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  1. #1
    Bike Junkie aadhils's Avatar
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    Surly, or Milwaukee?

    Hello all,

    I'm working on building up a nice fixie as my summer commuter. At first I was keen on getting a surly Steamroller. Then I saw a Milwaukee frameset on e-bay. What are the differences between the two framesets? The Milwaukee looks pretty sweet...

  2. #2
    Senior Member abeyance's Avatar
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    both are decent steel framesets, I think both are made in america, but something in the back of my head says the Surly is outsourced (taiwan). I don't like the colors of either, though, by that is only my opinion.
    If money is an issue, you might want to go the conversion route, as you can get an old steel road bike for 150 or so and convert it for another 50, much cheaper than the above options.
    last option is try scouring the LBS's for an old track bike. I bought mine for 250 and had clincher rims built there, but considering how popular the fixed craze is right now, that option is most likely gone.
    not banned anymore

  3. #3
    4 letter tirade
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    I have a Milwaulkee and for the city riding it is really nice. Comfortable and resopnsive. It is tough too, 2 head on collisions and it is still pretty good. The guys at bens are really nice and will set you up pretty well. 5'9" on a 53cm. And waterford makes them. I just wish they would give you the option to not have the braze ons for a rear brake, and no eyelets on the fork. But it is made so it can take bigger tires and fenders and the like.

  4. #4
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    I am fairly sure both are mass produced Taiwan steel frames. The Milwaukee might have better steel. The surly is 4130 (basically gaspipe). They both have great slack geometries, no toeverlap, comfortable and you will keep riding these for years.

    They are both overpriced for what they are but between the two go for Milwaukee. It is a smaller company and a really nice looking paintjob, not to mention there are plenty of surly's around.

    In other words, they are very similar rides, I like them both but recently upgraded to a friends used Gaansari. Also similar, but nicer steel and now sadly out of business.

  5. #5
    King Among Runaways hyperRevue's Avatar
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    Milwaukee's are Waterford frames and made in Waterford, Wisconsin.
    They're some special breed of 4130 that aparently is nicer than generic, gaspipe stuff.
    "I owe everyone an apology" - hyperrevue

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedDeMartini
    The surly is 4130 (basically gaspipe).
    It's double butted. A 531 frame can be heavy if it's not butted. The type of steel isn't the same as the type of tubes.

  7. #7
    hateful little monkey jim-bob's Avatar
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    I'd get the milwaukee in a heartbeat. $500 for a waterford? Sign me up.

  8. #8
    aka mattio queerpunk's Avatar
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    i thought gaspipe referred to high-tensile steel, which is much worse than 4130.
    the hipster myth.

    i practice vagabondery.

  9. #9
    jack of one or two trades Aeroplane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by queerpunk
    i thought gaspipe referred to high-tensile steel, which is much worse than 4130.
    literal gaspipe may very well refer to high-tensile steel, but I've heard the term "gaspipe" used a slur against any no-name, straight-gauge steel tubing. Commonly found on old huffys, etc.

    Both the Milwaukee and the Surly are double-butted 4130. Both take long/standard-reach brakes. Both have 1 1/8" steerer tubes and threadless forks. Both can fit relatively wide tires for a track bike(32's on the Milwaukee, 38's on the Surly). The Milwaukee has a water-bottle braze on.

    http://www.surlybikes.com/steamroller.html

    http://www.benscycle.net/index.php?m...roducts_id=198
    Last edited by Aeroplane; 04-06-06 at 12:06 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Irwin Goldstein
    Men should never ride bicycles. Riding should be banned and outlawed. It is
    the most irrational form of exercise I could ever bring to discussion.

  10. #10
    likes avocadoes
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    heh, like that info would fit here...
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    yeah, a bit of tube-snobbery going on here. Was a time when most bikes were hi-ten and the fancier ones were 4130 (CrMo steel.) The very high end were 531. Steel has now gone the way of high-tech, where if it's not some just-declassified material some folks will judge it as junk. Fact is that a well-built frame made from 'generic' 4130 will outperform a poorly-built frame made from 631.

    Gas pipes are actually made from "black iron" steel, which is a very basic steel with a high carbon content. More recently, corrugated stainless tubing or copper is being used for gas pipe.

    Quote Originally Posted by queerpunk
    i thought gaspipe referred to high-tensile steel, which is much worse than 4130.

  11. #11
    Senior Member highpants's Avatar
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    you can't go wrong with orange.

    it was frank sinatra's favorite color.

    wife-beating and mob ties aside, ol' blue eyes could...well, it's hard to put those things aside.

    still, i like orange.

  12. #12
    The Rabbi seely's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedDeMartini
    I am fairly sure both are mass produced Taiwan steel frames. The Milwaukee might have better steel. The surly is 4130 (basically gaspipe).
    Surly's are all double butted 4130--they used to be Reynolds 631, but they had more frames break and the 631 was the same weight as the 4130 they use.
    commuter turned bike mechanic turned commuter (also a Velocity USA employee, but this is my personal account)

  13. #13
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    I think you can remove the decalls on Surly which is a definate plus!

  14. #14
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    milwaukee decals come right off too.

  15. #15
    Bike Junkie aadhils's Avatar
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    Thx for the input guys. Looks like Milwaukee has won. Here's the wheels I got:



    Now to figure out the cockpit...

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by seely
    Surly's are all double butted 4130--they used to be Reynolds 631, but they had more frames break and the 631 was the same weight as the 4130 they use.
    sorry to bring this thread back from the dead....but come on! i thought reynolds 631 was much stronger than normal 4130 especially after brazing/welding. sorry if this is incorrect, but isn't 631 an air hardening steel that actually strengthens at the welds. true temper makes some really strong 4130, but the surly is made of "surly 4130". unless someone can legitimately tell me that surly 4130 is as strong or nearly as strong as true temper 4130, i have to believe that replacing reynolds 631 with surly 4130 was a financial decision, not a decision based on frames breaking. okay...this is where everyone comes in and tells me how wrong i am......

  17. #17
    King of the Hipsters
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    About 4130, it designates a do-everything steel, depending on heat treatment.
    *** manufacturers use it because of its elasticity (non-brittleness) and machinability.
    The Navy buys it by the ton because they can use it to fabricate almost anything, and it will assume different properties depending on the heat treatment (everything from springs to bullet proof armor).
    I assume bike makers use it because the tube makers can make tubes out of it easily (cheaply), and once made into tubes, and, if not too improperly heat-treated, it tends to remain elastic rather than becoming brittle.

  18. #18
    Senior Member the pope's Avatar
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    Wow. Nearly every assumption made so authoritatively by RedDeMartini was incorrect.

    Take that as a lesson kids. The interwebs is the roofies of teh minds.

  19. #19
    . bbattle's Avatar
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    True Temper's VERUS Stress Relieved 4130 steel is designed for reliability that is even better than commercial grade 4130. This heat treatment removes internal stresses left over from the manufacturing process. The end result of removing internal stresses is that the tube (and your frame) lasts much longer. [Why: click here]

    The trade off for increased strength in ANY material is decreased ductility. The real world result is that the failure mode gradually changes from controlled gradual bending to instant catastrophic fracture. Heat treatment can vary the strength of 4130 steel from a very ductile 70,000 psi up to a hard and brittle 225,000 psi. At 100,00 psi, Stress Relieved 4130 is a very reliable material with optimized properties for bicycle use.

    But, you say, having absorbed all the hype, "Doesn't low strength mean high weight?" Not necessarily. It turns out that, by the time you make a steel bike stiff enough that it feels great, you have used enough steel in the tube walls to lower the stresses to where you don't need a high strength steel to withstand the loads and still have a good safety factor.

    For these reasons, True Temper uses Stress Relieved 4130 steel for the general purpose VERUS main triangle tubing, seat stays and chain stays, and its fork blades.

    True Temper's VERUS HT Series tubing is made possible by True Temper's decades of experience in the heat treatment of 4130 steels for maximum performance. As steels are strengthened by heat treatment, the ductility is reduced. If you were to heat treat 4130 steel as hard as possible, the tensile strength would go all the way up to 255,000 psi. But the steel would very brittle and subject to failure by fracture, making it unsuitable for bike frames. The metallurgists at True Temper designed the VERUS HT heat treatment to reach the high level of 175,000psi., while still maintaining good ductility.

    VERUS HT is also available at 150,000 psi tensile strength, midway in strength between True Temper's 110,000 psi Stress Relieved VERUS steel, and their 175,000 psi VERUS HT steel tubing. Naturally, frame builders use this tubing when they want characteristics between these two strengths of steels. This VERUS HT maintains the workability of the stress relieved VERUS, and approaches the strength of the VERUS HT Special Heat Treat. http://www.henryjames.com/verusht.html


    Chrome moly which in its generic state should carry a SAE/AISI number 4130 will in the best case scenario have a tensile strength of 80,000 psi., before welding. These values are for 4130 produced by a reputable steel manufacturer. Generic “Chromoly” supplied by an unnamed source or imported oriental steel should be looked upon with a great bit of skepticism. http://www.worldclasscycles.com/JACKSON-HOME.htm



    Reynolds 631 - cold drawn
    UTS: 52 - 58 Tsi, 115 - 130 Ksi,
    800 - 900 MPa

    Following on from the success of 853, Reynolds have added 631 to the range of AIR HARDENING STEEL tube sets. This seamless cold drawn steel tube will allow the benefits of this new steel to be used in the manufacture of a wide range of frames and is now considered a worthy successor to our legendary 531 tubing. Like 853 it is suitable for TIG welding and brazing and in the heat affected joint areas will gain strength, to ultimate tensile strengths in excess of heat treated chrome molybdenum. The strength to weight ratio of 631 is equal to that of many aluminium frames, and it has an excellent fatigue life whilst providing a supple ride quality suitable for long distance events.

    On road and touring frames we suggest 631 or 525 forks be used in conjunction with 631 frames. As 631 is only available in main frame tube sizes, we recommend the use of either heat treated CrMo (725) or cold drawn CrMo (525) seatstays and chainstays to complete the frame.
    http://www.worldclasscycles.com/reynolds_631.htm


    http://www.columbustubi.com/pdf/Steel_tubes.pdf
    http://www.reynoldsusa.com/english.html
    http://www.truetemper.com/performance_tubing/tubing.asp
    http://www.dedacciai.com/home_eng.html

    http://www.eaa1000.av.org/technicl/4130.htm
    http://www.suppliersonline.com/propertypages/4130.asp

    Just in case anyone is having trouble sleeping at night.

  20. #20
    Senior Member sfcrossrider's Avatar
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    I like cookies.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbattle
    True Temper's VERUS Stress Relieved 4130 steel is designed for reliability that is even better than commercial grade 4130. This heat treatment removes internal stresses left over from the manufacturing process. The end result of removing internal stresses is that the tube (and your frame) lasts much longer. [Why: click here]

    The trade off for increased strength in ANY material is decreased ductility. The real world result is that the failure mode gradually changes from controlled gradual bending to instant catastrophic fracture. Heat treatment can vary the strength of 4130 steel from a very ductile 70,000 psi up to a hard and brittle 225,000 psi. At 100,00 psi, Stress Relieved 4130 is a very reliable material with optimized properties for bicycle use.

    But, you say, having absorbed all the hype, "Doesn't low strength mean high weight?" Not necessarily. It turns out that, by the time you make a steel bike stiff enough that it feels great, you have used enough steel in the tube walls to lower the stresses to where you don't need a high strength steel to withstand the loads and still have a good safety factor.

    For these reasons, True Temper uses Stress Relieved 4130 steel for the general purpose VERUS main triangle tubing, seat stays and chain stays, and its fork blades.

    True Temper's VERUS HT Series tubing is made possible by True Temper's decades of experience in the heat treatment of 4130 steels for maximum performance. As steels are strengthened by heat treatment, the ductility is reduced. If you were to heat treat 4130 steel as hard as possible, the tensile strength would go all the way up to 255,000 psi. But the steel would very brittle and subject to failure by fracture, making it unsuitable for bike frames. The metallurgists at True Temper designed the VERUS HT heat treatment to reach the high level of 175,000psi., while still maintaining good ductility.

    VERUS HT is also available at 150,000 psi tensile strength, midway in strength between True Temper's 110,000 psi Stress Relieved VERUS steel, and their 175,000 psi VERUS HT steel tubing. Naturally, frame builders use this tubing when they want characteristics between these two strengths of steels. This VERUS HT maintains the workability of the stress relieved VERUS, and approaches the strength of the VERUS HT Special Heat Treat. http://www.henryjames.com/verusht.html


    Chrome moly which in its generic state should carry a SAE/AISI number 4130 will in the best case scenario have a tensile strength of 80,000 psi., before welding. These values are for 4130 produced by a reputable steel manufacturer. Generic “Chromoly” supplied by an unnamed source or imported oriental steel should be looked upon with a great bit of skepticism. http://www.worldclasscycles.com/JACKSON-HOME.htm



    Reynolds 631 - cold drawn
    UTS: 52 - 58 Tsi, 115 - 130 Ksi,
    800 - 900 MPa

    Following on from the success of 853, Reynolds have added 631 to the range of AIR HARDENING STEEL tube sets. This seamless cold drawn steel tube will allow the benefits of this new steel to be used in the manufacture of a wide range of frames and is now considered a worthy successor to our legendary 531 tubing. Like 853 it is suitable for TIG welding and brazing and in the heat affected joint areas will gain strength, to ultimate tensile strengths in excess of heat treated chrome molybdenum. The strength to weight ratio of 631 is equal to that of many aluminium frames, and it has an excellent fatigue life whilst providing a supple ride quality suitable for long distance events.

    On road and touring frames we suggest 631 or 525 forks be used in conjunction with 631 frames. As 631 is only available in main frame tube sizes, we recommend the use of either heat treated CrMo (725) or cold drawn CrMo (525) seatstays and chainstays to complete the frame.
    http://www.worldclasscycles.com/reynolds_631.htm


    http://www.columbustubi.com/pdf/Steel_tubes.pdf
    http://www.reynoldsusa.com/english.html
    http://www.truetemper.com/performance_tubing/tubing.asp
    http://www.dedacciai.com/home_eng.html

    http://www.eaa1000.av.org/technicl/4130.htm
    http://www.suppliersonline.com/propertypages/4130.asp

    Just in case anyone is having trouble sleeping at night.
    Whoa! That's a nice collection of info. Am I correct in assuming that 1 Ksi = 1,000 Psi? Everything being equal, I would have to say that Reynolds 631 is a superior material than most 4130 chromoly out there. Does anyone know bike manufacturers that use Verus or Verus HT? I know there are many more factors at play here other than strength (like geometry, quality of build, ductility, etc), but if I'm choosing between a surly, pake, or an iro angus....i'd go with the angus. Here's another link in case you were still having trouble sleeping at night.

    http://strongframes.com/material_tech/specs/

  22. #22
    Free Loader CF4L's Avatar
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    yes, 1 ksi is 1000 psi.

  23. #23
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    does anyone know the strength for reynolds 531? i've only read that 631 is 10% stronger, but i've never found a numerical figure. any links would be great.

    edit: bbattle...your first link at the top of your post doesn't work.

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