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If weight is a concern, I would have the frame TIG welded with modern oversize tubing. If you want to go with something that is classic & aesthetically pleasing, then my own personal preference is fillet brazed.

Fillet brazing actually requires more skill on the builder's part & also allows for truly custom geometry. No disrespect to dhfreak but he doesn't know what he's talking about. Lugs lock you into a stock geometry & stock tubing diameters. Whereas fillet brazing allows you to build however you want in terms of geometry & tubing diameters. TIG also allows the same.

An example is say you want to go with an oversized top & down tube but standard size seat tube or just an oversized top but normal sized down & seat tubes. Unless a builder stocks every possible lug combination available in varying geometries, you won't be able to build a frame this way because the expense of stocking so many different lugs is too expensive & some combinations simply don't exist. Also some of the newer steel tubesets are specifically designed for either TIG or fillet brazing because they are hydro-formed with unique shapes that do not fit the standard lug profile shape.

Lugs have their own appeal for those that want a truly traditional, classic build. Fancy lugwork on some customs are truly works of art. But as I said above, the lugs can limit the design of your frame especially if you need custom sizing & geometry.

The best thing is to talk to your builder & go from there. The first thing to do is to do a proper fitting. Once that is out of the way, you need to decide what type of bike characteristics you are looking for in your ride. This will decide the geometry & tube diameters. This will narrow down the construction method to either lugs or fillet brazing. Either way, enjoy the process & share photos when you get your new ride.
 

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Elfstone said:
Here are two examples of a lugged frame and a fillet brazed frame from Steve Rex...

Peace :cool:
I've owned lugged bikes & I've had fillet brazed bikes. They've all been wonderful to ride. I actually checked out the Rex website & they offer some very nice products. As others have noted, its all in the eye of the beholder.

As to your question as to why a lugged frame costs more than a fillet brazed one. A lugged frame is no better or stronger than a frame built with any other type of construction method as some others here might want you to believe. The reason a lugged frame costs so much more is due to the greater amount of finish work involved in the lugs itself. Thats it.

If a frame builder has the resources, they could make their own lugs. Thats a big if because its simply just too costly & labour intensive to do, so most frame builders instead buy their lugs. Lugs come in 2 types: stamped or investment cast

When a frame builder gets the raw, unfinished lugs; they are exactly that...unfinished. There would be nothing wrong with them if a frame was built with them with no finishing work done on them at all. The ride would be the same but it simply would not be as pretty to look at. The expense comes in when they start to dremel or hand file the lugs into unique shapes with cutouts. Thats what you are paying for. The artistry.

Others here claim that lugged frames are stronger & mention spectrum. If they fully read the entire article, spectrum's claims are from a study that was done back in the early 90's before the advent of the new modern super high strength, air hardening steels that are available today. The problems of heat affected zones are a non-issue now. So as I stated above, lugged construction is no better or worse than any other method.

As I mentioned previously, if you need custom geometry then fillet brazing is the way to go for you. If after you've done your fitting & you don't require any unusual geometry, then the option is yours to go with whatever method you would like. Its all good.
 
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