Rim Manufacturing-Visit to Kinlin – The Taiwan Bicycle Manufacturing Industry Review
Kinlin are not the biggest brim makers around but they surely are a quality manufacturer with customers that include Dahon, Giant, Ritchey, Reynolds, American Classic to name a few .
I presently use their XR-200 flange for a wheelset that I put together two or then years ago which has proved to be very popular.
This late chew the fat was to see what is modern, thinking I could upgrade from XR-200, or source an even higher choice rim and add a wheelset to the range, peculiarly deep rim .
XR200 is low profile, very durable, weighing in at 380 grams though, so it would be a hard work to follow .
I went on a flying go of the factory to get a better mind of the processes behind their fabrication. All processes are in-house, starting with creating the two aluminum alloys they use for their rims, which puts them apart from many others .
1. 1 metric ton slab of aluminum from Portland, Australia make the basis material .
2. this base material is combined with a especial batch of ingredients in their smelter, which measures around 4mX3m to produce the two types of alloy that go into the rims : Dura-Alloy–KLR60 and Super Alloy–KLM41 ( XKeymet® ) .
KLR60 is qualitatively distinct from al6061 but KLM41 is something else again .
It contains maganese and niobium. The thing with nobium is that its thaw point is 2300°C, whereas aluminum is 620°C. Bringing these two together in the one debase is a process they have mastered.
3. lengths of solid cylinders measuring some 15cm diameter of KLR60 and KLM41 are produced and then cut into smaller lengths .
4. these are then extruded through the main process jigs to produce lengths of rim several meters farseeing which are then cut to approximate length .
5. these are ( cold ) rolled into the correct diameter with overlap where the rim will be pinned
6. 8 hours of heat treatment for artificial senesce. T10 is the tied of processing applied here. To put this in context :
- T6 – Solution heat treated then artificially aged.
- T7 – Solution heat treated then and overaged/stabilized.
- T8 – Solution heat treated, cold worked, then artificially aged.
- T9 – Solution heat treated, artificially aged, then cold worked.
- T10 – Cooled from an elevated temperature shaping process, cold worked, then artificially aged.
7. surface discussion and polish
8. brim is drilled
9. anodizing and any excess workings completes the sequence .
The detail brim that caught my attention that is fabricated from KLM41 is the XR-300. It has a 30mm aero profile, OW 18.3, IW 13.6. On the lookout for a deeper profile rim, this is concern. Weighing 45og is a control sacrifice for gaining the deeper profile .
No decisions on this as even, but it was a great travel to and provided much food for think .