Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  

Go Back   > >

General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

User Tag List

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 05-17-12, 01:36 AM   #1
The bike plague
Thread Starter
MightyLegnano's Avatar
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Greek mountains
Bikes: 70's Legnano Road Bike, Late 70's Mercier Road Bike, Ideal Target Mountain Bike, Specialized crosstrail trekking bike and a unicycle
Posts: 318
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Can you recognize a good steel frame by its joints?


Is it possible to value a steel frame by its joints or something else (weight, paintjob etc). Same with fork. Is there a way? If yes how?
MightyLegnano is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-12, 01:46 AM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: England
Posts: 12,931
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
I use the rear dropouts as an indicator of quality. Invstment cast dropouts are only used on mid-high end frames. Stamped steel is used on cheaper frames. Fancier dropouts=higher-end frame. It is very rare for a high end frame to use plain dropouts.
Straight-cut lugs are low end. If the top of the seapost has a stress-distributing curved end, that is a good quality mark.
MichaelW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-12, 03:19 AM   #3
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Northern California
Bikes: Raleigh Grand Prix, Giant Innova, Nishiki Sebring, Trek 7.5FX
Posts: 5,804
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Lugged steel bikes are usually higher end bikes. The fancier and more detailed the lug, the more quality put into the bike. Hence, the more valuable the bike.


You don't find highly detailed stainless steel lugs on mediocre bikes...

Last edited by SlimRider; 05-17-12 at 12:00 PM.
SlimRider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-12, 09:44 AM   #4
Retro Grouch 
Senior Member
Retro Grouch's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: St Peters, Missouri
Bikes: Rans Rockst (Retro rocket) Rans Enduro Sport (Retro racket) Catrike 559, Merin Bear Valley (beater bike).
Posts: 26,783
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 159 Post(s)
I think that it comes down to materials and craftsmanship.

Better quality frames will usually have a decal that describes the tubeing that was used. You'll have to look it up to see where the tubeing fits on the food chain.

While fancy lug cut outs are an indication of craftsmanship, I don't think that's a perfect indicator of frame quality. Many of the better steel tube sets today are designed to be optimized with tig welding. The most exotic frame that I've ever owned was fillet brazed Nivecrom with very thin wall thickness.
Retro Grouch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-12, 10:11 AM   #5
fietsbob's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Bikes: 7
Posts: 21,025
Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 806 Post(s)
If there is a lot of hand finishing, done before the paint goes on.
some individual took time building the frame.

With a TIG weld you look at how smoothly one puddle of filler follows the next,
in laying down the bead..

Last edited by fietsbob; 05-17-12 at 10:15 AM.
fietsbob is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-12, 01:39 PM   #6
Journeyman Bike Commuter
Phil_gretz's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Alexandria, VA
Bikes: '88 Fuji Saratoga, '12 Jamis Sputnik, '13 Motobecane Fantom29 HT, '16 Motobecane Turino Pro Disc, '16 Motobecane Gran Premio Elite
Posts: 3,910
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 91 Post(s)
Quality of the paint job or tubing decals are an initial tip-off, but they may become marred over time.

I also look at the finishing work done before the painting, filing and cleaning around the brazed junctions. Obviously more fancy, cut-out lugs are an indicator. As are the finished ends of the seat stays and their junction at the seatpost.

Just tapping the tubing with your fingernail and listening to the "ring" can tell you something, too.

As for forks, look at the dropouts. How well finished is the dropout to fork end interface? Is there a sloping crown or flat crown. Details on the crown and cutouts? If it's a unicrown, are there any indicators of tubing. Sometimes the steerer tube has stamped markings of the tubing type, but you have to disassemble to see those.
Phil_gretz is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:53 AM.