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Frame Hunting
#1
Hi Folks,

I'm looking for a new frame for my current bike. More specifically, I have a hybrid bike (a Raleigh pioneer) which I repaired, new wheels drive train etc.. but it's old, steel, heavy and nothing is compatible with standard parts anymore so Ideally what I want to do is get a lovely light frame for the parts that are sitting on the old one. The frame doesn't actually need to be new at all, just light and compatible.
So.

What I want is a light frame that will accommodate 700c wheels, a 7 speed sprocket and has normal flat handlebars (not drop handle bars). Does anyone have recommendations where I can get something like this from. I could pay up to £100 I guess.

I was thinking of looking in skips and things because most bikes that are skipped have a perfectly good frame..
Dave
oh and also what weight should I reasonably look at. Is 1.8kg light for a frame. I know it's not road-bike light but it is good enough??
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#2
Have a look on Ebay, or the local papers etc. You may find that an older steel frame is compatible with the components on your current bike, 1" threaded headset etc.

If you're after a steel frame from the 70's, 80's or 90's, look for a frame made with one of the named tube sets, for example Columbus, Tange, Reynolds, Vitus (I think), there are probably some others, but these are the ones I can think of off the top of my head. Also, look for double, or triple butted tubes. All these things will give some indication that the frame is of a reasonable quality and should be fairly light. However, don't get too hung up on the frame weight, the difference between lightweight steel frames won't be that much and all will be lighter than a standard plain guage steel frame and probably a lot of lower quality aluminum frames.

Pure race frames, with no mudguard eyes, pannier bosses etc. will be lighter than a more sturdy touring frame, but less practical, should you want to fit mudguards (fenders) etc. I would say that geometry, fit and suitability for purpose are more important than a half pound weight difference. In addition, if you want to build a super light bicycle, you have to select every component with weight in mind. You can only save a pound or so on the frame alone.

You may also find that a whole bike costs little more than a frame alone, which would give you the option of mixing and matching the components to use your favourites from those you have available.

Here's a few articles that may interest you:
http://sheldonbrown.com/frame-materials.html
http://www.daveyatescycles.co.uk/custom_bike_frames-Choosing_A_Frame-37.php
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#3
I think you misunderstood me, my current frame is steel and heavy, what I want is a light aluminum one not another steel one!
As a guide what rough weight would you consider a decent aluminum hybrid frame to be?
Thanks
for the articles.
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#4
OK, but if you're thinking that an aluminum frame will be a great deal lighter, you're probably going to be disappointed. The difference in weight between a similar steel and aluminum frames might be just a couple of hundred grams, maybe less, too little to notice once it's built up into a whole bike.

Also, is it hilly where you are? Because the weight of the bike makes much less difference on the flat. Also, what does your existing frame weigh?

A couple more links for you:
http://www.smartcycles.com/bike_weight.htm

You'll find a few "heavy steel" frames mixed in with the sub 1.5 kilo carbon and aluminum: http://weightweenies.starbike.com/listings/components.php?type=roadframes&sortby=real
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#5
Ye 10-4 to the weight issue. I looked into it once and steel being stronger than aluminum less of it is needed for a strong frame. In order for aluminum frame to be as strong as steel it will need to be thicker and weight about the same as a steel frame of comparable strength. Not sure about some of the current high tek alloys. Riding characteristic are different with steel usually being more springy.

However the aluminum frame will not rust and chipped paint will not result in rusty spots.

I have a Schwinn MB that weighs 26.9 lbs and a steel Fuji RB that weighs 24.2 lbs. Made of quad butted VALite tubing. Some steel Fujis were as light as 21 lbs, like the super exclusive Schwinn Paramount racers. Other Japanese bikes of the period had some great buys too.

Cannondale probably makes some of the best aluminum frames, and many frames are still build in USA and shipped abroad for assembly.

Ye its a shame what happened in the Bicycle industry, kind of the same thing happened to British motorcycles.

Now most bikes are from the Far East. ANND the prices are still higher. The CEO's maximizing their salaries, and firing local builders. Seems most of what we are doing is pushing paper.

End of semi rant. :-))))
Never Give Up!!!
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#6
If it hasn't been mentioned yet, Nashbar and Pricepoint has deals on there in-house frames all the time. Like 99 bucks kind of deals.
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#7
Ye I considered mentioning Nashbar. Got lots of stuff from them lately. But the poster (stixmaster- Drummer?) is not in USA.

Sure would be easier to get local help if people added their location in bio.
Never Give Up!!!
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#8
okay to put everyones minds at rest that I really do need a lighter frame and forks here are some stats for my bike. To get these I weighed the things I could and the internetted the weights of the
parts that I didn't want to remove. Weights are in kilos then pounds.

Total Weight: 15.680kg / 34.8

Wheels + tyres + rear sprocket: 4.550kg / (I have marathon plus's)
Front + Rear Dlr, Front chainset, BB, Chain, brakes and pads: 2.546kg /
Shifters and levers and bull bars: 1.034kg /
Saddle+Pannier+Bottle Holder: 1.050kg

Hence combined weight of Frame + Forks + Saddle Post comes in at a whopping 6.5kg or 14.3 pounds.

No lets consider. New Frame: 1840g, Handle Bars 165g, Forks (at a guess 500g) takes my new frame weight to 2500g thats losing 4 kg or 8.5 pounds!! I think this is definitely worth it don't you?
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#9
Do you have a picture of this beast?

34lbs is a bit heavy, I have a 33lb bike I use for shorter journeys around town, so I know what it feels like. I also have a couple of other bikes weighing in at around 24lbs and 28lbs. All three bikes ride nicely and the ride difference is more subtle than the 9lb weight difference might suggest. Certainly, I can't feel the 5lb difference between the 2 rigid steel MTBs I have. The tyre tread pattern and pressure makes a lot more difference to the ride than the weight.

In any case, if your bike is like the current Raleigh Pioneer I found on the net, I think you may be flogging a dead horse. This bike was never designed with light weight in mind, it's robust, practical and utilitarian. Even some of the more expensive tourers today still weigh in around the 30lb mark.

If you want a lightweight ~20lb road bike, I think you'd be better off buying a whole bike, new or used, that was designed to be lightweight from the outset.
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#10
ahh but that's exactly the point. This is is a Raleigh Pioneer that I got for free and promptly replaced "EVERYTHING" on it. For about £90. I was feeling pretty pleased with myself but the new wheels bumped the price up to about 150 and now I'm thinking that I might as well just take all those parts that I put on the pioneer and put them on a lighter frame!!

I think I'll have a look into skips because I'm not really convinced that I know how to fit forks and seat posts and all that gubbins and a lot of skipped bikes are just rusty chains, buckled wheels and a perfectly good frame
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#11
(07-18-2010, 06:13 PM)GeorgeET Wrote:  . . .Cannondale probably makes some of the best aluminum frames, and many frames are still build in USA and shipped abroad for assembly.

Ye its a shame what happened in the Bicycle industry, kind of the same thing happened to British motorcycles.

These days it is VERY difficult to honestly say where stuff (or bicycle) was built. The U.S. only requires that 50 percent or more be built in the U.S. before it can say it was built in the U.S.

(07-18-2010, 06:13 PM)GeorgeET Wrote:  . . .Now most bikes are from the Far East. ANND the prices are still higher. The CEO's maximizing their salaries, and firing local builders. Seems most of what we are doing is pushing paper.

End of semi rant. :-))))

He-he, yes fortunately or in this case, unfortunately, prices are based upon what people are willing to pay for a good or service and NOT what the accounting dept says we should charge based on production costs.

Yes, I would at least check out Nashbar's stuff. So if you buy competitively priced stuff, then OVERALL prices might come down, or the high-priced stuff will go out of business.

My economics references can be found here. I wrote it in 2001 and is more relevant today than ever. Smile
http://www.amazon.com/Real-World-New-Economy/dp/0595204406

Steve
Junkyard Tools rescued from the junkyard!
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#12
Hey KC, congrats of getting book published. IMO economic theories are just that theories not realities, and they are used to make the rich richer, and the poor poorer.

You ever see Michael Moore - Capitalism? Shoots the capitalistic theory and trickle down economics to hell.

But this is a Bicycle list not politics, so I'll stop here.

I'll check your book out.
Never Give Up!!!
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