Author Topic: Different types of steel frames  (Read 5644 times)

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Offline Qeyser

Different types of steel frames
« on: April 07, 2006, 05:46:15 pm »
Hi All,

I'm considering building a bike for loaded, long distance touring.  I'm fairly certain that I'd like a steel frame; I've been looking at the (many) choices out there, and I have some questions about the differences between them.

First: How much difference does the type of steel make in terms of the reliability and durability of a frame?  I don't need the lightest frame, but I do need something that will perform solidly for several thousand miles under a heavy load.  Should I really consider a frame made from fancy air-hardened steel alloys (e.g. reynolds 853), or would a "plain old" cro-moly frame (e.g. reynolds 525/531 or even generic 4130) be more than enough?

Second (a similar question): Do hand-made frames have a real advantage over well-made, mass-produced frames when it comes to reliability and durability?  I know that a Rivendell Atlantis (*sigh*) or a Bruce Gordon would be great for a long, unsupported tour, but a Soma DoubleCross or Surly LHT might also be sufficient -- and much less expensive.



Offline driftlessregion

Different types of steel frames
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2006, 11:40:17 pm »
I can't answer it definitively but my understanding is that 853 is not only lighter but stronger than the venerable 531. You can't go wrong with either. I love the ride of my Waterford RST with 853 and took it on the Northern Tier without problems. There are many good reasons to get a custom frame from these great makers. For me a 54 yr old tall, not-as-flexible-as-I- used-to-be male, getting the custom fit, made just for my needs, was one of the most important reasons for not buying an off the rack bike.

Offline Beep!Beep!

Different types of steel frames
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2006, 10:51:29 am »
Have a steel framed Puegeot Princeton with 700C wheels and is an mtb which has a C.A.D sticker on the frame, well worth looking out for as this means the frame has been designed with a computer so should make for a better frame. Check the welds as rough suggest a bad frame, for me it's the componets not the frame that makes a good bike even my bike has good gearing, racing type wheels plus despite only costing £40 is in good nick. Pick something that has the right components then worry about the frame.