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Why was Chromoly phased out?

Old 07-08-20, 04:21 PM
  #176  
Sy Reene
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
I've seen at least one wheel with aluminum spokes. The Hi-E company used to bring wacky designs to the bike industry trade show, and that was one of them. As I recall, it had something like 30 individual spokes, but each spoke ran continuously from a nipple on one side of the wheel through the hub and to another nipple on the other side of the wheel.
Campy Shamal/Eurus have aluminum spokes.. they're not that rare.
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Old 07-08-20, 05:19 PM
  #177  
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I have an idea. I don't know if it's true for everyone.

My steel bikes ride great. However, 2 of them are hand built by guys whose stuff has huge waiting lists or ridiculous bidding wars. The third was machine welded in small batches to a fairly ambitious design. I can't fault any of these.

I raced on aluminum and scandium and loved it. That time when OCLV was good but it wasn't really much better than the aluminum offering. All my bikes were basic road frames, some branded some not. Always Ultegra or Dura Ace and 15-17 lbs. Every one of them great and functional. Never mind boggling.

I imagine that if a brilliant custom guy built those aluminum frames, they'd probably be about as good as the custom steel rides.

Maybe steel isn't better but really nice stuff is better than mass produced?
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Old 07-08-20, 05:52 PM
  #178  
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I'm just amused that people are "anti" any frame material. I guess there might be an environmental argument against carbon (probably pretty weak), but otherwise why would anyone care about the materials they don't like? Just ride the other stuff.

Just got my Serotta Atlanta about three weeks ago and have ridden it just over 500 miles. If it's possible to fall in love with a piece of steel...
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Old 07-08-20, 06:14 PM
  #179  
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
I've seen at least one wheel with aluminum spokes. The Hi-E company used to bring wacky designs to the bike industry trade show, and that was one of them. As I recall, it had something like 30 individual spokes, but each spoke ran continuously from a nipple on one side of the wheel through the hub and to another nipple on the other side of the wheel.

Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
Campy Shamal/Eurus have aluminum spokes.. they're not that rare.
I know that aluminum spokes exist but they arenít likely to be used for the kinds of applications that people who want to have their touring bikes fixed under the spreading chestnut tree.
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Old 07-08-20, 07:11 PM
  #180  
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Originally Posted by rosefarts View Post

I imagine that if a brilliant custom guy built those aluminum frames, they'd probably be about as good as the custom steel rides.

Maybe steel isn't better but really nice stuff is better than mass produced?
A custom aluminum frame would actually cost a lot more than a custom steel frame. While aluminum is fairly cheap to anneal on a large scale, An individual frame maker would have to anneal the frames one at a time which would be horribly expensive. Large scale production of aluminum is cheap to anneal because you can anneal a large number of frames at a time.
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Old 07-09-20, 04:25 AM
  #181  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
A custom aluminum frame would actually cost a lot more than a custom steel frame. While aluminum is fairly cheap to anneal on a large scale, An individual frame maker would have to anneal the frames one at a time which would be horribly expensive. Large scale production of aluminum is cheap to anneal because you can anneal a large number of frames at a time.
Even a village smithy working under a chestnut tree could economically build a steel frame?
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Old 07-09-20, 04:34 AM
  #182  
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the few guys left that are building aluminum frames don't charge any more for them than a typical steel builder. There are aluminum alloys that don't require post-weld heat treating.
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Old 07-10-20, 12:08 PM
  #183  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
The first part of my comment was with tongue firmly in cheek. It is reflective of the attitude of anti-aluminum people, however...as pointed out in the second part of my post.
It's weird that you make the effort defend your offensive comments with the "It's just a joke bro" -tactic but in the very next sentence you immediately start your derisive rhetoric and as a bonus, a straw man. Also if your joke isn't apparent it's a bad boke.

It's also really funny that you'd label me as anti aluminum as my utility bike that gets regular and significant mileage has an aluminum frame. My fatbike was supposed to be aluminum but the lbs would not sell me one. I only got a steel frame when my plans to get a carbon frame fell through.

I have not put down anyone...well, not put down anyone who didnít start the put downs. You have made similar arguments towards aluminum that are equally as baseless. Aluminum has proven itself as a tough material capable of withstanding the (rather minor) rigors of bicycling over the last 40 years.
Yes, I criticize the material in some aspects in the context of certain applications. You attack the people who do not agree with you. People who do not ride the non existent aluminum touring bikes and instead ride the abundant steel bikes are religious fanatics who choose frames/bikes based on your ridiculous strawman fallacies repairability etc.

As for baseless claims, some of them are based on numbers, some are anecdotal.

I have​​​ never owned a creak/click free aluminum frame but have also never had a persistent click /creak on a steel frame. I've had speed wobbles on aluminum but not with steel. I've had noodly aluminum frames but not steel frames. But I've also had a few stiff aluminum frames.

You do very little defending of the material properties themselves. You ignore the arguments of advancements in steel frames and always march out you dated example of the noodly miyata. You're a broken record and it is tiresome.



You are just grasping at straws now. If you can play tricks with the tubing diameter of the frame tubes, you can make a light frame out of aluminum that is strong. You canít play the same game with a thin wire. Aluminum would be a very poor choice for a spoke unless you actually made it so that it weighed as much as a steel spoke which would mean at least 3 times the diameter at the spoke head. That would also require new hubs to fit the 6mm wide spoke plus larger flanges to be able to fit the spokes around the hub. And it would necessitate changes in rims. All of that would add up to extra weight or taking a trade off of less strength.
And yet aluminum spokes exist. Aluminum nipples exist. You can also play those same tricks regarding tubing with steel. And it is done and has been been done in the past (Columbus SLX had some interesting internal shaping)

And for your ďyabutsĒ, I never said that steel doesnít have its place. I just said that aluminum has its place as well.
You sure? Because to me it sound like you have a pretty strong opinion that steel does not have a place in bicycle frames. Though we've been discussing chromo which is the weakest bike steel and 6061 aluminum which is the baseline bike aluminum. Take reynolds 853 or higher grade and suddenly you have alloys which blow 6061 aluminum out of the water. Take 953 and you have a material that absolutely crushes even 7000-series aluminum in strength to weight with a corrosion resistance of 6000 series aluminum (7000- series is actually surprisingly prone to corrosion). And that's just reynolds. There are other makers too but I'm not that well versed on those.

But I'll be honest. I probably won't buy an aluminum frame bike again. Next road bike'll be be Salsa Cutthroat which is carbon. Next touring bike will be steel, because I have absolutely no idea where I would even find an aluminum one let alone one which would fit my spec requirements. They're just not very common. Dang those pesky fanatics.

​​​​​
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Old 07-10-20, 01:20 PM
  #184  
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[QUOTE=elcruxio;21580060]. Though we've been discussing chromo which is the weakest bike steel and 6061 aluminum which is the baseline bike aluminum. Take reynolds 853 or higher grade and suddenly you have alloys which blow 6061 aluminum out of the water. Take 953 and you have a material that absolutely crushes even 7000-series aluminum in strength to weight with a corrosion resistance of 6000 series aluminum (7000- series is actually surprisingly prone to corrosion). And that's just Reynolds.

Thank you for this. In nearly all these discussions the bikes being discussed are mass market stuff. Fine details of materials performance are simply buried beneath the compromises and hurry that come with bulk commodity production. If any of this made any difference to anyone they would be buying 853 and better, and getting that frame from someone who knew what to do with it.

A cheap frame rides like a cheap frame. Material makes no difference.

To address just a few of the nonsensical remarks in this thread. Carbon frames have been on the market since 1975. Exxon Graftek frames. Carbon is emphatically available from a plethora of custom builders. Trek OCLV frames had amazingly high failure rate. Strong riders broke two and three a season. Drove bike shops crazy because Trek would replace frames, would not cover costs of parts transfers. And for year after year same failures, no changes. Well, just a few, but could go on forever. What people believe, firmly and fervently believe, is mostly just marketing. Since the source (marketing) was alway garbage, the beliefs are garbage.

If you want to know about bikes, ride a lot of different bikes. Emphasis on the word different. What comes from the big brands is all the same mush.
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Old 07-10-20, 09:25 PM
  #185  
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Originally Posted by elcruxio View Post
It's weird that you make the effort defend your offensive comments with the "It's just a joke bro" -tactic but in the very next sentence you immediately start your derisive rhetoric and as a bonus, a straw man. Also if your joke isn't apparent it's a bad boke.

It's also really funny that you'd label me as anti aluminum as my utility bike that gets regular and significant mileage has an aluminum frame. My fatbike was supposed to be aluminum but the lbs would not sell me one. I only got a steel frame when my plans to get a carbon frame fell through.
You took offense. It was meant mostly as a joke but I have been told the things I said more times than I can count. Iíve been told that steel is fixable and aluminum isnít. I have direct experience with trying to fix steel. Iíve seen what happens when others try to fix steel. You seem...and most everyone else...seems to think that steel is ďeasyĒ to fix without any knowledge whatsoever of the material.

You buy whatever you want. I really donít care what you use.

Yes, I criticize the material in some aspects in the context of certain applications. You attack the people who do not agree with you. People who do not ride the non existent aluminum touring bikes and instead ride the abundant steel bikes are religious fanatics who choose frames/bikes based on your ridiculous strawman fallacies repairability etc.

As for baseless claims, some of them are based on numbers, some are anecdotal.
Iím not attacking people who donít agree with me...perhaps you should look at your own posts as well...Iím trying to convince people that what they think is true, isnít. Aluminum touring bikes are nonexistent because people wonít tour on aluminum because they think it will fail them and canít be fixed. And aluminum touring bikes arenít ďnonexistentĒ. There are a lot of them being made even now. Lots of gravel bikes are touring oriented and many of them are aluminum. And there was a whole company that made them for nearly 30 years.

Have you ever tried to have a broken bike fixed? Do you have any idea of what is involved.

I have​​​ never owned a creak/click free aluminum frame but have also never had a persistent click /creak on a steel frame. I've had speed wobbles on aluminum but not with steel. I've had noodly aluminum frames but not steel frames. But I've also had a few stiff aluminum frames.
Sorry but Iím not buying. Iíve owned lots of steel bikes and lots of aluminum bikes. Iíve never run across one that is ďnoodlyĒ. I have run across noodly steel frames...in fact, that legendary ďsoftĒ ride of steel is because the bike is flexible. Iíve also never experienced death wobbles on any aluminum bike but have had it occurs on steel. Is your experience more ďvalidĒ than mine?

As for creaking, itís a poor mechanic who blames his tools. Creaks and clicks are mechanical problems. If they bother you, fix them. Steel frames can be just as creaky and clicky if you donít address the problem.

You do very little defending of the material properties themselves. You ignore the arguments of advancements in steel frames and always march out you dated example of the noodly miyata. You're a broken record and it is tiresome.
Pot. Kettle. Black. Youíve made the same arguments for pages now. I have defended the material properties...for pages now. Iíve tired more modern steel frames and Iím just not impressed. I know about the advancements of steel. I also know about the advancements in aluminum. The advancements in aluminum in both metallurgy and in frame building have far outstripped those of steel.


And yet aluminum spokes exist. Aluminum nipples exist. You can also play those same tricks regarding tubing with steel. And it is done and has been been done in the past (Columbus SLX had some interesting internal shaping)
Yes, I know aluminum spokes exist. I wouldnít use them. Iím not that stupid.

As for playing the same tricks with steel, yes, you could make the tubes the same diameter as aluminum ones. Youíd end up with a bike that is heavier and punishingly stiff. You could thin the walls but the walls of steel are already thin and thinning them enough to keep the weight down would result in tubes that would be fragile and very easily dented.


You sure? Because to me it sound like you have a pretty strong opinion that steel does not have a place in bicycle frames. Though we've been discussing chromo which is the weakest bike steel and 6061 aluminum which is the baseline bike aluminum. Take reynolds 853 or higher grade and suddenly you have alloys which blow 6061 aluminum out of the water. Take 953 and you have a material that absolutely crushes even 7000-series aluminum in strength to weight with a corrosion resistance of 6000 series aluminum (7000- series is actually surprisingly prone to corrosion). And that's just reynolds. There are other makers too but I'm not that well versed on those.
Yes, Iím sure...for me. I have no personal interest in steel frames. I donít own one anymore and I wonít own one again. Just not interested.

As for materials, Reynolds 853 is a chromium molybdenum alloy of steel.

But I'll be honest. I probably won't buy an aluminum frame bike again. Next road bike'll be be Salsa Cutthroat which is carbon. Next touring bike will be steel, because I have absolutely no idea where I would even find an aluminum one let alone one which would fit my spec requirements. They're just not very common. Dang those pesky fanatics.
​​​​​
What did someone say?

Because to me it sound like you have a pretty strong opinion that [aluminum] does not have a place in bicycle frames.
Tell you what, letís stop this beating around the bush. You go your way and Iíll go mine. Youíll never convince me of buying a steel bike and Iíve no interest in trying to change your mind. And Iím tiring of your constant attempts at taking insult where none is given.
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Old 07-10-20, 11:04 PM
  #186  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
You took offense. It was meant mostly as a joke but I have been told the things I said more times than I can count. Iíve been told that steel is fixable and aluminum isnít. I have direct experience with trying to fix steel. Iíve seen what happens when others try to fix steel. You seem...and most everyone else...seems to think that steel is ďeasyĒ to fix without any knowledge whatsoever of the material.
Steel is fixable. Doesn't mean it's easy. I've been saying you need a skilled craftsman for it while you've been going on about the village smithy. Aluminum can be fixed too but if you weld it the resulting joint will lose its temper and more than 50 % of its strength. So you fix a part that broke AND you lose strength at that same place. It's not optimal.


Iím not attacking people who donít agree with me...perhaps you should look at your own posts as well...Iím trying to convince people that what they think is true, isnít. Aluminum touring bikes are nonexistent because people wonít tour on aluminum because they think it will fail them and canít be fixed. And aluminum touring bikes arenít ďnonexistentĒ. There are a lot of them being made even now. Lots of gravel bikes are touring oriented and many of them are aluminum. And there was a whole company that made them for nearly 30 years.
So what are those posts about religious steel fanatics about? Also, quote a post of mine where I attack aluminum riders. Do it. I'm very interested in what you find.

Find me an aluminum touring bike. When I google touring bike I get lots of steel and not that much aluminum.

Gravel bikes are typically light touring at best, like the Salsa Vaya. But then you can tour on a 7kg road bike if you don't carry much. But I would not get a lightweight gravel bike for 4 pannier touring even if it was made of aluminum. I already tried that with an aluminum cyclocross bike and 2 panniers and it wasn't good enough to stick.

Have you ever tried to have a broken bike fixed? Do you have any idea of what is involved.
I know exactly what is involved. I've done enough welding to know I wouldn't try it myself.

Sorry but Iím not buying. Iíve owned lots of steel bikes and lots of aluminum bikes. Iíve never run across one that is ďnoodlyĒ. I have run across noodly steel frames...in fact, that legendary ďsoftĒ ride of steel is because the bike is flexible. Iíve also never experienced death wobbles on any aluminum bike but have had it occurs on steel. Is your experience more ďvalidĒ than mine?
Ah yes the differences in ride quality are something I like to call design choices. As in you can design a frame to have different properties depending on what sized tubes you use for example. The aluminum bike I mentioned I have while not as noodly as its predecessor model is still pretty flexible when pedaled angry. The Trek FX I used to have would not support panniers at all before getting all S-shaped.

As for creaking, itís a poor mechanic who blames his tools. Creaks and clicks are mechanical problems. If they bother you, fix them. Steel frames can be just as creaky and clicky if you donít address the problem.
I did fix them. Eventually. It was most times the seat post or seat collar but also sometimes the quick release being too tight or too loose, the fork being welded only from the bottom so it requires epoxy in the crown race seating area, tubus rack apparently being too stiff and causing constant popping noises, bottom bracket woes with BB30, stem steerer interface issues etc. But nothing so far with steel.

I know about the advancements of steel. I also know about the advancements in aluminum. The advancements in aluminum in both metallurgy and in frame building have far outstripped those of steel.
So now I'm confused. You say that aluminum is more advanced than steel but so far the only thing that's really more advanced in aluminum is hydroforming. Other than that we're talking alloys which are still being developed in both aluminum and steel. How readily those come into play in bicycles is another matter. As far as I know bike frames are still being made of 6061 and rarely some 7000-series aluminum alloys which have been around for a while now.


As for playing the same tricks with steel, yes, you could make the tubes the same diameter as aluminum ones. Youíd end up with a bike that is heavier and punishingly stiff. You could thin the walls but the walls of steel are already thin and thinning them enough to keep the weight down would result in tubes that would be fragile and very easily dented.
Well the funny thing is that to achieve the same results you don't actually need to make the tubes the same diameter. Steel is stiffer than aluminum you know? And also that's not the point. You seem to think that steel frames are still made of thin tubing whereas in reality modern steel frames can be made with varying diameter tubing and multiple inside/outside butting tubes as well as different geometric shapes. It's not as pronounced as hydroformed aluminum but then again, it does not necessarily have to be.


Yes, Iím sure...for me. I have no personal interest in steel frames. I donít own one anymore and I wonít own one again. Just not interested.
Way to keep an open mind and all that. I'd say i'm the more open of us because I do actually ride aluminum too.

As for materials, Reynolds 853 is a chromium molybdenum alloy of steel.
Yes? And?

Tell you what, letís stop this beating around the bush. You go your way and Iíll go mine. Youíll never convince me of buying a steel bike and Iíve no interest in trying to change your mind. And Iím tiring of your constant attempts at taking insult where none is given.
Perhaps you should try to modulate your writing in such a way that it is not apparently offensive. It's not that hard to do. Just leaving out the sweeping generalizations of steel riders being idiotic fanatics will do wonders.
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Old 07-11-20, 12:22 AM
  #187  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
I know that aluminum spokes exist but they arenít likely to be used for the kinds of applications that people who want to have their touring bikes fixed under the spreading chestnut tree.
They're rarely used for high-performance applications either, because the need to use a higher volume of the material for adequate spoke bracing results in a wheel that's less aerodynamic and offers no obvious benefits.

Campagnolo likes to use aluminum spokes to make their mid-level wheels, such as Shamals, seem exotic and flashy. But what do they use for the entry-level wheelsets, like Zondas, that need to just work on a budget? Stainless steel. And what do they use for the Bora wheelsets that get raced at the top level? Stainless steel.
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Old 07-13-20, 09:45 PM
  #188  
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Currently I prefer my CF Diamondback Haanjo EXP Carbon gravel/touring bike over the cro-mo Surly Disc Trucker. The Haanjo is far lighter but only 25% more cost & has roughly the same ride comfort even with tighter (better handling) geometry. OTOH the steel bike probably withstands airline/train abuse better.
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Old 07-15-20, 08:15 AM
  #189  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Steel is real. There. I said it.
Right On, Right On, Right On !!!!
I'll say it, too!

I help out at a Local Bike Shop occasionally. The owner started out when he was 12 at an actual Schwinn shop and can fix literally anything cycle related. (He's mid-60s now.) He hates tuning carbon fiber bikes with a passion and refers to them as . . .

"F**kin' paper piece of Sh**. Stupid Ch****e piece-a junk don't even stay aligned long enough to get it outa the vise! Look at this Sh**. F***in' artificial bike!" (Imagine a Queens Accent.)
(That's' just a small example of his fond appreciation for C/F. (He can make my ears burn for hours.))

Aluminum can work, but . . .
Steel IS Real!
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Old 07-15-20, 09:17 AM
  #190  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
In what world are dropouts replaceable? Not the derailer hanger but the forged dropout.
Right down the street at our LBS. Or any LBS that has an older mechanic or frame builder with welding/brazing skills, knowledge and tools. Good ones can make the repair and you would never know it had ever been damaged. (I don't know if they teach that in the newer technical/vocational schools or not.)

Even my brother-in-law could do it with his "non-cycling" background in welding, I've seen him do much more intricate, precise and demanding pieces under the shade tree by his barn. Except, of course, he would leave the finishing, polishing and painting to someone else.
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Old 07-15-20, 09:21 AM
  #191  
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Carbon Fiber is not 'Plastic". It's glorified Paper.
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