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Update on steel tubing?(8 posts)

Update on steel tubing?sprockets2
Mar 21, 2002 9:50 AM
I have been thinking of getting a nice steel bike and I was thinking I would try to ensure that I was picking the most appropos tubing. I presume that 853 is very good, and that the Columbus top end is similarly nice but a bit heavier for equivalent strength. Beyond that I am in the dark. I wonder about things....

Why do many quality bike makers use 531 for forks? (Waterford does that)

What about AerMet 100 or whatever that is?

What about Ritcheys Nitanium or whatever-he-calls-it tubes?

Any other nice new steel out there?

Chainstays-straight or S-bend?

Is welding as strong and durable as lugs?

thanks for you replies.
Steel is SO real.
re: Update on steel tubing?Andor
Mar 21, 2002 11:26 AM
Their Renaissance road bike is the best steel road bike you can buy these days...
re: Update on steel tubing?sprockets2
Mar 21, 2002 3:28 PM
It is not clear to me why you make this assertion. Having ridden Serotta, Waterford, IF, and a number of other custom and high end bikes, the Cervelo would have to be pretty fine. They don't make a great case for the bike on their web site, although it is a pretty good one.

The tubing is good, clearly, but it is not clear that it is superior to 853 or some other newer alloys, and it isn't obvious what features/considerations make the bike so gosh darned good. Can you elaborate at all?
More on steel...Pedal Jockey
Mar 21, 2002 12:27 PM
Strong's website has a good table of descriptions for the various steel tubesets available. Have a look here for more information:

After reading that I ask myself, "Can TI be fillet brazed?"laffeaux
Mar 21, 2002 1:13 PM
Now that would be really cool!!!
re: Update on steel tubing?JBurton
Mar 21, 2002 3:39 PM
Serotta's Concept Steel tubing is another good steel (I have a Colorado III myself and love it.) Also, Bianchi's Steel bikes are made of some sort of steel blend that might be worth checking out. And, some other high end manufacturers...Seven, Merlin, Pinarello, DeRosa, etc...are making steel frames now that might be a bit different/innovative.

I think that really the only good reason to use lugs now is for coolness. However, on Rivendell's website (I can't remember the address) there is a technical section on why they believe that lugs and brazing are superior to welding.

I always have time to praise Serotta for my steel bike. Check one out, if you can. Find a shop near you at: Or, you can put up a post for a Serotta owner nearby that might let you hop on his ride.
pick the builder firstgtx
Mar 21, 2002 5:22 PM
then worry about the tubing. Or better yet, let the builder worry about it.
You won't find much difference between very high-end steelsohio
Mar 22, 2002 12:04 PM
OX-Platinum ~ 853 ~ ultra foco ~ zero uno

They're similar air-hardened alloys, the main differences being availability of specific diameters. They're all at strengths so high, that the limiting factor is how thin the builder can weld. I believe Zero Uno is pushing the wall-thickness limit the most, and columbus has the most experimental/unorthodox tubing shapes.

Aermet 100 is not used by anybody I know of anymore. Very hard to deal with, and small range of tubing size available. Nitanium I don't know much about.

If you're ready to get a high-end steel, I would say go custom even if you're a pretty standard shape and let the builder use whatever he is most comfortable with, which could very well be a mix of different tubes. He can also mix and match just for you, and tune it to exactly the stiffness/weight that you want. Won't cost much more (maybe +$200 if anything) over the cost of an off the shelf made from zero uno.