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dhfreak said:
How does it not? Look at Guru, Colnago, Parlee; they all are able to offer many more 'stock' sizes than the average builders due to their use of lugs.

Mike
The fact that those three companies offer more "stock" sizes than the "average builder" means nothing in a discussion about custom built bikes.

Custom bikes come in one size - the size that the customer and builder decide the bike should be.
 

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dhfreak said:
Okay, so why do they continue to use lugs instead of a fillet braze? I'm sure it is not to save the consumer money.

Also, why would Vanilla Bicycles, a company with a five year back log choose to use lugs 'whenever possible'?

Mike

Custom builders (and some "regular bike manufacturers") continue to use lugs because they work and some people like them and want to buy lugged bikes.

Also, Vanilla Bicycles can build frames any way they want. The fact they have a 5 year waiting list doesn't mean that lugs are the be all or end all of custom bike building.
 

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Elfstone said:
Then way does it cost more to build a lugged frame than a fillet brazed frame? But, I do agree, a fillet brazed done right is a beautiful sight to behold. That's way I'm now debating with-in myself weather to do a fillet brazed instead of the lugged frame I originally intended to have built.

Peace :cool:
David Kirk charges $100 more for fillet brazed than he charges for lugged. Fillet brazed could be less expensive because there is no cost to the builder for lugs, but I think that there is more labor and skill in the mitering, brazing, and filing.
 

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Reynolds531 said:
David Kirk charges $100 more for fillet brazed than he charges for lugged. Fillet brazed could be less expensive because there is no cost to the builder for lugs, but I think that there is more labor and skill in the mitering, brazing, and filing.
as a guy that makes a living with a torch and metal.....I would have to agree about the time and skill involved with the fillet brazing.
 

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Elfstone said:
As I've already mentioned in my earlier thread, I'm finally having a custom steel bike made with Steve Rex. Now I have to decide weather to get a lugged steel bike or super-smooth, perfect radius fillet-brazed joint steel bike.

Can someone chime in and lend me your thoughts on the benefits of a lugged frame or a fillet-brazed frame? I would think that a fillet-brazed frame might be lighter then a lugged frame.

If you have time to check out the link for Steve Rex. You may be of the same opinion that Steve Rex dose brilliantly with lugs and fillet-brazed steel frames alike. So ascetically, it's a toss up.

http://www.rexcycles.com/frames-parts/

Peace :cool:
I personally love lugged bikes but I started riding in the 80s when lugged bikes were the only way to go. I still ride a specialized allez with lugs and think that it is gorgeous. Most of the people I ride started riding in the late 90s or later and they never seen a lug so they don't know what I ride. I have non aero brake levers and bar end shifters and they never seen such a thing. they look at my bike and wonder if it is some new technology enhancement that they have never heard of.

I say lugs. I think that they are beautiful, especially if they are chromed, or painted in a different color. You will notice no performance difference between lugs and fillet.

Andres
 

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A fillet brazed frame will not be constrained by lugs, so the builder can mix and match tubes of various diameters or odd tube shapes to fit the needs of the rider or their design concept.

With lugs, your tube choices are limited by the tube diameters that must fit inside the tubes.

With a fillet brazed frame, it's much easier to use "custom" angles. Modifying lugs to change the angles can be done, but takes some extra labor.

The weight difference isn't worth considering.

Fillet brazed frames are easier to clean as there are no edges, nooks, and crannies to focus on.

The rest of the argument is aesthetics.

I have frames of both type. As you can see, they both have their plusses and minuses. I once had a frame built where the builder asked just what you did, "lugs or fillet, sir?". I replied to do whatever was EASIER for him, because I just wanted the frame soon. I got fillets.
 

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People love lugs and people loves fillets. I like both but I like fillets better.

As the educated responses to this thread have pointed out, there are no differences between the two when it comes to performance or durability or anything else. It's all about what the builder likes to do and how it looks in the end.

Here are a couple of fillet shots of my bikes - the green bike is by Dave Kirk, the white one by Sacha White.

And there is nothing to sneeze at when it come to traditional lugs - Colnago MxL
 

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as a brief aside, i was at a second hand shop one day and they had an old schwinn 10 speed not sure of the model, nothing noteworthy, but it sure looked to be fillet brazed...where they?
 

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Touch0Gray said:
as a brief aside, i was at a second hand shop one day and they had an old schwinn 10 speed not sure of the model, nothing noteworthy, but it sure looked to be fillet brazed...where they?
I'm going to guess and so "no" because it sure is a labor intensive way to build a mass produced bike. At the same time I'm no expert in the history of joinery.

My Schwinn (when I was a kid) had beautiful joints. But I always assumed it was due to heavy coats of paint and clearcoating. That was the era of really viscous candy apple paint jobs.
 

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Touch0Gray said:
as a brief aside, i was at a second hand shop one day and they had an old schwinn 10 speed not sure of the model, nothing noteworthy, but it sure looked to be fillet brazed...where they?
Varsities and Continentals were electroforged. Super Sports, Sports Tourers, Superiors, and Paramount tandems were hand made fillet brazed.
 

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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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Reynolds531 said:
Varsities and Continentals were electroforged. Super Sports, Sports Tourers, Superiors, and Paramount tandems were hand made fillet brazed.
Thanks...that explains it very nicely, especially when I Google'd electro forged and came up with this:
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/varsity.html
 

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matchmaker said:
LUGS, LUGS, LUGS, it is all about aesthetics here.

Filleted frames just look plain. Lugs are beautiful. With a little arabesque in it even more.
true to point...but, sometimes less is more.....there is fillet brazed...then there is Fillet Brazed....
 

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Idle thought from one who has a welded steel Gunnar and a lugged steel Bob Jackson and hangs out with a guy who rides a fillet brazed 'Landshark'

The paint job has to match the joining method. The above 'shark has a superb finish that complements its smooth, flowing joints - all the joints are in areas of solid colours, similar to Terry's above. My Gunnar is similar, if simpler, with white panels mid-tube on ST and DT with minimal other detailing.

At the other end, my five year old BJ has a panelled finish right out of the English scene in the 1960s. Frame's orange, head tube is black, seat tube has three black narrow rings above and below a central black panel. All the lugs are hand lined in contrast. Decals are black, white outlined. BJ initials are carved into the seat stay top wrap-over, painted in black.

None of them would look that good in each other's clothing.

Other idle thought - those Rex frames look gorgeous. Getting one of each would be the ideal, if extravegant, solution.

Good luck choosing

D
 
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