Richard Sachs Framebuilding Material

As a framebuilder whose career began in the ferrous era, I have always had a synergy with lugs. Despite that the industry eventually eschewed steel as a viable material for making bicycle frames en masse; I believe the best are still made with it. I also think the best of the best are made with lugs. Part of my reasoning is romantic and tied to the baggage I inherited by dint of my early 1970s arrival on framebuilding’s doorstep. And part of it is because I have spent four decades observing as folks have tried to reinvent the bicycle.

For all the science, materials engineering, and bar graphs one can throw at a board, nothing changes the fact that technique and technology go hand in hand. To this end, I believe that the best bicycles are the ones made by folks untethered to price points, model year choices, and marketing trends. Among this group are some remarkable craftspeople whose frames are made, by hand, with lugs.

I first designed lugs in 1981 when an alliance I had with my supplier, Takahashi Press Company Ltd, led to a collaboration. Prototypes I supplied would become the launching pad for a new line of parts they were introducing. The company was moving production of some its items made using the bulge forming process to what was referred to as lost wax casting.

For that project, I reworked some Nervex Ref. 32 lugs that I had been using for the previous seven years. The ideal was to produce these shapes in a ready-to-use version. Prior to the investment cast era, framebuilders were not just brazers and assemblers; they were metalsmiths too. It was part of the job to take small, pressed steel products from no-name European companies, rework them to look more beautiful, machine them so that the interference fits between them and the tubes they held would be improved, and also make them fit frame designs of the day. And – after the hand labor required for this – the frames still had to be built. The Takahashi project that I was involved in was the first to take some of the labor out of the intermediary tasks of framebuilding by producing higher quality raw materials for the trade. Lugs that fit better, had consistent quality and ones that were available with a higher degree of finish and were more beautiful – these were the goal, and I am proud to have been part of that. The first versions hit the market in late 1983.

The next time my designs would show up in frame lugs would be about a decade later. In 1990, Bridgestone Bicycle Company commissioned me to create a set of frame lugs for a line of road bicycles they were making. Unlike the first ones I did for Takahashi, the B.B.C. lugs needed to be ornate and have a look-at-me quality. These parts would be used on manufactured bicycles and the work order asked that the shapes I arrived at should have enormous visual appeal and encourage the potential client and end user to want to look at the bicycle and be pleased with the details. The interaction between me, Bridgestone’s U.S. office, as well as the folks based in Japan, spanned well over a year. While the prototypes took less than two days to create, we all spent months deliberating over whether the technology existed to produce such intricate parts.

The text of a fax that contains some of the information that speaks to the trepidation and delays involved has been posted elsewhere, but sadly, B.B.C. closed its doors in the mid 1990s before the lugs were ever made, but the project was salvaged, tools were made, and the new lugs were ultimately used on the frames marketed by Rivendell Bicycles.

Through the years as the industry has decidedly become non-ferrous and placing so much emphasis on industrial-made bicycles, the need for high quality steel tubing and fine lugs to join them with became less and less. By 2000 I was thoroughly disenchanted with the supply chain and began plotting a way to become both my own supplier as well as a resource for other peer framebuilders who also felt that the well was going dry. By 2002 my first set of modern era I.C. parts for what were now OS (over-sized) dimensions became a reality. I branded them Richie-Issimo. The set included a matching fork crown and bottom bracket shell. Within two years, I added the Newvex, Nuovo Richie, and Rene Singer lug sets to the list of goods I offered to the trade. In 2004, working in tandem with Dario Pegoretti, and collaborating with Columbus in Italy, a design for a new tube set became a reality. The concept was to create the first 21st Century steel tube set specifically designed for artisan framebuilders who chose lugs as their joining process. PegoRichie tubing entered the vernacular by 2005. In 2011, a ÜOS (Über OverSize) version of PegoRichie tubing was added to the line, along with Sax Max lugs, bottom bracket shells, front derailleur braze-ons, and a 28.6mm fork crown sized for 27mm ÜOS fork blades.

If someone asked me about the state of framebuilding in the late 1990s, I may have sounded discouraged, jaded, and even poor-mouth. Part of me still had ties to the romantic and humble beginnings of an earlier era. Somewhere along the way, I was able to reverse engineer some of the trends leading up to Y2K and put myself in the position of designer for, and as a supplier to, many of the fine craftspeople who now comprise the framebuilding community.

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Richard Sachs Piccoli Gioielli Front Dropouts

Investment cast in steel.

Steel: $24.00 set. Add To Cart

Stainless: $28.00 set. Add To Cart

Richard Sachs Piccoli Gioielli Rear Dropouts

Investment cast in both steel and stainless.

Available seat/chainstay angles:

64°, 68° & 72°

Steel: $40.00

 

Stainless: $48.00
Sachs Maxs Lugs & Bottom Bracket Shell Richard Sachs “Sax Max” Series Lugs & Bottom Bracket Shell

It was nearly 10 years ago that my Richie-Issimo lug sets and bottom bracket shells came on to the market. This was my humble attempt at becoming my own supplier as well as a source for other effbuilders and bolster what was then a shrinking pool of raw material. Since that time, I’ve done another 18 or so mold tools for cast lugs, fork crowns, b.b. shells, and braze-ons. This past autumn i decided to grow the original parts and make them available for UOS (über-oversize) frame dimensions atmo. The short of it is that these are for 36mm head tubes, 35mm down tubes, and 31.8mm top and seat tubes.

Note: currently both steel and stainless lug sets will ship with a standard steel bottom bracket shell.

Steel: $95.00 set. Add To Cart

Stainless: $105.00 set. Add To Cart

PegoRichie Tubing (by Columbus) PegoRichie Tubing (by Columbus)

This tube set was co-invented by Dario Pegoretti and Richard Sachs towards the end of 2004. The material is a specially-designed Columbus niobium steel alloy. The two aimed for a new set of tubing, made specifically for those bicycle framebuilders endeared to the lugged method of construction; essentially both wanted a metal that would allow any builder of merit to make a frame for the times — as Richard says ‘a 21st century frame set that felt modern and looked modern’.

Contact for details and pricing.

Richie-issimo Series Lugs Richard Sachs “Richie-issimo Series” Lugs

The design of the lugs is an evolved version of the detail work I did on various frames built in the 1970s and 1980s coupled with some shapes I have explored for the last 6-7 years. In addition to being spec’ed for oversized tubes, the lower head lug has cast-in threaded bosses for modern gear systems. The upper head lug has a built in 18 mm extension to better complement modern headset and stem dimensions. And the seat lug is just plain bitchin’!

Steel: $60.00 set. Add To Cart

Nuovo Richie Series Lugs Richard Sachs “Nuovo Richie Series” Lugs

What are well detailed, ornate-without-being-froufou, and austere, all at the same time? These Nuovo Richie Series lugs are now available after nearly 18 months in the development stage. Spec’ed for oversized tubes.

Steel: $60.00 set. Add To Cart

Stainless: $67.00 set. Add To Cart

Newvex Series Lugs Richard Sachs “Newvex Series” Lugs

A modern re-working of the classic Nervex series of lugs. Spec’ed for oversized tubes, the upper head lug has a built in 18 mm extension to better complement modern headset and stem dimensions.

Steel: $60.00 set. Add To Cart

Stainless: $67.00 set. Add To Cart

Rene Singer Series Lugs Richard Sachs “Rene Singer” Series Lugs

Get in touch with your inner constructeur atmo. These parts are spec’ed for oversized tubes, the lower head lug has cast-in threaded bosses for modern gear systems. The upper head lug has a built in 18 mm extension to better complement modern headset and stem dimensions.

Steel: $60.00 set. Add To Cart

Stainless: $67.00 set. Add To Cart

IMG_3415 Richard Sachs “Richie-issimo Series 2.0″ Fork Crown

A 2013 update to the classic Richie-issimo fork crown; lighter and wider than the original, but with a larger contact patch for brazing. As with the original, each pocket has a precision cast well built in to receive decorative reinforcements—brazed in simultaneously with the fork blade—which will be supplied.

Steel: $30.00 each. Add To Cart

Steel: $37.00 each. Add To Cart

Richie-issimo Series Fork Crown Richard Sachs “Richie-issimo Series” Fork Crown

The fork crown represents the first change to my flat crown shape since 1982. I widened the centerlines by 8mm and increased the pocket height by 6mm. The brake holes are pre-drilled and counter-bored, while a built-in lip exists to keep the steerer in place. Newly added contours on the crown’s shelf will help better position the headset race. Each pocket has a precision cast well built in to receive decorative reinforcements—brazed in simultaneously with the fork blade—which will be supplied. Because the crown is hollow, these additions & revisions will not affect the overall weight.

Steel: $30.00 each. Add To Cart

Stainless: $37.00 each. Add To Cart

Newvex Series Fork Crown Richard Sachs “Newvex Series” Fork Crown

With features similar to that of the Richie-issimo fork crown, the Newvex crown is designed to complement the Newvex series of lugs. The brake holes are pre-drilled and counter-bored, while a built-in lip exists to keep the steerer in place. Contours on the crown’s shelf will help better position the headset race. Each pocket has a precision cast well built in to receive decorative reinforcements—brazed in simultaneously with the fork blade—which will be supplied.

Steel: $30.00 each. Add To Cart

Stainless: $37.00 each. Add To Cart

Richie-issimo Bottom Bracket Shell (with RS logo) Richard Sachs “Richie-issimo Series” Bottom Bracket Shell (with RS logo)

Investment cast bottom bracket shell, cast with the RS logo as shown. Available in steel only.

BOTTOM BRACKET SHELL SPECIFICATIONS

31.8 x 28.6 x 30/17 mm
60.0° x 62.0° x 7.5°

All shells supplied with plastic cable liner to eliminate paint abrasion issues.

Steel: $35.00 each Add To Cart

Richie-issimo Bottom Bracket Shell (without logo) Richard Sachs “Richie-issimo Series” Bottom Bracket Shell (without logo)

Investment cast bottom bracket shell, cast without the RS logo. Available in steel only.

BOTTOM BRACKET SHELL SPECIFICATIONS

31.8 x 28.6 x 30/17 mm
60.0° x 62.0° x 7.5°

All shells supplied with plastic cable liner to eliminate paint abrasion issues.

Steel: $35.00 each Add To Cart

Richard Sachs Front & Rear Dropouts Richard Sachs Forged Dropouts

I have recently taken receipt of the remaining inventory of forged road dropout sets from Tecnociclo. In so many words I was told that “this is it”. This firm has been *the* primary supplier/manufacturer of steel parts to the framebuilding industry since the ’70s. I have used these dropouts in one form or another all through the decades. Some of you might recognize these if they were stamped “Campagnolo”. Others may have used these with the “Columbus” imprint. I have had them produced with my name since 1993.

Forged Steel: $20.00 set. Add To Cart

Richard Sachs Front Derailleur Tabs Richard Sachs Front Derailleur Braze-on Tabs

Available in “regular” and stainless steel.

Steel: $10.00 each. Add To Cart

Stainless: $10.00 each. Add To Cart

Richard Sachs Sax Max Front Derailleur Tab Richard Sachs “Sax Max” Front Derailleur Braze-on Tabs

The original Richie-issimo braze-on front derailleur tab was introduced in 2004. With the evolution of tubing diameters now including 31.7mm as a standard, the part has been reissued in ÜOS (über-oversize) dimensions to match.Salient features include being precision cast, high-style, self-seating, a well for a slice of brazing material, and a design which allows for both traditional AND compact gears to be used on the same bicycle frame.

Steel: $10.00 each. Add To Cart

Stainless: $10.00 each. Add To Cart





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