Is Steel the best material?



Alnamvet

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Aug 17, 2003
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Originally posted by Hecubus
Or scandium?

Scandium is an interesting metal...high melting point, yet softer than aluminum; not another form of alum like some think. Used in stadium lighting, and pretty expensive at about $80 USD per gram. Salsa Cycles biggest user of this material in some of their frames.
 

wadoflove

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Nov 7, 2003
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Originally posted by Alnamvet
Scandium is an interesting metal...high melting point, yet softer than aluminum; not another form of alum like some think. Used in stadium lighting, and pretty expensive at about $80 USD per gram. Salsa Cycles biggest user of this material in some of their frames.

There are a number of frames in Europe built from Scandium. But once again the advantages of this expensive metal seems to be marketing hype. The tests by EFBe (performed in 1999) showed that the Cannondale CAAD4 and the Storck Scenario Comp held up much better than two Scandium framesets from Bianchi (Mega Pro XL) and Cube (Pro Litening 700) in fatigue tests.

There are two interesting sites where you can get more info on this topic. One is a great series of articles by Scot Nicol on Metallurgy for Cyclists. http://www2.sjsu.edu/orgs/asmtms/artcle/articl.htm

The other is the Engineering for Bikes Page:
http://www.efbe.de/ehomepag.htm

Here you can find out which bikes meet there tough fatigue tests. The Cannondales, Cervelos and two German brands Storck and Principia perform pretty well in their tests (though they only list the ones that passed...).

Me I own a steel 1986 Marinoni special and I am going to replace it with a Ultrafoco steel Marinoni Piuma and hopefully that will last until I am ready to hang up the bike forever! I have ridden other bikes, Pinarello and Colnago but find I like the ride of my Marinoni best. I was thinking about buying Cervelo SuperProdigy or Soloist but why take the chance...
 

Duckwah

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Oct 30, 2002
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I doubt anyone is making a full scandium frame yet, its hideously expensive and too soft (a kilo of scandium would cost approx $6000 US for raw materials)

the scandium frames advertised are Al alloys with scandium in them but marketing hype dictates that 0.5% of scandium qualifies the frame for a super material tag.


As for my previous posts about being a chronic upgrader, well i've shot myself in the foot on that count by forking out for a retro MTB :p :p

Its about 6 yrs old and i'm building it up with old school parts etc. But for road bikes i'll continue to try and upgrade every few years
 

wadoflove

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Nov 7, 2003
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Originally posted by Duckwah
I doubt anyone is making a full scandium frame yet, its hideously expensive and too soft (a kilo of scandium would cost approx $6000 US for raw materials)

the scandium frames advertised are Al alloys with scandium in them but marketing hype dictates that 0.5% of scandium qualifies the frame for a super material tag.

You're right I was referring to the Alu-Scandium alloys. But I don't know who is making the tubing? Is it Deda or Colombus or someone else?
 

kingy

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Dec 2, 2003
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mmmmmmmmmmm tricky it'll depend on whether crash/fall alot and if the person hits the frame alot cause then yes steel would b best although it can b heavy at times
 

shokhead1

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Mar 16, 2003
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Two alum bikes and now a steel fuji.Yes the difference is there.Really shows on a long ride.I just dont feel as beat up.Steel is nice.
 

sea

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Nov 2, 2003
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I've been riding a titanium bike for four months now and am completly sold on that material. Best ride I've ever had.

Of course, with what it cost, it out to be.
 

erwinvdw

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Aug 5, 2003
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I think steel is a very good matial to ride. Iv'e got a bike "Pinarello Montello" (steel). This bike is about 15 jears and ride very well. I bought a few months ago a Colnago CT1. This bike is a combination of Titanium and Carbon. This bike is a very very good bike, but it's not faster, a bit more confortable then the old "pinarello" and is more directly and feels more save above 60 km/h.
But when i look at the cost of this bike i think you better can buy a steel bike.
So the pinarello is a littbit to big for me... but when it was the right size i bought new components for this bike !
 

rek

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Aug 31, 2002
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I love my Cannondales. Comfy, stiff, responsive. I don't like the careless little dint I put in the top tube though :rolleyes:

Never felt what it is about steel that people seem to love so much. It's just another frame material with its own unique benefits and drawbacks. IMO it really seems to bring out the emotive side in people, sort of like how Campy does for some.

6061 ALUMINIUM
RIDE the DREAM!
:D


come on guys, 500 posts in, I deserve at least one ****stirring reply :p
 

wadoflove

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Nov 7, 2003
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Originally posted by rek
I love my Cannondales. Comfy, stiff, responsive. I don't like the careless little dint I put in the top tube though :rolleyes:

Never felt what it is about steel that people seem to love so much. It's just another frame material with its own unique benefits and drawbacks. IMO it really seems to bring out the emotive side in people, sort of like how Campy does for some.

6061 ALUMINIUM
RIDE the DREAM!
:D


come on guys, 500 posts in, I deserve at least one ****stirring reply :p

The Cannondales really do well on the EFBe testing...
 

dhk

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Sep 1, 2003
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Originally posted by wadoflove
The Cannondales really do well on the EFBe testing...

I noticed Cannondales' fine results also. Just curious, but do you know if their bikes are sold with the certification decals in Europe? Most here, including the LBS dealer, seem to be unaware of this testing/certification program.

Dan
 

boudreaux

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Oct 16, 2003
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Originally posted by wadoflove
You're right I was referring to the Alu-Scandium alloys. But I don't know who is making the tubing? Is it Deda or Colombus or someone else?
Easton was the orignator. think Deda is now in t he game with one called U-2 I think.
 

wadoflove

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Nov 7, 2003
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Originally posted by dhk
I noticed Cannondales' fine results also. Just curious, but do you know if their bikes are sold with the certification decals in Europe? Most here, including the LBS dealer, seem to be unaware of this testing/certification program.

Dan

No idea, if I pass by a dealer I will have a look.

I think I remember seeing the decal on the Cervelos at the Paris bike show and they mention the test on their website...
 

msrw

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Sep 13, 2003
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I think if by "best" you mean ride quality, handling, strength to weight ratio, durability, survivability in crashes, resistance to environmental degradation, fatigue life and resale value, titanium is in a class by itself. Titanium would be best.

There are many other outstanding frames built from other materials. But given no budget constraints, it is hard not to gravitate toward Ti.
 

dhk

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Sep 1, 2003
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Originally posted by msrw
I think if by "best" you mean ride quality, handling, strength to weight ratio, durability, survivability in crashes, resistance to environmental degradation, fatigue life and resale value, titanium is in a class by itself. Titanium would be best.

There are many other outstanding frames built from other materials. But given no budget constraints, it is hard not to gravitate toward Ti.

IMO, Ti may have advantages in ride quality and corrosion resistance, but not sure about the other categories you list. It has a small advantage over steel in strength to weight ratio, but that is offset by it's lack of stiffness (low modulus of elasticity). Comparing frames with equal BB stiffness, Ti doesn't seem to be much lighter than high-end steel tube sets.

Ti has gained a share in the market, but I don't see it growing in the future. Lots of traditional steel riders still seem to prefer it over Ti around here anyway. Seems to me the high-end market is moving to carbon fiber, or carbon/steel combinations. Just my opinions of course.

Dan
 

el Ingles

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Oct 3, 2003
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I don´t care wat it´s made of but I would like the frame builders to use the same material for long enough for us to learn if it´s got a fatigue problem or not , changing every six months is a nightmare for the consumer .
 

scuduba

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Sep 24, 2003
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i ride a 1980's Gianni Motta Personal 2001 and it is a joy to ride. Columbus steel with chromed front and back forks and ribbed top tube. Irons out the bumps nicely and handles like a dream. On the lookout for a new bike but will probably stick with steel as the Scottish roads are not too smooth and I would like to keep the fillings in my teeth