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  1. #1
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    Where can you buy carbon lugs??

    Does anyone know where you can buy carbon lugs?? There are lots of options for steel lugs out there but I can't seem to find any carbon. I know there are companies that will make you custom lugs but it sounds like that will be awfully expensive. Are there any pre made carbon lugs available??

  2. #2
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    Making your own bike frame is going to be awfully expensive as opposed to buying one. So if spending money is a problem, this is probably the wrong hobby for you. First frame projects tend to be a HUGE time and money sink.

    To answer your question, I don't think any of the old lug/tube kits are still floating around but such a product did exist for a while. I can't for the life of me recall who made them, though. Customization was pretty limited, you pretty much cut the tubes to length and then glued the lugs into them or something.

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

  3. #3
    will rant for food
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    To answer your question, do-I-know-where-to-get-carbon-lugs -- and cheap?

    ...No.

    Mold making isn't necessarily cheap, either. The warnings Walt is making are echoed in my experience - him (and others) making warnings, my ignoring him, and then proving him very correct.

    I find it fun if you have the time and money. I wish I had more time. My pet project is getting along slowly.

    I have definitely over five grand, (probably six?) into frame hobby stuff now over two years, and I see things getting only more expensive. ...And putting a brand name on it. I've also come to understand why some builders are secretive about some things, which is hard to explain and makes me feel like a jerk.

    I'm not trying to discourage you experimenting with carbon - but don't expect to find a ton of local guys who are able to help you. It's been really great to learn something so unfamiliar, but there have been some real gut checks.

    If you want an awesome custom carbon frame with less emotional investment, hit up Matt Appleman, hell of a nice guy and makes great stuff.
    Latitude: 44.93 N

  4. #4
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    Where can you buy carbon lugs??

    Thanks guys. I'm not discouraged, just intrigued and determined. Currently working on a steel lugged frame and was just curious about a potential future project. I guess with carbon the lugged design isn't the way to go. I guess I'll do more research and figure out that whole carbon tube to tube process. Thanks again!

  5. #5
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    Dedaccai used to sell lug to go along with their carbon tubes. AFAIK, there is none still available. Or at least I wouldnt' know where to get them.

  6. #6
    hhh
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    Below are a couple of super interesting galleries showing how Serotta's carbon lugs work.

    They appear to start out as a solid pieces that are then machined to fit the tubes.

    PezCycling News - What's Cool In Pro Cycling : Serotta?s Meivici: Custom Carbon

    Serotta Tom Officer MeiVici SE Build Gallery Serotta

  7. #7
    will rant for food
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    Quote Originally Posted by hhh View Post
    Below are a couple of super interesting galleries showing how Serotta's carbon lugs work.

    They appear to start out as a solid pieces that are then machined to fit the tubes.

    PezCycling News - What's Cool In Pro Cycling : Serotta?s Meivici: Custom Carbon

    Serotta Tom Officer MeiVici SE Build Gallery Serotta
    Very cool. But certainly not cheap.

    I wonder how they make fully enclosed lugs like that before machining them. Bladder molding requires an inflation neck somewhere...
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  8. #8
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    Where can you buy carbon lugs??

    That is really cool stuff! Perhaps the inflation next is just not pictured?? I was thinking the same thing though. Making lugs looks quite difficult. I don't know if I would want to take that on. Sure does look cool on a finished bike though.

  9. #9
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    Where can you buy carbon lugs??

    Anyone have any ideas for making these lugs. Is the only way to use a mold and bladder?? What about using foam as an inside mold and wrap it with cf? Do you think that would have close enough tolerances to work?

  10. #10
    will rant for food
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtblucas View Post
    Anyone have any ideas for making these lugs. Is the only way to use a mold and bladder?? What about using foam as an inside mold and wrap it with cf? Do you think that would have close enough tolerances to work?
    A bladder isn't the only way, you can also use an "intensifier" which is a particularly mixed silicone that has a high thermal expansion rate - use it with a high temperature cure epoxy, and the form will expand a lot when heated. I do a way simple version of this to make carbon tubes using a polypropylene mandrel - after everything comes out of the oven, the polypro shrinks a lot, allowing easy mandrel removal.

    But for a complex shape you'd need to split the intensifier into multiple parts so you can remove them after cure.

    At any rate you need something that will expand forcefully during cure. I experimented with using expandable polystyrene beads (basically the stuff that becomes Styrofoam)... I found that my oven was too imprecise, and I'd either get not enough volume added, or I'd exceed the delicate temperature limit and they'd pop and deflate. If you can get your hands on a lab oven that could precisely maintain 170F that'd be an interesting technique. Then you'd just melt out the styrofoam with acetone.

    I was pretty bummed that the styrofoam approach didn't work for me, frankly. The care I have to put into not blowing out the neck on a mylar bladder is annoying.

    I'm meeting with a guy tonight to swap some lug / molding knowledge who clearly knows what he's doing, if he gives permission I could post again on this later.
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  11. #11
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    Where can you buy carbon lugs??

    So this "intensifier", is it something you make as well, or do you get one custom built from a company who specifically makes them? Perhaps building these lugs isn't out of the realm of possibility for me!

  12. #12
    will rant for food
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtblucas View Post
    So this "intensifier", is it something you make as well, or do you get one custom built from a company who specifically makes them? Perhaps building these lugs isn't out of the realm of possibility for me!
    It's a two part RTV silicone. You mix it and let it set, sort of like epoxy. The great irony here is that you need a mold for that... or you could make a block of the stuff and then machine it, which can *also* be expensive.

    I don't even know specifically what blend it is, and details are *extremely* sparse on the web. The silicones I've tested (the most promising being a shore 80 platinum silicone) don't expand nearly as much as I'd want them to.

    Sorry, this is sort of informative yet unhelpful at the same time.
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  13. #13
    Eric the Red
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    A local builder that I'm close with used to build lugged carbon frames, and stopped when the supply dried up. There just isn't anyone doing them anymore, although Enve expressed interest a couple of years ago but made it clear to him that it was a back burner project.
    If you want to build with carbon, you might look into tube to tube construction.

  14. #14
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    Drew

    Have you tried Teflon as an expander? Teflon will expand to 18 times its original size when heated. In my day job, I sell fire collars as a retro fit over plastic pipes that penetrate through firewalls in buildings. Its the black banded stuff in these collars that does the expanding. In a fire setting, the plastic pipe burns and goes soft and the teflon expands and closes the pipe off so the fire cannot pass through the wall or floor and continue through the building. I do not know the temperature that is required to trigger the teflon however. Just a thought.

    Eric
    If I don't make an attempt, how will I know if it will work?

  15. #15
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    Where can you buy carbon lugs??

    I have looked at the tube to tube and it looks like the easiest method. I would definitely like to give it a try once I understand the wrapping of the joints of the frame with cf. Not much info out there on it. Carbon seems to be shrouded in secrecy.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtblucas View Post
    Not much info out there on it. Carbon seems to be shrouded in secrecy.
    Try and think of it more like this: it's not as actively used / pursued as metal working. Still relatively young compared to metal working. The majority of people will do work, the minority will do work and share.

    Mostly about numbers, I'm guessing.

    Eric Malcolm - thanks for the tip, I'll check it out. Every time I think I've found a polymer with large thermal expansion someone points out another one, haha.
    Latitude: 44.93 N

  17. #17
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    Plenty of great carbon bikes are made by tacking mitered tubes and forming a lug round the tacked joint. I fail to see how any home brew will cost more than a market bike.
    Materials are fairly expensive but most of your cost is labor. Since a hobby builder should actually consider this time well wasted then that definitely assures the cost is far below a regular frame.
    Every detail of framebuilding is out there if you take the time to hunt it down. Whether you have or can acquire the skills to master it is a far more elusive mystery.

  18. #18
    metrotuned WoS
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    ENVE. Ogden, Utah.
    #willofthesun and author of the most viewed MTBR thread: Platform Pedal Shootout

  19. #19
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    Tube to Tube info here by one of the best.

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