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  1. #1
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    Tapered head tube development

    We are running out of our machined headtubes and I'm looking into having an alternative made, taking into account the criticisms of the existing tube; weight and length being the main ones, cost being the other. If you aren't aware of the current tube, details are here. I'm looking into an alternative process that will allow a tube with a constant 1.2mm wall thickness and a length of around 200mm but still with a short taper to allow it to be cut to about 100mm. Headset fitment will still be EC34 at the top and EC44 at the bottom

    So why am I telling you this? Cos I want your money of course! In order to make this worthwhile I would need some preorders from other builders. Pricing isn't confirmed yet but should be at least half the price of the current tube, with potential for it to be less if we get enough orders. Initially I'm not interested in the 'I'll have one' people as I need a few significant orders to make it worthwhile, once a batch goes ahead there should be enough for any single orders. I would want a little bit of good faith with money up front (once a price and design have been confirmed) and in return I am open to suggestion on the design, although I think I've covered the problems peple had before.

    If I don't get enough takers on this, it is pretty likely that we will not be offering the tube anymore.

    (Walt, please move/delete this if this is not appropriate use of the forum)

  2. #2
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    Seems fine to me

    In theory you should probably buy an ad but I think this is a community-building effort (I cannot imagine you're going to get rich selling head tubes!) more than anything so unless I get a complaint I say you're good.

    -Walt
    Waltworks Custom Bicycles
    Park City, UT USA
    www.waltworks.com
    waltworks.blogspot.com

  3. #3
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    What material?

  4. #4
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    Material is not decided yet but either 4130 or Reynolds 631

    Matt

    PS thanks Walt

  5. #5
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    Why would I use a tapered headtube over a regular 44mm ID headtube? Genuine question btw, I'm just not sure of the advantages of a tapered tube over what we currently use. Weight? Are there more headsets with a smaller top cup available?

    Cheers

    Steven

  6. #6
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    Mainly for aesthetics but also to better match the headtube diameter to the top tube diameter. Top cups available from all major manufacturers so not an issue there

    Matt

  7. #7
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    Well, judging by the rip-roaring-success-fest that is this thread, no one wants them so I probably won't bother pursueing it any further. I'm also going to hold onto the remaining tubes we have so they are no longer available for sale to other builders.

    Matt

  8. #8
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    Would they be drawn or machined?

  9. #9
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    The new tubes would be swaged if I can get enough people involved (looks unlikely)

    Matt

  10. #10
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    Without the upper butt, the headset will overlap the wall, making it look cheap.

    And the butt on the Paragon makes them very warp-resistant. Leave enough material for a good ream. Paragon's .5mm is slightly overkill.

    (edit: I should read more closely. I was thinking a ZS upper.)
    Last edited by D.F.L.; 11-05-2012 at 04:24 PM.

  11. #11
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    My plan would be to always use the headset with an external cup (you have to at the top anyway) so it will always overlap and will look no different to a conventional headtube with the same wall thickness.

    I was planning something in the region of .25 undersize but not decided yet

  12. #12
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    Sorry for dragging up an old thread, but I've finally got some prices from the guys who'd be making them so although I'd said I was giving up on it I thought I'd at least tell everyone the price and see if that makes any difference. The situation is still the same, if I don't get enough orders, it won't happen. Design is still being finalised but we are looking at a 200mm tube, 44mm lower, 34mm upper, cut-able to roughly 100-120mm (tbc), wall thickness is going to be variable, 1.6mm at the bottom to about 1.2mm as the top (again tbc), material is 4130.

    The price is still a little open to change, but I hope it won't change much. If it does go ahead I will be keeping some in stock to sell individually (hence the single price) but I'm not taking preorders for singles.

    Single tube - 17.50
    10 tubes - 165
    25 tubes - 400
    50 tubes - 780

    I need to get around 80 tubes preordered to make this work so let me know if you are interested. Either reply here or email matt@18bikes.co.uk and I will keep you in the loop as I know more

    Thanks,
    Matt

  13. #13
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    I'd order 2 or 3 FWIW. Not the #'s you need but there might be enough of us hobbyists out there to tip the scales.
    Slowly slipping to retrogrouchyness

  14. #14
    RCP Fabrication
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    What would shipping to the states cost on these?

  15. #15
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    Matt,
    For what it's worth, I am machining 44/49 tapered head tubes from Solid AISI 1045.
    Up to 230mm in length with a .8mm wall thickness.
    The taper is a graceful tangent curve from one dia. to the next. The weight is @ 1 gram per mm in length.
    My prices are very reasonable, on par with PMW on the shorter lengths and cheaper on the longer lengths.
    I am also happy to machine custom lengths and discuss qty discounts.

    feel free to contact me if you have any questions or interest.

    I would post photos, but I am not allowed to yet...

    hinmaton@stijlcycles dot com

  16. #16
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    .8mm?

    I would not want to ride something with a .8mm wall head tube, I don't think. Especially if it's turned on a lathe rather than drawn. *Especially* if it's made from carbon steel. But that's just me.

    -W

    Quote Originally Posted by tektonics View Post
    Matt,
    For what it's worth, I am machining 44/49 tapered head tubes from Solid AISI 1045.
    Up to 230mm in length with a .8mm wall thickness.
    The taper is a graceful tangent curve from one dia. to the next. The weight is @ 1 gram per mm in length.
    My prices are very reasonable, on par with PMW on the shorter lengths and cheaper on the longer lengths.
    I am also happy to machine custom lengths and discuss qty discounts.

    feel free to contact me if you have any questions or interest.

    I would post photos, but I am not allowed to yet...

    hinmaton@stijlcycles dot com
    Waltworks Custom Bicycles
    Park City, UT USA
    www.waltworks.com
    waltworks.blogspot.com

  17. #17
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    I totally agree with Walt on that wall thickness, that's why our original tube was so thick and also why these ones would be thinner (but not that thin)

    I'm not sure on postage yet as I've not worked out how much they will weigh and therefore how much it will cost. It shouldn't be crazy and for larger orders I'm sure we can come to an 'arrangement'

    Matt

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by 18bikes View Post
    I totally agree with Walt on that wall thickness, that's why our original tube was so thick and also why these ones would be thinner (but not that thin)

    I'm not sure on postage yet as I've not worked out how much they will weigh and therefore how much it will cost. It shouldn't be crazy and for larger orders I'm sure we can come to an 'arrangement'

    Matt
    might be better to ship the lot to the US and have it parceled out from there with USPS flat rate boxes. Might be able to find someone located in the midwest who would take care of it in trade for a couple headtubes.........

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by j-ro View Post
    might be better to ship the lot to the US and have it parceled out from there with USPS flat rate boxes. Might be able to find someone located in the midwest who would take care of it in trade for a couple headtubes.........
    Thats a very good idea, if anyone wants to volunteer for that please email me. A special price on their order of tubes would be worked out.

    I've had a couple of people say they'd prefer a ZS44 upper ans EC49 so I'll throw that out as an option, but even if 1000 people say they want, I probably won't do it because I just don't see the point. The main reason I've been given for wanting it is to be able to fit an angleset with a tapered steerer but my response to that would be that it's a custom frame, shouldn't you be building it with the right head angle to start with? Yes I realise some people like to fiddle and fine tune things but it's not most of us. My arguements against 44/49 are:

    -weight
    -appearance with typical TT and DT diameters
    -a straight 44mm tube achieves almost the same thing, with the only downside being angleset with straight steerer only
    -I can't use Reynolds 631 for a tube that big as the material isn't available that size
    -cost, a bigger tube and more work will drive the cost back up

    and finally, and this is a big one, it's not what I want.

    Matt

  20. #20
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    Since you sold these before (I assume) only you would know what the demand might be. You either have to bite the bullet and make the investment and hope for the best or not. It would be great to have pre-orders, takes the risk out of investing in inventory.

  21. #21
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    We have sold something similar in the past but as the length, weight and price are all different (better in all cases) it's difficult to compare. To be totally honest, I don't think the demand is there, hence me wanting pre-orders. I am talking to some bigger guys about whether they would want some, but it doesn't look good at the moment

  22. #22
    650b me
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    I was just looking at the new Cotic Soul w/tapered HT and it looks really nice! I would like having a similar tube as an option. But I am only a hobby builder at this point and unable to order in quantity. I do hope you go through with it.

  23. #23
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    Yes the Soul does look nice, I wonder where they got the idea from...........................................

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by 18bikes View Post
    Design is still being finalised but we are looking at a 200mm tube, 44mm lower, 34mm upper, cut-able to roughly 100-120mm (tbc), wall thickness is going to be variable, 1.6mm at the bottom to about 1.2mm as the top (again tbc), material is 4130.
    Why thicker at the bottom, where the diameter is larger? If anything, seems like it could be slightly thinner at the bottom, or at least the same thickness throughout. Is it just a necessity of the targeted manufacturing process?

    BTW, I modeled a 34/44 taper HT in SolidWorks with typical steel top and downtubes and I think aesthetically this is the bomb. I'd buy 2-3 if it was available.

  25. #25
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    Keep in mind

    My experience with getting stuff made for framebuilders goes something like this:
    -I propose what I want, am open to suggestions.
    -People make ridiculous suggestions and complain, because this is the internet.
    -I have the part made.
    -People whine, maybe, but they buy the part anyway.

    In the grand scheme of things, a couple grand is not a big investment if you're running a business. Preorders are great but that business model has a bad rep at this point due to idiots on kickstarter, so... believe in yourself and make the damn things. Make what you want. I bet people will buy them.

    HJ or Nova might be willing to be your US distributor, it's worth asking.

    -Walt

    Quote Originally Posted by 18bikes View Post
    We have sold something similar in the past but as the length, weight and price are all different (better in all cases) it's difficult to compare. To be totally honest, I don't think the demand is there, hence me wanting pre-orders. I am talking to some bigger guys about whether they would want some, but it doesn't look good at the moment
    Waltworks Custom Bicycles
    Park City, UT USA
    www.waltworks.com
    waltworks.blogspot.com

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