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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is it true that there is a steel based frame that is so light and stiff that it compares with CF or Ti? One of the Saturday club riders was so emphatic and convincing, even mentioning an "Omega" frame. I went to the Omega website, but could not find such frame.
 

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I don't know about Omega but Waterford and Independent Fabrication, as two examples, make steel frames under 3 lbs. My Ti frame is 3 lbs. My CF frame is a little over 2 so, yes, I'd say these new steel frames are in the ball park.
 

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ru1-2cycle said:
Is it true that there is a steel based frame that is so light and stiff that it compares with CF or Ti? One of the Saturday club riders was so emphatic and convincing, even mentioning an "Omega" frame. I went to the Omega website, but could not find such frame.
Reynolds 953 which is due out in a couple of months is reparted to come in at 1100g for a medium frame (similar to 770g Litespeed Ghisallo in geometry).
IF and Baum are the only builders who have had involvement so far. IF reckon that it's as strong as 6/4 Ti but will be a bit cheaper.

Plus point is that it's Stainless Steel so no paint needed nor any rust!!
 

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ultimobici said:
Reynolds 953 which is due out in a couple of months is reparted to come in at 1100g for a medium frame (similar to 770g Litespeed Ghisallo in geometry).
IF and Baum are the only builders who have had involvement so far. IF reckon that it's as strong as 6/4 Ti but will be a bit cheaper.

Plus point is that it's Stainless Steel so no paint needed nor any rust!!
Steel is still competitive.

About your analysis of 953, yes and no. 953 is likely to be a niche market, particularly in 'cross. Others are involved besides IF. I had an Aermet frame about 10 years ago. Great stuff, but it went noodley after about 8 months.
This is from the Strong website:

So a lot of you have heard the hype about the new Reynolds 953. Well if your wondering yes I will be building with it, although it may be a fit with only a few of you. Here’s the skinny: 953 is a stainless alloy butted tube made for Reynolds by Carpenter Technologies, USA. For those of you that have been around a while you may remember Carpenter for the Aermet tubes that saw very limited application in the bicycle industry about 10 years ago due to it’s difficulty to work with. 953 will offer some of the incredible strength and weight saving properties of Aermet as well as corrosion resistance, while solving problems with fabrication.

To address the hardness issue Reynolds is offering the material in either an annealed state or in it’s hardened state. This will allow builders to use it without going to extreme measurers, but will require heat-treating after the frame is built adding costs. To give you an idea of just how strong 953 is, the average tensile strength of 4130 chromoly is about 60KSI, the strongest material we typically see use in bicycle tubes is 180 KSI and 953 is up to 290KSI!

So who is 953 right for? If you want lightness and durability titanium is probably the way to go unless you’re a die-hard steel fan. With the extremely thins wall (down to .3mm) of the 953 denting and buckling may be an issue especially if your hard on your bike but we have yet to see. Due to the cost of the material and heat-treating a 953 frame will be every bit as expensive as titanium. If you’re a person that just loves steel or wants a lugged or fillet brazed frame or just wants the polished luster of a stainless frame that is as light as steel can be, 953 is probably the choice for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Reynolds 953 vs Omega 6.

euro-trash said:
Steel is still competitive.

About your analysis of 953, yes and no. 953 is likely to be a niche market, particularly in 'cross. Others are involved besides IF. I had an Aermet frame about 10 years ago. Great stuff, but it went noodley after about 8 months.
This is from the Strong website:

So a lot of you have heard the hype about the new Reynolds 953. Well if your wondering yes I will be building with it, although it may be a fit with only a few of you. Here’s the skinny: 953 is a stainless alloy butted tube made for Reynolds by Carpenter Technologies, USA. For those of you that have been around a while you may remember Carpenter for the Aermet tubes that saw very limited application in the bicycle industry about 10 years ago due to it’s difficulty to work with. 953 will offer some of the incredible strength and weight saving properties of Aermet as well as corrosion resistance, while solving problems with fabrication.

To address the hardness issue Reynolds is offering the material in either an annealed state or in it’s hardened state. This will allow builders to use it without going to extreme measurers, but will require heat-treating after the frame is built adding costs. To give you an idea of just how strong 953 is, the average tensile strength of 4130 chromoly is about 60KSI, the strongest material we typically see use in bicycle tubes is 180 KSI and 953 is up to 290KSI!

So who is 953 right for? If you want lightness and durability titanium is probably the way to go unless you’re a die-hard steel fan. With the extremely thins wall (down to .3mm) of the 953 denting and buckling may be an issue especially if your hard on your bike but we have yet to see. Due to the cost of the material and heat-treating a 953 frame will be every bit as expensive as titanium. If you’re a person that just loves steel or wants a lugged or fillet brazed frame or just wants the polished luster of a stainless frame that is as light as steel can be, 953 is probably the choice for you.
Now, do you think Reynolds 953 can match Omega 6 technology? (Please, read Mr. Grumpy's thread.)
 

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ru1-2cycle said:
Now, do you think Reynolds 953 can match Omega 6 technology? (Please, read Mr. Grumpy's thread.)
I'm not sure what you are asking. There really isn't any "Omege 6 technology". The light Columbus tubing is nothing new. The Omega bike is nice, but it doesn't represent anything ground breaking. It's a very nice (and quite pretty) steel bike, I'd love to have one. With that having been said, many custom steel builders offer an equal.

953 is going to be lighter, but is likely to dent easily. It won't be a workhorse tubeset like Columbus Life. Like everything else, 953 is a trade-off. You need to choose the right tubset for your intended purpose. Choosing the "latest and greatest" when it isn't a good fit for you will result in a disapointing frame long-term.
 

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The new Salsa True Temper S3 frameset is quoted at 1406 grams for a medium.
 

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My Fondriest Status is 3 pounds while being quite stiff yet compliant; at least compared to aluminum, I haven't ridden a carbon frame yet. My Gunnar Roadie is noticably heavier, but you can't beat the ride quality... note the seat stays are carbon on the Fondriest but I'm kind of doubting it saves any weight.
 

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ru1-2cycle said:
Is it true that there is a steel based frame that is so light and stiff that it compares with CF or Ti? One of the Saturday club riders was so emphatic and convincing, even mentioning an "Omega" frame. I went to the Omega website, but could not find such frame.
I've seen a few pictures of the omega frames and I think they look nice, but I don't otherwise know anything about them. OTOH, they're neither the first nor the only builders to use the (relatively) new Columbus niobium steel tubing--Serotta, for example, will build you a custom steel frame from the stuff for a good 500 bucks less than the advertised price of the omega. And frames built from Deda's EOM 16.5 steel pipes have been around (at around 3 lbs in middling sizes) for several years, while True Temper's S3 tubes have been around for a couple. These are not among the very lightest possible frames out there, but ... geeze, that's certainly respectible in the weight department, and can be built up into a very light bike with the right bits, and for most purposes, within reason, weight's hardly everything. If you're interested in steel frames, there are all sorts of things out there that might be worth a look.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks.

djg said:
I've seen a few pictures of the omega frames and I think they look nice, but I don't otherwise know anything about them. OTOH, they're neither the first nor the only builders to use the (relatively) new Columbus niobium steel tubing--Serotta, for example, will build you a custom steel frame from the stuff for a good 500 bucks less than the advertised price of the omega. And frames built from Deda's EOM 16.5 steel pipes have been around (at around 3 lbs in middling sizes) for several years, while True Temper's S3 tubes have been around for a couple. These are not among the very lightest possible frames out there, but ... geeze, that's certainly respectible in the weight department, and can be built up into a very light bike with the right bits, and for most purposes, within reason, weight's hardly everything. If you're interested in steel frames, there are all sorts of things out there that might be worth a look.
Thank you for that explanation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks.

euro-trash said:
I'm not sure what you are asking. There really isn't any "Omege 6 technology". The light Columbus tubing is nothing new. The Omega bike is nice, but it doesn't represent anything ground breaking. It's a very nice (and quite pretty) steel bike, I'd love to have one. With that having been said, many custom steel builders offer an equal.

953 is going to be lighter, but is likely to dent easily. It won't be a workhorse tubeset like Columbus Life. Like everything else, 953 is a trade-off. You need to choose the right tubset for your intended purpose. Choosing the "latest and greatest" when it isn't a good fit for you will result in a disapointing frame long-term.
I appreciate your answer and expertise. I will also consider the Reynolds 953, although the denting issue is keeping me at bay, since I have already experienced a nagging top tube dent on my vintage Masi.
 

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euro-trash said:
I'm not sure what you are asking. There really isn't any "Omege 6 technology". The light Columbus tubing is nothing new. The Omega bike is nice, but it doesn't represent anything ground breaking. It's a very nice (and quite pretty) steel bike, I'd love to have one. With that having been said, many custom steel builders offer an equal.

953 is going to be lighter, but is likely to dent easily. It won't be a workhorse tubeset like Columbus Life. Like everything else, 953 is a trade-off. You need to choose the right tubset for your intended purpose. Choosing the "latest and greatest" when it isn't a good fit for you will result in a disapointing frame long-term.
Bearing in mind that no builders have 953 other than BAUM & INDEPENDENT FABRICATIONS, I find it hard to take Stron's opinion seriously. It hasn't been released to any other builders. The word from the horse's mouth (IF) is that it will make a frame as strong as 6/4 Ti. 0.3mm wall thickness is the same as my EOM16.5 Pegoretti, but 953 is a stainless steel and is supposed to be way tougher. Which makes this a little baffling -
About your analysis of 953, yes and no. 953 is likely to be a niche market, particularly in 'cross.
The last place I would use it if Carl Strong is actually speaking from experience as opposed to speculating. Cross bikes get a hard life compared to a light road machine. Stones being thrown up by the tyres, trees to avoid etc?
 

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djg said:
OTOH, they're neither the first nor the only builders to use the (relatively) new Columbus niobium steel tubing--
I think Cervelo's Super Prodigy was also made from Columbus niobium tubesets. While the Omega Nucleus looks nice, the Super Prodigy looked hot and very classy.
 

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I guess if weighing 50% more is in the ballpark steel is in the ballpark.

No matter what you do to steel you aren't going to change the basic properties, so to get lighter something has to give. If you want a weight weenie bike steel is never going to be it.

Even so for my next trick I am thinking of trying to get an S3 steel frame with a steel fork to come out less than 6.8kg. I am further complicating the endeavor by only using parts I have discarded off my weenie bike and using a real motorhead pimped out [heavy] paint job too. May have to resort to tubular wheels to make it.
 

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terzo rene said:
I guess if weighing 50% more is in the ballpark steel is in the ballpark.

No matter what you do to steel you aren't going to change the basic properties, so to get lighter something has to give. If you want a weight weenie bike steel is never going to be it.

Even so for my next trick I am thinking of trying to get an S3 steel frame with a steel fork to come out less than 6.8kg. I am further complicating the endeavor by only using parts I have discarded off my weenie bike and using a real motorhead pimped out [heavy] paint job too. May have to resort to tubular wheels to make it.
S3 may be approaching 50% over but 1100g 953 is as light as most Alloy Carbon & Ti frames on the market. True it's not in CR1 or Ghisallo territory, but then even if it's £1800 it's almost £800 cheaper than the Litespeed. At that price it is a more versitile option than the CR1 as you're not constrained by Scott's geometry or colour schemes.
 
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