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  1. #1
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    Steel frame for a new build... 853?

    Hi there,
    I'm a steelie fanatic (and a newbie to the forums), and I'm thinking of doing a new steel road build on an old frame. Or, maybe dreaming is more like it. There's lots of the older steel frames floating around used, and so I've been reading about the ones made through the 80s and 90s. It seems a lot of people really like the Reynolds 853 frames, specifically the ones that were TIG welded instead of lugged. Some examples of these that I've found were late 90s Schwinn Match builds- I think Peloton and a couple others.
    Any feedback on this? As far as... Whether those frames are superior to other frames of that time, and what models may have used them?
    Thanks in advance!
    -B

  2. #2
    Senior Member squirtdad's Avatar
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    If you are asking for frame recommendations for a good frame to used as a base for a build you might want to check in Classsic and Vintage.

    There are many brands and "models" if you will for tubing... Reynolds 853,531, Tange 1, 2, Columbus sl, slx, el, neuron, True Temper, to name a few. it is not just the tubing that makes the bike but the build/specs etc.

    You probably need to describe what you want out of a bike (touring geometry, race, sprint, etc) and then the reccomendations will fly in.
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    looking for: De Rosa 58cm ELOS frame and fork internal cable routing

  3. #3
    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
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    Match Cycles (Tim Isaac, Curt Goodrich, Kirk Pacenti, Steve Hampsten and others) built the late nineties lugged 853 Paramounts, but the TIG welded 853 Pelotons were built in Asia, probably Taiwan.
    - Stan

  4. #4
    bike whisperer Kimmo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
    There are many brands and "models" if you will for tubing... Reynolds 853,531, Tange 1, 2, Columbus sl, slx, el, neuron, True Temper, to name a few. it is not just the tubing that makes the bike but the build/specs etc.
    853 is pretty special stuff, though. AFAIK it's the only steel that actually gets stronger at the joint, and as such I guess it has quite light butting. This means making a lugged frame with the stuff is a bit of a crazy waste; aside from exotic brews like Aermet 100 (barely steel, roughly only half iron), I doubt you could build a lighter frame from any steel other than 853.

    Of course, it still needs to be designed, built, and sized right for it to make a good bike.

    Anyway, if I was thinking a steel frame, I'd be tossing up between 853 or one of the stainless alloys if I wanted to do the lugged bit.

  5. #5
    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
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    There are lots of air-hardening steel tubesets besides 853 that get stronger at welded joints due to the high welding temperatures.
    - Stan

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    bike whisperer Kimmo's Avatar
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    Cool. Could you name some others?

    Edit: never mind...

    The predecessors to today’s steel frames were first produced in the 50’s. Technology has not changed much since then, and the ride of a steel frame is still the standard by which all other bicycle frames are judged. Steel can be described in general terms as lively, solid, and predictable. Steel's durability and tunability make it a favorite of many cyclists.

    The steel tubing used by bicycle frame manufacturers typically falls into one of three basic categories: microalloy; heat treated cromoly; or standard 4130.

    Microalloys include Columbus Foco™; Reynolds 853™; True Temper HOX Gold™; and Dedacciai Zero™ tube sets. Microalloys are unique in that they become stronger after welding due to air hardening. This means the tube itself gains strength, and its fatigue life enhanced. In addition, the tube fabricator can make the tube thinner and thus lighter. These are the lightest, yet strongest, steel tubes. Generally speaking, the ultimate strength of microalloys falls into the 170-190ksi range.

    Heat-treated cromoly tube sets include Columbus Nemo™; Columbus Genius™; Reynolds 725™; True Temper OX 3™; and Dedacciai Zero Tre™. These tubesets are characterized by: high strength and good workability (formability); a wider variety of tube set options; and the ability to be brazed without damaging the tubes. Their ultimate strength typically falls between 150-175ksi.

    Standard 4130 representatives are Columbus Brain™; Reynolds 525™; and True Temper OX 2™, among others. This material has good formability, and is used to create thicker, more stout tubes. Thus, optimally, these tubes would be used when building a frame for a larger rider. Ultimate strength generally is in the 120-150ksi range.
    http://www.sevencycles.com/buildingb...ment/steel.php

  7. #7
    THE Materials Oracle Falanx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
    853 is pretty special stuff, though. AFAIK it's the only steel that actually gets stronger at the joint, and as such I guess it has quite light butting. This means making a lugged frame with the stuff is a bit of a crazy waste; aside from exotic brews like Aermet 100 (barely steel, roughly only half iron), I doubt you could build a lighter frame from any steel other than 853.

    Of course, it still needs to be designed, built, and sized right for it to make a good bike.

    Anyway, if I was thinking a steel frame, I'd be tossing up between 853 or one of the stainless alloys if I wanted to do the lugged bit.


    I'll bite, as I usually do.

    Any steel (with the exception of bottom-dollar carbon-manganese steels) used in manufacturing bike frames these days is air hardening. That includes 4130. The reason you don't notice it much with 4130 in most frames built is that while TIG is a localised thermal process, it's a very thermally wasteful process so the initial heat-quench cycle is lost in the repeated cycling as the next bead is put down and your overall thermal exposure is one quench and temper and then a bunch of repeated normalising after. Brazing only makes this moreso. 4130 tubes supplied heat-treated effective lose strength when weldedup, but the extra thickness of the butted ends compensates for that. DMR sidestep this issue with their 898s by re-heat-treating the whole frame once welded, but they're the only people I'm aware of doing that.

    What most people here are familiar with is the newer range of steels with a higher alloying percentage that exhibit substantial depth of hardening and solute drag so that post-TIG, there is a net zero strength loss, and in certain parts of the heat-affected zone a slight gain in strength. The claims that the tubeset gets much stronger in the weld zone is at best brochure bull**** and worst and outright lie. A weldzone is made up of several distinctly different microstructures that are due to differences in thermal exposure and time, and there isn't any way in hell the whole lot can just magick extra strength out of the ether.


    *SNIP*
    Cool. Could you name some others?

    Edit: never mind...

    The predecessors to today’s steel frames were first produced in the 50’s. Technology has not changed much since then, and the ride of a steel frame is still the standard by which all other bicycle frames are judged. Steel can be described in general terms as lively, solid, and predictable. Steel's durability and tunability make it a favorite of many cyclists.

    The steel tubing used by bicycle frame manufacturers typically falls into one of three basic categories: microalloy; heat treated cromoly; or standard 4130.

    Microalloys include Columbus Foco™; Reynolds 853™; True Temper HOX Gold™; and Dedacciai Zero™ tube sets. Microalloys are unique in that they become stronger after welding due to air hardening. This means the tube itself gains strength, and its fatigue life enhanced. In addition, the tube fabricator can make the tube thinner and thus lighter. These are the lightest, yet strongest, steel tubes. Generally speaking, the ultimate strength of microalloys falls into the 170-190ksi range.

    Heat-treated cromoly tube sets include Columbus Nemo™; Columbus Genius™; Reynolds 725™; True Temper OX 3™; and Dedacciai Zero Tre™. These tubesets are characterized by: high strength and good workability (formability); a wider variety of tube set options; and the ability to be brazed without damaging the tubes. Their ultimate strength typically falls between 150-175ksi.

    Standard 4130 representatives are Columbus Brain™; Reynolds 525™; and True Temper OX 2™, among others. This material has good formability, and is used to create thicker, more stout tubes. Thus, optimally, these tubes would be used when building a frame for a larger rider. Ultimate strength generally is in the 120-150ksi range.


    http://www.sevencycles.com/buildingb...ment/steel.php

    *SNIP*

    The 'microalloys' paragraph is nonsense. The ultrahigh strength steels used for tubing are not microalloyed. Pipeline steels are microalloyed as aside from manganese, their only other additions are <0.2% vanadium, niobium and or titanium. Manganese is essentially not counted as an alloying addition in steels because it's a leftover from the Bessemer converter days, unless it's over 1.5%. These steels are already appreciably alloyed with chromium and molybdenum, and then vanadium and niobium are added to prevent grain growth in the austenite field of the weldzone. The only thing that will cause the melt's grain to resolidfy fine is titanium nitride, with recrystallisation to fine sizes through two phase fields helped by high alloying's solute drag and the presence of vanadium which precipitates as carbides and nitrides through 800-600 degrees C.
    Reynolds 853, Columbus Nivachrom and Niobium and Dedacciai Zero are all strong steels, don't get me wrong, but they aren't as sexy as you've been lead to believe.

    The assertion made that heat treating normal 4130 prevents brazing damaging the strength of the tube is similarly nonsense, for reasons outlined further above.



    I'm not bashing here, I'm simply pointing out that understanding how a frame material will behave and what you actually get, not what you're told you're getting does require a fundamental understanding of the science of materials....
    "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!"

  8. #8
    bike whisperer Kimmo's Avatar
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    Thanks for the largely incomprehensible info; I'll take your word for it.



    So what about that Aermet 100 stuff? I read a review in the 90s of a bike made from it; it was meant to be the duck's guts. Used for fighter plane landing gear and whatnot.

    ...And while I'm picking your brains, what's your opinion of amorphous metals in terms of their cycling applications?

    Cheaper brifters and so forth at the very least, I should hope...

  9. #9
    THE Materials Oracle Falanx's Avatar
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    The Aermet range of materials is an astoundingly difficult family to work with. Welding is essentially off the table worth a damn, their high alloy-carbide content makes lathing it nightmarish and they retains so much strength into normal hot-working temperatures that the Mannesman butting process requires prohibitively large energy inputs.

    A number of companies tried to get into it a while back, only to discover everything had to be plain gauge and the welds were iffy at best. All that carbide happily goes into solution at the weldpool, but then has a nasty habit of forming massive carbide clusters before the metal resolidifies.

    Aermet was developed for forged tubes and bar structures, but even now, its not widely used aerospace. Engineering kinda bit off more than it could chew with that one.


    Amorphous metals are somethign else entirely. What makes metals metallic, and therefore fun to make things out of that last and don't shatter when you drop them on the floor is their long-range crystallinity and disordered grain boundaries. WHen the whole thing is essentially grain boundary you lose the forgiving attribute - their ready ductility and toughness. The disorder makes metallic glasses harder and stronger, more difficult to initiate a fracture, but once they're notched, say hello to spectacular transgranular failure.

    The majority of amorphous metals are rapidly produced to allow their heavily alloyed nature not to crystallise out. Given long enough at an elevated temperature, or the meltign cycle of a weld, they stop being amorphous and crystallise out. Oftentimes, making them requires very closely controlled thermal parameters that a TIG weld just won't allow you.
    "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!"

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