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Old 11-20-21, 06:21 PM
Bike Butcher of Portland
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Portland, OR
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Bikes: It's complicated.

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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
thanks. There will be a increasing visible difference at the junctions with time.

I really do not know which way to go if I was making the decisions. Tough call.
There's a reason why 95% of the racks I make are stainless steel and brazed with silver. Chrome is problematic. For one, I don't have a good chrome plater nearby, I'd have to ship it somewhere. Second, unless you've got an established relationship with a chromer, it may be months for turnaround. Third, it's not exactly environmentally friendly. I don't TIG, so brazing is how I join tubes.

Standard 4130 CrMo is stronger than the 304 and 316 stainless tubing I typically use, but it's "strong enough".

Silver based filler does oxidize, just like Grandma's silverwear. Since I pin most junctions, I don't need a fillet, and there's very little visible filler at the joints, maybe a mm or so visible. My oldest rack that I personally use is about 4 years old, you have to look closely to find the small tarnished joints.

The call's easy for me. Less costly, much more environmentally friendly, and I don't have to wait a long time for the chromer to finish the job. In this particular case, it also wouldn't look right - too bright for a 70 year old bike!

Someone wants a shiny rack from me, I'll go stainless. Someone wants a super strong rack for expedition touring, I'll use CrMo and have it powder coated. I've had a few old rando bikes with 40-50 year old chrome plated racks on them, and most had chrome pitting. Stainless won't ever do that.
If someone tells you that you have enough bicycles and you don't need any more, stop talking to them. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.
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