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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just one of many bikes I lusted for in the mid 90's but didn't have the funds for. Anyone know the story behind this lesser known Boston frame builder? And if anyone has pics, please share :)
 

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artistic...
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i have an early 90s bicycling somewhere mentioning an up and coming east coast builder, rhygyin.
they had the pic of a frame and RS fork. oversized true temper painted in orange. it was so sexy it felt like time stopped.
price was 1125 frame and fork.
it had a yo eddy vibe to it but looked shorter, tighter.
one of their last models had a canondale shox, one of those inside the headtube. then merlin came w/ the same design but rhygyn was first.
 

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Another small Boston builder whose DNA came from the Fat Chance lineage (kinda like Bill Walsh or Bill Parcells), their claim to fame was a stainless tubeset. Hard to work with and expensive, but lasted forever. It was between them and a 7, but wised up and went FS.

All those east coasters threw the oversized Headshock into the mix, fortunately the other manufacturers raised their game. Never liked the sternum buster that the tall headtube forced.
 

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rhygyn was already hot before metax. that was near their closure. they did the headshock before merlin. never rode one but having a one piece fork makes a lot of sense when riding technical tight singletrack.
 

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Came real close to buying one in the mid 90's. The SS frame was trick/expensive. My LBS talked me into going with a Wojcik. No regrets.
 

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From the old Rhygin site...

Juke



Our steel mountain frame has evolved over the years with many changes. Serious riders have taken them to many racing successes including six New England Championship titles, countless regional events, and completing the Iditabike. Two enthusiasts are currently riding them (into the Guiness Record book) from Prudhoe Bay Alaska to Cape Horn, in South America. Customers have raced, toured and simply ridden to work.

A custom blend of Reynolds 853, Tange prestige and True Temper steel results in a resilient, light yet durable performance frame. Why do we use different brands of steel? Because we can. Each frame size has specific requirements for weight and stiffness of each tube. Obviously the tubing for a 5’2" 120lb. rider should be different than one for a 6’2" 190lb. rider. We could use one tubeset from one manufacturer; it would certainly make our purchasing easier, but it would be a compromise for all but one frame size.1 1/8" head tube standard, 1" available.
Juke Stainless



The Juke Stainless is built with Columbus Metax (stainless steel) tubing. This is the first big news in steel in over 40 years! We can build a lighter weight frame with the smooth ride you expect and a few benefits: No rust, no scratches, and far less impact on the environment.

Corrosion is not an issue, so like titanium, a Metax frame is a long term investment. Also, Metax frames don’t require paint to prevent rusting. We give them a finish that is easily maintained with a scotch-brite pad. Not painting the frame saves weight and spares the environment. The final benefit is purely aesthetic - we can show off our welds and workmanship. Many companies want their frames painted before you ever see them, but we are excited to have a frame that high-lights our workmanship.
Juke Headshock



Finally. The Juke HeadShok. It's built specifically for the HeadShok Fatty 70. It offers unequaled lateral stiffness and steering accuracy and a plush 70mm of travel. An ideal choice for larger riders who desire a very accurate hardtail.
Metax FAQ:

No Rust! The first big news in steel in over 40 years. Columbus totes this tubeset as being able to have "chromed" chainstays without the destructive chroming process. A satiny hand-brushed finish is standard, mirror-like electro-polish is available.

Tube dimensions are the similar to EL/OS, but the main tube walls are slightly thicker for greater rigidity and increased resistance to denting. The ride is superb with a zing that will never be matched by the so-called "exotics".

When we tell people about Metax, we often hear the following questions...

If it's stainless, Isn't it heavy?
Metax is stainless and exceptionally strong. Metax was developed specifically for off-shore oil drilling where high strength and corrosion resistance is even more important than in the bike industry. Fortunately for us (and you) Columbus got their hands on the stuff, since we sure don't have the budget to develop a material like this.

What does it look like?
Bicyclist magazine said "it is a steel with a brighter luster than brushed titanium, though not so bright as polished titanium or chromed steel, and it possesses the slightest blue cast, which gives it a fairly exotic appearance." We agree.

Why doesn't everybody use it, if it is so great?
Try welding it and you’ll know the answer. This stuff is tough to work with. It is difficult to cut and especially tricky to weld. Our welder spent years in the aerospace industry and welded 3000+ frames at Merlin before he could do it well. Not all companies have this kind of welding experience to draw from. We must also make all of the small parts (cable stops, brake bosses etc.) to our specifications in stainless steel.
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Sweet :cool:

And did the Metax frames last very well? Did they stand the extreme heat of welding?

- Melvin
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for posting that Melvin! I forgot they did a headshok version of the juke.
 

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Start slow and taper off
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The stainless frames ended up having problems with cracking.

One of the former employees of a shop I worked at was sponsored by them for a bit. He had 3 of the stainless frames and broke all 3. He was a light finesse guy and never broke a frame before.
 

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Holy Chromoly!!
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The problem with stainless steel is due the 'stainlessness' it self. In order to call it stainless it needs to have at leas 12% Chrome alloyed in the material. This Chrome makes the carbon in the material to glother up more, which in term makes the material brittle. Stainless steel is not the most ideal material for applications where you have a more 'spring'-like application of forces working.

Welding stainless proves difficulties in several ways as well. For starters, its very hard to maintain straight alignment when working with stainless. Cold setting isn't that easy to do and certainly not in the benefit of the structural integrity of the whole construction.
 

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Jeroen said:
The problem with stainless steel is due the 'stainlessness' it self. In order to call it stainless it needs to have at leas 12% Chrome alloyed in the material. This Chrome makes the carbon in the material to glother up more, which in term makes the material brittle. Stainless steel is not the most ideal material for applications where you have a more 'spring'-like application of forces working.

Welding stainless proves difficulties in several ways as well. For starters, its very hard to maintain straight alignment when working with stainless. Cold setting isn't that easy to do and certainly not in the benefit of the structural integrity of the whole construction.
Would you be able to braze stainless? Seems like a no-brainer way to go.

I know Pegoretti showed a lugged stainless bike at Interbike so I would infer from this they are brazeable. He even gave it one of his hideous paint jobs. Why the hell would you paint a stainless frame?
 

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Rhygin was run by a guy named Christian Jones, who was a friend of a roommate of mine in Cambridge in the mid '90s. I didn't know him too well, but he would come around our apartment once in a while. He hooked me up with a wholesale deal on parts for a frame that I had built by an ex Fat City welder named George Reynolds, who now makes recumbents.

I saw Christian at a party years later (post Rhygin) and from what he told me then, they had pretty much oriented all their production and marketing around the SS tube set, which was then discontinued by the manufacturer, leaving Rhygin in the lurch. I never rode one, but another roommate had a Rhygin SS road bike which had quite a bit of flex in the bottom bracket area.
 

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I've got a dark red painted 1995 "Ra" frame, dinged and dented, that I still ride regularly and still love after all these years. When I purchased, it came down to a Rhygin or an IF, both equally tiny start-up frame builders in Somerville. Christian Jones was the guy and welder, at the time set up in part of the Maaco auto body shop on Somerville Ave. Before that I think he was out in Amherst post-college and after moved to a building in Charlestown one floor above the Tremont brewery.

In the later years, the stainless frames got pretty popular in the local road racing scene, but probably mostly because of Rhygin's generous sponsorship. Christian was a great craftsman but suffice it to say that the IF crew possesed the finer business acumen. Last I saw him years ago he was still building bikes, but for the military, some sort of top secret prototype commando bikes that he couldn't say much about.

The thing with Rhygins was the 1" steerer (1 1/8" is just a fad) and super-quick "east coast" geometry. They had a 72, maybe even 73 degree head angle and boasted being designed around the latest long-travel Mag-21 (63mm? 80mm?). Mine was always an endo machine but definitely adept in the woods.

With a White eccentric hub and custom Waltworks rigid fork, my frame is now built up as a 69er singlespeed and rolls in So Cal far from its NE roots. The big front wheel has mellowed out the geometry just enough and it rides incredibly well, better than ever and as nice as any hardtail I've ever been on. I have some photos on my home computer that I've been meaning to post as provocation on the 29er forum, I'll ltry to get them up here too.
 

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that's it. even in the catalogue pics posted here you can SEE how steep and tight are the hardtails. it's NOT an IF clone and gives a very different woods ride..
it's not a fat chance generic. fats are stable and slightly slow turning (at least the wicked) which is good when you think twice how are you going to pull that scary chute.
 

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MaineMud
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Headshock Juke

I had (still have) one.Christian miscalculated the head tube angle a little. It was about 74 degrees!!! Loved the bike in the twisties but that year was the "Year of the Endo" for me

DaveX said:
Thanks for posting that Melvin! I forgot they did a headshok version of the juke.
 

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tech info and press on Rhygins......

Greetings,
I have some info to post on Rhygins from back when I had one. Any advice on how to get it posted? The files are too big and get rejected. I have a Mac
 
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