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Onza Skull Material


Matt Vandart
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As a rule of thumb these days, any manufacturers who purposefully omit what material their trials frames are... it means they're too ashamed to admit it's 6061.

If it were Ultra 6 or 7005, they'd proudly mention it or have a sticker. Think: Deng back in 2006 and previous... Inspired... Onza of old (T-Rex, T-Pro)... the list goes on.

Now, Deng's frames are cheap and weak like soggy chips. I've seen more than my fair share of snapped 2010 frames in China already to come to a conclusion. 6061 is just to cut down manufacturing costs. U6 and 7005 are better for their various properties overall. That's why a lot of people can consider 6061 frames to be 'disposable' like cameras.

Shame. :(

Inspired is great stuff, rare these days

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As a rule of thumb these days, any manufacturers who purposefully omit what material their trials frames are... it means they're too ashamed to admit it's 6061.

Not true. We only started putting stickers on frames fairly recently to inform the type of Aluminium alloy,not because we were shamed into it but because people wanted to know.

As a general rule of thumb most frames made in Taiwan have 7005 tubing in various heat treatment and butted forms. Most frames made in China are 6061 tubing. This is because those two countries in turn manufacture that tubing and supply is easier.

U6 is a form of 6061 tubing and is made in China. Our first U6 T-Pro frame was made in China by Pulo. Alex Dark is correct in his assertion about U6 tubes. That T-Pro in common with most such frames was U6 2 main tubes.and the remainder was 6061. This is true of the similar frames of other manufacturers at the time. Because of welding techniques U6 can be used only with 6061, not 7005. So a U6 frame will usually have tubes of 6061 as well. If you look at our new range of 20" the first 3 models have 7005 frames and the top two have U6 and 6061. This does contradict my first assertion, because all of these frames are made in Taiwan. We do have to import the 6061 and U6 tubing from China to Taiwan, though.

We are experimenting with 100% U6 frames at the moment and can get some very light weights with this combination but it is expensive to do it.

In answer to the first questioner, I'm pretty sure that the Skull is U6 butted main tubes and 6061 other tubes. The weight is a bit of a giveaway. I will double check tomorrow and confirm.

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Not true. We only started putting stickers on frames fairly recently to inform the type of Aluminium alloy,not because we were shamed into it but because people wanted to know.

As a general rule of thumb most frames made in Taiwan have 7005 tubing in various heat treatment and butted forms. Most frames made in China are 6061 tubing. This is because those two countries in turn manufacture that tubing and supply is easier.

U6 is a form of 6061 tubing and is made in China. Our first U6 T-Pro frame was made in China by Pulo. Alex Dark is correct in his assertion about U6 tubes. That T-Pro in common with most such frames was U6 2 main tubes.and the remainder was 6061. This is true of the similar frames of other manufacturers at the time. Because of welding techniques U6 can be used only with 6061, not 7005. So a U6 frame will usually have tubes of 6061 as well. If you look at our new range of 20" the first 3 models have 7005 frames and the top two have U6 and 6061. This does contradict my first assertion, because all of these frames are made in Taiwan. We do have to import the 6061 and U6 tubing from China to Taiwan, though.

We are experimenting with 100% U6 frames at the moment and can get some very light weights with this combination but it is expensive to do it.

In answer to the first questioner, I'm pretty sure that the Skull is U6 butted main tubes and 6061 other tubes. The weight is a bit of a giveaway. I will double check tomorrow and confirm.

As a general rule of thumb, when I say: "as a rule of thumb...", I'm being semi-sarcastic. Of course it's not actually a rule of thumb that frames without their material stated on sites like TartyBikes is automatically 6061.

However, if a frame really is made of 'better' material than 6061, then why not state it? Surely mentioning it having U6 tubes or 7005 throughout is a good marketing tool? BMX companies will make it certain to mention that their frames are post-weld heat treated if they are, or if they are made using better quality 4130 chromoly than most other brands. It's a selling point.

That is interesting about U6 and 6061 being used together on frames. That, I didn't know. So I appreciate that you informed us. Which makes me the wonder... those Deng frames of 2004, 2005, 2006 which were always marketed as 'U6 tubing throughout" , were they really now? As for solid parts like CNC'd yokes, are they mostly 6061 or U6 pieces of aluminium?

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I think the problem is that in the days of Cromo, 531 etc. steel tubing, you would buy a set of tubing from the maker and he would supply a standard universal sticker which all frame builders then put on the frame along with other decals. These days of fabricated aluminium alloy frames, the frame builder just orders lengths of tubing and cuts to whatever he wants and welds it all together. Its only certain alloy tube sets like Columbus who market a specific set and issue a sticker with that set, and their tubing sets are usually not suitable for Trials frames. It therefore becomes the responsibility of the Bicycle company who markets the frame to produce a decal to indicate the tubing, and that has never before been a major priority for us. However with the new range we have started very graphically putting that information on the frame. In the same way, we now put on the frame geometry, because we have deemed it important information to convey to the buyer. From now on we plan to include in every decal set for every frame, a sticker indicating the material used and a sticker showing basic geometry.

The solid pieces like CNC pieces have to be a compatible alloy but will not be U6. There would be no real point as U6 is used on tubing, which gives it a 25 / 35% increase in strength.They can subsequently reduce the thickness considerably whilst maintaining the same strength.so the tube is lighter. If you machine, for instance a specific shaped rear dropout it would weigh exactly the same, in U6 or 6061 or 7005. You therefore use the cheapest compatible alloy.

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