Re: [CR]Re: Debunking time again

Example: Component Manufacturers

Date: Thu, 30 May 2002 13:42:40 -0400
Subject: Re: [CR]Re: Debunking time again
From: Richard M Sachs <>

Tom Dalton <> writes: snip: <...This assumes that consumers, including engineers spec'ing steels for bike tubes, turbine blades, surgical instruments, etc. are universally idiotic...> (continued in the text below)

uh, i think we have a winner! at the risk of losing friends on the list by agreeing 100% with this here statement, i'll only say that (as far as materials go...) there is a 'this year's flavor' with regards to material, joining processes, shapes, guages, etcetera. (nearly) all the stuff presented to the consumer base as a choice worthy of consideration is made for industrial use, read: production bicycle making. bread and butter bikes. price point bikes. 'i just went to the mall and bought this here bike' bikes.

and guys-don't bust me up on this. it's only my opinion! you don't have to believe it to the degree that i do. e-RICHIE chester, ct ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

On Thu, 30 May 2002 10:21:04 -0700 (PDT) Tom Dalton <> writes:
> The Bohemian Bicycles website contains Scot Nichol's 6-part series
> about frame materials. It is somewhat general, but quite
> informative. It don't know a lot about materials science, but I did
> take one undergraduate course and Nichol's information was
> consistent with what I learned in that class. I think what Steven
> is driving at is that the mechanical properties of a steel tube that
> would influence ride (not durability, not yield strength) depend
> primarily on the geometry of the tube (wall thickness, diameter, and
> subtler aspects of material distribution dictated by tapers and
> butting). The density of steels is essentially constant as is the
> elastic modulus, therefore "stiffness" and weight should not change
> with different alloys, assuming the tubes are dimensionally
> identical. The catch is that a carbon steel bike would be pretty
> frail if the tubes were thin-walled and oversized. It would be
> light and stiff, but a collision with a pothole may exceed it's
> yield strength.
> The above is consistent with what they teach you in school, in the
> real world of frame building things may be different, at least in
> subtle ways. Personally I've never ridden two frames of differing
> materials that were otherwise similar enough to provide adequate
> control to assess the "feel" of different alloys and heat
> treatments... but based on what I've read, I doubt I'd feel a
> difference. Of course alloys still matter for other reasons,
> otherwise they wouldn't exist. Taken to the exteme, suggesting
> otherwise implies that steel companies "invent" special, expensive
> materials to screw consumers, when plain carbon steel would serve
> all purposes adequately. This assumes that consumers, including
> engineers spec'ing steels for bike tubes, turbine blades, surgical
> instruments, etc. are universally idiotic. Hey, I'm no lover of
> engineers, but I'll conceed that this is not the case.
> Tom Dalton, with apologies to engineers, in Bethlehem, PA
> wrote: In a message dated 5/30/02 7:07:19 AM
> Pacific Daylight Time,
> writes:
> << I'm sure most people will chime in that I'm just full of it.
> Before
> you react look for the article in Bicycle Guide and look at the
> materials used in bike construction 40 years ago. Also note that
> we're talking about ride and not weight, longevity, ETC. . . Like
> everyone I want to believe that it really does matter since I'm
> paying extra for quality tubing, but when it comes to ride it just
> doesn't matter. I'm now off to put on my asbestos underwear. >>
> Have to disagree. Magazines publish articles to fill space and sell
> magazines. I've said this before and I'll say it again, Albert
> Eisentraut was
> one of the first American builders to vary the tubing gauges in a
> frame, not
> just using the standard "tube set". It made a HUGE difference in
> ride quality
> and a minuscule difference in weight. If what you are saying is that
> you can
> get a similar ride quality from cheap tubing (with a weight
> penalty), that's
> a somewhat fair statement. However, the cheaper, heavier steel
> tubing doesn't
> allow the artistic and talented frame builder to design in the
> subtleties
> that varying the best quality of tubes allows. Your statement would
> be fully
> true if subtlety did not exist in the universe.
> The smartest article I remember reading on the subject had to do
> with telling
> riders it's not the "steel" that matters, it's the "tubing". Tube
> configuration, wall thickness, taper, etc. matters more to a
> finished frame
> than "what steel is it?"
> Caeterus paribas, assuming first class workmanship.
> Stevan Thomas
> Alameda, CA