NAHBS 2014: Crumpton Molds His Own Carbon Tubes for New Type 5 Road Bike

nabs 2014 - Crumpton Type 5 road bike with molded carbon tubes made in house

Since June, Nick Crumpton has been producing his own bladder molded carbon fiber frame tubes in house in Austin, TX.

Why? This gives them self reliance, and it gives them a “net shape” on the outside, meaning the outside diameter and shape is always perfect, all of the butting and tapering can be done on the inside. That’s versus rolled tube construction where layers are wrapped over a metal tube and have a fixed interior size but variable external diameter and thickness.

Crumpton says it also means all of the carbon is functional. In other words, it doesn’t need any superficial cosmetic layers that could add weight…

nabs 2014 - Crumpton Type 5 road bike with molded carbon tubes made in house

Lastly, it lets them ovalize the tubes to take full advantage of the junctions. Basically, Crumpton says it gives them complete control over the finished product while making it look better and saving a few grams.

nabs 2014 - Crumpton Type 5 road bike with molded carbon tubes made in house

Like last year, he’s holding off for a bit before offering disc brakes for road bikes until it all shakes out more. Nick says they’re small enough that the limited demand doesn’t justify the expense of new molds and testing. Yet, anyway.

nabs 2014 - Crumpton Type 5 road bike with molded carbon tubes made in house

The new tubes come together to create the new Type 5 road frame, his current top of the line model.

nabs 2014 - Crumpton Type 5 road bike with molded carbon tubes made in house

The Type 5 shown on left versus his previous standard models using third party tubes. Note the smoother transition between tubes now that he can match the tube diameter and width to the head tube perfectly.

CrumptonCycles.com

Comments

15 thoughts on “NAHBS 2014: Crumpton Molds His Own Carbon Tubes for New Type 5 Road Bike

  1. Was about to say something snarky about a very expensive and conventional-looking bike, but othatsniiiice…real nice .

  2. I’m all for new technology and beautiful hand-built, custom bikes. But…the bike industry is pricing itself out of reality here. $6500 for just a frame and fork? Seriously? I realize carbon is expensive, and the labor is expensive, but still! I recently bought a new motorcycle, came in right at $8000 on the dot. And it’s a really nice bike. Add in parts on this Crumpton frame and you’re looking at outpricing a brand new motorcycle. That’s just ridiculous.

  3. Drew, these bikes are really for the wealthy. It’s no different really than the Lightweight carbon wheels and Super Record groups.

  4. “This gives them self reliance, and it gives them a “net shape” on the outside, meaning the outside diameter and shape is always perfect, all of the butting and tapering can be done on the inside.”

    Really? you mean just like monocoque construction? Amazing.

    And people wonder why US manufacturing doesn’t take off, becoming bigger and more accessible. I’m not asking for cheap US carbon here, but can we find a compromise?

  5. Grind, not so sure they are claiming to have anything unique in how the tubes are made. This is more about a small 40-50 unit a year, made to measure company being self reliant when it comes to tube and material source. Not sure how many bike companies that small are doing that.

    What kind of compromise are you looking for?

  6. Crumptom’s game was already at high level, and now he’s turned things up to 11.

    I’d wager that Nick Crumpton knows his market well, at least well enough to appropriately price his bikes so that he can keep his shop open, provide himself a decent living, and provide his customers with exactly what they want……you know, basic economics at work.

    Oh, wait: was I supposed to whine about the price of a custom carbon fiber frame from a small builder, too?

  7. Amen, Psi Squared. I wouldn’t pay that much for a frame and fork but I’m sure the craftsmanship and customization justify the price. Cheers for small builders.

  8. @Psi Squared, I’m just some guy trying to break into bladder molding / carbon frame building, and I find your comment encouraging. When I first started my unfinished adventure, I was certain that I could compete with all small builders everywhere. With time… uh… I haven’t *reversed* my opinion since a few years ago, but my view on pricing has been changed repeatedly… the economic realities are pretty harsh.

    This is some premium stuff, I dig Nick’s work.

  9. Grind, what is a reasonable amount of money to pay for a “quality” carbon bike?

    “Quality” being the operative word in that sentence. I went to nahbs and saw very few “quality” carbon frames. IMO.

  10. I am happy that I am on the waiting list for this bike and will be riding it next year. It will be full Campy Super Record EPS with the latest Bora 35 clincher wheels. I will leave no stone unturned, to make this bike the best it can be. As Oscar Wilde said, “My tastes in life are simple, I’m always satisfied with the best.”

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