While the St. Louis Refrigerator Company introduced an early aluminum alloy bike called the Lum-Mi-Num in 1894, aluminum did not become a mainstream bicycle material until 1990. Because aluminum is both lighter and weaker than steel, early frames were prone to metal fatigue and failure. Manufactures learned to use aluminum differently than steel, by using “oversized” tubes, unusual shapes, and reinforcements.
Since aluminum does not rust, frames were often left unpainted and polished. Note the “toothpaste” tube welds, characteristic of TIG welding. Purists found the new shapes ugly, but with the metal fatigue problems solved, aluminum has found a permanent place in the market.
Designer/builder: Fuji Bikes
Country of Origin: Japan