Isn’t that bike a bit small for you mate?

Chances are that at some point some incredibly witty sort will have shouted this tired old phrase after you as you roll down the street. You may have noticed that they wait until you are a fair distance away before they shout it, and they don’t hang around to hear your equally witty rejoinder of a punch in the bollocks.

But what if they were right?

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Bent Frame Spotting

When the ancient Egyptians were laying out the great pyramid at Giza over four and a half thousand years ago they had little more than bits of wood and string to help them lay it out. And yet they got all four sides bang on the four compass points and the lengths of the sides accurate to better than 0.1%. Time has taken its toll on the outer skin but it is still dead square and straight…

However in all that time they never once tried to 360 a set of stairs on it either…

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Living in a Material World…

“Supertherm or Ox platinum? T45 or Reynolds 853? Sanko or Tange? What’s it all about?”

Yep, several people have been foolish enough to ask me to write a tech column on all the “fancy” tubes that companies are increasingly using to make frames. Obviously this is unlikely to be an exciting story with dumb security guards and drunken antics but I will do my best to prevent it being completely unreadable.

First job though, go and put the kettle on. You will need it later and you don’t want to have to wait for it to boil. From here to the bit you need the kettle for should be just about right to let it boil, only boil as much water as you will need for a cup of tea. If everyone only ever boiled enough water for the job we could close two power-stations….

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Frame Design Details

Over the years there have been some pretty wacky frame designs. Hutch, for example, used to make a frame called the Trickstar. This was loved by a lot of riders of the day, especially flatlanders, for its super steep head angle and abundance of scuffing room. The scuffing room came at the expense of strength at the weird head tube junction. Hutch obviously decided that it was still way too strong and went on to produce the Trickstar II, which had a specially weakened rear triangle to match. The rear triangle also helped to make the Mk 2 look like a wheel barrow (not just any wheel barrow mind, an UGLY wheel barrow) and that was that for Hutch.

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I seriously thought people would be sick of this technical column by now, but it seems not. I always aimed for it to have a little useful information in each, presented in a reasonably entertaining way. Unfortunately they were tedious beyond measure and I am genuinely surprised that no one has told me to shut up yet. Since nobody has, this months will break new ground with its tedium. If anyone has any requests for future ones (assuming this one doesn’t finish the whole idea off) then I would be interested to hear from you…

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