Best American Made Lugged Steel Frame?



D

Dave Stallard

Guest
Richard Sachs wrote:

> lugs are not in short supply. the only thing that has
> changed is that cheap, pricepoint lugs no longer exist
> because most frames are tigged or nonferrous - the
> industrial made ones, that is. my lugs (and a newer set to
> be available after july 1st), fork crowns, and frame
> dropouts are explained here with some text that was outed
> about 22 months ago:
> http://www.richardsachs.com/rsachslugs.html

I looked at these pix. Wow. Like something from the Museum
of Modern Art...

I've seen one or two of your frames out on the roads, and
they looked very nice.

Dave
 
R

Russell Seaton

Guest
> Todd--How does one of your bikes differ from a 2200-series
> Waterford? From what I understand, Waterford uses 853
> tubesets in the lugged 2200 model and from what I hear,
> they are quite lightweight. What type of steel is used in
> Herons and how do weights compare to the Waterford 2200s?

I have a Waterford 1200 frame and fork. 58 cm size. 1995
production I think. The finest of the finest Reynolds 753
tubing. Fork is 531. I suspect it is similar in weight to a
Reynolds 853 Waterford 2200 frame and fork. Frame is 4
pounds even. Fork is 1.5 pounds even.

Whether you consider 4 pounds and 1.5 pounds "quite
lightweight" is up to you.
 
R

Russell Seaton

Guest
[email protected] (Joe) wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
> I've been looking around for a great American-made
> LUGGED steel frame (preferably with 853 steel). I don't
> need anything custom, just a regular size. I've looked
> at Waterford, but they are WAY too expensive for what I
> need (all the custom stuff they do obviously adds to the
> price). Does anybody know of a builder/company that
> makes great lugged steel (e.g. 853 tubeset) frames for
> less money?
>
> Thanks in advance--

I have a Waterford 1200 and think its fabulous. I was
fortunate to purchase it through Gary Hobbs back in 1998 for
$900. Frame and fork. At the time Waterford was selling them
for $1400 I believe. The 1200 was dropped in the late 1990s
I think. I think the 2200 is around $2000 or so now. I don't
know if I could or would drop that kind of money on a frame
and fork. But I might now that I know how wonderful my
Waterford is. It probably is worth whatever they are
charging now days.

But, if USA made lugged steel production frames are a bit
out of reach, consider looking at British shops and/or
websites. I am pretty sure I have seen British made Reynolds
tubed lugged bikes fairly cheap. Sometimes name brand,
sometimes house brand of whichever shop is selling them. Not
sure if SJS Cycles has a road racing frame and fork or not.
 
T

Tim McNamara

Guest
[email protected] (Russell Seaton) writes:

> Whether you consider 4 pounds and 1.5 pounds "quite
> lightweight" is up to you.

There's an excellent point! I think that's a very reasonable
weight for a frame, but then I'm 6'4" and 215 lbs.
 
J

Jay Beattie

Guest
"Tim McNamara" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> Eurastus <[email protected]> writes:
>
> > You asked for the best? Richard Sachs, without a doubt.
>
> Wonderful frames. But the best without a doubt?
> Well, that's
not so
> clear. Chris Kvale, Richard Moon, Bilenky, etc are
> all great
frames
> and rival Sachs.
>
> > As for me, I lusted after one for several years
> > (like 20+)
but when
> > it came down to it, I couldn't stomach the 2 1/2
> > year wait.
I went
> > with a Ritchey Road Logic steel frame/fork instead. Not
custom
> > made, not lugged, and not made in the US (though
> > finished and painted here). It set me back $929 with
> > custom paint and
took 2
> > months from order to delivery. That's a little
> > longer than
normal
> > for them, but Ritchey changed shop locations and
> > warehouses
in the
> > middle of the order. Normally it's 4-5 weeks.
> >
> > Couldn't be happier. It's a dream ride (some say it
> > rivals
the
> > Sachs) and actually weighs less. Tthe paint and
> > finish work
are
> > nice, but not Sachs/Bell quality. I'm satisfied for the
money I
> > spent.
>
> I have a Ritchey Road Classic (all fillet brazed)
> which used
the same
> tubes and geometry at the time it was built (Tange
> Prestige
drawn to
> TR's specs). I bought it used from the guy TR built it
> for.
I'll
> second Erastus' comments: a superb handling frame, almost
telepathic,
> very sure around twisty turns, over bumpy surfaces and yet
stable. A
> nice balance of handling properties. IMHO you couldn't go
wrong with
> a TR frame.

Tim, you are getting a little too zen here. Let me say it
again with even more emphasis than usual: it is just metal
fabrication. Two bikes with the same material and the same
geometry are going to ride the same. The difference will
be in aesthetics and longevity. A poorly crafted frame may
break from overheating or under filling of a joints or a
dynafile nick or something of the sort. Aesthetics, of
course, is a matter of taste. The best bike in the world
is the one you like the most; that fits and that lasts. --
Jay Beattie.
 
R

Richard Sachs

Guest
snipped: "Jay Beattie" <[email protected]> "Let me
say it again with even more emphasis than usual: it is just
metal fabrication. Two bikes with the same material and the
same geometry are going to ride the same." Jay Beattie.

this is a fact? e-RICHIE
 
T

Tim McNamara

Guest
"Jay Beattie" <[email protected]> writes:

> "Tim McNamara" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]
> Blue.local...
>> Eurastus <[email protected]> writes:
>>
>> > You asked for the best? Richard Sachs, without a doubt.
>>
>> Wonderful frames. But the best without a doubt? Well,
>> that's not so clear. Chris Kvale, Richard Moon, Bilenky,
>> etc are all great frames and rival Sachs.
>>
>> > As for me, I lusted after one for several years (like
>> > 20+) but when it came down to it, I couldn't stomach
>> > the 2 1/2 year wait. I went with a Ritchey Road Logic
>> > steel frame/fork instead. Not custom made, not lugged,
>> > and not made in the US (though finished and painted
>> > here). It set me back $929 with custom paint and took 2
>> > months from order to delivery. That's a little longer
>> > than normal for them, but Ritchey changed shop
>> > locations and warehouses in the middle of the order.
>> > Normally it's 4-5 weeks.
>> >
>> > Couldn't be happier. It's a dream ride (some say it
>> > rivals the Sachs) and actually weighs less. Tthe paint
>> > and finish work are nice, but not Sachs/Bell quality.
>> > I'm satisfied for the money I spent.
>>
>> I have a Ritchey Road Classic (all fillet brazed) which
>> used the same tubes and geometry at the time it was built
>> (Tange Prestige drawn to TR's specs). I bought it used
>> from the guy TR built it for. I'll second Erastus'
>> comments: a superb handling frame, almost telepathic,
>> very sure around twisty turns, over bumpy surfaces and
>> yet stable. A nice balance of handling properties. IMHO
>> you couldn't go wrong with a TR frame.
>
> Tim, you are getting a little too zen here. Let me say it
> again with even more emphasis than usual: it is just metal
> fabrication. Two bikes with the same material and the same
> geometry are going to ride the same.

You seem to be reading something into my comments, Jay, that
isn't there. I'm just commenting on the Ritchey's ride and
noting that it is the same geometry and tubes as the Logic
frames- however, mine is old enough that it was made with
Prestige tubing whereas the new ones are made with different
tubes, since Prestige is no longer available. FWIW the
choice of frame material has little if any effect on how the
bike rides (a horse that's been thrashed many times
already). TR's mass produced frames ride just the same as
his handbuilt ones.

Ritchey's geometry shows his years of experience yielding
the best riding bike I've ever ridden- far superior IMHO to
any Reparto Corsa Bianchi, any Colnago, any Fondriest, any
Trek, any Cannondale, etc, that I've ever ridden or raced
on. It's the best handling bike I've ever ridden, bar none.
 
D

Donald Gillies

Guest
Who makes the best frameset ?? It's a personal choice, but here are
some options :

Grand-Daddy of American Custom Framebuilding
(early 1970's) :

http://www.eisentraut.com/

Builders of the Late 1970's / Early 1980's :

http://www.waterfordbike.com # new management in 1980
http://www.brucegordoncycles.com # amazing details not shown
on website http://www.richardsachs.com # amazing
http://www.cwo.com/~lunarlab/ # amazing framebuilding hobby
http://www.classicrendezvous.com/USA/Baylis/Baylis_main.htm
# paints; builds rarely.

Look at the Bike Lugs Gallery and you decide !!!

http://www.bikelugs.com

- Don Gillies San Diego, CA
 
J

Jay Beattie

Guest
"Richard Sachs" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> snipped: "Jay Beattie" <[email protected]> "Let me
> say it again with even more emphasis than usual: it is
just metal
> fabrication. Two bikes with the same material and the same
> geometry are
going to ride the
> same." Jay Beattie.
>
>
>
> this is a fact? e-RICHIE

I would certainly hope so, otherwise there would be no
consistency from bicycle to bicycle by the same manufacturer
or even the same builder. If you were given the exact same
materials and shop drawings as Tom Kellogg and Albert
Eisentraut and Bruce Gordon, for example, and assuming that
all of you followed the drawings scrupulously, would there
be a difference in ride quality between your respective
frames? If so, I can't imagine why. -- Jay Beattie.
 
R

Richard Sachs

Guest
i believe the sequence of assembly, the heating cycles, the
hand-eye coordination - and a host of other "intangibles" -
all serve to affect the final product. to be agreeable, i'd
suggest all like-designed 'trauts ride similarly, or tom's
frames, or mine. but will all of ours ride alike - even if
we parrot a scripted design? i doubt it. e-RICHIE

"Jay Beattie" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
>
> "Richard Sachs" <[email protected]> wrote in
> message
> news:[email protected]...
> > snipped: "Jay Beattie" <[email protected]>
> > "Let me say it again with even more emphasis than
> > usual: it is
> just metal
> > fabrication. Two bikes with the same material and the
> > same geometry are
> going to ride the
> > same." Jay Beattie.
> >
> >
> >
> > this is a fact? e-RICHIE
>
> I would certainly hope so, otherwise there would be no
> consistency from bicycle to bicycle by the same
> manufacturer or even the same builder. If you were given
> the exact same materials and shop drawings as Tom Kellogg
> and Albert Eisentraut and Bruce Gordon, for example, and
> assuming that all of you followed the drawings
> scrupulously, would there be a difference in ride quality
> between your respective frames? If so, I can't imagine
> why. -- Jay Beattie.
 
D

Dave Thompson

Guest
"Jay Beattie" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
>
> "Richard Sachs" <[email protected]sbcglobal.net> wrote in
> message
> news:[email protected]...
> > snipped: "Jay Beattie" <[email protected]>
> > "Let me say it again with even more emphasis than
> > usual: it is
> just metal
> > fabrication. Two bikes with the same material and the
> > same geometry are
> going to ride the
> > same." Jay Beattie.
> >
> >
> >
> > this is a fact? e-RICHIE
>
> I would certainly hope so, otherwise there would be no
> consistency from bicycle to bicycle by the same
> manufacturer or even the same builder. If you were given
> the exact same materials and shop drawings as Tom Kellogg
> and Albert Eisentraut and Bruce Gordon, for example, and
> assuming that all of you followed the drawings
> scrupulously, would there be a difference in ride quality
> between your respective frames? If so, I can't imagine
> why. -- Jay Beattie.
>
Now, this is getting interesting! Please continue.
 
T

Tom Nakashima

Guest
"Dave Thompson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
>
> "Jay Beattie" <[email protected]> wrote in message
> news:[email protected]...
> >
> > "Richard Sachs" <[email protected]> wrote in
> > message news:[email protected]
> > gy.com...
> > > snipped: "Jay Beattie" <[email protected]>
> > > "Let me say it again with even more emphasis than
> > > usual: it is
> > just metal
> > > fabrication. Two bikes with the same material and the
> > > same geometry are
> > going to ride the
> > > same." Jay Beattie.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > this is a fact? e-RICHIE
> >
> > I would certainly hope so, otherwise there would be no
> > consistency from bicycle to bicycle by the same
> > manufacturer or even the same builder. If you were given
> > the exact same materials and shop drawings as Tom
> > Kellogg and Albert Eisentraut and Bruce Gordon, for
> > example, and assuming that all of you followed the
> > drawings scrupulously, would there be a difference in
> > ride quality between your respective frames? If so, I
> > can't imagine why. -- Jay Beattie.
> >
> Now, this is getting interesting! Please continue.
>

Yes, Richard Sachs please continue, would love to hear what
a master frame builder has to say on this matter. It's not
everyday we see an expert come by. -tom
 
R

Richard Sachs

Guest
tom i've already stated my position. see the post above dave
thompson's. e-RICHIE

"Tom Nakashima" <[email protected]> wrote:
> Yes, Richard Sachs please continue, would love to hear
> what a master frame builder has to say on this matter.
> It's not everyday we see an expert come by. -tom
 
T

Tim McNamara

Guest
"Richard Sachs" <[email protected]> writes:

> i believe the sequence of assembly, the heating cycles,
> the hand-eye coordination - and a host of other
> "intangibles" - all serve to affect the final product.

But are these effects in any way measurable or perceivable?
That's the key question. It'd be an interesting experiment,
wouldn't it? Send one frame drawing to five frame builders,
have them built and painted without decals, equip the frames
identically, and then see if people can tell them apart in
set of blind tests. It'd be interesting to do it two ways-
one with tube specs and one with free tube choice by the
builders. The first condition isolates the items you
identify; the second adds whatever differences might be
introduced by the tube sets.

Maybe this could be done as a part of the 2005 Technical
Trials being hosted by Adventure Corps and Vintage Bicycle
Quarterly.
 
J

Jay Beattie

Guest
"Tim McNamara" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> "Richard Sachs" <[email protected]> writes:
>
> > i believe the sequence of assembly, the heating
> > cycles, the
hand-eye
> > coordination - and a host of other "intangibles" -
> > all serve
to
> > affect the final product.
>
> But are these effects in any way measurable or
> perceivable?
That's
> the key question. It'd be an interesting experiment,
> wouldn't
it?
> Send one frame drawing to five frame builders, have
> them built
and
> painted without decals, equip the frames identically,
> and then
see if
> people can tell them apart in set of blind tests. It'd be
interesting
> to do it two ways- one with tube specs and one with
> free tube
choice
> by the builders. The first condition isolates the
> items you
identify;
> the second adds whatever differences might be
> introduced by the
tube
> sets.
>
> Maybe this could be done as a part of the 2005
> Technical Trials
being
> hosted by Adventure Corps and Vintage Bicycle Quarterly.

The only thing that comes to mind is air hardening
differences based on assembly sequencing and heating cycles.
I think some people claim that air-hardening or over
hardening affects ride quality -- but I do not think that
any of the air hardening tubesets harden at brazing
temperatures. I think over-heating caused annealing of old
style tubes like 531, so there might be some softening at
the joint -- but I doubt that would perceivably affect ride
quality, although it would affect longevity. Moreover,
significant softening would mean that the fabricator is
screwing up. My hypothetical assumed that everyone is
following directions and is good at what they do. But,
again, I am not attuned to all the subtleties of frame
building. There maybe a measurable difference in ride
quality where two competent builders fabricate the same
frame. I just have a hard time with "intangibles,"
especially if they cost a lot of money. It starts becoming
too much like HiFi or wine. "My frame is resilient, but not
insouciant. It is very smooth, like a closely shaved peach
but not quite a nectarine." Man, my bikes get thrashed, and
these types of subtleties would be entirely lost on me. --
Jay Beattie.
 
R

Richard Sachs

Guest
i'd opt out. that kind of stuff isn't my bag. e-RICHIE

"Tim McNamara" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]
Blue.local...
> "Richard Sachs" <[email protected]> writes:
>
> > i believe the sequence of assembly, the heating cycles,
> > the hand-eye coordination - and a host of other
> > "intangibles" - all serve to affect the final product.
>
> But are these effects in any way measurable or
> perceivable? That's the key question. It'd be an
> interesting experiment, wouldn't it? Send one frame
> drawing to five frame builders, have them built and
> painted without decals, equip the frames identically, and
> then see if people can tell them apart in set of blind
> tests. It'd be interesting to do it two ways- one with
> tube specs and one with free tube choice by the builders.
> The first condition isolates the items you identify; the
> second adds whatever differences might be introduced by
> the tube sets.
>
> Maybe this could be done as a part of the 2005 Technical
> Trials being hosted by Adventure Corps and Vintage Bicycle
> Quarterly.
 
T

Todd Kuzma

Guest
in article [email protected], Richard Sachs at
[email protected] wrote on 6/15/04 1:34 PM:

> i believe the sequence of assembly, the heating cycles,
> the hand-eye coordination - and a host of other
> "intangibles" - all serve to affect the final product.
> to be agreeable, i'd suggest all like-designed 'trauts
> ride similarly, or tom's frames, or mine. but will all
> of ours ride alike - even if we parrot a scripted
> design? i doubt it.

e-Richie,

It's conceivable that the things listed above would affect
durability of the frame or even its performance in a
collision. However, how would they affect ride quality? It
seems from your other responses that you don't want to enter
the debate beyond what you've already stated, but you are
making a pretty big claim here.

I'd argue that if you, Eisentraut, and Ritchey each built a
frame with the same geometry and tubing that experienced
riders would notice absolutely no difference in ride
quality. I'd argue that a frame with the same spec built by
an apprentice at Waterford would ride the same as well. How
could it not?

How does the sequence of assembly or heating cycles
affect ride quality? How does the brazing of a joint
affect handling?

I just love it when we get into "intangibles" and subjective
measurements because it frees folks from any sort of
scientific proof or technical discussion.

Todd Kuzma Heron Bicycles Tullio's Big Dog Cyclery
LaSalle, IL
 
B

Benjamin Weiner

Guest
Tim McNamara <[email protected]> wrote:
> "Richard Sachs" <[email protected]> writes:

> > i believe the sequence of assembly, the heating cycles,
> > the hand-eye coordination - and a host of other
> > "intangibles" - all serve to affect the final product.

> But are these effects in any way measurable or
> perceivable? That's the key question. It'd be an
> interesting experiment, wouldn't it? Send one frame
> drawing to five frame builders, have them built and
> painted without decals, equip the frames identically, and
> then see if people can tell them apart in set of blind
> tests. It'd be interesting to do it two ways- one with
> tube specs and one with free tube choice by the builders.
> The first condition isolates the items you identify; the
> second adds whatever differences might be introduced by
> the tube sets.

> Maybe this could be done as a part of the 2005 Technical
> Trials being hosted by Adventure Corps and Vintage Bicycle
> Quarterly.

But if you restrict the builders to a set of provided specs
and even a set of tubes, then what they are building aren't
necessarily really "their" bikes. That is, if a builder
holds the torch to a frame but is required to make choices
that go against what he or she would usually do, is it a
genuine Sachs/Weigle/Rivendell/whatever? That's an aesthetic
question about which people may disagree.

I'm saying this although I think tubeset is the least
important thing about a frame, and I am not much of a
believer in ineffable ride quality - basically I'm an
insensitive clod that can't tell much difference between
frames, as long as they are easy to ride no-hands (I don't
like twitchy bikes that won't). I'm happy with the idea that
a bike has some mojo imparted by the builder which can't be
quantified and isn't necessarily measurable in the handling
characteristics either. Even clods like me would rather ride
an aesthetically pleasing frame which has been lovingly
constructed rather than slapped together.

Technical trials might eliminate some variables and make
some tests (although I wonder if "ride quality" can ever
really be defined) but I feel that trying to eliminate
the author's mojo from an artisanal activity is missing
the point.
 
R

Richard Sachs

Guest
you want to know the truth? i don't know the answer to some
of the questions you ask here. from what i know, you're a
retailer - and i handle these materials daily and make them
into frames. my intuition, my "gut" feeling, based on 30
years (yuck i hate saying stuff like this...) is that there
is a difference. perhaps you're right: maybe the difference
is in the longevity of the item rather than how it feels,
but as a maker it is difficult for me to seperate all the
details from each other. i believe there's a reason that the
good stuff is sought after and also lasts longer than the
mediocre stuff. i won't address the motivations of the other
guys listed in this hypothetical, but - for me, if i
believed the frames would all be the same there'd be no
reason to come in to work. all this stuff is hand-made,
warts and all. that hand-made process somehow transforms raw
material into a finished product. it's not as simple as
summoning up a geometry and executing it with some pipe. as
i wrote previously, the human element is part of the
equation - and that's no different than the test control
also suggested earlier in which humans would try to discern
the difference some here insist don't exist. e-RICHIE


"Todd Kuzma" <[email protected]> wrote: e-Richie,

It's conceivable that the things listed above would affect
durability of the frame or even its performance in a
collision. However, how would they affect ride quality? It
seems from your other responses that you don't want to enter
the debate beyond what you've already stated, but you are
making a pretty big claim here.

I'd argue that if you, Eisentraut, and Ritchey each built a
frame with the same geometry and tubing that experienced
riders would notice absolutely no difference in ride
quality. I'd argue that a frame with the same spec built by
an apprentice at Waterford would ride the same as well. How
could it not?

How does the sequence of assembly or heating cycles
affect ride quality? How does the brazing of a joint
affect handling?

I just love it when we get into "intangibles" and subjective
measurements because it frees folks from any sort of
scientific proof or technical discussion.

Todd Kuzma Heron Bicycles Tullio's Big Dog Cyclery
LaSalle, IL
 
L

Lyle Beaulac

Guest
"Best", of course, is highly subjective. Only you can decide what's "best"
for you. Having said that, permit me to offer this alternative:

The most venerable member of my bike club swears by the
comfort of his Mariposa. At 76, he's had plenty of time in
the saddle to form an opinion.

Mariposas are built by Mike Barry in Toronto. Web site
http://bikespecialties.com/bikes.html. Don't know what the
cost or lead time is, but you'll probably find the USD-CDN
exchange rate gives you a heck of a deal.

Regards, Lyle Beaulac

"Tim McNamara" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]
Blue.local...
> [email protected] (Joe) writes:
>
> > I'm basically just looking for a nice, light, production
> > steel frame with lugs--
>
> That simplifies it:
>
> www.heronbicycles.com www.kogswell.com
> www.rivendellbicycles.com and look at the Rambouillet.
>
> If you want a little more upscale, then Waterford.