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Question about aluminum

Old 11-26-23, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Classtime
My 1991 Cannondale SR600 with 25mm GP5000s at 95 psi is not harsh riding. Nor is my 1986 RS800 with 25mm GP4000s at 95psi.

Don't forget that if you ride aluminum, regularly check for cracks
Or steel, or any material, really. See current thread in General Cycling. (Of course, aluminum is a softer material, which helps a bit; more prone to tearing than cracking.)
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Old 11-26-23, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider
I'm not super knowledgeable about this, but I think hydroforming allows makers to use many different shapes. This, in turns, allows each tube to have its individual properties such as resistance to twisting, allowing a tube to be flexible or, on the other hand, allowing a tube to be stiff in a certain direction. I think it can also allow a tube to be stiff in one direction and stiff in another direction. With all this, uh, flexibility in abilities, the bike as a system is possible to design and make in ways that were not previously available. And it strengthens the argument that the material the maker chooses does not predict how a bike rides, if you look at material and only material. The maker has many decisions to make such as tube shape, tube dimensions, and frame geometry. It's the aggregate of these decisions that make a bike act one way or another, and looking at only one factor, frame material, tells a woefully small part of the story.

Aluminum is relatively inexpensive, and that, combined with the many choices that hydroforming offers, allows a maker with a great number of possibilities.

I'm only guessing, but I suspect that aluminum frames are now seeing fewer examples of failure from fatigue because they can be reinforced in areas of stress in ways that were previously unavailable. I hope people here will corroborate or tell me I'm wrong.
I'm going to disagree. Stiff aluminum frames always had very low failure rates - you can't work harden what won't bend in the first place.

You also don't get magic properties by making tubes non-round shapes.
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Old 11-26-23, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak
Perfect illustration of what I posted earlier: a CAD 3 with criterium geometry is always going to feel less "comfortable" than any bike with a longer wheelbase, regardless of frame material. (And regardless of "hydroforming," etc.)

(In the tests cited in the article I linked earlier, for the vertical load tested, the Cannondale aluminum frame and the titanium frame differed in compliance by an amount equivalent to the thickness of two or three sheets of paper. No one could seriously claim to be able to feel that difference.)

And the crit geometry is also responsible for that the bike will "handle like it was on rails." That's really the thing that I loved about my crit geometry bikes, both steel and aluminum, and what made it worthwhile putting up with the, ahem, "lively" ride.

Bringing the topic of comfort versus frame material and geometry (i.e., wheelbase measurement) up to date, the irony is that by labeling current bike designs "gravel" or "endurance" or the equivalent, the manufacturers get to sell more-comfortable (i.e., longer-wheelbase) bikes---in other words, bikes with 40-year-old sport touring geometry.

Those bikes are also a bit heavier, but a sizable proportion of the aging population buying such bikes tends to be looking for comfort and worrying less about light weight. (Which is great, from the manufacturer's standpoint---other things equal, the heavier the bikes at a given price point, the fewer the warranty claims.)
Disagree. In the early 80s Cannondale's long wheelbase sport touring frames were so stiff that they marketed them for racing because they were so much stiffer than typical steel bikes.


Overall, I don't think many people posting on this thread remember the '80s. By '87 or so Cannondale's popularity as reasonably priced cutting edge frame was very well known, as was how incredibly stiff and harsh riding they were. And that wasn't just because they had stiff BBs - until 1989 Cannondale's had the most ridiculously huge oval seatstays, and they all had stiff steel forks. By contrast, the narrow tubed Vitus and Alan frames were rubbery and had soft riding aluminum forks, but those frames were never as common as Cannondales had become by that time. In any possible test, the Cannondales and Kleins greatly exceeded the stiffness of any common steel racing frame, and had forks just as stiff.

When Cannondale finally addressed this in '89, it was a tough re-education of consumers who associated aluminum almost entirely with giant downtubes and seatstays, rather than Vitus, Trek or Technium. So the "harsh" thing was a deserved label that goes back to the beginning of Cannondale's popularity - not some later revelation.

In contrast, steel bikes are generally softer riding frames - but much harsher forks. While various tubesets definitely had reputations for being smooth or harsh depending on tube thickness (any remember 3Rensho?), all of them had very stiff forks. Due to aesthetics, steel bikes never really embraced the nice SR Prism aluminum forks, but the aluminum, Ti and carbon makers adopted them with gusto. An aluminum or carbon fork prior to the massive oversizing of steerer tubes were all terrific shock absorbers.

And just to say it: Cannondale "Crit geometry" was not that tight or crazy. European crit specialty bikes had much more vertical geometry and shorter chainstays. 20 years later, Cervelos would have shorter chainstays than the 399mm stays that were the shortest Cannondale ever used.
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Old 11-26-23, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by 52telecaster
I've played through them. They don't suck, but they don't sing.
With respect, I'd imagine you played through each knowing what it was. Like the wine experts in the famous test who couldn't tell white wine colored with red dye from red wine, expectations can affect one's impressions.

And for an example closer to home, there's that Bicycle Guide test where a bunch of experienced riders couldn't reliably tell apart unlabeled Columbus Aelle, Cromor, Brain, Thron, SLX, Neuron, and EL-OS frames by the way they rode.
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Old 11-26-23, 02:32 PM
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I have three aluminium MTB projects, 1 Trek 6700 Apha SLR from 1999, 1 Trek 6500 Alpha SLR from 2006 (these two will be finished to be built up by my bike tech) and 1 Giant Bronco from 1994/1995 (to be built) I have also 4 aluminium road bike projects including 1 Cannondale CAAD4, 1Veneto Art Deco in Altec2, 1 Daccordi Fly in Columbus Altec Or and 1 Trek 2300 in Alpha Aluminium SLR, I might add a 5th alumnium road bike frame even though I promised myself to stop. The harshest rides I had was with a Specialized S Works in M4 and a Storck Scenario Comp made of 7005 aluminium.
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Old 11-26-23, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak
With respect, I'd imagine you played through each knowing what it was. Like the wine experts in the famous test who couldn't tell white wine colored with red dye from red wine, expectations can affect one's impressions.

And for an example closer to home, there's that Bicycle Guide test where a bunch of experienced riders couldn't reliably tell apart unlabeled Columbus Aelle, Cromor, Brain, Thron, SLX, Neuron, and EL-OS frames by the way they rode.
There's also this test, where the unlabeled frames had distinct character, but it went opposite conventional wisdom (heavier, stiffer felt better to multiple riders). John Schubert being one, obviously no slouch in the experience department. Meta-analysis of the available blind testing seems to indicate that about half of a study population are able to tell the differences in ride feel and half are unable to do so. Which is why this ends up being an enticing argument.

https://www.bgcycles.com/new-page-1

The book says that the reduced wall thickness will make the Prestige tubing less rigid. For the midsection of a 1 1/8” down tube, skim 0.1mm of wall thickness and you lose 16% of your tubes rigidity; skim 0.2mm and you lose 32%. The rigidity loss is favored by many riders for its effect on the way the bike feels on rough roads. Some cyclists bemoan any lost rigidity for climbing, and others say it doesn’t matter. That particular debate will never end.

Of course, the skinnier tubes will reduce the weight a bit. Gordon said that on the finished frames, the weight difference was an insignificant 5oz (about 148g) – one third of a water bottle. Our Tange frame had the same wall thickness as the Columbus SL frame in the seat tube (0.9/0.6mm) and fork blades (0.9mm), and skinnier walls everywhere else. The Columbus down tube was 0.9/0.6/0.9mm, Tange’s was 0.8/0.5/0.8mm (that was Gordon’s request: most Tange Prestige frames are 0.1mm thinner than that). The Columbus top tube was 0.9/0.6/0.9mm: Prestige 0.7/0.4/0.7mm. Chainstays and seatstays were 0.7mm for Columbus and 0.6mm for Prestige.

Tiny differences, five ounces of metal stretched out over six tubes. And when I rode the bikes, I hadn’t been told which was which. And yet, there was a definite difference between the bikes and it took little time to notice. Once when I went on a side by side with Imre Barsy, our former industry editor who now works at Specialized, he took all of 100 yards to notice the differences and voice his preferences for the pink bike.

Barsy’s preference was due to the single most striking difference between the bikes: the pink once seemed to transfer fewer vibrations to the rider. The minute vibrations that result when you roll over a slightly rough asphalt road are a source of fatigue and bother. They were much , much lighter on the pink bike.
Indeed, I preferred the pink bike too. In addition to feeling smoother over minor pavement roughness, it had a lighter “feel” to it. I should set this difference in context – it was small enough that you couldn’t detect it except by comparing two identical bikes. Once, I replaced the Specialized Turbo S tires with a slightly pudgier set; it resulted in far greater change in riding qualities. Other, smaller changes, such as a padded saddle or padded handlebar tape, would have muddied the waters too.

And yet, the pink bike’s list of small but discernible advantages grew. It tracked the pavement better on my favorite descent – a steep nine percent grade with potholes, lumps and patches in the pavement. This demands white-knuckled bike handling to be a very challenging test (I’ve clocked 43 mph there with my Solar Cateye). The pink bike felt more secure on this hill – a difference you’d never notice on smoother or less steep roads. When the aqua bike went over a bump, it took longer to regain full weight, traction, and control on the front wheel. The pink bike felt more inclined to stay glued to the road.
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Old 11-26-23, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak
With respect, I'd imagine you played through each knowing what it was. Like the wine experts in the famous test who couldn't tell white wine colored with red dye from red wine, expectations can affect one's impressions.

And for an example closer to home, there's that Bicycle Guide test where a bunch of experienced riders couldn't reliably tell apart unlabeled Columbus Aelle, Cromor, Brain, Thron, SLX, Neuron, and EL-OS frames by the way they rode.
But that bicycle test is a little bit outdated since Aelle, Cromor and Thron were and are mostly entry level frames weighting a ton Brain and SLX were mid end high end range frames at best and Neuron and EL OS were the very high end but which were surpassed by Max, Minimax, Overmax, Genius, Nemo, Foco, Ultrafoco, Life, Spirit and XLR
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Old 11-26-23, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak
About the rates of failure of different frame materials back then: there's a fascinating ongoing C&V thread where people are reporting their experience with frame failures. So far, the reports seem to be running about 5 or more failed steel frames to each aluminum frame---and the aluminum failures reported include Alan- and Vitus-built small-diameter-tube frames, known for being somewhat failure-prone.

Anecdotal, obviously, but I suspect that the ratio will continue to be roughly the same as the stories continue to roll in. I worked in a couple of the biggest bike stores in the area in the '80's and '90's, and that's about the proportion of damaged frames that I remember.

Cannondale's engineers were working to refine their designs throughout that period: hence the successive CAD---and, later, CAAD---series numbers, prominently labeled on each bike. They'd figured out early on that riding comfort did not decrease with increased structural rigidity and/but that the increased torsional and lateral rigidity did result in improved handling and wheel tracking. And the bikes kept getting lighter!
This is opposite of what was stated in one of the Cannondale articles. The increase in structural rigidity was necessary to increase durability and the tradeoff in riding comfort was a compromise that had to be made.

A survey of bikeforums in 2023 about frame failures 30 years prior isn't a very robust data set. For one point, most of the riders who were riding contemporaneously are not posting here. The other is that, there are less than 50 unique responses in that thread. I've broken 3 aluminum frames and 1 steel frame and didn't reply. We also don't know the population of what was/is in the market. If there are 5 times as many steel frames in the market as aluminum, than the ratio makes sense. But there's no robust data, it would be trivial to produce an estimate showing one or the other with a higher propensity to fail. What we can glen from contemporary articles is that aluminum was considered by many including manufacturers themselves, to be less durable than steel.

I worked at both REI and Performance Bicycle for the better part of a decade in the 2000s-2010s and the only steel frame failures I saw were very old lugged bikes and newer bikes damaged in curb impacts. We would warranty at least 2 newer aluminum frames a month, usually cracks in the bottom bracket/downtube/headtube HAZ or the dimples in chainstay. Of course, we also sold almost exclusively aluminum and carbon fiber bikes. It was rare to see an aluminum bike from the 80s or 90s, especially that had been ridden a lot. Whether this was due to market forces or an indicator of durability is unknown. Steel bikes from that time were very common.

Originally Posted by Trakhak
One of the articles SpeedOfLite posted was the earliest I've seen where the writer said that a Cannondale racing bike had a particularly hard ride. He blamed the frame but then swapped the tires (23 mm to 25, I think) and said the ride was much improved. Somehow he didn't draw the all-but-obvious conclusion. (The bike under review was a Crit Series, too. See my previous post on that topic.)

There's another little time capsule here: the era when bike tire manufacturers lived and died according to what riders saw in bike magazines. Riders would look at ads, see that, e.g., a Specialized 23-mm tire weighed 50 grams less than another brand's tire of the same dimensions, and buy the Specialized tire. Unbeknownst to that rider, Specialized's tire was 2 or 3 mm narrower than the labeled size.

There's a good chance, in other words, that that Cannondale's 23-mm tires, so-called, were actually 21 mm, 20 mm, or even 19 mm in width.

The bike magazines eventually caught on and began including both the weight and the measured inflated width of tires in their reviews. (I could be wrong, but I seem to remember that Continental was one of the few companies that had labeled their tires accurately all along.)
These editors were riding the same tires on steel bikes and recording their observations as well. So if an aluminum bike felt harsh with 19mm tires but good with 25mm tires that framework applied to steel produces the result already mentioned. Steel at 19mm is more "comfortable" than aluminum at 19mm and continues with both at 25mm. Which is what the outcome most of the editorials reached.
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Old 11-26-23, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by georges1
But that bicycle test is a little bit outdated since Aelle, Cromor and Thron were and are mostly entry level frames weighting a ton Brain and SLX were mid end high end range frames at best and Neuron and EL OS were the very high end but which were surpassed by Max, Minimax, Overmax, Genius, Nemo, Foco, Ultrafoco, Life, Spirit and XLR
But the point was that all of us riding high-end steel bikes back then "knew" that we'd have no trouble telling, e.g., Aelle from SLX just by riding the bikes. We knew it, until we read the results of that test, that is.

In some cases, the riders guessed wildly wrong. The Columbus importer, informed of the outcome, objected to the test results but had no substantive argument he could make, given how carefully the test had been set up and conducted.

I'm not sure how logical it is to say that they'd have been able to identify the high-end frames if the high end had been just a bit higher. The tube sets you named are a little lighter, maybe a little more dent resistant, and likely somewhat more brittle than the preceding Columbus technology. Not qualities that are likely to make the kind of day-and-night difference necessary to render them impossible to mistake for, say, Neuron. Or even Aelle, maybe.
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Old 11-26-23, 05:05 PM
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Blind or double blind tests related to bicycles are intriguing, mostly for their rarity and counterintuitive outcomes, at times.

Jan Heine has one of the few other double blind tubing tests I've found. The full article is more in depth but the blog post has the relevant info:

https://www.renehersecycles.com/what-is-planing/

A few years ago, we did a double-blind test. Jeff Lyon built four frames for us. They were identical, except for minor variations in frame tubing (and hence frame stiffness). The differences were small – just 0.2 mm difference in the wall thicknesses of top and down tubes (Bike 2), or 1/8″ in the diameter (Bike 3). Bike 4 was a duplicate of Bike 1, as an additional check of our results. Apart from those two frame tubes, all four bikes were absolutely identical – same tubes, same geometry, same paint, same components. Even the same weight: The lighter frames had weights inside to equalize the weight.

The goal of this experiment was simple: We wanted to see whether small differences in frame tubing are discernible to the riders, and whether they make a measurable difference in performance. Would our riders prefer the stiffest bike? Or the most flexible? Or would it make no difference at all?

The test was a true double-blind test. Neither test riders nor test administrator knew which frame was made from which tubing. To hide the tubing diameter (one frame used oversized tubing), the bikes were wrapped in foam insulation. In every way, the test met the most rigorous scientific standards.

We rode the bikes in a variety of tests. One of them was an uphill sprint for 340 m (1100 ft), with two testers racing each other. Both bikes were equipped with calibrated power meters. We repeated the sprints five times, with the riders switching bikes after each run. After the fifth run, the riders were exhausted, so we stopped the experiment. It’s one of half a dozen experiments that all showed the same: Small differences in frame tubing can lead to a significantly different feel and performance.
The Magnificent 7 test is most interesting due to it's size and structure. Had the test used statistical experimental methods to construct trial(s) in a different way it would have been possible to achieve a more concrete process-outcome.

As Alan Coté stated, he felt his decisions were essentially random; which was due to the essentially random experimental design.



A more outcome focused design for the experiment would be to bracket the bikes against each other matched to the largest expected marginal differences.



Round 1
Aelle v Cromor
Determine ride feel, "winner" advance

Brain v EL-OS
Determine ride feel, "winner" advance

Thorn v SLX
Determine ride feel, "winner" advance

Neuron - BYE

So then round 2 would be
Aelle v SLX
Determine ride feel, "winner" advance

Brain v Neuron
Determine ride feel, "winner" advance

round 3
SLX v Neuron

So the outcome presents the differences in a meaningful way. For trial 1 of 12 rides of the 7 different bikes. And then of course, the experimenter could take these results and determine the structure of trial 2 to develop a theory of the choices "regressing to the mean" and if they are or were becoming truly random. Other riders could be run through the original and subsequent trial brackets as well to determine a consensus or individual preference weight.

This is not to denigrate Coté but to illustrate how the experimental design constrained his outcome to be less useful than it otherwise could have been.
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Old 11-26-23, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage
hydroforming aluminum elements on a bike frame are often to facilitate suspension pick up points.
‘not all but that shows where it found a exploit.

I was able to test ride at a bike race in the Fall of 1975 - the new Klein. Steel fork at the time. When I dismounted and my opinion was sought, I declared THIS is the future of the criterium bike.
‘not the weight, but the satisfaction that all your work was making it to the road. Stiffest bike I had ever been able to ride. I was not sure that this would be a all day road bike, geometry could be modified but darn it was stiff.
I rode perhaps that same bike the next summer. +1. And I knew in that short ride there was no way I wanted to spend 100 miles on back country New England roads on it! Being a pure climber needing longer races, it was a solid pass for me.
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Old 11-26-23, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak
But the point was that all of us riding high-end steel bikes back then "knew" that we'd have no trouble telling, e.g., Aelle from SLX just by riding the bikes. We knew it, until we read the results of that test, that is.

In some cases, the riders guessed wildly wrong. The Columbus importer, informed of the outcome, objected to the test results but had no substantive argument he could make, given how carefully the test had been set up and conducted.

I'm not sure how logical it is to say that they'd have been able to identify the high-end frames if the high end had been just a bit higher. The tube sets you named are a little lighter, maybe a little more dent resistant, and likely somewhat more brittle than the preceding Columbus technology. Not qualities that are likely to make the kind of day-and-night difference necessary to render them impossible to mistake for, say, Neuron. Or even Aelle, maybe.
Genius wasn't brittle and neither were Neuron, Minimax, Overmax , Max and Nemo which were all part of the thighly reputed Nivacrom steel tubing, Foco and Ultrafoco were Thermacrom a notch above Nivacrom steel but you had to be careful of not to dent it, Life and Spirit are Omnicrom steel both very good steels and better than Zona and XLR is the pinnacle of columbus because stainless steel. I have two columbus road frames as projects, one is an Overmax and the other is a Genius. I also don't like to ride on heavy bikes or bikes that haven't got a very reactive or lively frame. BTW Columbus has brought back the Hyperion Titanium series of tubing Columbus range of tubes including the new Titanium Hyperion
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Old 11-26-23, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by georges1
Genius wasn't brittle and neither were Neuron, Minimax, Overmax , Max and Nemo which were all part of the thighly reputed Nivacrom steel tubing, Foco and Ultrafoco were Thermacrom a notch above Nivacrom steel but you had to be careful of not to dent it, Life and Spirit are Omnicrom steel both very good steels and better than Zona and XLR is the pinnacle of columbus because stainless steel. I have two columbus road frames as projects, one is an Overmax and the other is a Genius. I also don't like to ride on heavy bikes or bikes that haven't got a very reactive or lively frame. BTW Columbus has brought back the Hyperion Titanium series of tubing Columbus range of tubes including the new Titanium Hyperion
"Harder, stronger metals tend to be more brittle. The relationship between strength and hardness is a good way to predict behavior."

Anyway, to the point: there's no reason to believe that the riders who were unable to identify the then-current high-end steel frames would have been able to identify the later, slightly higher-end frames. Unless someone told them which were which ahead of time.
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Old 11-26-23, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak
"Harder, stronger metals tend to be more brittle. The relationship between strength and hardness is a good way to predict behavior."

Anyway, to the point: there's no reason to believe that the riders who were unable to identify the then-current high-end steel frames would have been able to identify the later, slightly higher-end frames. Unless someone told them which were which ahead of time.
To be fair, this isn't in the linked PDF, is there another section of the article that wasn't posted?

Alan Coté is pictured with other riders and the caption "...gathers information from the gang." But none of this information is shared, it's just himself. We know who the other riders were but what was their input? It's not stated in the article or anywhere else I could fine online.

On closer reading, this seems like an advertisement for Mondonico than a real double blind experiment. All we know is that Alan Coté was unable to tell, it's not clear what the other 7 riders felt.

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Old 11-26-23, 06:51 PM
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Is Alan Coté the only double blind rider that was unable to tell the difference?

Right now we have a very small population of riders in double blind studies and it appears four times as many riders were able to differentiate between frames as those who could not.

On one hand John Schubert, Imre Barsy, Jan Heine, Mark Vande Kamp were all participants who could tell the difference in their experiments.

Alan Coté could not, in his experiment. Where is everyone else in the "no" category?

It seems the other Magnificent 7/Mondonico riders were models for the magazine photos and not study participants? Unless someone has some addition information from them?



This seems to be a very flawed advertorial that should be removed from serious consideration of real world experimental outcomes, barring further information.
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Old 11-26-23, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Spoonrobot
Blind or double blind tests related to bicycles are intriguing, mostly for their rarity and counterintuitive outcomes, at times.

Jan Heine has one of the few other double blind tubing tests I've found. The full article is more in depth but the blog post has the relevant info:

https://www.renehersecycles.com/what-is-planing/



The Magnificent 7 test is most interesting due to it's size and structure. Had the test used statistical experimental methods to construct trial(s) in a different way it would have been possible to achieve a more concrete process-outcome.

As Alan Coté stated, he felt his decisions were essentially random; which was due to the essentially random experimental design.



A more outcome focused design for the experiment would be to bracket the bikes against each other matched to the largest expected marginal differences.



Round 1
Aelle v Cromor
Determine ride feel, "winner" advance

Brain v EL-OS
Determine ride feel, "winner" advance

Thorn v SLX
Determine ride feel, "winner" advance

Neuron - BYE

So then round 2 would be
Aelle v SLX
Determine ride feel, "winner" advance

Brain v Neuron
Determine ride feel, "winner" advance

round 3
SLX v Neuron

So the outcome presents the differences in a meaningful way. For trial 1 of 12 rides of the 7 different bikes. And then of course, the experimenter could take these results and determine the structure of trial 2 to develop a theory of the choices "regressing to the mean" and if they are or were becoming truly random. Other riders could be run through the original and subsequent trial brackets as well to determine a consensus or individual preference weight.

This is not to denigrate Coté but to illustrate how the experimental design constrained his outcome to be less useful than it otherwise could have been.
Thanks for that clear explanation of how the Magnificent Seven trials could have been improved. Individual preference weights would indeed be helpful: for example, torsional stiffness has always been more important to me as an attribute of a frame than, say, comfort. For other riders, the preferences might differ.

But the test did demonstrate, however crudely, that the anticipated one-to-one relationship between Columbus's various tubing levels and perceived levels of ride quality was not seen. Or, per Firesign Theater, "Everything You Know Is Wrong."
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Old 11-26-23, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Spoonrobot
Blind or double blind tests related to bicycles are intriguing, mostly for their rarity and counterintuitive outcomes, at times.

Jan Heine has one of the few other double blind tubing tests I've found. The full article is more in depth but the blog post has the relevant info:

https://www.renehersecycles.com/what-is-planing/



The Magnificent 7 test is most interesting due to it's size and structure. Had the test used statistical experimental methods to construct trial(s) in a different way it would have been possible to achieve a more concrete process-outcome.

As Alan Coté stated, he felt his decisions were essentially random; which was due to the essentially random experimental design.



A more outcome focused design for the experiment would be to bracket the bikes against each other matched to the largest expected marginal differences.



Round 1
Aelle v Cromor
Determine ride feel, "winner" advance

Brain v EL-OS
Determine ride feel, "winner" advance

Thorn v SLX
Determine ride feel, "winner" advance

Neuron - BYE

So then round 2 would be
Aelle v SLX
Determine ride feel, "winner" advance

Brain v Neuron
Determine ride feel, "winner" advance

round 3
SLX v Neuron

So the outcome presents the differences in a meaningful way. For trial 1 of 12 rides of the 7 different bikes. And then of course, the experimenter could take these results and determine the structure of trial 2 to develop a theory of the choices "regressing to the mean" and if they are or were becoming truly random. Other riders could be run through the original and subsequent trial brackets as well to determine a consensus or individual preference weight.

This is not to denigrate Coté but to illustrate how the experimental design constrained his outcome to be less useful than it otherwise could have been.
How is one going to hide 1/8” difference in diameter?
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Old 11-26-23, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage
How is one going to hide 1/8” difference in diameter?


Or

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Old 11-26-23, 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak
"Harder, stronger metals tend to be more brittle. The relationship between strength and hardness is a good way to predict behavior."

Anyway, to the point: there's no reason to believe that the riders who were unable to identify the then-current high-end steel frames would have been able to identify the later, slightly higher-end frames. Unless someone told them which were which ahead of time.
Not true. The difference between two kinds of steel can only be detected at yield. They will ride identically
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Old 11-27-23, 05:28 AM
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Originally Posted by georges1
Foco and Ultrafoco were Thermacrom a notch above Nivacrom
What do you mean by "above"?
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Old 11-27-23, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by oneclick
What do you mean by "above"?
Slightly higher quality of tubing. Last time I have checked a new old stock Tommasini Tecno Extra made of Columbus Nemo on ebay was 2995$ ,the same one in Foco tubing was 3995$, Tubing heat treatment and other technological refinements can explain the price difference
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Old 11-27-23, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak
With respect, I'd imagine you played through each knowing what it was. Like the wine experts in the famous test who couldn't tell white wine colored with red dye from red wine, expectations can affect one's impressions.

And for an example closer to home, there's that Bicycle Guide test where a bunch of experienced riders couldn't reliably tell apart unlabeled Columbus Aelle, Cromor, Brain, Thron, SLX, Neuron, and EL-OS frames by the way they rode.
There is that but I have a history of buying lighter hybrid and solid state magic amps thinking they will be great only to hate them down the road. I have no expertise when it comes to metallurgy and it's possible the latest generation of modeling amps has finally crossed the Rubicon but I can tell almost immediately. The difference between Columbus and Reynolds is like the difference between rca and mullard. The difference between tubes and solid state modeling is more like the difference between bikes and tricycles. This is of course reliant on things like negative feedback and amplifier topology but trust me, if your playing 4-5 nights a week and you plug straight into a tube amp, you can tell. Those guys that have pedal boards can't tell because the are essentially playing pedals which are solid state modelers. When they sit in on my rig they can't believe the difference. Guitar, cord, low negative feedback tube amp. As good as it gets.

Last edited by 52telecaster; 11-27-23 at 08:55 AM.
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Old 11-27-23, 07:56 AM
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The other problem with a tubing test is that the purpose of "better" tubes isn't to make them feel better, but to perform better. A tubing engineer might feel rightfully proud if a tester can't tell that they aren't riding on SL, even though the tubeset is a pound lighter.
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Old 11-27-23, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by georges1
Slightly higher quality of tubing.
What do you mean by "quality"?
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Old 11-27-23, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by oneclick
What do you mean by "quality"?
Thermacrom:
Introduced in 1999, this was the latest result of recent studies on the new welding methods and on the behaviour of the structure under successive heat cycles. Thermacrom can be considered to be a development of the nivacrom alloy and the ultra-fine structures resulting from the secondary precipitation of stable carbides. The aim is always to improve the mechanical benefits of the frames, maintaining a high coefficient of safety with even small thicknesses. The final weight is very closed to that of the best aluminium frames. Thermacrom is a steel microalloyed with manganese, chrome, molybdenum and vanadium. These elements produce a marked increase in temperability, a reduction in sensitivity to overheating (which ensures that a fine grain metal structure will be obtained after welding, more able to withstand fatigue stresses), better characteristics of strength and tenacity and better characteristics of resistance to corrosion and wear. After mechanical deformation, working and drawing, Thermacrom undergoes heating and cooling cycles that give the steel its particular microstructure. The treatment, which only ends at the time of welding by the frame maker, enhances the mechanical characteristics of the material by giving it high breaking loads (1250-1450N/mm2) permitting completely safe reductions in thicknesses. Thermacrom is used for very top of the range frames that require the highest benefits

Nivacrom:
Introduced with the Columbus Max series in 1987, this is the most famous of Columbus' patented steels, specifically designed to make tubes for bicycle frames. It has the advantage over other steels of combining extremely high mechanical characteristics with great tenacity in the welding area. Alloy elements, vanadium and niobium, precipitate in the metal matrix blocking any grain growth and the resulting decline in mechanical characteristics, even at temperatures exceeding 1000C. It should be noted that, following the introduction of Nivacrom, the automobile industry began to use similar steels for producing bearing and reinforcement structures. Nivacrom though has been developed for top of the range competitive bicycle frame use.

High Quality Columbus tubing for steel frames starts with Omnicrom which replaced the 5-10 years ago the Nivacrom and Thermacrom families of tubings
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