This has been on the road forum for a while now so if you need more pictures and details that is where to go. 54cm seat tube CtoC. 55cm top tube CtoC.
Looking for Â£140 plus p+p. This price does not include the seatpost or bars though.
The frame and forks cost me Â£550 not including the Chorus bb, headset and the 3ttt stem.
I have lots of more pictures if required.
Cycling weekly review-
May 24,1997 CYCLING WEEKLY 47
YOUR average, common-or-garden lug may be the best thing to happen to frame building since the invention of the tube itself, or it may not. I'd say not, if only because the lug competes with other potentially superior ways to join steel tubes with melted metal. One is what used to be referred to in hushed tones as 'lug less' on account of its flawless complexion, and the other is TIG welding, which is usually considered to have the visual appeal of cold tapioca pudding.
It doesn't have to be like that, for while the slim bead of a fine TIG joint may never offer the same scope for artistic self-expression as a hand-cut and-finished lug, its unforgiving exactitude should be enough to satisfy the most aesthetically attuned sensibilities. Besides which, TIG welding's very lack of decoration lends any so-constructed frame a clinical, hi-tech air which is suitable for sophisticated end-of-millennium cyclists.
I'd go further, however, and suggest that TIG done by hand is as much an 'art' as any other craft. 'By hand' means just that: the process is ideally suited to automated production, whether applied to steel, aluminium or titanium, since robot welding machines can be guaranteed to weld to near-perfection. The human hand often finds it all too easy to apply too much filler wire, or to allow the torch to linger for too long and melt a nice hole in the edge of the tube, or to fail to apply an even bead. But where there's room for error there is also room for excellence, which is what you get from a
small number of specialist TIG welders in the UK.
Arguably the most single-minded of the lot lives and works in Suffolk, not far from the old US Air Force base that used to employ him as a technician. Greg Fuquay's knobby Armadillo head badge sports the legend 'American made in England' for clarity, although anyone familiar with his superb mountain bike frames will know that much already. Perhaps less well known is the fact that he started in the bike business building custom road frames at Serotta in the States. It's a fine pedigree:
Serotta's bespoke frame shop has supplied US Olympic and national champions, so Fuquay's decision to make a limited run of road frames should come as no surprise.
All Fuquay frames are TIG welded and almost all are constructed using good old steel, although Greg has recently introduced an aluminium-framed, fullsuspension, cross-country bike to his range. Since he uses just the one construction method, it would be reasonable to suppose that he has found one tubeset to be better suited than any otherand so he has. The bunch of tubes in question is called Ritchey Logic PRO WCS and is essentially a proprietary steel alloy drawn to Tom Ritchey's specification, which includes TIG-friendly short butts. At one time Tange Prestige was the source material, but Ritchey Logic is now made by the amazingly successful Italian firm of Dedacciai.
Look closely at the slightly flashy Ritchey decal on the seat tube and you may spot the most sought-after name code in contemporary steel cycle tubing. For those who don't already know, 18MCDV6 is the low alloy steel used by Dedacciai for its second-string ZeroUno tubeset. It was originally developed for offshore oil rig construction and is, consequently, both corrosion-resistant and made for welding. In more exalted heattreated form, denoted by the name 'Zero' and the addition of 'HI' to the end of the code, the steel's ultimate tensile strength increases by six per cent, while its elongation, or the amount of bending it will take before fracture, goes up by eight per cent.
Well now, our particular test bike is pretty much a first run for the new Fuquay road frame, which will be called the 'Dauphin'. Production versions will be built using not Logic but Dedacciai Zero, for one good reason. The Logic seat tube needs an awkward 27mm seatpost, whereas Zero takes the almost universal 27.2mm size. The steel alloy is identical, so there is no reason not to swap - except for that decal.
Consolation isn't hard to find: the Dauphin's overall design will be exactly the same, which means Ritchey vertical rear drop-outs, trademark Fuquay wishbone seat stays and an Italianmade Sintema unicrown straight-blade fork. Top tube cable stops for the rear brake save weight and improve feel, and the frame comes with the regulation twin bottle bosses and a head tube pump peg.
Detailing aside, this is a road frame of traditional conception. That is to say, it is designed for easy, stress-free control, for stiffness and for all-day comfort. At least, that's what I assume' Fuquay had in mind, since that is just how it rides. The geometry is just so,
with no dimension out of proportion with any other - nothing between either hub and the bottom bracket is too tight or too rangy. Stiffness has not been sacrificed in the search for lightness, although this may be a basic feature of Tom Ritchey's philosophy, since there are certainly lighter Zero-tubed frames around. When you weigh somewhere on the far side of 80 kilos however, a bit of extra metal doesn't go amiss and, in any case, excessive flex just wastes energy.
Now, various opinions have been expressed about the bike, some evidently prompted by unworthy feelings of envy. Sure, the colour - which, incidentally, looks better in the photo - is unusual. Fuquay calls it Retro Orange, which it may be, but check out Racing Red, Metallic Purple or White, which are the other choices. His wishbone stay arrangement, however, is very pleasing.
In particular, it mirrors in slender form the front end 'look' of head tube and straight fork, as well as saving a few grams.
Furthermore, there isn't an ounce of superfluous material anywhere. Fuquay's TIG beads are tiny, beautifully even and almost concave - desirable for avoiding stress risers around the weld - and leave no doubt about the standard of fit between the tubes prior to welding. There is some evidence that TIG-welded frames have a shorter fatigue life than lugged examples, although impact strength is said to be better. Who wants nasty,-heavy lugs anyway? At least a TlG-welded frame never has bits of brass tinkling inside.
Rated 4.5 out of 5 for performance and described as an archetypal top road bike
IMGP2285.JPG [ 138.19 KiB | Viewed 1366 times ]
Last edited by hibernian on Sat Feb 10, 2007 8:20 am, edited 1 time in total.