Llewellyn – Why I design and produce frame castings

By Darrell McCulloch (Llewellyn Bikes)

Why do I design and produce frame castings and parts for lugged steel construction?

There is a fair amount of frame fittings and lugs on the market for a frame builder to choose from, much of it is from the 80’s and early 90’s era when steel frame production was ubiquitous. It is a pile of toil and expense to design and produce new casting designs, so why do it?

During my normal daily work at the bench making frames I found those 80’s and 90’s frame parts lacking in some ways, they:

  • do not exist for particular frame geometry, thus restricting design considerations.
  • do not allow the builder to modify them for aesthetic or design considerations.
  • didn’t exist for larger tube sizes which are better suited for use in frames for the larger and or heavier rider.
  • are missing important design features that belong in 21 st Century lugged steel frame construction.
  • are time costly and difficult to use correctly or to modify for design considerations.

I now use a 3D cad program to design my frame fittings and lugs myself because I am compelled to pursue the path of constantly improving the quality of my daily workshop production. I do not design and produce new parts to exploit a perceived demand in the frame builder’s market, but to fill a need I have in the workshop.

Since the initial design and production costs for new frame fittings is considerable, I offer these new parts to other builders who see value in constructing frames using the best of the time honoured and proven lugged frame construction methods with the merits of contemporary design.

I’ll follow a reverse-chronological order discussion of the parts I have created. I’ll start with the most recently designed items first and give a short rational of the “whys” of their creation and some of their features: