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For Those of You Interested - A Definitive Verdict on Columbus Tenax Tubing

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For Those of You Interested - A Definitive Verdict on Columbus Tenax Tubing

Old 03-05-14, 06:06 AM
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For Those of You Interested - A Definitive Verdict on Columbus Tenax Tubing

Columbus Tenax was used exclusively by Schwinn on their mid to upper tier bike range in the 80's. If you've ever done some research on this tubeset, you'd know just how much contradictory and perplexing information is out there. On one end of the spectrum, some claim it is just rebadged SL and SP that Schwinn got on discount (fueled predominantly by the ubiquitous cycling magazine article). Nova recently made the claim that it was what later became Cromor/Thron. And @Scooper, who seems to have done the most research on the subject, came to the conclusion that it was possibly a mix and match of tubing of varying qualities.

Still confused on the subject, I ended up getting into contact with the people over at Columbus, as well as someone who actually use to build these frames over at Greenville. Our frame maker confirmed that Tenax was double butted cromo, but specifically remembered it being a seamed tubeset that was a step below and slightly heavier than SL. He equated it to Cromor.

I also got a response from Columbus who I emailed on a whim. I was shocked that they actually replied back to me within hours and in my native english language (what an awesome company). The person over at Columbus said:

"tenax was the tube-set made during the middle '80, those were actually the 3 main tubes, made like the cromor tubes in seamed 25crmo4, and double butted. Good result in term of stiffness but was not one of the light tubeset line."

So there you have it. In short, Columbus Tenax is Cromor.
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Old 03-05-14, 06:30 AM
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WELL DONE. I do fear that future generations might dispute the post and suggest posting photos of correspondence.
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Old 03-05-14, 06:57 AM
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That does seem to be info on good authority!
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Old 03-06-14, 12:30 AM
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Here's a screenshot (with redacted personal info) of communication with columbus for posterity's sake. Notice the ridiculously quick response time.

I spoke to the frame builder over the phone (a friend of a friend), so no proof of coorespondence there unfortunately.
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columbus.jpg (41.8 KB, 543 views)

Last edited by cb400bill; 02-14-21 at 06:21 AM.
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Old 03-06-14, 12:40 AM
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When I stripped my old Prelude you could see seam on the seat tube via the BB.
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Old 03-06-14, 01:01 AM
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Deja vu: https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...1#post16550314
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Old 03-06-14, 01:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Metacortex
Poor Andrea! Efficiently managing the barrage of emails from obsessed Americans whose evenings are spent unraveling metallurgic formulas from bygone eras. Now wonder the reply came so quickly--a simple cut and paste! Makes me wonder what Andrea may be saying about us at the Columbus espresso machine.
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Old 02-14-21, 02:58 AM
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Old thread

Great to find this thread. I have a Schwinn Passage frame that is a touring bike.It is grey and has Columbus tenax. I think was made in Greenville.
good to get info on it. Should be durable and fairly light as far as touring bike .
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