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best steel

Old 12-09-11, 10:25 PM
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michaeljames
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best steel

what do you think were the top 5 types of steel in order for c&v frames? what's your thoughts on types of modern steel
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Old 12-09-11, 10:31 PM
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Columbus TSX has my vote as a relatively strong but light tubing.
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Old 12-09-11, 10:37 PM
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Steel, as in the alloy? Or, do you mean tubing profile/detail/diameter?
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Old 12-09-11, 10:48 PM
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I am in love with any and all of my Columbus SL bikes - but Reynolds 853 is some seriously light and responsive ferrous stuff!

DD
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Old 12-09-11, 10:51 PM
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Yup. Columbus SL may not be the fanciest, but it pleases me. My favorite steel frame I have ever ridden was made of SL.
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Old 12-09-11, 10:55 PM
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In order of favoriteness,
Some of my favorite road rides have been of:

Columbus SL
Tange Champion 1
Tange Ultimate
Tange Prestige
Reynolds 531

Favorite MTBs were of

Tange SuperLite
Ritchey Logic
True Temper OX3
Tange Prestige
Tange MTB

Last edited by LesterOfPuppets; 12-10-11 at 12:15 AM.
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Old 12-09-11, 11:00 PM
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I have ridden 531, 753, SL, SLX, and possibly others. If I could detect significant differences in ride quality between any of them, how could I possibly rule out the influence of fit, components, tires, mood and bio rhythms?

Therefore my unwavering bias for Reynolds 753 is based primarily on hype and sticker design.
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Old 12-09-11, 11:13 PM
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Originally Posted by jan nikolajsen View Post
I have ridden 531, 753, SL, SLX, and possibly others. If I could detect significant differences in ride quality between any of them, how could I possibly rule out the influence of fit, components, tires, mood and bio rhythms?

Therefore my unwavering bias for Reynolds 753 is based primarily on hype and sticker design.
I second anything this Dude says…he has crazy cool hair and smokes a pipe, and that equals respect in my book. It would probably have been easier to have a thread about ‘bad’ tubing or what to avoid. Although, I’ve owned some old straight gauge tubed bikes that I would have to do some bench presses and stretches before attempting a hoist to my bike rake that road rather nicely. So, everything is relative, refine your question to vintage lightweight race fames, and you’ll probably start a firestorm of an argument. (Oh, and throw out the part about "modern" tubing. It doesn't really apply here does it?)
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Old 12-09-11, 11:34 PM
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I know you told me 3 ways i should refine my question rothenfield1 but i felt it was harmless fun to ask a basic question that would get people active and involved in discussion. as for the modern bit, who knows. maybe theres certain types of steel still being used today and that could say alot about the integrity and quality of the material. how could i know? thats why i asked.
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Old 12-09-11, 11:55 PM
  #10  
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IMHO Vitus 980. This is counter to all of the others, but it is soft and super-light.

I am also parshall to Ishiwata and Ritchey Logic for MTB's.
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Old 12-10-11, 01:17 AM
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Originally Posted by michaeljames View Post
what do you think were the top 5 types of steel in order for c&v frames? what's your thoughts on types of modern steel
This may sound like a cop-out, but it is what I firmly believe: The builder and the intended use counts for much more than the tube set. My Paramount is Reynolds 531, my De Rosa is stickered Columbus SLX, but there is a fair-to-middlin' chance that it has an SPX downtube because of its size.

I do not know what the tubing is on either my Ron Cooper or my Eisentraut and, as I have said elsewhere, beyond curiosity, I don't much care. Both are almost certainly a mix based on the knowledge and experience of two of the very best frame builders ever to hold a torch. Even though neither of these frames were built specifically for me, I am not about to question their choices, especially since they are such joys to ride.

I have also had and enjoyed frames made of Ishiwata, Reynolds 853, Miyata proprietary triple-butted, True Temper and another SLX frame. All the differences - and they were all different - are more clearly a result of different frame geometery than anything obvious in the tubing itself. I don't for a moment doubt that there are differences among the tube sets, not to mention differences between different thicknesses of otherwise identical tube sets. But design seems to me a much more important variable in most cases. (Notice I said "most" cases - I would not want Max tubing on a touring frame, for example.)

As for modern steels, from what I've heard it sounds like Reynolds 953 is pretty damn trick. 'Spensive, though.
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Old 12-10-11, 02:04 AM
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2040 high ten for me
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Old 12-10-11, 02:35 AM
  #13  
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Road race tube set: Reynolds 953, Dedacciai EOM 16.5, True Temper S3, then Reynolds 853.

Touring tube set: Reynolds 725 and 631, Columbus Zona, then Reynolds 520.
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Old 12-10-11, 02:37 AM
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bikingshearer thanks alot for posting man, i looked up ron and eisentraut and got a real lesson in the greatest frame builders. i will never build a frame but i appreciate the art and thought process. I think it might be a lost art in the years of bonded aluminum and carbon
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Old 12-10-11, 02:47 AM
  #15  
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There was an article from the 1970s that was scanned and uploaded on to this forum a couple of years ago.

A top Italian frame builder made identical frames out of different Columbus tubesets. They were then tested (blind) by the various reviewers of the magazine, and no-one could tell the difference between the cheaper and pricier framesets. Nobody.

Back on topic, my Columbus SL is by default my favourite tubeset as its on my favourite bike, my Olmo Anniversary.

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Old 12-10-11, 03:00 AM
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http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...-steel-quality

Post 18 has the link to the tubing article, Mondonico was the builder.
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Old 12-10-11, 04:01 AM
  #17  
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OLMO! i used to have a olmo, it might have been bigger than yours, 26" or 28" frame. felt like i was stretched out over an aircraft carrier. but i rode the hell out of it. theyre beautifull bikes, I bought it for $20 somehow at a garage sale in 01, sold it for $400 4 years later. though i should be happy with the return I still kick myself in the ass for lettin that one go. nuovo record everything, miche bars, modolo speedy brake set. youth has nothing on experience when it comes to the brain. but at least that bike got me into road bikes
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Old 12-10-11, 07:47 AM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by vjp View Post
Steel, as in the alloy? Or, do you mean tubing profile/detail/diameter?
And, what are the limits on vintage? Today's alloys (853, 953, and the latests from Columbus have better strength to weight (for the alloy, this IS the key metric) ratios than the 531 alloy or Columbus Cyclex (what they used for SL, SLX, SP, SPX). But of the vintage stuff that was around 25 years ago, best strength to weight has to go to 753 and possibly Excell.

Tensile strengths:

Excell: 200k lb/sq.in.
Reynolds 753: 179k lb/sq.in
Cyclex: 121k lb/sq.in
Ishiwata: 113k lb/sq.in
Tange (1,2, and 3): 129k lb/sq.in

From "Bicycle Metalurgy," Douglas Hayduk, 1987.

Or is it how tubes were designed using a particular metal?
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Old 12-10-11, 07:59 AM
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I like Toledo steel if your life depends on it.
At least for swords and other knives.

For bikes, I've come to think the use/geometry of the bike should probably dictate the tubing.
I didn't always think that way, but it makes full sense to me.
I'd probably prefer a frame made with a mix of chromed Tange Prestige/Tange 1.
If the identical frame were to be made with a mix of SLX/SL, I'd not know the difference.

I'd like to try a Diadacchi frame some time.
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Old 12-10-11, 08:10 AM
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The only CrMo frame I didn't care for much was a 1988 Trek 400T, made out of some kinda True Temper. It had long stays so I'm guessing they made it with some chainstays and/or seatstays that just weren't made for that long of a rear triangle. Bottom bracket area was noticeably squishy. Perhaps they purposely made it that way for smaller frame sizes (approx 52cm).

I'd love to try out some fancy S3 or 953 bikes but never have. I think I'm pretty happy with road bikes in the low 20s poundwise so I'm not dying to go out and get super fancy steel.

Sometimes I prefer heavier tubesets for MTB use. This one is really fun for climbing but seems to be a little jittery for rough downhills on a full rigid bike. For most rides I like the Super-Lite action overall. Of course I know there are tons of other variables, but from a general observation those are my feelings.


Tange Super-Lite by Lester Of Puppets, on Flickr

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Old 12-10-11, 09:58 AM
  #21  
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I have ridden several types of steel tubing. But the frames geometries varied so widely that the type of steel is irrelevant. I have never had the opportunity to make an apples to apples comparison.
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Old 12-10-11, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by peazweag View Post
2040 high ten for me
I like 1020 better because it has less carbon so smaller foot print.
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Old 12-10-11, 10:38 AM
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Old 12-10-11, 10:45 AM
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Your question is in analogy with the purpose of each frame .A 30 years old racing bike cannot be compared with a tourer of the same age in terms of frame material .I believe that the majority of steel frames were decent for road bicycles,columbus reynolds etc were all good quality frames.In my hands the only frame that cracked was an aluminum gt mtb .I guess that mass production of asian factories degraded the average quality of bicycles over time.An old cheap frame is more reliable than a present fancy cheap frame,thats my oppinion on this matter.
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Old 12-10-11, 10:53 AM
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I would say, the one I am riding today!

How the bike rides is a combo of geo, tube shaping, and steel!
Not counting wheels!

So whats best? Why it's the one I am riding today, and if I ride a different one the next day, it will be the best!
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