At Lithium Cycles, we proudly build our bikes in America. A lot of work goes into manufacturing each Super73 right here in Orange County, California. From the design to ordering raw materials, take a look at all the different steps that goes into making your Super73.
1. From steel to frame
The Super73 is made out of all-American steel. Hundreds of pounds of cold rolled steel comes in the form of round tubing delivered to our facilities every week. The steel tubing is cut to length on a cold saw and bent into shape on our state-of-the-art CNC tube-bending machine.
The Super73 frame is composed of three sections that are welded together. The forks are made of two symmetric sections.
2. Precision water jet cutting
A Super73 is not just made of steel tubes. There are 5 other parts (wheel dropouts, fork plates, bottle opener, seat plate, motor mount). These flat components of steel are water jet cut with high precision.
The triangular parts you see above are the two plates that hold the Super73's fork together. You also see the seat plate we designed that supports the seat.
Cup holders & bottle openers
Can't forget the most important piece!
Once the frames are bent into shape, we take them over to be tack-welded, so that it's easier to fully weld them together on a fixture. Tack welding is basically lightly welding parts together with "drops" of weld so that it stays in place for the final welding. To avoid having a second person hold the frame pieces together while a welder does his job, fixtures needs to be designed and built to hold them into place. We made those aluminum fixtures on our CNC mill.
Once the frames are tack welded, we weld the frames together with a tungsten inert gas (tig) welder for a finer result, vs. a metal inert gas (mig) welder, most often used for industrial parts that don't require much refinement.
4. Powder Coating
Once the frames and forks are ready, we bring them in batches of 30-50 to our local powder coater. Take a look at what the forks look like before they're painted.
We can powder coat the frames in virtually any color. There is no minimum!
5. Bike parts & electronics
In the meantime, the wheels, brakes, handgrips, wiring, motor, battery and controllers, etc. are stored in our warehouse, ready to be assembled onto the bike when they come back from powder coating.
These little brass custom chain tension pulleys have been precision CNC milled by SH Precision Air Craft Machining right here in Orange County.
Next we assemble the bikes using premium stainless steel small hardware and add all the wiring and electric components. The last quality check happens here and we test all bikes thoroughly before delivery.
Often overlooked, this part is very important. The Super73 is strong, but sometimes components still get damaged when it undergoes the toll of shipping. That's why from the very beginning we invested in a special foam packing machine that basically creates a soft cushiony yet extremely durable bed for each bike to make sure it gets to you safely.
8. Road Testing
Every Super73 is tested before it leaves our shop. This is when we adjust the brakes, do some of the fine tuning.
9. Happy customers
What we're most proud of, besides building our bike frames entirely in Orange County, California, is the reaction that people have once they ride their bike for the first time. See what Douglas, one of our early local Kickstarter backers, says about his first commute to work in San Diego.
"A quick ride report from me for the benefit of the Lithium team and its backers, particularly David at @Metaform, who inquired about the 73's climbing abilities...
My first complete ride into work this morning was a success! Stats from Strava: distance of 11.8 miles, moving time of 36:36, elevation of 707 feet, average speed of 19.3 mph, and max speed of 29.3 mph.
There're a 5.5%-grade, 1.5-mile hill on my commute. The 73 conquered that hill without a sweat! I began using throttle alone. That got me about 20 mph. Then, I noticed my battery meter showing the battery almost empty--I did not charge before the ride--so I switched to pedal assist 5. I was then going at the high teens. Good workout.
So, all in all, a very successful first ride into work. Very, very satisfied! My gratitude to Lithium Cycles for bringing the Super 73 to market and, more importantly, for putting this perma-smile on my face as if I'm a child riding without a care in the world. Love ❤️ you guys!"
Thank you for helping us build this amazing community of Super73 riders. We hope you'll join us on our next group rides, because there's nothing more thrilling then riding together into town, or off on the sand on a Super73.
'Merica. Fuck Yeah!