Tubemakers’ View

Posted on 28. Feb, 2009 by NAHBS in 2009 News

Customers of the framebuilders at this year’s NAHBS will be interested to know that these artisans are customers, too. Just as builders work one on one with individuals to create made to measure bicycles, the companies who supply them with their most basic raw material, the tubes, work closely with individual framebuilders to meet the precise demands of the craft.

Fabrizio Aghito, VP of Gruppo, the parent company of Columbus is at his 5th NAHBS. Makers of Spirit, Life, Zona and XCR, the first seemless stainless tubeset, he emphasized Columbus’ ongoing research in materials and tooling as being vital to their flexibility in customer relations. Distributed in the US by Nova Cycle Supply, they also sell direct.

Among Columbus’ most satisfied customers is Richard Sachs, who along with Dario Pegoretti, commissioned a tubeset they call PegoRichie. Made to meet the high standards of these two master craftsmen, Sachs said he and Dario worked for 16 months with Columbus to bring the tubeset to production. Available in three different versions, Sachs uses PegoRichie exclusively.

Another builder with a close relationship with a tube maker is David Kirk of Kirk Frameworks.

He works with Reynolds on custom alloys and tube shapes. His JK Special models use a different Reynolds or True Temper product for each tube area, matching the properties of the tube to the function and effect he wants to achieve for a particular customer. Kirk appreciates these supplier’s responsiveness to his (and therefore, his customer’s) needs, as well as his ability to order in smaller quantities, such as the fifty pairs of chainstays he orders from Reynolds each year.

Just as the customer of an NAHBS framebuilder demands the highest quality materials and craftsmanship, along with individual attention, so these builders demand the same from their tube suppliers.

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