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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 10:26 pm 
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Location: Aarhus, Denmark
Hey guys

After a long time looking on the internet for a new frame, a friend of mine recommended I looked into the Enigma line. He also spoke about getting a different type of steel for the frame to make it more responsive and/or light. From what I understand it is possible to get the frame built in XCR steel instead of columbus spirit steel it is originally built in. Do you guys have any recommendations for the choice that I have to make?

Currently I am riding an aluminium Bianchi frame and i am looking to upgrade on all the different aspects of a frame. I am 186 cm and weigh 68 kg. I do not have a power meter, but I guess I'm more a climber than a sprinter.

Thanks in advance
Chris


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Posted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 10:26 pm 


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 10:52 pm 
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Enigma do both XCR and Columbus Spirit frames, these being their "Extensor" and "Elite" models respectively. I've no experience of either but have heard good reports about XCR.

Any particular reason you want to avoid carbon?


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 10:59 pm 
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Neeb oh neeb...I'm a steelist, your a carbonian; bring on graphene, we'll both be irrelevant dinasours then.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 11:13 pm 
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In answer to your post OP, XCR is the strongest steel Columbus make, Spirit is probably geared more towards comfort. It has a 1250MpA rating, and a weight limit that only applies if your a porkie. The master framebuilder Pegoretti uses both as well. I ride a steel frame with 1400MpA, and it's delightful. I respect Enigma bikes and being a porkie myself would go for 953, or at a pinch XCR. They are the 2 strongest frames on the planet. I think you would be happy with either XCR or Spirit.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 11:24 pm 
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ticou wrote:
Neeb oh neeb...I'm a steelist, your a carbonian; bring on graphene, we'll both be irrelevant dinasours then.
No, when the graphene frames are available I'll happily abandon CF! :wink:

Seriously though, I don't have a really strong loyalty to any material, just curious as to why the OP has chosen to go with a steel frame.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 12:47 am 
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According to an interview I read with Mr. Pegoretti not too long ago. He claimed XCR to be the stronger of the two, but that spirit is stiffer. XCR is also more comfy. Now keep in mind, his spirit tubes are heat treated (The pegorichi, or whatever it's called tubeset) nobody elses is. So in a regular spirit tubset, it might not be as stiff. He has it heat treated to highten the elasiticity, or liveliness of the ride.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 12:56 am 
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It's how you make 'em I guess. One of our dudes has both spirit and XcR pegoretti's and says the XcR beats him up. Neeb, graphine will have the whole cyclin' world in it's hands, but I'll still keep me steel.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 1:02 am 
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To be quite honest, I'm guessing that Dario hasn't actually ridden either. So what does he know?lol
There's no replacing experience as I always say. If someone owns both, he's the one I'll take the advice of.
The reason one would buy steel instead of carbon these days is ride quality. If you've ever ridden a well made steel frame, you'll know what I mean. Steel is,, well,, fun! No other way to put it. The bike just feels alive under you.
Racing, no contest. Well made carbon wins. But riding for ridings sake. Steel wins. Well, with most folks. My idea of a fun ride might not be someone elses.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 2:58 am 
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Location: Aix en Provence
I have an XCr bike and a Spirit bike. Tubing is only one of many variables when you build a frame. You cannot generalize a bike behavior just based on what the tubeset it is made of.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 3:28 am 
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Location: Aarhus, Denmark
neeb wrote:
Any particular reason you want to avoid carbon?
Well.... I'm not trying to avoid carbon. I have not decided which material my new frame is going to be built in. I have been looking on carbon frames too - Parlee for instance.

I am going to compete a bit with my new bike and it seems possible since I can built it to be around the 6,8 kg limit with an Enigma frame. Combined with the amazing comfortable rides and the unbreakable material, steel seems kinda tempting to me... As earlier stated I did some research on steel when my friend hit me up with the Enigma line. I did not want to start a big carbon vs. steel discussion here. I just needed some advice on the different types of materials that Enigma seems to built the frames with.

Cheers
Chris


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 3:30 am 
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leguy wrote:
Combined with the amazing comfortable rides and the unbreakable material, steel seems kinda tempting to me...



..... and of course the low price compared to the Parlee carbon frames :roll:


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 6:47 am 
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leguy wrote:
Combined with the amazing comfortable rides and the unbreakable material, steel seems kinda tempting to me... As earlier stated I did some research on steel when my friend hit me up with the Enigma line. I did not want to start a big carbon vs. steel discussion here. I just needed some advice on the different types of materials that Enigma seems to built the frames with.


I'm planning a steel build myself to replace my own steel bike. But there are a few misconceptions here that need to be adressed.

1. Steel and Titanium can break and do break.
2. Steel and Titanium also are pretty vulnerable in a crash, though the effect is lot less dramatic.
3. Ride quality is only partly determined by the material and Steel isn't miles better than well built CF.

True pro's about steel:

1. Custom geo!
2. Good price for custom. Alu and CF custom is a lot more expensive ;)
3. Custom bling paint/chrome/nude
4. Classic look (if you like that)


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:23 am 
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Neer neer ne neer neer, i've got carbon! Neer neer ne neer neer I've got steel! Yer wanna throw yer MpA figurines at me carbon bwoy?


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 11:39 am 
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Location: UK & WEST AFRICA
I have a bike in Spirit and love it. At the time I was going down the XCR route, but a couple of problems surfaced, so I settled for Spirit and don't regret it. I also think it builds slightly lighter than XCR as well.

With my Edge 25's it came in a tad under 6.5kg, with my Mavic's 6.8.

It's horses for courses, but given my age and use I much prefer steel to the other materials.

Edit: Should have added that I'm currently having another Spirit frame being built, this one by Enigma. Should get it within the next couple of weeks. My other one was tig welded, this will be fillet brazed.


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Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 11:39 am 


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 5:13 pm 
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boolinwall wrote:
The reason one would buy steel instead of carbon these days is ride quality. If you've ever ridden a well made steel frame, you'll know what I mean. Steel is,, well,, fun! No other way to put it. The bike just feels alive under you.
Racing, no contest. Well made carbon wins. But riding for ridings sake. Steel wins. Well, with most folks. My idea of a fun ride might not be someone elses.
Yup, fun is subjective. For me, a fun frame has to be stiff (and preferably reasonably light, although I accept that you can build a very light bike with slightly heavier frame). Fun, engaging riding involves stomping up short hills out of the saddle and front end stability for cornering, and there's nothing worse than a flexy frame to throw a damper on that. The steel frames I've ridden have all felt mushy out of the saddle and a bit flexy at the front end, although I've yet to try a really bang-up-to-date one such as something made from oversize XCR. I currently have 3 bikes, two carbon and one Ti, and have previously owned an early 2000s vintage Mercian made out of Reynolds 725. One of the carbon frames is perfect, stiff and handles brilliantly, the other is a bit flexy and doesn't handle so well. The Ti frame (an Enigma as it happens) is not as good as my best carbon frame but I slightly prefer it to my other carbon frame, it's stiff enough under pedalling and certainly a lot stiffer than the old Mercian (which was a complete noodle out of the saddle). The other big advantage it has is that being made of metal and unpainted, I never need to worry about chipping or scratching it and I can scrub off dirt and oil with a scotch pad if necessary…

"Comfort" has never been a big issue for me in a frame, it's something that can be fine-tuned with seat post choice (on a sloping top tube frame at least) and wheel/tyre selection/pressure. That said, some vertical give in the fork is always a good thing, provided it's not at the expense of lateral stiffness. But forks are nearly always carbon these days in any case, even on a steel frame.

Really, I'm completely open minded about material choice. I'd love to try an oversize XCR frame to see if it can match up to the best CF frames, but by default I remain sceptical until experience teaches me otherwise. I agree with Franklin that on paper, the biggest attractions of steel are custom geometry and looks (if steel looks are your thing). I'm not convinced by the lively/comfortable ride-quality thing, I think there is a pretty consistent inverse trade-off between “liveliness” under pedalling and stiffness, irrespective of material, and that this is basically a function of total lateral frame rigidity (which is probably the real factor determining how much the bottom bracket moves laterally, not the stiffness of the BB junction itself…) It's probably easier to build a stiffer frame from CF due to the greater potential for customising tube profiles, but of course that doesn’t mean it can’t be done with the right sort of steel, probably the only limiting factor is how light an equally stiff frame can be.


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