Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page >

Tre Tubi frames; how much are you giving up?

Notices
Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

Tre Tubi frames; how much are you giving up?

Old 10-17-22, 10:59 AM
  #1  
sd5782 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Toledo Ohio
Posts: 1,123

Bikes: 1964 Frejus,1972 Fuji Newest, 1973 Schwinn Super Sport, 1983 Trek 700, 1985 Ironman, 1985 Torpado, 1983 Peugeot UO14, 1989 Miyata 1000LT and others

Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 405 Post(s)
Liked 447 Times in 249 Posts
Tre Tubi frames; how much are you giving up?

All this frame material stuff intrigues me. Kinda silly as I’m an old slow guy anyhow, but I enjoy the technical aspects of it all. Tre Tubi was a generalization, although I do have an Aelle Torpado in the lineup for sometime. It seems that most larger manufacturers have some frames with what is considered “good” tubing for the main triangle and lesser tubing for the rest.

It seems from posts that often owners still praise these bikes with “lesser” steel in the forks and rear triangle. So, if geometry and equipment are the same, how much is given up? I would think that there is more penalty than just a half pound of weight. Thoughts?
sd5782 is offline  
Old 10-17-22, 11:19 AM
  #2  
embankmentlb
Senior Member
 
embankmentlb's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: North, Ga.
Posts: 2,309

Bikes: 3Rensho-Aerodynamics, Bernard Hinault Look - 1986 tour winner, Guerciotti, Various Klein's & Panasonic's

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 129 Post(s)
Liked 255 Times in 115 Posts
I have Tre Tubi , Aelle , 753 framed bikes and everything in between. I am certainly not an expert in any sense of the word. After 40 plus years of riding l do notice some differences.
Manufactures usually pair the component quality to the frame quality to align with a certain price point. The total package may be what I notice. A high quality frame verses a medium quality frame would be hard or impossible for me to feel a difference.
embankmentlb is online now  
Old 10-17-22, 11:28 AM
  #3  
seypat
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,882
Mentioned: 67 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2743 Post(s)
Liked 1,908 Times in 1,193 Posts
Added weight is about it. You'll notice more with the saddle, wheelset and tires you put on it.
seypat is offline  
Likes For seypat:
Old 10-17-22, 11:39 AM
  #4  
jdawginsc 
Edumacator
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Goose Creek, SC
Posts: 5,349

Bikes: '87 Crestdale, '87 Basso Gap, '92 Rossin Performance EL-OS, 1990 VanTuyl, 1980s Losa, 1985 Trek 670, 1982 AD SLE, 1987 PX10, etc...

Mentioned: 34 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1708 Post(s)
Liked 1,774 Times in 1,190 Posts
Agreed. I have Cromor, Tange 1/2 mix SL, SL mix (the Faggin I think), ELOS, 531 and a 531 mix.

The only frames I notice a palpable difference on are the ELOS and the Cannondale original run.

Plus we don’t know what the stays are...might be some decent stuff back there.

Last edited by jdawginsc; 10-17-22 at 04:08 PM.
jdawginsc is offline  
Old 10-17-22, 11:43 AM
  #5  
thinktubes 
weapons-grade bolognium
 
thinktubes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Across the street from Chicago
Posts: 6,064

Bikes: Battaglin Cromor, Ciocc Designer 84, Schwinn Superior 1981

Mentioned: 42 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 890 Post(s)
Liked 1,724 Times in 710 Posts
I had a TreTubi Faggin and it was great! Smooth and lively ride, great geometry. Sold it because it was too small (note long stem, set-back seatpost).

thinktubes is offline  
Old 10-17-22, 11:43 AM
  #6  
3alarmer 
Friendship is Magic
 
3alarmer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: The Big Tomato
Posts: 21,434

Bikes: old ones

Mentioned: 298 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24397 Post(s)
Liked 8,161 Times in 5,703 Posts
.
....sometimes, in the larger size frames I ride (59-60-61cm) , I think I notice that there is less overall flex in the rear triangle (so a stiffer frame). But it's not enough to make a universal statement about these frames. Some of them are pretty nice. I have experimented with a number of them, from the offerings by Follis and Bianchi, to some of the one down from the top of the line from Stella, a Bottecchia, a Faggin, and even a three main tubes butted, early Schwinn Voyageur. They all ride well with decent wheels and tires on them.
__________________
3alarmer is offline  
Likes For 3alarmer:
Old 10-17-22, 12:06 PM
  #7  
52telecaster
ambulatory senior
 
52telecaster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Peoria Il
Posts: 5,241

Bikes: Bob Jackson World Tour, Falcon and lots of other bikes.

Mentioned: 66 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1599 Post(s)
Liked 2,176 Times in 1,073 Posts
I have several full 531 and a few main triangle only. I would say between the two that geometry is bigger than the lack of a super light rear triangle. Having said that and because I tour with front panniers only, I prefer full 531 for long trips. It's not a big difference in comfort but being old and slow, I take whatever comforts are allowed.
52telecaster is offline  
Old 10-17-22, 12:06 PM
  #8  
Kabuki12
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 2,681
Mentioned: 30 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 640 Post(s)
Liked 1,462 Times in 859 Posts
I have a Tre Tubi ItalVega that seems just fine , I don't have the strength to notice any flex variation as opposed to my full Columbus bikes.
Kabuki12 is offline  
Likes For Kabuki12:
Old 10-17-22, 12:42 PM
  #9  
himespau 
Senior Member
 
himespau's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 13,139
Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3653 Post(s)
Liked 2,455 Times in 1,462 Posts
You can't see the sticker while riding it, right?
himespau is offline  
Likes For himespau:
Old 10-17-22, 12:47 PM
  #10  
seypat
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,882
Mentioned: 67 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2743 Post(s)
Liked 1,908 Times in 1,193 Posts
Originally Posted by himespau View Post
You can't see the sticker while riding it, right?
That's the important part. One of these days I'm gonna get a really high end French bike. The reason? All the lower end French bikes I've ridden ride so good. Surely a high end one will ride even better.
seypat is offline  
Likes For seypat:
Old 10-17-22, 12:59 PM
  #11  
Erzulis Boat
3rd Grade Dropout
 
Erzulis Boat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Santa Barbara Calif.
Posts: 1,607
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 268 Post(s)
Liked 403 Times in 178 Posts
Best riding steel bike that I ever owned was a Tretubi Faggin. Granted, it's the sum of the parts, but that ride was magical. I sold it to make room for an SL top of the line Faggin from the same era. Nope, the ride quality was totally inferior on the "fancy" Faggin with the identical components/wheels.

I see a pattern here with the Tretubi Faggins...................................
Erzulis Boat is offline  
Likes For Erzulis Boat:
Old 10-17-22, 03:37 PM
  #12  
3alarmer 
Friendship is Magic
 
3alarmer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: The Big Tomato
Posts: 21,434

Bikes: old ones

Mentioned: 298 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24397 Post(s)
Liked 8,161 Times in 5,703 Posts
Everybody loves pictures. :)


Three Main Tubes Bianchi

Three Main Tubes Voyageur

Three Main Tubes Follis

Three Main Tubes Stella

Three Main Tubes Faggin
__________________
3alarmer is offline  
Likes For 3alarmer:
Old 10-17-22, 03:38 PM
  #13  
Andy_K 
Senior Member
 
Andy_K's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Beaverton, OR
Posts: 14,162

Bikes: Yes

Mentioned: 486 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2848 Post(s)
Liked 2,646 Times in 1,065 Posts
I'm not even convinced it's always a downgrade. If the full fancy tubing frame was designed with 160 pound riders in mind, it might be a good thing for a heavy rider like me if the fork and stays are a little stiffer.

The trouble is, there's really no way to analyze this even pseudo-scientifically because you have no idea what you've got. With the main triangle I can look up the alloy blend, the wall thickness, the tubing set weight, and pretty much anything else I want to geek out about. With the forks and stays on a tre tubi bike, you usually don't get any clues as to what it is. Whatever was lying around the shop the day they built it? It might even be full 531 or whatever. That's just not promised.
__________________
My Bikes
Andy_K is offline  
Likes For Andy_K:
Old 10-17-22, 03:58 PM
  #14  
T-Mar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 23,230
Mentioned: 631 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4706 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2,978 Times in 1,844 Posts
Using lesser grade material in the stays and fork blades is a cost concession to hit a lower price point. The weight penalty is not as much as most people think.

CrMo’s potential weight savings cannot be fully realized in the stays and forks because the frame would be too whippy, with more flex at the bottom bracket and less predictable steering. Stiffness in a round tube is a function of the material’s modulus of elasticity, its outer diameter and its thickness. In the case of CrMo versus1020 hi-tensile, the differences in the modulus of elastic are negligible and the stiffness becomes primarily a function of diameter and wall thickness.

A main triangle can maintain good stiffness, primarily due to the larger diameter tubes. In order to maintain the necessary rigidity, CrMo stays and blades are typically about 80% the thickness of hi-tensile stays. You lose about ½ the potential weight savings of CrMo, to maintain adequate stiffness. This is why designers often substitute lesser grade material in the stays and forks. It saves money without affecting the weight as much.

In some cases. the added stiffness can be desirable, especially with very heavy or powerful riders or in certain types of bicycles, such as a grand touring bicycles which carry heavy loads in addition to the rider.
T-Mar is offline  
Likes For T-Mar:
Old 10-17-22, 04:17 PM
  #15  
sd5782 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Toledo Ohio
Posts: 1,123

Bikes: 1964 Frejus,1972 Fuji Newest, 1973 Schwinn Super Sport, 1983 Trek 700, 1985 Ironman, 1985 Torpado, 1983 Peugeot UO14, 1989 Miyata 1000LT and others

Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 405 Post(s)
Liked 447 Times in 249 Posts
So, is it assumed that the cheaper steel fork and stay tubes will be thicker and stiffer, or do the factories try to somewhat match the properties of the higher grades by not going too thick in some cases? All kinda interesting as many seemingly lesser frames are well praised.
sd5782 is offline  
Likes For sd5782:
Old 10-17-22, 06:03 PM
  #16  
The Golden Boy 
Extraordinary Magnitude
 
The Golden Boy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Waukesha WI
Posts: 13,276

Bikes: 1978 Trek TX700; 1978/79 Trek 736; 1984 Specialized Stumpjumper Sport; 1984 Schwinn Voyageur SP; 1985 Trek 620; 1985 Trek 720; 1986 Trek 400 Elance; 1987 Schwinn High Sierra; 1990 Miyata 1000LT

Mentioned: 81 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2462 Post(s)
Liked 1,275 Times in 728 Posts
Originally Posted by sd5782 View Post
So, is it assumed that the cheaper steel fork and stay tubes will be thicker and stiffer, or do the factories try to somewhat match the properties of the higher grades by not going too thick in some cases? All kinda interesting as many seemingly lesser frames are well praised.
Generally- a "cheaper" tube will be weaker, and thus need to be thicker to maintain the same strength- so therefore heavier.

I look at the Trek catalogs- The 600 series bikes have the main frame of 531 and the fork and stays of other material- CMn or CrMo. Looking at the purposes for those bikes gives you an idea of what the design process was. It wasn't "whatever was leftover in the barn," it wasn't entirely for cutting costs: the alloy used for more strength was often the alloy used for "cutting costs."
__________________
*Recipient of the 2006 Time Magazine "Person Of The Year" Award*

Commence to jigglin’ huh?!?!

"But hey, always love to hear from opinionated amateurs." -says some guy to Mr. Marshall.
The Golden Boy is offline  
Old 10-17-22, 06:12 PM
  #17  
ShannonM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: Humboldt County, CA
Posts: 716
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 327 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 319 Times in 222 Posts
A lot of those Columbus "tre-tubi" frames were made with sticker-worthy main tubes, and taper-gauge 4130 stays and fork blades. Often True Temper, Ishiwata, or Tange.

In other words, equal quality, less bread, no bragging rights.

--Shannon
ShannonM is offline  
Likes For ShannonM:
Old 10-17-22, 07:47 PM
  #18  
BFisher
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 2,315
Mentioned: 34 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 753 Post(s)
Liked 1,854 Times in 871 Posts
How much are we giving up?

Too much!

Those extra few ounces aren't just destroying our ride times, hauling all that extra weight may even be shortening our lives. I mean, think about the strain not only on our vascular systems, but also on our mental states, spinning and spinning to propel the excess further and further, only to be crushed at the end of a long ride when we see that we're up a whole twelve seconds or more from the last ride on the top tier bike. Who among us can stomach results like that? A time drop like that can and must only be attributed to the lesser frame, and the dejection is enough to erase any benefit the exercise may have given us. 3,000+ calories and hours burned with nothing but the sad taste of failure sullying our dry, empty mouths. If we didn't drink heavily before, we sure will now, and would only have ourselves to blame.

And don't dare combine a "main tubes only" frameset with those old, terribly slow, dauntingly sluggish Campagnolo derailleurs. Good God No! You'll sweat more. You'll wither faster. Your poor fingers will swell and blister as you throw the levers further just to try and find the next gear, and then you'll cringe and wince at the abominable transitions, thinking "How did I get here? What have I done?!" You'll grunt. You'll curse. You might even cry a little. Kids will point and laugh. And the neighbors, what will they think?

Do yourselves a favor. Just say no to tre-tubi and Campagnolo!
BFisher is offline  
Likes For BFisher:
Old 10-17-22, 07:58 PM
  #19  
repechage
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 18,109
Mentioned: 121 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2651 Post(s)
Liked 1,681 Times in 1,237 Posts
Bicycle guide did a shootout of identical geometry frames made with various tube sets.
the budget tube set did too well.

it's the gauge for stiffness when the diameters are the same
repechage is offline  
Likes For repechage:
Old 10-17-22, 08:15 PM
  #20  
The Golden Boy 
Extraordinary Magnitude
 
The Golden Boy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Waukesha WI
Posts: 13,276

Bikes: 1978 Trek TX700; 1978/79 Trek 736; 1984 Specialized Stumpjumper Sport; 1984 Schwinn Voyageur SP; 1985 Trek 620; 1985 Trek 720; 1986 Trek 400 Elance; 1987 Schwinn High Sierra; 1990 Miyata 1000LT

Mentioned: 81 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2462 Post(s)
Liked 1,275 Times in 728 Posts
Originally Posted by repechage View Post
Bicycle guide did a shootout of identical geometry frames made with various tube sets.
the budget tube set did too well.

it's the gauge for stiffness when the diameters are the same
Are you talking about the Bruce Gordon frames- or was there another one?
__________________
*Recipient of the 2006 Time Magazine "Person Of The Year" Award*

Commence to jigglin’ huh?!?!

"But hey, always love to hear from opinionated amateurs." -says some guy to Mr. Marshall.
The Golden Boy is offline  
Old 10-17-22, 08:30 PM
  #21  
krakhaus 
Full Member
 
krakhaus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Palm Springs, California
Posts: 449
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 196 Post(s)
Liked 433 Times in 169 Posts
Originally Posted by thinktubes View Post
I had a TreTubi Faggin and it was great! Smooth and lively ride, great geometry. Sold it because it was too small (note long stem, set-back seatpost).

I had that same frameset with the same paint scheme. Great bike. I probably couldn't feel the difference between than and any of my SLX frames.
krakhaus is offline  
Likes For krakhaus:
Old 10-17-22, 09:18 PM
  #22  
mstateglfr 
Sunshine
 
mstateglfr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Des Moines, IA
Posts: 15,096

Bikes: '18 class built steel roadbike, '19 Fairlight Secan, '88 Schwinn Premis , Black Mountain Cycles Monstercross V4, '89 Novara Trionfo

Mentioned: 120 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9423 Post(s)
Liked 5,775 Times in 3,342 Posts
Originally Posted by sd5782 View Post
So, is it assumed that the cheaper steel fork and stay tubes will be thicker and stiffer, or do the factories try to somewhat match the properties of the higher grades by not going too thick in some cases? All kinda interesting as many seemingly lesser frames are well praised.
It shouldn't be assumed that less expensive tubes will be thicker.
Modern 853 tubing comes in all sorts of profiles. Some are the same as 631 tubing and 520 tubing.

My grabel bike has an 853 main triangle and 4130 generic stays. This isn't a cost savings from a tubing perspective though. The stays are shaped(curved) a couple times and 4130 tubing is more easily and consistently manipulated. The thickness of the stays matches higher level branded tubing.
mstateglfr is online now  
Old 10-17-22, 10:18 PM
  #23  
Insidious C. 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: PNW
Posts: 1,456

Bikes: One of everything and three of everything French

Mentioned: 47 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 392 Post(s)
Liked 234 Times in 144 Posts
Anyone know- during which years did Columbus employ the triangular tretubi sticker? See Kabuki12's Italvega and (I think) 3Alarmer's Stella above.
__________________
I.C.
Insidious C. is offline  
Old 10-18-22, 12:59 AM
  #24  
Kabuki12
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 2,681
Mentioned: 30 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 640 Post(s)
Liked 1,462 Times in 859 Posts
The ItalVega is a September 1972 mfg. date.
Kabuki12 is offline  
Old 10-18-22, 06:20 AM
  #25  
Hondo6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2021
Location: SW Florida, USA
Posts: 791

Bikes: Yes

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 306 Post(s)
Liked 314 Times in 224 Posts
Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
Are you talking about the Bruce Gordon frames- or was there another one?
If this is the article @repechage is referencing, they were all Mondonicos with identical geometry and components that were ridden over the same or similar routes by the same rider. The rider didn't know which frame was made from which tubing.

https://www.habcycles.com/m7.html

Last edited by Hondo6; 10-18-22 at 06:26 AM.
Hondo6 is offline  
Likes For Hondo6:

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.