Adventure Cycling Association Forum

Bicycle Travel => Gear Talk => Topic started by: Les in Tucson on July 27, 2016, 03:35:26 pm

 
Title: The Newer Cro-Mo Steel Frames
Post by: Les in Tucson on July 27, 2016, 03:35:26 pm
Have you noticed that the entry level steel touring bike/frame makers come up with their own cool sounding name for their "Cro-Mo" tubing?  I believe that this is because they're sourcing tubing from parts of the world that has not been certified by any recognized agency that cerifies Cro-Mo tubing.  So if the tubing has not been certified to meet any sort of ANSI standard then is it really Cro-Mo tubing?  I say no, it isn't, else the manufacturer would advertise that fact.  I believe this is why the old steel bikes made with the real stuff, Tange, Tru-Temp, Reynolds etc. have skyrocketed in price.  Something to ponder.
Title: Re: The Newer Cro-Mo Steel Frames
Post by: DaveB on July 31, 2016, 11:31:54 am
You may be correct but newer "Cr-Mo" frames can be weighed to see if they are noticeably heavier than earlier ones made of "name brand" tubing and, since i haven't heard of a rash of broken current Cr-Mo frames I don't think durability has suffered. 

In today's market, steel frames make up the very high end (individual custom made frames) and the low end (entry level) bikes with a few in the middle like Surly and Trek's 510.  I'm pretty sure Surly and Trek aren't deceiving us.
Title: Re: The Newer Cro-Mo Steel Frames
Post by: Les in Tucson on July 31, 2016, 11:47:16 am
 A touring frame can be made that will survive the loads from steel that is not as good as real Cr-Mo but it will be heavier.  Who is to say that is not what is going on?  Actually I do believe Surly and Trek are deceiving.  They claim its Cro-Mo steel but it has not been verified to be Cro-Mo steel.  It meets no specifications that are accepted by the industry.  If you want to believe it's Cro-Mo steel that's up to you.  Think about it.  If you are a manufacturer of Cro-Mo steel tubing wouldn't you have it certified by to some standard to prove it?
Title: Re: The Newer Cro-Mo Steel Frames
Post by: Pat Lamb on July 31, 2016, 04:32:43 pm
Do you have any evidence to back up the claim that Surly and Trek are not using Cro-Moly steel, or is this just your guess?  AISI 4130 specification has been around for a long time, so there's not much benefit to advertising it.  Would you buy one brand of pickup truck over another because they advertised, "We build our CroMo truck frame out of the same material all the other truck manufacturers use?"

There might be some business benefit to the contrary case.  If you've got your welding processes dialed in so you can use one of the higher carbon steels without voids or inclusions, you could advertise a quarter pound lighter frame that's just as strong as everybody else's, but you might prefer not to tell anyone that you're using 4150 steel to save that weight to preserve your corporate advantage for a few more years.
Title: Re: The Newer Cro-Mo Steel Frames
Post by: DaveB on July 31, 2016, 11:00:03 pm
A touring frame can be made that will survive the loads from steel that is not as good as real Cr-Mo but it will be heavier.  Who is to say that is not what is going on?  Actually I do believe Surly and Trek are deceiving.  They claim its Cro-Mo steel but it has not been verified to be Cro-Mo steel.  It meets no specifications that are accepted by the industry.  If you want to believe it's Cro-Mo steel that's up to you.  Think about it.  If you are a manufacturer of Cro-Mo steel tubing wouldn't you have it certified by to some standard to prove it?
This sounds more like a conspiracy theory than any fact-based claim.  If you really think the manufacturers are lying about the steel they use you could buy a couple of their frames and have the metal analyzed for composition and physical properties.  If you are correct, the resulting class action suit should get you a decent amount of settlement money.

As  Pat Lamb noted, "Cr-Mo" is indeed a commodity item and there is no reason to make a more specific claim than that.
Title: Re: The Newer Cro-Mo Steel Frames
Post by: RussSeaton on August 01, 2016, 01:34:33 am
I believe this is why the old steel bikes made with the real stuff, Tange, Tru-Temp, Reynolds etc. have skyrocketed in price.  Something to ponder.

What fantasy imaginary world are you living in?  Old steel lugged frames from the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s have value for "collectors" if they have the right Campagnolo parts on them, and Cinelli stems and bars, and Alfredo Binda toe-straps, and Wolber tubular rims with Clement silk tubulars.  And the right brand name on the frame.  Cinelli, Ciocc, Colnago, Masi, etc.  Otherwise, nobody really wants them.  Even though they are fine frames.  The used price for old Columbus and Reynolds steel frames has not changed much if any in the past decade or two.
Title: Re: The Newer Cro-Mo Steel Frames
Post by: Les in Tucson on August 01, 2016, 10:00:30 am
The facts are there already folks.  Makers such as trek, surly, salsa and others are stating bikes are made from Cro-Mo steel and laymen such as the people who have responded to my post believe that all Cro-Mo steels are the same.  The fact is that without some sort of certification I can call anything I want to cro-Mo steel.  And the cro-mo steel they are using has no certifications.  Those are the facts like it or not.  I'm not a conspiracy theorist.  Uncertified cro-Mo steel is not a commodity item.  I guess I'm living in a fantasy world called, "reality". 

Some of the responses to this post are WAY out in left field and just not worth answering.
Title: Re: The Newer Cro-Mo Steel Frames
Post by: paddleboy17 on August 01, 2016, 01:12:03 pm
The facts are there already folks.  Makers such as trek, surly, salsa and others are stating bikes are made from Cro-Mo steel and laymen such as the people who have responded to my post believe that all Cro-Mo steels are the same.  The fact is that without some sort of certification I can call anything I want to cro-Mo steel.  And the cro-mo steel they are using has no certifications.  Those are the facts like it or not.  I'm not a conspiracy theorist.  Uncertified cro-Mo steel is not a commodity item.  I guess I'm living in a fantasy world called, "reality". 

Some of the responses to this post are WAY out in left field and just not worth answering.

Surly advertises 4130 which is the generic SAE standard for Cro-Mo steel.  I think Surly does that so they can competitively source tubing from the various manufacturers.

Reynolds, Tange, and TrueTemper all make products that are more specialized but are still 4130 Cro-Mo steel.  I know the Reynolds line best as they have steels for silver soldering and steels for TIG welding.  Some of it is stiff and some of it is less stiff.  Some of it is single butted and some of it is double butted, but it is all still 4130.

I for one wish Surly would go into more detail about where there tube sets come from, as 531 and 520 would make a wiggly touring bike but 831 would not.
Title: Re: The Newer Cro-Mo Steel Frames
Post by: Les in Tucson on August 02, 2016, 12:32:05 am
Da no,

But if you ask Surly is it certified to meet SAE or ANSI standards the answer is "no".  I contacted one of the manufactures mentioned above and verified that their tubing met no standard so even going down the valid path of which cro-Mo alloy is best for which application is just not worth considering with these frames. 

This all said please take note that nowhere did I say these mid level steel frames were not good.  For their price point they are very very good and get the job done.  But I think I'm making a valid, applicable point.

Title: Re: The Newer Cro-Mo Steel Frames
Post by: Les in Tucson on August 02, 2016, 12:41:56 am
Keep in mind that real Cro-Mo steel is essentially the highest quality steel there is.  It's used to make rifle barrels to include the largest cannons, steel aircraft frames, axles etc. etc.  anywhere high strength to weight ratio is required.  The real stuff is expensive and if you're making it you will get it certified so you can sell to the market.