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


Go Back   > >

Mountain Biking Mountain biking is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. Check out this forum to discuss the latest tips, tricks, gear and equipment in the world of mountain biking.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 10-25-04, 10:10 PM   #1
Billy Brown
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Billy Brown's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 205
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(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 10:40 PM.
Billy Brown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-04, 10:12 PM   #2
Maelstrom 
Wood Licker
 
Maelstrom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Whistler,BC
Bikes: Transition Dirtbag, Kona Roast 2002 and specialized BMX
Posts: 16,885
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(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
Maelstrom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-04, 10:19 PM   #3
Billy Brown
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Billy Brown's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 205
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(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.
Billy Brown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-04, 10:40 PM   #4
Maelstrom 
Wood Licker
 
Maelstrom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Whistler,BC
Bikes: Transition Dirtbag, Kona Roast 2002 and specialized BMX
Posts: 16,885
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(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
Maelstrom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-04, 10:45 PM   #5
forum*rider
Work hard, Play hard
 
forum*rider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: San Diego, California
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)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The welds on my cannondale are very nice, smooth and they seem strong.
forum*rider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-04, 10:53 PM   #6
Billy Brown
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Billy Brown's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 205
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(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.
Billy Brown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-04, 11:04 PM   #7
forum*rider
Work hard, Play hard
 
forum*rider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: San Diego, California
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)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
In that case...

The welds on my mongoose look like rolls of quarters and probably weigh as much
forum*rider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-04, 11:04 PM   #8
Dannihilator
User Title
 
Dannihilator's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Annandale, New Jersey
Bikes: 2014 Surly Steamroller, 1989 Nishiki Altron
Posts: 19,419
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Welds are a thing of beauty to make, can't get into seeing smooth welds.
__________________
Signature.
Dannihilator is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-04, 01:31 AM   #9
cryogenic
Campy or bust :p
 
cryogenic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Knoxville, TN
Bikes: Surly Karate Monkey commuter build
Posts: 3,139
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(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.
cryogenic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-04, 04:43 AM   #10
wonder squirrel
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 216
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(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)
wonder squirrel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-04, 05:19 AM   #11
DjRider04
snow
 
DjRider04's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Henniker, USA
Bikes: Rootbeer Bullit, stock......soon to be a transgold V10 w/shivers
Posts: 794
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(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



DjRider04 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-04, 09:39 AM   #12
Billy Brown
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Billy Brown's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 205
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(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.
Billy Brown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-04, 04:00 AM   #13
cryogenic
Campy or bust :p
 
cryogenic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Knoxville, TN
Bikes: Surly Karate Monkey commuter build
Posts: 3,139
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
What frame is that DJ? That thing is beautiful!
cryogenic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-04, 05:50 AM   #14
hooligan
Just give'er.
 
hooligan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Toronto
Bikes: 04 Scrap
Posts: 1,890
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(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.
hooligan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-04, 07:19 AM   #15
trekkie820
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Cleveland, OH
Bikes: 2004 Trek 4600, 1980's Univega Supra Sport, 2006 Lemond Reno
Posts: 2,287
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(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.
trekkie820 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-04, 09:03 AM   #16
DjRider04
snow
 
DjRider04's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Henniker, USA
Bikes: Rootbeer Bullit, stock......soon to be a transgold V10 w/shivers
Posts: 794
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Its a Ventana.....one of the companies with the finest welds on the market.
DjRider04 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-04, 10:22 AM   #17
SuBHuMaN12356
Senior Member
 
SuBHuMaN12356's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Malvern, PA
Bikes: Cannondale Scalpel 900 in SoBe Green
Posts: 238
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(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.
SuBHuMaN12356 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-04, 11:42 AM   #18
DjRider04
snow
 
DjRider04's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Henniker, USA
Bikes: Rootbeer Bullit, stock......soon to be a transgold V10 w/shivers
Posts: 794
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
^^Yeah Cannondale does that to their welds....as I said earlier.
DjRider04 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-04, 11:53 AM   #19
iamlucky13
Footballus vita est
 
iamlucky13's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Portland, OR
Bikes: Trek 4500, Kona Dawg
Posts: 2,118
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(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
iamlucky13 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-04, 01:17 PM   #20
DjRider04
snow
 
DjRider04's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Henniker, USA
Bikes: Rootbeer Bullit, stock......soon to be a transgold V10 w/shivers
Posts: 794
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(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.
DjRider04 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-04, 02:01 PM   #21
cryogenic
Campy or bust :p
 
cryogenic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Knoxville, TN
Bikes: Surly Karate Monkey commuter build
Posts: 3,139
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Amusingly, my Hardrock Pro has a sticker on the frame "Handmade in China"
cryogenic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-04, 02:06 PM   #22
trekkie820
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Cleveland, OH
Bikes: 2004 Trek 4600, 1980's Univega Supra Sport, 2006 Lemond Reno
Posts: 2,287
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(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.
trekkie820 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-04, 02:10 PM   #23
trekkie820
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Cleveland, OH
Bikes: 2004 Trek 4600, 1980's Univega Supra Sport, 2006 Lemond Reno
Posts: 2,287
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Weld porn.
trekkie820 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-04, 02:42 PM   #24
DjRider04
snow
 
DjRider04's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Henniker, USA
Bikes: Rootbeer Bullit, stock......soon to be a transgold V10 w/shivers
Posts: 794
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
That looks like a ti weld.
DjRider04 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-04, 03:44 PM   #25
trekkie820
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Cleveland, OH
Bikes: 2004 Trek 4600, 1980's Univega Supra Sport, 2006 Lemond Reno
Posts: 2,287
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Its a Merlin Ti $3000 weld.
trekkie820 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


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 07:48 PM.