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Steel comparisons(4 posts)

Steel comparisonsSkidoo
Apr 19, 2002 10:00 AM
Does anyone know how the 'premium' steel tubesets compare?
Specificially, I'm intereseted in how Reynolds 853(which I have ridden extensively) compares to Columbus Ultra Foco and True Temper OX Platinum (neither of which I have ridden). Does anyone have info on the strength-to-weight ratio or the metallurgical properties such as air-hardening or welding limitations?
re: Steel comparisonsNessism
Apr 19, 2002 11:08 AM
The metal used in the tubesets you listed are all very similar in terms of engineering properties. Air hardening steel (True Temper Platinum and Reynolds 853) is not really a significant enhancement over other premimium non-hardening steels (Columbus Thermacrom and Dedacciai micro alloy) since these alloys are designed to not degrade very much during welding which is the general goal anyway.

The important thing when designing (or buying) a frame is the tube sizes and wall thicknesses. This information is very hard to come buy when purchasing a production frame since many manufactures guard the information closely. For example, two visually identical frames will ride completely different if different tube thicknesses are used.

Sorry there is no simple answer to your question.

re: here's some infocyclopathic
Apr 19, 2002 1:31 PM

with respect to final frame weight and riding properties would depend on frame size, design and actual tubes used. Reynolds and others also make "custom" shaped tubes. Lugged frames are heavier and usually stiffer.

Generally lower grade frames are heavier and stiffer also have longer fatigue life.
Apr 19, 2002 5:46 PM
Cyclopathic wrote"

"Lugged frames are heavier and usually stiffer"


"Generally lower grade frames are heavier and stiffer also have longer fatigue life."

While I do like lugged frames, there is no real proof that they are stiffer. Sure the lug supports the joint but this support is so close to the tube junction so as to not lend any meaninful stiffness increase. I agree with you regarding the increase in weight but it's not as much as one would think at first. For example, lugged frames usually use a thinner headtube and the bottom bracket shell is about the same weight as lugless because it has large cut out sections where the tube protrude through.

Again I agree with you about the thicker tubed frames being stiffer. As far as the longer fatigue life goes, this depends on the stress in the tubes. Lower stress means longer fatigue life. The ultimate long lasting frame would use one of the new super steel alloys with relatively thick large tubes which would result in low stress levels.