Best American Made Lugged Steel Frame?



J

Jay Beattie

Guest
"Richard Sachs" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> snipped: " I tend to doubt it, but then I haven't had a
> chance to
compare different
> frames in this way and probably never will..."
>
>
> no disrepect intended, but you're right - you
> probably never
will, and
> since you don't handle the raw material, it makes it
> that much
harder to
> grasp how the human hand - the human element - comes
> into play.
in all
> fairness, i said earlier that i can't quanify it
> either (this
<is> rbtech,
> after all...), but i believe it is part of the equation.
> and, sorry - i know i shouldn't ask questions i don't
> know the
answer to -
> but i know we have a lawyer here - why is it that there
> are good
ones and not
> so good ones when the law is the law? i'm not trying
> to shift
gears here,
> but only to suggest that law - much like some frame
> building
assembly
> processes - is open to interpretation yet verdicts often
> depend on the
skill of the
> lawyer. apologies in advance if that analogy is just
> so bad!!!

Do not compare metal fab to lawyering. That is too scary.
The variability of result you get in lawyering has no
place in metal fab -- or gardening, or even bartending. --
Jay Beattie.
 
R

Richard Sachs

Guest
alas - the human element provides the variable, eh?! e-
RICHIE

"Jay Beattie" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
>
> "Richard Sachs" <[email protected]> wrote in
> message
> news:[email protected]...
but
> > i know we have a lawyer here - why is it that there
> > are good
> ones and not
> > so good ones when the law is the law? i'm not trying
> > to shift
> gears here,
> > but only to suggest that law - much like some frame
> > building
> assembly
> > processes - is open to interpretation yet verdicts often
> > depend on the
> skill of the
> > lawyer. apologies in advance if that analogy is just so
> > bad!!!
>
> Do not compare metal fab to lawyering. That is too scary.
> The variability of result you get in lawyering has no
> place in metal fab -- or gardening, or even bartending. --
> Jay Beattie.
 
J

Jay Beattie

Guest
"Richard Sachs" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> alas - the human element provides the variable, eh?!
> e-RICHIE

Twelve human elements to be exact. I just got a verdict on
Monday in a month long products trial. Let me tell you
Richard, if you made frames like juries made verdicts . . .
-- Jay Beattie.
 
T

Tom Sherman

Guest
Jay Beattie wrote:

> ...
>>
>>How does the sequence of assembly or heating cycles
>>affect ride
>
> quality?
>
>>How does the brazing of a joint affect handling?
>
>
> I struggled with this one, too. Perhaps air hardening or
> annealing would have an effect, but it probably would be
> imperceivable. I would also assume that all of the
> builders know how to not cook a frame. -- Jay Beattie.

The modulus of elasticity of various steels changes very
little with heat treatment, so the effect of heat treatment
(deliberate or incidental) history would have no significant
effect on ride quality. Of course, the heat treatment
history will have a major impact on durability/fatigue life
of the joint.

--
Tom Sherman – Quad City Area
 
R

Richard Chan

Guest
Ted Bennett <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...

> ... Naturally, that does not happen because it's not
> possible to control the many variables. In fact, not all
> the variables are known. That is not really true for metal
> fabrication. A 73 degree angle is a 73 degree angle, and
> 45 mm trail specification is either correctly made or it
> is not. ...>

You are a man of practical wisdom, I am in your camp.

I have owned many fine steel frames, almost 100% Italian
except an Oria tubed Ken Legge (retired) custom and Mr.
Legge practiced the Italian art. My favorite is an used $89
Viner, Columbus SL with handcut (rough edges) lugs and Gios
type flat crown. It combined the best of a Colnago Super and
a Gios Torino Super Record. The brazing (job) is so good
that it brings tears to my eyes every time I look at
it. The paint has wrinkles, the decals flaked, but I love
this frame unconditionally. It is the practical
perfection that I treasure.
 
F

Frank121

Guest
"Richard Chan" <[email protected]> wrote in message >
> You are a man of practical wisdom, I am in your camp.
>
> I have owned many fine steel frames, almost 100% Italian
> except an Oria tubed Ken Legge (retired) custom and Mr.
> Legge practiced the Italian art. My favorite is an used
> $89 Viner, Columbus SL with handcut (rough edges) lugs
> and Gios type flat crown. It combined the best of a
> Colnago Super and a Gios Torino Super Record. The brazing
> (job) is so good that it brings tears to my eyes every
> time I look at
> it. The paint has wrinkles, the decals flaked, but I love
> this frame unconditionally. It is the practical
> perfection that I treasure.

I really can hear the feeling you have for your Viner! I
think I had mentioned to you having owned a Tommasini SLX
Super Prestige a few years ago and selling it and then
wishing I had never done so. I was fortunate enough a few
months ago to come across another Tommasini SLX Super
Prestige f/f with less than 200 miles on it and snatched it
up. I built it up and love the ride and workmanship of it
and have no plans to let this one get away from me.

Frank
 
T

Tim McNamara

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

> snipped: " I tend to doubt it, but then I haven't had a
> chance to compare different frames in this way and
> probably never will..."
>
> no disrepect intended, but you're right - you probably
> never will, and since you don't handle the raw material,
> it makes it that much harder to grasp how the human hand -
> the human element - comes into play.

Well, I am learning to braze and to build frames thanks to
the patience of a friend who is a frame builder, so I hope
to have at least some understanding of this aspect someday.
Although since I don't plan to quit my day job, I doubt
I'll build enough frames to become as proficient as someone
like yourself.
 
T

Tim McNamara

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

> alas - the human element provides the variable, eh?!

Too many human variables in the example of lawyering.
Building a frame, there's one human variable- the builder.
In lawyering, the human variables include the plaintiff and
their lawyer, the defendnt and their lawyer, the witnesses,
the judge, etc.

For an equivalent situation in building a frame, you'd have
to have Richard Moon measure the rider, Curt Goodrich cut
the tubes, Albert Eisentraut miter them, Joe Starck prep
the lugs, Peter Weigle braze the bottom bracket, Mark
Nobilette braze the stays, Richard Sachs braze the main
triangle, and Chris Kvale do the filing. Or substitute your
favorite frame builders.
 
R

Richard Sachs

Guest
there's we we disagree. i think goodrich's human element
differs from moon's. kvale's and mine differ. peter's is
different from bert's. i think it was george nakashima that
said (i'm paraphrasing...), "a thousand decisions are made
before the first cut of the wood". it's not that different
in framebuilding. these are products of a person's
experiences and ideals. none of us do what any of the others
do. e-RICHIE

"Tim McNamara" <[email protected]> wrote:
> "Richard Sachs" <[email protected]> writes:
>
> > alas - the human element provides the variable, eh?!
>
> Too many human variables in the example of lawyering.
> Building a frame, there's one human variable- the builder.
> In lawyering, the human variables include the plaintiff
> and their lawyer, the defendnt and their lawyer, the
> witnesses, the judge, etc.
>
> For an equivalent situation in building a frame, you'd
> have to have Richard Moon measure the rider, Curt Goodrich
> cut the tubes, Albert Eisentraut miter them, Joe Starck
> prep the lugs, Peter Weigle braze the bottom bracket, Mark
> Nobilette braze the stays, Richard Sachs braze the main
> triangle, and Chris Kvale do the filing. Or substitute
> your favorite frame builders.
 
R

Richard Sachs

Guest
i hope you'll note your experiences online for others to
read. i don't think i began to fully understand the complete
nature of these tasks until nearly 20 years into the gig.
understanding geometry. fitting people. developing
construction methods and sequences that yield desired
results. refining metalworking skills. these tasks are
rather simple in and of themselves, but combining these, and
other important traits too, to build frames borders on
alchemy and i don't think it's that evident until you're on
the "other side" of the learning curve. you're on the frame
forum if i'm not mistaken - i hope you'll avail youself of
the resources there when you start your building. e-RICHIE

"Tim McNamara" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]
Blue.local...
> "Richard Sachs" <[email protected]> writes:
>
> > snipped: " I tend to doubt it, but then I haven't had a
> > chance to compare different frames in this way and
> > probably never will..."
> >
> > no disrepect intended, but you're right - you probably
> > never will, and since you don't handle the raw material,
> > it makes it that much harder to grasp how the human hand
> > - the human element - comes into play.
>
> Well, I am learning to braze and to build frames thanks to
> the patience of a friend who is a frame builder, so I hope
> to have at least some understanding of this aspect
> someday. Although since I don't plan to quit my day job, I
> doubt I'll build enough frames to become as proficient as
> someone like yourself.
 
R

Richard Sachs

Guest
EDIT

there's where we disagree. i think goodrich's human element
differs from moon's. kvale's and mine differ. peter's is
different from bert's. i think it was george nakashima that
said (i'm paraphrasing...), "a thousand decisions are made
before the first cut of the wood". it's not that different
in framebuilding. these are products of a person's
experiences and ideals. none of us do what any of the others
do. e-RICHIE

>
>
>
>
> "Tim McNamara" <[email protected]> wrote:
> > "Richard Sachs" <[email protected]> writes:
> >
> > > alas - the human element provides the variable, eh?!
> >
> > Too many human variables in the example of lawyering.
> > Building a frame, there's one human variable- the
> > builder. In lawyering, the human variables include the
> > plaintiff and their lawyer, the defendnt and their
> > lawyer, the witnesses, the judge, etc.
> >
> > For an equivalent situation in building a frame, you'd
> > have to have Richard Moon measure the rider, Curt
> > Goodrich cut the tubes, Albert Eisentraut miter them,
> > Joe Starck prep the lugs, Peter Weigle braze the bottom
> > bracket, Mark Nobilette braze the stays, Richard Sachs
> > braze the main triangle, and Chris Kvale do the filing.
> > Or substitute your favorite frame builders.
 
J

James Scott

Guest
Richard Sachs wrote:

> there's where we disagree. i think goodrich's human
> element differs from moon's. kvale's and mine differ.
> peter's is different from bert's. i think it was george
> nakashima that said (i'm paraphrasing...), "a thousand
> decisions are made before the first cut of the wood". it's
> not that different in framebuilding. these are products of
> a person's experiences and ideals. none of us do what any
> of the others do.

I don't think anyone involved in this discussion will
dispute that the craftsman's skills and experience are
critical to the design of the frame - that is, those
"thousand decisions" you wrote of. I think what some here
are questioning is the impact of the assembly/fabrication
skills and process relative to the design skills and process
as regards perceived ride quality. Personally, I think ride
quality is more in the design than the execution. If a
builder executes the same design in the same materials
twice, using the same fabrication process, I expect both
finished pieces to have very similar qualities. Give
identical inputs to another builder, and the result will of
course be different...but again, I would expect two examples
from that builder to be alike in those characteristics that
we call "ride quality."

This isn't to say that highly refined and experienced
assembly technique aren't valuable, but I think this
impacts aesthetics and durability far more than ride
quality. And certainly, anyone who wants a custom frame
wants the entire package.

JLS

--
James "No time for nicknames" Scott www.jls.cx
 
R

Richard Sachs

Guest
snipped: "If a builder executes the same design in the same
materials twice, using the same fabrication process, I
expect both finished pieces to have very similar qualities.
Give identical inputs to another builder, and the result
will of course be different...but again, I would expect two
examples from that builder to be alike in those
characteristics that we call "ride quality."

i think i said as much and it appears that we're in accord
here. e-RICHIE



"James Scott" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> Richard Sachs wrote:
>
> > there's where we disagree. i think goodrich's human
> > element differs from moon's. kvale's and mine differ.
> > peter's is different from bert's. i think it was george
> > nakashima that said (i'm paraphrasing...), "a thousand
> > decisions are made before the first cut of the wood".
> > it's not that different in framebuilding. these are
> > products of a person's experiences and ideals. none of
> > us do what any of the others do.
>
> I don't think anyone involved in this discussion will
> dispute that the craftsman's skills and experience are
> critical to the design of the frame - that is, those
> "thousand decisions" you wrote of. I think what some here
> are questioning is the impact of the assembly/fabrication
> skills and process relative to the design skills and
> process as regards perceived ride quality. Personally, I
> think ride quality is more in the design than the
> execution. If a builder executes the same design in the
> same materials twice, using the same fabrication process,
> I expect both finished pieces to have very similar
> qualities. Give identical inputs to another builder, and
> the result will of course be different...but again, I
> would expect two examples from that builder to be alike in
> those characteristics that we call "ride quality."
>
> This isn't to say that highly refined and experienced
> assembly technique aren't valuable, but I think this
> impacts aesthetics and durability far more than ride
> quality. And certainly, anyone who wants a custom frame
> wants the entire package.
>
> JLS
>
> --
> James "No time for nicknames" Scott www.jls.cx
 
T

Tim McNamara

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

> "Tim McNamara" <[email protected]> wrote:
>> "Richard Sachs" <[email protected]> writes:
>>
>> > alas - the human element provides the variable, eh?!
>>
>> Too many human variables in the example of lawyering.
>> Building a frame, there's one human variable- the
>> builder. In lawyering, the human variables include the
>> plaintiff and their lawyer, the defendnt and their
>> lawyer, the witnesses, the judge, etc.
>>
>> For an equivalent situation in building a frame, you'd
>> have to have Richard Moon measure the rider, Curt
>> Goodrich cut the tubes, Albert Eisentraut miter them, Joe
>> Starck prep the lugs, Peter Weigle braze the bottom
>> bracket, Mark Nobilette braze the stays, Richard Sachs
>> braze the main triangle, and Chris Kvale do the filing.
>> Or substitute your favorite frame builders.
>
> there's we we disagree. i think goodrich's human element
> differs from moon's. kvale's and mine differ. peter's is
> different from bert's.

Exactly my point. Lawyering involves many people in each
outcome, custom frame building involves (usually) only one.
Therefore comparing the human touch in lawyering with the
human touch in frame building really isn't possible.

> i think it was george nakashima that said (i'm
> paraphrasing...), "a thousand decisions are made before
> the first cut of the wood". it's not that different in
> framebuilding. these are products of a person's
> experiences and ideals. none of us do what any of the
> others do

Yup. The question, as yet unaswered and perhaps unanswerable
is exactly what the differences are that make the
differences in the ride. Is it the geometry- BB drop, front
and rear centers, steering geometry, position, and other
"macroscopic" differences? I'd have no argument with that;
my hunch is that if I went to each of the builders I
mentioned and got measured for a bike for riding brevets,
I'd imagine every one would build a bike I'd be very happy
with- and every one would build a bike that is
macroscopically different from the others.

Or is it microscopic differences, ones that can't be
identified with a tape measure? The sequence of the joints,
the exactitude of the miters, the filing and thinning of the
lugs, which side of the joint is heated first, whether brass
or silver is used, etc. Are these the things that account
for the difference in ride? I personally can't see how.

My own answer to the questions- as best I can- is going to
be to build my own frame. We'll see if it turns out well or
if it rides like a wheelbarrow harnessed to a dyspeptic
donkey. In any event, Richard, I appreciate your perspective
on the issue and thanks for sharing it.
 
T

Tim McNamara

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

> "Tim McNamara" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]
> Blue.local...
>
>> Well, I am learning to braze and to build frames thanks
>> to the patience of a friend who is a frame builder, so I
>> hope to have at least some understanding of this aspect
>> someday. Although since I don't plan to quit my day job,
>> I doubt I'll build enough frames to become as proficient
>> as someone like yourself.
>
> i hope you'll note your experiences online for others to
> read. i don't think i began to fully understand the
> complete nature of these tasks until nearly 20 years into
> the gig. understanding geometry. fitting people.
> developing construction methods and sequences that yield
> desired results. refining metalworking skills. these tasks
> are rather simple in and of themselves, but combining
> these, and other important traits too, to build frames
> borders on alchemy and i don't think it's that evident
> until you're on the "other side" of the learning curve.

It'll be a long time before I can claim any kind of
proficiency. At this point I'm still just learning to handle
a torch and do basic brazing.

> you're on the frame forum if i'm not mistaken - i hope
> you'll avail youself of the resources there when you start
> your building.

I've not subscribed to the frame builder's forum. You're
probably recognizing my name from the iBOB list. However,
the frame builder's list is a superb resource that I'll be
checking into once I've got a handle on rudimentary brazing.
 

Joe Starck

New Member
Feb 28, 2005
3
0
1
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--

This thread got criss-crossed between the headline and the text. So therefore, if we answer only the question posed in the text, then what is the answer today?
 

Froze

Well-Known Member
Jul 13, 2004
4,711
756
113
NE Indiana
I would seriously consider the Heron bike if you don't want to spend a fortune and want a made in the USA bike. Sure the frame is made of 531 but that material is actually better than the 853 in terms of comfort, and it was highly reliable, and no it's not a custom built bike, but if you give them your measurements they will find you the perfect size you need which works for 98% of the population, unless you have some sort of odd body measurements you will be fine, and the cost of the frame and fork is around $1,100. Another thing about the Heron is that they are SILVER brazed not brass brazed, silver brazing applies less heat and therefore less heat stress on the steel tubing; I don't even think that the Rivendell bike models that are made in Taiwan are silver brazed, maybe the most expensive one is?