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Welded Steel Frames

Old 11-29-17, 10:45 PM
  #26  
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^^^^^^
Good call!
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Old 11-29-17, 10:58 PM
  #27  
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There were a few British builders that welded, not bronze brazed Reynolds 531 adjacent to the period around WWll. It was offered as stronger and less expensive. I read the Reynolds spec on welding as a joining method, a migration of welding airframes.

Also done by Penton motorcycles in the late 60's early 70's on Thier frames that were made of Reynolds 531.
Surprised me when I saw the '531' transfer on the swing arm and frame. So, I concluded straight ga.
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Old 11-29-17, 11:10 PM
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Originally Posted by jyl View Post
Are there any welded steel road frames that you consider C&V?

I was mulling this over and I can't actually think of one.

Note: steel, and road. Cannondales, Merlins, and MTBs don't qualify.

EDIT: I'm asking about welded, not filet brazed.
Andre Reiss gas-welded his Reyhand bicycles in the 1930s. The thinwall tubing didn't seem to pose a problem for him:


(Image from this great blog: https://anciensveloslyonnais.weebly....ute-reiss.html .)
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Old 11-30-17, 01:13 AM
  #29  
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That's gorgeous!
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Old 11-30-17, 10:35 AM
  #30  
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Does anyone know more about those Peugeot internally lugged frames? They were light and cheap and rode well. Why didn’t the method catch on?
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Old 11-30-17, 11:18 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Does anyone know more about those Peugeot internally lugged frames? They were light and cheap and rode well. Why didn’t the method catch on?
I assume you're talking about the Carbolite and HLE frames? If so, they weren't internally lugged but lugless and internally brazed. A pre-form of brazing material was inserted inside the mitred tubes. When heated, the pre-form re-flowed with a large fillet on the inside and capillary action forming a smaller fillet on the outside.

The process was highly automated, eliminating skilled labour. It also had the had the distinct advantage of being able to visually inspect for joint quality, unlike lugged construction. Since the brazing material flowed from the inside to the outside of the tube, the quality of the joint could be assessed by examining the external fillet for size, voids, etc.

The same process was used by Motobecane and Gitane, among others. Procycle, the Canadian manufacture of Peugeot started using this method in 1988 and continued to use it on their other brands upon the expiration of their Peugeot license in 2001. Attached is a video segment from the How It's Made television program showing the Procycle manufacturing faciilty circa 2001. The brazing process is shown around 1:20 and this is the exact process as used on the Peugeot models, though CCMs are depicted.


Last edited by T-Mar; 11-30-17 at 12:07 PM.
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Old 11-30-17, 11:32 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by vettracer View Post
Slim Chance there's a worthy welded road frame considered C&V.
Circa 1990, Chris Chance produced a TIG welded road frame that was actually called the Slim Chance.
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Old 11-30-17, 01:58 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
Circa 1990, Chris Chance produced a TIG welded road frame that was actually called the Slim Chance.
Thus the Pun
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Old 11-30-17, 02:15 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by vettracer View Post
Thus the Pun
Yeah, I got it but others might not have, thus the post.

Last edited by T-Mar; 11-30-17 at 03:28 PM.
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Old 11-30-17, 03:07 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Does anyone know more about those Peugeot internally lugged frames? They were light and cheap and rode well. Why didn’t the method catch on?
I think the problem was that in the USA at least the visual was preceded by department store offerings with the same basic look at the head tube that were offered from the 60's on. The cheapness association was just repeated by non Peugeot retailers… reasonably good system that lacked aesthetics.
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Old 11-30-17, 03:13 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
I think the problem was that in the USA at least the visual was preceded by department store offerings with the same basic look at the head tube that were offered from the 60's on. The cheapness association was just repeated by non Peugeot retailers… reasonably good system that lacked aesthetics.
That's absolutely true. When they came out, I didn't care how good they were. I wouldn't have wanted one because it looked like a cheap bike.

Then I test rode one, in about 2010, i.e. much later. I was impressed!

Thanks for the video, @T-Mar!
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Old 11-30-17, 05:43 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by vettracer View Post
Slim Chance there's a worthy welded road frame considered C&V.
...Unless you disregard the V in C&V
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Old 11-30-17, 05:47 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by jyl View Post
How did Cannondale make its welds so beautiful? That's what got me wondering about this. In the 1980s, when C'dale was welding aluminium bikes, was no-one thinking about welding steel bikes? Was all the innovation focused on other materials, was steel already musty and tradition-bound by then, at least until the MTB guys came along?

air powered 1/2" belt sanders..

early on the solution normalizing heat treatment left the tubes less than straight,
but the jig held them an alignment
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Old 11-30-17, 07:49 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
There were a few British builders that welded, not bronze brazed Reynolds 531 adjacent to the period around WWll. It was offered as stronger and less expensive. I read the Reynolds spec on welding as a joining method, a migration of welding airframes.

Also done by Penton motorcycles in the late 60's early 70's on Thier frames that were made of Reynolds 531.
Surprised me when I saw the '531' transfer on the swing arm and frame. So, I concluded straight ga.
I've wondered about this when browsing old English catalogs. The welded frames were offered at a lower price point than the lugged ones. Was the process arc welding, or something else? There seem to be a fair number of them around, if one is shopping for a vintage English frame, so they couldn't be that bad, from a durability point of view.
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Old 11-30-17, 08:22 PM
  #40  
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The electroforged 3-speeds, especially the early ones from the 1940s-50s were not bad at all. Here's a 1947 Schwinn New World:

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Old 11-30-17, 11:22 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
Circa 1990, Chris Chance produced a TIG welded road frame that was actually called the Slim Chance.
There's one at Velocult. I was admiring it tonight. Too small for me. For sale, too.
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Old 12-01-17, 09:48 AM
  #42  
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I have a TIG welded Serotta Legend TG from the early 90s. In my opinion it rides about as good as my lugged Serotta Atlanta. It’s not as pretty. But the welds are nicely done.
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Old 12-02-17, 11:33 AM
  #43  
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I won't be here in 20 years, but I'm sure many Wraiths will. Welded steel, and they'll be C&V by then.
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Old 12-02-17, 02:46 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by Charles Wahl View Post
I've wondered about this when browsing old English catalogs. The welded frames were offered at a lower price point than the lugged ones. Was the process arc welding, or something else? There seem to be a fair number of them around, if one is shopping for a vintage English frame, so they couldn't be that bad, from a durability point of view.
They were gas welded. It uses the same sort of oxy / acetylene torch that is used for lugged or fillet brazed construction. Rather than heating the joint just hot enough to melt the brass or silver filler, they get it hot enough to actually melt the steel tubes and steel filler rod. The finished result isn't really much different than any other sort of steel welding (TIG, MIG, Arc, etc.). This is how the majority of steel aircraft frames were welded until Heliarc (TIG) welding became popular in the 60's. The advantage, or possible downside to gas welding is how hot the whole joint gets, and how long it stays hot. Other methods of welding are faster, allowing for the joint to be finished with less heat input, and less heating of the surrounding tubes. This can be both good and bad. The big heat input is nice, in that everything is almost the same temperature, so warping and resisdual stresses are much lower. This would probably also help with fatigue life. It would be bad in that the heat effected zone is usually softer and weaker than the cold worked tubing that hasn't been heated to transition temperatures. Also, some steels can become brittle if kept hot for too long in an oxidizing atmosphere. (I was under the impression that 531 ( a Chrome - Manganese steel) was one of these "hot short" steels. I believe CrMo steel, like 4130, is better in this regard. )
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