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Falck tubing

Old 12-16-07, 02:42 PM
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Mike01
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Falck tubing

I have been trying (rather unsuccesfully) to find out some more about Falck tubing. I know their corporate history and all that. I also believe they stopped producing bike tubing in the late 80s.
Searching the net and Google Ive come up with very little about the tubing itself, Id like to know more about the technical specs, tube composition, diameters and not least - wall thicknesses!
There doesnt seem to have been any catalogs or leaflets etc produced as I cant find a single reference to any, just some photos of the tubing decal for the most common straight gauge 0.8 tubing. I find this odd, since there were many manufacturers that used Falck tubing, like Legnano, Cinelli, Guerciotti and many others.
Can someone help me shed some more light on this or point me to other sources?
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Old 12-16-07, 04:52 PM
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Sorry, all I know is I've had a couple of Legnanos in Falck tubing. Here is the decal I copied from one:
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Old 12-16-07, 04:54 PM
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I've been unable to unearth much info on Falck either. Apparently the tubing was a seamed Chrome-Moly and that it was available in straight guage and butted versions.
I own a bike made from the straight guage and have been very pleasantly surprised at its ride quality.
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Old 12-17-07, 04:30 AM
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I own a bike made of Falck Libellula tubing (a german-built "Rabeneick Campagnolo").



(mind the little Libellula stamping on the forkblade shoulders, a similar is visible on all main tubes of the set)

I also have a bikeshop catalogue from the fifties/early sixties that lists a Libellula tubeset. I don't have it here (can look it up at home) but it was about 30% cheaper as 531 tubing.
I also might find some tubeset technical data from the late 80ies if i dug hard in my magazine archives..

Last edited by martl; 12-17-07 at 06:42 AM.
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Old 12-17-07, 04:49 AM
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The Concorde I have is made of Falck tubing and it's pretty light.

http://www.bikeforums.net/attachment...0&d=1196187195
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Old 12-17-07, 07:33 AM
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Agreed, there is little technical data out there on Falck tubesets. However, the double butted tubeset, up to and including the boom era models, was very close to Columbus SP (i.e 1.0 / 0.7 mm wall thickness). Later tubesets probably came in thinner varieties.

I've owned 3 Legnano made with Falck (2 pre-boom, 1 boom era). FWIW, I've seen no indication that the tubing was seamed. Perhaps these were some of the less expensive and/or later tubesets. The boom and pre-boom, butted tubeset was chromium-molybdendum .

I am not suprised that there is little information, given that it was most popular during the boom and pre-boom period. Detailed info was hard to come by. Most bicycle catalogs were very sketchy. You were lucky to get the brand and model for major components and minor components like handlebars, stems, pedals and seat posts often came with very generic descriptions such as "alloy". Personally, I always put it down to a marketplace that was relatively unsophisticated. Bicycles were primarily children's toys up until the early 1970s boom when adults discovered the 10 speed. Once they became educated about bicycles and started asking more questions, the manufacturers started supplying it and the catalogs gradually became more technical.
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Old 12-17-07, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
.......I've owned 3 Legnano made with Falck (2 pre-boom, 1 boom era). FWIW, I've seen no indication that the tubing was seamed. Perhaps these were some of the less expensive and/or later tubesets. The boom and pre-boom, butted tubeset was chromium-molybdendum ........
This agrees with the decal that someone posted above: "senza saldatura" translates to "seamless".
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Old 12-17-07, 11:03 AM
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i have a 60s legnano roma olimpiade built with falck tubes..
i'd always assumed 'extra leggeri' indicated some sort of butting..
it takes a 26.8 seatpost which suggests a .8mm wall thickness at the top,
so the seattube is maybe a straight gauge .8 or a butted .8/.6/.8 tube ??

i've been meaning to weigh the frame.. probably will be able to in the next couple days...
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Old 12-17-07, 12:09 PM
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Thank you very much all of you! Youve put forth more information than Id hoped for. Great!
T-Mar I agree with you on the fact that earlier catalogs often were very sketchy, even here in Europe, but youd think that since Reynolds and Columbus published relatively proper specs other tubing companies would follow suit. And how do you separate the different gauges? You spaek of duoble-butted Falck...how can you tell that from straight gauge?
The only decal Ive seen is the one attached here and thats supposed to be 0,8 mm straight gauge (like Aelle) tubing as far as I know.
gr23932; that decal was new to me, its odd to see E.Bozzi SpA (owner of Legnano, Frejus and Wolsit) incorporated into a decal put on a Concorde though! And dbakl, thanks for the pic - I have never seen that one before.
Martl, can you find some tubing data, that would be most helpful, absolutely. Btw, you have some fantastic bikes in your collection, absolutely beautiful pieces.
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Old 12-17-07, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike01 View Post
gr23932; that decal was new to me, its odd to see E.Bozzi SpA (owner of Legnano, Frejus and Wolsit) incorporated into a decal put on a Concorde though!
Wow! Thanks for that info. I had no idea of that. You mentioned you are in Europe; where in Europe are you? I'm in Belgium. Just thought I put that out in case it triggers something else you might think of or know.
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Old 12-17-07, 05:10 PM
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ok i stuck my 61cm falck tubed legnano on the scale..
frame + fork were about 5.10 + 1.72 lbs
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Old 12-18-07, 12:51 PM
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gr23932; I live in Sweden but come from Italy. The thing is you know, that Ive ridden several Falck-
tubed bikes from builders like Guerciotti and Casati for instance, but I ve never been able to find out very much about the tubing itself. Id like to know more.
The Casati was a beautiful little frame, made for my wife by Gianni Casati himself in the early 80ies with excellent riding characteristics
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Old 12-18-07, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by martl View Post
I own a bike made of Falck Libellula tubing (a german-built "Rabeneick Campagnolo").

Well, would you look at that - nicely filed Nervex (forgot the model - these are not Pro's) lugs. They're so nice, they almost look like copies...

Take care,

-Kurt
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Old 12-18-07, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike01 View Post
...T-Mar I agree with you on the fact that earlier catalogs often were very sketchy, even here in Europe, but youd think that since Reynolds and Columbus published relatively proper specs other tubing companies would follow suit. And how do you separate the different gauges? You spaek of duoble-butted Falck...how can you tell that from straight gauge?
The only decal Ive seen is the one attached here and thats supposed to be 0,8 mm straight gauge (like Aelle) tubing as far as I know.
While I have seen boom and pre-boom era Reynolds catalogs with specs, I haven't seen anything from Columbus for that era.

Barring an appropriate decal, the best way to gauge the level of a tubeset is via the inner diameter of the seat tube. Provided it fits properly, the seat post is also a useful gauge. The minimum wall thickness for high grade, plain gauge tubesets is typically 0.8mm. This translates to a theoretical inner diameter of 27.0mm for standard diameter (i.e. 1-1/8" or 28.6mm) seat tubes. In such cases, a 26.8mm seat post is generally used.

Butted tubesets, with the exception of some Japanese sets, typcially use single butted seat tubes. The top of the tube has the thinner, unbutted walls and a larger inner diamter and consequently accepts a larger seatpost. For instance a Columbus SL seat tube has 0.6mm walls in the unbutted section and consequently a theoretical 27.4mm inner diameter and is typically fitted with a 27.2mm post.

However, one must be cautious because many manufacturers ream or hone seat tubes on heavier gauge tubesets to accept a 27.2mm post, as this means they only have to stock one size of post. Sometimes it is possible ot tell if this has been done by pushing the post farther down into the frame. If the post binds after being inserted 5 or 6 inches, it is usually because it has only been prepped this far down.

It only a guideleine, but seatposts 27mm and larger generally represent butted tubesets unless the tubing is Japanese or the seat tube diameter is non-standard.
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Old 12-19-07, 02:13 AM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
Well, would you look at that - nicely filed Nervex (forgot the model - these are not Pro's) lugs. They're so nice, they almost look like copies...
yep, its a nice ride

i found some data about falck/falk (apparently thecompany used both names) tubing in a bike magazine from 1990. It has a special on frame tubing.

it says all falck tubings are welded, but so nicely done it can only be tetected (just) under a microscope.

they list a tubeset "Falck 25CrMo4" with these details:

material: 25CrMo4
strength: 770N/mm
reaking elongation (%): 12%

Top tube
diameter (D): 25.4mm
thickness (T): 0.8/+1/+1.2

down tube
D: -
T: -

seat tube
D: 28.6 +28
T: 8.8/+0.9/+1/+1.2/+1.5

seat stay
D: 14/+16
T: 0.8/+1/1

chain stay
D: 22.2/+22
T: 0.9/1/1.2

fork leg
D: 24
T: 0.9
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Old 12-19-07, 02:20 AM
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Some info on Falck Libellula tubing from a 1959 catalogue:

the libellula stamping shows a libellula (firefly) and the words: "Castello Mario & Figli Torino - Tubi conici per cicli - tipo "libellula"

weight is given as 2430g for the set

available as sets:
"for professional road frames" 29.90DM
"for amateur frames" 21.75DM
"for track frames": 36.75DM
"for stayer frames": 48DM

for comparison, a 531 tube set from the same catalogue weighed 2100g and cost 47,25DM
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Old 12-19-07, 03:31 AM
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hi martl,

thanks for the documentation describing Falck as being of seamed Chrome-moly construction and most especially for the wall thickness specs. I'd not seen them before.
Welded or not, the description would indicate that the Falck tubesets are of high quality and for practical purposes, having mechanical and finish properties closely akin to that of a true seamless tube.
Do you think it would it be reasonable to infer that the description "for professional road frames" might indicate the butted tubeset and " for amatuer frames" identifying the straight guage version?

I'm unfamiliar with the term "stayer frame "- perhaps an lightweight special tubing set for record/TT applications?

k

Last edited by caterham; 12-19-07 at 04:29 AM.
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Old 12-19-07, 04:39 AM
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Originally Posted by caterham View Post
hi martl,

thanks for the documentation describing Falck as being of seamed Chrome-moly construction and most especially for the wall thickness specs. I'd not seen them before.
Welded or not, the description would indicate that the Falck tubesets are of high quality and for practical purposes, having mechanical and finish properties closely akin to that of a true seamless tube.
I also think that this 1990 tubeset was of the highest quality, as the multiple butting indicates.
Do you think it would it be reasonable to infer that the description "for professional road frames" might indicate the butted tubeset and " for amatuer frames" identifying the straight guage version?
I guess that the "amateur" tubeset was less refined, either in the butting or the material used, maybe both. But i have no details on that.
I'm unfamiliar with the term "stayer frame "- perhaps an lightweight special tubing set for record/TT applications?
stayer (german: "steher") means frames for track racing behind a motorcyle. This is a Pogliaghi stayer i stole from the classic rendezvous website: I don't know for sure, but i think track frames are built more sturdy and thus heavier. I guess the higher price is due to less numbers produced.

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Old 12-19-07, 04:42 AM
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T-Mar; the Columbus tubing specs were incorporated into the Cinelli catalogues. Chuck Schmidt of Velo-Retro can provide excellent copies of those. Thanks for your guidelines, and I agree with you that one cant go strictly by the seatpost size, I have also found frames with excessively reamed seat tubes.
Martl, many thanks for lots of great info! Whats particularily interesting is the fact that they specified the tubing as 25CRMo4, not carbon-manganese as expected. A question about the Libelulla tubing; in the catalog it states that it was made by Mario Castello e Figli, Torino but how does that connect with tubazioni Falck?Was Falck the distributer?
In the old days, Columbus and Reynolds actually had their tubesets marked, into the tubing itself, with the tubing specs. This is something that you can find sometimes when removing the old paint in order to prepare the frame for a respray. Anyone know if Falck perhaps did the same?

Last edited by Mike01; 12-19-07 at 04:47 AM.
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Old 12-19-07, 05:03 AM
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[QUOTE=martl;5835349]stayer (german: "steher") means frames for track racing behind a motorcyle.

motorpacing?!!!....oh,my....
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Old 12-19-07, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by caterham View Post
hi martl,

thanks for the documentation describing Falck as being of seamed Chrome-moly construction and most especially for the wall thickness specs. I'd not seen them before...
Please be aware that starting in the early 1980s, all the major companies started introducing seamed tubesets (i.e. Reynolds 501, Columbus Matrix/Cromor, Columbus Aelle, Ishiwata EXO, Tange Infinity, etc.) It would appear that improvements in technology had overcome the previous limitations and it would be expected that Falck would follow this industry trend. Taken in it's proper context, Martl's reference is applicable only the tubesets produced circa 1990. It should not be assumed that all Falck tubing, regardless of the era, was seamed.
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Old 12-19-07, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by caterham View Post
hi martl,

thanks for the documentation describing Falck as being of seamed Chrome-moly construction and most especially for the wall thickness specs. I'd not seen them before...
Please be aware that starting in the early 1980s, all the major companies started introducing seamed tubesets (i.e. Reynolds 501, Columbus Matrix/Cromor, Columbus Aelle, Ishiwata EXO, Tange Infinity, etc.) It would appear that improvements in technology had overcome the previous limitations and it would be expected that Falck would follow this industry trend. Taken in it's proper context, Martl's reference is applicable only the tubesets produced circa 1990. It should not be assumed that all Falck tubing, regardless of the era, was seamed.
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Old 12-19-07, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
It should not be assumed that all Falck tubing, regardless of the era, was seamed.
obviously.

ps-conversely, with the limited information provided, it hasn't yet been ascertained that any Falck tubings were of true seamless construction.

Last edited by caterham; 12-19-07 at 12:23 PM. Reason: addendum
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Old 12-19-07, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike01 View Post
A question about the Libelulla tubing; in the catalog it states that it was made by Mario Castello e Figli, Torino but how does that connect with tubazioni Falck?Was Falck the distributer?
Oops you are right. I bought the framse as having "Falck Libellula" tubing, but i checked some resources now and it seems as if the libelula stuff really was from a different company and doesnt have any connections to Falck.. my mistake Thanks for helping clarify this!

Martin
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Old 12-21-07, 01:39 PM
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Martl, thats ok, no problems. I didnt know either. But now Im getting curious about this older (I suppose) libellula tubing. Produced it seems by Mario Castello and sons in Torino. When? What specs did it have? Was it butted or straight gauge?
Ive heard it mentioned from time to time, but I have never seen it "live". I only know the name means dragonfly. Anyone else that knows more?
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