Chinese steel frame project

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
2lo8
Posts: 539
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2016 10:32 am

by 2lo8

Something to remember is that these are not "just crmo", this is the semi-generic heat treated butted tubeset from who knows where and they use extra skinny untapered seat stays. Good luck getting any response about the frame damage except an offer for $10 partial refund to get it fixed. It could be unusable and that's what they'd tell you. The bad factories (this applies to importers that buy from the cheapest factories too) don't seem to care at all about QC and it would not suprise me if it left the factory that way. One of the cheap Chinese carbon frames I inspected had a dented headset beating seat like that, but it was on a carbon frame and someone just decided to throw a bad one in the mold and another alloy frame that had clearly been dropped on the head tube then painted afterwards.
[6.6kg of no carbon fiber]
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Your one-stop source for information and reviews on cheap eBay bike junk.

maxxevv
Posts: 2001
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 4:51 am

by maxxevv

bm0p700f wrote:
Sat Dec 22, 2018 11:59 am
I have several steel frames.

Sannino size 58cm in Columbus genius 1630g

Pinarello stelvio 58cm Ken's tubing weight 2000g

Traitor exile some jap double butted tubing weight 2200g size 59cm

Carlton kermese 501 tubing weight 2200g

So a cheap Chinese frame will be at least 2000g
Those are reasonable weights. But nowhere near how light steel can go with the latest stuff.

I measured a size 54 Reynolds 953 frame, sloping geometry with integrated headtube at 1340g before. It was lighter than many titanium frames of equal size.

by Weenie


maxxevv
Posts: 2001
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 4:51 am

by maxxevv

fluffandstuff wrote:
Sun Dec 23, 2018 3:03 am
Frame arrived today but the headtube was somewhat damaged during shipping.
Image

I contacted the seller but they havent replied back. At the mean I took the frame to lbs and the mechanic/owner hammered it back to round shape and got the headset installed.


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Other than the bummer with the dent, seems well made.

Do remember the frame prep on the inside. Because once they start rusting, it will be impossible to get rid of it.

fluffandstuff
Posts: 40
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:15 am

by fluffandstuff

Image

Bought a Ritchey c220 stem from LBS after they fixed the headtube for me. Also got my fork cut there. I have a used Ritchey logic handlebar that fits pretty nicely.

I only just realized the brakes I got are not Rival but Tektro 580 stuff (dont really know much about Tektro) but they do seem work fine in terms of aesthetics.


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fluffandstuff
Posts: 40
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:15 am

by fluffandstuff

maxxevv wrote:Spray on wax polish will help enormously in keeping rust at bay.

Application of marine grease to the various cable contact points will a great deal too.

And not to forget, the rust proofing stuff for the internals such as JP Weigle spray or its equivalent stuff for marine applications.

https://www.google.com/search?q=marine+ ... 39&bih=819

Those were the typical things we did in the old days of riding steel frames in humid climates.
Thanks I got something similar to what you mentioned on amazon will give it a spray before my seatpost arrives.


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fluffandstuff
Posts: 40
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:15 am

by fluffandstuff

2lo8 wrote:Something to remember is that these are not "just crmo", this is the semi-generic heat treated butted tubeset from who knows where and they use extra skinny untapered seat stays. Good luck getting any response about the frame damage except an offer for $10 partial refund to get it fixed. It could be unusable and that's what they'd tell you. The bad factories (this applies to importers that buy from the cheapest factories too) don't seem to care at all about QC and it would not suprise me if it left the factory that way. One of the cheap Chinese carbon frames I inspected had a dented headset beating seat like that, but it was on a carbon frame and someone just decided to throw a bad one in the mold and another alloy frame that had clearly been dropped on the head tube then painted afterwards.
True true. I dont really have high hopes that they can replace it or something. Even if they do it would be too much of hassle on my end to packaging stuff which I dont enjoy doing.

LBS fixed the headtube for me. They thought it was probably from shipping.

But yes you are right, LBS owner said the same thing about lack of material in the stays. He has a couple steel colnagos in the shop and he told me my Chinese frame has ever so slightly less steel in those areas to save weight. But he also physically stepped on the frame and tried to flex/bend it, according to him the quality is decent enough.


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maxxevv
Posts: 2001
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 4:51 am

by maxxevv

fluffandstuff wrote:
Sun Dec 23, 2018 5:59 am


Thanks I got something similar to what you mentioned on amazon will give it a spray before my seatpost arrives.


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Do remember to seal up the ends and let the spray sit for a few days inside the frame if possible before releasing and letting it flow out.
You want the spray to interact and bond with the metal.

2lo8
Posts: 539
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2016 10:32 am

by 2lo8

Rob English uses similarly sized stays, 3/8" (9.5mm) diameter 0.28" wall (0.7mm) so it's probably fine. I did the calculations once, it's the lightest option. 17mm stays are usually not any lighter than 14mm stays, just stiffer, and the 3/8" stays are lighter still and it lowers costs a bit being an unbutted untapered off the shelf industrial tube. 7/4/7 tubes in normal OS diameter are also competitive with whatever top of the line superthin tubing because of the increased diameter they normally have.

Try a string alignment test and see how good/bad they are. One other oddity is that some of the Chinese steel road frames are spaced for 135mm.
[6.6kg of no carbon fiber]
[2lo8.wordpress.com]
Your one-stop source for information and reviews on cheap eBay bike junk.

JerryLook
Posts: 221
Joined: Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:18 am

by JerryLook

How was the frame packaged for shipping? Like in a regular frame box, or something less substantial?
2010 Orbea Opal 54cm
6.05kg

froze
Posts: 128
Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2010 3:47 am

by froze

Like others have said I would be concerned about the quality of the chroming process. Even American and Japanese chrome, which was the best in the world, had issues with tarnishing, pitting and rusting, it's difficult to near impossible to find a mint condition chrome finished bike even made back in the 80's not alone prior to that. Even cars that used a heavier chrome plate than bikes do you can't find a good example of original chrome from the 60's unless it was stored in a environmentally controlled environment. Keep in mind when I say rust, I'm not talking about the chrome rusting, chrome doesn't rust, it's the underlying metal that rusts and pushes itself out to the surface where the chrome will bubble and peel due to the rust forcing itself to the outside.

I used Wenol Auto & Motorcycle Polish in the blue tube because it has no abrasives unlike the same stuff in the red tube, on my vintage cars chrome bumpers and it works well, but you have to be diligent with it and apply it once a month if being used outdoors. The non abrasive blue tube polish is critical that you only use a non abrasive product especially on a thinly chromed bike. I don't even use an abrasive car paint wax either on a car or a bike especially. If the chrome gets dirty from riding you should use S100 Polishing Soap before applying the Wenol product, just follow the directions on the can, but this stuff is not be used on painted surfaces, aluminum surfaces or whatever, only chrome, and it is not a protectant that's the job of the Wenol product so you need to do both.

So while a chrome bike is very unique and beautiful there is a lot of work required to keep it that way, if you don't mind the work then your bike will sparkle like crazy for a long time if the Chinese did a good job at the plating process. You should before you even ride it the first time is to put that Wenol stuff on it, if you already rode it then get wash it and polish it right away. Both of those products are on Amazon and neither are expensive, and always follow the directions to the letter.

If your chrome begins to pit down the road simply google how to fix it, but that is a difficult process that often ends in failure. The reason for the pitting is due to the underlying metal rusting and causing the chrome to pit, sort of like a volcano. So hopefully China put the chrome on the metal frame before it started to rust.

fluffandstuff
Posts: 40
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:15 am

by fluffandstuff

2lo8 wrote:Rob English uses similarly sized stays, 3/8" (9.5mm) diameter 0.28" wall (0.7mm) so it's probably fine. I did the calculations once, it's the lightest option. 17mm stays are usually not any lighter than 14mm stays, just stiffer, and the 3/8" stays are lighter still and it lowers costs a bit being an unbutted untapered off the shelf industrial tube. 7/4/7 tubes in normal OS diameter are also competitive with whatever top of the line superthin tubing because of the increased diameter they normally have.

Try a string alignment test and see how good/bad they are. One other oddity is that some of the Chinese steel road frames are spaced for 135mm.
Thanks! Did not know about the string test before. Just Watched a clip on youtube. Looks interesting, will get some string and try it out (cant find any string that long right now).


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fluffandstuff
Posts: 40
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:15 am

by fluffandstuff

maxxevv wrote:
fluffandstuff wrote:
Sun Dec 23, 2018 5:59 am


Thanks I got something similar to what you mentioned on amazon will give it a spray before my seatpost arrives.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Do remember to seal up the ends and let the spray sit for a few days inside the frame if possible before releasing and letting it flow out.
You want the spray to interact and bond with the metal.
Thanks will do. Im also thinking about getting some frame protector on the exterior particularly on the top tube where I will be sweating a lot.


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fluffandstuff
Posts: 40
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:15 am

by fluffandstuff

JerryLook wrote:How was the frame packaged for shipping? Like in a regular frame box, or something less substantial?
The packing was just normal paperbox, but looked fine actually. Took some pictures yesterday after picking up the paper box.
Image
Image
Image

I was a little surprised to see how the headtube got damaged like that since it was somewhat protected.


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fluffandstuff
Posts: 40
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:15 am

by fluffandstuff

froze wrote:Like others have said I would be concerned about the quality of the chroming process. Even American and Japanese chrome, which was the best in the world, had issues with tarnishing, pitting and rusting, it's difficult to near impossible to find a mint condition chrome finished bike even made back in the 80's not alone prior to that. Even cars that used a heavier chrome plate than bikes do you can't find a good example of original chrome from the 60's unless it was stored in a environmentally controlled environment. Keep in mind when I say rust, I'm not talking about the chrome rusting, chrome doesn't rust, it's the underlying metal that rusts and pushes itself out to the surface where the chrome will bubble and peel due to the rust forcing itself to the outside.

I used Wenol Auto & Motorcycle Polish in the blue tube because it has no abrasives unlike the same stuff in the red tube, on my vintage cars chrome bumpers and it works well, but you have to be diligent with it and apply it once a month if being used outdoors. The non abrasive blue tube polish is critical that you only use a non abrasive product especially on a thinly chromed bike. I don't even use an abrasive car paint wax either on a car or a bike especially. If the chrome gets dirty from riding you should use S100 Polishing Soap before applying the Wenol product, just follow the directions on the can, but this stuff is not be used on painted surfaces, aluminum surfaces or whatever, only chrome, and it is not a protectant that's the job of the Wenol product so you need to do both.

So while a chrome bike is very unique and beautiful there is a lot of work required to keep it that way, if you don't mind the work then your bike will sparkle like crazy for a long time if the Chinese did a good job at the plating process. You should before you even ride it the first time is to put that Wenol stuff on it, if you already rode it then get wash it and polish it right away. Both of those products are on Amazon and neither are expensive, and always follow the directions to the letter.

If your chrome begins to pit down the road simply google how to fix it, but that is a difficult process that often ends in failure. The reason for the pitting is due to the underlying metal rusting and causing the chrome to pit, sort of like a volcano. So hopefully China put the chrome on the metal frame before it started to rust.
Havent been riding it since I am still figuring out what groupset to put on it. Long story short, turned out swapping between 10 and 11 speed cassettes on my Kickr requires more work than I thought, and the idea of having to constantly swap the cassette between this bike and my 11 speed bikes troubles me.

Thanks for the tip on the Wenol product and polishing soap, ordered them on Amazon.
Im still waiting for the anti-rust stuff to ship and have sealed the ends on the frame for now.


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by Weenie


fluffandstuff
Posts: 40
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:15 am

by fluffandstuff

Brooks saddle looks pretty cool on the frame. I should get newer tires on the wheels, also the whole 10 speed thing is bit troublesome on the kickr, so I might get a 11 speed group instead.

Image

Also tried to put boras on it, tbh looked really bad.....


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