Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 39

Thread: Welding Beads

  1. #1
    Senior Member Billy Brown's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    205
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The welding beads on mountain bikes are enormous. The thick welds are just for aesthetics, aren't they? They just give the visual impression of strength.

    I've worked in a metal fabrication/machine shop. I never got to learn the logistics of all the operations. But we were producing some heavy duty stuff, and we never used such fat beads.

    I mean, I'm not a weight junkie, but don't those gigantic beads add unnecessary weight? (Though it is probably minimal.) And in general, aren't they just absurd?

    Just some pointless thoughts, I suppose.
    Last edited by Billy Brown; 10-25-04 at 11:40 PM.

  2. #2
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Whistler,BC
    My Bikes
    Transition Dirtbag, Kona Roast 2002 and specialized BMX
    Posts
    16,888
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Likely relates like this

    sloppy welding = big welds = equal strength to well made strong welds however is not = in price...

    Check some of the more boutique brands. Welds are done by hand and taken care of. On big production...its about strength vs machine

  3. #3
    Senior Member Billy Brown's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    205
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Maelstrom,

    I suppose that makes sense. I don't know anything about your Transition frame. But it looks like it has normal beads.

    I have a Rockhopper Comp, and it just has obscene welds. Like quite a few bikes I see pictured on the forum and being ridden around town.

  4. #4
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Whistler,BC
    My Bikes
    Transition Dirtbag, Kona Roast 2002 and specialized BMX
    Posts
    16,888
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    My frame is a little better made than most. But generally, most big production frames have obsene welds. You really start to see quality welds in boutique bikes. (mine seem to be grinded a bit to make them less ugly) Depends on the company and how much money goes into manufacturing I suppose.

    I didn't even notice my welds until you pointed them out haha

  5. #5
    Work hard, Play hard forum*rider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    San Diego, California
    My Bikes
    Cannondale super V 500, Bianchi Piaggio(hopefully getting a new road bike when I get some money)
    Posts
    2,596
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The welds on my cannondale are very nice, smooth and they seem strong.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Billy Brown's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    205
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by forum*rider
    The welds on my cannondale are very nice, smooth and they seem strong.
    Maybe all I notice are cheap bikes.

  7. #7
    Work hard, Play hard forum*rider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    San Diego, California
    My Bikes
    Cannondale super V 500, Bianchi Piaggio(hopefully getting a new road bike when I get some money)
    Posts
    2,596
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    In that case...

    The welds on my mongoose look like rolls of quarters and probably weigh as much

  8. #8
    To be continued Dannihilator's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Annandale, NJ.
    My Bikes
    2014 Surly Steamroller, 1977 Puch Pathfinder
    Posts
    19,072
    Mentioned
    25 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Welds are a thing of beauty to make, can't get into seeing smooth welds.
    Strike like an eagle and sacrifice the dove.
    Words and Stuff.

  9. #9
    Campy or bust :p cryogenic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    My Bikes
    Surly Karate Monkey commuter build
    Posts
    3,139
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    my hardrock pro has pretty obscene welds as well. I think it's a matter of speed vs attractiveness. It takes a lot less time for them to put a big fat lumpy weld on a joint as opposed to making a nice, smooth, sanded down professional looking weld. Obviously the larger companies have to churn out more bikes so they don't have the time to take and make sure the welds are "pretty". The welds on my specialized aren't even close to being in the same galaxy with a Klein, for example.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    216
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I know abit about welding. Larger beads (with deep penetration) are usually going to be far stronger then a smaller bead, so long as you don't overheat the immediate area, causing it to become brittle. You can tell the difference on an aluminum frame easier then steel, because the weld will look nice and solid, or it will look like its kinda floating over the two joining pieces (like someone ran a bead of silicone over it, if you can hook a fingernail on it, its obviously just a booger weld on the surface). Aluminum also welds different, meaning, it doesn't change colors like steel (steel turns to red molting metal, alum. just kinda gets a flat shade of grey before it puddles), so it requires a good hand and eye for alum work. Steel is stronger (and easier/more common to weld) so it can have a weaker bead (like X-Mart bikes may have). I've never seen a big fat bead on a steel frame, like you would see on an alum frame. I think the reason the alum welds are so big, is because as you said, a big weld looks nice and strong.
    By the way, my K2 frame has larger beads then my Marin (both alum) and my older Mongoose(10 years), has normal nice beads (it's a steely)
    The last of a dying breed..

  11. #11
    snow DjRider04's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Henniker, USA
    My Bikes
    Rootbeer Bullit, stock......soon to be a transgold V10 w/shivers
    Posts
    794
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Cannondale is one of the companies that coats their welds....to make them look nice. All brands like that...non boutique...arent going to have top of the line welds, but nothing really obscene. I like the welds on my Bullit, and this bike




  12. #12
    Senior Member Billy Brown's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    205
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Am right to assume that entry-level, intermediate, and some upper-level massed produced bikes are welded by a machine? I figure my Rockhopper was welded by a robot or some person running a robot and not actually welding it by hand.

    In the machine shop, we worked only with steel. So that may be part of the reason that the welds on my bike seem a little over-done.

  13. #13
    Campy or bust :p cryogenic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    My Bikes
    Surly Karate Monkey commuter build
    Posts
    3,139
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    What frame is that DJ? That thing is beautiful!

  14. #14
    Just give'er. hooligan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Toronto
    My Bikes
    04 Scrap
    Posts
    1,890
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hmm, my kona seems to have some pretty okay welds. I like smaller welds, not to big or too small. E.g. the Kona's Dj line has some nice looking welds. But....if you want big welds, mountain cycle 9.5 has monstorous welds. I find welds good to look at but not if they're all over the place.

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Cleveland, OH
    My Bikes
    2004 Trek 4600, 1980's Univega Supra Sport, 2006 Lemond Reno
    Posts
    2,287
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I have done a bit of aluminum welding in my time. Not only is it an incredibly delicate procedure, it is also very difficult to do well. The "perfect" welds look like a roll of coins laid its side, which is what the welds on my Trek look like, as well as just about every non-dept. store bike I have ever seen. The size of the bead has a lot to do with the material. Steel has much smaller beads than aluminum mostly just because of the properties and chemestry of it.

  16. #16
    snow DjRider04's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Henniker, USA
    My Bikes
    Rootbeer Bullit, stock......soon to be a transgold V10 w/shivers
    Posts
    794
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Its a Ventana.....one of the companies with the finest welds on the market.

  17. #17
    Senior Member SuBHuMaN12356's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Malvern, PA
    My Bikes
    Cannondale Scalpel 900 in SoBe Green
    Posts
    238
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    yo DJ, those are some nice looking welds... My Cannondale is nice and smooth but i sometimes wish it had some nice looking beeds on it. Doesnt Cannondale use a plaster type product over their welds? and then they hardcoat the frames correct?

    Isnt Aluminum welding extremely hard? thats what i have heard.
    Cannondale Scalpel 900 in SoBe Green

    Ride It Like You Stole It

    Get Money For Searching!!!!

    Get 2 cents everytime you search something unique! Must have PayPal acount, If you have people sign up under your name you can earn 2 cents everytime they search aswell. Good Luck, Click the link and sign up!

    My Referal Code is 71391

  18. #18
    snow DjRider04's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Henniker, USA
    My Bikes
    Rootbeer Bullit, stock......soon to be a transgold V10 w/shivers
    Posts
    794
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    ^^Yeah Cannondale does that to their welds....as I said earlier.

  19. #19
    Footballus vita est iamlucky13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Portland, OR
    My Bikes
    Trek 4500, Kona Dawg
    Posts
    2,118
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Since any quality frame is heat treated after welding to remove the heat-affected zone, a large bead is typically not a bad thing, as long as it is uniform and the weld penetrates to the depth it is supposed to. I recently had the opportunity to tour the factory that makes most of the frames for Santa Cruz, Ellsworth, Intense, and a few other companies, and the beads on their welds are very large, but evenly spaced. They refer to them as a "stack of dimes," although they aren't quite that big. Even though they're large, however (see DJ's pic, the welds are very similar), the weld is very uniform, as is the penetration depth. The heat treating done afterwards removes the softness around the weld and actually makes it the strongest part of the frame, because that's where it's thickest.

    The bikes I saw being made were all welded by hand by guys who usually had 3-4 years experience with TIG before they started doing frames. This plant didn't do Specialized, so I don't know your bike was welded by hand or robot. It seems to me like a bike frame would be hard to do by machine, but if anyone's got to the volume to afford the setup, it would be Specialized. Having seen the new Rockhoppers, however, I agree that the welds seem very large. I don't know if it's simply because there are a lot of total welds on the gussets, or if they actually are larger than normal for the sake of aesthetics.
    "The internet is a place where absolutely nothing happens. You need to take advantage of that." ~ Strong Bad

  20. #20
    snow DjRider04's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Henniker, USA
    My Bikes
    Rootbeer Bullit, stock......soon to be a transgold V10 w/shivers
    Posts
    794
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Im almost positive that Giant, Cannondale, Spec, Trek, GF, Kona.....are not welded by hand. However, I could be wrong...I even thought that SC wasnt welded by hand, I guess I was wrong. Maybe that was just a few of their frames.

  21. #21
    Campy or bust :p cryogenic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    My Bikes
    Surly Karate Monkey commuter build
    Posts
    3,139
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Amusingly, my Hardrock Pro has a sticker on the frame "Handmade in China"

  22. #22
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Cleveland, OH
    My Bikes
    2004 Trek 4600, 1980's Univega Supra Sport, 2006 Lemond Reno
    Posts
    2,287
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by SuBHuMaN12356
    Isnt Aluminum welding extremely hard? thats what i have heard.
    Yes. You heard right, it takes many years and a lot of patience to master.

  23. #23
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Cleveland, OH
    My Bikes
    2004 Trek 4600, 1980's Univega Supra Sport, 2006 Lemond Reno
    Posts
    2,287
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Weld porn.

  24. #24
    snow DjRider04's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Henniker, USA
    My Bikes
    Rootbeer Bullit, stock......soon to be a transgold V10 w/shivers
    Posts
    794
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    That looks like a ti weld.

  25. #25
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Cleveland, OH
    My Bikes
    2004 Trek 4600, 1980's Univega Supra Sport, 2006 Lemond Reno
    Posts
    2,287
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Its a Merlin Ti $3000 weld.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •