Monday, September 19, 2011

The story thus far...

The Universe works in strange ways. I never thought I’d find myself in San Francisco combining my love of origami with sheets of metal rather than paper. But here I am and I have backup! We are a team of adventurous souls with the same love of the craft and a yearning to be independent.

This brings us to why we are reading this, rather than riding bikes around in the glorious sunshine, (today is a remarkable 80 degrees in San Francisco). Our team, Ronin Bicycle Works, wants to continue our work to affordably bring the bicycling community one of the lightest, stiffest and most durable bicycle frames on the market and bring back bicycle frame manufacturing to the US. Since we have a strong independent streak, we want to do it without the usual angel funding or venture capital. Why do we think we can do it? Because we can fold the stiffest sheet metals like they were paper, bond the parts together without welding or brazing and because we’ve already built a working lightweight frame out of aluminum 6061-T6. 

The great people over at Galgon Industries, Manfred, Steve, Tony, Colin, Tuan and Sarathy, (to name a few), were instrumental in getting the first prototype out. Over the course of three weeks we met, designed, rapid prototyped in paper and burned out the first set of parts out of metal. The first parts went together without issue and made a good bike. We burned a set of reinforcement parts to add to the frame and made an excellent bike. Then Galgon Industries announced its retirement after 44 remarkable years. We wish your team a happy retirement and for the rest of you youngsters, a happy new job placement!



Now we’d like to work with the Kickstarter community to take us the rest of the way to create production ready US made bicycle frames. With the lessons learned from the first prototype, we could kick out an amazing aluminum 6061-T6 road bike frame quickly. But we’d also like to work with titanium, various series of aluminum, steel and magnesium. We’d also like your input on what type of frame you’d like to see, whether it be road, mountain full suspension or hardtail, 29’er, commuter, beach cruiser or other type of bike. Look for us on Kickstarter soon. For more information on our technology and team go here: http://www.roninmetalmasters.com.

4 comments:

  1. I would love to see a cruiser with a frame design like this. I have ordered my frame via kickstarter and intend to make an internal 8 speed commuter with it. I put a lot of miles on my bicycles every year and this unique frame will likely make me want to put on even more.

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  2. Two very cool trikes being made by home builders today are the 11 kg velomobile by Harald Winkler (carbon fibre U-frame, zotefoam shell) and Mosquito velomobile (wood frame and Dacron skin-on-frame shell). Could you match the weight of Winkler's velo or build an equally stable and light frame as the Mosquito velomobile builders have done, with your sheet folding techniques?

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