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Old 11-10-08, 07:12 PM   #1
Bowman
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Stainless vs Titanium

Hello,

Great site!!

Presently I have a Seven for the road - Tiemeyer for the Track. Trying to find the compromise bike for both. Seven also track ready (fixed gear - quick remove brake). Age 62 - weight 225. I want as stiff a bike as possible without a lot of extra frame weight. About half my riding is on the track.

Would welcome all comments on Stainless vs. Ti frame. I love the custom fit. Thankee
Grego
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Old 11-11-08, 01:58 AM   #2
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As stiff as possible without extra weight = aluminum, in my book. Isn't your Tiemeyer alu? Their Signature frame looks like it should be enough to keep your dental fillings nice and loose.

I've never seen a stainless frame in the flesh, but my gut reaction would be to back away slowly and carefully from anybody trying to sell me one. From my experience of stainless alloys from other applications they're usually pretty sucky for anything that requires real strength, which means a frame is either going to be really noodly, or really heavy, and probably some less than thrilling combination of the two.
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Old 11-11-08, 02:08 AM   #3
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I have 3 Ti bikes, but no stainless steel frames.

http://www.ifbikes.com/frames2/953.shtml
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Old 11-11-08, 07:35 PM   #4
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If I remember right, then staninless and titanium are a lot alike and have some of the same riding properties. They're about as light as eachother, and about the same stiffness. I know that Titanium isn't all that stiff unless it's butted and shaped dramatically (like the new Litespeed Archon) to be nearly as stiff as a carbon bike. The same goes for stainless, but shaping isn't common in steel tubing, especially not with anything new like the new blends of stainless out there.


Focus:
If you want stiff and custom, go/stay with Tiemeyer's aluminum stuff. It's lightweight and VERY stiff.
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Old 11-12-08, 11:13 AM   #5
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The new stainless tube sets (Reynolds 953 and Columbus XCr) are strong, light, and have the same modulus of elasticity as other steels, so with similar wall thicknesses, tube diameters, and butting profiles they won't be any more "noodly" than other high quality steels. Reynolds 953, for example, has an ultimate tensile strength of 1750 to 2050MPa (853 has a UTS of 1200-1400 MPa) and a yield strength of 1500-1900 MPa (1500 MPa is approx. twice the yield strength of cold-worked, stress relieved 3-2.5 titanium). Moreover, stainless is highly corrosion resistant. Reynolds 953 is extremely impact resistant as the alloy is similar to that used for armor plating.

I've been riding a 953 road frame for a year and a half now, and its ride is virtually identical to other quality steel frames I have (Reynolds 531, Columbus SL/SP), but it is significantly lighter. My 61cm frame weighs 1650g.

The graph below shows materials properties compared, and is from Reynolds website. The bottom graph is the more important, since it shows the comparison as ratios, allowing for the differences in density between materials.

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Old 11-12-08, 01:57 PM   #6
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It's just been my experience with automotive parts that stainless hardware is generally considered "hardware store junk" with no tensile strength and an obnoxious tendency to gall and cause corrosion around aluminum parts. Obviously on a bike galling and galvanic corrosion are less of a concern, and if Reynolds has some fancy new alloys that solve the strength issues then good for them. Still seems like a lot of money to spend on a material that isn't bringing much new to the table vs alu/scandium/etc. I am curious, is your frame lugged, or are they able to join the tubing together adequately with fillet welds?

"similar wall thicknesses, tube diameters, and butting profiles" is a pretty key caveat. Unless they can shape 953 tubing as drastically as the stays on one of those alu Tiemeyers, for instance, they'll never match it for stiffness in the end product without using much thicker walls and consequently increasing weight.
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Old 11-12-08, 02:05 PM   #7
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It's just been my experience with automotive parts that stainless hardware is generally considered "hardware store junk" with no tensile strength and an obnoxious tendency to gall and cause corrosion around aluminum parts. Obviously on a bike galling and galvanic corrosion are less of a concern, and if Reynolds has some fancy new alloys that solve the strength issues then good for them. Still seems like a lot of money to spend on a material that isn't bringing much new to the table vs alu/scandium/etc. I am curious, is your frame lugged, or are they able to join the tubing together adequately with fillet welds?

"similar wall thicknesses, tube diameters, and butting profiles" is a pretty key caveat. Unless they can shape 953 tubing as drastically as the stays on one of those alu Tiemeyers, for instance, they'll never match it for stiffness in the end product without using much thicker walls and consequently increasing weight.
about galling.

ti is notorious for this.

the more you know


anyway, old school stainless steel is weak weak weak. absolutely a crappy choice for a bike frame
but new metallurgy changes everything.
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Old 11-12-08, 04:18 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by superstator View Post
It's just been my experience with automotive parts that stainless hardware is generally considered "hardware store junk" with no tensile strength and an obnoxious tendency to gall and cause corrosion around aluminum parts. Obviously on a bike galling and galvanic corrosion are less of a concern, and if Reynolds has some fancy new alloys that solve the strength issues then good for them. Still seems like a lot of money to spend on a material that isn't bringing much new to the table vs alu/scandium/etc. I am curious, is your frame lugged, or are they able to join the tubing together adequately with fillet welds?

"similar wall thicknesses, tube diameters, and butting profiles" is a pretty key caveat. Unless they can shape 953 tubing as drastically as the stays on one of those alu Tiemeyers, for instance, they'll never match it for stiffness in the end product without using much thicker walls and consequently increasing weight.
My frame is lugged, but there are a number of builders making fillet brazed as well as TIG-welded frames using 953. So far, the response of framebuilders as well as customers to 953 has been very enthusiastic.

Since you seem unfamiliar with the material, you might want to google "reynolds 953" and see what those with experience building with the material and riding frames made of it have to say about it. Reynolds has managed to turn out 953 tubes with different wall thicknesses and butting profiles for given tube diameters so that builders can pretty much mix-and-match to tune frames (stiffness, compliance, weight, rider preferences, etc.) for specific applications.

Respectfully, the OP asked about titanium vs. stainless, and I thought your response regarding the qualities of stainless steel as a frame material deserved additional comment from someone who actually rides a stainless steel frame.

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Old 11-12-08, 04:48 PM   #9
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Respectfully, the OP asked about titanium vs. stainless, and I thought your response regarding the qualities of stainless steel as a frame material deserved additional comment from someone who actually rides a stainless steel frame.
Never took it otherwise. I just found it odd that he was asking for the stiffest frame possible, and comparing two materials people usually select when they're looking for a more compliant ride.
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Old 11-12-08, 08:21 PM   #10
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You guys got be drooling over 953 now... if I ever go custom track, it's definitely going to be fillet brazed 953 with the most oversized tubes I can get!
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Old 11-13-08, 07:15 PM   #11
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Thanks Scooper. Valuable information and a beautiful bike.
Grego
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Old 11-13-08, 07:42 PM   #12
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OMG! That is unbelievable; I surrender, even with a polished Ti Frame!


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Old 12-03-08, 01:53 AM   #13
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that is one sweet waterford! those are great lugs! puts my paramount to shame. the 953 tubing is the new generation of 'air hardened' steel that gets harder after heating. 304 stainless steel has been around for a long time, it is soft and heavy, but it does hold up better to weather because of the nickel in the alloy. the only thing this new generation of stainless steel has to do with the 304 is the finish.
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