Courtesy of Aaron Panone (top) and John (Prolly) Watson's (bottom)
Boston-based industrial designer Aaron Panone can't seem to sit still for a minute: we had a look at his CNC-controlled drawing machine, a collaboration with Matthew W. Moore, and he's back with a ridiculously awesome bicycle part, the "144#47" chainring. (In the meantime, he also had time to submit another recent project, a custom drum harness, which unfortunately got lost in the endless tide of inbox inundation.)
Seriously, Prolly's photos look like renders, not least for their poppin' teal backdrop...
This marks Panone's first "self-branded product"—he does a fair share of consulting for clients, including his Somerville neighbors, Geekhouse Bikes—the result of an eight-month quest to find the right machine shop, which turned out to be a two-man operation in Peabody, Massachusetts. Panone notes that "I am very glad that I waited, because I have not seen CNC machining of this caliber in a long time."
Track bike enthusiasts (myself included) should already have guessed that the name comes from the BCD and tooth-count; purists will also be glad to learn that it's designed for a 1/8” chain. The first run is limited to 30 black and 20 clear anodized pieces, designed and manufactured right here in the U.S. of A., available in Panone's online store at remarkably minimal markup.More photos & details after the jump...
More of the nitty-gritty:The rings were fully CNC machined from certified 6061-T6 aircraft grade aluminum plate stock, then lightly buffed and delivered to another local shop for black and clear hardcoat anodizing.
At no point in the process of making these chainrings did a file or manual deburring instrument touch the parts, every single edge on the chainring (front and back) has a precision machine-broken 45-degree 0.010-in deep chamfer. A custom 20-degree chamfer tool was used to precisely bevel each tooth during the machining process. In addition to the quality of the machining and finishing, each part was labeled and inspected before it left the shop. The black anodize is as black as it gets, and the clear anodize is crisp and clean.
For those of you who don't talk the talk, Panone's attention to detail would be admirable in any creative pursuit... or any discipline, for that matter:Prior to selecting a machine shop, I machined prototype blanks (chainrings with no aesthetic features) with the new tooth profile that I had been developing. I gave these hand-numbered blanks to friends and had them roadtest the fit, noise-level, and wear of the tooth profile. Noise-level might seem like a strange parameter on which to conduct performance tests, but I was trying to get the widest quiet-running tooth possible. Wide BMX-style teeth grind and grate until they are broken in and I wanted these chainrings to be smooth and quiet from day one. I also went through a dozen or so designs before settling on the the cut-out design and labeling scheme.
via Prolly Is Not Probably