Last week I introduced you to the process Argonaut Cycles uses in fabricating their 100% custom carbon fiber bicycle frames. Through working with ICE, or Innovative Composite Engineering, in White Salmon, Washington, Ben has developed a new process that sets Argonaut apart from other manufacturers. When we left off earlier, we had fresh parts for a frame, straight from the molds. From there, Ben takes the frame parts to Portland where he joins the tubes with a Hysol specialty aerospace epoxy and then bakes the frame to cure the adhesive.
Once the frame is cured, it’s off to the painter for a clear coat or graphics treatment. Frames can be either custom painted, or with stock logos. For my frame, Keith Anderson painted a scheme I mocked up. Once coated, Ben can either build the bike up with the parts kit a client orders through him and ship it out, or just send the frame out to his client. For me, picking the bike up and going on a ride was the best experience I could have wanted.
I am far from a carbon fiber expert, but I’ve been enthralled in this whole process. It’s hard to not be enthusiastic over this whole project but as my bike keeps racking up miles, I’m a believer. This is the first carbon frame that I’ve felt any sort of attachment to, but that’s because I’ve never had one tailored to my specific riding style. The Argonaut process made that easy.
Now, there were a ton of comments and questions in last week’s post, so if you missed Ben’s replies, I updated Part 01 here.