Foes Frames: Frequently Asked Questions
You can’t beat an aluminum alloy frame in an off-road environment for dependability and durability. We have been specializing in building with this material for 25 years. We believe that carbon fiber and carbon composite has its place, but not in the harsh conditions of mountain bike riding and racing.
Carbon frames are easier to build than aluminum alloy frames and give companies a higher profit margin. That is why so many bike companies chose this direction. There is no soul in a plastic bike!
Q: Why do you make your frames from aluminum alloy?
A: We strongly believe in the long term strength and reliability of metal. Our bikes are built to last many seasons, not 1-2 seasons, or need replacing the first time you drop it on a rock. Metal mountain bike frames can survive the daily abuse of small dings and dents, as well as general surface wear and tear. Metal frames can be realigned, repaired, or refinished with virtually no compromises.
Q: Why has the bike industry gone to carbon fiber/composite materials?
A: One word: Money. The technology used to build carbon fiber frames overseas is, simply put, cheap. Building frames here in the U.S.A. is not cheap, but we firmly believe in the superiority of American manufacturing. We don’t like the idea of frames held together by glue. We’ve seen all sorts of epoxies and other adhesives change characteristics over short periods of time, some turn brittle in as little as one year. Welded aluminum frames, after heat treatment, are essentially one piece when completed, and there is no glue to degrade over time.
Q: Will you build carbon fiber bikes in the future?
A: Very unlikely, unless long term reliability improves. We are true believers in the properties of metal.
Q: How long can a Foes frame be safely ridden?
A: There are Foes frames out there still in service that we built over 20 years ago. We don’t recommend this for most riders, but depending on your riding style, our frames can be safely ridden for many years with proper care and regular inspection. Generally, for all aluminum frames that get ridden aggressively, 5 years should be considered the maximum life span.
Q: Why single pivot?
A: Why choose anything else? There is a reason all modern dirt bikes (motorcycles) use a variation of single pivot design with a progressive linkage. This is quite simply the most durable and reliable design that will ever exist for bicycles and motorcycles. Bearing life is the longest of any design, mainly because precision cartridge bearings require protection from side loads that cannot be achieved with multiple mounting points, or positioning in a highly leveraged location, such as near the rear axle. Our frames can last many years without any need to ever service the bearings. No creaking, squeaking or popping, as with nearly all four-bar and VPP style designs after a short time. With the advent of 1x drivetrains, single pivot is now the obvious choice for neutral pedaling as well.