Bikes and frames
8Ball designs it’s own frames in London and gets them hand built in China by a small team working for Colossi Cycling. We then get them shipped over, just like many of the big name brands do. The Chinese mainland and Taiwan have a really strong manufacturing ecosystem. It’s come on leaps and bounds in recent years, so frankly, it just makes sense.
Our frames are made from steel, the same stuff used in brand name bicycle manufacturing, only it often becomes more expensive once you stick a brand logo on it. Not all steel is made the same and to make our rides better we specifically use a steel alloy called chrome-moly 4130, which is the same stuff used in aircraft. It’s usually just shorted to CrMo, which amusingly looks almost like, Crom, the name given to the god of steel in Conan the Barbarian.
We use steel because it’s plentiful and therefore inexpensive but also because it’s durable, strong as hell and also flexible enough to soak up those potholes and other road wrinkles that make your teeth chatter.
There is some stuff you can do to steel to make it lighter, like ‘butting’, which means the tubing is thicker at the ends and thinner in the middle, so you can decrease weight without sacrificing strength and overall it’s just a great material to work with.
You may have heard the phrase “steel is real” and if you haven’t you are increasingly likely too as steel seems to be enjoying a bit of a resurgence right now. The gist of it is that steel just gives a nice ride.