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Northern Lites

Pace have just announced officially that they will be using the new Reynolds
X-100 Lithium/Aluminium tubeset in their RC400 ‘Lithiumlite’ full suspension
frame.

Never one to just accept what’s readily available, Yorkshire specialist
builders Pace have been working with Reynolds Cycle Technology Ltd and
Birmingham University Institute of Metallurgy and Materials to produce and
refine Lithium-Aluminium alloys pioneered (aren’t they always?) in the
aerospace industry.

Adrian Carter of Pace cycles said “Pace was one of the first companies to
realise the benefits of using aerospace materials in mountain bike frames and
we have manufactured and experimented with every technical material through
7000 series aluminium, composites and MMC’s. Our research and development
with Reynolds Lithium-Aluminium has proven that certain combinations of
welding technique, materials and heat treatment procedures can yield
impressive test results comparable to other exotic materials, yet promises
real world benefits such as long term strength and durability. Combined with
its design flexibility this makes it the material of choice for our RC400
Lithiumlite project.”

Keith Noronha from Reynolds also quotes impressive stats compared to
“industry standard 6061-T6 aluminium, including “100% improvement of tensile
strength and fatigue life, and a stiffness increase of 15%.”

We’ll let our
materials experts in the forum pick through that data in their usual cynical
style.

Pace are the only bike builders currently certified to use the new material,
but Adrian wouldn’t tell us if they’ve finally abandoned their trademark
square section tubing for something a little rounder.
The bike itself will use a large diameter single pivot connecting a complete
Lithium-Aluminium front end with a welded / bonded aluminium swingarm to
deliver 100mm of rear wheel travel. Design emphasis will be on a “simple, low
maintenance/high performance Pace cross country machine.

Obviously more details as soon as we get them.

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