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Frame Materials & Durability for CX frame...(5 posts)

Frame Materials & Durability for CX frame...Cima Coppi
Aug 17, 2001 12:42 PM
Hello everyone,

I'm really close to finally deciding on a CX frame, but I need your thoughts on frame materials for CX. I think I've decided to go with an alu frame, but I'm wondering if the pounding the bike will go through on the course won't wear on the frame prematurely. I know steel is the strongest material (i.e. Reynolds 531) to prevent dings and dents, but how have you found alu to hold up over time? I can go with a steel frame, but since CX bikes are typically heavy, I thought an alu frame would help keep the weight down.

As always, your comments are greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

CC
re: Frame Materials & Durability for CX frame...Joseph Judkins
Aug 19, 2001 8:06 AM
CC:From a metallurgical standpoint, aluminum will always fail over time, even if the bike is ridden over smooth roads. To compensate, frame manufactures always over-build their frames with this in mind. Read the warrantee on most lightweight aluminum frames. They will most likely forbid you from racing or even riding over rough roads. Here is a paragraph from a major manufacturer about the riders responsibility on riding and maintaining a frame built with their tubing.

The end user is advised to use and maintain the frame in the same way as a racing car or an aircraft would be, in other words:

*) to use the frame on smooth and even roads

*) to avoid excessive loads

*) to carefully inspect the frame every 500 Kilometers or 20 hours of use, particularly noting the weld joints and the surrounding areas

*) to go to servicing centers (mechanic or retailer) of proven experience and reliability

Steel frames can be made very light, 3.7lbs for a 55cm frame. That is a lugged frame built with Dedacciai Zero tubing. A tig-welded frame would be just a bit lighter. That's about 1 lb more than a Scandium frame of the same size. No matter how light your cross frameset is, it will never be as light as a road bike because of the weight of the wheels and tires. In order to keep the weight down on your cross bike, the wheels and tires [rotating mass] is where you should spend your money.

Although steel is not the trendy material of the month, you will never regret your decision to buy a custom steel cross frameset. The ride quality is unmatched by any material as well as durability.

Joseph Judkins
Judd Cycles & Engineering Inc.
re: Frame Materials & Durability for CX frame...badabill
Aug 20, 2001 6:14 AM
Since I am a true steel junkie I am biased. My advice is allways if you plan to race at a high level go ALU , plan on changing frame every couple of years. If your like me and race a couple of times a year and weight is not an issue buy steel. There is allways TI if you want to spend the money. A good ALu bike only saves a pound or two, So it only comes into play for racing.
re: Frame Materials & Durability for CX frame...Jackman
Aug 22, 2001 4:19 PM
Stay away from Alu bike, all it will do is beat you up. I hated my Redline, sold it after spending 6 months to slowly build it up to race on. If your looking for a multipurpose bike go with steel. I have ridden both Reynolds 853 and True Temper OX Gold $ Platnium and enjoy the feel of both. Ti is really nice but usually double the cost, a great frame set for the money I suggest you check out Kellybike.com. I currently ride a SS cross and really like the feel of the bike.

Cheers
Thanks everyone...Cima Coppi
Aug 23, 2001 7:06 PM
I really appreciate your comments and experience. As a result I have changed my mind about going with an alu frame, and am going to go with steel.

CC