Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter
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Are butted tubes stronger?, short answer -- depends.
Strength comparisons between butted and plain gauge tubes is a tricky issue. Butted tubing wasn't originally used to save weight per se, but to compensate for strength lost at the heat affected area, (brazed or welded). The thinner section allowed more flex away from the ends and resulted in fewer joint failures. This is analogous to how using butted spokes makes wheels last longer.
So while the removal of metal makes a frame less rigid, the added resiliency makes it more durable. Whether it's stronger is a matter of defining strength, as either rigidity, maximum load capability, or durability in real world use.
It's like comparing the strength of oak trees and willows. Oaks are obviously stronger, but willows do much better in hurricanes.
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Last edited by FBinNY; 10-06-09 at 09:41 AM.