Dave Levy – Ti CyclesPosted: June 2, 2011
After the visit to Chris King, we headed to a very secluded forest road in the hills overlooking Portland to take a look around Dave Levy’s Ti Cycles workshop.
My knowledge of working with titanium was patchy to say the least, so I pestered Dave for the following nuggets of information..
– Increased cleanliness is needed. Dave’s Ti tubes are cleaned abrasively inside and outside, then cleaned with an ultra-sonic cleaner before being dried carefully with towels.
– Ti has less thermal conductivity than steel, and so holds heat in one place for longer.
– Ti is more flexible than steel, so requires more flexing than steel to align a tube or frame and overcome any “memory effect” where the metal tries to return to its pre-cold-setting position. This necessitates a higher BB post on the alignment table:
– Ti is a reactive metal, and so Argon is needed to back-purge inside the tubes as well as to shield the weld area to prevent oxidisation.
– Ti doesn’t like having a hard line pressed into it as this can cause the tube to fail from a stress fracture. That means, unlike with steel, where you can press a dent into a chainstay to give more tyre or chainring clearance:
Dave ovalizes his titanium chainstays.
This device is used to ovalize larger titanium tubes, like tandem downtubes:
– Ti is good for manipulating and ovalizing.
Most of Dave’s frames are left bare metal and just Scotchbrite finished with a Dynafile.
Here are some more pictures from around the workshop:
These next shots are from upstairs in the office area:
So, that concludes the Ti Cycles shop tour.
My next post will be from my visit to Mitch Pryor at Map Bicycles.