making aluminum awesome

D'ALUISIO SMARTWELD

Aluminum is a great material for making bike frames; it’s light, it’s stiff, and it doesn’t cost a bajillion dollars. But there are some material properties that need to be taken into account when welding it together into a bicycle. This is where D’Aluisio Smartweld technology comes into play, and brings out the very best that aluminum has to offer.

making aluminum awesome

D'ALUISIO SMARTWELD

Aluminum is a great material for making bike frames; it’s light, it’s stiff, and it doesn’t cost a bajillion dollars. But there are some material properties that need to be taken into account when welding it together into a bicycle. This is where D’Aluisio Smartweld technology comes into play, and brings out the very best that aluminum has to offer.

What is Smartweld?

Smartweld is an engineering process that precisely matches the welded area of tube-to-tube joints, in turn allowing a better welded joint, much stronger weld areas, and ultimately a stronger, lighter frame. In the case of the new Chisel, we’re talking specifically about how the head tube, top tube and down tube are joined together. This is the highest stress area in a bicycle frame, and Smartweld is how we can achieve dramatically increased frame strength at close to carbon fiber weights.

WHAT IS SMARTWELD?

Smartweld is an engineering process that precisely matches the welded area of tube-to-tube joints, in turn allowing a better welded joint, much stronger weld areas, and ultimately a stronger, lighter frame. In the case of the new Chisel, we’re talking specifically about how the head tube, top tube and down tube are joined together. This is the highest stress area in a bicycle frame, and Smartweld is how we can achieve dramatically increased frame strength at close to carbon fiber weights.

Yeah, But What IS Smartweld?

Okay, Smartweld is where we engineer the shape of the head tube to precisely match the shape of the top and down tubes where they intersect. We also engineer the shape of the top and down tubes where they meet the head tube. We design these tubes to intersect exactly how we need them without any old-fashioned mitering or fudging, and we add material right at the ends of the tubes where they are welded together. The benefits of this are huge.

Yeah, But What IS Smartweld?

Okay, Smartweld is where we engineer the shape of the head tube to precisely match the shape of the top and down tubes where they intersect. We also engineer the shape of the top and down tubes where they meet the head tube. We design these tubes to intersect exactly how we need them without any old-fashioned mitering or fudging, and we add material right at the ends of the tubes where they are welded together. The benefits of this are huge.

Who is D’Aluisio?

Chris D’Aluisio is the engineering brain behind Smartweld. Initially, he was looking for a cosmetic solution – developing a process that would allow for very smooth, unobtrusive, seamless looking weld zones. Thing is, when he put these new frames on the test jig, they completely obliterated their existing reference points. Chris called Chuck Texeira (the legitimate godfather of modern aluminum as it pertains to bicycles) in to find out why and how this was happening, and according to Chuck, “we thought this was a good approach, but when we started testing them we found that these frames were lasting two to three times longer in cycles to failure and durability testing.” Smartweld, it turns out, was shaping up to be a whole lot more than just a pretty face.

WHO IS D'ALUISIO

Chris D’Aluisio is the engineering brain behind Smartweld. Initially, he was looking for a cosmetic solution – developing a process that would allow for very smooth, unobtrusive, seamless looking weld zones. Thing is, when he put these new frames on the test jig, they completely obliterated their existing reference points. Chris called Chuck Texeira (the legitimate godfather of modern aluminum as it pertains to bicycles) in to find out why and how this was happening, and according to Chuck, “we thought this was a good approach, but when we started testing them we found that these frames were lasting two to three times longer in cycles to failure and durability testing.” Smartweld, it turns out, was shaping up to be a whole lot more than just a pretty face.

The Hydroforming Advantage

Hydroforming – the process of using hydraulic pressure to shape aluminum tubing in a mold – goes hand in hand with Smartweld when it comes to unlocking aluminum’s full potential. Hydroforming allows for radical material shaping that can deliver exceptional directional stiffness where needed, provide plenty of metal in the high stress areas and also minimize the excess material where it isn’t needed. Hydroforming also allows us to precisely craft the jigsaw interface tube junctions in a way that is just not possible with any other metal forming process.

The Hydroforming Advantage

Hydroforming – the process of using hydraulic pressure to shape aluminum tubing in a mold – goes hand in hand with Smartweld when it comes to unlocking aluminum’s full potential. Hydroforming allows for radical material shaping that can deliver exceptional directional stiffness where needed, provide plenty of metal in the high stress areas and also minimize the excess material where it isn’t needed. Hydroforming also allows us to precisely craft the jigsaw interface tube junctions in a way that is just not possible with any other metal forming process.

No More Weld Flex

This engineered tube junction eliminates weld flex, which is one of the primary ways that aluminum welds can fail.By engineering this junction so precisely, we can place the weld zone where we want it, and move it away from stress points. This gives us more versatility in how we design and utilize our tubing, allowing us to ensure optimum weld strength while also employing lighter overall tubing.

NO MORE WELD FLEX

This engineered tube junction eliminates weld flex, which is one of the primary ways that aluminum welds can fail.By engineering this junction so precisely, we can place the weld zone where we want it, and move it away from stress points. This gives us more versatility in how we design and utilize our tubing, allowing us to ensure optimum weld strength while also employing lighter overall tubing.

Better Welds, In Every Way

The engineered Smartweld joints make welders very happy. The tight angles and crowded real estate around a bicycle head tube are challenging for the best welders to cleanly and consistently lay down their beads. Often the welders are “welding in space” as they pull tubes together with their weld beads, resulting in joints that are already pre-stressed. Smartweld eliminates that completely by offering perfectly aligned, easily accessible surfaces at the tube junctions.

BETTER WELDS, IN EVERY WAY

The engineered Smartweld joints make welders very happy. The tight angles and crowded real estate around a bicycle head tube are challenging for the best welders to cleanly and consistently lay down their beads. Often the welders are “welding in space” as they pull tubes together with their weld beads, resulting in joints that are already pre-stressed. Smartweld eliminates that completely by offering perfectly aligned, easily accessible surfaces at the tube junctions.

Focused Materials

By focusing on the material needs in the highly stressed weld zones, and putting the necessary material exactly where it needs to be, we also have the freedom to use tubing that delivers the ride characteristics we want, instead of having to make do with overbuilt tubing that sacrifices ride quality in order to be strong enough to survive the trauma of old-school welding.

Focused Materials

By focusing on the material needs in the highly stressed weld zones, and putting the necessary material exactly where it needs to be, we also have the freedom to use tubing that delivers the ride characteristics we want, instead of having to make do with overbuilt tubing that sacrifices ride quality in order to be strong enough to survive the trauma of old-school welding.

STRONGER, LIGHTER,
MORE PRECISE

The bottom line: D’Aluisio Smartweld enables us to maximize the potential of aluminum, bringing you an affordable high performance frame that is stronger, lighter, more compliant and better handling than anything that came before.

STRONGER, LIGHTER, MORE PRECISE

The bottom line: D’Aluisio Smartweld enables us to maximize the potential of aluminum, bringing you an affordable high performance frame that is stronger, lighter, more compliant and better handling than anything that came before.

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