Monday, October 6, 2008

Frosty Freeze Cold Chillin'

Have you heard the one about the frozen frames?

Saw this on Fat today—the new Quamen LoCal frame, which is "the first frame in the BMX industry to use Cryogenic Engineering."

Apparently it's a process that can be used in tandem with heat treating, although it also works as a stand-alone process.

The frame itself isn't anything to write home about—low top tube, standard angles and dimensions (74.5/13.75/11.5), even a more or less standard weight, four and a quarter pounds. No word of how much it's gonna cost.

Looks like they should have taken the frame off the lawn before initiating the cryogenic process, huh? Hey man, if it's good enough for Walt Disney and Ted Williams's head, I suppose it could be good enough for a street frame. It's a tried and tested process in other disciplines. Heat treat first, then rather than just cool to room temp, cool it WAY down. To below -200 degrees Fahrenheit.

(Of course, if this catches on, companies will start having to come up with cool (haha, get it?) names for their own freezing processes: "Iced Out." "Mr. Frosty." "Otter Pop Tubing." You know, that sort of thing.)

But hey, if you get to actually observe the process, just one word of advice: No matter how good your frame looks, for God's sake don't lick it.



devastator said...

they your ski's?
both of em?

Maxime Rousseau said...


t.f.a. said...


Guav said...

That just so happens to be my favorite BR song of all time.

nate said...

Lots of knife manufacturers use this type of process for treating their blades. Basically it make the steel pretty damn hard. But the downside is that the stuff can get pretty brittle. So if you get one of these be prepared for it to explosively shatter like a rat dipped in liquid nitrogen when you do that 10' drop off a ledge to flat.

I'm not knocking the frame since every frame I've had break on me has cracked at the weld(s). So the failur mode occurs for much the same reason in both cases. Should be interesting to see how this frame holds up.


Russ said...

Some of the stuff I read on cryogenic engineering (admittedly not much) seemed to imply that brittleness was a product of improper, uh, freezing.

The thing is, if you ask me, there has to be a limit as to how thin you can make tubing and have it still be dent/crack resistant. I understand that you can rearrange molecules and all that, but paper thin tubing is still paper thin tubing. And you're kind of setting things up for sudden catastrophic failure as opposed to some sort of progressive failure. Am I wrong? I could be. Should have taken some engineering courses.

Someone needs to produce a disposable carbon trails/park frame soon. It's gonna happen.

Anonymous said...

If I had a grand I didn't care about, I'd swap in a GT carbon race frame on my trails bike, just to see how it feels. The geometry's good, and their team guys go big enough that I wouldn't be scared to try it.

Bonus: it's shaped like a sail. That could get exciting.

Brett Rohlfing said...

they say it's the first frame to use that process, but from what i hear it may not be, just the first to openly say that they are doing... we might have some parts on our bikes right now that have undergone the same.

nate said...

Russ, you're exactly right on the money with the thin, brittle, frozen tubing cracking. All the engineering courses I took point to one thing: With the increased hardness and increased yield strength of the material comes waaaaayyy lower toughness. Basically I'd be afraid of casing a jump or dropping anything on the frame at a weird angle. Grinding the frame on anything would be a definite no-no as well.

So yeah, we might as well push Trek or Specialized to make a carbon trails frame for all the rich little suburban kids to destroy at their leisure. Maybe they could sell 'em in 3 packs or something. It's a niche market, but when has that stopped anyone from making an admittedly stupid product for the sake of making a buck?


BSLA said...

I heard about people doing this to their trombones, to make them slide better.

Russ said...

^^ Is that some kind of sexual innuendo?

Anonymous said...

Oh, I get it. Trombone... as in weener. That's clever!

Russ said...

So is being anonymous.