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What would be the benefits of getting a better frame?

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What would be the benefits of getting a better frame?

Old 11-12-16, 08:24 AM
  #76  
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So if you claim that all steel is the same. Why do they bother with air hardening, which creates a higher tensile strength? And doesn't the higher tensile strength mean a stronger possibly more durable steel? My understanding is that hardened steel can be drawn thinner for the same strength. Thus a lighter frame.
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Old 11-12-16, 09:01 AM
  #77  
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Originally Posted by Squeezebox View Post
So if you claim that all steel is the same. Why do they bother with air hardening, which creates a higher tensile strength? And doesn't the higher tensile strength mean a stronger possibly more durable steel? My understanding is that hardened steel can be drawn thinner for the same strength. Thus a lighter frame.
Does that make it a better TOURING frame?

My guess is a thinner tubing will make it more susceptible to denting. A frame that's more likely to dent would not be what I'd call a better touring frame. I've toured on lighter weight frames, specifically an Al Tri-Cross and the frame dented after another bike fell on it in a bike stand. I gotta say that dent became a concern for the rest of my tour. It turned out to be OK but that kind of worry I can do without.

Last edited by BigAura; 11-12-16 at 09:19 AM.
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Old 11-12-16, 09:05 AM
  #78  
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Originally Posted by BigAura View Post
Does that make it a better TOURING frame?
It most certainly would. The less you're carrying on tour the more comfortable you are while riding.
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Old 11-12-16, 09:46 AM
  #79  
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Originally Posted by Squeezebox View Post
It most certainly would. The less you're carrying on tour the more comfortable you are while riding.
How much less are weight are we talking about?

I'd guess about 1lb or so. My 54cm LHT frame with S&S couplers is 5.7lbs. Yes it's and over-built hunk of steel, and 2lbs more than my Al Tri-Cross, but as I said before the Tri-Cross is not a better touring frame IMO.

Last edited by BigAura; 11-12-16 at 11:19 AM.
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Old 11-12-16, 10:05 AM
  #80  
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No one claimed all steel is the same. Again, those are the inside voices talking.

And Big Aura's right about the denting. This is what experience teaches over just reading about theory. When touring there is always a balancing act between the grade of parts vs their reliability/resistance to damage. This is because touring is not like racing for which most of those higher end products were produced where you also have mechanics on hand and spare parts n the van. That's the part you struggle with.

You can't look at high end parts, designed for light weight racing and automatically transcribe their same value to loaded touring. Racers choose light weight materials because they (the racers) all weigh as little as they can already, carry no weight on the bike in terms of equipment, and are trying to beat the next guy in a race. The only area they can improve their time mechanically is light weight material or more precise shifting. They do not choose light weight materials for comfort, they choose them for speed. In fact, many lighter weight bikes are less comfortable but that is a trade off the racer is willing to concede for speed.

The tourer does not have the competitive factor to consider but does have the need for reliability over multiple days and adverse conditions. They also have a degree of comfort to consider. They thus choose a grade that hits the sweet spot between performance and reliability. Mid grade in many cases, when applied to touring, is actually the preferred high grade. You can't understand that from reading advertisement or only thinking from a road biking perspective.

You may notice, for example, that few top end racers use heavy Brooks saddles. Why is that? And why do so many tourers swear by them even though higher quality and lighter saddles of more exotic materials exist? It's a good example of the different requirements and equipment choices at play.

Last edited by Happy Feet; 11-12-16 at 10:12 AM.
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Old 11-12-16, 10:27 AM
  #81  
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Originally Posted by BigAura View Post
...My guess is a thinner tubing will make it more susceptible to denting. A frame that's more likely to dent would not be what I'd call a better touring frame....
Large diameter thin-wall tubing.

The advantages of larger tubing diameter can, theoretically, be applied to steel construction, but there's a practical limit. You could build a steel frame with 2-inch diameter tubing, and it would be stiffer than anything available--indeed, stiffer than anybody needs. By making the walls of the tubes thin enough, you could make it very, very light as well. Why don't manufacturers do this? Two reasons.
  • The thinner the walls of the tubing, the harder it is to make a good joint. This is one reason for butted tubing, where the walls get thicker near the ends, where the tubes come together with other tubes.
  • In addition, if the walls get too thin, the tubes become too easy to dent, and connection points for bottle cages, cable stops, shifter bosses and the like have inadequate support.
Read all about it here---->Frame Materials for the Touring Cyclist



Also, don't be obsessed with weight. The pound or so of difference between a cutting-edge ultralight frame and a well-constructed, heavier one (generally a steel frame) is important to a racer climbing a mountain pass but makes little difference to a bicycle tourist -- especially not when carrying a touring load. The heavier frame may actually be more comfortable, because it increases the ratio of sprung to unsprung weight, and because it also is stiffer. A steel frame with plain-gauge tubing may actually be preferable for touring, compared with an equally-strong frame with butted tubing, because of the greater torsional stiffness and reduced tendency toward speed wobble when carrying a load.
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Old 11-12-16, 10:57 AM
  #82  
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A better Touring Frame gets a bit Heavier than One made to Not carry weight in Panniers, on sturdy Racks ..



And to finish the story, Epiphone soon became part of Gibson.
Which now has been Badge recycled as the Lower cost Asian Import Line .. and Like so many other brand name resales .






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Old 11-12-16, 01:07 PM
  #83  
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Originally Posted by Squeezebox View Post
It most certainly would. The less you're carrying on tour the more comfortable you are while riding.
Here is another site where you can get some factual information: http://www.strongframes.com/tubing-information/

BTW my wife's C0-Motion touring bike is made with Reynolds 725, the tubing they use for their touring bikes. There is not much difference in the specs between 725 tubing and a quality 4130 tube. The real advantage may be the weight savings, but is it significant for a touring bike? I would not call my wife's bike a "light bike."

You might also want to go through their frame material tutorial: http://www.strongframes.com/more/met...n-part-series/

Last edited by Doug64; 11-12-16 at 02:28 PM.
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Old 11-13-16, 03:17 AM
  #84  
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Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
not quite sure what you're on about with this bit. unless i missed it, nobody mentioned
craptastic department store bikes. thread has been, surprisingly, about touring frames.
not aware of any huffy or murry or free spirit touring specific frames.
The quality of frames I see at Walmart is actually pretty high. I actually weld and fabricate, and the quality of welds On alloy bikes is pretty good. Most of them seem better than the welding on steel bikes that often looks like bird droppings. The components, tubing, and the rest of it are a whole other mater. Walmart bikes are not properly configured for touring, but they have been used for extensive tours. Ray Jardine did a tour that way.

once a manufacturer goes to the trouble of designing and spec'ing a touring bike, even the
entry level base models are up to the task of.....touring. that's what they be built for,
and we always trust the engineers, don't we? they shirley know what they're doing.
All reasonably sturdy bikes including Walmart bikes are up to the task of touring, because touring is not a difficult spec to meet. There is no magic entry point of practical perfection. There is just the marketing one is subject to. Heinz Stucke has toured every country in the world on a bike I wouldn't touch, and that QBP would never put into production as a touring bike. There is a cut-off point where a bike can't be practically improved upon, and that point is not 1500 dollars.
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Old 11-13-16, 03:27 AM
  #85  
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Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
BTW my wife's C0-Motion touring bike is made with Reynolds 725, the tubing they use for their touring bikes. There is not much difference in the specs between 725 tubing and a quality 4130 tube. The real advantage may be the weight savings, but is it significant for a touring bike? I would not call my wife's bike a "light bike."
People overestimate the weight savings that tubing changes make because it often only really applies to two tubes in the bike, for three reasons:

- The obvious one being that the tubing size of seat tubes may be within a standard range, or a custom preference, so that tube gets taken out and only the top tube and down tube are affected;
- Many tubes in the bike are standard dimensions, they can be varied enormously for weight, but they are not lighter for being of a given material because of how they are formed. They can be hugely lightened for being fit to rider weight and needs, or probably in the case of touring bikes varied for other reasons to the profit of the build;
- A lot of builders mix tubes you may not know what is in the bike, this is fine, but the reasons are often arbitrary, like what they have on hand. So long as it doesn't affect built quality it is ok. But the mere fact your bike has some tubing designation attached to it may mean not too much. The fact that everything in the bike is a particular grade and it earns a sticker may not make it a better bike either.
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Old 11-13-16, 03:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Squeezebox View Post
So if you claim that all steel is the same.
All steel is not the same, I will give you that. Hard to know where it comes out. Blind testing can lead to people liking the expensive steel bike or the cheaper one.


Why do they bother with air hardening, which creates a higher tensile strength?
This is a complicated question because bike folks don't market products as though they understood how steel or heat works. Someone up the chain understands, but we don't hear that stuff. air hardening steel doesn't sounds to me as if it makes any difference. Certain steels have the attribute of being air hardening. This makes heat treating tooling easier, but not all steels used for tools are air hardening. Therefore the attribute they were after was something else. I suspect they found a tubing that had the right structural, cost, and ancillary factors, and it was work hardening to boot.

As you know, despite the Germans welding airframes out of 4130 in WWI, there has persisted this huge myth that brazing (with or without lugs) is the only way to go. This despite the fact that brazing is something that one is specifically warned should not be done to 4130 because of the risk of propagating cracks (not to worry). When TIG became widely available it was recognized that it was a superior way to assemble a frame but they had to counter a backlash. I think the air hardening myth comes in useful to deal with this perception. It now appears that the majority of recently introduced tubing is actually specially designed for welding, so isn't that great? Of course that has been true since day one.

So why doesn't it help? Well I don't know of any reason why it hurts. But:

- The way it works is that when heat is put into the tubing it is only going to transform the steel where it exceeds the trans temp. That effect is localized, and it isn't controlled for in any way: This is not the way you go about heat treating critical parts.

- As mentioned elsewhere you have little guarantee that other parts are even the same metal, and the welding wire is another alloy entirely, usually something not anywhere near what the materials in the frame are made of.

- The tubes are butted so they are built to deal with the weakening that any of the joining processes causes. If tubing was regularly welded without butting in thin wall sizes the hardening might be an asset.

There may be situations where hardening helps, like adding BOs outside of the butted sections. But that is not what the claims for it address.

And doesn't the higher tensile strength mean a stronger possibly more durable steel? My understanding is that hardened steel can be drawn thinner for the same strength. Thus a lighter frame.
Or for the same weight you have a stronger frame which it is hard to argue against. Keeping in mind that not everyone brings the same forces to the party. I don't see a downside to having the choice of a frame that dents a little more easily, that is true of a lot of Al frames and those are quite nice. Lightweight components and gear may be more fragile. People get to choose.
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Old 11-13-16, 04:13 PM
  #87  
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Originally Posted by MassiveD View Post
There is a cut-off point where a bike can't be practically improved upon, and that point is not 1500 dollars.
What is it then?
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Old 11-13-16, 04:31 PM
  #88  
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I'm going on the record right now to say I could spend 1 million dollars on a touring bike - and anyone who spends less in real life has poorer taste than me.

Last edited by Happy Feet; 11-13-16 at 04:40 PM.
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Old 11-13-16, 07:20 PM
  #89  
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Old 11-13-16, 07:58 PM
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There is a cut-off point where a bike can't be practically improved upon, and that point is not 1500 dollars.

We'll never agree on just where that point is. very, very, many variables.
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Old 11-14-16, 08:35 AM
  #91  
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But some of those with lots of experience are so buried in their opinions, to the point of not allowing other opinions, along with an inability to look at or consider new technology. This narrow mindedness voids any credibility in their experience. It just turns them into the yapping Chihuahuas. Innovation usually comes from new ideas not old worn out ones. The newer people with newer facts & opinions just might hold more knowledge.

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Old 11-14-16, 10:44 AM
  #92  
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
Good story but most of us here can tell BS from actual knowledge
I don't think this is a safe assumption.
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Old 11-14-16, 10:29 PM
  #93  
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Originally Posted by Squeezebox View Post
But some of those with lots of experience are so buried in their opinions, to the point of not allowing other opinions, along with an inability to look at or consider new technology. This narrow mindedness voids any credibility in their experience. It just turns them into the yapping Chihuahuas. Innovation usually comes from new ideas not old worn out ones. The newer people with newer facts & opinions just might hold more knowledge.
Touring market is so small most of the "new" tech slowly filters in from MTB/road/casual market. If folks are satisfied w/current stuff fine, but I think production tourers can easily improve in weight, comfort & ease of maintenance. Designs that are currently only available as super-custom exotics may be garden-variety in a few years.
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Old 11-15-16, 12:04 PM
  #94  
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Wanting a lighter frame is completely LAUGHABLE. Mine was holding together 120 + 170 lbs while crashing 3 times. Plus several bus rides with sacks under and over. I still was going faster than any stupid 66 lb MTB tourer in my path. It will also go 46 mph as safely as sitting on the couch. Try that with some lame weenie AL TREK 920. Plus there are plane rides and baggage handlers.

Funny how squeezebox gloats over progress while NOT having a ROHLOFF14, the very epitomy of progress, reliability, ease of use and best of all unbreakable. Deraillers always were and always will be garbage technology.
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Old 11-15-16, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by GamblerGORD53 View Post
Wanting a lighter frame is completely LAUGHABLE. Mine was holding together 120 + 170 lbs while crashing 3 times. Plus several bus rides with sacks under and over. I still was going faster than any stupid 66 lb MTB tourer in my path. It will also go 46 mph as safely as sitting on the couch. Try that with some lame weenie AL TREK 920. Plus there are plane rides and baggage handlers.

Funny how squeezebox gloats over progress while NOT having a ROHLOFF14, the very epitomy of progress, reliability, ease of use and best of all unbreakable. Deraillers always were and always will be garbage technology.
I predict Rohloff will be effectively out of business in a few years. The market for their product is shrinking, and 14 speed derailleur systems are just around the corner. No doubt the used market and parts market will continue and grow for the Speedhub, since the boat anchors are virtually indestructible. As far as 46 mph on a bike being as safe as sitting on a couch? OK, sure.

Read more about the new 14 speed here:
http://factoryjackson.com/2016/04/01...urai-unveiled/

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Old 11-15-16, 02:56 PM
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LOL ... Surrre Alan. MORE derailler GARBAGE.
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Old 11-15-16, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by GamblerGORD53 View Post
Deraillers always were and always will be garbage technology.
Originally Posted by GamblerGORD53 View Post
LOL ... Surrre Alan. MORE derailler GARBAGE.
Good lord. Clearly you have an opinion, but come on now- you don't need to be this inflammatory and over the top.
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Old 11-15-16, 07:35 PM
  #98  
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Originally Posted by GamblerGORD53 View Post
...gloats over progress while NOT having a ROHLOFF14, the very epitomy of progress, reliability, ease of use and best of all unbreakable.....
rohloff, shmolloff!

if'n it ain't made'a carbon fiber it's still poop on a popsickle stick.
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Old 11-15-16, 07:44 PM
  #99  
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And has cracks the size of the grand canyon!
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Old 11-15-16, 08:48 PM
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OP, don't get confused here. More expensive steels typically result in lighter frame sets. That's great for racing bikes but not so good for touring bikes. If you have a good steel frame that you like that is 4130 chromoly or Reynolds 520, you are good to go. No need for anything else. I can assure you that once you're fully loaded down you would not be able to tell the difference between 1 grade of steel or another on your bike. Enjoy what you have.
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