Ministry Cycles is Taking Pre-Orders for their Glued-Together Psalm 150

Feb 6, 2023 at 8:10
by Mike Levy  
photo

Remember the Ministry Cycles Psalm 150 that we showed you last year? The 150mm-travel aluminum frame is machined in two halves and then stuck together using aerospace-grade glue, the result being, in my opinion, one hell of a good-looking bicycle. Those who agree with that will be happy to hear that the Psalm 150 is close to production, with the first twenty frames being available this spring either on their own or as part of a complete custom build. As you might have guessed, these are not inexpensive things; a frame costs $5,000 USD, including the $1,000 refundable pre-order deposit.

That will get you the 7075 frame with either a RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate RC2T, Super Deluxe Coil Ultimate, Fox Float X2, or a DHX2 rear shock. Another $300 USD will see your Psalm 150 come with a custom-tuned EXT Storia Lok V3
Psalm 150 Details
• Intended use: Trail / enduro
• Travel: 150mm rear / 160mm front
• Frame material: CNC 7075 aluminum
• Wheel size 29"
• 3VO suspension
• Interchangeable dropouts
• Head angle: 65°
• Seat angle: 77.7°
• Reach: 480 / 490mm (adjustable)
• MSRP: $5,000 USD (frame + shock)
• More info: www.ministrycycles.com

The one hold-up, at least for shorter or taller riders, is that the Psalm 150 will only be available in a medium-ish-to-large size with a 480mm to 490mm reach number that's adjustable via headtube inserts. Chris Currie, the man behind Ministry Cycles, has plans for other sizes down the road, and you can follow his development process on the Ministry Cycles Instagram page.




Why not welded tubes or molded carbon fiber? "I'm looking for a fabrication method that can scale while still allowing for customization, flexibility, and agility," Currie told me adding that it also gives him more control over the manufacturing of his bike, especially compared to following the same route others have that eventually lead to, "big bike factories." Ministry is aiming to produce more frames than most small builders would be able to weld up, but turning to carbon fiber creates all sorts of baked-in challenges, especially when it comes to timelines and, God forbid, wanting to make a quick mid-production cycle update to the design.


photo


All that led Currie to look at CNC machining, but he explained that it required outside help and plenty of homework: "When your goal is to make more than a handful of frames a year, you need to build a team and systems. I finally found a great engineer, Jordan Jackson at Certa Design and Engineering in the UK, to work out the shapes and do FEA so we were sure we had a solid foundation. Then researching the best way to bond, and the different adhesives, and finally finding a factory capable of machining the frames--at a time when aluminum was hitting record high prices--it was one hell of a learning experience. I've been in the bike industry for a long time, but almost none of that ended up mattering. Making this frame meant tearing up the playbook and finding new ways to do things."


Ministry Cycles Psalm 150


If you want to know more about the Psalm 150, you can check out our First Look article that has all the details or listen to our podcast with Chris Currie below.




THE PINKBIKE PODCAST // EPISODE 145 - MINISTRY CYCLES ON ALTERNATIVE MANUFACTURING, GLUING FRAMES, & STARTING A BUSINESS
September 22nd, 2022

Aluminum, glue, and online sales.


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296 Comments
  • 339 3
 I prefer my metal frames to be glued together with the magical electric lightning
  • 36 1
 Suzuki glued their DR 250 / 350 swingarams back in the late 80's and I never heard of any problems with them.
  • 117 5
 I feel it would be more fitting if they were held together with hopes and prayers.
  • 3 47
flag jdendy (Feb 6, 2023 at 12:51) (Below Threshold)
 Yeah. The 1980’s and 90’s called. They want their bike back.
  • 4 2
 And doesn’t Foes still make monocoque style frames?
  • 8 0
 @jdendy: It doesn't look like they do anymore but theirs were hydroformed and welded rather than CNC machined and bonded.
  • 5 1
 I remember the early days with Raleigh and Giants bonded bikes. It was pretty exciting to have the down tube pull out of the headtube on a fast downhill ... yee haaaa
  • 2 0
 Amen
  • 9 1
 I’ve been praying they miraculously release a burly welded version, the Pslam 170 (pronounced Slam 170).
  • 6 14
flag sanchofula (Feb 6, 2023 at 14:33) (Below Threshold)
 So the frame is MORE expensive glued together than welded?

Umm, that seems backwards to me ... it certainly is easier than welding, perhaps cheaper even, so the price, wow, I can only imagine how much more a welded frame would cost Wink
  • 6 39
flag kyleluvsdh (Feb 6, 2023 at 15:00) (Below Threshold)
 Pinkbike refused to post this on the front page for some reason so here it is:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvDC-wJkEtM&t=679s
  • 3 2
 Dear God!
  • 9 6
 @Nandus: That's because the motorcycle industry has engineers that actually know what they are doing.
  • 14 0
 So do most but here a tidbit from the motorsports world, a lot of Aston Martins and Lotus chassis are bonded in this way. I worked on an Aston Martin Vantage that won its class in Le Mons a few years back and low and behold, no welds. Super wild but it does work!
  • 2 3
 Can't verify the bond gap or integrity. Thinnest at the front where it gets worked hard in the huck to flat or 50/50 load case. Chicken rivets like aerospace or make the headtube integral to one side. Be safe!
  • 4 0
 @Exbow: who consult with adhesives experts like all the other engineers relying on products they don’t make.
  • 4 0
 @Jeffmn8: I didn't have any of those.
  • 1 0
 @jdendy: They had 3-way calling in the 80’s?
  • 8 0
 @sanchofula: The 7075 material cost and hollow machining are the expensive parts right now. Working on some ideas for the future, though.
  • 4 0
 @cooper95: Being used in a lot of automotive applications these days, and looks like what Koenigsegg and Polestar are doing really interesting things. Maybe I need to move to Sweden.
  • 10 1
 @kyleluvsdh: wtf does this have to do with the article?
  • 8 0
 @tipsword: mine is still holding together 32 years after I bought it.

Was my MTB for 10 years before I started riding more serious trails, and since then has mostly been relegated to commuting and touring. Would have done at least 35000km on it in that time. The drop-bar 'gravel' conversion is new in the last couple of months.

trigger warning - bike has a rack and mirror Smile
www.pinkbike.com/photo/24172167
  • 2 0
 @Jeffmn8: thoughts* and prayers
  • 22 2
 This is quite simple really:
a.) 7075 is not easy to weld but has vary good properties and strength to weight ratio
b.) Percisely CNCed and glued parts have MUCH better alignment then welded

So, glued 7075 is potentially better in every way then welded inferior alloys. Of course the for most of us this is just not worth the price and the explanation in this article/release is really poor Smile However this is a valid way to make a luxury frame and has some real (but probably small) benefits. It's just a luxury good.
  • 4 1
 @kyleluvsdh: why you spamming? It's weird little bit like behaviour
  • 16 0
 @lkubica: Thank you for writing this. If I ever do a press release for this (probably won't), I'd only add to your points that this method also doesn't require post joining heat treat, pieces are easier to transport, and assembly is a bit more trainable for skilled apprenticeships. I'm trying to build a process that makes a product in a new way, as opposed to just a new product.
  • 1 0
 @Nandus: (note: It wasn't only glued. But the main part was glued, yes.)
  • 6 1
 @SpeedgoatDesigns: True, heat treating and probably also hydroforming is pain in the ass. So I would add

c.) CNC requires less special tooling (no hydroforming, no heat treating) and has much greater potential for in-house manufacturing.

This is a very good point, in practice if you do not want to make it in Asia, you need to make it carbon or steel or cnc alu.
  • 1 3
 with 7075 alu, you will have more problems than solution with this magic.
  • 4 0
 @Exbow:pinkbike is full of people who ae world experts in gluing things together
  • 4 0
 @dsut4392: That bike is ridiculous and I absolutely love it! Big Grin
  • 3 0
 @lkubica: Truth. Hydroforming is a whole different level of tooling expense and moving parts in the supply chain. I'm trying to get as close to file-to-production as possible, which sort of decentralizes production anyway (very consistent parts, even if made in multiple locations).
  • 2 0
 @Jeffmn8: hopes and prayers
  • 1 0
 @Jeffmn8: amen brother!
  • 1 0
 Isn't it possible to braze an aluminum frame? This happens at a lower temperature as the material doesn't melt, so likely won't mess up the heat treatment. No experience with this though, maybe it will never be strong enough.

One middle ground I was thinking about is, why not just machine the lugs and glue the tubes to that? You get the same amount of customization. Just a bit more work afterwards to glue parts together (just like Robotbike/Atherton have to) but at least you don't have to machine so much material away. You won't need the double shear lap joints that Robotbike/Atherton needs so it shouldn't be too hard to machine those lugs.
  • 2 0
 @vinay: Definitely looked into that method, and it's still interesting, but there ended up being some advantages to a shell for varying wall thickness, material distribution, and assembly consistency.
  • 3 0
 I think it’s also worth noting that failures on frames often occur at or near the welds, there’s lots that can go wrong welding thin metal tubes and still have what looks like a good joint. Also, what does everyone think holds their carbon frames together…? That epoxy/resin gluing a carbon bike together is just as much of a structural element as the carbon fiber itself.
  • 1 0
 @millsr4: looks like all of the foes frames still use hydro pressed parts.
  • 93 6
 Sick bike and a sick company. You guys are being way too hard on them about their glued together frames. He said on podcast, the adhesive is way strong enough and the metal would likely fail before the adhesive would, and I believe him. Also, obviously its fricken expensive! Its a dude who started a bike company and is having frames machines out of a block of billet aluminum! If you're comparing this to the price of a company like We Are One, or even Pole, you are not the customer that this bike is built for. Would I pay $5k for it? No, but I can still acknowledge the bike looks super cool and I love the idea of someone approaching bike building/designing in a different way that the majority. He's not trying to be a big box bike building machine.
  • 9 0
 The frame reminds me somewhat of the Actofive P-Train: Also made by a dude, cnc and looks good.

5000usd doesnt Sound that bad- an S Works frame or SC goes for 4000usd and is 10x Times (or more) more scalabe.
  • 5 8
 Bonding is very sensitive to setup like pressure, gap, cleaning, humidity. Be safe!
  • 2 0
 Cars are held together with adhesive now, it reduces NVH. That being said, if done in improper environments then it can fail spectacularly.
  • 16 0
 Thanks! Yes, I'm definitely not trying to compete with more conventional brands right now, but bike frames aren't always going to be made the way big brands are making them currently. I do think production is going to get more agile and allow for some all new production methods.
  • 11 0
 @nickfranko and @snarlymarley Surface prep and the design are both critical. Sending a frame off to lab testing now.
  • 2 0
 @SpeedgoatDesigns: I think you're absolutely correct. These 2 piece CNC'd frames are a little confusing to people right now because as an end user, people just see an expensive frame that is glued together. Just re listened to the podcast you did with Mike, you talked about how your product in a lot of ways is a future oriented design, waiting for additive to catch up.

I am curious though, what your thoughts are with the future of "on-demand custom", and the possibility of super quick customization/geometry changes. People say they want to have control over customizing frames, geometry, etc but if you give customers as much design freedom as they ask for, they will get confused and overwhelmed. How do you see that balance playing out as we gain the ability to quickly change designs, and do you think at the end of the day, people ACTUALLY want control over geometry/suspension tweaks? I would almost rather receive a bike that I know the geo is good, and then I have a bit of adjustability either way in flip chips for reach, bb height, cs length, and suspension progressivity. Cool stuff Chris! I will definitely be following along and hope to see you and Ministry around for a long time. Absolutely love the angular look of your bike!
  • 2 0
 @misteraustin: Super interesting question, thanks. I think a lot of it is just going to come down to how well a company works with people. You can't fake or automate personalization, so some other tools are going to have to develop alongside the parametric product design customization concepts. A really basic example: back in they day, I used to build a lot of custom bikes for people, and we used customer data and BikeCAD to create an approximation of the actual customer on the bike. These weren't tri-folks who were measuring the angle of their back to a quarter degree or sharpening their kneecaps to shave few milliseconds, but they did really like being able to see, "Oh, my bars will be that high and I'll look like that on the bike." It was not a sales tool, but rather a tool that helped make the buying process (and the bike) a little more comfortable. You're going to need tools like that--and companies willing to take the time to work through them with people in all new ways. Could be really interesting if done right.
  • 1 0
 I don't have that kind of money to spend on a frame but if I would, I would definitively buy that frame before any other ones, including carbon made! I don't know how it would feel on the trails but I know that I never saw a frame that beautiful!!! I have the same Hope brake and just received the same 5DEV raw crank but I would put a blue chainring and switch the brake for the Silver/Blue one or at least the Black/Blue one, plus some other blue goodies...damn that would be the sexiest bike on the planet!!!!!!
  • 1 0
 "and the metal would likely fail before the adhesive would"

He should make he frame out of adhesive then - much stronger...
  • 1 0
 @DarrellW: Ever heard of Carbon Fiber...?
  • 60 17
 Makes the WeAreOne Arrival frame look like a sweet deal!

"I'm looking for a fabrication method that can scale while still allowing for customization, flexibility, and agility,"

And how the heck is CNC milling from ginormous blocks of aluminum "scalable"? That is the exact opposite of scalable.
  • 19 1
 That stumped me as well. That amount of machining is expensive as fuck and takes ages. It looks gorgeous though
  • 15 2
 If you look at the actual value you get for the money, We Are One's actually are a pretty good deal. The ticket to entry is very high, however.
  • 2 1
 And they are offering one size ?!?!
  • 14 0
 Near net shape aluminum castings reduce the waste and machining time quite a lot and the waste can be recycled easily, something not all carbon manufacturing can be. Aluminum machining at scale is a now old process so will be easy to do, holding tight tolerances/quality control.
  • 14 0
 Easy. Want to double your output? Double your machines. You can still roll updates into the next part if you wanted across all the machines. You can also increase your output by simply contracting other machine houses.
  • 14 0
 @j-t-g: when you compare the cost of the WAO arrival170 Sp2 @$9299cnd vs the SC megatower gx axs @12799cnd. And considering it’s locally manufactured, the weareone is insanely good deal.
That extra $3500 for the santacruz must just be for shipping it across the ocean… oh and the glovebox of course.
  • 2 1
 @j-t-g: is it tho?
  • 2 0
 @brycepiwek: Heh, if you only had gotten the black Friday deal, got the SP2 with upgraded convergence/hydra for 6900$
  • 8 3
 It's scalable because CNC machining can be automated and just the bonding needs to be done by hand where with laying up a composite frame takes way more manual labor. You can also use waterjet cutting of the original material to cut down on material removal and make handling easier. The more of these you make the cheaper they will get if you plan/design your process correctly where as with carbon layups and welding you have less flexibility to cut manual labor. This is absolutely more scalable potentially but it all depends on the execution.
  • 2 0
 @brycepiwek: the Extra 3500 for the SC goes into the pockets of the Shareholder of SC ;-)
  • 1 0
 You can buy a bigger machine…
  • 5 0
 @millsr4: Bonding can be done by machine it’s common practice for everything from head gaskets to car chassis
  • 3 5
 He's banking on additive 3d printing to become mainstream.
  • 3 1
 I talked to a guy who was doing a similar thing making bikes with cnc machines and glue, he was stoked that he could basically push a button and come back a few hours later and most of the work was done. It seems to me the only real point for this technique is reduction of labor for the manufacturer. Has anyone actually read anywhere how bikes built this way are actually superior to bikes built other ways or benefit the end user in any way? Boggles my mind that anything other than prototypes are built this way.
  • 2 3
 @ayatollah-of-sausagerollah: Yes, that is done in some industries but it is very expensive to get up and going. I'm a former aerospace tooling project manager so I'm plenty familiar with this, some of the tools we build went under the automated layup machines at Boing facilities. The only company in the MTB world to automate carbon is Guerilla Gravity but they have a proprietary process that they developed with the help of a government grant. The auto and aerospace industries have way more cash to put into cutting edge processes.
  • 3 0
 @dudepulaski: 7075 isn’t a casting alloy. These must be machined from large plates of aluminum.
  • 3 0
 @F22: Agreed, that frame is baller! Love the sleek lines, machined look, very industrial. That head tube.....wowzers! And the parallel top tube and seat stays....oh my! Kudos for the effort and creativity.
  • 38 0
 Totally understand how the actual machining seems crazy, but the goal was to go from digital file to riding a test mule in months instead of years, particularly helpful when developing suspension designs. I'm probably just crazy, but I think the future of manufacturing will look a little more like that, especially if parametric designs begin to allow for custom sizing. Totally willing to accept that I'm just an idiot here, though. Mostly I just wanted to make a bike that rode and looked like I wanted, the classic idea that's ruined so many lives and bank accounts throughout history. Smile
  • 1 0
 With more CNC mills!
  • 34 0
 Regardless of what you think about glued alu halves, this is one of the best looking frames out there. Also, Chris' insta posts are hugely interesting for anyone interested in bike manufacturing or other related topics.
  • 14 0
 I figure my self-destruction will at least be pretty entertaining, so what hell, going for it Smile Thanks!
  • 4 0
 +1 on the Instagram posts. I enjoy the business focused mini-lectures as much as the engineering/production stuff.
  • 17 0
 Whoa @mikelevy, didn't see this post coming today!
I'm the guy making these, and happy to answer anybody's questions directly. Feel free to get in touch and help talk me out of all this as soon as possible. Smile Seriously, happy to answer questions about the project, or just talk bikes.
  • 2 0
 I just wanted to say I really like the idea. I was a process engineer in an automotive manufacturing company who used adhesive for the vast majority of structural assemblies and the strength of the cured adhesive was pretty incredible.

Are you guys using 2 part self-curing adhesive or 1 part with a heat cure? Also, did you ever consider hydroforming the 2 halves instead of machining?
  • 1 0
 @enduro29er: Thanks for the great questions! I'm using two part, so any heat is just there to speed up the process. I am looking at all kinds of crazy alternatives to the front triangle halves, yes. Some have actually made formed steel from extremely thin sheets, and that tech is still lurking around, and have you seen the new sheet metal formers that work similar to additive robotic arms? Amazing stuff. This is only just getting started. Thanks again.
  • 18 1
 That frame is a true work of art and ext shocks are second to none. Are those who are concerned about "glued" frames failing not aware that carbon and alloy welded frames fail too? Been following Ministry for a while and the guy is super transparent about the development process. Would be cool if he (or any other manufacturer for that matter) is equally transparent about failure rates once these bikes are out in the wild.
  • 9 1
 Thanks for the kind words, and yeah, definitely need to be transparent. Frame is going off for lab testing soon, and might fail. In which case, I would tell everybody, "Well darn, it failed." You need to beat on products and test them in labs, so people can see what's going on. I honestly don't understand what hiding these things accomplishes.
  • 15 3
 Another reason for gluing. 7075 is an amazing alloy. It's an extremely strong aluminum alloy and even cooler, it offers something no other aluminum can. Flex. Unfortunately, it gets brittle when welded. That's why it's only used in machined parts.
  • 3 1
 Patiently waiting to see which bike company has been working on bringing weldable 7075 to fruition. Could be a game changer. newatlas.com/welding-aa7075-aluminum-alloy/58449
  • 1 2
 @TOOTRIKK: skip 7075 and go straight to 7068 instead
  • 1 0
 Always had bmx rims that used 7k aluminum, didnt know they were hard to weld. Maybe not 7050, must have been why they were expensive.
  • 1 0
 *7075
  • 4 0
 @TOOTRIKK: something new gets invented every week by some materials engineers it gets punted out and like some ideas for the bicycle world industry finds a use for it or at least tries to

the problem is sometimes theres no actual advantage

7075 often ends up as a ticking timebomb
  • 2 3
 @Compositepro: I mean I would not go as far as saying that welding 7075 is the Cold Fusion of the Bicycle Engineering world, but it’s a pretty obvious roadblock to using a proven material that has many benefits over 6000 series Al and composites.
  • 3 0
 @TOOTRIKK: ok then what are the benefits
  • 2 5
 @Compositepro: It’s really light, really strong and recyclable. Rocket Science, I know.
  • 2 0
 @onetrykid: took two tries - username doesn't check out Smile
  • 4 0
 @TOOTRIKK: 6061; 2.7g/cc, 7075; 2.81g/cc. Don't let facts get in the way of a good story though...
  • 4 0
 @TOOTRIKK: AL7075 is actually heavier than AL6061...

Also, almost all AL-alloys are recyclable, technically speaking - the problem is that almost no one actually does it. The vast majority of high-strenght alloy material gets down-cycled rather than recycled and ends up as low-purity casting material. Thinking that you save the planet by buying an alloy bike is a pipe dream. Absolutely none of the aluminium used to make your shiny new bike comes from recycling.
  • 3 0
 @onetrykid: 7005 aluminium is weldable and does not need to be oven hardened. I hardens to t6 with just time.
  • 12 0
 So, is this guy is a big fan of the band Ministry? They had an album called Psalm 69...
  • 2 0
 First Thing that came to my Mind...The Frame looks absolutely Beautiful!
  • 4 0
 He is. The last time this bike was on PB he said it was. It was his way to get 'just on fix' and 'build a new world order' Just keep it clean because you dont want to be a ' flith pig'
  • 5 0
 Bonded aluminum. The way to succeed or the way to suck eggs?
  • 4 0
 @lancemountainbike: well he was a prophet previous to his career as frame builder
  • 6 1
 Jesus may have indeed Built this Hotrod! 'God forbid' I miss the next post about this company! I almost thought it was April 1 antidote to DCA's ongoing monitoring of satanic imagery. Contrary to his narrow-mindedness, I fully support this!! Amen, brethren.
  • 1 0
 Not all the material, but most, yeah.
  • 1 0
 @suspended-flesh: this is the comment I came here for. Its a love affair, mainly PinkBike and Ministry lyrics.
  • 12 0
 Hope that's Psalm good glue.
  • 7 0
 wow, bunch of douches on this forum. Guy makes an amazing looking bike with an extremely viable construction method and gets total crap from a bunch of trolls. its like i can be worse douche than you. speed goat, your effort is amazing an i am totally impressed what one can do when you stop complaining and start doing. hope it works out for you, this forum sucks.
  • 2 0
 Thanks very much, but no worries. People are just on edge and expecting to have stuff aggressively pitched at them, I guess by people with sales quotos, but it's a context thing. If it were a forum for startup businesses or projects people make in their garage, the vibe might be a little different. People checking out my social channels are just like, "Hey, this idiot with the crazy bike is kind of entertaining," because they don't think they're being sold at.
  • 2 0
 " Bocadeltoro (2 days ago)
wow, bunch of douches on this forum. Guy makes an amazing looking bike with an extremely viable construction method and gets total crap from a bunch of trolls. its like i can be worse douche than you. speed goat, your effort is amazing an i am totally impressed what one can do when you stop complaining and start doing. hope it works out for you, this forum sucks. "

Welcome to Pinkbike. Think this is bad? Try TGR
  • 5 0
 The welding jigs that hold conventional aluminum tubes in place for frame production is not the equivalent to a Saturn 5 rocket. If a manufacture want to change frame angles mid run its not a huge deal, despite what you may hear. Aside from aesthetics, I don't see the real value add to this method of frame construction.
  • 6 5
 You can't weld 7075. At least not well. 7075 is an amazing alloy. It's an extremely strong aluminum alloy and even cooler, it offers something no other aluminum can. Flex. Unfortunately, it gets brittle when welded. That's why it's only used in machined parts.
  • 2 0
 @roxtar: You aren’t getting a massive benefit from using 7075 either just because it’s machined
  • 3 1
 @roxtar: Isn't the stiffness of a carbon frame the bees knees? Now I want flex? Don't fall for this marketing BS
  • 3 0
 @roxtar: you telling me that no other grade of aluminium flexes? Come on now...
  • 2 3
 @roxtar:

This guy material sciences
  • 2 1
 @flattire: you want both. A frame should flex the right amount in the right direction. That's the actual benefit of carbon. Metals just can't do that.
  • 1 0
 @F22: metals can, but you can only control it by altering the shape (they're largely isotropic). Composites aren't isotropic, so you can alter shape and layup to control the properties of the finished part.
  • 2 0
 @roxtar: Everything flexes. You just have to engineer your frame to achieve the amount of flex you desire with the Material you are using.
  • 1 1
 @F22: Oval parts of titanium might disagree with you.
  • 2 0
 @Notmeatall: doesn't have to be Ti...
  • 2 2
 @fred-frod: And others.
Aluminum generally has a very limited fatigue life. Yes, it will flex, however, flex is a killer with aluminum. Flex is the reason aluminum fails, when it does. That's why bending back aluminum is so iffy. 6000 series aluminum cracks easily when subjected to flex.
7075 Aluminum is a different beast. What I meant was, it has far greater spring back properties than all other grades. It actually acts more like steel or even Ti in this regard.
  • 2 1
 @flattire: No, what makes carbon so awesome is that you can make it do whatever you want, depending on the layup. In fact, you can make a part stiff in one direction and compliant in another. With a bike frame there are areas you want stiff and areas you want compliance. Carbon is awesome for that.
Same with rims. We were constantly breaking carbon rims for years before manufacturers started designing in a certain amount of flex.
  • 1 0
 @Tambo: I know that. I should probably have said "metals can't do it to nearly the same degree". But the point still stands. The main benefit of carbon isn't just that it´s light and stiff, but that it can also flex if you want it to and exactly how you want it to
  • 1 1
 @F22: For a hardtail, sure. Last a checked a suspension frame has a swingarm and a shock ideal for absorbing impacts. Every carbon suspension frame I've ridden I've really enjoyed the improved stiffness of both the front triangle and swingarm.
  • 6 1
 Stoked on this project!!! Bonded aluminum is legit and used in some form on almost every modern high performance automobile, aircraft, and spacecraft... Chris is doing it right, 20 lucky folks out there!
  • 2 0
 Thanks, yeah, we'll see what happens!
  • 1 3
 @SpeedgoatDesigns: serious question, how much did you pay to be featured on this article? Last time I checked they wanted $8,000
  • 2 0
 @ktm115: Nah, you’re wrong and that’s bullshit. It’s not how this works. He’s making interesting things, which is all I need to feature someone or something.
  • 7 0
 If I were the type to gamble $5k on a completely unknown frame, I'd order one.
  • 8 0
 Most carbon bikes are already held together with glue.
  • 6 4
 Close to 50% by weight of a carbon frame is epoxy resin! Really well made carbon has a higher fiber to resin ratio but not by a whole lot...
  • 2 1
 @stevethespacecowboy: I didn't realize the ratio was that high for most carbon frames. Any idea what its like for a thermoplastic frame like a Guerrilla Gravity?
  • 2 1
 @jackalope: more than 50% fiber
  • 3 0
 @jackalope: It isn’t or shouldn’t be your average boat yard guy can do that repairing a boat.
  • 2 0
 @m-t-g: I wish my diet had more than 50% fiber Wink
  • 4 0
 Lots of brands glue their shit together. Did you miss the Intend article where they glue/ epoxy the drop outs onto the fork? The freaking drop outs that bolts your wheel to the fork! Never an issue when you use the right stuff.
  • 2 1
 Shimano had a glued together crank that fell apart.
  • 5 0
 Agreed. The "glue" stuff he's using (Hysol, the green good stuff), we used in FSAE to bond Carbon Hexcel panels to a chromoly frame. It was used in the same manner for the floorboards (among many other things) on Boeing 787s... In fact, in our crash tests, the carbon would break before the bond. It's also, as Chris has pointed out in his Psalm iterations, exponentially stronger with double lap joints. Anyone who questions this and flys in commercial aircraft are hypocrits.
  • 3 2
 @kingbike2: I don't know if it happened in the past but the current failures of cranks seem to he due to galvanic corrosion (check Hambini videos about the this) so basically had engineering with 2 dissimilar alloys touching and eating each other which eventually leads to failure of the bond. Here you have the same alloy being bonded together which will not cause any troubles of the sort.
  • 3 0
 @Balgaroth: The galvanic reaction is a legitimate concern with some material combinations, yep, but I've seen people even bonding carbon to machined aluminum now with some barriers in between, and for what it's worth, I did a test where I bonded two aluminum parts together then had them anodized. The epoxy alone was such a strong barrier that only one of the two bonded parts anodized. That was really interesting to see.
  • 3 0
 @Balgaroth: i just spent about an hour going into some serious detail about how this all works in the world of aeroplanes its a simply massive topic when it comes to aluminium and there's 50 years of experience on these materials including the fact that the galvanic potential between 2000 and 7000 is only 0.3v but in reality its easier to sum it up with "if you throw enough alkaline cleaner at anything aluminium" it will eventually dissintegrate regardless of aluminium alloy
  • 8 1
 Oh man, I am excited for this bike!
  • 10 0
 Same. But, more realistically, I am hoping that Jamis updates their designs so I can buy one of these rear designs at a price I can afford.
  • 4 0
 @pedalhound , @jmhills , and @mm732 Thanks very much!
  • 3 0
 If anybody is concerned about your frame being bonded together, what do you think holds that Carbon fiber frame together? How about the latest commercial airliners? For that matter airplanes have used glue to hold many critical parts together for decades. Anything that is considered a composite is glued/bonded.
  • 1 0
 In carbon fibre frames the glue is the matrix , in this frame the glue is used as an adhesive.
  • 4 1
 Why would people still question whether a bonded frame will be strong enough? The Atherton Bikes do it and race WC DH, Pole has done it for years and for all the issues, that was not one of them... Even the new Demo prototype DH bike that Loic and Finn are riding at the moment is bonded...
  • 4 2
 When you include the all aluminum guys like me, Pole, and ActoFive, and the titanium lug brands like Atherton and Bastion and others, it's gotten pretty common. Did not know that about the Demo DH bike though--would really appreciate a link or any more info. there, thanks!
  • 1 0
 @SpeedgoatDesigns: Sorry it's in French but can clearly see the carbon and lugs: www.vojomag.com/spyshot-un-demo-tres-tres-proto-chez-specialized
  • 4 0
 So much stick (pun) for this method.

Most cars that use an aluminium chassis are still glued together. Stronger than welds and you don't risk warping the frame in production.
  • 6 0
 Waiting for the 29/26 mullet version, the Psalm 69
  • 5 0
 Might be worth making the custom dropouts just to be able to use that name.
  • 6 0
 Psalm 69 was amazing.I hope the same for psalm 150
  • 5 0
 Not their absolute best album, but solid enough to name a bike after, I think.
  • 2 0
 @SpeedgoatDesigns: i used to nerd hard over them back in my rivethead days. "the mind..." would certainly be MY top pick; yours?

saw them a couple times; fun shows for sure. jello biafra made a surprise cameo at one & they ripped a couple lard tracks - very cool.
  • 4 1
 Hey let’s all speculate about complaining about it. Great. It seems like this place is either complaintbike.com. Or sarcasticbike.com. I do not understand. I need a group hug.
  • 9 1
 Ah, it's OK. I think a lot of times people see something like this and figure some idiot with a lot of money is claiming to be a genius and trying to convince them that everything else sucks compared to their brilliant way of doing things. But I'm just an idiot who reads a lot, double-checks everything, and likes trying to create things. This is the thing I wanted to make, for me, because it makes me happy, and so far it's been everything I wanted it to be. Some other people seem to really like it, too. If enough people want one, I'd be happy to spend the rest of my life making them and talking about them. If not, I'll do something else.
  • 3 0
 It's beautiful. Maybe because I love milled out aluminum. Clean lines . And lots of them, from tool paths . Which look very cool. I would not worry about breaking the frame . But I wouldn't want to get it dirty .
  • 1 0
 First ride on the new bead blasted and anodized version was in full pissing rain sludge and almost everything on the bike was new. Just had to do it.
  • 1 0
 @SpeedgoatDesigns: Wait ? You are anodising the 7075 you may wish to study this before you proceed any further it’s a well known strength reducer particularly in the aerospace world
  • 1 0
 @ayatollah-of-sausagerollah: Yes, this was taken into consideration. Adhesives that don't provide data for both abraded and anodized aluminum were not considered, and testing on both trails and in the lab are very important to me.
  • 2 0
 @SpeedgoatDesigns: thought first picture is rendered or parts have spent a long time in a tumbler .
Bead blasted by hand or tumbled? In any case attention to detail is excellent.
  • 1 0
 @Sshredder: Thanks very much. First is a render, but overall those are some older photos of the raw aluminum V1. Instagram has a lot of posts showing the most recent bead blasted and clear anodized V2. Way cleaner looking now.
  • 11 7
 5k for framee and shock. Pole sells a full bike for that much that is also cnced and glued togethher
  • 27 4
 Pole sells a bicycle shaped object, which may or may not make it down the mountain still in the shape of a bicycle.
  • 7 1
 @ratedgg13: pretty sure their new bikes handle all you can throw at them.
  • 2 0
 @Midnightwheelie: i can safely say they do
  • 5 1
 @hamncheez: OOoooooo a thread that hasn't been updated in 3 years. Continuous improvement is a real thing. Leo had addressed all these issues and then some. Listen to the Pinkbike Podcast with him.
  • 2 0
 @hamncheez: Stamina and Evolink def had issues, Machine was bombproof.

While its fine to critisize Pole for that, apply the same criticism to the popular bike brands that make carbon frames that crack all the time.
  • 3 1
 @ratedgg13: pole bikes are dope
  • 4 0
 @Tigergoosebumps: I agree the current Pole Vikkelä looks like a decent deal. As a company, however, they are on a completely different stage of development than Ministry, which is only starting out.

I assume the pricing at Pole is helped by the fact they are using pretty similar designs and production for the e-bike and the MTB - which probably helps to bring costs down a bit.

Chris Currie is just starting out, that’s pretty different. What he‘s put together so far looks amazing. And the price for the frame is not excessive for a boutique brand.

And for all the detractors: I also admire Pole for having the guts to do something different. If one likes normal, there are plenty of other brands.
  • 6 0
 @CrixxBrain: Crazy admiration for what Leo has done at Pole, and their form factor is really optimized to reduce costs for the way they're making frames. Very smart dudes there. Much respect.
  • 8 2
 Christ on a bike
  • 12 0
 Best pray it holds together
  • 6 0
 @BermJunky: I've heard Jesus builds them so they should be ok.
  • 7 0
 @kevinturner12: So this bike is built by a carpenter?!
  • 3 0
 @duncanstrohnd: Soon you'll discover that this rock thing was true, that Jerry Lee Lewis was the devil and that Jesus was an architect previous to his career as a prophet.
  • 1 0
 @jaytdubs: While I can't say that he was in fact the lord of darkness, he was absolutely a complete scumbag of a human, if that counts.
  • 18 17
 Ahh, yes. Glued together frames. What a great idea! It went SO well last time a company tried it...

ep1.pinkbike.org/p5pb19627707/p5pb19627707.jpg
ep1.pinkbike.org/p5pb19627708/p5pb19627708.jpg
www.mtbr.com/attachments/pole1-jpg.1330771
  • 14 6
 Those Pole guys were pseudo engineers, leaving that ball end mill finish (anesthetics) was a recipe for disaster.
  • 2 0
 @OnTheRivet: curiosity has got me. Can you expand on why leaving the finish like that is bad please?
  • 1 0
 Someone kept the receipts!
  • 29 6
 I work in Aerospace Engineering. There are plenty of aluminum air from components bonded by glues that see enormous stresses. IF done correctly, this is totally fine.
  • 5 2
 None of these were a failure of the glued bond?
  • 9 0
 @PhoS: The bonded joint has come apart in all three pictures.

@Wilm: A perfectly smooth finish is ideal. Any bumps, nicks, dings, grooves, etc create stress concentrations in the surface which can become failure initiation points down the road.
  • 9 0
 @Wilm: and what it has to do with anesthesia?
  • 2 0
 @Wilm: I'm also thinking all those little ridges add up to excess weight, so they have to make the wall thickness a bit thinner to even it out...
  • 2 0
 @MTBLegend92:

The headtube failure does look that way, the others look like the metal had deformed first. Either way I'm not really concerned about the bonded joint. The Psalm also has some additional hardware securing the head tube area.
  • 3 0
 @dudepulaski:
I didn’t sit through the podcast, but it seems like a great way to start small.
They’ll get the bike sizes worked out, and then it’ll be the same process as this one. If they can reuse the aluminum scrap, they’re good to go!
I tried to get an aluminum insert glued into my carbon rear triangle once. Broke every extractor. Even the big ones!
  • 1 0
 I guess those customers got Psalmed
  • 2 0
 @dwbaillar: They have to put you under so you'll think it's a good idea.
  • 4 0
 @PhoS: Sending a frame off for lab testing now, finding a second test rider, and been riding one most of last season. All you can do is test the hell out of everything as much as possible and as much as you can afford. That's what I'm doing, and I have to think anybody making anything is focused on testing and learning before letting anybody ride anything.
  • 1 0
 @SpeedgoatDesigns:
I watched a video of Santa Cruz doing an ultimate strength test on a carbon and aluminum frame. It was just a frame in a fixture, sitting “wheelie” position, with a welded tube structure replacing the fork.
They would take a (heavy) weight from varying heights and release it onto the end of the rigid “fork” until the frame failed. Like slamming a wall at 30mph..
Not only does it give you a reference of failure point, but it showed exactly where the frame buckled.
  • 3 0
 @OnTheRivet: I was considering a Machine. I asked them about that head tube seam right up the center and why not put it off center and key the two sides to fit together, and use the adhesive backed up by serious hardware. He said tearing the head tube open like a zipper was impossible. Two years later he came to Whistler for the first time and had some major revelations after, you know, riding the type of terrain this bike was ostensibly designed for.
  • 1 0
 @Untgrad: I think I remember seeing that, thanks! The big companies do that in part to sort out and prove processes to save money when making many, many thousands of frames, but I'm primarily interested in third party accredited testing and validation at this point, so only a few test labs will do.
  • 1 0
 @SpeedgoatDesigns:
Oh, I see, you’re going to apply “science” to your validation.
They must have called this the “Bevis and Butthead” lab, because the only purpose was break stuff!
I’m assuming they have hydraulic test rigs for things like fatigue and rigidity and the sort.
I only watched it because I wanted to see if the carbon frame broke before the aluminum version. Since I have one.
It didn’t.
I dig the way you’re doing this. Good luck Man!
  • 1 0
 @Untgrad: Thanks very much! I'd build a destructo-lab one day just for the fun videos. Start each one putting on a full Mr. Rogers Neighborhood outfit, but then a helmet and safety googles at the end.
  • 2 0
 @SpeedgoatDesigns:
Oh that’s nice.. Glasses broken, sweater all torn up by the time it’s over.
I’d tune in for that.
  • 1 0
 @Untgrad: Exactly, yes! Smile
  • 3 0
 big fan. he licensed his pivot design to Jamis (not sure if exclusive or not) and they did fk all with it, because it's Jamis. it's good to see it get another shot.
  • 4 0
 Thanks! Jamis did some cool stuff, but wanted to get a little crazy with the new version of the suspension system. Definitely think this qualifies! Smile
  • 5 2
 Looks cool, but $5k seems like... a lot for a glued-together aluminum frame. Also, that name is a turn-off, although I get that it won't be for everyone.
  • 4 1
 Obviously not a disciple of the Church of Dirt....
  • 5 1
 @adrian-montgomery: I prefer the Loosely-Organized Secular Co-Op of Dirt personally
  • 2 1
 Definitely not for everybody, but for what it's worth, company name comes from the positive impact of bicycles, and industrial metal from the '90s, not necessary in that order.
  • 4 0
 This must be Al Jourgensen's favourite bike. Psalm 69: The way to succeed, and the way to suck eggs.
  • 4 0
 Uncle Al was definitely an influence when it came time to find a name for the company.
  • 2 0
 It looks really cool. I'm sure it works. As a concept for a small scale Mtb company selling high end frames with flexibility in the production process though, Atherton makes a lot more sense to me.
  • 2 0
 Thanks. I love the Atherton bikes, but am definitely going for something a little different here.
  • 1 0
 @SpeedgoatDesigns: Just out of curiosity, is 'different' part of your goals or is it a way to achieve your goals? I firmly believe geometry and fit are very important for a high-end bicycle, as well as quality of materials and manufacturing. The latter looks fully taken care of with your approach, but the former seems a bit rigid currently. I understand that one of your goals is that the production process is scalable. Scalability and customization are often hard to match. I could imagine that some smart programming in combination with machined-to-order production could take care of that but is that feasible economically?
I'm a bit on the tails of the bell curve in body proportions, so customization is probably more important to me than to most. It's also why I immediately noticed there is no number on your web page for the max seatpost insertion. I need 780mm from bottom bracket to saddle rail. Can I fit a 240mm OneUp dropper into your frame?
  • 1 0
 @ak-77: Dropper depends a bit on rider height. I'm 5'11" / 180cm (32-34" pants inseam) and am using a 210mm OneUp. Different is definitely a way to achieve the goals, but I'm focused on suspension development and some other things a bit more than geometry customization.
  • 2 1
 It's been really fun to interact with Chris on IG. He's been crowdsourcing experience/advice on everything from bike fit to how certain bikes ride. Cool to see that depth of concern taking feedback on not even his own products, then using it to improve his own.
  • 2 0
 Thanks, it's been really cool getting feedback from everybody!
  • 5 0
 Now that is a sexy ass bicycle!
  • 2 0
 Thank you!
  • 3 2
 There are many reasons to like this bike: It is a truly beautiful frame. Following Chris on Insta is fascinating, as you observe a vision become reality. He really knows his stuff, as is clear also from the podcast with Mike Levy (highly recommended).

The production method is not quite unique but still unusual, and there is a good reason why small, innovation-driven companies opt for it (e.g. Actofive, Pole). Two thumbs up for Chris, I am sure he will be successful with what he‘s doing
  • 2 0
 Thanks very much! It's been really great to get feedback from everybody. I figure even if the business idea goes nowhere, it will at least be semi-entertaining trip, and we can all learn something! Smile
  • 1 0
 Pole has been doing this already with their Voima and Vikkela. However, theirs are a lot more reasonably priced. I bought an early Voima frameset and I paid less than $5g USD and that includes Bosch motor, battery and shock shipped to my door.
  • 2 1
 1. Claims to use bonded CNC manufacturing architecture in order to afford more geometry and design flexibility by omitting any hard tooling.
2. Also only makes literally one size?
  • 2 0
 If anybody buys the first size, I'll make other sizes. I'm not independently wealthy, and there's the design flexibility I'm talking about.
  • 4 0
 That is a beautiful looking frame.
  • 5 0
 Awesome!! Congrats
  • 1 0
 Making some progress, thanks!
  • 4 0
 Wish I was a very rich person.
  • 3 0
 Me too! I would give you one.
  • 3 0
 A more affordable "glue it yourself" option will be available in the coming months...
  • 7 0
 My lawyer said no.
  • 1 0
 @SpeedgoatDesigns: lawyers are boring, but in this case, I see the point. Best leave this to the pros. Bike looks amazing BTW, but you knew that already.
  • 2 0
 @barp: I love the assembly instructions. I guess they didn't hire the same lawyer.
  • 2 0
 @jovesaxa: Yeah, those instructions! Smile
  • 3 0
 Congregation, please be seated, and open your prayer guides to the book of revelations, psalm…. 69!
  • 2 0
 Exactly. Smile
  • 2 1
 Glued or not, the aesthetic is really nice. Especcilly love the smooth but industrial linkage bolt look and the cutting in around the headset. Them cranks are a bit raunchy...
  • 2 0
 Ride5Dev cranks on there.
  • 2 0
 Very nice engineering, and given that work and material needed, not so expensive. But still expensive for a frame in the real world.
  • 1 0
 Thanks!
  • 1 0
 I've ridden this bike and it feels solid. Say what you want but you probably haven't ridden one. @SpeedGoatDesigns is building bikes out of his garage and changing the industry. Keep pushing boundaries!
  • 3 0
 Jesus Built My MTB by Ministry (Cycles)
  • 2 0
 I mean it looks sick so idk, seems legit haha, a bit pricey but it has the looks for it
  • 3 0
 It's like a pole, but not horribly ugly.
  • 1 0
 A lot like a Pole then.
  • 1 0
 @duncanstrohnd: Everyone has their own idea of ugly....so you may not think Pole's are ugly...but I think they are super fugly...lol. To each their own!
  • 3 0
 I think this frame looks dope
  • 4 2
 Calling it "glued-together" seems kinda dismissive...
It's a pretty well engineered concept.
  • 1 0
 It MIGHT be a well-engineered concept, depends on the details of the adhesive joints, which isn’t shown in the article.
  • 5 1
 Definitely a bit more going into the design, thanks! I wish it were as simple as that sounds, and I could sell frames for $250 each. Smile
  • 2 0
 @Steadite: You can go to Instagram (you or whoever), where he details a lot of the design.
  • 2 0
 Luckily for me the reach is way too long so I don't need an excuse for being poor.
  • 2 0
 If there's enough interest in the first size, I really want to make a smaller one, but by then I might be too poor to make it, so you're probably safe. Smile
  • 2 0
 Insanely beautiful frame. If you're looking for someone to test one, hit me up!
  • 1 0
 Thanks, do have a test rider application link on the bottom of the site, but already have about 100 submissions.
  • 3 0
 Probably one of the nicest looking bikes I have seen.
  • 1 0
 Thank you.
  • 2 0
 Crank brothers had their cobalt cranks that were glued together and they only lasted 4 rides.
  • 1 0
 Shimano's road crank line for the last six years or so has been coming apart in humid environments.
  • 2 0
 If I had the money to spend this is who I would support! I love everything about it. Good job and good luck!
  • 1 0
 Thank you!
  • 1 0
 Allen Jorgenson should sue these toads for infringing on his band name & album Pslam 69.
  • 1 0
 Never heard him referred to as "Allen" before. Now can't stop picturing that name next to a photo. Amazing.
  • 1 0
 I think it's Alain.
  • 2 1
 Finally our knees gets the feeling of living on the edge. I love that shape but my bones don't
  • 1 0
 This, in custom geo, in titanium, would be my dream bike. I will keep dreaming....
  • 2 0
 My 2001 Norco Shore frame was a monocoque two halves glued together.
  • 1 0
 My Trek 8000 aluminum bonded bike from 1995 I think is still in use. Easton tubing glued to aluminum joints.
  • 2 0
 Does no one think this is cool? come on
  • 1 0
 Nah, it's cool. A lot of people here are just used to people hucking unhuckable garbage products at them, so are super sensitive. In fairness to them, a lot of us have been burned by really bad products (myself included) that were made just to make a buck, and that's why I'm doing all the testing and development work on these things. You can make a bad product, even when you try to make a great one. Hell, I'll take the loss and not sell a single frame before I put somebody on trash, but I don't think that's a mindset most people are used to seeing, and I can totally understand that. Pre-orders so far suggest there's some interest, so I'll keep testing.
  • 2 0
 Hallelujah! That is one sweeeet looking frame Smile
  • 2 0
 U first...
  • 4 0
 I did. Doing my own stunts for now, but had about 100 applicants for test riders. That and lab testing on V2 machines are up next. (I am also still alive, from what I can tell.)
  • 1 0
 5k for a frame, sorry but no.........
  • 1 0
 Can someone buy one so we can see how good their warranty is?
  • 2 0
 Still in the test rider and lab testing phase, but there's a 2-year warranty, and it's only right to take care of people who buy your stuff, so I'm reserving some frames for warranty just in case. I'd feel pretty bad if somebody couldn't ride because their bike was messed up.
  • 1 0
 Trek made epoxy bonded aluminum frames in the 90's
  • 1 0
 im trying to decide who really did it first graftk or alan in the 1972 year
  • 1 0
 We’ll throw in the glue for free…Some assembly required.
  • 1 0
 Plan is to eventually sell them through IKEA.
  • 4 3
 Good God, no thanks.
  • 2 1
 "Space age epoxy"
  • 2 2
 supplied with the worst air shock ever made to boot
  • 4 0
 Shock is your choice.
  • 1 0
 Remember, no preorders!
  • 2 3
 480 - 490 reach only? Pass...
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