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Where to find longer tubing??

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Where to find longer tubing??

Old 01-29-19, 10:52 PM
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jtillinghast
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Where to find longer tubing??

Hi Folks,

I'm new to framebuilding and planning my first build. I usually ride a 60 or 62cm frame, and I am having trouble finding tubing long enough in 25.4 and and 28.6, 650mm and longer. Am I missing something?

Thanks!
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Old 01-30-19, 12:07 AM
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A few thoughts-

These days most frames are following a "compact" design so seat tube lengths are a few CMs less then the "virtual" size is. Top tube lengths haven't really changed much for road.

Tube diameters have grown, especially for larger riders. Repeat, especially for taller riders. So a 25.4mm top tube for a rider who needs a 62cm seat tube is not really on today's radar. By the same reasoning a down tube of 28.6 for same rider is thought as pretty skinny/flexy.

How heavy are you? Will you carry more then a seat wedge bag? Do you spin or pedal squares?

Having said all that check out Kaisei tubing (what use to be Ishiwata and was then and still is good stuff) https://www.compasscycle.com/product...framebuilding/ Andy
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Old 01-30-19, 12:08 AM
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Yes, your problem is that very few builders want to build large frames with those tube sizes. Even for short people like me, the selection is a little thin.
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Old 01-30-19, 02:54 PM
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Shift to 4130 Tubing of a desired OD & wall thickness from industrial tubing suppliers.. It wont be butted, but ..
can come in as long a tube as will fit on the delivery trailer ....
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Old 01-30-19, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Shift to 4130 Tubing of a desired OD & wall thickness from industrial tubing suppliers.. It wont be butted, but ..
can come in as long a tube as will fit on the delivery trailer ....
Yep, with standard steel, you can get up to 24 feet or so. Need anything longer? Splice?

Shapiro Steel in St. Louis seems to have good prices on some tubes.

Or, try your local metal suppliers.

If one could get enough precision cutting, one may be able to cut external, or perhaps even internal butts into tubes on a lathe, or perhaps a custom tube roller.
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Old 01-30-19, 04:18 PM
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Thanks for your replies! I weigh 150, and haven't had any trouble with smaller tubing, but it sounds like oversized/slant geometry is the way to go. Or non-butted tubes– would that be super heavy?
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Old 01-30-19, 04:46 PM
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Straight gage tubes don't have to be heavy. But the light ones do need more temp control when brazing as the ends are thinner then usual. At one time you could get 25.4 and 28.6 tubes in .028" straight walls. (that's about .7mm) from US 4130 suppliers. Columbus has made their PL tubes in a .6mm wall, again straight gage.

I'm about your weight (when in shape during the season) and am riding 28.6 TT and DT or with a 31.8 DT, depending. I don't find these frames to be overly harsh or stiff. But I have always used 25 to 28 wide tires for my sporting rides. Andy
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Old 01-30-19, 05:23 PM
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It looks like Shapiros goes down to about 0.035 for the larger tubes, and 0.028 for the smaller tubes (rack sizes?)
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Old 01-30-19, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by jtillinghast View Post
Hi Folks,

I'm new to framebuilding and planning my first build. I usually ride a 60 or 62cm frame, and I am having trouble finding tubing long enough in 25.4 and and 28.6, 650mm and longer. Am I missing something?

Thanks!
Are you sure you need 650mm tubing?

Looking at Nova:
https://www.cycle-frames.com/bicycle...N-TUBES-c-980/

They do show 28.6 chromoly at 65 cm.

For 25.4, I'm only seeing up to 60 cm.

If you subtract out wrapping only part way around the seat tube, head tube, & BB shell, you should also gain a little extra length.

Are you going with a 1 1/8" steer tube?

A bit longer tubes are available in their oversized sizes (35 & 38mm up to 75cm long).

I'm seeing some 650 and even a 670 tube in their tubesets.

Hmmm... this has me wondering where one buys tubing sets for 65 to 70cm frames.

Perhaps one can go direct to the manufacturer, although I'm not sure if the manufacturers like small orders.
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Old 01-30-19, 06:09 PM
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anything over 65 and I think you are destined to buy plain gauge 4130, at least for the seat tube. The good news is a lot of tall people have relatively normal sized torsos. I used to work with someone that was 6'5" and we were about the same height sitting down. Not sure, but I seem to remember that true temper used to have some longer tubes, but they also sold straight gauge. I haven't worked through Variwall's site yet, maybe they have something. As general principal, the tubing vendors would want you to use OS tubes for larger bikes. If someone builds a wet noodle, it still reflects back on the tubing.

A small order for a tubing vendor is 30 units. At least that was true for TT.

on edit: https://shop.vari-wall.com/bicycle-tubing/
Variwall seems to max out at 650 for 28.6 and 25.4 tubes.

Last edited by unterhausen; 01-30-19 at 06:13 PM.
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Old 01-31-19, 06:19 AM
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Vari-wall has some longer tubes in 34.9 and up. The only people building with 25.4 tubes are trying to replicate vintage frames. There is not much of a market there and suppliers are not likely to make tubes unless they expect to sell a lot of them.
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Old 01-31-19, 09:02 AM
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I don't think "replicate" is the right word. There are a lot of people that desire the ride that standard tubing sizes gives them. Vari-Wall and Kesei have tubes in those sizes that are a lot thinner than any vintage bike tube. I am not the kind of person that really feels such things, but I build standard size tubing frames for myself. I am not sure that I would recommend that to a tall person, but it really depends on how strong they are and how much weight they plan on carrying.

Of course, a lot of people feel that modern bike parts look funny on a frame like that, so the bikes start to look like replicas.

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Old 01-31-19, 10:00 AM
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Andy Newlands at Strawberry Cycles in Portland under the subcategory of "Torch and File" carries Reynolds tubing. He has in stock some extra long tube lengths although they may not be in diameters or wall thicknesses you are looking for. Reynolds used to make extra long lengths in standard sizes (1" and 1 1/8") and might still have some in England. You used to be able to order direct from them but I don't know if they still do that. Andy may be able to bring them over in the next shipment.

I'm 5' 8" and am light and I vastly prefer the ride of thin wall (.7/.4./7) standard diameter tubing over frames with either heavier walls are bigger diameters. I came to this conclusion long before Jan Heine promoted its advantages in Bicycle Quarterly. Most people haven't tried tubing this light because it is mostly found on true custom frames. Some of my taller (6' 2" or 3") frame building class students have made randonneuring frames with standard size .8/.5./8 tubing and really liked the way they ride. These are experienced fit riders that have tried lots of frames. Of course they are not racing them so they are not tested with out-of-the-saddle sprints. Some of them also preferred the French style of look where the seat tube was longer so only a fistful of seat post was sticking out (in other words they made their frames bigger).

The 2 most common sources I use for 4130 straight gauge tubing are Airport Spruce or Wicks Aircraft.
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Old 01-31-19, 10:42 AM
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I would like to build using 7/4/7 standard diameter tubes, but I have a pile of reissue colombus SL and I can't really justify getting a set of Kisei or Vari-wall right now. The good news is that, as I get older and weaker, I can use lighter stuff and not break it.
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Old 01-31-19, 11:55 AM
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Is it out of the question to load up a frame to tour with wall thickness like .7/.4/.7? Is it tube diameter or wall thickness or both that I would need to think about when building a frame for loaded touring? (I'm building a cross frame for racing, but also do a lot of touring.)


Originally Posted by Doug Fattic View Post
Andy Newlands at Strawberry Cycles in Portland under the subcategory of "Torch and File" carries Reynolds tubing. He has in stock some extra long tube lengths although they may not be in diameters or wall thicknesses you are looking for. Reynolds used to make extra long lengths in standard sizes (1" and 1 1/8") and might still have some in England. You used to be able to order direct from them but I don't know if they still do that. Andy may be able to bring them over in the next shipment.


I'm 5' 8" and am light and I vastly prefer the ride of thin wall (.7/.4./7) standard diameter tubing over frames with either heavier walls are bigger diameters. I came to this conclusion long before Jan Heine promoted its advantages in Bicycle Quarterly. Most people haven't tried tubing this light because it is mostly found on true custom frames. Some of my taller (6' 2" or 3") frame building class students have made randonneuring frames with standard size .8/.5./8 tubing and really liked the way they ride. These are experienced fit riders that have tried lots of frames. Of course they are not racing them so they are not tested with out-of-the-saddle sprints. Some of them also preferred the French style of look where the seat tube was longer so only a fistful of seat post was sticking out (in other words they made their frames bigger).


The 2 most common sources I use for 4130 straight gauge tubing are Airport Spruce or Wicks Aircraft.
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Old 01-31-19, 12:12 PM
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Tubing diameter isn't a factor that's independent of others. Like what diameter (the other most common associated factor with tubing). And if one is only talking about ride "quality" then the talk might stop at these two aspects. But when you add things like loading a bike with dead weight or the off bike handling of the bike that touring sees a lot of then factors like denting or life span start to enter the picture.

When talking about touring I find it miss directed to talk much about bike weight (at the level that frame differences make at least). Once loaded up the frame is, maybe, the least heavy aspect in the total. But racing is so diametrically different in what weight is all about to meld the two without also making your preference for compromises known up front is a bit lacking. Fast and light or solid and more weight, pick one pair. For touring I pick solid and more weight.

There's nothing "wrong" with touring on a race preferenced frame. Outside of the stability, flexibility with load, gear range limits, ability to mount the load (trailers...) and greater chance of a dented tube when on the boat/train/plane or just leaning the bike against the store front and the bike rolls and falls. I've seen riders on tours using the bike they have. Sometimes this is a racing one. I just have a different take on what's important and can afford more then one bike. Andy
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Old 01-31-19, 12:12 PM
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I think I'm just going to go oversized and slant geometry– Nova sells a 680mm 31.7 and that way the other tubes can be shorter... Sometimes I wish I was just a bit shorter...
Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Are you sure you need 650mm tubing?

Looking at Nova:


They do show 28.6 chromoly at 65 cm.

For 25.4, I'm only seeing up to 60 cm.

If you subtract out wrapping only part way around the seat tube, head tube, & BB shell, you should also gain a little extra length.

Are you going with a 1 1/8" steer tube?

A bit longer tubes are available in their oversized sizes (35 & 38mm up to 75cm long).

I'm seeing some 650 and even a 670 tube in their tubesets.

Hmmm... this has me wondering where one buys tubing sets for 65 to 70cm frames.

Perhaps one can go direct to the manufacturer, although I'm not sure if the manufacturers like small orders.
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Old 01-31-19, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by jtillinghast View Post
Thanks for your replies! I weigh 150, and haven't had any trouble with smaller tubing, but it sounds like oversized/slant geometry is the way to go. Or non-butted tubes– would that be super heavy?
No, keep the tube wall thickness spec, a MM or less.. and butting only reduces the center by a couple 10ths of a mm..

The central butt is formed in making the tube.. over a mandrel , that is then extracted.. a fascinating process of specialty tube mills ..






....

Last edited by fietsbob; 01-31-19 at 01:53 PM.
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