Urban Velo

Alexis Dold Talks Damascus Steel

damascus steel villin cycle works

Alexis Dold of Villin Cycle Works is perhaps the first person to incorporate Damascus steel into a bicycle frame. Best known for its use in knives and swords, Damascus steel is created by forging different alloys into one multi-layered piece of metal. The resulting material displays a very desirable organic pattern. The metal takes advantage of the best properties of each alloy used (some are harder but more brittle, some are softer but more flexible), resulting in a material that’s ultimately more suitable than any of the individual alloys.

Click here to listen to Alexis talk about Damascus steel.

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4 Comments

  1. TinkerMarch 10, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    Most Damascus steel used in blades is folded more times to create 512 layers or more so its a real question if this does anything at all, but how to do you treat it to be both beautiful and protect it from RUST?

  2. Thomas JohnsonMarch 10, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    “Damascus steel” has not been successfully reproduced since 1700AD. I think the process they are using is referred to as Pattern Welding and is unfortunately sold these days as Damascus steel.
    The internal structure of the materials are completely different.

    Looks real good.

  3. Ghost RiderMarch 10, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    There’s probably a more correct term for the pattern-welded “Damascened” steel used here than “Damascus”, but hey — it’s gorgeous. Villin really does some unusual and wondeful things with their frames, including hammered-finish lugwork.

    I wonder, though, how rust-resistant these pattern-welded steel accents are? I own a Japanese pattern-welded “Nakiri” vegetable knife, and it rusts virtually instantly if water remains on the surface for more than a few minutes.

  4. DylanFebruary 10, 2010 at 11:24 am

    unlike a knife, a bike frame can be clear coated to protect from rusting.

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