velospace is about bikes and the people who ride them marketplace photos random forums

    • CommentAuthorfirebush
    • CommentTimeMay 14th 2009
    Hello all,

    I am trying to find out as much information as I can about different types of steel tubing out there, as I am thinking of getting a track frame custom built.

    Can anyone tell some good places to find info on the web or if you have any personal suggestions or preferences?

    • CommentAuthorgreg
    • CommentTimeMay 15th 2009
    • CommentAuthorfilthpunx
    • CommentTimeMay 15th 2009
    Posted By: gregcheck this search out

    haha i just peed myself a little
    hahahaha omg
    • CommentAuthorfirebush
    • CommentTimeMay 15th 2009
    hahaha! that's cute.

    ...But I did the google thing already.

    Should I move onto Alta Vista Greg?

    Main article: Lugged steel frame construction

    Steel frames are often built using various types of steel alloys including chromoly. They are strong, easy to work, and relatively inexpensive, but denser (heavier) than many other structural materials. Steel tubing in traditional standard diameters is often less rigid than oversized tubing in other materials; this flex allows for some shock absorption giving the rider a slightly less jarring ride compared to other more rigid tubings such as oversized aluminum.

    A classic type of construction for both road bicycles and mountain bicycles uses standard cylindrical steel tubes which are connected with lugs. Lugs are fittings made of thicker pieces of steel. The tubes are fitted into the lugs, which encircle the end of the tube, and are then brazed to the lug. Historically, the lower temperatures associated with brazing (silver brazing in particular) had less of a negative impact on the tubing strength than high temperature welding, allowing relatively light tube to be used without loss of strength. Recent advances in metallurgy ("air hardening") have created tubing that is not adversely affected, or whose properties are even improved by high temperature welding temperatures, which has allowed both TIG & MIG welding to sideline lugged construction in all but a few high end bicycles. More expensive lugged frame bicycles have lugs which are filed by hand into fancy shapes - both for weight savings and as a sign of craftsmanship. Unlike MIG or TIG welded frames, a lugged frame can be more easily repaired in the field due to its simple construction. Also, since steel tubing can rust, the lugged frame allows a fast tube replacement with virtually no physical damage to the neighbouring tubes.

    A more economical method of bicycle frame construction uses cylindrical steel tubing connected by TIG welding, which does not require lugs to hold the tubes together. Instead, frame tubes are precisely aligned into a jig and fixed in place until the welding is complete. Fillet brazing is another method of joining frame tubes without lugs. It is more labor intensive, and consequently is less likely to be used for production frames. As with TIG welding, Fillet frame tubes are precisely notched or mitred[8][9] and then a fillet of brass is brazed onto the joint, similar to the lugged construction process. A fillet braze frame can achieve more aesthetic unity (smooth curved appearance) than a welded frame.

    Among steel frames, using butted tubing reduces weight and increases cost. Butting means that the wall thickness of the tubing changes from thick at the ends (for strength) to thinner in the middle (for lighter weight).

    Cheaper steel bicycle frames are made of mild steel, such as might be used to manufacture automobiles or other common items. However, higher-quality bicycle frames are made of high strength steel alloys (generally chromium-molybdenum, or "chromoly" steel alloys) which can be made into lightweight tubing with very thin wall gauges. One of the most successful older steels was Reynolds "531", a manganese-molybdenum alloy steel. More common now is 4130 ChroMoly or similar alloys. Reynolds and Columbus are two of the most famous manufacturers of bicycle tubing. A few medium-quality bicycles used these steel alloys for only some of the frame tubes. An example was the Schwinn Le tour (at least certain models), which used chromoly steel for the top and bottom tubes but used lower-quality steel for the rest of the frame.

    A high-quality steel frame is lighter than a regular steel frame. This lightness makes it easier to ride uphill, and to accelerate on the flat. Also many riders feel thin-walled lightweight steel frames have a "liveliness" or "springiness" quality to their ride.

    If the tubing label has been lost, a high-quality (chromoly or manganese) steel frame can be recognized by tapping it sharply with a flick of the fingernail. A high-quality frame will produce a bell-like ring where a regular-quality steel frame will produce a dull thunk. They can also be recognized by their weight (around 2.5 kg for frame and forks) and the type of lugs and dropouts used.
    • CommentAuthorRuffinit
    • CommentTimeMay 15th 2009 edited
    Funny guys on here really... Here's the deal; you can ask and you can read and you can google to your heart's content, but what you really need to do is figure out who it is that you want to build your frameset. THAT builder will take your height, weight and other characteristics into account and help you figure out what is the best tubing for YOUR riding style and the type of frame you wish to have built. Here's one of the guys that can help you with that; he's built frames for most of the larger bike companies including his own and is world renowned for his work. Plus he's a down to earth kinda guy that is interested in furthering cycling, not just the bottom line. His custom frames are very reasonable. Tom Teesdale is his name (you can google that too)
    This thread isn't about how to figure out who you want to build your frameset. And btw, how would you do that? Ask, read, google. Oh wait, I guess that's what we have YOU for. I'm sure Tom Teesdale will thank you for being his virtual advertisement.
    • CommentAuthorHyde
    • CommentTimeMay 15th 2009 edited
    Jeesh, The guy had the best point so far on the subject & you knock him down because...? Why do people like this even bother posting & why would anyone want to be helpful & share knowledge when people like you ruin it for those who really want to learn something or just want to be helpful. Must be nice knowing everything.

    Look at the Henry James website. They have a great tubing kit layout for weight of rider with specs on the True Temper tubing they sell, in their price guide. You can compare that to other brands of tubing which should give you a good gauge for comparing apples to apples. A good experienced builder is a great way to get your desired results.


velospace | about, FAQ & policies | contact | blog | status | site map
© 2005-2011 velospace. All Rights Reserved.