Hamilton Cycles is one of the most popular bicycle manufacturing firms that produce different types of bicycles for men, for kids as well as for women. To meet up the current technology standards, all bicycle parts are produced with top grade raw materials such as top quality gear sets from Shimano, hi –tech breaks. Let us know about the origin of bicycles, its technical modifications and upgrades in the bicycle models .

New Innovations

Among the different modes of transportation that are used on daily basis, bicycles play an important role in the lives of Indian people. The word “bicycle” derived from the French term bicyclette and primarily known as velocipedes, is one of the most significant human powered single track two wheeled vehicle to be used by most of the people in India. Bicycles are used for various purposes such as transportation, fitness, racing competitions, touring etc. Various models are prepared as per the need. These include myriad shapes and styles, unicycles, tricycles, tandems, all terrain bikes, racing bikes and stationery bikes.

Bicycles during Olden days

One of the most important inventions by man is Bicycle. The idea of this unique invention first took birth into the mind of a famous Italian painter as well as architect, Leonardo da Vinci back in 1490. By misfortune, he was unable to develop this vehicle. Developed by a German named Baron Karl von Drais, the first bicycle was introduced during early 19th century known as Draisines or hobby horses. This bicycle had a crude structure with a wooden frame supported by two-in line wheels. The rider would sit on the wooden frame, push the vehicle with feet and steer the front wheel. This was introduced in Paris in 1818.

After the invention of these hobby horses, hobby horse riding became a sport event in Europe. People found that they can ride the bicycles without losing the balance. So, with a new idea in mind; a Scottish black smith developed a two wheeled machine that can be operated by pedals. Later on, a French man named Michaux designed the hobby horse having mechanical crank drive with pedals attached to the front shaft. As this device required much efforts resulting into “bone shaking experience for riders”, this was named as “bone shaker” because of its solid frame and wheels with iron bands.

During 1860’s a lot of improvements were done such as innovation of ball bearings, solid rubber tyres, and four speed gearshift with lever. In 1866, a noteworthy bicycle model with a large front wheel and small rear wheel was developed by James Stanley, known as Penny Farthing or The Ordinary. These were very soon exported to United States. These were available for $300 - a high price during those days.

Again in 1885, some amendments were done to these ordinaries and a new model was invented known as “Rover Safety” by John Kemp Starley. This new Safety was inclusive of solid rubber wheels having same size, diamond shaped frame and rear wheel compelled by chain. Apart from these, some most significant developments in the bicycle were utilization of pneumatic tires with air filled inner tubes that provided shock absorption. In 1898, coaster breaks were created and then after biking became easier with freewheeling as wheels could spin without the use of treadles.

As mentioned in the above diagram, this diamond shaped frame had lead and rear triangles, the front one formed a quadrilateral of four tubes viz. top, seat, down and head while the rear one was formed by chain stays, seat stays, and rear wheel dropouts. The fork and steering tube are connected to the head tube. This frame is similar to the one used in modern bicycles.

Basic Materials

Diamond shaped frame is the heart of the bicycle that connects all the components in a very systematic manner the same way as our entire body is attached with our brain. The entire balance and control of a bicycle depends on this frame as it provides steadiness as well as effectiveness.

Previously, this bicycle frame was prepared from strong steel alloy and slowly and gradually the material was upgraded in order to make it more strong and durable. In 1970s, there arrived a new generation of flexible alloy steels that can be welded mechanically which in turn led to increase in the accessibility of inexpensive frames. Later on, these lightweight aluminium frames became the most preferable ones.

With new inventions, as the technology got advanced, in 1990s, the use of very lightweight as well as strong frames made from different fibers such as carbon came into existence. These composites can be moulded into unique frames with necessary strength as required. Different parts such as wheels, derailleurs, brakes and chains are generally manufactured from stainless steel. These parts are purchased by the bicycle manufacturers from various manufacturing firms available in the industry. Raw materials used by Hamilton cycles for manufacturing modern bicycles are of top quality.

Bicycle Production Process

Ever wondered how this easy to carry two wheeled bicycle is produced!! Let’s have a look at its production process:

a) The smooth frame tubes are made out of solid steel blocks which are then drilled and pinched" into tubes at multiple stages.

b) These tubes are further shaped to enhance their efficacy and thereby reduce the weight by butting or amending the thickness of the tube walls. This involves broadening the thickness of walls where the most stress is delivered i.e. at the joints or ends of the tube as well as thinning the walls at the centre where there is relatively little stress. This technique advances the elasticity of the frame.

c) Further, these tubes are then produced into a frame either by hand-brazing or machine welding, the former being a more labour-intensive process and therefore more expensive.

d) Small parts may be bounded using plastic binders or strong glue. These are then attached to the frame manually or mechanically. Final adjustments are done by expert bicycle producers.

I) Frame Production:

a) Modifying tubes

1) Metal is heated either to make it tough or soft and then it is excavated to create hollows or blooms. Again, they are re-heated, kept in acid to remove scale and then they are greased.

2) These hollows are then measured, cut and adjusted to the required dimensions such as 19-25 inches (48-63 cm) for adult bicycles including top of the seat up to the middle of the crank hanger.

3) After adjusting them to the required dimensions, these hollows are fixed over a shaft connected to the seat. For right gauge, hollows are allowed to pass through a mould that converts them into thinner longer tubes. This process is known as “Cold drawing”.

4) Once these tubes are transformed into various shapes and lengths, then the taper gauge fork blades are to be passed over a dozen applications to get accurate durability, elasticity and density.

b) Brazing, welding, and gluing

Once the tubes are modified as required, and then come the process to properly attach them with the frame. This can be done with the help of brazing, welding and gluing as follows:

1) The tubes can be connected to a frame manually or with the help of machinery. To combine two or more tubes at a joint, metal sleeves are used. These are known as “lugs”. Frames can be brazed, welded or glued with or without these lugs.

2) Welding at a temperature of 1600°F (871°C) or lower is known as “Brazing.”Brazing fillers are usually of brass or silver that easily melts at lower temperatures. As this filler melts, it flows around the joints and thus seals it.

3) The brazing filler is generally brass (copper-zinc alloy) or silver, which melt at lower temperatures than the tubes being joined. The filler is applied and as it melts, it flows around the joint, sealing it.

c) Aligning and cleaning

After joining the tubes, it’s mandatory to align and clean them. This process is as mentioned below:

1) Assembled frames are kept into a device and then examined for necessary sequence. Any required adjustments are made when the frame is still hot and ductile.

2) Any excessive materials are cleaned off by dipping them in acidic solutions and the brazing is washed and grinded till it is soft.

3) Once the metal is cooled properly, then required alignments are made.

d) Finishing

Any bicycle with improper colours doesn’t attract the buyers. So, once the frames are cleaned and aligned, the last finishing touch is must to make the bicycle look attractive. Finishing process is as follows:

1) After making the necessary alignments, finishing is given to these frames to protect them as well as develop a finishing experience.

2) Before applying the paint, undercoat is applied and then the frame is painted with a coloured glaze. The frame is painted either with the help of a hand spray or through automatic electrostatic spraying rooms.

This completes Phase one of bicycle production i.e. manufacturing tubes. Now, the second phase describes the process of manufacturing different components. This process is as mentioned below:

II) Manufacturing Different Components.

Apart from tubes, small parts used in the bicycle also play an important role. Manufacturing these components also takes a great labour. Below mentioned are some of the important bicycle components and their production process:

a) Derailleurs and gear shift levers:

1) Based on the bicycle design, gear shift levers are to be fitted either on the down tube or at the ends of the handlebar. E.g.: Popular racer bikes have gears mounted on the down tube.

2) The front and rear derailleurs have an extended cable attached to the gear shift levers. Front derailleurs are those that rotate the chain from one drive sprocket to the other, clamped or brazed on the seat tube.

3) Rear derailleurs can be fitted with integral hangers or bolt on hangers.

4) Hamilton cycles for kids, men and women have best quality gear sets like Shimano

b) Handlebars, stems, and headsets

1) The handlebars can be kept flat, dropped or raised. These are connected to the bicycle tubes via bolts and then they are attached with the head tube.

2) Small headset components such as bearings, cups, locknuts are joined to the head tube.

3) Steering becomes easier as the fork can move easily inside the head tube with the help of headset.

4) Hamilton cycles for kids, men and women have best quality gear sets like Shimano

c) Brakes

- Brakes are fastened with the handlebars. The cables are extended to the brakes and then mounted to the callipers.

- Bicycles manufactured by Hamilton cycles consist of hi-tech brakes that meet the current demand trends in the bicycle market.

d) Saddles and seat posts

1) Bicycle seats are generally made of steel or aluminium alloy and these are clamped into a specific position via bolts.

2) Saddles are basically prepared of shaped wadding and protected with nylon or plastic materials. Now days, leather saddles are used very rarely.

e) Crank sets

1) Crank set aids the pedals and shifts the power from pedals to chain and then rear wheel.

2) These are made of steel or aluminium alloy crank arms, chain rings as well as bottom bracket including axle, cups and bearings.

3) These are connected to the bottom bracket of the bicycle frame with bolts and caps.

4) Pedals are attached at the end of the crank arms with screws.

f) Wheels, tires, and hubs

1) Wheel diameter and tire sizes are confirmed before constructing wheels using machinery.

2) These wheel machines roll steel strips into the loops welded into rims. These rims are further pierced to insert spokes, laced one round at a time between rim and hub flange.

3) Wheel must be in radial or lateral direction to gain uniform rigidity. After that, the rim, tyre and inner tube are joined and finally the chain is attached to the bicycle.

4) The back wheels are mounted using a free -/ wheel that includes different cogs and spacers which removes it from crank mechanism once the pedalling is stopped.

5) Wheels and bicycle frame are combined together using an axle that runs through the wheel hub. This axle can be hardened at ends using bolts or quick release skewers.