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  1. #1
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    Full Columbus Tubing for Touring Bike Build

    Hey everyone. There's a local shop doing custom builds that I'd like to support (while getting my fix, of course). I'd like to have them build me a lugged touring frame. They can get any Columbus tubing (mix and match if needed), but it must be Columbus. I'm not excessively heavy (about 180lbs), but I do like to stand up and mash sometimes, even when loaded. I only care about ride quality, and durability. I don't care about weight.

    The shop has suggested Spirit for Lugs (OS), but I'm not convinced it will be stiff/durable enough for a serious touring machine. That being said, I've never ridden the stuff. If it was your bike, what would you go for? Thanks!

  2. #2
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    If you don't trust the shop, you shouldn't let them do the build. You can probably get someone here to say one thing or another, but they have the details, and have met you. That should do it.

    While 180 is a totally normal weight, it is upper end for competition tubing. There really isn't any upside to shaving tenths of a cm on a touring bike tubing wall. I don't even prefer a butted tube myself, but that certainly puts me in the outhouse as far as the majority is concerned. For every 1/10 of an mm of wall on a 24 inch tube you are saving 1/2 ounce ish.

  3. #3
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    Columbus Cromor should be fine. The main tubes are .9/.6/.9 and the whole set is cromoly from Italy. Same tubing was used by Schwinn and others as Thron or Tenax.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by MassiveD View Post
    If you don't trust the shop, you shouldn't let them do the build. You can probably get someone here to say one thing or another, but they have the details, and have met you. That should do it.

    While 180 is a totally normal weight, it is upper end for competition tubing. There really isn't any upside to shaving tenths of a cm on a touring bike tubing wall. I don't even prefer a butted tube myself, but that certainly puts me in the outhouse as far as the majority is concerned. For every 1/10 of an mm of wall on a 24 inch tube you are saving 1/2 ounce ish.
    I trust the workmanship of this shop, but they don't build many touring bikes. It's possible they just aren't familiar with how much abuse these things actually take. Thanks for the thoughts on tube-wall thickness.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by rellis View Post
    Columbus Cromor should be fine. The main tubes are .9/.6/.9 and the whole set is cromoly from Italy. Same tubing was used by Schwinn and others as Thron or Tenax.
    I think I remember something about that. Thanks for the info! That tube-wall thickness looks substantially more like what I would have expected for a serious touring rig.

  6. #6
    framebuilder
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    A loaded touring frame really needs heavy walled tubing so it doesn’t sway around (particularly the back end) when climbing. I would never choose Spirit for Lugs for a touring frame because in my opinion it is way too light when the panniers are full. That choice would be a mistake. Depending on much stuff you want to carry I’d even put a in 1.0/.7/1.0 OS down tube. It is also important to not put light chain stays and seat stays or fork blades as well. I remember a touring frame I made for myself back in the 70’s with the heaviest tubing Reynolds made at the time (of course it was with standard sized tubing) and was really disappointed with how it handled when fully loaded. When I built another frame for myself using Columbus SP that had heavier walls in the back end the ride was much better. Both the Reynolds and Columbus had 1/7/1 main tubes.

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