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Kirk Frameworks Co.
Congratulations on adding carbon to your choices of material. Will you be using carbon for all styles of your bikes (road, cyclocross, MTB), or is it only for a particular type? What do you consider is the most important attribute that carbon brings to your bikes? Any thoughts of mixing of material between Ti, Steel, Aluminum, and Carbon?
I think carbon fibers best application is on the road and I want to keep my carbon production to a third of my business so I don't currently have any plans to do anything but road bikes. I may in the future offer cross I doubt I'll ever offer carbon MTB's.
The most important attribute carbon brings to the table are lightness and stiffness at the same time. In my opinion, frame design is all about rider priorities. Carbon allows me to further tailor frame design for the individual. I can build a frame that's 800g (before paint)that is quite stiff. If a riders priorities for lightness and stiffness are at the top of their list carbon is a great choice.
As for mixing material I've been doing that for years. I've built just about every combination you could imagine including a Stainless, carbon and titanium frame. I usually recommend choosing one material based on it's properties and sticking with it for those reasons. In rare cases I may build with several materials but only when there is a good reason to do so.
First, I wanted to say how great the Carbon site on your web page looks, just like the rest of your site, and how excited I am to see a new offering from you available. I was curious how you are going to work these carbon frames into your work schedule. Are you going to make them as they are ordered or do them in batches and limit the number you make per year? Just curious, your ordering and build process were so well run in the purchase of my steel frame and I just figured carbon may skew things a bit. Thanks for the insight.
I just saw your photos of your, and by “your” I mean a bike for you to personally ride, new frame. It looks pretty nice. I wanted to get your initial impression of the frame. Without getting into the BS of Vertically stiff and laterally whatever, how does the bike ride compared with your own work in ti and steel bikes, asuming that you've not made radical changes in geometery? Is this the wave of Strong Frames future, or will one-off steel and Ti remain the balance of your work?
"I think I know what military fame is; to be killed on the field of battle and have your name misspelled in the newspapers."
I don't think that carbon fiber is the wave of Strong Frames future. It's just an addition to what I offer and I expect it will always make up a small percentage of what I build. For most of my customers steel or titanium will fit their priorities better but there will be some for which carbon fiber will be a great fit. My guess is that my percentages will be around 50% titanium, 40% steel and 10% carbon fiber.