Alchemy Bicycles. Ellis Cycles. Winter Bicycles. Risse Racing. Besides being builders of gorgeous handmade bikes, what do they all have in common? Each will be displaying bikes made of KVA’s MS2 Stainless Steel bicycle tubing at this year’s NAHBS. A relative newcomer to the scene, KVA has made a big name in the bicycle industry due to their consistency, quality, and value.
When asked to describe what made KVA’s MS2 so different from other SS tubing, KVA’s General Manager Joe McCrink explained that, “KVA’s MS2 is an Air-Hardening stainless steel that has incredibly high strength at 200 ksi, in its delivered condition. These properties give the rider an extremely responsive quality only associated with MS2. We’ve developed patented technology that’s used to very consistently heat treat the material during the manufacturing of the tube as well as the final heat treatment.”
“We’re also able to locally temper different parts of the tubes to increase elongation in the jointing areas of the tubes. This is different than the currently available SS that are precipitation hardening alloys, where strength comes from more extensive heat treating causing distortion, higher cost, and low heat treatment consistency.”
According to McCrink, KVA Stainless has only recently become interested in the cycling world, after “an exclusive agreement with Ford Motors showed us that the biggest down side to big industry is slow change. We decided to take control of what we could and made a few display bikes to take to NAHBS and Interbike. All went well enough for us to continue work, so here were are today.”
Many handmade builders in the industry are extremely happy that they are, especially because KVA has no plans to rest on their laurels. In the future, McCrink says, KVA will strive for “continued product improvement and variety. We know success will lie in quality and development, so that’s why we don’t want to deviate from the course we’ve put ourselves on.”
So when he looks at all of the beautiful bicycles made from MS2 tubes this year in Sacramento, what makes him most proud? “The fact that they chose to use our tubing for their show frame says a lot about the MS2 product. Companies like Cielo by Chris King are pioneering production frames with MS2 and we’re grateful for that.”
”Ultimately though, it’s the effort we put into making the customers happy, both builder and rider. It’s great to feel like I helped these bikes become one of a kind, and when I see the level of creativity a builder puts into making a frame unique, it makes me know it’s worth the effort.”