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80s Schwinn Tempo Tange tubing vs Columbus?

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80s Schwinn Tempo Tange tubing vs Columbus?

Old 06-12-18, 09:00 PM
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80s Schwinn Tempo Tange tubing vs Columbus?

Hi, I've noticed everyone talks about the awesome 80s schwinns with Columbus Tenax. However, I spotted one that doesn't have the Columbus sticker, just a Tange Champion one. Is it really Tange, no Columbus, and how do these compare to the Columbus frames? Are they Japanese made?
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Old 06-12-18, 09:59 PM
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Tange/Champion tubesets are excellent. No need to worry. Is there a number, like Champion 1 or Champion 2? Both are fine tubes; 2 is slightly heavier.
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Old 06-12-18, 10:46 PM
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My 1984 Tempo was in Tange 2. Was a freaking awesome bike and had it been a size larger I'd still own it.
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Old 06-12-18, 10:48 PM
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My Ď84 Tempo is awesome. I have built it up with modern STI drivetrain and am riding it as my main ride.
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Old 06-13-18, 12:06 AM
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I have read some statements from some builders say that Tange tubing quality is actually higher that their Euro counterparts like Columbus, Vitus and Reynolds.....
much better dimensional consistency from tubeset to tubeset and supposedly the design of the tubeset accommodates requirements for different sizes of framesets much better. I'd take a frameset made by a good builder from Tange Prestige anytime over one made from Reynolds 753 or Columbus SLX, knowing that.....
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Old 06-13-18, 12:31 AM
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Tange is good stuff. I've had Champion #2 on an '84 Super Sport and Prestige on my '87 Prologue. Great, great qualities, especially on the Prologue. A Tempo is a very good bike, and I've had an '89 with Columbus Tenax.

Sorta dancing around your direct experience, but....you should not be disappointed! If anything, Schwinn Tempos were well made, regardless of tubing, and pretty much everyone here or elsewhere who has had one has had good things to say about it. Champion #1 is right at the top, IIRC just below Prestige.
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Old 06-13-18, 03:06 AM
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Thanks for all the comments!! I think it just has a "Tange Champion" sticker. does that mean that it's probably tange 1?

Seems like this would be a great bike for my girlfriend. I think the prime suspect is too far away and too small, but I'll certainly be looking out for more of these 80s Schwinns. We also have a Tenax 80s Super Sport that needs a crack or 2 welded.....
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Old 06-13-18, 04:40 AM
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I’ll fuel the conversation a bit. Switch to Columbus Tenax was in 1985. Looking at catalog specs from 1984 to 1985, componentry and wheels pretty much the same with only real difference to the Tempo being the change in tubing. What’s startling is the stated weight. 26lbs for the 1984 and 22lbs for the 1985.

I’m sure there’s not a 4lb difference in the frameset but it leads me to believe that Tenax is notably lighter than the mystery version of Champion tubing that was used in 1984. FWIW, my 1985 Tempo is 23.5 lbs. 58cm and built fairly light with Shimano 600 and Super Champion/Tipo wheelset.
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Old 06-13-18, 05:33 AM
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Tange Tubing Specs

Originally Posted by RiddleOfSteel View Post
Tange is good stuff. I've had Champion #2 on an '84 Super Sport and Prestige on my '87 Prologue. Great, great qualities, especially on the Prologue. A Tempo is a very good bike, and I've had an '89 with Columbus Tenax.

Sorta dancing around your direct experience, but....you should not be disappointed! If anything, Schwinn Tempos were well made, regardless of tubing, and pretty much everyone here or elsewhere who has had one has had good things to say about it. Champion #1 is right at the top, IIRC just below Prestige.
Over the years there have been some confusion in specs Tange published for the wall thicknesses for their #1 and #2 tube sets. This attached info is from the 1988 Tange Tubing Catalog.

The only difference between Tange #1 and #2 sets is the wall thicknesses of the top and down tubes:
#1 Top and Down Tubes double butted 0.8mm x 0.5mm x 0.8mm
#2 Top and Down Tubes double butted 0.9mm x 0.6mm x 0.9mm
The Seat Tubes for both sets were double butted 0.9mm x 0.6mm x 0.9mm

I always thought that was an odd choice since most manufacturers used thinner seat tubes and thicker down tubes. My guess is that Tange provided seat tubes with a 0.9mm wall thickness at the tops to avoid over heating problems that less skilled workers might have with 0.5mm or 0.6mm seat tubes???

The wall thicknesses of Tange # 2 tubing are the same as Columbus SL and Super Vitus 971.

Tange used 4130 Chrome-Moly steel for the #1 through #5 tube sets. It was the same alloy that Columbus used for their SL/SP/PL/PS "Cylex" tubing. Isiwata used 4130 too along with Reynolds 501 tubing. The European code for 4130 is 25CrMo4 - also referred to as 1.7218

The marketing B.S.ters for the different companies used variances in the material specs to suggest that there was something special about their 4130 steel that made it better. Those published differences were well within the ~5% tolerances for the industry standard specs!!!

During the 80's and 90's a lot of custom builders used Ishiwata, Tange and even Super Vitus tubing in place of Reynolds or Columbus because the material specs were about the same and the cost were much lower than for the big 2 tube makers. That's why many builders were reluctant to put tubing stickers on their frames.

@plonz

On a slightly different subject, here's some "straight skinny" from back in 2014 by BF member Scooper about Columbus Tenax tubing, Look at message # 9:

New "to me" info on Columbus Tenax Tubing

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Last edited by verktyg; 06-21-20 at 12:17 AM.
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Old 06-13-18, 04:51 PM
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WOW, now THAT is the kind of info I like to read!!!! Thanks so much verktyg!! What an interesting read.

Definitely the difference in weight from 84 to 85 is pretty startling, thanks for pointing that out.

As far as the finding-my-girlfriend-a-sweet-ride saga goes however, its seeming likely that I'm gonna be building up a Tommaso for her in the near future.

Thanks all for the help!
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Old 06-13-18, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Stormy Archer View Post
Definitely the difference in weight from 84 to 85 is pretty startling, thanks for pointing that out.
Wouldn't put much stock in it. Who knows, they might've weighed a 58cm in 84 and a 50cm in 85, or something like that. The frame alone could not vary 4lbs in the same size just from a tubeset swap.
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Old 06-13-18, 10:17 PM
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The Champion moniker has been around awhile. I had an 82 or 83 Champion 5 Centurion LeMans that to me seemed pretty heavy for its size; but the heavy-hitter guy I gave it to said he really liked it. He's not fat; just really powerful. Built it up as a gravel-CX type thing to take really hard use.
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Old 06-13-18, 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by verktyg View Post
here's some "straight skinny" from back in 2014 by BF member Scooper about Columbus Tenax tubing, Look at message # 9:
So Tenax and Cromor basically same tubing... would have never guessed. I happen to have a 1985 Tempo with Tenax and a 198? Olmo with Cromor. My completely unscientific butt-dyno (high-precision street rod instrument) tells me the Olmo is a much livelier, even twitchy bike. Also a pound lighter than the Tempo with similar dimensions. I know geometry and components play a lot into this but the bikes just feel so different. Clearly, tubing isn't everything. Thanks for the great info.
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Old 06-14-18, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by plonz View Post
Iíll fuel the conversation a bit. Switch to Columbus Tenax was in 1985. Looking at catalog specs from 1984 to 1985, componentry and wheels pretty much the same with only real difference to the Tempo being the change in tubing. Whatís startling is the stated weight. 26lbs for the 1984 and 22lbs for the 1985.

Iím sure thereís not a 4lb difference in the frameset but it leads me to believe that Tenax is notably lighter than the mystery version of Champion tubing that was used in 1984. FWIW, my 1985 Tempo is 23.5 lbs. 58cm and built fairly light with Shimano 600 and Super Champion/Tipo wheelset.
Wouldn't this also be about the time that the Tempo transitioned from 27" to 700C? If so, I would think that would have a a larger effect than the change in tubing. IIRC, the change in tubing was mitigated by continuing to employ a stock Tange fork.

Given the position in the hierarchy and the components, Tange #1 would seem improbable. Tange #2 is far more likely.
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Old 06-14-18, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
Wouldn't this also be about the time that the Tempo transitioned from 27" to 700C? If so, I would think that would have a a larger effect than the change in tubing. IIRC, the change in tubing was mitigated by continuing to employ a stock Tange fork.

Given the position in the hierarchy and the components, Tange #1 would seem improbable. Tange #2 is far more likely.
Good catch. Both stated as Araya 20A but ‘84 is listed as. 27” and ‘85 as a 700c. With tires and tubes, that would certainly contribute to the weight difference.

If you buy-in to the alleged creative licensing of the marketing departments back then, it would be difficult to accept that Schwinn would leave 4 lbs on the table in their catalog. Actual fact is likely somewhere in the middle.


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Old 06-26-18, 08:57 PM
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One thing I did not see mentioned here is the change in the manufacturing facility/country. I believe the Tenax frames were made in the US, but the earlier ones were Japanese.
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Old 06-27-18, 02:02 AM
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In early January, 1975 a student walked into our shop dragging a new bike in a box that he just brought back to school. We shied away from assembling bikes that students brought from home for a lot of reasons. One being liability the other time, especially with used bikes which could quickly turn into a can of worms.

At our shop, assembling a bike included checking the adjustments of all of the bearings - BBs, headsets and hubs, adjusting the brakes and derailleurs, lubing the cables plus making sure all the nuts and bolts were tight and it was safe to ride. This could take upwards of an hour and we factored that into our selling prices for the bikes that we sold.

It was still winter break at the University and we we slow so we took pity on him and assembled his bike for about $10.00. It was a 58cm 1974 Centurion with all alloy components. Also we wanted to check out what the competition was offering. The Centurion had great paint and other cosmetics plus it had a Tange Champion Cr-Mo Steel foil sticker on the seat tube that looked like this:



The entry level to mid range bikes we sold were mostly French brands. A French bike equivalently equipped to that Centurion would have weighed around 24 lbs. We had a hanging scale by the front door of our shop that we used as a sales tool.

We we surprised by how much that Centurion weighed - 32 Pounds!

A quick examination of the frame revealed that while it had butted alloy steel main tubes, it was made of heavy gauge tubing, much thicker than the average bike boom gas pipe bike. The extra 7-8 lbs was in the frame.


Back to Isiwata tubing...

The variances in tube set weights for the Ishiwta Magny V & X have to be due to an error in translation or a typo... read my tag line at the bottom of this post.

The people who put together catalogs and specs sheet are mostly layout and graphics artists and rarely have a clue about the technical aspects of the products in the literature they're creating. If the materiel isn't carefully proof read and the information checked for accuracy you get these kinds of results.

Here's another example, The Workshop chart below lists a weight difference of 90g or 3.2 oz. between Tange #1 and Tange #2 tube sets. the Bicycling Magazine Steel Tubing Guide below that shows a difference of 60g or 2.1 oz.

Which is correct? Do you want to drive yourself nuts over a weight difference of 1 wet fart!




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Old 06-27-18, 06:05 AM
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Not to open a can of worms, but my '89 Tempo tubing is Tenax SL. Any difference from plain Tenax?

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Old 06-27-18, 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by verktyg View Post
Over the years there have been some confusion in specs Tange published for the wall thicknesses for their #1 and #2 tube sets. This attached info is from the 1988 Tange Tubing Catalog.

The only difference between Tange #1 and #2 sets is the wall thicknesses of the top and down tubes:
#1 Top and Down Tubes double butted 0.8mm x 0.5mm x 0.8mm
#2 Top and Down Tubes double butted 0.9mm x 0.6mm x 0.9mm
The Seat Tubes for both sets are Single Butted 0.9mm x 0.6mm

I always thought that was an odd choice since most manufacturers used thinner seat tubes and thicker down tubes. My guess is that Tange provided seat tubes with a 0.6mm wall thickness at the tops to avoid over heating problems that less skilled workers might have with 0.5mm seat tubes???

The wall thicknesses of Tange # 2 tubing are the same as Columbus SP and Super Vitus 971.

Tange used 4130 Chrome-Moly steel for the #1 through #5 tube sets. It was the same alloy that Columbus used for their SL/SP/PL/PS "Cylex" tubing. Isiwata used 4130 too along with Reynolds 501 tubing. The European code for 4130 is 25CrMo4 - also referred to as 1.7218

The marketing B.S.ters for the different companies used variances in the material specs to suggest that there was something special about their 4130 steel that made it better. Those published differences were well within the ~5% tolerances for the industry standard specs!!!

During the 80's and 90's a lot of custom builders used Ishiwata, Tange and even Super Vitus tubing in place of Reynolds or Columbus because the material specs were about the same and the cost were much lower than for the big 2 tube makers. That's why many builders were reluctant to put tubing stickers on their frames.

@plonz

On a slightly different subject, here's some "straight skinny" from back in 2014 by BF member Scooper about Columbus Tenax tubing, Look at message # 9:

New "to me" info on Columbus Tenax Tubing

verktyg
Along with the excellent info Verktyg has provided, the dimensions (main tubes wall thicknesses, at least) for the TT and DT of Tange 2 are the same as for Columbus SL, SLX, and Reynolds 501. So there is a lot of precedence both for making TT lighter than DT, and for making them the same. In any case, I believe in tubing specs rather than brand names, so I'd expect Tange 2, Reynolds 501, and Columbus SL to feel similar. SLX has effectively thicker butts (rifled), and Tange 2 has a double butted seat tube rather than single butted. But I think these are most likely minor differences.

The chainstays might not be the same, and I think this is worth looking at. The chainstays are mainly responsible for transferring pedaliling power to the rear axle and withstanding the force of the chain. The rest of the frame is involved, but I think the CS should not be neglected.
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