Maietta Goes Titanium

Tough Miter

Originally uploaded by anthony.maietta

Last night I began my journey into the world of titanium bicycles. Maietta Factory Racer Dave Chiu will be the recipient of the first titanium bike I build. He is currently racing a steel Maietta and it will be really interesting to get a head to head comparison of the two as the geometry and components will be identical. I mitered the three main tubes last night and it honestly was quite a bear. Dave’s frame is a compact 52cm; with an actual seat tube length of 49cm. Couple the small frame with gigantic tubes and it leads to some interesting speedbumps. The diameter of the seat tube is 31.8mm and the top tube is 35.0mm. With a steel frame the process of ovalizing a tube make the intersection possible is pretty easy and straightforward, but with a Ti tube it was almost impossible to get it to be symetrical and not create some weird polygon shape. I got it perfect, but it took a long time. The down tube is 38.0mm and required the standard double miter at the seat tube junction, but I needed to add a pretty substantial double miter at the head tube for the top tube. One his steel frame with the same geometry I used a 28.6mm top tube and a 35.0mm down tube and the tubes just barely touched each other. With a 35.0mm top tube and a 38mm down tube there is a pretty substantial tube overlap. Again, I got it right where I wanted it, but it took longer than expected. I went though 15 or 20 air tool abrasives; the titanium really does a number on your tooling. The miters ended up very very tight and I am really pleased with how it came out. I’d like to get the front triangle finished tonight. I’ll be making a field trip to October Handmade Bikes in Lynn, MA sometime in the near future to and some sexy s-bends to the seat stays for this bike. This build is going to be a fun one!

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