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  1. #1
    hell's angels h/q e3st ny brunop's Avatar
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    a few basic (real basic) questions!

    i just ride. fixed gear 99% of the time. i'm thinking of getting a custom fixed gear frame. a few (real naive!) questions:

    what are the advantages and disadvantages of lugged frames versus welded? steel vs. aluminum?

    any help would be appreciated! thanks!

  2. #2
    Hardtail WorldWind's Avatar
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    Lugged / welded

    Taking the whole aesthetics thing out of the picture.

    A lugged frame design allows the builder to use the exact butted tube they want without having to spec a tube with a thick wall at the welded ends. This is an advantage for ride mostly. A lighter frame can be achieved with tig welding.

    Beyond that.
    The raging controversy over steel agenst aluminum is one I would rather not delve to deeply into beyond saying I don’t like the feel or look of aluminum frame rode bikes. The thicker tubes are ok on a mtn bike but again if it’s a hard tail it has to be steel. Just my preference.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Nessism's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WorldWind
    Lugged / welded

    A lugged frame design allows the builder to use the exact butted tube they want without having to spec a tube with a thick wall at the welded ends. This is an advantage for ride mostly. A lighter frame can be achieved with tig welding.
    When TIG started to hit the scene some years ago common thought was that thicker tubes were needed in the weld zone. Some companies like Tange even made specific tubes for this purpose. As time has marched forward it's become clear that there is no need for these thicker tube ends. In fact, some of the thinnest tubesets, like True Temper S3 w/0.5mm butted ends, are designed with TIG in mind.

    So to answer the origional question, the only reason to use lugs is for asthetics.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nessism
    ...So to answer the origional question, the only reason to use lugs is for asthetics.

    ed-issimo
    i'm not sure this is an across-the-board fact.
    for production work, tig offers an efficiency factor that brazing
    cannot rival. in today's market, the joining technique is as
    marketed as the material. newer folks "know" tig because it
    has been ubiquitous in the past decade. folks that never
    embraced it because they "never had to" choose brazing,
    partly because there is no model year or time clock to
    worry about. i.e., while framebuilders now tig routinely,
    most do so because they're newer to the trade or because
    they veered away from brazing when Al became popular.
    ymmv.
    e-RICHIE©™®

  5. #5
    Senior Member Nessism's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by e-RICHIE
    ed-issimo
    i'm not sure this is an across-the-board fact.
    for production work, tig offers an efficiency factor that brazing
    cannot rival. in today's market, the joining technique is as
    marketed as the material. newer folks "know" tig because it
    has been ubiquitous in the past decade. folks that never
    embraced it because they "never had to" choose brazing,
    partly because there is no model year or time clock to
    worry about. i.e., while framebuilders now tig routinely,
    most do so because they're newer to the trade or because
    they veered away from brazing when Al became popular.
    ymmv.
    e-RICHIE©™®

    Sorry Richard, but I don't understand your point.

    Maybe I did not explain my point clearly. I was trying to point out that it is not necessary to use TIG specific tubesets these days; a builder can use the same tubeset whether welding or brazing. Of course, these comments don't necessarily apply for a production environment where a little extra meat on the tubes is a good thing, particularly if welding.
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  6. #6
    Industry Maven Thylacine's Avatar
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    It's true as Richo says - the TIG is primarily an efficiency tool for production. All modern steel tubesets are 'optimised' for high temp TIG production as that's where the volume is.

    Of course, none of this diminishes a nice TIG'd or Lugged bike for what it is, and certainly a TIG'd bike is not inferior just because it's efficiently stuck together.

    As for the original post, I think from my perspective at least the only real generalisations you can make are that a) Steel bikes (TIG or Lugged) are heavier than Aluminium; b) Steel bikes have a 'Springy-Zingy©®' saddle feel where as Al bikes as a generalisation are a bit clunkier; c) I've found steel in the larger sizes can't rival Al or Sc for drivetrain stiffness; d) Lugged bikes are sexy, TIG'd bikes are....not quite as sexy, but that's why cool paint and decals were invented! e) Steel has a infinite fatigue life, whereas Al doesn't. Chances are you won't be handing your Al bike to your grandkids, if that means anything to you.

    Anyway Bruno, an Al fixie is sacrilege! It's steel or it's nothin'!
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  7. #7
    Industry Maven Thylacine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nessism
    I was trying to point out that it is not necessary to use TIG specific tubesets these days; a builder can use the same tubeset whether welding or brazing.
    All modern tubesets are designed specifically for TIG. The fact that they also work for Lugged construction is arbitrary.
    Have you earned your stripes? <<click here / Questions about custom frames? Chat me! - warwickg71 (AIM/iChat) ThylacineCycles (Skype)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nessism
    Sorry Richard, but I don't understand your point.

    Maybe I did not explain my point clearly. I was trying to point out that it is not necessary to use TIG specific tubesets these days; a builder can use the same tubeset whether welding or brazing. Of course, these comments don't necessarily apply for a production environment where a little extra meat on the tubes is a good thing, particularly if welding.

    okay - sorry.
    however, these days, all tubesets are tig specific.
    howzat? well, while many/most are short butt types
    and some are that wacky air hardening stuff, you'll
    find that manufacturers like no longer adhere to the
    industry o.d. specs once did. why? because few/if any
    use lugs. ergo, o.d. is not the be all/end all that it
    once was.
    e-RICHIE©™®

    ps warwick is correct (above). i replied before i saw his text.

  9. #9
    Matthew Grimm / Flunky Kogswell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thylacine
    It's true as Richo says - the TIG is primarily an efficiency tool for production. All modern steel tubesets are 'optimised' for high temp TIG production as that's where the volume is.

    What Warwick said.

    Most mdern tube sets are optimized for TIG production. Using them in a lugged frame is kinda silly; why pay for the air-hardening goodness of 853 when you don't use it?

    The good news is that there are tubes being produced that are optimized for lugged construction: their butts are custom drawn to match the lugs being used. And those same tubes can be heat treated to bring up strength which makes thinner walls possible. In that case, low-heat lugged production is optimal because it doesn't compromise the heat treatment.

    So, in a sense, lugged construction is as purposeful as ever, if you use the right tubes.

    ECO makes the raw, custom drawn tubes. And a small specialty shop does the heat treatment.

    I only know this because we use them in our top-end frames.


  10. #10
    Senior Member Nessism's Avatar
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    Maybe I'm just shooting off my mouth again, or maybe I just don't understand properly, bit I don't get this whole TIG vs. lugged tubeset business.

    First off, I understand that lugged frames must use tubes with the appropriate diameters to plug into the lugs. Beyond that, I don't understand what constitutes a "lugged tubeset" from a "TIG tubeset"?

    Back in the old days of Reynolds 753 tubing, the tubes would loose a significant amount of heat treatment strength if brazed with anything other than silver. This is a true "lugged tubeset" since silver is in the lugged specific domain.

    When TIG started to replace lugged frames in the marketplace, Tange made some TIG specific tubesets with thicker than normal, and shorter than normal, butted sections. The idea was that the thick tube-ends were able to tolerate the weld heat better without risk of burn-through or strength loss due to the high heat during welding, and the short butts were suitable because the weld affected zone was quite localized with TIG.

    Moving to modern times, the alloys used in all the various tubesets I'm aware of are quite tolerant to the high heat of the welding process thus there is no need to silver braze unless the builder wants to. Further, there is no need to use thick butted tubes for strength reasons when TIG welding - Tange's concern of strength loss proved to be a non-issue as long as the builder paid attention to his business and didn't day dream while welding and burn-through a tube.

    So today we have some very thin tubesets, like Dedacciai Zero, that can be either welded or brazed with lugs (assuming the appropriate tube diameters are selected). These tubes are butted .65mm on the ends with very short butts and are used by some very prominent builders, both TIG and brazed. Gone are the days where specific tubesets are used, nor needed, for any particular type of joining.

    Given this, in what way are tubesets TIG specific other than the diameters (which don't fit lugs), what what would constitute a "lugged specific" tubeset in this modern era and how would this tubeset be different than a TIG tubeset?


    Ed
    Last edited by Nessism; 12-19-05 at 07:50 PM.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kogswell
    What Warwick said.

    Most mdern tube sets are optimized for TIG production. Using them in a lugged frame is kinda silly; why pay for the air-hardening goodness of 853 when you don't use it?

    The good news is that there are tubes being produced that are optimized for lugged construction: their butts are custom drawn to match the lugs being used. And those same tubes can be heat treated to bring up strength which makes thinner walls possible. In that case, low-heat lugged production is optimal because it doesn't compromise the heat treatment.

    So, in a sense, lugged construction is as purposeful as ever, if you use the right tubes.

    ECO makes the raw, custom drawn tubes. And a small specialty shop does the heat treatment.

    I only know this because we use them in our top-end frames.


    with this said, what kind of net weight could a frame
    be - on the light side, that is - if this brand of tubing
    is used? 4lbs? 3.25lbs? just curious.

  12. #12
    Upstanding member. Mike T.'s Avatar
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  13. #13
    Industry Maven Thylacine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kogswell
    The good news is that there are tubes being produced that are optimized for lugged construction: their butts are custom drawn to match the lugs being used. And those same tubes can be heat treated to bring up strength which makes thinner walls possible. In that case, low-heat lugged production is optimal because it doesn't compromise the heat treatment.
    You can already buy heat treated 4130 cro-mo, such as True Temper Versus HT, but as I understand it, it's still not as strong as the 'air hardening' thermophillic steels which are designed to increase their strengths in the HAZ via TIG welding. I also think that even utilising these steels, althought they wouldn't improve their strengths at the joins, you can still silver braze them into a lugged frame that would still theoretically have better mechanical properties than heat treated 4130.

    Richard, you know what I'd like to see from a theoretical standpoint? Lugs that are designed utilising FEA to actually dissipate stresses which would then be brazed into straight guage 0.45mm thick tubes - the lug would be the lug AND the "butting".

    Now THAT would be 'lug specific'!
    Have you earned your stripes? <<click here / Questions about custom frames? Chat me! - warwickg71 (AIM/iChat) ThylacineCycles (Skype)

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thylacine
    Richard, you know what I'd like to see from a theoretical standpoint? Lugs that are designed utilising FEA to actually dissipate stresses which would then be brazed into straight guage 0.45mm thick tubes - the lug would be the lug AND the "butting".

    Now THAT would be 'lug specific'!

    heck - easy.
    most of the butts are now so perilously short that
    my lugs overlap the transition area on nearly all
    the mid and small sizes. no problems___yet!!!!!!
    e-RICHIE©™®

  15. #15
    Matthew Grimm / Flunky Kogswell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thylacine
    Richard, you know what I'd like to see from a theoretical standpoint? Lugs that are designed utilising FEA to actually dissipate stresses which would then be brazed into straight guage 0.45mm thick tubes - the lug would be the lug AND the "butting".

    Now THAT would be 'lug specific'!
    Warwick,

    A couple of weeks ago RS and I were discussing the Masi Volumetrica lugs. I found them intereting because they were apparently designed to be used with strengthened, light straight.

    We're testing CNC'd lugs at the moment and I've been told that if I can come up with a set of diimensions, these guy can make a tool path for it.

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