What is 4130
4130 is a code of the American Iron and Steel Institute and defines the approximate chemical composition of the steel commonly referred to as chromoly.
The “41” denotes a low alloy steel containing nominally 1 percent chromium and 0.2 percent molybdenum (hence the nickname “chromoly”). The “30” denotes a carbon content of 0.30 percent. In addition, as normal constituents of plain carbon and low alloy steels, there will be around 0,.2-0.5 percent silicon, 0.5-1.0 percent manganese, and well under 0.1 percent of each of a dozen or so other elements whose presence is unavoidable, in a few cases deliberate, and generally not harmful. The remaining 97-98 percent is iron (Fe).
Forty One Thirty Cycle Works
Forty One Thirty Cycle Works represents the culmination of twenty years of bicycle frame building experience, filtered through my own personal aesthetic impulses. My main objective with Forty One Thirty is to create the finest bicycles possible, period. I enjoy the entire process of custom bicycle making, from design to final buffing and assembly, and think every single decision made along the way is extremely important to the final outcome. I use the finest raw materials available, and I draw on all of my training and experience to bring you fetish quality craftsmanship and finish. Building hand crafted bicycles and creating a brand around them has been my dream since I was fourteen years old and has radically shaped the direction of my life. I am now able to combine everything I have learned in the last twenty years to bring the fine art of hand crafted bicycles and Forty One Thirty Cycle Works to life.
My name is Tom Schoeniger and I have been involved with fabricating bicycles since 1989, learning from veteran frame builders, while honing my craft. I have worked with both the smallest boutique brand builders, to the largest bicycle frame fabricator on the west coast and everyone and everything in-between. I have been lucky to get to work with some of the most influential bike builders, who literally started the hand crafted bicycle industry in the United States, and groundbreaking bicycle designers whose products are still considered the industry standard.
I have worked as a welder, machinist, mechanical designer and prototype fabricator, each of which contribute to my skill set that helps me create a well designed and executed bicycle. I have a degree in Industrial design and for the last nine years I have worked as an instructor in the industrial design department at a design university in San Francisco. Since 2007 I have been hand crafting bicycles in my small shop in Northern California, trying to provide people with a one of a kind functional, rolling piece of art.
Materials + Process
I am in the business of designing and building complete bicycles, so I prefer to be involved with picking each and every aspect from the basic geometry to each and every part, to the final colors and finish details. I prefer to work with people who have an idea of what they want, but are still flexible enough to allow me to make the design decisions that I think make for the best overall product. I feel that the process of having a custom bicycle made is really a series of conversations and the creation of a relationship between the builder and the customer. I will usually start by asking a lot of questions, and then sending e-mails and pictures back and forth, before I even begin the design. I like to have a good sense about the person and their needs before I can picture the bike that I want to build for them.
I only work in steel, like the name of my company implies, I have a real deep love of chromoly tubing as a material for bicycle fabrication. I use the highest quality steel tubing available today from Columbus, True Temper and Reynolds and I use the finest investment cast lugs and dropouts from Richard Sachs, Henry James and Llewellyn. Since I am a big proponent of small American businesses, I try to support small component manufactures like Chris King, Phil Wood, White industries and Paul Components. Not only are they small American manufactures, but their components are of the highest quality available bar none, really classy stuff.
I do 99% of my own painting and finishing, which allows me complete control over the entire finishing process. I use low VOC, California compliant liquid automotive paint and all the branding and finish details are actually painted on as apposed to decals. This allows me a lot of flexibility when designing the final paint scheme, allowing me to use different fonts and configurations making every bike truly a one of a kind object. I usually ask for a basic color idea, and then I try to do some simple color studies usually including a major color and two complimentary minor colors. I think of the paint as the “frosting”, it should only enhance, not hide the quality ingredients underneath.