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  1. #1
    midnight biker dmarcoul's Avatar
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    lugs vs welding?

    im looking to get a custom frame done and i dont know about either lugs or wielding, is there a source i can go to? or could someone lay it out for me quick like?

    thanks

  2. #2
    Matthew Grimm / Flunky Kogswell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmarcoul
    im looking to get a custom frame done and i dont know about either lugs or wielding, is there a source i can go to? or could someone lay it out for me quick like?

    thanks

    I'll try to do it really quick and if you have questions, we can go from there.

    In both cases, the tubes are cut so that they fit snuggly together. The cuts are called miters. You can see how the cuts are shaped if you look at a welded frame.

    Lugs are steel 'sleeves' that then fit around the joint. They look like this:



    The lug is the curvey bit.

    Lugs are brazed into place. It's a process that's not unlike how copper pipes are joined to supply water to your house. You put flux on the outside of the tubes and the inside of the lug. Then you heat the whole thing and when it gets hot enough, you introduce brass or silver solder and capillary action draws the liquid solder into the gap between the lug and tubes.

    Welding it usually TIG welding. The tubes are cut and fit VERY carefully and then welded. Filler rod of a similar material is used.

    Don Walker is a regular poster on this forum. He builds custom frames. Look for one of his postings and contract him. And tell him Matthew sent you.

  3. #3
    dc pirate, 4evah. chimblysweep's Avatar
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    I chose a lugged custom frame, mostly because I think lugs are *hot*.

  4. #4
    Dismount Run Remount etc. 12XU's Avatar
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    What about the frames where lugs aren't present, but the welds are so smooth that the tubes appear to flow into each other?

  5. #5
    Banned zelah's Avatar
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    my vote's for lugs, for look

    lugs that are a different color from the frame = sexy

  6. #6
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    Lugs!

    S/f<
    Ceya!

  7. #7
    Senior Member filtersweep's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmarcoul
    im looking to get a custom frame done and i dont know about either lugs or wielding, is there a source i can go to? or could someone lay it out for me quick like?

    thanks
    Why custom? Are you some sort of freak? Short legs? Short torso? Long torso? Stubby arms?

  8. #8
    MADE IN TAIWAN wangster's Avatar
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    I like it a LUGS!!!

    yeah why are u getting custom? seems like a big jump especially if you don't know what lugs and welded frames are. But more power to ya if you can afford it... HIPSTER!!!

    which ever you get, as long as it's a good framebuilder, you'll love it.
    "Oh, I see. Running away, eh? You yellow bastard. Come back here and take what's coming to you. I'll bite your legs off."

  9. #9
    Slower than you Judah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 12XU
    What about the frames where lugs aren't present, but the welds are so smooth that the tubes appear to flow into each other?
    That's called Fillet Brazing and it's Don Walker's specialty. This allows a custom frame builder to build a bike with virtually *any* geometry he deems neccesary for your particular body type and riding style. With lugs I believe you are limited to the angles in which lugs are available.

    Custom frames aren't just for people with long arms or torsos or whatever. Everyone's body is shaped differently and everyone rides a bit differently, a custom built bike will be designed specifically for you and your riding style/needs. If you have the money for it there is nothing better.

  10. #10
    Senior Member shaharidan's Avatar
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    good info
    No matter how fast I'm going, I'm in no hurry.
    there are no bicycles in the valley, the only bicycle you find in the valley is the bicycle you ride down there.
    Ride in the front, this space is available to anyone that wishes to take it-jjmolyet

  11. #11
    Senior Member
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    I'd go with lugs too---mainly because fill-it brazing(those flow together looking joints)is so hard to do you would never find a builder that could do the quality of an original Claud butler Lugless frame! And if you did,all the lug guys would pass you by to look at an 80s schwinn/japan lugged bike---sam

  12. #12
    I couldn't car less. jeff williams's Avatar
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    http://www.oldmountainbikes.com/frames/ some info and pics here of Toms work.

  13. #13
    Slower than you Judah's Avatar
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    I love how everyone picks lugs because they look so *cool*.

    Fashion victims

    (I'm riding a lugged bike today so take this with a grain of salt)

  14. #14
    Making Records dokushoka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Judah
    I love how everyone picks lugs because they look so *cool*.

    Fashion victims

    (I'm riding a lugged bike today so take this with a grain of salt)
    How is it?

  15. #15
    midnight biker dmarcoul's Avatar
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    they do look cool but are more expensive. and from what ive read there is no strength difference between lugs and welding. is that correct? thanks for the feedback. and im looking into custom touring frames that can fit many wheel sizes.

  16. #16
    downtube shifter Jose R's Avatar
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    I prefer fillet-brazing over lugs. I like the smooth look. But, a good frame builder should be able to build you a strong frame using either technique.

    And as Judah pointed out, with fillet-brazing you can choose any geometry since you are not limited by stock lugs. But, for me this is a moot point since few of us will be ordering any frame geometry out of the ordinary (77 S/T angle, 76 H/T angle). Most of us are sticking to 74/75 S/T and H/T traditional angles.

    I would not bother with tig-welded custom frames. What's the point?

    So yes, how a frame is joined together is an aesthetic choice. More important is choice of tubing. For the street, cheap and strong, for the track, light and strong.

    Everything is a compromise, and for me Columbus Zona is a good choice.

  17. #17
    MADE IN TAIWAN wangster's Avatar
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    I have an old fillet brazed chicago schwinn and that thing is a tank. Beautiful brazed tube and just gorgeous, but if I was to get a custom frame and spending that kind of loot, I'd add aesthetics as a big part of it also. Lugs just make any bike look that much more custom and classic, especially handcarved ones. Whats wrong with loving lugs for its aesthetic value, especially since your spending so much money on it, might as well get something that catches the eye.
    "Oh, I see. Running away, eh? You yellow bastard. Come back here and take what's coming to you. I'll bite your legs off."

  18. #18
    Retrogrouch in Training bostontrevor's Avatar
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    Lugs are theoretically stronger because they brace the joint. In practice, you shouldn't be pushing your frame that hard. If you're getting into the realm where you're looking at joint failure, then you should probably move up to a larger and stronger tubeset.

    Lugs can accommodate a custom geometry, you can either hand cast them (no small task) or bend them into shape. The latter's not uncommon, you just put some appropriately-sized pipe into the lug and lever it a few degrees into place.

    There's nothing wrong with TIG. It's fast, cheap, and also allows custom geometry. Ask Thylacine on here or look at fabricators like Matt Chester or Mike Flanigan. They make fine quality machines with welded joints.

  19. #19
    downtube shifter Jose R's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bostontrevor
    There's nothing wrong with TIG. It's fast, cheap, and also allows custom geometry. Ask Thylacine on here or look at fabricators like Matt Chester or Mike Flanigan. They make fine quality machines with welded joints.
    Maybe, I was being overly harsh. From what I know, Matt Chester makes Ti frames. With titanium you can only tig-weld. My custom Dean Ti road frame is tig welded.

    But, if given the choice between tig-weld, lugs or fillet-brazed for a steel frame, my first two choices would still be the latter two.

  20. #20
    Lowlife Drunk Jose Cuervo's Avatar
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    Call me crazy but I think that lugs are just so much sexier...

  21. #21
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    Jose r, There are some luggued frames that look like fillet. The builder just but brass over and smooth it out to have the KOOl look .

    S/F,
    CeYa!

  22. #22
    Retrogrouch in Training bostontrevor's Avatar
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    I do agree that lugged frames look better, or maybe more correctly, they offer the builder more opportunity to add flourishes than welding.

    There is also "lugged" construction where the lugs have internal sleeves that fit inside the tubes. They generally have a very smooth look to them, similar to fillet brazing but without the built out joints and usually with visible seams. They're not very common.

    Oh, and a big advantage with a lugged frame is that should you have a wreck that irreparably damages one of your tubes, you can take it to a builder to simply replace the affected tube. This isn't possible with welded frames. I suppose it's theoretically possible with fillet brazed frames, though I can imagine that it's substantially expensive.

    The ability to replace a tube is really nice if you paid a lot for the frame.

  23. #23
    Matthew Grimm / Flunky Kogswell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 12XU
    What about the frames where lugs aren't present, but the welds are so smooth that the tubes appear to flow into each other?
    There's a couple of ways to do that.

    One way is called fillet brazing. There, you add a lot of brass at the joint and then file it smooth. Schwinn made a lot of frames like that. Sheldon has a good page that talks about it:

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/schwinn-braze.html

    I have a fillet brazed Schwinn Super Sport built w/ Cro-Mo tubing and factory chromed. It's a sweet frame.

    Jeff Lyon is a custom builder who makes nice fillet braze frames:

    http://www.lyonsport.com/

    You can also weld a frame and grind the welds for a smooth finish.

    Real TIG artists, like the guys who make IRO and Kogswell TIG'd frames, make welds that look good.

  24. #24
    Matthew Grimm / Flunky Kogswell's Avatar
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    If you like lugs, keep in mind that our Model G frameset is built w/ three lugs, a TIG'd BB and a brazed fork.

    The brazed fork is built w/ a real fork crown - think of it as a 'lugged' fork.

    The Model G is a SS/FG frame that's built w/ road-ish dimensions.

    Yes, there are only two sizes, 54 and 58. They fit many folks.

    And since everyone here seems to like ala carte pricing, I can go I can go $310 frame and fork.

    Shipping - $30
    Headset - $20, installed
    Brake calipers - $35
    Kogswell 120mm rear flip/flop fixed/fixed 32H hub - $50

    Here are some photos: http://kogswell.com/images/g

    Here's a photo of the rear hub. Note that it's threaded fixed/fixed. And note too that they're are derived from a downhill MTB hub and rated by the manufacturer for extreme use. We've sold nearly 150 of them in two years and only one customer has said anything about the bearings (and he didn't take me up on my offer of replacing the bearings). HubJub in England sells them too and they've been successful there as well.



    You all do want to know about this stuff, right?

    ...

  25. #25
    Senior Member jimv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bostontrevor
    .....Oh, and a big advantage with a lugged frame is that should you have a wreck that irreparably damages one of your tubes, you can take it to a builder to simply replace the affected tube. This isn't possible with welded frames.
    Damn!!! I wish you had mentioned this BEFORE I had the entire rear triangle replaced on my Tig'd Rodriguez. Fortunately, the builder didn't realize it was impossible as well.....otherwise the job would not have turned out so perfectly 8-)

    Jim

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