am
Posts: 16
flying sprockets wrote:
Hi,
Is this frame still for sale? :?:


Hi, yes sorry the frame is still for sale.


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