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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 01-22-05, 04:19 PM   #1
Hellcrown
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Good reading?

Has anyone read "Metallurgy for the Cyclist"? Is metal composition the most important issue for determining the worthiness of a road frame? If not, what is? The paintjob? Riiiighht.
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Old 01-23-05, 03:07 PM   #2
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paint job and colour scheme
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Old 01-23-05, 03:09 PM   #3
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whoever put their name on the down tube is all that matters,
if you took a huffy and put colnalgo on it it would instantly become road worthy
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Old 01-24-05, 12:06 PM   #4
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Gee whiz gosh golly. Thanks for the help mister.
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Old 01-24-05, 01:02 PM   #5
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i'm not quite sure what you mean by roadworthy, but if you mean a frames ability not to fall apart, then i'd say construction method/quality is the most important.
doesn't matter what the frame is if the bits aren't stuck together properly.
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Old 01-24-05, 01:24 PM   #6
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its a mix of material quality, construction quality(experience and skill of the frame builder), joining methods, and of course the suitabilty of the frame geometry for the type of riding.
the exact amount of importance to each of these is debatable, ie, an expert frame builder can make an excellent frame from gaspipe, how long it will last and how heavy it is, is not a reflection of the builder but of the material, since the builder is a master brazer and maker.

metalurgy is important, but its just one variable in a frame
you have to take the sum of all the variables to get the overall quality of the frame
but thats just my opinion
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Old 01-24-05, 01:34 PM   #7
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Plus, a basic knowledge of metallurgy can keep the rider from doing some stupid things to his/her bike.

Edit: It could also lead you to do some stupid things as well.
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Old 01-24-05, 01:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hellcrown
Has anyone read "Metallurgy for the Cyclist"? Is metal composition the most important issue for determining the worthiness of a road frame? If not, what is? The paintjob? Riiiighht.
If you're starting with a 'clean slate' and planning for a custom frame then I'd say sure, you have the choice so material can be the main deciding factor, though I would be more concerned with fit (of course with a custom frame the fit comes for free).

In general, I think there's a lot leeway with regards to modern materials. Super exotic materials are certainly going to have a max rider weight limit, and I think if you're building/buying a commuter to be used on really crappy streets then I would take the fatigue limit of the material into considreration .... though others may argue this as unnecessary.

I have 2 bikes. My good bike is made from True-Temper OX Platinum which is a really strong, light and stiff steel. I'm about 250lbs and it feels perfect. I also have a Steamroller which is built with plain 4130 CrMo. I can feel a significant difference in the ride of the 2 bikes but I like them both. For longer rides the OX Platinum is less fatiguing and generally feels better but the Steamroller is a blast for zipping around town. As long as they are both strong enough to support me and the riding I do, then I'm happy.

My OX Platinum frame is a custom and I spoke with quite a few local frame builders but my choice was not based on the materials they favored. I knew I wanted steel, so I picked the builder I was happiest with and then we talked
specific alloys.

I don't think there's enough difference, in any given 'quality range' of tube sets offered by the major players, to make it an overriding concern.

I don't know if this helps. Are you thinking of a custom frame?

FWIW here's a link to Henry James' tubing page. It has a chart indicating rider weight relative to tube type in the sets he sells. It's not the most intuitive chart but it's worth looking at.

Jim
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Old 01-25-05, 12:29 PM   #9
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Okay. In all sincerity, that was helpful. I'll check out that site. Nobody has read that book though huh? I guess what I'm getting at is why do some frame builders make tremendously lousy bikes and others excellent ones? Or at least get that reputation. I figure they all know how to weld or they wouldn't be in the business. That appears to not be the case. Shape is a variable too, but aside from the name, (reputable or crap?), I look for what kind of metal. But I know theres way more to it all than that. I had a Cannondale for awile and that thing rode like an extremely lightweight brick. Every fooking pit in the rode could be felt. Steel seems to be the sheet. This Fondriest I tested out was steel, it was the sheet. But now I've never ridden a carbon fiber frame or anything.
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Old 01-25-05, 12:54 PM   #10
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i've read it, and it's interesting stuff, especially if you like the geekier/tech-y aspects of stuff, but i don't think it's required reading or anything.

there are so many variables that contribute to the feel of bike that it's tough to pin all of them down.

stuff like construction (lugged, fillet brazed, bonded), quality of the bonds, the gazillion combinations of tubes, the builder's attention to detail, frame geometry, personal riding style and preference, rider mass, rider anatomy, rider strength, etc. ad nauseum all have an effect.

there are material qualities that are broadly true: most aluminum is stiff as hell, steel is a little more forgiving, and so on that you can look at, but what it all comes down to is what you like.
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Old 01-25-05, 01:11 PM   #11
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Actually, just about every "framebuilder" that you can identify by name make fine quality products. Bad frames are also built by framebuilders, but they are anonymous people paid to turn out product as cheaply and quickly as possible. They don't have the "luxury" (it's debateable how luxurious it really is) to be a true craftsman.

That C'dale rode just like C'dales are supposed to ride: stiff, responsive, uncomfortable. They pretty much wrote the book on modern oversized alu frames and that's exactly what they were aiming for. They're good racing bikes, it just sounds like you didn't have the right bike for how you want to ride.

The "book" (it's really just a collection of short introductory articles) was written by Scot Nichol, by the way, the guy who founded Ibis.
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Old 01-25-05, 01:44 PM   #12
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http://www.anvilbikes.com/story.php?catID=3

This is really good information on joining methods and materials.

I think that a bike frame is all about shape. Material and joining methods are important but the builders that I have talked to, who go through different revisions of frames that they want to produce, change details in the geometry more than in the material.

Milo
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Old 01-25-05, 01:49 PM   #13
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here's a version of it if anyone wants to give it a shufty http://spokesmanbicycles.com/site/page.cfm?PageID=328
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