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Old 01-02-19, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
Columbus EL-OS and MAX use the same alloy but EL-OS uses round tubes that are slightly oversized to achieve stiffness. MAX achieves stiffness by using non-round tubes with oval ends. The orientation of the oval changes, to selectively apply stiffness where needed. For instance, the down tube has the major axis of the oval orientated vertically at the head tube end, for vertical stiffness, but laterally at the other end for bottom bracket stiffness. Similarly the top tube has the oval oriented vertically at the head tube end but laterally at the seat tube end. The seat tube is tapered with a laterally orientated oval for bottom bracket stiffness.

The orientation of MAX tubes provided maximum stiffness in the direction of the maximum force at the end of each tube. With EL-OS, the stiffness was achieved by increasing the diameter but since the tube was round, the stiffness was increased by the same amount in all directions, resulting in a (theoretical) compromise. From this point of view, MAX is more hi-tech, even though it is slightly older. Sometimes you can have too much of a good thing and this seems to be the consensus with MAX's stiffness.
So the only real difference is that Columbus EL-OS has the same amount of stiffness of the MAX but throughout its entire frame as opposed to MAX which is specifically stiff in certain areas.

Question. Why is it a compromise for the stiffness to be increased by the same amount in all directions? Is stiffness a win/lose situation? I thought stiffness was a good attribute?
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