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Old 06-22-04, 11:44 PM   #1
Thylacine
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The BIG (XC/Trail) questions.....

Okay XC and Trialbike people, just a few quick questions -

1) Do you know of any steel XC/Trail (3-4" travel) full suspension frames?
2) Why do you think steel is not a popular material for suspension frames?
3) If you could buy a steel full suspension frame for the same price and weight as an Aluminium one, would you buy it assuming both bikes perform the same?

No suprises as to the reason behind these questions Any feedback or comments you have would be appreciated.
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Old 06-22-04, 11:50 PM   #2
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1 - http://www.norco.com/bikes/2004bikes/four20.htm
2 - Heavy would be the only concern I would have. Otherwise strength should be more.
3 - No. To be honest, I would expect something steel to be cheaper. That just my opinion though. I don't know to much about production costs. I also, while not a weight weenie, think steel is too heavy for a dually...but that could be a misconception on my part. Especially for a potential trail bike. BMW is one thing, actual trails...entirely other storey.
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Old 06-23-04, 12:11 AM   #3
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I think the ONLY reason we don't see steel FS bikes is for one reason only -

Steel is super hard stuff, and CNC'ing it for bearing mounts etc. would be a logistical nightmare.

Most 'average' size xc/trail suspension bikes are somewhere between 5.5-6lbs in 'real world' weight, right? My large ( 20"+ ) hardtails rarely come out over 4.2lbs, so that gives a builder trying out steel for an FS frame 1.55lbs ( 705g ) for shock, hardpoints, bearings etc. Minus the shock ( 250g ) that still gives you 455g for all the material you need to 'add' to a hardtail to 'make' it an FS frame.

Sounds very feasable, doesnt it?
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Old 06-23-04, 12:15 AM   #4
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Wow...feasible isn't the world. Sound ideal.

With all those nightmares...simple question...why? The nightmares must cost, cost must reduce profit (which is small anyways in this industry)

I think steel is an excellent material but I find the only companies making steel duallies are WAY over building them. This makes the heavy and ridiculous for anything but pure dh or fr.
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Old 06-23-04, 01:10 AM   #5
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Well, now that we have a design that's pretty much set in stone and used by almost every company ( read: 4 bar linkage )....why doesn't someone make a nice lugged version? Can you imagine how elegant and minimalist a design like that could be, where the bottom bracket is a one piece casting, the seat tube rocker mount is a casting that slides onto the seat tube and is brazed in place....?
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