Hard steel and stuff from Spain

A couple of new pages at the BIP.A Firstly, a bunch of material about Carpenter Technology’s Aermet 100 steel alloy for bicycles (and landing gear).A Man, did I get a hard one when this stuff came out.A It was 1994 and aluminum and titanium were pretty much the bee’s knees for frames.A Carpenter found a way to mill Aermet into tubing and make it braze-able.A No butting, 0.5mm from one end to the other.A I ordered some and built myself a new road frame.A I used Hank James’ mountain lugs and built it inAa ‘compact’ style.A Super hard, my files would not scratch it and I used grinding wheels to mitre the tubes.A End result was a 3.5 pound frame that my 250 pounds could ride.A Well, for a while.A After about a year I got a creak and discovered a crack in the seat tube where the front derailleur clamped onto it.A The tubing was so thin that the clamp deformed it just enough to cause trouble.A I replaced that with another aerment tube but with a ‘ring’ of chrome-moly pushed into the bottom to reinforce that area.A Did the trick.A I put a few thousand miles on it but then one of the chainstays rusted through (non-aermet) due to my lack of frame prep after the build.A Someday I’ll fix it.
I consider Aermet to be the grand-daddy of today’s high strength steel tubing like 853 an OX from True Temper.A I think that Carpenter had hoped to sell this technology to a bike tubing manufacturer.A They only made small amounts in an experimental mill.A I never saw very many frames made of it.A I think Bilenky played around with it for a tandem, but my memory is hazy.A

Zeus.A Or the Spanish Campy.A I have put upAa ZeusAcatalog from around 1985 that has their groups plus a bunch of other odd stuff in it.A I remember seeing my first Zeus bikes back in the seventies.A They seemed to be a lot of bike for the money.A The Zeus components were a blatant copy of Neuvo Record, but for a few dollars less.A Someone in Philly must have done well in selling them as I used to see a large group of African-American riders at the club rides on them.A We referred to them as the "Zeus Guys".A I remember doing a century around ’75 or ’76 and riding on River Road just north of New Hope.A The road back then was horrible, narrow and filled with pot-holes.A Rain was coming down in torrents and I was with one of the Zeus Guys.A The weather and the road were so bad we rode down the center of the lane to avoid the pot-holesAnear the shoulder.A We would build up a line of cars and every once in a while someone would honk.A We’d both turn and glare and that would settle matters.A Between the two of us, we must have totalled around 45o# and over 6′ 3″ apiece.

About Bobby Sapovits

The creator of the Bicycle Info Project. Dedicated to scanning hundreds of old bicycle catalogs for restoration work, research, and general bike curiosity.
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