What is Vassago R-tech tubing? First lets start with a very brief lesson in steel mountain bike tubing.
We use a 4130 Chromoly tubing. Because of some past manufacturers, 4130 seems to have a "bad rap". Lets clear this up a bit.
4130 can be drawn into any number of crappy or kick-ass tubes for bike frames. 4130 doesn't necessarily denote the quality of the tubing, it is simply the mix of chromium, molybdenum and other elements that makes up the actual steel before it is drawn into tubes. This ratio of elements happens to offer the best strength to cost-effective welding available. That's why it can be crap-cheap or used in race quality tubing. Most people think 4130 means "straight tubes" In some cases it may. Again the term 4130 only refers to the raw steel before it is drawn into tubing.
The "drawing" of raw steel is what makes or breaks (no pun intended) the quality of the tubeset. The term "drawing" refers to the process of changing raw steel into hollow straight, butted or shaped tubes. Some name brand companies have specific process of drawing and treating their steel tubing. In most cases, after a certain point, the strength gain-to-cost ratio becomes irrational to justify the cost of the brand sticker on the tubeset. Not to mention, in name brand scenarios, "tubeset" normally refers to top and down tubes only.
That's where the magic of R-tech comes in. Our tubes are drawn into hollow, butted tubes that perfectly temper weight savings with durability. A 1/2 lb lighter frame doesn't help much when it fails on you in the middle of nowhere.
After the welding process, the metal's strength is a little inconsistent due to the heat of the welding torch. We relieve the internal stresses in the steel's molecules by treating it with another heating/cooling proccess. It's how the ancient Japanese used to forge Samurai swords and that HAS to be cool!
The result is a tougher frame with a consistent tensile strength. All the while maintaining the buttery ride compliance expected in quality steel.
The variance of tubing wall thickness is called "butting". As in "Double Butted". This is a common technique of quality frames where the welded joints of the frame are thicker to provide strength, but then thin out along the length of the tube to save weight. Most every performance oriented frame is double butted, but Vassago "butts" are optimized for our longer 29er dimensions to provide a perfect balance of weight, strength, ridabilty and value.
We call it R-tech.
Because we draw our own tubing, we save a ton on materials and logistics. We pass the savings on to riders who renounce big corporate "cookie cutter" 29ers, and simply lust for the "soul" of the ride.
For those few left, we proudly and defiantly offer the fruits of our labor.
- Ride Like The Devil.