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Old 01-07-08, 11:43 AM   #1
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Why doesn't anyone make an H1 steel bicycle?

Not sure if i'm posting in the right section, but whatever...

Why isn't H1 steel (or similar) used for bicycles? Or are only certain steels suitable for bicycle tubing?

In addition to being a bicycle junkie, i'm also a knife enthusiast and the question was inspired by the use of H1 steel in some Spyderco knives:

http://www.spyderco.com/catalog/details.php?product=174

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...H1 is a PH steel meaning it is a precipitation-processed alloy, that's rolled hard without heat-treating and has .1% nitrogen which acts like carbon in the steel matrix, but does not react to chlorine making rust...
Why H1? It's completely rust proof. No carbon in the steel means no rust. Then again, it's also a work hardened steel which means the ride would probably get harsher the more you ride it. I'm sure H1 is pretty expensive too...

But perhaps there's another similar steel out there suitable for bicycle frames?

(i know i know, why not just use framesaver or some equivalant... just thinking out loud about other possibilities...)
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Old 01-07-08, 12:00 PM   #2
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There are some builders using Reynolds 953, which is a stainless steel. Very pricey, and hard to work with I think, but very nice. You can get stainless lugs, too, and have an all-stainless lugged frame.
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Old 01-07-08, 12:12 PM   #3
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I'm a knife guy, too, and I suspect many of the properties that are important for a blade (ability to hold an edge, easy to sharpen, etc.) don't really apply to a bicycle.

In contrast, a bike's frame is its suspension (no, it's not the wheels) so absorbing shock and transmitting energy are important; I've never heard those qualities mentioned in connection with a knife.

Also, the steel must be conducive to welding and/or brazing or soldering without losing the desired qualities.

I am sure there are more examples, but I'm beginning to bore even myself.

I'm carrying a Boker Trapperliner w/ smooth red bone scales today; how about you?
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Old 01-07-08, 12:41 PM   #4
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it would make a heavy, non-compliant ride
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Old 01-07-08, 12:50 PM   #5
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For starters, it seems to be a proprietary material from one mill, probably not available in tubing form.

"Work hardening" wouldn't affect ride qualities.

I would be doubtful as to it being "completely rustproof" myself. As you cut the carbon content of a steel down, I'm not aware of any great rise in rust-resistance.
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Old 01-07-08, 01:06 PM   #6
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...I'm carrying a Boker Trapperliner w/ smooth red bone scales today; how about you?
Spyderco Paramilitary fully serrated.

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For starters, it seems to be a proprietary material from one mill, probably not available in tubing form.

"Work hardening" wouldn't affect ride qualities.

I would be doubtful as to it being "completely rustproof" myself. As you cut the carbon content of a steel down, I'm not aware of any great rise in rust-resistance.
It's extreme rustproof-ness has been proven in testing by many people on other knife forums (we're talking aquariums with agitated saltwater baths for weeks on end that would destroy other blades). Seriously, the stuff is awesome. I have one folding knife (Spyderco Salt) which is still rust free that i'd put in my pocket when going to the swimming pool and would never rinse/clean it.
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Old 01-07-08, 01:44 PM   #7
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As well biked says, Reynolds 953 stainless steel tube sets are used with stainless lugs and bottom bracket shells to build rustproof frames. 953 was introduced by Reynolds in late 2005 and an increasing number of framebuilders are building with it as they gain experience with the material.

Columbus has also introduced a stainless steel tube set, XCr, and a number of framebuilders are beginning to use it as well as 953. Carl Strong, for example, has built both 953 and XCr frames.
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Old 01-07-08, 02:08 PM   #8
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As well biked says, Reynolds 953 stainless steel tube sets are used with stainless lugs and bottom bracket shells to build rustproof frames. 953 was introduced by Reynolds in late 2005 and an increasing number of framebuilders are building with it as they gain experience with the material.

Columbus has also introduced a stainless steel tube set, XCr, and a number of framebuilders are beginning to use it as well as 953. Carl Strong, for example, has built both 953 and XCr frames.

I think a pic of your beautiful lugged Waterford built of polished Reynolds 953 and polished "Newvex" stainless lugs would be in order. I just love seeing pics of that bike.

Btw, a good friend of mine is ordering a Waterford, he's not going with stainless steel tubing, but he will be getting the polished stainless Newvex lugs. He's pretty excited.
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Old 01-07-08, 02:23 PM   #9
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I think a pic of your beautiful lugged Waterford built of polished Reynolds 953 and polished "Newvex" stainless lugs would be in order. I just love seeing pics of that bike.

Btw, a good friend of mine is ordering a Waterford, he's not going with stainless steel tubing, but he will be getting the polished stainless Newvex lugs. He's pretty excited.
Since you twisted my arm.

Your friend will love his Waterford!



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Old 01-07-08, 02:28 PM   #10
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Since you twisted my arm.

Your friend will love his Waterford!

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Old 01-07-08, 03:05 PM   #11
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Sorry, what were we talking about? I saw something shiny and got distracted...
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Old 01-07-08, 04:26 PM   #12
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Rust resistance in H1 is entirely due to its 15% chromium and 6% nickel content.
It is basically a variant stainless steel, low carbon so non heat treatable. It is
apparently most sold to the cutlery trade and hence as bar stock and not made
into sheet or tube stock. The name seems to be a proprietary one given by the
Myodo metal foundry that sells it. Carbon, as another poster noted, has nothing
to do with rust susceptibility in steel alloys.
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Old 01-07-08, 07:23 PM   #13
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Rust resistance in H1 is entirely due to its 15% chromium and 6% nickel content.
It is basically a variant stainless steel, low carbon so non heat treatable. It is
apparently most sold to the cutlery trade and hence as bar stock and not made
into sheet or tube stock. The name seems to be a proprietary one given by the
Myodo metal foundry that sells it. Carbon, as another poster noted, has nothing
to do with rust susceptibility in steel alloys.
Thank you. You saved me a lot of typing. The knife trade has more metalurgical folk tales and half-truths than even bicycles.

Based on it's composition I believe H1 is an extremely corrosion resistant alloy similar to the 300-series stainless steels and suitable for marine use. It sacrifices hardness and edge holding for corrosion resistance.
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Old 01-07-08, 10:07 PM   #14
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Scooper, what a nice & classy bike! How is the ride ?
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Old 01-07-08, 11:17 PM   #15
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I'm a knife guy, too, and I suspect many of the properties that are important for a blade (ability to hold an edge, easy to sharpen, etc.) don't really apply to a bicycle.


I'm carrying a Boker Trapperliner w/ smooth red bone scales today; how about you?
what, no Randall made?
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Old 01-07-08, 11:30 PM   #16
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Scooper, what a nice & classy bike! How is the ride ?
Thanks! Long rides are sheer ecstasy. It's six pounds lighter than my P15 Paramount, so it climbs better and accelerates faster.
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Old 01-08-08, 08:49 AM   #17
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Since you twisted my arm.

Your friend will love his Waterford!





Scha-wing!!!
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Old 01-08-08, 10:19 AM   #18
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what, no Randall made?
The key word is "carrying".

(Except for maybe the Ontario) Randall is not really known for folders, and I get enough strange looks at the office without wearing a combat knife!
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Old 01-08-08, 10:37 PM   #19
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Combat? no.....Hunting! yes.

I don't own one, I just helped my supervisor buy a few without his wife's knowledge (My credit card, his cash) and I got to hold them...only briefly, and for a moment, I understood.
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Old 01-09-08, 04:23 PM   #20
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No carbon? Probably brittle. That's my guess. What do I win?
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Old 01-09-08, 10:13 PM   #21
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Stainless is a great material but, it eats tools and you have to use a lot of heavy machine oil when cutting the tube set (coping) to make a better joint. The machine oil has to be completely removed before welding or brazing. The cost of the bike is very high as a result of the extra labor, dead cutting tools, and basic cost of the tubeset...all that said, I want one.
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Old 01-10-08, 08:24 AM   #22
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Stainless is a great material but, it eats tools and you have to use a lot of heavy machine oil when cutting the tube set (coping) to make a better joint. The machine oil has to be completely removed before welding or brazing. The cost of the bike is very high as a result of the extra labor, dead cutting tools, and basic cost of the tubeset...all that said, I want one.
All of that is true. Stainless steel tube sets are both very expensive and very hard on tooling. For less money you can get a Ti frame which will be lighter, even more corrosion resistant and just as strong. Ti is the hurdle stainless steel can't overcome.
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Old 01-10-08, 12:31 PM   #23
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Combat? no.....Hunting! yes.

I don't own one, I just helped my supervisor buy a few without his wife's knowledge (My credit card, his cash) and I got to hold them...only briefly, and for a moment, I understood.
Combat or hunting, they are still too big to carry easily. Very nice knives, but not for EDC.

For instance, today I have a German Eye (Carl Schlieper) single blade trapper w/ yellow scales; 3-7/8" long closed. Sharp as all get-out and totally unnoticed in my pocket.

Anyone need something cut..?
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Old 01-10-08, 12:32 PM   #24
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All of that is true. Stainless steel tube sets are both very expensive and very hard on tooling. For less money you can get a Ti frame which will be lighter, even more corrosion resistant and just as strong. Ti is the hurdle stainless steel can't overcome.
I wonder how the ride would compare between 2 comperable frames made of Ti and SS..?
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Old 01-10-08, 01:00 PM   #25
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I was going to mention Ti, but was preceeded.

Does anyone know of a Ti frame with track ends? Or an EBB, that would work, too, for me.
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