street vehicle vintage designAdventure

Bicycle Frames: Alloy 6061, Titanium, Wood And… Grass?

Wanda’s frame is made out of, err… an alloy! Sexy 6061. According to Wikipedia, it “... is a precipitation-hardened aluminium alloy, containing magnesium and silicon as its major alloying elements. Originally called “Alloy 61S”, it was developed in 1935. It has good mechanical properties, exhibits good weldability, and is very commonly extruded (second in popularity only to 6063). It is one of the most common alloys of aluminium for general-purpose use.” So there you go. (I now need to work out what ‘extruded’ means in this context but moving on…).

A few days ago a friend sent me a link to the following video all about a wood frame:

‘Wood’ I ride it? Well, I ‘wood’ [that’s enough wood jokes…] give it a go. Andrew, the owner of Twmpa Cycles, who appears in the video, gives the wooden frame a convincing sell and the chap interviewing him from GCN seems very positive about the bike as a whole. On a sustainability level, the bike certainly ticks a big box and as I watched I was immediately reminded of the bamboo bike ridden by Libby Bowles. She appeared at last week’s online Cycle Touring Festival and talked about her bike.

I actually spoke to Libby myself back in 2018 for The Cycling Europe Podcast. She talked mainly about the work she did when travelling through New Zealand trying to highlight the issue of the disposal of plastics in the sea, but she does make reference to the bike. She made the bike herself at the Bamboo Bicycle Club in London. I suppose that one major advantage of bamboo over wood is that it grows in tubes. It’s all part of her very positive, sustainable message. She doesn’t refer to ‘bamboo’, she refers to it as being made from ‘grass’ which is even more eye-catching. Here is what she had to say:

You can find out more about Libby’s passion for the environment (as well as the bike) on her website, She is an extremely eloquent speaker and should you ever get the chance to go and see her, I would recommend that you do so. She might even have her ‘grass’ bike with her…

One last thing on the subject of frames; in the recent episode 28 of The Cycling Europe Podcast, Simon Parker talked about his Van Nicolas titanium bike. Van Nicolas, a Dutch company that is part of the same group of companies as Koga (and, interestingly, Raleigh…), bill themselves as ‘the titanium bike experts‘ and they make some amazing bicycles. Simon didn’t talk too much about his bike in the podcast (although he did point out that they were due to send him a replacement for the bike that he had used in his ‘Earth Cycle’ TV series – lucky so and so!) but when he did, my mind immediately cast back to the Bike Show in Birmingham in 2017. What a beauty! What a price!!

Categories: Adventure, Cycling

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