many of you sopped up the alumalust and cast your vote for this bike on the radavist alumiwars last week n’ change, so maybe you are interested in procuring one of these bespoke all metal, all American crotch rockets???
the thesis statement for this production bike was to emulate the geo and lightweight-ness of popular, more progressive gravel dadio framesets, but make em out of materials that will last much longer than the current popular industry standard, all whilst utilizing classic lines that you won’t look back on with embarrassment years from now. It’s a future-proof fast bike you will keep for 15 years or more without the industry strange standards.
I should say the only strange standard is the direct mount center pull brakes. I spec’d these brakes simply because they are the best around. to modulate a direct mount center pull is an earthy delight in near rim crushing power. delightful crushing. These brakes clear a 42 without letting air out of the tire, but will clear 50mm tires if using that trick to get em in there. they will also allow for a nice full fender with the 42mm tires.
The obvious material/execution for me to achieve what I was after with this project was 7000 series aerospace Alu-min-ium, made in Vermont by the renowned Frank the Welder. Everything from the center pull direct mount brakes to the skinnied Frank-U-Trax fork are the very best selections from a highly opinionated person (me).
These production projects are primarily opportunities for me to get high on my own supply — non the less, I spent a lot of money on this fork in development and materials. it’s an 825g steel fork — not as easily achieved as you’d think, as I’ve learned. they used to make forks lighter before disc brakes, but the bracing required to place the force all the way down on the “lever” of a fork blade (think how the center pulls are mounted high up the “lever”) requires a much heftier set of tubing– and the inclusion of thru axles. they don’t even really make unicrown non disc fork blades anymore — so those light MTB forks from the 90s are a thing of the past. after much development, this is the lightest steel unicrown grav fork you can make in 2023. and it looks oh so cool with the “frank u trax” nod in the drop outs.
I have a heavier less refined fork to offer as an option for this bike also — it will cost about 200 bucks less and weigh about 400g more.
Th price for the 825g fork and frame will be 2,200 bucks with the raw finish, and about $200 more if you’d like a custom powder coat. if this makes you scoff, then i would suggest another blog — making 30 of these in the US costs considerably more than Taiwan — not saying things made here are better ( although Frank’s aluminum welds are modern marvels), but you should know that you are paying extra for made in the USA and thats just the way things go. It costs a lot more to live and work here than it does in china and Taiwan — even Japan or Italy.
my margin on these frames is next to nothing considering the work I put into them, so just so you know is all. consider the mainstream cross the sea made alternatives in shorter lived materials — an open u.p. costs 1000 more, and Enve MOG costs nearly double. an S-works Crux frame and fork is 5k! so those are some examples I wanted to replicate in full metal discless
Frank had a great idea of incorporating a brake booster into the frame as the brake bridge since the brakes are so powerful. cool eh?
Hope to have these available in November.