frame design issues

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by big Pete, Jul 7, 2004.

  1. big Pete

    big Pete New Member

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    Hi all,

    I am 6 foot 6 and 245 pounds. Looking for a new bike/frame. I would like to have a frame with the standard road geometry. I want to know what fetchers I should look for in the frame design that will make it good and why it is a good fetcher. I have been reading some of the strings about frame material and have come to the conclusion that it is not the material that will make the frame strong but its overall design of the frame. I will be using this bike/frame for training, club rides (80 -130Km), and some triathlon races. I want this frame/bike to last a long time at least ten years.

    Thank you very much

    Pete
     
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  2. martin_j001

    martin_j001 New Member

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    Big Pete, in the case of your size and how long you want the frame to last, I have to say that material certainly will make a difference. There may be some aluminum (or scandium, or carbon, or al/cf, etc, etc) bikes out there that will last a decent amount of time under heavier riders (I weigh about 230 as well), but not too many (I have already had one aluminum frame break down after only about 1.5 years of hard riding--from a fairly reputable manufacturer too). I would suggest looking into steel and titanium to start with. Many modern steel or titanium frames can give you what you are looking for as well as hold up to the abuse that larger guys give them. There are many good custom frame makers that cater to larger sized guys (height AND weight wise) as well, and they may be worth looking into if you really want a frame that will last that long. Good luck shopping!!

    Jeff
     
  3. lokstah

    lokstah New Member

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    Hi Pete.

    The universe of bikes is so, so very big... you're going to have to narrow your ideas down a bit. What's your spending range? Do you have a fetish for any flavor of company in particular (big trusted international? hand made local? artisan? italian? gutsy? sexy? racy)?

    And for the purposes of further narrowing your choices down, do you feel drawn to a particular material? Interested in steel, or carbon? Aluminum or ti? Combinations? Lugs? Monocoques?

    This is fun stuff. Feed me.
     
  4. dhk

    dhk New Member

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    Jeff: Would you mind giving more details about the AL frame that failed on you? Curious as to what tubeset, what weight, and how many miles? Where did it break, and was the failure considered a defect or "wear and tear" (not covered by warranty.)

    Also, do you do a lot of standing climbing, ie, 10% or more?

    For what it's worth, I know a guy who's broken several Ti and and a bunch of steel frames. I think factors like wall thickness, dimensions, and the processing of the tubeset are probably more important than the frame material itself.
     
  5. martin_j001

    martin_j001 New Member

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    dhk, the frame that I broke was a Giant TCR aluminum road frame. I started to notice "cracks" in the paint after about 7-8 months of good riding (150-200 miles/week). I talked to a friend in the bike business who reccomended that I mark the ends of these "cracks" with nail polish to see if they spread. I didn't notice many of them spreading, although more and more appeared. The first that I noticed were down near the bottom bracket area, then I noticed some under the head tube/downtube junction, then on the non-drive chainstay. At this point I had the bike stripped and brought it back to the dealer--even if it was just chips in the paint I expect a frame and its paint job to last more than a year and a half of riding. The Giant representative for that dealer decided to authorize a replacement, which I promptly sold; and in the mean time I purchased my current steel frame (a Gunnar Roadie). I hardly do any standing climbing, maybe about three to five minutes total in a 2.5 hour ride (very little standing climbing), then occasionally I will stand to stretch, etc, but am usually not pedaling at the time.

    I do agree that the way a frame is put together can sometimes overcome the materials shortcomings, but most of the time this is dependant more on how well the bike is taken care of, riding style of the rider,weight of the rider, road conditions, and many other factors that can't be determined before hand. For those reasons, I feel more comfortable in saying that steel or ti will outlast aluminum or cf frames (as I pointed out already, there may be exceptions out there, and this is only my opinion from my own experiences).

    Jeff
     
  6. big Pete

    big Pete New Member

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    Hi lokstah,

    I am probably going to spend about 1.5 - 2.5 grand canadian including taxes. I am riding a 60cm lugged steal Bianche strada lx with suntour components, feels and rides great. This is my only road bike so I fuss over it (read hammer it when I race and train, and do maintenance on it at least every second week like cleaning and adjustments). Here were some of my options from most expensive to least:

    DNA ti frame. All I know is Kuota owns DNA (source bike shop owner(i.e. might be a pitch to sell me the frame)). Checked both the DNA and Kuota site. DNA sit only had BMX frames and bikes, Kuota site had no mention of DNA. This bike is a bit out of my range.

    Kuota Kharma frame. This frame is carbon this would be at the very top of my range. http://www.kuota.it/

    The Guru new Steel, and Strada looked nice. Also at the top of my range. http://www.gurubikes.com/index2.htm

    The steel Marinonis also looked good and were less expensive.
    http://www.marinoni.qc.ca/html/eng_frames.asp

    Also there was a shop that can get me a 2003 KHS flite 300, this was made of steel for about 900$ can. Components suck though.

    The materials that I am bending towards are steel, then carbon, then ti. I am hesitant to use aluminum because of fatigue fractures. I am willing to try a new manufactures or even a local frame builder. I have not looked into frame builders yet. The bike has to have 3 cogs up front and a carbon front fork. I am thinking of camps or at least shimano 105s for components.
     
  7. dorian

    dorian New Member

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    If you can swing it, get an Independent Fabrication steel crown jewel. Custom made and will last a long time. http://www.ifbikes.com
     
  8. meehs

    meehs New Member

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    Your biggest challange will be getting a bike that fits you correctly. And at 6'5", I'm speaking from experience. You can probably eliminate about 90% of the bikes that are availabe from the big manufacturers because they're not available in a size that will fit you. And don't let some dim-wit at a shop shoehorn your ass onto a frame that's too small and tell you that it fits perfectly. Take the time to get a real fitting (using "Fit-Kit" or the like). There are also some decent fit calculators on the internet that will get you in the ballpark if you feed-in accurate dimensions.

    Competitive cyclist has one here:

    http://www.competitivecyclist.com/za/CCY?PAGE=FIT_CALCULATOR_INTRO

    If you're going to be riding this bike for 10 years as you've suggested, you need to get a bike that fits you as close to perfect as possible. Good luck!
     
  9. dhk

    dhk New Member

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  10. Randybaker99

    Randybaker99 New Member

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    That is out of Pete's previously stated price range. A steel IF frame alone starts at about $1,800- $2,000 US Dollars (times 1.3 for CDN $). Probably a good choice if the budget allows, although I must say I see many more posers riding IF frames than I see hardcore riders/racers with IF... must be the allure of a custom paint job. I guess that it doesn't indicate a problem with the bike, it just makes me wonder a little.
     
  11. martin_j001

    martin_j001 New Member

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    Before I brought the frame back I used some fine grit sandpaper to buff off some paint on the bottom of the downtube/headtube area and the same mark that was in the paint was noticeable on the aluminum. Not sure if it was all the way through the tubing yet or not, but it was there and that was all I needed to bring in back. No word from anyone after they sent the replacement frame.

    Once again, I agree that frames of other materials can last that long, but there are too many varialbes that go into whether or not they can last that long. I still believe that it is most likely true that there are more 10 year old (and older) steel frames that are still rideable and in circulation than there are 10 year old aluminum frames, thats all.

    Jeff
     
  12. big Pete

    big Pete New Member

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    Meehs,

    I do agree with you that fit is one of the most important things. And my frame is 62 cm not 60 cm as previously stated. I am thinking that the standard geometry will be better suited for me than the new fangled compact geometry that is so popular now.


    Now on a different note. Does any one know the advantages/disadvantages of a welded frame vs. a lugged frame brazed with bronze vs lugged frame brazed with silver using the same steal tube set? I know that welding locally heats up the material thus making it very hot and changing its properties. So does brazing does it not? Also I have noticed that IF uses sealed tubes to stop rusting, does this work? What happens if moister gets stuck in the sealed tube during manufacturing? I also was under the impression that the new tube sets were treated with anti-rusting coating on the inside during manufacturing, is this true?
     
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