Lugged Stainless Steel Frames


In 2006 Reynolds introduced stainless steel back into the world of cycling. Now Reynolds, Columbus and KVA all make state of the art stainless steel bicycle tubing

This material has made an entirely new breed of bicycle frame possible: a frame with the ride, durability and repair-ability of steel combined with the weight, corrosion resistance, and finish of Titanium.

I take this incredible material one step further by adding the beauty of hand-carved stainless steel lugs and exceptionally clean silver brazing to make a truly one-of-a kind frame. Road, mountain or cross frames are all options.



  Stainless steel is an inherently difficult material to work with. These are all exceptionally strong alloys which is what allows it to be drawn so thin and light. However that makes things tough for the builder as the material is exceptionally hard and doesn't like to be cut. In addition, the tubing I use for lugged construction is heat-treated to increase the strength even more.

Add in the fact that brazing stainless is far more difficult than 4130 and since there isn't any paint on these frames the brazing need to be perfectly clean and you end up with an extremely difficult frame to build.

Through a lot of development and hard work, I have created a system which allows me to overcome these difficulties and produce fully lugged, fully stainless steel frames that meet my high quality standards. They're quite labor intensive, but like with most things in life, I think the results justify the work. If you're looking for a truly high-performance steel frame, look no further, these frames perform similar to the best titanium frames out there but with an aesthetic all their own. As with all my frames, the style is up to you!

Shown above is a fast-back hidden binder seatstay arrangement,but many options are available. To the right is a matching stainless headbadge with carved up Slant-Six lugs.

Just as with all my custom lugged frames, these are 100% silver brazed. Every part of the frame is either stainless steel or silver, so corrosion is a thing of the past. For a finish, I glass bead blast the entire frame to provide a satiny luster, then hand rub it all out with a synthetic abrasive to give it a brushed appearance. Any scuffs can be rubbed right out with a mild abrasive pad. I can etch the logos right into the tubing for great durability and a modern clean look or paint in logos or panels.  Polished lugs are available as well as matching stainless steel lugged stems!

Full Paint is also an option on these frames, but I've found most people seem to prefer the bare finish. As usual, it's your call!

For many more detailed pictures of the process of building these frames, take a look back at these archived blog postings:

Posting 1

Posting 2

Pricing typically comes in around $4000 for a full stainless frame, but can vary depending on lug shaping/carving. That's still quite a bit less than many boutique Ti frames that don't even come in custom geometry.


Copyright 2008 Bob Brown Cycles LLC