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Columbus Formula Two Tubing - What is it?

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Columbus Formula Two Tubing - What is it?

Old 04-29-15, 10:00 AM
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Columbus Formula Two Tubing - What is it?

Sorry if this is one of those annoying and recurring subjects. I did search and read most of the old threads on this - seems mostly (all?) tied to Bianchi built frames, lots of guesses on what it is, but nothing definitive. The most comprehensive thread I came across was seven years ago and seemed to infer it was a mixed collection of SP and SL tubing? Of course, another thread claimed it was just whatever Columbus had on excess inventory.

Does anyone have a bike labeled as Formula 2, and if so, is there a noticeable ride difference between it, and say, Tenax or other "mixed" blends/tubes? Is it unique to just Bianchi?
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Old 04-29-15, 12:10 PM
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Everything I've read online about Bianchi's Formula Two tre tubi tubing is speculation with no definitive answers.

When I was researching the Tenax tubing used by Schwinn in the late eighties, I ran into the same problem. I finally emailed Columbus info@columbustubi.com and received a timely reply from "Andrea" with the information I was looking for.

IMHO, your best bet is to email Columbus and get your answer from the horse's mouth.

Originally Posted by Andrea, COLUMBUS
Subject: R: Information Regarding Columbus "Tenax" Tubing Used By Schwinn Bicycle Co., USA, circa 1985-1992
From: "info@columbustubi.com" <info@columbustubi.com>
Date: 3/5/2014 12:07 AM
To: Stan Cooper

Dear Stan,

The Tenax was the tube-set made during the middle '80s, those were actually the 3 main tubes, made like the Cromor tubes in seamed 25 CrMo 4, and double butted.

Good result in term of stiffness but was not one of the light tubeset line.

Thanks and best regards,

Andrea
COLUMBUS
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Old 04-29-15, 12:56 PM
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That settles it for me about Tenax, as on my 1986 Tempo, clearly not the lightest but fine otherwise.

Formula Two tubing, if butted, should specify "reinforzati" on the sticker. Otherwise I would assume plain-gage cr-mo.

Some of the internet lore about bikes, tubing etc. is just wild guessing that sort of takes off on it's own. The narratives can be hilarious to the more knowledgeable.

Not to say that some of the product descriptions from Italian companies don't get such folklore off to a good start!
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Old 04-29-15, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by dddd
Formula Two tubing, if butted, should specify "reinforzati" on the sticker. Otherwise I would assume plain-gage cr-mo.
I'm guessing it's similar to Cromor (seamed, double-butted 25 CrMo 4 chromoly).

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Old 04-29-15, 03:55 PM
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There is a big discussion about it on one of the Bianchi threads but no one really knows and even the folks at Bianchi USA don't remember.

It was however a made for Bianchi tube set like their Special from '85 and their seldom seen (not the blue grass group) Formula One tubing '86/87 and their later SBX tube set.
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Old 04-29-15, 05:37 PM
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So, basically its not cheap gas pipe, but its not something to covet either. Probably a good ride - would either Bianchi or Columbus want to risk their brand otherwise? But not going to win any awards at the scales. Does that about sum it up?
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Old 04-29-15, 06:03 PM
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Is there a "Formula 1" version of the tubing from Bianchi? Can't seem to remember if there was such. Just asking because I kinda find it weird they would use a "2" on the tubing name which seems to suggest it's a second, lower model version of something.
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Old 04-29-15, 06:07 PM
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Pretty much. I had a Suntour Spring/Ofmega/modolo specced one and I didn't think it was grossly heavy but it was a good rider.

The frame was used over much of the price range from the CdI to the Giro so it was something decent. I believe popular concensus, and I need to dig through some PMs to verify, is that it was likely a tretubi SL wif Alle or maybe even CroMor stays or even a mix of those.

I would not turn my nose up at another one but I wouldn't pay SL prices for one either.
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Old 04-29-15, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Beach Comber
So, basically its not cheap gas pipe, but its not something to covet either. Probably a good ride - would either Bianchi or Columbus want to risk their brand otherwise? But not going to win any awards at the scales. Does that about sum it up?
If it is 25 CrMo 4 as I suspect, it is a European standard that is the equivalent of AISI 4130 chromium-molybdenum alloy. Cromor is 25 CrMo 4 and is seamed rather than seamless, but the weld is highly homogeneous and virtually invisible when the tube is drawn and butted, so for practical purposes it's the same as seamless. The "Tre Tubi" means only the main tubes (top tube, down tube, and seat tube) are Formula Two; the stays and fork blades can be anything including gas pipe. If it's Cromor, it really isn't that much heavier than SL and would be a little stiffer because of the thicker walls, especially the thicker walled down tube (SL top tube is .9/.6/.9 while Cromor top tube is .9/.7/.9, and SL down tube is .9/.6/.9 while Cromor down tube is 1.0/.7/1.0).

SL



Cromor



I'd email Columbus and see what they say.
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Old 11-07-15, 04:52 AM
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any new informations?

did you contact columbus and what did they say?
thx
j
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Old 11-08-15, 06:59 AM
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Bianchi Columbus Formula Two ???

Bianchi used a number of different decals for Columbus Formula 2 tubing.

This one says "TRE TUBI RINFORZATI" meaning 3 Tube Butted also Chrome Moly. These came with fork decals


Same but outlined in blue with blue letters.



Here's another version without "TRE TUBI", just "TUBI RINFORZATI".



Then there was FORMULA ONE???



Bianchi Special, what was that?



And finally this... "TUBO DEL GAS"




I just posted a ride comparison between my 1987-88 Giro made of Bianchi Columbus Formula 2 and my 1989-90 Mondiale with Columbus SLX tubing.

https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vi...l#post18302836

Both bikes have the same dimensions, handle the same and are similarly equipped weight-wise.

While the SLX Mondiale has a very stiff ride, it's considerably lighter by ~3/4 a pound than the Formula 2 Giro. The Giro rides like a truck! I ended up putting Panaracer Pasela 700x28c tires on it for a smoother ride.

A friend of my is a local frame builder who had the contract for many years to repair and repaint higher end Bianchi frames. In his opinion, Formula 2 was made of anything Bianchi had on the shelf!!!

My Giro takes a 27.2 seatpost so the seat tube may be Columbus SL tubing.

I finally found out what the Tretubi tubing is on my 1981 Bianchi Campione del Mondo. It was reportedly Columbus SL main tubes with Falck forks and stays. It's SL with Aelle forks and stays.



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ColumbusBianchiFormulaOne.jpg (5.6 KB, 870 views)
File Type: jpg
ColumbusBianchiSpecial.jpg (43.8 KB, 776 views)
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Old 11-08-15, 08:40 AM
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It's the same thing as Raleigh 555, only different.
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Old 11-08-15, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Centaurious
It's the same thing as Raleigh 555, only different.
There were a number of versions of Raleigh 555 with lots of opinions about what it was....

Most likely Tange chrome moly.

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Old 11-08-15, 07:53 PM
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I emailed Columbus Tubi today asking if they could provide information about Bianchi "Formula One" and "Formula Two" tubing. If I receive a reply, I'll post it here.
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Old 11-11-15, 06:47 PM
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I emailed Columbus and Bianchi USA a few months ago with this exact question, and never got a response. Hope you have better luck! From everything I've read, it appears that Formula Two is Cromor.

Last edited by al_bk; 11-11-15 at 07:27 PM.
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