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Interesting article about the differences in low end vs high end steel tubing....

Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

Interesting article about the differences in low end vs high end steel tubing....

Old 04-04-16, 06:11 AM
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Regulatori
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Interesting article about the differences in low end vs high end steel tubing....

I'm sure many of you have already seen this since it's a older article but it's still relevant today. It's about road bikes but the same results apply to fixed gear/single speed bikes.

Great read if you happen to be bored.


Magnificent 7
(It's magazine scans so you have to click on each page to enlarge)

Seven 56cm steel road bikes with varying levels of Columbus tubing are built by one custom frame maker. All of the bikes are identical with no identification stickers showing the tubing type.
Same exact color, same size/geometry, forks rake, new components...even the wheels were tensioned the exact same.

The seven steel frames: Aelle, Cromor, Thron, Brain, SLX, Neuron, EL-OS (this is a good guide if you're interested in how those tube sets compare to modern versions Columbus Steel Tubesets - AstroCycloAlpineWorld )

Lightest frame was 4lbs, the heaviest was 4lbs 12oz

Results? The author found there really isn't a lot of difference. His 3 favorite frames were a mix of lower and higher end.
The last quote in the article by Richard Sachs really summed it up well.
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Old 04-04-16, 07:48 AM
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Their "low end" steel looks better than most out there (at least in my garage), though.

I'm fairly sure the article is correct in that size and fit and more important than alloy. I've got no complaints with my vintage hi-ten Atala.....maybe it's the brass holding the lugs to the tubes. I can live with maybe another full pound in frame weight...would it be that much, even?
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Old 04-04-16, 09:28 AM
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I could tell an immediate difference in ride quality when I went to the tange prestige tubing on my wolverine from the "4130 natch" tubing on my straggler. and it wasn't just geometry. and I'm not usually one to think **** like that makes any difference.
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Old 04-05-16, 11:16 PM
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Anything with that white dove is high end

Especially back in the day before aluminum and carbon took hold of the markets.
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Pound sign: Kilo TT
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Old 04-05-16, 11:36 PM
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Originally Posted by North Coast Joe View Post
Their "low end" steel looks better than most out there (at least in my garage), though.

I'm fairly sure the article is correct in that size and fit and more important than alloy. I've got no complaints with my vintage hi-ten Atala.....maybe it's the brass holding the lugs to the tubes. I can live with maybe another full pound in frame weight...would it be that much, even?
I agree. At the same time there is quite a difference in pricing when shopping for used bikes. I've seen frames by X company in a Cromor go for $250. The same condition frame/same style of paint, etc but in SLX would go 3-4X that price.

I used to spent time on classic Ciocc and Colnago road bike forums...you wouldn't believe how irate people would become when they found out their recently purchased used $500 frame was SL and not SLX or some other similar one-step down. It was like the end of the world.
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Old 04-06-16, 01:55 AM
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I have a columbus spirit tubed bike and I couldn't tell a difference from my Surly Steamroller in ride quality, only in weight and even that is marginal. My columbus bike sure does dent easier though.
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Old 04-06-16, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Regulatori View Post
I agree. At the same time there is quite a difference in pricing when shopping for used bikes. I've seen frames by X company in a Cromor go for $250. The same condition frame/same style of paint, etc but in SLX would go 3-4X that price.

I used to spent time on classic Ciocc and Colnago road bike forums...you wouldn't believe how irate people would become when they found out their recently purchased used $500 frame was SL and not SLX or some other similar one-step down. It was like the end of the world.
I've had a customer bring a potential purchase into the shop to pull the BB to feel for the SLX helical ridges. Serious bidness.

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Old 04-06-16, 08:31 AM
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From real world experiance . when I was riding in a club in the 80s . Every one was crazy about what tubing or builder it was. I went from a Bianchi tre-tubi, with all low end componants to a Rossin record with all campy super record... Wow what a difference. My friens went from an older Atala to a Scapin slx....man he was a terror on that thing in sprints and on hills he could go way faster.. Of course we were young and impressionabll..maybe was all in our minds...hehehee.
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Old 04-06-16, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by johnnytheboy View Post
I could tell an immediate difference in ride quality when I went to the tange prestige tubing on my wolverine from the "4130 natch" tubing on my straggler. and it wasn't just geometry. and I'm not usually one to think **** like that makes any difference.
"Prestige" tubing is heat treated Champion 4130 chrome-moly tubing. The heat treatment increases the tensile strength such that the tubes can be drawn thinner (and therefore lighter) than standard chrome-moly. The thinner walls make for a springier frame, which could account for the difference you perceive.
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Old 04-06-16, 02:24 PM
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tires make way more of a difference. heck i'd go as far as saying 28c's on aluminum > 23c's on steel
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Old 04-09-16, 11:59 AM
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^where is the point of limiting returns, the size where getting increasingly bigger tires just starts slowing you down more than they're doing for ride comfort any further?
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Old 04-09-16, 12:04 PM
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I have 28c's on my aluminum frame, and along with a carbon fork, it's not nearly as jarring as people usually assume aluminum is.
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Old 11-09-17, 04:44 AM
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Rossin Columbus SLX race team fork rake

I have a Rossin Columbus SLX race team (red) and I want to upgrade the fork to columbus carbon minimal. and I would like to find the rake of the fork. there is someone who has done the upgrade if he knows at least the rake of the fork. i make some measurements myself but I'm not sure and I want to make sure. Can you help me? Thanks
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Old 11-09-17, 09:30 AM
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https://www.bikeforums.net/framebuil...rake-fork.html
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Old 11-09-17, 12:11 PM
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At least you dug up an interesting thread to ask an unrelated question.
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Old 11-16-17, 02:31 PM
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My generic Kilo TT with the Reynolds 520 rides lighter and springier than my vintage Schwinn Tempo with the Columbus Tenax tubing.
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Old 11-16-17, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by sleepy View Post
My generic Kilo TT with the Reynolds 520 rides lighter and springier than my vintage Schwinn Tempo with the Columbus Tenax tubing.
My Tenax Schwinn bikes ride better than my kilo ever did.

My 4130 Spicer rides great also.

I think tires and overall fit are most important personally.
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