The theory that fully utilizes the potential of Chromoly
The pursuit of optimal performance leads to changes in the materials used to make bicycles as time passes. Carbon is an obvious example. But
Chromoly, the steel long used in bicycle manufacture, has never lost its shine when it’s used for bicycle frames with optimized potential. That is
NEOCOT, the Chromoly frame built using the best theory of frame construction. The name NEOCOT comes from “NEO Contour Optimization Theory”.
The biggest feature is in its shape, which utilizes the supple and forgiving property of Chromoly while retaining the lightest weight and having the highest
strength. It is this theory of shape that optimizes the properties of Chromoly, and realizes NEOCOT frames.
Frame tubes don’ t have to be round
The core idea of NEOCOT is that bicycle frame tubes don’t have to be round. When you look closely at a NEOCOT frame, you’ll notice that no tube
except the head tube is perfectly round. In the 1980s, the engineers at Bridgestone Cycle analyzed how force was applied to each part of a bicycle when
pedaling. They found that the force applied to round tubes was not evenly distributed. Through the process of pursuing the perfect shape on this basis,
they noticed stress had been decreased and force transmission became more effective, which meant round tubes were not ideal; they were used just
because they were easy to weld. The engineers concluded that each tube should have a specific shape as different forces applied to each part of it. You
can see the ultimate balance among lightweight, rigidity and strength of Chromoly in the ideal shape of current NEOCOT frames. There is no round tube
except the head pipe.
The Process of Forging the Perfect Chromoly
There are two unique processes involved in making NEOCOT. One is called the “bulge forming process”, which fills a Chromoly tube with extremely
high-pressure oil to form the tube end into an ideal shape. As a result, the tube shape can be forged to produce complex parts of the frame. This allows a
builder to weld tubes together directly without using lugs that adds weight. The other one is called the “spinning-butting process” that changes the
thickness of tubes. With this technology, a roller presses a tube from the outside to change the thickness gradually, just as one squeezes clay. This is
how NEOCOT tubes have their butted shape that was impossible for previous tubes. A tube formed by this process has 0.9mm for the maximum wall
thickness and 0.4mm for the minimum. The difference of thickness on a single tube is 0.5mm, which is top class in the world. By combining these two
processes, the tubes are both very strong and light, optimizing the properties of Chromoly. This forging process yields the perfect Chromoly.
Made in Ageo, Japan
Chromoly tubes are welded into bicycle frames after being formed into ideal shapes with our spinning-butting and bulge-forming processes. This takes
place in the factory in Ageo City, Saitama, where the headquarters of ANCHOR is also located. To keep heat degradation and residual stress as low as
possible when welding, we make sure to braze quickly on a minimal surface. The skilled welders at Bridgestone Cycle weld tubes that have complex
shapes due to the bulge-forming process together to make frames. NEOCOT frames are the Chromoly frames that are exclusively made in Ageo, Japan,
from processing to welding. Though forming tubes into the unique shape requires large-scale machines, the skilled and experienced craftsmen weld
these frames by hands.
NEOCOT has been raced at the Olympic games twice
NEOCOT frames were born as pure racing frames with the best performance that Chromoly offers. We have raced at the Olympic games twice. Just
before NEOCOT frames were available on the market, our team racer Kozo Fujita rode a prototype frame when competing in the road race at the
Barcelona 1992 Summer Olympics. In the Sydney 2000 Summer Olympics, our team racer Raita Suzuki rode a NEOCOT frame. Participating in the
Olympic games makes it clear that these NEOCOT frames were the fastest at the races in Japan. They played an important role in supporting the top
racers of that period with the Chromoly latest technology.
The beauty of form, beyond theory
Today, NEOCOT gives way to Carbon for the highest performance. But literally, the beauty of form goes beyond theory and never gets old. One almost
wants to call it the golden ratio of Chromoly frames. We believe that the number of people who understand and appreciate such frames will only increase
as time goes by. ANCHOR has inherited a legacy: the best theory to optimize materials. It developed in the blend of our proprietary technology and
craftsmanship, and everything we offer is based on it. NEOCOT represents the optimal Chromoly frames Japan should be proud of.