Llewellyn – XL Compact
Llewellyn XL Compact lug set (formerly called Slant 6) was the world’s first sloping top tube lug set for road bikes, and my first frame lug set. Year created: 2004.
Columbus had stopped making MAX tubing and the supply was drying up. I built many frames using Columbus MAX tubes for big and/or large lads and many MAX track frames, including the one used by Kerrie Meares to win a World Junior 500m Time Trial Championship. MAX gave good results with its bigger diameter (and heavier) tubes, but was very troublesome to build with as it had many issues in the tube dimensions. MAX lugged tubing was only suitable for 1” forks. And the design of the MAX lugs was dreadful. But it worked for the stronger, bigger rider.
With MAX fading, I needed a replacement for the big, tall, or solid riders with all the desired features I required for lugged construction. I wanted to avoid the time-sink that it would be to hand-fabricate a set of lugs every time I needed a set for a sloping top tube frame for a bigger rider.
I wanted to use sloping top tube designs for reasons of structural merit, (less tube length, shorter tubes) and also to allow taller head tubes in frame designs for riders who need higher handle bars. The set required a 36mm head tube to fit 28.6mm (1 1/8”) alloy, carbon, or steel steerer forks and XL tube diameters that are suitable for heavy and or tall riders.
The angle of the top tube needed to be of the amount that was useful but not so much as to make the frame look like a BMX bike, I settled on 6 degrees of top tube slope. There needed to be lots of stack height on the top head lug that could be trimmed to suit the frame design. The bottom head lug needed to have cast bosses for M5 gear cable adjusters with a counter bore for the adjuster spring to nestle into, so when turned it did not scrape and chip the paint off, thus helping to keep a neat and tidy appearance on the finished frame. A standard stainless steel M6 caphead bolt for the seat binder was a must have as well.
The seat post binder keyhole slot was to have rounded corners to avoid digging into and damaging carbon seat posts. I also needed to design enough room on the lugs for reshaping of the shorelines or extra elaboration if desired.
So I studied the tube maker’s available tubes. Then I did sketches. Then I created the dimensioned drawings, followed by making hand-fabricated samples for the casting house.
LongShen did their interpretation of my hand fabricated lugs to produce the 3D drawings.
The first castings arrived on my doorstep in late 2004.
This lug set has been fantastic for my building (first in the Slant6, now used in the Crescendo model) saving me time and allowing me to create appropriate frames for particular riders or particular uses. These lugs are also in regular use with many builders around the world.