[CR]KOF lugged-steel resurgent in Ottawa - Steelwool Bicycles

(Example: Framebuilding:Brazing Technique)

From: "Dr. Paul Williams" <castell5@sympatico.ca>
To: "Classic Rendezvous" <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
Date: Wed, 2 Apr 2008 20:38:30 -0400
Subject: [CR]KOF lugged-steel resurgent in Ottawa - Steelwool Bicycles

At the insistence of an acquaintance I stopped into a local bike shop yesterday - Phat Moose Cycles - and got talking to one of the owners, Kent. I had a great chat with him about bikes and, surprisingly, lugged steel bikes in particular. He showed me a nicely crafted lugged-steel frameset and complete road bike made by Steelwool Cycles here in Ottawa. They are built with stainless steel drop-outs and fork-ends as well as headlugs. They also have their signature eccentric bottom-bracket. Kent noted that he is building one of these framesets up with 70s kit!!


Steelwool bikes are being built locally by Tall Tree Cycles.


I thought that listmembers would relate to the building philosophy of Steelwool when they discuss why they chose steel -

"Why did we choose to use steel for our frame construction? The simple answer is, because that's what we like to ride.

Steel has an extraordinary fatigue limit. Essentially, this means that as long as the tubing is used within the limits it is designed to take, it could potentially last forever. That's not to say your frame will last until the end of time, but its very common for people to be riding steel frames for 20+ years.

The elegant smaller diameter steel tubing also has the advantage of providing a more compliant ride than other large diameter tubed frames. This translates into more comfort for the rider.

We have also chosen to use a lugged construction for our frames. Lugs offer a classic beauty to the frames, giving them some personality and uniqueness. It's not the cheapest method of joining tubes together. However, it gives a much larger surface area for the brazing metal and that makes for stronger joints. Brazing also allows much lower temperatures to be used, preventing damage to the metal structure. With a Steelwool Frame it's likely your frame will outlast you."


Eureka - I think they have got it!! How refreshing.

Paul Williams,

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada