THE CURTIS BIKES WORKSHOP
Our workshop is run by Gary Woodhouse & Brian Curtis(and they spend most of their time here). Everything is done here in-house – all tubing is hand-cut, mitred & shaped to perfection, before being fitted into the jig, & then tacked by Gary before Brian brazes them together into their final shape. Extras like brake mounts, cable stops & gussets are then added. The only thing not done in-house is the powder-coating which is done down the road in Yeovil. Our frames are not mass-produced; during periods of high demand you may have to wait a little longer for your frame – but it will be worth it!
Your new Curtis frame will be made to order, specifically for you. It can be built entirely to your specification & the nature of this process is what makes a Curtis frame special. If you are interested in watching your frame being built, you are welcome to come to our workshop in Wiltshire and see us creating it for you first hand. If you’re lucky we’ll knock you up an egg butty and a cup of tea…
REYNOLDS 853 & COLUMBUS TUBING
The seat-tubes are 30.9mm as standard, allowing for dropper post compatibility, & head-tubes are X44 as standard – allowing the use of any fork(with the correct headset).
At the back end, instead of using Reynolds 725 we have sourced specific Columbus tubing for the stays. It has an incredible shape that curves beautifully around the tyre, thinning and profiled to the Ritchey dropouts giving the back end a very compliant yet predictable feel.
One benefit of brazing is you completely seal the tube without the need for breather holes which are needed for tig welding, so with a brazed frame all your tubes (minus the seat tube) are sealed for life .Brian’s brazing is an artform. Other frame builders will need to file their work to reduce lumpiness & overspill, but this is not the case here – Brian’s brazing is perfect, & never needs work afterwards. The only demand he has is that he listens to Don Campbell while he creates!
T45 is used a lot in the aerospace & motorsport industries because of its superior strength to weight ratio over other steel tubing. T45 was used to construct the chassis on Richard Noble’s Thrust 2 land speed record car. T45 is not easily available abroad which is why all imported steel frames are made from American or Taiwanese 4130 Chromoly. Chromoly tubing also requires heat treating after any welding or brazing, where T45 does not require any heat treatment whatsoever. T45 is simply a stronger & higher quality tube than Chromoly.In the beginning we built our frames using a type of tubing called T45. T45 is a combination of Carbon, Manganese & Steel & is one of the strongest & highest quality tubes available. To top it off it’s made in England!
We have been using & brazing T45 tubing since the 1970s.
IT’S ALL IN THE DETAIL…
Gary is meticulous to the point of obsession when it comes to shaping & fitting the tubes into the jig, & especially when tacking the frame together to ensure they come out of the jig mm perfect. This may take time but the end result is a literally perfect frame.
Our frames come with the new standard Reynolds X44 headtubes, which can accommodate either 1 1/8 inch, tapered, or 1.5 inch steerer tubes, meaning any fork configuration can be run with the relevant headset & therefore totally future proof.
However back in the day when we were focussing most of our efforts on frames for dirt, 4x & BMX, we earned ourselves a bit of a reputation for our head-tubes. They were made from T45 tubing with immensely strong EN16T steel reinforcement rings top & bottom, which could withstand 75 tonnes of pressure before cracking or flaring. They were proven unbreakable, & we believed in them so much that we gave each frame a lifetime warranty against head-tube failure. If you want one of our famous ‘proven unbreakable’ headtubes on your frame, this can be arranged*.
Each model of frame we make comes with a slightly different head-tube, with the thickness of the EN16T reinforcement rings matched to suit the riding style for that frame. To date we haven’t had a single frame returned with a failed head-tube.