Handbuilt Bicycle News


Richard Sachs Cycles

Richard Sachs

Tuesday 10 May 2016

Richard Sachs: "We needed to develop a tubeset for lugs"

Industry changes during the 1990s diminished the tube options for building lugged frames. Richard Sachs and Dario Pegoretti took matters into their own hands.

Richard Sachs: "We needed to develop a tubeset for lugs"
Photo: Richard Sachs Cycles

While cycling touring in Matera, central Italy, back in 2003, a frame tube in my bicycle mysteriously broke. It wasn’t a high stress area, and it wasn’t overloaded, it just broke. That night at the hotel, I called Dario Pegoretti thinking he might have some greater insight than I on the matter, but it turned out he was equally  baffled about why the tube might have broken.

During our conversation Dario and I realized we shared common ground in our complete disenchantment with the material available to our trade for at least the previous decade and then some. After several intimate phone conversations about the state of the state of the state of things, the two of us decided that something had to be done to ensure a better future for tradesmen like us.

Tube-wise, we had been living on vapors given off by suppliers who hadn’t innovated in a very long time. If and when they did bring something new to the table, it was invariably for large scale manufacturers, many of whom were transitioning over to nonferrous materials, using adhesives for bonding, or switching to Tig welding.

For the rank and file brazer, especially those for whom lugs were the joining technique of choice, and most especially for the four or five of us who were active prior to the Y2K niche renaissance yet somehow made it to the “other side”, there was nothing. Simply put: we needed a tubeset that was suited to the way we were building.

We approached the staff at Columbus Tubi with the concept of starting from scratch to create a modern, 21st century, no-holds-barred, bust-out retail-plus-10%-level set of OverSize (OS) pipes for the card carrying members of the Farm to Table, Ingredient-Driven, craft brewed framebuilding movement.

By the end of 2004 our collaboration resulted in the first set of tubes made expressly for those who 1) braze, and 2) use lugs. We named it PegoRichie (the project’s original working title was Spirit For Lugs).

In the 12 years since its birth, the PegoRichie line of tubing has widened to include several lengths and weights as well as the game changing ÜberOverSize (ÜOS) dimensions that allow frame- builders to use the proprietary 27mm oval lightweight ÜOS steel blades and 28.6mm steerer, or a carbon fiber fork from a range of suppliers. Something for all of us, once again – as it should be. Cool pipes.