MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

 

 

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MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

EBAY PURCHASE - INTRO

EBUY:  FRAME QUALITY

EBUY:  FRAME DAMAGE

EBUY:  FRAME RUST

EBUY:  FRAME PAINT & ART

EBUY:  LEGAL CONCERNS

EBUY:  FRAME TUBING TYPE

EBUY:  FRAME DROP-OUTS

EBUY:  MADE BY & WHERE

EBUY:  BIKE HISTORY

EBUY: PARTS HISTORY

EBUY:  CREDIBTILITY

EBUY:  SHIPPING CONCERNS

EBAY BUY - CONCLUSIONS

 

FRAME CONDITION - TUBING TYPE?

QUESTION:  "Is there a tubing decal indicating what tubing is used?

A bicycle's base is it's frame set and what the frame set is made of it very important, from both the collecting and riding points of view.  High quality tubing sets are generally associated with quality bicycles.  Knowing what tubing set a bicycle is made of is quite important.  But it is not everything and I emphasize that point!

Some of the less exotic tubes sets offer great ride qualities.  The infamous Carbolite 103, used to build countless Peugeots, offers a wonderful ride for such purposes as commuting, touring and the like.  It will really help you if you understand exactly what you want to use your bicycle for when weight is the issue.

Are you going to race the bicycle?  If so, perhaps a super light and exotic tube set is for you.  Of course, if you are not light yourself, a really exotic tube set might not stand up to the stresses that you will place on the bicycle's frame set.  I worried that my Vitus 979 would fail under my weight.  The frame set was just too flexible for a guy my size.  I really liked the Vitus but decided to pass it on to someone who would not damage the frame just by riding the bike.  Additionally, I had no intentions of ever racing the bicycle and that bike was built for racing.  All things considered, it seemed foolish for me to keep the bike.

However, if you are going to use your bicycle as a daily commuter, you will want great strength to ensure durability, coupled with flexibility to improve ride comfort.  Needless to say, these characteristics must be mixed together with appropriate frame geometries to meet intended needs.  Super light, tightly angled racing frame sets will not meet the needs of the commuter or of regularly and heavily used bicycles.  Place emphasis on the tubing material used but do not allow it to be a standard deal breaker.  Some of the best riding bicycles I have owned were made from simple high tensile steel tubing with no exotic butted features what so ever.

There are a host of different tube sets and I will make no effort to suggest which is best or worst.  Each set has its own virtues and vices, however; Reynolds 531 and Columbus SL are considered by many to be the holy grails of tube sets.  I will suggest that, if the decal indicates "tubing or tube", the structure is generally pretty good.  If the decal mentions any form of butting, the structure is generally pretty good.  If the decal makes mention of specific metal alloy, that too will be indicated and once again suggests quality.

Tubing and pipe look to be much the same when viewed quickly.  Tubing is generally an extruded product with no seam.  Pipe is flat steel rolled into a tube and then the edges are welded together forming a seam.  All other things being equal, tubing is stronger and more presentable than pipe.

Butted tubing is tubing that does not have walls that are equally think at all points in the tube's length.  Tube walls are thicker where they need to be and thinner where the additional strength is not required.  Most butted tubes are thickest where they enter the lugs.  The purpose with butting is to maintain strength and decrease weight at the same time.  The words "butted", double butted and triple butted can often be found on the more exotic tubing decals.  The fact that the tubing is butted indicates a quality product.

Almost all vintage road bicycles will have a tubing decal of some sort and each decal will define material type and structure.  If there is no decal indicating what the frame set is made form, a simple test can help to determine tube quality.  Simply flick the bicycle's main tubes in different spots.  If you get a rich sounding result, chances are the bicycle is made of a quality chrome moly material that is quite thin.  If the sound is dull, the frame set is made of a lesser material and probably not butted.  Of course, it takes experience to develop this skill and probably will be of little use to the person just getting into evaluating frame sets.  However, if no tubing decal is present, look to the drops.  Forged drops are rarely installed on low quality tube set.

NEXT- FRAME CONDITION - DROP OUTS TYPE?

 

 

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