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steel, alum, carbon, ti -the answer(?)(14 posts)

steel, alum, carbon, ti -the answer(?)hinaults dog
Jun 5, 2002 4:57 PM
apologies if this has been posted before
a lab test of top frames with some interesting
sorry wrong linkhinaults dog
Jun 5, 2002 5:01 PM
should be
not my day ignore abovehinaults dog
Jun 5, 2002 5:15 PM
finally this is it
not my day ignore aboveLeisure
Jun 6, 2002 1:51 AM
Shows steel isn't a good material for lightweight frames--that's really no surprise. I'm only semi-surprised at the somewhat poor results for the Ti bikes. One's cheap Ti and the other is Merlin; the Merlin I thought would have done a bit better, but I'm not surprised it didn't either. I kind of wish they could have tested a Litespeed, Seven, or Serotta. I would guess any of them would have gone the full duration of the test. A couple more familiar steel offerings would have been nice as well, but there really aren't a lot of lightweight-specific designs out there. You gotta give some credit to Trek, Cannondale, and Principia, though.
Where the merlin brokecyclinseth
Jun 6, 2002 5:46 AM
they say that the merlin broke at the downtube shifter bosses, which, from what I've heard was a real problem area for titanium bicycles. I think it's why companies started putting the cable stops on the headtube when brake/shifter levers hit the market.
re: steel, alum, carbon, ti -the answer(?)szybki
Jun 5, 2002 5:48 PM
Suprised the steel frames broke, and none of the Al frames broke. Nothing like a scientific study to dispell a few myths.
Aluminum is actually a pretty good material,elviento
Jun 5, 2002 6:44 PM
cheap, light, easy to work with. Downside is it's too easy to dent, and also a bit harsh.
The klein broke and its alu..n.m.koala
Jun 6, 2002 4:05 AM
Gotta love TOUR magazinekenyee
Jun 6, 2002 5:35 AM
They actually try to scientifically test bicycles rather than just ride them and see how they feel. Wish there were a US magazine that did the same (I think TOUR is in German only).

There were more recent tests from TOUR as well. I've seen Cervelos tested by them in a different article and the aluminum Cervelos survived to the end as well.
IT'S BUNK!!!jw2
Jun 6, 2002 6:19 AM
This drives me crazy every time I see it posted. There is not one statistically revelant fact you can draw from this test, they even say so themselves. And it is anything but "scientific". It's the equivalant of walking into an apple orchard, pulling an apple from a tree, cutting it open, finding a worm in it, and declaring, "Ah, all the apples in this orchard have worms in them."

You would have to test hundreds of frames, and then you would still be left with comparing manufacturer to manufacturer, not material to material. And if you read their concluding statement, you'll see that their primary goal is to encourage manufacturers to have independent certifications performed, i.e.: show us the money and we'll "EFBe Certify" your frame.

The relative strengths and weaknesses of steel, aluminum, ti and carbon have been known for decades. The fact of the matter is that they are all acceptable materials from which to make bicycle frames. It's the engineering and manufacturing process, not the materials themselves, that make the difference.
so are car crash tests also bunk?kenyee
Jun 6, 2002 7:52 AM
You know, the IIHS, etc. ones that get put on TV so often.
They use a sample size of one as well...

I find it interesting that they try to measure the "feel" of a bike scientifically before they let their reviewers comment about how a bike feels, but this applies to their reviews and not this particular test that was posted.
Statistically, yes.jw2
Jun 6, 2002 10:41 AM
And I believe that has always been the automotive industry's biggest complaint. Does that mean they have no value? Absolutely not. But due to the costs involved, the only significant sample size will be generated when we, the real crash test dummies of the world, start smashing them up on the highways. But that is certainly another can of worms.

(As a side note I heard that the insurance institute was considering dropping that offset collision test because the cars were getting so good at it. My question would be is it because the cars are safer or are they now just better designed for that particular test?)

My issue kenyee is that people constantly refer to that site as a conclusive example of one frame material being superior/inferior to another.

Maybe we can get Lance to write a new book: "It's Not About the Frame Material" :-).
Actually, I agree w/ youkenyee
Jun 6, 2002 12:28 PM
I take the IIHS tests w/ a grain of salt (even researched my current car for a few years by hanging at web sites and looking at crash pics people posted). It just an interesting bit of info to help you make a decision, but your decision should never be based solely on it.

Your comment on the offset crash tests is also the first thing I thought of. Most car makers are designing cars to get 5 stars on crash tests instead of to torture test them in their own tests (Volvo and MB are the notable exceptions to this rule because they have much more extensive crash testing at their own centers).

Anyways, I wouldn't use that test to say a material is better than the other. I find the test interesting because it shows that of the test environment/jig and that some materials are not super strong (Ti, for example) like some people claim and the Trek OCLV is also a lot sturdier than some people claim. But, as you say, it depends more on the manufacturer and how they use, or abuse the material...

Not to mention old,TJeanloz
Jun 6, 2002 10:42 AM
Who remembers what bikes were like in 1996 (the test appeared in a 1997 mag, so it was likely done in 1996), compared to what they are now?

This was before 'Scandium'; or any ultra-light aluminum for that matter.

Before 'Boron'; or any ultra-light steel for that matter.

Even the OCLV design has been completely re-done.

So, if we can even draw conclusions, they can only be drawn about what bikes were like in 1997.