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Old 08-05-13, 10:55 PM   #1
fixin2ride
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What comes first? Joint failure (TIG vs Lug) or rust...

So my basic question is do modern bikes last like their predecessors? I've been debating hard on which wabi cycle to get: Classic or special. They both use Reynolds 725, the difference of course being TIG welded or lugged frame. I've read pages and pages of arguments that really just leads to a stalemate in whether or not it matters if the joining method is welding or using lugs. I want to get a lugged frame but I'm thinking to myself, if most mountain bikes which are meant to take abuse are TIG welded then why wouldn't TIG welds hold up on a road bike? I really can't justify paying 200+ dollars for barely noticeable lugs (at least on the wabi) unless they serve some sort of additional purpose. Then I pondered the issue of having my bike for the long run when I started leaning towards lugs again and I thought to myself if I'm on the east coast and have to deal with all four seasons to include lots of snow and salted roads; how much longevity can I really expect from my frame even with proper care? I know there are bikes around from the 70s and 80s but from what I read that type of steel (reynolds 531 I believe) is no longer being used. How realistic is it to expect a modern bike to last a theoretical 'lifetime'? Thanks for your time in advanced.

http://www.wabicycles.com/bike_main_pg2011.html
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Old 08-06-13, 06:18 AM   #2
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I would think a quality frame that has been TIG welded would last just as long as a quality brazed lugged frame. Lugged frames are older technology, TIG is newer. The only reason for lugs now is aesthetics and in some cases because that is what the person making the frame is good at. The TIG process wasn't even patented until 1941. Lugs have been around since the late 1800's. I ride both. Internal frame rust will kill both styles of frames in short order. Use Frame Saver or T-9 Boeshield on the inside of the frames.

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Old 08-06-13, 06:24 AM   #3
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MTBs were welded because the lugs available at the time did not permit the desired angles. The technique stuck and became std. Manufacturers like reynolds then made tubesets with shorter, fatter butts more suitable for welding.
Both techniques work well and are well proven in the most demanding conditions, eg extended expedition touring. Rust is not a big issue with good steel frames, you can use wax or oil protector such as Framesaver. Drainage holes in the BB shell may help. I kept my old chromoly roadbike outside in a damp, coastal town 24/7 for 2 years.
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Old 08-06-13, 12:43 PM   #4
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interesting... maybe rust wasn't as big of an issue as I thought at least when the frame is concerned. I'm still curious about the whole lug vs TIG issue. Maybe modern technology and steel tubes are more accommodating for TIG welding making them as strong as lugs...
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Old 08-06-13, 12:59 PM   #5
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Neither have issues if maintained and not crashed..

That AmsOil/ frame saver wash inside the tubing and paint where the chips are touched up should be fine .

Bike frame materials makers are subject to the 'New! Improved!' marketing schemes too..

Last edited by fietsbob; 08-06-13 at 01:04 PM.
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Old 08-06-13, 01:53 PM   #6
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Neither have issues if maintained and not crashed.
Bike frame materials makers are subject to the 'New! Improved!' marketing schemes too..
That's what I think too.

I'm the kind of guy who likes to rework my bikes, upgrade the components and do stuff like that. Never-the-less, I've never had a frame that didn't last LONGER than I wanted. I always grow tired of it and decide that I'd like to start with something new before my old frames wear out, rust out or otherwise fail.
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Old 08-06-13, 07:17 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by fixin2ride View Post
So my basic question is do modern bikes last like their predecessors? I've been debating hard on which wabi cycle to get: Classic or special. They both use Reynolds 725, the difference of course being TIG welded or lugged frame. I've read pages and pages of arguments that really just leads to a stalemate in whether or not it matters if the joining method is welding or using lugs. I want to get a lugged frame but I'm thinking to myself, if most mountain bikes which are meant to take abuse are TIG welded then why wouldn't TIG welds hold up on a road bike? I really can't justify paying 200+ dollars for barely noticeable lugs (at least on the wabi) unless they serve some sort of additional purpose. Then I pondered the issue of having my bike for the long run when I started leaning towards lugs again and I thought to myself if I'm on the east coast and have to deal with all four seasons to include lots of snow and salted roads; how much longevity can I really expect from my frame even with proper care? I know there are bikes around from the 70s and 80s but from what I read that type of steel (reynolds 531 I believe) is no longer being used. How realistic is it to expect a modern bike to last a theoretical 'lifetime'? Thanks for your time in advanced.

http://www.wabicycles.com/bike_main_pg2011.html
I think the answer to the question posed by your thread title is neither, for bikes which are at least minimally maintained and not ridden abusively.
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