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Columbus SLX tubing

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
It seems Specialized (both catalog and online) and a couple of LBSs I’ve visited are touting the Roubaix and Allez SLX frames as alu. However, online research (Columbus site is down) seems to indicate Columbus SL and SLX is in the steel alloy family, specifically chrome-moly, and has been around for awhile. I realize steel tubing has been engineered for higher strength-to-weight ratios over the past few decades, but how can it be transformed into alu? Is SLX steel or alu? If steel, how does it compare to other steel frame materials?

Thank you in advance.
post #2 of 11

Re: Columbus SLX tubing

Quote:
Originally posted by p55mac
It seems Specialized (both catalog and online) and a couple of LBSs I’ve visited are touting the Roubaix and Allez SLX frames as alu. However, online research (Columbus site is down) seems to indicate Columbus SL and SLX is in the steel alloy family, specifically chrome-moly, and has been around for awhile. I realize steel tubing has been engineered for higher strength-to-weight ratios over the past few decades, but how can it be transformed into alu? Is SLX steel or alu? If steel, how does it compare to other steel frame materials?

Thank you in advance.
I know nothing about Specialized bikes, but columus SL and SLX is steel. Are you perhaps confusing a brand name of the bike with the Columbus tubing. SL and SLX used to be top of the line stuff from Columbus. Advances in tubing have moved it down the line some. Notwithstanding, it is great stuff.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

Re: Re: Columbus SLX tubing

Quote:
Originally posted by larry barr
I know nothing about Specialized bikes, but columus SL and SLX is steel. Are you perhaps confusing a brand name of the bike with the Columbus tubing. SL and SLX used to be top of the line stuff from Columbus. Advances in tubing have moved it down the line some. Notwithstanding, it is great stuff.
In the Roubaix and Allez it's just being referred to as Columbus SLX tubing (both online and paper catalogs). Their top of the line S-Works bike is a proprietary blend called E-5 Aerotec (brand name) which also uses Columbus tubing.

Admittedly, when at the LBS, I didn't actually look for the official Columbus sticker. Maybe that would help to resolve this.
post #4 of 11

Re: Columbus SLX tubing

Quote:
Originally posted by p55mac
...but how can it be transformed into alu? Is SLX steel or alu? If steel, how does it compare to other steel frame materials?

Thank you in advance.
A tubeset, be it aluminum steel or Ti, can be called whatever Specilized or anyone else wants to call it unless a name has been patented.
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 

Re: Re: Columbus SLX tubing

Quote:
Originally posted by boudreaux
A tubeset, be it aluminum steel or Ti, can be called whatever Specilized or anyone else wants to call it unless a name has been patented.
That appears to be the case, boudreaux. Thanks for clarifying. Just got back from the LBS for a closer look. They’re definitely alu frames w/ the oversize tubing. Looks like Specialized's own sticker on both the Roubaix Elite and Allez Comp and they're calling it SLX E5 alloy manufactured by Columbus. Their paper and online catalogs are somewhat misleading.
post #6 of 11
They're definitely calling it "Columbus SLX" tubing in a lot of the ads, whether the sticker is there or not.

I think Columbus decided to re-use the SLX name on a new and different material tubeset. I've always figured SL stood for "super leggera" (super light) and the X was for "extra" so Columbus might just like the name. There used to be a LOT of things labeled SL something or other.
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by DiabloScott
......I think Columbus decided to re-use the SLX name on a new and different material tubeset.
That's quite possible, especially if the old steel SL/SLX tubesets are no longer being offered.

Anyways.....aesthetically, I'm really impressed with Specialized's paint, and actually prefer it over Treks and others (Klein, with its minimal graphics, is always a top favorite). Not too many imperfections in the paint; it's smooth, clean, with no orange peel. Their glossy black carbon Roubaix Comp is simply stunning.
post #8 of 11

Re: Re: Re: Columbus SLX tubing

Quote:
Originally posted by p55mac
That appears to be the case, boudreaux. Thanks for clarifying. Just got back from the LBS for a closer look. They’re definitely alu frames w/ the oversize tubing. Looks like Specialized's own sticker on both the Roubaix Elite and Allez Comp and they're calling it SLX E5 alloy manufactured by Columbus. Their paper and online catalogs are somewhat misleading.
the booklet says:

"our proprietary E5 alloy contains silicon, copper, manganese, magnesium and zinc (the five alloying elements in E5), which give it exactly the characteristics needed for making ultralight and exceptionally strong bicycle frames. Drawn and manipulated into custom-spec SLX tubesets, mechanical properties of E5 include exceptional formability, high tensile strength, and the ability to retain substantially more of that strength after welding,k particularly close to the welds (recovery)."

so it's neither aluminum, nor steel...
post #9 of 11
Most all aluminum manufacturers can make custom alloy tubesets drawn to the specifications of the bicycle manufacturers. If I remember correctly, Specialized worked closely w/ Columbus on the production of SLX E5 and E5 Aerotec tubing. IMO, some of the best aluminum tubing I have ridden.

Scuba Steve
post #10 of 11

All the info you need!

Slx is a somewhat older tube and indeed is a steel one. The SLX tubesets find their origin in the eighties. It was the first tubeset to employ helical reinforcements in the tubes.

There's SLX and new SLX, however the new SLX also dates from a few years ago. I know that last year there was no SLX set on the market. At least not in Europe.

New SLX is a tubeset made of Cylex steel by Columbus. Weight tubeset=1286g. . It's a superbutted tubeset originally designed for pro cyclists. Five helical reinforcements at the butted tube ends give greater rigidity to the Bottom Bracket. Tubes are double butted and chainstays are lightened in comparison to SLX.
So SLX is made of Cyclex (Cro/mo) steel and not of the lighter Columbus Nivacrom steel.

I am riding a Columbus TSX tubeset frame by Bianchi. Very fine frame to ride. It is also a top of the line frame from several years ago. Very comfortable and when descending there's no Alu frame that can follow. (I didn't see anybody passing by on their new expensive fashion things yet).

I hope this info will do.

Bye, Frank.
post #11 of 11

Re: Re: Re: Re: Columbus SLX tubing

Quote:
Originally posted by philbert
the booklet says:

"our proprietary E5 alloy contains silicon, copper, manganese, magnesium and zinc (the five alloying elements in E5), which give it exactly the characteristics needed for making ultralight and exceptionally strong bicycle frames. Drawn and manipulated into custom-spec SLX tubesets, mechanical properties of E5 include exceptional formability, high tensile strength, and the ability to retain substantially more of that strength after welding,k particularly close to the welds (recovery)."

so it's neither aluminum, nor steel...
HFC!!! It's an aluminum alloy. The laundry list is the minor components.
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