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Tubeset for a heavier rider

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Tubeset for a heavier rider

Old 08-31-17, 04:04 PM
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Tubeset for a heavier rider

Hello
I need some advice from more experienced people here. I'm building myself a fixie and got my eyes on a pretty nice frameset made from the Super Vitus GTI tubing, which I can buy very cheaply. The problem is, I'm a pretty heavy person- my weight usually fluctuates between 90 and 100kg (that's 200-220lbs for you). I started reading some forum posts and people generally complain that lighter frames feel too flexy past certain weight.
So my question is, is this going to be enough of an issue that I should just forget all the light tubing and stick with something heavier, like Reynolds 501 or Columbus Aelle?
Tell me what you think.
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Old 08-31-17, 04:16 PM
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If the frame is straight, I'd go for it. The Vitus is fine...use a good strong wheel like Velocity Deep V...they take a good beating. The frame will flex a bit, but if you are sensible and use a fron't brake, there is no need to waste tires locking up the rear wheel.
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Old 08-31-17, 04:22 PM
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My frames made of Columbus SLX, SPX and TSX are clearly stiffer and more responsive than my frames built of other materials. I'd seek out one of these frames. They are available but can cost $300-600.
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Old 08-31-17, 04:31 PM
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Thicker walls on Columbus SP tubing (compared to SL), made it a good choice for heavier cyclists who might need an extra stiff frame.
Not familiar with Vitus GTI tubeset chracteristics, but the top tier Vitus steel tubesets (Like Supervitus) usually leaned towards light weight, so they tend to be a bit more flexible compared to contemporary tubing like Columbus SL, SLX and Reynolds 531.
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Old 08-31-17, 04:32 PM
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A lot of how the frame behaves has more to do with tiding style than just your weigh. If you are a good spinner, light gear high RPM, and don't stand to climb your not as likely to notice or even have frame flex than if your a masher, heavier gear and lower RPM, and really hammer on the pedals climbing.
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Old 08-31-17, 04:33 PM
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You're not heavy enough to worry too much about it, but you're heavy enough that you might not like a super light frame.

I think you'd like something with over-sized steel better.
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Old 08-31-17, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by SoreFeet View Post
If the frame is straight, I'd go for it. The Vitus is fine...use a good strong wheel like Velocity Deep V...they take a good beating. The frame will flex a bit, but if you are sensible and use a fron't brake, there is no need to waste tires locking up the rear wheel.
I'm definitely going to use a front brake, at least for a while. But I'm too much of a kid inside not to skid.

Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
My frames made of Columbus SLX, SPX and TSX are clearly stiffer and more responsive than my frames built of other materials. I'd seek out one of these frames. They are available but can cost $300-600.
Very hard to come by where I live, and $600 is huge for me. That Vitus would only cost me $40.

Originally Posted by Chombi1 View Post
Thicker walls on Columbus SP tubing (compared to SL), made it a good choice for heavier cyclists who might need an extra stiff frame.
Not familiar with Vitus GTI tubeset chracteristics, but the top tier Vitus steel tubesets (Like Supervitus) usually leaned towards light weight, so they tend to be a bit more flexible compared to contemporary tubing like Columbus SL, SLX and Reynolds 531.
The set weights around 2700g, which is pretty similar to SL. My guess is they should be pretty comparable. I may be wrong though.

Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
A lot of how the frame behaves has more to do with tiding style than just your weigh. If you are a good spinner, light gear high RPM, and don't stand to climb your not as likely to notice or even have frame flex than if your a masher, heavier gear and lower RPM, and really hammer on the pedals climbing.
It's gonna be a fixie, remember?

Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
You're not heavy enough to worry too much about it, but you're heavy enough that you might not like a super light frame.

I think you'd like something with over-sized steel better.
That's exactly what I'm worried about. I'm not afraid I will break it, I just fear I might end up not enjoying it.
Oversized is pretty hard to find too.
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Old 08-31-17, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by SoreFeet View Post
If the frame is straight, I'd go for it. The Vitus is fine...use a good strong wheel like Velocity Deep V...they take a good beating. The frame will flex a bit, but if you are sensible and use a fron't brake, there is no need to waste tires locking up the rear wheel.
I'm definitely going to use a front brake. But I'm just too much of a kid inside not to skid.

Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
My frames made of Columbus SLX, SPX and TSX are clearly stiffer and more responsive than my frames built of other materials. I'd seek out one of these frames. They are available but can cost $300-600.
Very hard to come by where I live. And $600 is huge for me. I would be getting that Vitus for $40.

Originally Posted by Chombi1 View Post
Thicker walls on Columbus SP tubing (compared to SL), made it a good choice for heavier cyclists who might need an extra stiff frame.
Not familiar with Vitus GTI tubeset chracteristics, but the top tier Vitus steel tubesets (Like Supervitus) usually leaned towards light weight, so they tend to be a bit more flexible compared to contemporary tubing like Columbus SL, SLX and Reynolds 531.
The set weighs around 2700g, which is similar to SL. I think they should be comparable. I might be wrong though.

Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
A lot of how the frame behaves has more to do with tiding style than just your weigh. If you are a good spinner, light gear high RPM, and don't stand to climb your not as likely to notice or even have frame flex than if your a masher, heavier gear and lower RPM, and really hammer on the pedals climbing.
It's gonna be a fixie

Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
You're not heavy enough to worry too much about it, but you're heavy enough that you might not like a super light frame.

I think you'd like something with over-sized steel better.
I know, I'm not really worried about breaking it, just about not enjoying it. OS is almost impossible to get here.
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Old 08-31-17, 11:11 PM
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Same weight, 531 frames work well for me in standard gauge.
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Old 09-01-17, 12:39 AM
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For that price, given your statement that nice frame sets are hard to come by in your location, given your limited budget, and assuming a reasonably well-built frame in decent condition, it would be unwise to pass up a frame set made from that tubing, IMO. At your weight, I certainly wouldn't a frame made of Vitus GTI tubing based on the concerns you highlight - I think it's unlikely to be problem for you.

I'm not familiar with that tube set from experience, but from info available online it appears to be a triple-butted version of their top steel circa early 1990s (?) - and thus very nice stuff as far as bicycle tubing goes. Post here indicates 0.9/0.7./0.6 wall thickness:

gitaneusa.com :: View topic - Vitus GTi

That's roughly equivalent to Columbus SL - except triple butted rather than double butted, meaning three gradations of tube wall thickess rather than two. Fancy.

As long as the frame is not a very large size, say 58cm or up, that should build up plenty stiff enough to perform well under your weight without undue flex...all other factors being equal.

I'm 50lbs heavier than you, and I have had frames made from very light tube sets that were "too flexy" for my liking - so it is potentially a real concern - but if noted specs are correct, frame is well built, and frame size is not on the very large end of the spectrum, I seriously doubt you'd find that the Vitus GTI tubing is in any way unsatisfactory. It would be appear to be top-shelf tubing in a 'typical' spec range for light weight product of the era (i.e. its not something stupid light like Columbus KL or True Temper RCX that should really only be ridden by flyweight riders).
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Old 09-01-17, 02:01 AM
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The frame is 56/58 c-c, so nothing huge.
You can see it here, if anyone's interested: imgur com/a/a24wx
Given what you all said, I guess I will just buy it and give it some test riding before sanding and repainting, just to see how it behaves. I can always sell it or keep it for someone lighter, and get something heavier for myself, if it turns out to be too soft. 501, Aelle and even 531 are not that hard to find.

I also found this Rossin for slightly more, but no idea what tubing it is. Maybe someone can ID it?
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Old 09-01-17, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
Same weight, 531 frames work well for me in standard gauge.
You beat me to it. I, too, was going to recommend plain gauge 531 or CrMo.
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Old 09-03-17, 07:11 AM
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Alright, I bought it. Any advice on stripping the old paint and repainting? I sandblasted and powdercoated my beater a while ago, but I don't think it's a good idea here. I'm worried that sandblasting is going to take off too much material from the already thin tubes. And powder coating is too thick, so the lugs will disappear.
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Old 09-03-17, 07:32 AM
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I looked into painting a frame myself and it just wasn't worth the trouble. Not that painting is hard, but a good job (one that doesn't chip easily) is hard. I would get some paint stripper from the hardware store, do that yourself and find a local auto body paint shop willing to do the frame. CitriStrip is good stuff, it doesn't burn your skin if you wash it off quick.
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Old 09-03-17, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by f0ca View Post
Alright, I bought it. Any advice on stripping the old paint and repainting? I sandblasted and powdercoated my beater a while ago, but I don't think it's a good idea here. I'm worried that sandblasting is going to take off too much material from the already thin tubes. And powder coating is too thick, so the lugs will disappear.
You probably took your beater to the wrong powder coat shop. Any steel frame should hold up to a thorough media blasting unless the guy uses the wrong media and with too heavy a hand. If he uses the right media, he won't take anything off but the old finish. As far as the old saw about powder coatings being too thick, that can certainly happen, but if your powder coater is a good one, he can control how thick he applies it and give you good results.

I've done the full chemical strip and home respray with good results, but it was a ton of work and the resulting finish, although it looks nice, is lot more delicate than a PC. I think I spent about $70 on stripper, primer, paint, solvents etc, and about 10 hours of my time. I didn't mind too much, as I wanted the experience of doing it myself. In contrast, my blast & PC job at the local powder coater was $135 and zero hours of my time, apart from dropping it off and picking it up. A real bargain, if you value your time at all.
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Old 09-03-17, 11:14 AM
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for heavier weight handling the tube set diameter or tube wall thickness is greater.
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Old 09-03-17, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Lazyass View Post
I looked into painting a frame myself and it just wasn't worth the trouble. Not that painting is hard, but a good job (one that doesn't chip easily) is hard. I would get some paint stripper from the hardware store, do that yourself and find a local auto body paint shop willing to do the frame. CitriStrip is good stuff, it doesn't burn your skin if you wash it off quick.
That was my initial idea. I also considered something called soda blasting, but it will probably turn out to be more expensive. I will call guy tomorrow and ask though, maybe he will do it for some bargain price, considering the shop I found deals with cars mostly, so blasting a few pipes on the side would be nothing.

Originally Posted by Lascauxcaveman View Post
You probably took your beater to the wrong powder coat shop. Any steel frame should hold up to a thorough media blasting unless the guy uses the wrong media and with too heavy a hand. If he uses the right media, he won't take anything off but the old finish. As far as the old saw about powder coatings being too thick, that can certainly happen, but if your powder coater is a good one, he can control how thick he applies it and give you good results.

I've done the full chemical strip and home respray with good results, but it was a ton of work and the resulting finish, although it looks nice, is lot more delicate than a PC. I think I spent about $70 on stripper, primer, paint, solvents etc, and about 10 hours of my time. I didn't mind too much, as I wanted the experience of doing it myself. In contrast, my blast & PC job at the local powder coater was $135 and zero hours of my time, apart from dropping it off and picking it up. A real bargain, if you value your time at all.
Yeah, well, you are probably right. But it's hard to find a PC shop that deals with bicycles specifically, and when they do they usually charge more. Most of them do large amounts of big stuff, not as delicate or quality demanding.
I'm also one of those people who simply enjoy learning and doing new stuff, so it's a valuable experience for me, and definitely not wasted time. I guess I will just ask around in a car paint mixing shop and see how much I would have to pay for materials alone, and then consider my options.
The thing I'm kinda worried about is how "wasteful" spray painting a frame seems. I mean, it's a few thin bars spread around a pretty large area, and most of the paint will just go to the air. But I read about a guy who painted his cars using a roller, and with a great success, so maybe that's a viable option worth considering.
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Old 09-03-17, 12:07 PM
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90% of the work in painting is prep, so consider that you may get a better price if you bring in a frame that's completely stripped, masked, prepped and ready to shoot.

That bike should be just fine. The only thing I might be concerned about is stomping up hills in it, given that it's going to be a fixie. If you live in a relatively flat area, no problem. Worst thing about flexy frames when stomping up hills is normally the unintentional power shifts. Obviously that won't be a problem with a fixie... Would a slightly heavier gauge frame be a little better? Possibly, but it depends on your riding style and conditions, as noted. I weight a little less and strongly prefer stiffer frames. My 725 OS semi modern bike is great. It's partly because I've always lived in hilly areas.
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Old 09-03-17, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by f0ca View Post

It's gonna be a fixie, remember?
OH yeah right! I totally forgot riding style has no effect whatsoever on how a fixed gear frame performs!
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Old 09-03-17, 05:25 PM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by f0ca View Post
Hello
The problem is, I'm a pretty heavy person- my weight usually fluctuates between 90 and 100kg (that's 200-220lbs for you).
Sorry to quibble, but (to me) that isn't 'pretty heavy'.

If I lose 50 pounds, I most likely will still weigh more than you at your heaviest.

With respect to your proposed frame, I think using it as a fixed gear ride will have more impact on how it performs - not so much your weight.

Plus, everyone's tastes are different - one person's lively, responsive ride will be annoyingly flexible and 'whippy' to the next person.

As far as painting it - my first recommendation - build it up and ride it for a while, to see if it is worth the investment of time\money for you to repaint.

Next, if you decide to take the plunge and paint it yourself, keep in mind you've already decided to compromise - you've sacrificed the durability of the finish so you could experience doing it yourself. I've stripped and painted several frames, the best results I've had were solidly in the 'pretty good' category. Here's what I did:

apply Kleen-strip thick paste stripper and let it bubble most of the paint off. Scrape paint off. Wire brush more bits of paint. Heat gun \ apply more stripper if there are any more layers of paint to remove.

Use a wire brush \ sandpaper \ a wire wheel in a drill to get down to nice clean bare rust free metal. I start with 60 grit paper, then 100 grit, then 220 grit.

Take a clean paper towel, dampen it with mineral spirits and wipe the frame down. Let the frame dry.

Hang it up and hit it with a coat of primer. I use Rust-Oleum primer, Rust-Oleum appliance enamel (available in white, almond, or black) and Rust-Oleum enamel gloss clear coat. Give it another coat of primer.

Follow with 3 or 4 thin coats of the enamel, then 2 coats of clear coat.

There are LOTS of more in-depth articles on painting a bike, both on this site and others. Read several of them to get an idea of what you will need to do, and for ideas on how to mask off threads\set up a rig for painting the frame\do a fade or multicolor job.

Also , take pics of your efforts and post them up here.

The last thing is be ready to embrace failure. You are doing this to learn, and most likely your first time will not turn out well. Strip, sand, prime, paint, repeat!
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Old 09-04-17, 02:31 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
OH yeah right! I totally forgot riding style has no effect whatsoever on how a fixed gear frame performs!
I merely meant that I may not always have a choice on how fast I spin. No need to get upset.

Originally Posted by RandolphCarter View Post
Sorry to quibble, but (to me) that isn't 'pretty heavy'.

If I lose 50 pounds, I most likely will still weigh more than you at your heaviest.

With respect to your proposed frame, I think using it as a fixed gear ride will have more impact on how it performs - not so much your weight.

Plus, everyone's tastes are different - one person's lively, responsive ride will be annoyingly flexible and 'whippy' to the next person.

As far as painting it - my first recommendation - build it up and ride it for a while, to see if it is worth the investment of time\money for you to repaint.

Next, if you decide to take the plunge and paint it yourself, keep in mind you've already decided to compromise - you've sacrificed the durability of the finish so you could experience doing it yourself. I've stripped and painted several frames, the best results I've had were solidly in the 'pretty good' category. Here's what I did:

apply Kleen-strip thick paste stripper and let it bubble most of the paint off. Scrape paint off. Wire brush more bits of paint. Heat gun \ apply more stripper if there are any more layers of paint to remove.

Use a wire brush \ sandpaper \ a wire wheel in a drill to get down to nice clean bare rust free metal. I start with 60 grit paper, then 100 grit, then 220 grit.

Take a clean paper towel, dampen it with mineral spirits and wipe the frame down. Let the frame dry.

Hang it up and hit it with a coat of primer. I use Rust-Oleum primer, Rust-Oleum appliance enamel (available in white, almond, or black) and Rust-Oleum enamel gloss clear coat. Give it another coat of primer.

Follow with 3 or 4 thin coats of the enamel, then 2 coats of clear coat.

There are LOTS of more in-depth articles on painting a bike, both on this site and others. Read several of them to get an idea of what you will need to do, and for ideas on how to mask off threads\set up a rig for painting the frame\do a fade or multicolor job.

Also , take pics of your efforts and post them up here.

The last thing is be ready to embrace failure. You are doing this to learn, and most likely your first time will not turn out well. Strip, sand, prime, paint, repeat!
Oh, quibble all you want. I don't take any pride in being heavy(ish), I just saw those scary charts for some types of tubesets and their respective weight limits and read some posts where people complained about bikes build on lighter tubes becoming too soft around 200lbs. So I wanted some more opinions on the matter.
I don't really get the "do it yourself-sacrifice durability" part. Quality of finish-probably, but why durability, assuming I use all the right materials and degrease properly? Unless you mean compared to powder, of course.
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Old 09-04-17, 08:46 AM
  #22  
RandolphCarter
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Originally Posted by f0ca View Post
Oh, quibble all you want. I don't take any pride in being heavy(ish), I just saw those scary charts for some types of tubesets and their respective weight limits and read some posts where people complained about bikes build on lighter tubes becoming too soft around 200lbs. So I wanted some more opinions on the matter.
I don't really get the "do it yourself-sacrifice durability" part. Quality of finish-probably, but why durability, assuming I use all the right materials and degrease properly? Unless you mean compared to powder, of course.
Spray paint from cans is a less durable finish than paint applied using an air compressor or powdercoat.

Yes, attention to detail, preparation, cleaning, and using high quality materials will give you better results, but the spray paint finish will still be more likely to chip or scratch.

A paint booth has cleaner air and better control over temperature and humidity, including the temperature of the paint and the frame. That will impact finish durability. Can you use a space heater, fans, and drop cloths to set up a 'booth' in your garage? Definitely!

I don't know enough about the paint used in body shops to comment about how it compares chemically to spray paint, but I suspect the steps take to make paint usable from inside a spray can also make the finish more brittle.

If you goal is a finish that still looks mostly crisp and new 5 years from now, send the frame out to get it painted\powdered. If you can live with a little wear and tear on the finish over time, and like learning new skills and techniques, have at it and try it yourself.

You can always get the frame professionally coated in the future if you're unhappy with the results of doing it yourself.
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Old 09-04-17, 09:31 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by RandolphCarter View Post
Spray paint from cans is a less durable finish than paint applied using an air compressor or powdercoat.
While it may seem that way on the surface, it's like saying that beer in cans is not as good as beer on draft or in bottles. It is true most of the time, but it isn't because of the can.

It is possible to get professional quality finishes in aerosol cans, but it takes some digging. Some auto finish places will load a rattlecan with a pro finish for you. Using a spray gun and compressor vs a rattlecan in itself will make little difference for something like a bike in a one off hobbyist setting. It's mostly in technique.
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Old 09-04-17, 11:14 AM
  #24  
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Good news is I have access to a compressor. Bad news is I have very little experience spray painting with it. I will visit that car paint mixing shop for bodyworks and see what they recommend.

Another question: cutting off cable guides- blasphemy or not?
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Old 09-04-17, 08:27 PM
  #25  
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Have you ridden it yet? If you don't like the ride it will be a bummer to have Drewed the guides and paid for a paint job.
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