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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 6:42 pm 
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in the industry

Joined: Sat May 12, 2012 7:25 pm
Posts: 1416
Location: Glermsford, Suffolk U.K
I have too steel frames both are at the other end of the price spectrum as the OP is looking at. Both couldn't be different as well. One is Traitor Exile frame. Cheap frame made from some double butted Japanese frame set apparantly. The bike is the most comfortable thing I have ever riden and as such I love it to bits so much so I have some changes made (more brazeons) before re painting. The other steel bike I have is Kona Paddy wagon. Another cheap frame and my first road bike and I hate riding it now as it so harsh.

So steel can be comfortable or harsh even at the lower end of the market. I am sure the same is true at the high end too. How a frame feel to ride will have alot to do with bulk modulus of the frame. The modulus will be different in different directions and is not just dependent on the materials properties of the steel itself. It is more dependent on the wall thickness of the tubing, size of tubing, geometry of the frame...

So quoting yield strength or Young's modulus figures for the various steels used as that what I see on columbus/renyolds website is kind of meaningless as it tell you little about the bulk modulus of the frame in a given direction which is what governs how stiff it. However the frames stiffness will be only part of how it deals with vibration from the road. The other is the energy lost as the frame distorts. The more energy turned into heat really the better vibration damping qualities it will have. This is hysterisis. I am sure the guy's/gals at enigma will be able to build a frame to your riding preferences.

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Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 6:42 pm 


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 7:40 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2012 11:19 pm
Posts: 195
Great post there with lots to digest.
I'm a Guru guy through and through. I have a Geneo now and an Evolo on the way, so if I were thinking steel, I'd lean towards a Sidero. That having been said, Spirit isn't the stiffest tubeset ever made. I had a Cinelli spirit a few years back and as much as I loved it, I always wished it had been a tad stiffer. If I was looking for a steel race bike, I'd probably call Waterford. The S3 tubeset they use is supposed to be the stiffest steel tubeset made. Obviously geometry and such helps as well, but for arguments sake. We'll say if all geometry were identical, the S3 should (and I know someone will say otherwise)be stiffer.
It also depends on your location as well to an extent. If you're in North America, Waterford makes sense. If you're in Australia, Baum would be a good choice and if you're in Europe, a well kept secret to us North Americans is Duell. Or even a Zullo.
Discussions on Titanium will be all over the place. No other metal is so dependant on the builder for it's ride characteristics. I've ridden well made ti frames that were too noodly to be raceable and some that were perfect. I think that unlike any other material. Every ti frame has it's own soul.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:49 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:31 pm
Posts: 459
My steel is both v.comfortable and flex free. Steel compounds, oven methods, chemical admixtures etc have come on in leaps and bounds even since 2000, albeit under the radar of CF. The 'moderns' are stronger than Ti, and much stronger than CF, which has a fatal weakness to sideways and top bumps 'n grinds, which will occur if it is a daily driver. I had a test drive on a Pinarello Dogma and it didn't overshadow my steel; only 2-3% better climbing.

Granted, if i was a pro, neo pro, cat 1 or 2 rider I'd be on carbon. But I ain't. I'm a lumpus, and I ride on shitty roads. If it was road heavy, was a noodle or couldn't climb, then of course steel would be in the dungeon of history.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 7:01 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2008 11:09 am
Posts: 346
To put everything into perspective:

http://bulgier.net/pics/bike/Articles/SteelShootOut.pdf

Another fun fact: Dutch magazine Fiets tested the shock absorption of bike frames by electronic measuring shocks and their tentative conclusions were:

1. Saddle and tires are much more important
2. Heavier bikes tend to be better in absorbing road buzz => Which correlates with the "Steel is more comfortable" line. That also is in line with above poster who says his cheapo Crmoly frame is very comfortable :)

Besides, Alu wins the vulnerability/weight/price game :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 7:50 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:31 pm
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Great article Franklin, thanks, even if it was '96.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 8:37 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2005 3:39 pm
Posts: 974
Location: Essex / Lincs UK
My only advice is try and get a ride on an Xcr bike. I visited Enigma a couple years ago and tried an Xcr Extensor, one in their range. Fantastic bike, felt absolutely wonderful imo .....


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 7:43 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2008 11:09 am
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ticou wrote:
Great article Franklin, thanks, even if it was '96.


Considering I'm a steel afficinado and was in a conundrum between Spirit and EOM 16.5 it was a fun read.

Enigma is a good builder, so it wil be fine as long as the contactpoints will be in the right spot.:)


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:06 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:31 pm
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I wasn't being sardonic, it was. Them were the days.


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