Cheap Steel v. Ti Frame Pick

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Jay Beattie, Jun 21, 2004.

  1. Jay Beattie

    Jay Beattie Guest

    Well, after all these years of touting the longevity of my '86
    Cannondale Black Lightning, it finally broke (a crack around 75%
    of the downtube). And I just replaced a broken '92 2.8, so I do
    not think I am going to go Al this time.

    I need a replacement frame for a commuting and spring training
    bike. I was looking at Mark's Ti $699 special (no fork) and a
    steel Viner Competition (Dedacciai COM 12.5) that GVH is selling
    with a CF fork for $575. I would ride a 63cm or 64cm in these
    two bikes. Any thoughts? -- Jay Beattie.
     
    Tags:


  2. > Well, after all these years of touting the longevity of my '86
    > Cannondale Black Lightning, it finally broke (a crack around 75%
    > of the downtube). And I just replaced a broken '92 2.8, so I do
    > not think I am going to go Al this time.
    >
    > I need a replacement frame for a commuting and spring training
    > bike. I was looking at Mark's Ti $699 special (no fork) and a
    > steel Viner Competition (Dedacciai COM 12.5) that GVH is selling
    > with a CF fork for $575. I would ride a 63cm or 64cm in these
    > two bikes. Any thoughts? -- Jay Beattie.


    Jay: Since you keep your bikes around for such a long time, I'd suggest
    that one important criteria would be a lifetime warranty. No matter what a
    frame is made of, if the material is pushed to the limits (which people like
    to do with bicycles, because they want them to be any heavier than they need
    to be), it will not last forever. Most steel and Ti frames, if used long
    enough, are subject to failure just as your older Cannondales did. You
    *could* build a frame so tough and durable it would never be an issue, but
    you'd end up with something so heavy you wouldn't enjoy riding it.

    My general rule of thumb is that a frame should be able to handle at least
    35,000 miles to be considered durable. This goes back to the days I sold a
    whole lot of high-end steel road frames; they would often fails somewhere
    between 35-50k miles, typically at the right-side rear dropout, or by
    developing a tear across the seat tube (below the front derailleur, and
    beginning on the left-hand side). Many bikes would last longer, but that's
    my guideline. Perhaps your old aluminum bikes failed well prior to such
    mileage?

    --Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles
    www.ChainReactionBicycles.com


    "Jay Beattie" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Well, after all these years of touting the longevity of my '86
    > Cannondale Black Lightning, it finally broke (a crack around 75%
    > of the downtube). And I just replaced a broken '92 2.8, so I do
    > not think I am going to go Al this time.
    >
    > I need a replacement frame for a commuting and spring training
    > bike. I was looking at Mark's Ti $699 special (no fork) and a
    > steel Viner Competition (Dedacciai COM 12.5) that GVH is selling
    > with a CF fork for $575. I would ride a 63cm or 64cm in these
    > two bikes. Any thoughts? -- Jay Beattie.
    >
    >
     
  3. Paul Kopit

    Paul Kopit Guest

    On Mon, 21 Jun 2004 08:08:06 -0700, "Jay Beattie"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Well, after all these years of touting the longevity of my '86
    >Cannondale Black Lightning, it finally broke (a crack around 75%
    >of the downtube). And I just replaced a broken '92 2.8, so I do
    >not think I am going to go Al this time.


    You should be able to get a new frame from Cannondale for free. They
    were lifetime guaranteed.
     
  4. Jay-<< I was looking at Mark's Ti $699 special (no fork) and a
    steel Viner Competition (Dedacciai COM 12.5) that GVH is selling
    with a CF fork for $575. I would ride a 63cm or 64cm in these
    two bikes. Any thoughts? >><BR><BR>

    Hard to beat the Hab for what you want. I would stay away from thin walled
    steel.

    Peter Chisholm
    Vecchio's Bicicletteria
    1833 Pearl St.
    Boulder, CO, 80302
    (303)440-3535
    http://www.vecchios.com
    "Ruote convenzionali costruite eccezionalmente bene"
     
  5. On Mon, 21 Jun 2004 08:08:06 -0700, Jay Beattie wrote:

    > I need a replacement frame for a commuting and spring training
    > bike. I was looking at Mark's Ti $699 special (no fork) and a
    > steel Viner Competition (Dedacciai COM 12.5) that GVH is selling
    > with a CF fork for $575. I would ride a 63cm or 64cm in these
    > two bikes. Any thoughts? -- Jay Beattie.


    FWIW, I am very satisfied with my Habanero. Of course, I can't say
    anything definitive about long-term durability, having only had it for
    about 2 and a half years, though that is longer than my previous aluminum
    frame lasted me. But I have no doubts that it will be around for a long
    time. As far as needing a "lifetime" guarantee goes, frankly a guarantee
    is only as good as 1) the company behind it and 2) your willingness to
    put up with a frame design that failed you before. Now, Cannondale may be
    around for a long time, but having to replace frames every so many years
    may not be worth it --- especially since there is no guarantee that your
    components will fit on the new model.

    --

    David L. Johnson

    __o | the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders.
    _`\(,_ | That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being
    (_)/ (_) | attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism
    and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any
    <country. -- Hermann Goering
     
  6. Jay Beattie

    Jay Beattie Guest

    "David L. Johnson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:p[email protected]
    > On Mon, 21 Jun 2004 08:08:06 -0700, Jay Beattie wrote:
    >
    > > I need a replacement frame for a commuting and spring

    training
    > > bike. I was looking at Mark's Ti $699 special (no fork) and

    a
    > > steel Viner Competition (Dedacciai COM 12.5) that GVH is

    selling
    > > with a CF fork for $575. I would ride a 63cm or 64cm in

    these
    > > two bikes. Any thoughts? -- Jay Beattie.

    >
    > FWIW, I am very satisfied with my Habanero. Of course, I can't

    say
    > anything definitive about long-term durability, having only had

    it for
    > about 2 and a half years, though that is longer than my

    previous aluminum
    > frame lasted me. But I have no doubts that it will be around

    for a long
    > time. As far as needing a "lifetime" guarantee goes, frankly a

    guarantee
    > is only as good as 1) the company behind it and 2) your

    willingness to
    > put up with a frame design that failed you before. Now,

    Cannondale may be
    > around for a long time, but having to replace frames every so

    many years
    > may not be worth it --- especially since there is no guarantee

    that your
    > components will fit on the new model.
    >
    > --


    I started buying Cannondales when my custom frames started
    braking, and I was no longer living in San Jose near my frame
    builder friend. Cannondales were cheap, and they fit. I became
    brand loyal and ended up with a bunch of them -- and when they
    broke, I got new ones. The problem now is that I just got a new
    CAAD 4 as a replacement for an old, broken 2.8. It is a great,
    light bike, but it is all I need in the way of a racing bike. I
    do not want another one for commuting and spring training, and
    that is the frame I get if I go for a replacement. I want
    something else that is reasonably responsive, but is more
    durable. I probably will get a replacement if I can get it free
    (only God knows what I did with the receipt for this bike in
    1986/7 -- it was a replacement for a 1984 first generation frame
    that I broke in a mishap). If I do get one free, I will sell it
    on ebay.

    I appreciate Mike's comments, but I am surprised at his estimate
    of a reasonable life expectency for a bicycle frame. The old
    Black Lightning probably had 80K miles on it or more. The 2.8s
    were problematic and broke in a few years of hard riding, but the
    first and second generation frames (like the AlumaClassic aka
    Black Lightning) were super tough, although they were boat
    anchors by today's weight standards.

    But, back to the Habanero -- if I go with 1" headtube, am I
    setting myself up for obsolescence? -- Jay Beattie.
     
  7. On Tue, 22 Jun 2004 09:39:47 -0700, Jay Beattie wrote:

    > But, back to the Habanero -- if I go with 1" headtube, am I
    > setting myself up for obsolescence? -- Jay Beattie.


    Much, much less so than if you went for an integrated headset in any size.
    1" headsets, and forks, will have to be around for 30 years or more to
    take care of old stock still out there riding around. Larger sizes have
    been available, for road bikes, for only a few years, and I am not
    convinced that a real standard has arisen. You might go with 1 1/8" only
    to find that the real standard will be 1 1/4", or something else
    entirely.

    I also prefer threaded, and that is not widely available in anything
    other than 1". At your size, you might think twice about a carbon
    steerer, especially in 1", but a metal steerer will be fine.

    --

    David L. Johnson

    __o | "Business!" cried the Ghost. "Mankind was my business. The common
    _`\(,_ | welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and
    (_)/ (_) | benevolence, were, all, my business. The dealings of my trade
    were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my
    <business!" --Dickens, "A Christmas Carol"
     
  8. Bruce Frech

    Bruce Frech Guest

    If you can replace the Cannondale under warranty, ask for a touring frame or
    a lower model road frame. The touring frames use thicker tubes and have
    clearance for your winter needs - fenders/mudguards. And they are stiff
    enough so they will feel responsive.

    Bruce
     
  9. > I appreciate Mike's comments, but I am surprised at his estimate
    > of a reasonable life expectency for a bicycle frame. The old
    > Black Lightning probably had 80K miles on it or more. The 2.8s
    > were problematic and broke in a few years of hard riding, but the
    > first and second generation frames (like the AlumaClassic aka
    > Black Lightning) were super tough, although they were boat
    > anchors by today's weight standards.


    There is virtually zero correlation between the material a frame is built
    from and its lifespan. In a properly-built frame (no defects), lifespan is
    a function of how close to the edge someone is willing to push the material,
    rather than the properties of the material itself.

    Your Black Lightning lasted so long because Cannondale wasn't building those
    at the edge of what's possible, and large-tube aluminum, built of reasonable
    wall thickness, can create a reasonably-light frame that can outlast frames
    built of other materials, including steel, when they're pushing the envelope
    of the material.

    The question is how long you want a bike frame to last, vs how much it
    should weigh. It's really that simple (given appropriate construction
    techniques). Is there a reason to build something sturdy enough to last
    80,000+ miles, when even seriously-ridden bikes don't generally get anywhere
    near that type of mileage before being retired for something else? Or, to
    put it another way-

    I have never, ever seen a Schwinn Varsity frame fail. I'm sure somewhere
    it's happened, but I've neither seen nor heard of it. I even ran one into a
    car, and the car came out by far the worse for wear. Does that mean that
    steel frames are better than anything else, or does it mean that, given
    maybe 10 pounds of material, anybody could make a frame that would last
    forever?

    (Of course, having said that, I'm sure I'll hear from people who worked in
    shops back then who saw failed welds etc on Varsitys!).

    The point is that there will always be a trade-off between weight &
    durability, and back-in-the-day, nobody thought it odd that high-quality
    steel frames lasted "only" 35-50k miles before failing at either the right
    rear dropout or the bottom of the seat tube. It was the price you paid for
    having something reasonably light & fun to ride, and when you broke your
    Masi or Colnago or Jackson or whatever, it was more often than not seen as
    an indication that you rode a lot (which meant that a broken frame was
    sometimes a cool thing, not bad).

    --Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles
    www.ChainReactionBicycles.com


    "Jay Beattie" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >
    > "David L. Johnson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:p[email protected]
    > > On Mon, 21 Jun 2004 08:08:06 -0700, Jay Beattie wrote:
    > >
    > > > I need a replacement frame for a commuting and spring

    > training
    > > > bike. I was looking at Mark's Ti $699 special (no fork) and

    > a
    > > > steel Viner Competition (Dedacciai COM 12.5) that GVH is

    > selling
    > > > with a CF fork for $575. I would ride a 63cm or 64cm in

    > these
    > > > two bikes. Any thoughts? -- Jay Beattie.

    > >
    > > FWIW, I am very satisfied with my Habanero. Of course, I can't

    > say
    > > anything definitive about long-term durability, having only had

    > it for
    > > about 2 and a half years, though that is longer than my

    > previous aluminum
    > > frame lasted me. But I have no doubts that it will be around

    > for a long
    > > time. As far as needing a "lifetime" guarantee goes, frankly a

    > guarantee
    > > is only as good as 1) the company behind it and 2) your

    > willingness to
    > > put up with a frame design that failed you before. Now,

    > Cannondale may be
    > > around for a long time, but having to replace frames every so

    > many years
    > > may not be worth it --- especially since there is no guarantee

    > that your
    > > components will fit on the new model.
    > >
    > > --

    >
    > I started buying Cannondales when my custom frames started
    > braking, and I was no longer living in San Jose near my frame
    > builder friend. Cannondales were cheap, and they fit. I became
    > brand loyal and ended up with a bunch of them -- and when they
    > broke, I got new ones. The problem now is that I just got a new
    > CAAD 4 as a replacement for an old, broken 2.8. It is a great,
    > light bike, but it is all I need in the way of a racing bike. I
    > do not want another one for commuting and spring training, and
    > that is the frame I get if I go for a replacement. I want
    > something else that is reasonably responsive, but is more
    > durable. I probably will get a replacement if I can get it free
    > (only God knows what I did with the receipt for this bike in
    > 1986/7 -- it was a replacement for a 1984 first generation frame
    > that I broke in a mishap). If I do get one free, I will sell it
    > on ebay.
    >
    > I appreciate Mike's comments, but I am surprised at his estimate
    > of a reasonable life expectency for a bicycle frame. The old
    > Black Lightning probably had 80K miles on it or more. The 2.8s
    > were problematic and broke in a few years of hard riding, but the
    > first and second generation frames (like the AlumaClassic aka
    > Black Lightning) were super tough, although they were boat
    > anchors by today's weight standards.
    >
    > But, back to the Habanero -- if I go with 1" headtube, am I
    > setting myself up for obsolescence? -- Jay Beattie.
    >
    >
     
  10. Derk

    Derk Guest

    Mike Jacoubowsky wrote:

    > The question is how long you want a bike frame to last, vs how much it
    > should weigh. It's really that simple (given appropriate construction
    > techniques). Is there a reason to build something sturdy enough to last
    > 80,000+ miles, when even seriously-ridden bikes don't generally get
    > anywhere
    > near that type of mileage before being retired for something else? Or, to
    > put it another way-

    I have a SLX frame here that has over 100.000 km's on it. A friend of mine
    also has one that has 150.000+ km. And yes, I Still use it and am happy it
    didn't break!

    Greets, Derk
     
  11. Derk-<< I have a SLX frame here that has over 100.000 km's on it. A friend of
    mine
    also has one that has 150.000+ km. And yes, I Still use it and am happy it
    didn't break! >><BR><BR>

    I have a Ciocc, SL, that is 20 years old. Probably 70-80,000 miles or so.

    Peter Chisholm
    Vecchio's Bicicletteria
    1833 Pearl St.
    Boulder, CO, 80302
    (303)440-3535
    http://www.vecchios.com
    "Ruote convenzionali costruite eccezionalmente bene"
     
  12. > I have a SLX frame here that has over 100.000 km's on it. A friend of mine
    > also has one that has 150.000+ km. And yes, I Still use it and am happy it
    > didn't break!


    Just because failures are relatively common at "x" mileage doesn't mean many
    will go much further. My own Cinelli probably has far in excess of 100,000
    kms (sounds more impressive than 62,000 miles!) and hasn't failed. But many
    others did.

    There's also that strange art that's never been able to figure out why some
    people (of a given weight) break frame after frame, while others never do
    (even when riding the same equipment). Actually, I finally did come across
    a small bit of enlightenment in this matter; those more likely to break
    equipment are sometimes those who are just barely hanging on to fast groups.
    The guys who nail the potholes because they're never up front to see them,
    and care more about getting someplace fast than watching the road. It has
    certainly explained some wheel-smashing patterns we've come across!

    --Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles
    www.ChainReactionBicycles.com
     
  13. Derk

    Derk Guest

    Mike Jacoubowsky wrote:
    > those more likely to break equipment are sometimes those who are just
    > barely hanging on to fast groups. The guys who nail the potholes because

    they're never up front to see them,
    Actually, whenever I ride with someone who's faster then I am (which very
    rarely happens) I notice that I'm too tired to avoid riding into potholes.
    I think fatigue is the reason one ends up destroying one's bike: you just
    don't care any morer and become too slow to avoid potholes.


    Greets, Derk
     
  14. Ted Bennett

    Ted Bennett Guest


    > I have never, ever seen a Schwinn Varsity frame fail. I'm sure somewhere
    > it's happened, but I've neither seen nor heard of it. I even ran one into a
    > car, and the car came out by far the worse for wear. Does that mean that
    > steel frames are better than anything else, or does it mean that, given
    > maybe 10 pounds of material, anybody could make a frame that would last
    > forever?
    >
    > (Of course, having said that, I'm sure I'll hear from people who worked in
    > shops back then who saw failed welds etc on Varsitys!).



    > --Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles
    > www.ChainReactionBicycles.com



    Mike, I have seen a failed Varsity. The owner, during the Age of
    Drillium, decided that the bike was too heavy and proceeded to drill
    many big holes in all the tubes. It made surprisingly little difference
    in the overall weight of the bike. After some off-road downhilling
    suitable for a modern downhiller, it broke.

    --
    Ted Bennett
    Portland OR
     
  15. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    "Bruce Frech" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > If you can replace the Cannondale under warranty, ask for a touring frame or
    > a lower model road frame. The touring frames use thicker tubes and have
    > clearance for your winter needs - fenders/mudguards. And they are stiff
    > enough so they will feel responsive.


    This is what I did, at 235 & 6'10", I figured the extra strength of a touring
    frame was a good idea. I haven't broken mine in several years & a few 10K's of
    miles, but neither has Chalo, and he's the acid test. For a commuter, I also
    like the clearances & canti brakes for fenders & snow tires, but then I live
    in Boston, not sunny CA.
     
Loading...
Loading...