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foco you, ice hole!(17 posts)

foco you, ice hole!JS Haiku Shop
Feb 3, 2003 7:00 AM
so, i'm looking at a foco (not ultrafoco, just foco) frame with a carbon fork. yes, i know it's a sickness.

i've searched archives and read the results. any testimonials?



ps. you're welcome to post your best adolescent "foco" digs, just make sure they're in poetic format.
Ultra foco to you! Fargin bastage...Spunout
Feb 3, 2003 7:12 AM
Sorry, no know Foco. Only 853 Pro :)
foco you mama...but seriously...merckx56
Feb 3, 2003 7:31 AM
I have a Look AC353 frame with a HSC3 carbon fork. The frame is foco tubing. I really love the way it rides. It is a bit stiffer all the way around than my Merckx, but it also weighs 2.5 pounds less. I think it's a great alternative to alu. My 57cm Look with D/A and OPs weighs under 18 pounds.
Foco info you say?Nessism
Feb 3, 2003 8:20 AM
The origional Foco tubeset was made to "standard oversize" dimensions which translates to mean 1-1/8" seat and top tubes, with a 1-1/4" down tube. Chainstays are ovalized in a major way and carry the tall profile most of the way back to the rear dropouts. Columbus also made a "MTB" version of the tubeset and a few "Megatubes" so builders could do what builders do (i.e. mix and match) to give the desired frame stiffness.

A frame built using the standard Foco tubeset will be very light and fairly flexable. These tubes are very thin with super short butts. Of course, by adding a Megatube downtube, the entire frame structure is changed. This is another example of how the details DO matter.

Good luck.


PS: The following link provides some info on the tubeset.
Foco is not flexible.....koala
Feb 3, 2003 11:42 AM
My 55 foco with round, not oversized tubes, is very stiff, stiffer in the pedalling plane than my colnago master, yet the ride is much, much better. I cannot say enough about the ride, which is the most important aspect of my riding. Paired with a fork like the ouzo pro the bike provides enough feedback on fast downhills yet rides almost like ti in its ability to absorb irregularities. The bike can be built with mega tubes for ground pounders. A good resource for foco is Carl Strong, who has been pleasant when I have spoken with him on the phone(as well as knowledgeable). He builds a lot of foco.
OK, let me put it another way...Nessism
Feb 3, 2003 1:06 PM
The stiffness of a tube is determined by two things; the stiffness of the material (denoted by the modulus of elasticity - E), and a stiffness form factor (called the area moment of inertia - I). Almost all steel alloys have E = 30,000 KSI (regardless of the ultimate strength of the alloy), so you can throw this out in deciding which tube will be stiffer. This leaves the stiffness form factor (I) as the primary determinant.

The stiffness form factor of a tube is determined by two things, the outside diameter and the thickness. The origional Foco tubeset uses tubes that are fairly small in diameter AND are very thin (.65 mm at the butts and .4/.45 mm in the center section). When we combine these two factors, the area moment of inertia (stiffness form factor) for the Foco tubes is one of the lowest ever made.

Too technical?

OK, let me put it another way...JS Haiku Shop
Feb 3, 2003 1:27 PM
"The origional Foco tubeset uses tubes that are fairly small in diameter AND are very thin (.65 mm at the butts and .4/.45 mm in the center section). When we combine these two factors, the area moment of inertia (stiffness form factor) for the Foco tubes is one of the lowest ever made."

Feb 3, 2003 1:56 PM
Receint history? Columbus SL to present?

The only tubesets I know of that are more flexable is Columbus EL (non-oversize) and one version of Tange Prestige which used non-oversized tubing with super thin .6/.3/.6 mm butts (scary stuff!). Both of these tubesets were not very common/popular for obvious reasons.

Some other contenders for this crown are Columbus Genius and Nemo; super short butts using .7/.4 mm standard oversize tube diameters.

Please don't misunderstand me here, I'm not saying that frames built with these tubesets are bad. I'm only trying to say that they will be more flexable than frames with more meat in the tubes. As one of the other posters noted, he likes his Foco frame and loves the way it rides.

Good luck.

Feb 3, 2003 3:16 PM
I realize the tubes are thin. .7, .4mm are what mine are drawn to. The down tube is good size, and the elliptical chainstays are large. The seat tube is crimped as it enters the bottom bracket. Its the way the tubes were designed to work as a frameset that makes the bottom bracket stiff. The rest of the tubes probably do deflect more, but this only helps the ride, it does not interfere with efficiency. Call Carl Strong. He makes a lot of foco bikes and knows what works in the real world. As I said, works well for this 165 pounder.
Feb 3, 2003 8:07 PM
...I've checked the Columbus website as well as Ceeway (Columbus distributer in the UK) and can not find so much as one Foco or UltraFoco tube that comes in a .7/.4 mm butting configuration. And the seat tube as supplied by Columbus is not crimped in any way. Maybe you have some custom drawn tubes in your frame? Maybe Carl Strong crimped your seat tube to stiffen up the bottom bracket area of your frame? Not sure.

At any rate, I'm glad to hear you like your Strong frame. I've heard nothing but good things about his work.


OK, let me put it another way...koala
Feb 3, 2003 1:39 PM
No. My tubes are .7 and.4 mm respectively and the shape of the chain stays make the bottom bracket very stiff. The elliptical chainstays are rather large and odd looking. I assure you the bottom bracket is stiffer than my cyclex tubed masterlight. The builder can vary tube diameter to allow for 200 plus pound riders. Call Carl Strong, he builds with it every day.
It's Farging War!SnowBlind
Feb 3, 2003 8:25 AM
I have a custom lugged steel made from foco and Thron (Thron for an extra stiff head tube and BB) with the heavy duty Alpha Q, it comes in at 19.25 fully rigged (Chorus and a few Record parts, cages on, and a heavy saddle.). The West coast Columbus tubing distributor is local to the builder, so he has a good rep with them and he can be picky about the tubes.

I also had a foco bianchi for 3 years. Geometry and lugging make a huge difference in ride quality. The custom has a shorter wheelbase and "stiffer" feel to it, but also adsorbs a great deal more shock.

Go for the foco! You'll love it.
BTW what are you looking at?
What about Zona?AaronL
Feb 3, 2003 9:48 AM
I went through the same obsession but after a bit of research, I decided Foco may not be best for me.

I weigh 170 during the season and more than I want in the off-season, so most told me that a Foco frame may not hold up too well. The fact that I've cracked two Bianchi Boron frames didn't help either.

So, I've decided to go with a Zona frame. I'm getting a Fort RO Zona, For the money, i don't thinkg there is a better frame out there.

If you weigh more that 170, you may want to rethink going with Foco.

Specialized makes a compact Foco raod frame this year, it comes as a complete bike. Looks pretty sweet.

If you are considering Zona seriously consider OrbeaDY
Feb 3, 2003 11:51 AM
The Fort frames seem interesting. I've checked out their web page. I wanted Foco too, but my weight is in the same range as yours, so I went with a Zona steel frame. I bought an Orbea Zona. I also have an Orbea Zonal. The Zonal is a 56cm and weighed 3 lbs (frame only). The 56cm Zona I think weighed about 3.75 lbs. The Zona is very nice and stiff. Orbea Zona $550 no fork. Fort Frames Zona $699.
If you are considering Zona seriously consider OrbeaAaronL
Feb 3, 2003 2:16 PM
I looked at the Orbea, it's a sweet bike. But, I've owned a Fort in the past (I also have one of their aero TT frames, very nice) and their geometry is perfect for me. I also like the powder coat finish, tough as nails. I also get a racer discount (as does any licensed racer, I'm pretty sure) so my price is right with the Orbea. I even get custom colors. So, for me, the Fort is the way to go.

I'm glad to see some other steel lovers out there. Seems like we are a dying breed.

re: foco you, ice hole!Picshooter
Feb 3, 2003 3:47 PM
I have a full round tubed FOCO Strong. While discussing tubes with Carl he recommended against a shaped mega down tube, saying it would be to stiff and harsh in my 51cm frame.
This frame is stiffer than my SL and SLX Italian steel and has a better feel to it as well.
I suggest calling Carl and discussing tube sets with him.
thanks, all (nm)JS Haiku Shop
Feb 4, 2003 6:33 AM