Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    eternalvoyage
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    2,416
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Columbus XCr stainless; AerMet; going all-out

    Does anyone know anything about these tubesets?

    I like the idea of high-end stainless steel as a tubing material, but I wonder what else is out there.... Besides Reynolds 953, are there other, somewhat comparable, high-quality stainless steels?

    ***
    It sounds as though AerMet 100 is an unusually strong steel. But it seems that it faded out, to a large extent at least. Was it mainly because it was simply too hard to work with? Not enough demand? Too expensive? Not marketed well enough? Or?

    It seems as if there is a conflict of interest (or something along those lines) between cyclists who want a maximally strong and damage-resistant frame (or builders who value building such a frame), and builders not wanting to work with materials that are too hard or strong or difficult to bend, cut, or work with.

    Sometimes I wonder what kinds of frames could be built if a builder went all-out for the most indestructible possibilities, regardless of price or difficulty. --And what materials could or would be used for those frames.

    (AerMet seems like one possibility; are there others?)

  2. #2
    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    San Francisco California
    My Bikes
    2007 Waterford 953 RS-22
    Posts
    8,530
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    There was a thread about XCr HERE, and a recent thread on Aermet 100 over on frameforum HERE.

    I was intriqued by the potential of 953 and ordered a polished lugged frame (Richard Sachs stainless Newvex lugs) and chromed 531 fork from Waterford early last November. I picked it up at the LBS on May 2, and have put nearly a hundred miles on it in the two weeks I've had it.

    I've owned many bikes in my life, but this one is very special. The 61 cm frame came in at a little over 1600 grams and with the relatively heavy 531 fork, a Brooks saddle, pedals, water bottle cages, and relatively heavy 36 spoke wheels (700c Open Pro rims, DT Swiss Competition spokes and Campy Record hubs), the complete bike weighs just over 20 pounds. The ride is typical of a high quality steel frame - comfortable, responsive and lively.

















    Last edited by Scooper; 05-17-07 at 07:55 PM.
    - Stan

  3. #3
    eternalvoyage
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    2,416
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks for the informative links, and for the pictures -- what a beautiful bike. I've dreamed of bikes like that. Lugged high quality stainless... seems like a great way to go.

  4. #4
    THE Materials Oracle Falanx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Finally... home :-)
    My Bikes
    Univega Alpina 5.1 that became a 5.9, that became a road bike... DMR TrailStar custom build
    Posts
    502
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Niles H.
    Does anyone know anything about these tubesets?

    I like the idea of high-end stainless steel as a tubing material, but I wonder what else is out there.... Besides Reynolds 953, are there other, somewhat comparable, high-quality stainless steels?

    ***
    It sounds as though AerMet 100 is an unusually strong steel. But it seems that it faded out, to a large extent at least. Was it mainly because it was simply too hard to work with? Not enough demand? Too expensive? Not marketed well enough? Or?

    It seems as if there is a conflict of interest (or something along those lines) between cyclists who want a maximally strong and damage-resistant frame (or builders who value building such a frame), and builders not wanting to work with materials that are too hard or strong or difficult to bend, cut, or work with.

    Sometimes I wonder what kinds of frames could be built if a builder went all-out for the most indestructible possibilities, regardless of price or difficulty. --And what materials could or would be used for those frames.

    (AerMet seems like one possibility; are there others?)

    The biggets problem with speccing a steel tubing, no matter what it's mechanical properties, is that it almost certainly won't be avaible in drawn tube to the sizes normally used in bicycle manufcature. When I say 'sizes', I mean internal and external diameters, and especially, butts.

    Say you're going to start a very large manufacturing company. Hundreds of bicycle frames a week. Your actual tonnage, and more importantly, the cost of the weight of tubing despite the volume of the delivery will be very low. And most tubing in the world is drawn for much more chunky applications.

    I'll give you an example. 430 steel is a brilliant alloy. It's a standard known throughout the world, it's very, very strong and tough when properly heat treated, welds readily, the correct similar filler wire is available everywhere and it's fairly cheap.

    Why aren't there any bike frames made of it? Because steel mills don't want to be bothered by an order for five tonnes of very small diameter, low wall thickness tubing that they'd have to either retool for at large cost to themselves, or at least have to be particularly careful with the tubing tolerances.

    Long story short, there' shuge range of alloys out there that would be great for building, but unless you're a huge aerospace or car manufacturer, you aren't going to be making it worth the suppliers' while to draw your tube for you.

    The reason Aermet faded out was simply a cost issue. It's a b*tch to work and cost the purchaser too much to get and caused the tubing manufacturer too many headaches for the size of the job.

    XCR is about the only other stainless worth using. You can try to buy your own tubing in many different stainless high strength alloys, but you'll be lucky to find the right range of sizes, and then it almost certianly won't be butted and you'll have to find a way to do the job yourself.....
    "While my father fought for you, I learnt. While my father glorified your petty administration, I learnt. While he longed every day for our line, Adunís line, to be restored, I learnt. He sent me away to bring the Dark Templar back when the time was right!
    "And you tell me that I cannot do this? That I cannot feel the weight of the universe?
    "Damn you, Tellan! Aldaris killed my father!"

  5. #5
    Industry Maven Thylacine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Wherever good bikes are sold
    My Bikes
    Thylacines...only Thylacines.
    Posts
    2,936
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Niles H.
    Does anyone know anything about these tubesets?

    I like the idea of high-end stainless steel as a tubing material, but I wonder what else is out there.... Besides Reynolds 953, are there other, somewhat comparable, high-quality stainless steels?

    ***
    It sounds as though AerMet 100 is an unusually strong steel. But it seems that it faded out, to a large extent at least. Was it mainly because it was simply too hard to work with? Not enough demand? Too expensive? Not marketed well enough? Or?

    It seems as if there is a conflict of interest (or something along those lines) between cyclists who want a maximally strong and damage-resistant frame (or builders who value building such a frame), and builders not wanting to work with materials that are too hard or strong or difficult to bend, cut, or work with.

    Sometimes I wonder what kinds of frames could be built if a builder went all-out for the most indestructible possibilities, regardless of price or difficulty. --And what materials could or would be used for those frames.

    (AerMet seems like one possibility; are there others?)
    Have you thought about Titanium?
    Have you earned your stripes? <<click here / Questions about custom frames? Chat me! - warwickg71 (AIM/iChat) ThylacineCycles (Skype)

  6. #6
    THE Materials Oracle Falanx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Finally... home :-)
    My Bikes
    Univega Alpina 5.1 that became a 5.9, that became a road bike... DMR TrailStar custom build
    Posts
    502
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I have. And every time I do, I shudder ;-)
    "While my father fought for you, I learnt. While my father glorified your petty administration, I learnt. While he longed every day for our line, Adunís line, to be restored, I learnt. He sent me away to bring the Dark Templar back when the time was right!
    "And you tell me that I cannot do this? That I cannot feel the weight of the universe?
    "Damn you, Tellan! Aldaris killed my father!"

  7. #7
    I ride my bike Revtor's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    411
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    well, one gets to the point where enough strength is enough for our application. If it gets any stronger (and we go for lightest possible) then you end up with too thin tubing walls.. you could go thicker but whats the sense in paying for super exotic materials and processes for a frame that is a full two or three times as strong as you'd need? And so (IMHO) steel is reaching a point where it might be getting to this point. How thin can you butt a tube and get reasonable life or durability out of it... Sure the tubes will be strong in tension, but with super thin walls, force in any other direction could be catastrophic.

    I love steel, but I think we've taken it pretty much as far as it can go. Its density will not be changing any time soon, and so we run into these wall thickness issues. strength is no problem as we know.

    Ti? I like the anti corrosive, and weight of the material, perhaps with proper butting and half the thought that goes into making steel viable against alum/carbon, etc Ti will reach a similar ultimate point.. its not there yet. Im guessing the demand just isnt high enough to warrant the industrial downpayment in terms or research, tooling, manufacturing etc to get the most out of it for our small market of high end bikes.

    What else is there?? Composites (carbon fiber/resins and others) metal/ceramic matrices, magnesium, hydroformed/shaped aluminum.. We can develop these way into the future and still get gains..(losses?)


    fun to think about
    ~Steve

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •