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Old 01-31-08, 10:55 AM   #1
rjemery
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Source for Steel MTB Frames

I am seeking to purchase a stock steel (CroMoly or Reynolds 501) MTB hardtail frame and fork, new (not used).

What or who would be a good source for same?
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Old 01-31-08, 11:08 AM   #2
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Surly and Salsa both make them, Nashbar might have one as well?
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Old 01-31-08, 01:59 PM   #3
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I am seeking to purchase a stock steel (CroMoly or Reynolds 501) MTB hardtail frame and fork, new (not used).

What or who would be a good source for same?
how about columbus steel? columbus is good. cove makes a great columbus steel hardtail.
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Old 01-31-08, 02:04 PM   #4
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Gunnar
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Old 01-31-08, 02:04 PM   #5
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I had a Surly 1x1 at one point that I really liked. SS, but was really nice to ride. I would be interested in trying out a Karate Monkey (but it's a 29er).
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Old 01-31-08, 02:05 PM   #6
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mx,

Do you have any contact information for Columbus? A URL perhaps?
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Old 01-31-08, 02:22 PM   #7
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I believe Marin uses columbus tubing on their steel frames.
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Old 01-31-08, 02:22 PM   #8
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mx,

Do you have any contact information for Columbus? A URL perhaps?
http://www.columbustubi.com/

looks like the english part is down at the moment. i have the zona something steel tubing by them. i love them...but i am not a metallurgist or anything.

ask the guys in the frame building section about steel brands. a guy named falanx or something like that is good with metals i think. you might want to pm him.

also try a columbus search in the frame building section too...

i am not saying their stuff is better...but i like their white dove emblem. i have a carbon road fork by them as well... it is very light and seems to be an excellent fork.

cove are made in british columbia, that is kind of cool as well.
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Old 01-31-08, 02:32 PM   #9
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I believe Marin uses columbus tubing on their steel frames.
+1. They used to make some killer steel bikes out of Columbus Zona and Thron. Now they just make a killer bike out of Zona - Marin Pine Mountain.
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Old 01-31-08, 02:50 PM   #10
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steel is real.



had to say it.
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Old 01-31-08, 03:05 PM   #11
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+1
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Old 01-31-08, 05:48 PM   #12
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it depends on what type of bike you're wanting to build. if you're going budget, Nashbar's is pretty good, and a lot of time they're on sale for under $100. plus, they are generically painted, which is a plus.
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Old 01-31-08, 06:57 PM   #13
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Old 02-01-08, 08:29 AM   #14
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+2 on the Gunnar, available in either 26 or 29. Uses TT XO Platinum steel which is far more refined than generic cromoly. Am not certain Reynolds still makes the 501 which was their lowest, and heaviest, grade in the 80's. I think the current lowest grade is 531 from the same era, but now used in specialty products like forks that will carry loads carbon can't handle. Gunnar frames - mountain and road - have a very positive reputation.

Also, in the same $800 price range is the Habanero Ti. Granted, it is not steel - but it is definately not aluminum or carbon, and closer to steel as an alternative.
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Old 02-01-08, 08:56 AM   #15
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Am not certain Reynolds still makes the 501 which was their lowest, and heaviest, grade in the 80's. I think the current lowest grade is 531 from the same era, but now used in specialty products like forks that will carry loads carbon can't handle.
Time marches on. As I have discovered, the 501 is not offered by Reynolds any longer, while the 531 is. 531 is presumably their lowest grade steel. Reynolds currently offers a number of different steel tubing products or grades: 953, 853, 631, 725, 525, 753 and 531.

However, it is not just about strength. It's also about flexibility. That's one reason their 501 tubing was so popular in the 1980's.

At a time when both 501 and 531 were offered, I recall reading something somewhere that said 531 was stiffer than 501 and therefore not suitable for touring bicycles.

I have had a life long battle with LBSs whose personnel all seem to be racers and who can think only in terms of racing. Most often, what's good for a racer is NOT good for a tourer. They claim to be able to service a tourer, but it soon boils down to pushing whatever is in the shop.
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Old 02-01-08, 09:07 AM   #16
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Looks like Nashbar still has a full range of sizes in their 853 hardtail. Reynolds, pretty light, AND orange! Not a bad deal for under 300 bones.
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Old 02-01-08, 09:44 AM   #17
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Looks like Nashbar still has a full range of sizes in their 853 hardtail. Reynolds, pretty light, AND orange! Not a bad deal for under 300 bones.
The Nashbar frame is made by Kinesis, and is the same as the
Jamis Dragon 853 frame. I've been considering this myself.
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Old 02-01-08, 09:48 AM   #18
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jenson has em.
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Old 02-01-08, 10:40 AM   #19
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However, it is not just about strength. It's also about flexibility. That's one reason their 501 tubing was so popular in the 1980's.
[Soap Box]

Don't take personal offense, because you are likely repeating something you heard, but that is total and complete CRAP.

Garden shovels, knife blades, bed springs, truck frames, I-beams and bike frames are all made of steel that has basically the same "stiffness" factor. In other words, steel is steel, from a stiffness perspective. In the engineering world, the stiffness term is Modulus of Elasticity (E), and for steel, 29 x 10^6 psi. Higher grade steels, heat treating, and better processing (forging, cold working, etc.) get you higher yield strength (stress at which plastic deformation first takes place), and ultimate strength (stress that will generate complete failure). From a strength perspective, there are large differences.

Better steel simply means you can use less of it, and can stress it higher before bad things begin to happen. Note also that stiffness of frame has as much to do with geometry, both of the tube and the construct, as the Modulus of the selected material. This is why a featherweight frame of beer can thickness aluminum can rattle your fillings out, and a twice as heavy steel frame may just be the most comfortable frame that you've ever experienced. FWIW, the modulus and density of aluminum are about 1/3 that of steel. Yield strength of a couple of the alloys, 2024 and 7075 come to mind, are well into steel territory. Doesn't make it better or worse though.

[/Soap Box]

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Old 02-01-08, 02:49 PM   #20
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not sure about marin, but another thing i considered while looking for a steel HT was NO brake bosses on the rear stays.

believe it or not, this is harder than you think to find. Cove was disc specific and clean...
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Old 02-01-08, 04:11 PM   #21
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... steel HT was NO brake bosses on the rear stays.
What are brake bosses? These facilitate what?

And by rear stay do you mean the chain stay or the seat stay?

If you are strictly into disc brakes for a HT, why would this type of brake be needed in all but the most extreme riding situations?
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Old 02-01-08, 04:27 PM   #22
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Time marches on. As I have discovered, the 501 is not offered by Reynolds any longer, while the 531 is. 531 is presumably their lowest grade steel. Reynolds currently offers a number of different steel tubing products or grades: 953, 853, 631, 725, 525, 753 and 531.

At a time when both 501 and 531 were offered, I recall reading something somewhere that said 531 was stiffer than 501 and therefore not suitable for touring bicycles.

They were misleading you. I still ride my 531 road bike I bought in 1985, and the general complaint about 531 road bikes today is that they were not stiff enough for racers. 501 was the less expensive model and generally 'entry level', while 531 was a step up in performance. 501 was one step above the HiTen steel used in Huffy's, and probably equal to Tange and CroMo.
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Old 02-01-08, 08:45 PM   #23
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What are brake bosses? These facilitate what?

And by rear stay do you mean the chain stay or the seat stay?

If you are strictly into disc brakes for a HT, why would this type of brake be needed in all but the most extreme riding situations?
bosses for attaching rim brakes. on seat stays.

they are not necessary, just an absolute enjoyment over rims brakes. take a look at some without bosses....they look nice and sleek if you're not going to use rim brakes.
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Old 02-01-08, 09:46 PM   #24
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zion frames have no bosses. just saying. and they are on sale.

okay, okay, I am shutting up.
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Old 02-02-08, 03:38 PM   #25
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ultimate strength (stress that will generate complete failure)

Ultimate strength is really all I ever look for in my steel frames.
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