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Japanese Tubing - What are the ABCs of this?

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Japanese Tubing - What are the ABCs of this?

Old 04-04-16, 09:02 PM
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Japanese Tubing - What are the ABCs of this?

Hi folks

Everything I know is about Columbus. If I want to put together a Japanese frame, what should I look for?

What is the Tange equivalent of SL? Of Cromor? What about Ishiwata?

I see Infinity. Is that good? Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-04-16, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by armstrong101
Hi folks

Everything I know is about Columbus. If I want to put together a Japanese frame, what should I look for?

What is the Tange equivalent of SL? Of Cromor? What about Ishiwata?

I see Infinity. Is that good? Thanks in advance.
Not completely up on the earlier Tange tubesets. I do know that Ishiwata 022 is comparable to Columbus SL, while 024 is comparable to SP.
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Old 04-04-16, 10:10 PM
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This seems useful.
The Retrogrouch: Classic Tubes: Tange and Ishiwata
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Old 04-05-16, 07:53 AM
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How I see Tange's tubing in descending order-
Tange Prestige
Tange Champion 1
Tange Champion 2
Tange Infinity
Tange Champion(lower numbers)
Tange PG(plain guage chromoly)

How I see Ishiwata's tubing in descending order
019
022
Triple Butted Si35
025
EXT and EXF
All their Mangyalloy tubesets


Both Tange and Ishiwata made a lot more types than I just listed. I just included what Ive seen/used or read about.
Ishiwata info is really scarce. They made a ton of tubing for companies which were brand labeled, like Fuji VALite and terms like that where you dont know what the tubing actually is.


Both companies made tubing equal to and surpassing Reynolds and Columbus, per interviews with builders in the 80s.
The other thing is- a tubing lower on the hierarchy isnt necessarily worse quality. It may actually be better quality for the intended use. If its for a larger bike, heavier rider, or touring bike then the lightest tubing is actually worse. Just tossing that out there.
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Old 04-05-16, 07:59 AM
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Clear and Concise. I agree with it. Tange changed up later in their descriptions.
For example, some of the Diamondback road bikes didn't list a type of Tange, just Tange.

I made a couple of additions, and there's always Tange OS tubing, nicely used on many models.

Originally Posted by mstateglfr
How I see Tange's tubing in descending order-
Tange Prestige
Tange (1) or Champion 1
Tange (2) or Champion 2
Tange Infinity
Tange Champion(higher numbers, like 5)
Tange PG(plain guage chromoly)

How I see Ishiwata's tubing in descending order
019
022
Triple Butted Si35
025
EXT and EXF
All their Mangyalloy tubesets


Both Tange and Ishiwata made a lot more types than I just listed. I just included what Ive seen/used or read about.
Ishiwata info is really scarce. They made a ton of tubing for companies which were brand labeled, like Fuji VALite and terms like that where you dont know what the tubing actually is.


Both companies made tubing equal to and surpassing Reynolds and Columbus, per interviews with builders in the 80s.
The other thing is- a tubing lower on the hierarchy isn't necessarily worse quality. It may actually be better quality for the intended use.
If its for a larger bike, heavier rider, or touring bike then the lightest tubing is actually worse. Just tossing that out there.
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Old 04-05-16, 08:21 AM
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Infinity is fine; it's also seamed. The top end stuff (tange prestige, champion no. 1 and 2 and ishiwata 019 and 022) is seamless.

Also miyata had its own tubing and it was very good. The splined triple butted tubing on a team miyata is as good as anything that was made.
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Old 04-05-16, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by D1andonlyDman
Not completely up on the earlier Tange tubesets. I do know that Ishiwata 022 is comparable to Columbus SL, while 024 is comparable to SP.
Champion #2 is comparable to SL and 022. #3 corresponds to SP and 024.

SP
OC, OR
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Old 04-05-16, 11:13 AM
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So Infinity ~ Cromor?

I kinda want to build myself up a Tange unseemed frame - so it looks like I have to go higher than Infinity.
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Old 04-05-16, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by armstrong101
So Infinity ~ Cromor?

I kinda want to build myself up a Tange unseemed frame - so it looks like I have to go higher than Infinity.
I would; there are plenty of great Japanese bikes out there that used a higher end tubing. Whether that makes a real difference is anybody's guess but it should save you a bit of weight.
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Old 04-05-16, 11:17 AM
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Paramount Series bikes used Tange-branded tubing but didn't have a specific tube set designation. I recall it said "oversize custom butted" or some such thing.

There's a very late Centurion Le Mans on my local CL right now with Infinity tubing.

My BIL has a Ross road bike frame sitting around with Ishiwata tubing that we determined was touring-gauge, butted but quite thick. I think the unbranded fork weighed as much as the rest of it.
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Old 04-05-16, 11:20 AM
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So did all Tange Prestige frames use the same butting profiles? Is it possible to determine tube thickness from a completed frame?
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Old 04-05-16, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by bikemig
I would; there are plenty of great Japanese bikes out there that used a higher end tubing. Whether that makes a real difference is anybody's guess but it should save you a bit of weight.
+1 There are plenty of Tange #1 and #2 bikes out there. I have had both and not sure I could tell the difference, just like I'm not sure I could tell the difference between various Columbus tubesets, unless you could control for identical geometries, identical components, tires, etc. which basically doesn't happen.
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Old 04-05-16, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by whatwolf
So did all Tange Prestige frames use the same butting profiles? Is it possible to determine tube thickness from a completed frame?
There was a thread on this a while back and the answer was no. That would make sense as prestige simply refers to the steel used and the heat treating. The manufacturer can then select the tubing thickness.
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Old 04-05-16, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by due ruote
+1 There are plenty of Tange #1 and #2 bikes out there. I have had both and not sure I could tell the difference, just like I'm not sure I could tell the difference between various Columbus tubesets, unless you could control for identical geometries, identical components, tires, etc. which basically doesn't happen.
There's a nice Tange 1 Panasonic on my local CL this week too... with 600, and asking less than the aformentioned Le Mans :-D
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Old 04-05-16, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by whatwolf
So did all Tange Prestige frames use the same butting profiles? Is it possible to determine tube thickness from a completed frame?
I know that there were different tube sets offered for road bikes and for MTBs. My '88 Schwinn Project KOM-10 is full Prestige MTB, as was the Bridgestone MB-1 and many other Japan-built MTBs.

Vintage Prestige was heat-treated.
Modern Tange Prestige is not the same stuff (but it's still pretty good). I don't know if modern Prestige is heat-treated.
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Old 04-05-16, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Tim_Iowa
I know that there were different tube sets offered for road bikes and for MTBs. My '88 Schwinn Project KOM-10 is full Prestige MTB, as was the Bridgestone MB-1 and many other Japan-built MTBs.

Vintage Prestige was heat-treated.
Modern Tange Prestige is not the same stuff (but it's still pretty good). I don't know if modern Prestige is heat-treated.
Modern tange prestige is heat treated according to this page on Soma's website:

Frame FAQs | SOMA Fabrications
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Old 04-05-16, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by whatwolf
So did all Tange Prestige frames use the same butting profiles? Is it possible to determine tube thickness from a completed frame?
When it first came out, the standard Prestige road main tubes were 0.7/0.4/0.7 mm versus 0.8/0.5/0.8 for Champion #1. And then there was Prestige Superlight at 6/3/6!Only flyweights need apply.


https://velobase.com/CatalogScans/Tange_1988.pdf
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Old 04-05-16, 02:08 PM
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Most Centurions & Shoguns came equipped with Tange tubing. I've been riding a Tange Champion 2 frame 82 Centurion Elite lately that's absolutely fine. Generally speaking, most of these Japanese bikes were a pound or two heavier than their European cousins. But, it's all really good stuff. IMHO mid 80's Tange & Ishiwata frames were better than anything else being made at that point in time. With the right wheels these are very smooth rides.
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Old 04-05-16, 02:15 PM
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I'm like a broken record...my mid 80's 022 Bianchi was lighter and more responsive than any SL/SLX frame I've ever ridden. Heresy!
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Old 04-05-16, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by rando_couche
When it first came out, the standard Prestige road main tubes were 0.7/0.4/0.7 mm versus 0.8/0.5/0.8 for Champion #1. And then there was Prestige Superlight at 6/3/6!Only flyweights need apply.


https://velobase.com/CatalogScans/Tange_1988.pdf
I guess I don't understand, if the purpose of butts is to keep the steel from burning through or losing temper under brazing or welding, why the ends aren't always the same size.
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Old 04-05-16, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty
I guess I don't understand, if the purpose of butts is to keep the steel from burning through or losing temper under brazing or welding, why the ends aren't always the same size.
The purpose of the butts is also to have thicker metal at the joints, which are the areas of the frame most likely to fail under force. So a butt might be thick enough to heat during welding or brazing but the builder might want the butt to be thicker still for strength during actual riding.

Even extremely thin pieces metal can be properly fused with TIG welding, if you have the right torch and electrode. Just because it can be welded doesn't mean it is thick enough for use!
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Old 04-05-16, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty
I guess I don't understand, if the purpose of butts is to keep the steel from burning through or losing temper under brazing or welding, why the ends aren't always the same size.
The stresses on the tubing are greatest near the ends, That's also where material is needed to support the joining of the tubes. Also rather helpful to have a bit more material where the seat post is.
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Old 04-05-16, 02:53 PM
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Don't forget about Miyata, who made their own Cr-Mo tubing. The two varieties I know of are triple-butted and splined triple-butted, though I don't know their equivalencies to other brands of tubing.
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Old 04-05-16, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by davester
Don't forget about Miyata, who made their own Cr-Mo tubing. The two varieties I know of are triple-butted and splined triple-butted, though I don't know their equivalencies to other brands of tubing.
I don't think Miyata ever made non-splined triple-butted tubing. Not 100% sure though.

The splines are similar to the spiral reinforcements used by Columbus in the SLX/TSX, etc... tubing.
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Old 04-05-16, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by whatwolf
So did all Tange Prestige frames use the same butting profiles? Is it possible to determine tube thickness from a completed frame?
Back in the 80's, probably. However, the Tange Prestige frame on a Soma Stanyan is 3 lbs lighter than the Tange Prestige frame on a Soma Saga, so I'm really not sure how that works.
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