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What do you know about scandium frames? (Salsa, Scattante)(3 posts)

What do you know about scandium frames? (Salsa, Scattante)jbonny
Apr 29, 2003 8:07 PM
I have been considering buying a Dean or Douglas titanium frame with carbon seat stays, but recently I stumbled across frames made by Salsa and Scattante with scandium tubing and carbon seat stays, and about $700 cheaper. I know scandium is light but I don't know how it rides, compared to titanium and aluminum. I want a fast comfortable frame that I expect to replace in 5-7 years. I am tall but light, ride a lot of bumpy country roads. I mainly ride to train for mtb racing and an occasional century ride. Any info would be greatly appreciated - Thanks
What Scandium is...johnmyster
Apr 30, 2003 7:26 AM
Note: Scandium is an alloying element, added to aluminum in the smelting process. The difference between 7005 series aluminum and 6061, is simply the amounts and types of alloying elements added (in VERY small percentages.) These alloying elements effect the strength, ductility, thermal properties, corrosion properties, etc. due to the way they effect or interrupt the setup of grain structure and crystalline structures.

Everybody has a new alloy of aluminum these days. My Fisher mtn. bike is a "ZR9000" alloy, which is simply trek's name for that particular mix. My new CAAD7 road is "optimo," again C-dale's name for their new mix. It would be interesting to know what these mixes are, and if they're actually the same, amongst the brands that have come out with "new" alloy frames recently.

Note also the Bianchi "boron" frames, which is an aluminum, with boron added, with the same purpose as scandium, to make it stronger, so thinner/lighter frames can be used.

So, for your purposes, these scandium frames are actually aluminum frames. Now, you can make the judgement call that all aluminum fames are harsh like I did before I test rode my CAAD7, and found it more comfortable than my old carbon. If you have the chance, let a shop know how much you're looking to spend, and that you're serious. They'll have no problem with demoing bikes to you.

Even then, I'll advise that it's okay to call a particular frame "fast, harsh, dead, or springy," but in general, it really stirs me when people make blanket assumptions about the feel of all carbon bikes to all ti bikes, to all steel, and all aluminum. Note, as a materials engineer, I also have issues with the way people (and bike makers who don't make aluminum bikes) talk about the "fatigue life" of aluminum frames.

That's my four cents worth for the day. Have fun, demo some stuff so that YOU can compare them, and when you start daydreaming about one of the bikes you've test ridden, you'll know it's right.
Scandium = Aluminum with trace amounts of hype (nm)QuentinCassidy
Apr 30, 2003 8:16 AM