Columbine Cycle Works began as many small businesses do. An idea became a hobby, the hobby became an obsession, the obsession a way of life. John and Richard Murphy founded Columbine in 1979 with the goal of producing one of the finest bicycles in the world. To build a good frame was not enough. It would be durable, handle superbly and look spectacular. For this ideal, the rugged mountain wildflower, the Columbine was chosen to be the name. The Columbine is distinctive among the high alpine flowers. Its color, stature and unique beauty are stunning to behold. This striking flower became the symbol for the quality, beauty and special character found in every Columbine frame produced. In a world of cookie-cutter styling, Columbine bicycles stand out as a statement of individuality, personal expression and a passionate pursuit of the craft.
Columbine frames are built with multi-heat treated Chrome-Molybdenum Steel tubing with Niobium(Ni) and Vanadium(Va), Columbus calls theirs NivaChrome), important alloying agents for grain refinement. For the first time, Columbine will be using a mixture of brand names of tubing most of the time. Each manufacture r is producing sets with what I consider to be inconsistencies of gauging or material strength, anomalies that can produce strange material distribution in the finished frame. I never mix tubing because of price, only the best from each manufacturer: Prestige, True Temper, Columbus, and the new Reynolds 953 Stainless. Metal distribution is at least as important as material strength. More gauges and butting options will give better distribution for optimum behavior, strength and longevity. Also, straightness is critical, so shopping for that is of primary importance. The idea is to put the metal only where necessary to enhance the hill climbing, handling, stability, and comfort properties and match those to the purpose of the frame.
Since all Columbine frames are 100% custom, we would ask that you suspend any previously limiting conventions that you may have held concerning bicycle frames and cycle fit. While we would like to say that the sky is the limit in these areas, there are limits to the degree to which we can go in design and fit. If we believe that a design request may be dangerous or embarrassing, we may as k that you rethink those parameters.
The finish of a Columbine also is seen on a continuum from the most basic carbon steel lugwork to the fanciest. For the sake of simplicity, starting points have been chosen by the monikers; Custom and Ultra mostly for the purpose of outlining pricing schedules for the additional artwork options. You can add any art to the basic frames.
Location: P.O. Box 339 • Mendocino, California 95460-0339 • 707-937-2080
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