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Lugged frame compare to a new tech custom-butted chromoly ?

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Lugged frame compare to a new tech custom-butted chromoly ?

Old 04-17-18, 06:12 AM
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joesch
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Lugged frame compare to a new tech custom-butted chromoly ?

Looking to build a track bike with a quality but not expensive frame.
How would a 80s Columbus lugged frame compare to a new tech custom-butted chromoly.
I noticed many of the newer steel frames are no longer lugged, is this just cheaper to build but as good ?
I really love the classic lugged frames and have owned and used many diff models/types including SL & SLX.
Am I basically asking the same question in the forumn title, ie Lugged vs Fillet Brazed ?

Here is another good thread I found on: Lugged vs tig welded steel vs fillet brazed

Lugged vs tig welded steel vs fillet brazed
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Old 04-17-18, 06:15 AM
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Originally Posted by joesch View Post
Looking to build a track bike with a quality but not expensive frame.
How would a 80s Columbus lugged frame compare to a new tech custom-butted chromoly.
I noticed many of the newer steel frames are no longer lugged, is this just cheaper to build but as good ?
I really love the classic lugged frames and have owned and used many diff models/types including SL & SLX.
Am I basically asking the same question in the forumn title, ie Lugged vs Fillet Brazed ?

Here is another good thread I found on: Lugged vs tig welded steel vs fillet brazed

Lugged vs tig welded steel vs fillet brazed
This looks to be a good answer/explanation from the above link ...

Because of advancements in tubing metallurgy in recent years, it is now possible to achieve a strong weld without annealing that doesn't result in site hardening and fatigue. As a result, most frames are now welded. They are stronger and lighter that way.

Lugged frames avoid the need to anneal by avoiding the problems of heat hardening by using the much lower temperature process of brazing rather than annealing. Lugged frames were easy to make in all sorts of custom sizes, and often the lugwork was quite attractive. Repairability is much easier than with welded frames. Unfortunately, lugged frames aren't as light as welded.

Fillet brazing is like an inside lug, and is a bit lighter, but is more difficult to do so that it looks decent.
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Old 04-17-18, 06:19 AM
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Originally Posted by joesch View Post
This looks to be a good answer/explanation from the above link ...

Because of advancements in tubing metallurgy in recent years, it is now possible to achieve a strong weld without annealing that doesn't result in site hardening and fatigue. As a result, most frames are now welded. They are stronger and lighter that way.

Lugged frames avoid the need to anneal by avoiding the problems of heat hardening by using the much lower temperature process of brazing rather than annealing. Lugged frames were easy to make in all sorts of custom sizes, and often the lugwork was quite attractive. Repairability is much easier than with welded frames. Unfortunately, lugged frames aren't as light as welded.

Fillet brazing is like an inside lug, and is a bit lighter, but is more difficult to do so that it looks decent.
Another good comment on vintage vs new tech steel ...

I have had welded bikes and lugged bikes and cannot tell the difference between them because of the joining method. That said, "modern" steel tubes are lighter and stiffer than their '70s and '80s cousins, Columbus SL and Reynolds 531. I have had two bikes built of Colombus Foco and liked both of them very much. They were both welded.
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Old 04-17-18, 06:52 AM
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The big problem with lugs is that you have to have some that are reasonably close to your desired geometry. TIG and fillet don't have this limitation. It's significantly cheaper to build a TIG frame, and somewhat cheaper to build a fillet frame. In the end it doesn't matter.

As far as tubes go, every construction technique benefits from the new steels. TIG requires shorter butts, so there are some tube sets that aren't that suitable for lugged construction.

For a track bike to be used for racing on a track, I wouldn't go with a classic lugged steel frame. You can get lugs for double oversize tubes, and that's what I would use. If it's going to be used as a singlespeed on the road, then a classic track frame would be okay. But I probably would want more tire clearance than a classic track frame would afford.
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Old 04-17-18, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
The big problem with lugs is that you have to have some that are reasonably close to your desired geometry. TIG and fillet don't have this limitation. It's significantly cheaper to build a TIG frame, and somewhat cheaper to build a fillet frame. In the end it doesn't matter.

As far as tubes go, every construction technique benefits from the new steels. TIG requires shorter butts, so there are some tube sets that aren't that suitable for lugged construction.

For a track bike to be used for racing on a track, I wouldn't go with a classic lugged steel frame. You can get lugs for double oversize tubes, and that's what I would use. If it's going to be used as a singlespeed on the road, then a classic track frame would be okay. But I probably would want more tire clearance than a classic track frame would afford.
I use track bikes as single speeds for cruising the flat lands but it is nice to have a strong stiff bike to stomp on. Im also 200 and 6'2 so like the slightly heavier classic lugged frames
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Old 04-17-18, 08:38 AM
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Not sure what qualifies as "classic" any more... in my world it's largely lugged and what I call "traditional" tube profiles (25.4mm Tops, 28.6mm down and seat tubes with .9/.6/.9 walls, 25.4 steerers and horizontal rear drops). Even with fairly thicker walls (1/.7/1) the results are frames that are rather more flexible then those with OS (28.6 tops and 31.8 down tubes and 28.6 steerers) and much more then OOS tubed frames. So I consider any discussion about stiffer frames and traditional tubing to be a bit off.


Another aspect that I've decided is more important then many seem to mention much is the steerer's size. When standing or putting max efforts out the steerer's stiffness contributes a lot to the overall feel/flexibility. The fork is the one frame element that acts as a beam and not as a torque tube. So again any discussion about frames relative stiffness but doesn't include the steerer (the crown too) is incomplete.


Otherwise I totally agree with Eric's comments. There is so much fashion involved with these threads and the stated opinions. So many riders don't really discern the differences between flexibility, responsiveness, what we use to call resiliency and any resulting pace. So many riders ride with their muscles and not their nervous system. CONI calls this "suppleness" (except that book uses the Italian version of the word, so it must be correct as we all know that only the Italians can make truly fast bikes) Andy

Last edited by Andrew R Stewart; 04-17-18 at 08:41 AM. Reason: better clairity and completed thoughts
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Old 04-18-18, 04:31 PM
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"Classic" also indicates to me that you are talking about a bike with what are now considered skinny tubes. Most people's definition isn't quite that subtle. I don't know that there are that many lugged bikes with OS or 2OS tubes though, it seems like that is a relatively recent phenomenon and mostly custom bikes. So you might not find any SS bikes like that. If you want a bike to stomp on, one with bigger tubes is probably better, and this probably means TIG unless you are planning on having something built
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Old 04-18-18, 05:08 PM
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Realistically, I don't think it matters too much. As David Kirk describes, TIG'd bikes use some heavier tubes to make up for a lack of stiffening lugs. With air hardening steels the TIG bikes probably aren't at a fatigue disadvantage like they were at one time.

While lugs are the construction method, they can also serve a role similar to the gussets that Bontrager used on his lightweight frames - they add just a little extra material at the stress points.


You can build any geometry out of lugs - as long as you are willing to build them or modify them. Spectrum Cycle builds their lugs by brazing the pieces together and then silver soldering in the tubes.


Frame builder Doug Fattic told me once that he made two nearly identical frames by TIG and lug, and they actually did feel a bit different - which makes sense, I think.

I think the "ultimate" steel bike would be lugged, but super thinned down lugs like the way Chris Kvale finishes them. Coupled with a modern tubeset the frame would likely last longer than other methods and be about the same weight - while being more attractive. But I also love the combination of bare fillets and stainless tubing.
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