What exactly is '18-23' tubing?

stickman
stickman Posts: 791
edited July 2013 in Road general
Any information please. And how is it compared to other tubing?
Bikes, saddles and stuff

http://www.flickr.com/photos/21720915@N03/
More stuff:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/65587945@N00/

Gears - Obscuring the goodness of singlespeed

Comments

  • I know it's obviously not like the top Reynolds stuff but Raleigh must have been proud of it http://www.flickr.com/photos/21720915@N03/2676964872/
    Bikes, saddles and stuff

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/21720915@N03/
    More stuff:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/65587945@N00/

    Gears - Obscuring the goodness of singlespeed
  • You need to rename the thread to 18-23 not 18-33 :? .

    I seem to remember it from the dim and distant past. Heavier and inferior to 531 I think.
  • If I recall correctly 18-23 was Raleigh's name for their cheap "steam pipe" frames. My wife's old bike is 18-23 and it weighs about as much as her car.
    "Swearing, it turns out, is big and clever" - Jarvis Cocker
  • Yes, '18-23' doh!!!
    (I was in a rush though)
    Bikes, saddles and stuff

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/21720915@N03/
    More stuff:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/65587945@N00/

    Gears - Obscuring the goodness of singlespeed
  • itboffin
    itboffin Posts: 20,052
    But still nicer to ride than most modern ALU bikes.
    Rule #5 // Harden The Feck Up.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.
    Rule #12 // The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.
    Rule #42 // A bike race shall never be preceded with a swim and/or followed by a run.
  • itboffin wrote:
    But still nicer to ride than most modern ALU bikes.

    Can't agree there. Basic, heavy, plain gauge tubing is not nice to ride. Not even a little bit. It's every bit as harsh as a cheap aluminium (god I hate that "word" ALU) alloy frame, but three times as heavy and therefore beats you up even more.

    Sure I've mostly enjoyed the steel bikes I've owned, but they've mostly been of reasonable quality tubesets. And the ones that weren't good tubing were not good to ride. I've also enjoyed the aluminium framed bikes I've owned, again generally of reasonable quality. Both materials are right for certain jobs. When I'm out riding technical trails I want everything to be direct. When I'm riding long distance over country lanes and byways I want some buzz taking out of procedings. But that is all steel will do, it cannot offer noticiable vertical compliance without offering massive torsional flex; it's in the nature of the standard frame design.

    However the finest bike I have ever ridden was not of steel or aluminium, nor indeed was it of carbon fibre. It was a Jeff Jones titanium space frame fitted with his truly astounding Truss fork. Nothing I have ever ridden has ever managed to combine a smooth ride, with direct power and the ability to handle reasonably fast road and slow technical work too. Quite astounding. The fact that I could never hope to own such a beast has done me a lot of favours. I am now much less inclined to spend any significant amount of money on a bike, because I know nothing I can afford will even come close to the nirvana of a radically designed bike in the perfect material.

    FWIW I hate the phrase "Steel is real", because it's a cop out. It tells you nothing about steel's properties and as such is generally used either by people who are lazy or who cannot contruct a reasoned argument in favour of steel.

    Anyway sorry that came out as a bit of a rant. To summarize cheap tubing is crap whatever the material.
    "Swearing, it turns out, is big and clever" - Jarvis Cocker
  • satanas
    satanas Posts: 1,303
    18-23 presumably refers to the tubing gauge. Google "standard wire gauge" to see what the numbers mean. FWIW, 20-23g = 0.9mm/0.6mm; I think 19g = 1.0mm and 18g is something like 1.2mm.
  • Nothing to do with gauge as far as I recall. It was something to do with percentages of material in the steel mix IIRC. Essentially it's pretty much the same stuff as all the other cheap "high tensile carbon steel" frames.

    In the days before aluminium alloy frames became popular it was a common marketing trick to give even the cheapest tubing a fancy, but often meaningless, name. I can only assume that the marketing men were trying to fool the gullible into believing that this 40lb behemoth had something exotic in it's makeup, just like those expensive bike with Reynolds, Columbus, etc. stickers.
    "Swearing, it turns out, is big and clever" - Jarvis Cocker
  • To summarize cheap tubing is crap whatever the material.

    Also factor in (a) poor design and (b) bad workmanship; even if a top-level tubeset is used, either of these will still result in a bike which is no fun at all to ride.

    David
    "It is not enough merely to win; others must lose." - Gore Vidal

  • Also factor in (a) poor design and (b) bad workmanship; even if a top-level tubeset is used, either of these will still result in a bike which is no fun at all to ride.

    David

    Couldn't agree more.

    A friend had a 531 touring frame built at considerable expense a good few years ago and it wasn't nice to ride at all. Credit to the shop concerned, who sent the frame back to the builders and had him a replacement frame built by a better known builder at no extra charge.
    "Swearing, it turns out, is big and clever" - Jarvis Cocker
  • gt550man
    gt550man Posts: 1
    I don't know what 18-23 is either but I can tell you it's not cheap gas pipe and its not heavy, I'm sure its not as light as 531 and the like but its certainly not heavy, I've a 1987 raliegh pursuit with 18-23 tubing which is not at all heavy and compared to my other bike which is another 1987 Raliegh its notiacbly faster and more pleasent to ride
  • stickman
    stickman Posts: 791
    If I pick up my basic hi-tensile steel frame then pick up my 18-23 the difference in weight is noticable. Is 18-23 comparable to cro-mo?
    Bikes, saddles and stuff

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/21720915@N03/
    More stuff:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/65587945@N00/

    Gears - Obscuring the goodness of singlespeed
  • bill57
    bill57 Posts: 454
    It's Hi-tensile steel. Reynolds 501 is cro-mo. People used to look down their noses at 501, but it's much better than 18-23.
  • wgwarburton
    wgwarburton Posts: 1,863
    Hi,
    It's inexpensive steel.

    I noticed this thread from the front page somewhere, I usually just hang around in the Commuting forums.
    There are two ways to make a steel tube- you can roll flat steel into a tube and weld it or you can pull a tube through a circular gap ("cold drawing" it). If you roll it, the steel has to be thick enough to weld: which is thicker than it needs to be for a bike, so it's heavier.
    18-23 is likely to be "seam welded", like this: take the seatpost out and put your finger into the hole and you can probably feel the join.
    If you cold draw the tube it comes out thinner and stronger, but you still need to weld the ends, so it's still thicker in the middle than it needs to be. To get it right you need to make it thicker at the ends than in the middle and then it's called butted tubing.
    This is different from the type of steel (18-23, 18-30, Cro-Mo, 531, 753, 501 etc), but related, 'cos you don't bother with the hassle of butting cheap steel.
    There's a hierarchy of grades of steel and manufacturing processes, with exotics like 753 and 953 at the top. 18-23 is pretty much at the bottom.

    Cheers,
    W.
  • stickman
    stickman Posts: 791
    Thanks, it's nice to know what's what and get bits of information.
    Bikes, saddles and stuff

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/21720915@N03/
    More stuff:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/65587945@N00/

    Gears - Obscuring the goodness of singlespeed
  • flester
    flester Posts: 464

    In the days before aluminium alloy frames became popular it was a common marketing trick to give even the cheapest tubing a fancy, but often meaningless, name. I can only assume that the marketing men were trying to fool the gullible into believing that this 40lb behemoth had something exotic in it's makeup, just like those expensive bike with Reynolds, Columbus, etc. stickers.

    Just like they do with 'groupsets' - give it a number, it must be good. Remember the great Shimano 700 - plasitc brake levers etc.

    'I do not believe in the three-speed gear at all', the sergeant was saying. 'It is a newfangled instrument, it crucificies the legs, the half of the accidents are due to it.' (From 'The Third Policeman')
  • meagain
    meagain Posts: 2,331
    ""But still nicer to ride than most modern ALU bikes."



    Can't agree there. Basic, heavy, plain gauge tubing is not nice to ride. Not even a little bit. It's every bit as harsh as a cheap aluminium (god I hate that "word" ALU) alloy frame, but three times as heavy and therefore beats you up even more. "

    All that which N'blue says! Cheap ol'steel frames were/are rubbish. Simply cannot compete with modern *aluminium* - even the cheap ones.
    d.j.
    "Cancel my subscription to the resurrection."
  • stickman
    stickman Posts: 791
    18-23 is pretty much at the bottom.

    Cheers,
    W.

    What's your opinion on cro-mo?
    Bikes, saddles and stuff

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/21720915@N03/
    More stuff:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/65587945@N00/

    Gears - Obscuring the goodness of singlespeed
  • meagain
    meagain Posts: 2,331
    "What's your opinion on cro-mo?"

    A bit better than 18-23 - probably! A pretty all-embracing term. Most common descriptor is "4130" - and no I don't know what the numbers mean!
    d.j.
    "Cancel my subscription to the resurrection."
  • stickman
    stickman Posts: 791
    Yes, i've heard of the 41s, know nothing about them though.
    Bikes, saddles and stuff

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/21720915@N03/
    More stuff:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/65587945@N00/

    Gears - Obscuring the goodness of singlespeed
  • meagain
    meagain Posts: 2,331
    Why worry?

    All you need to know is that the nicest "steel" for cycle frames is Columbus SLX from the 1980s and the second best is Reynolds 531C!

    Well, that's my opinion anyway!
    d.j.
    "Cancel my subscription to the resurrection."
  • Pennywise
    Pennywise Posts: 54
    18-30 were the just above basic frames used on loads of raleighs when i was a kid. the Arena being the one that sticks in my mind. I think it may have been used on the Europa too, but my memory is that the Europa was a better, there was the joop zoetemelek which had 20-30, ithink, the separation was 10 anyway and that was nioticeably better than the others.
  • stickman
    stickman Posts: 791
    Thanks, any bits of information is cool.
    Bikes, saddles and stuff

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/21720915@N03/
    More stuff:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/65587945@N00/

    Gears - Obscuring the goodness of singlespeed
  • DavidBelcher
    DavidBelcher Posts: 2,684
    meagain wrote:
    Why worry?

    All you need to know is that the nicest "steel" for cycle frames is Columbus SLX from the 1980s and the second best is Reynolds 531C!

    Well, that's my opinion anyway!

    I had a Columbus SLX (actually SLX New) tubed road bike not so long ago, it was a very nice ride indeed, though Reynolds 753 just shades it for me on the 'classic steel' front! As for th earlier mention of Cr-Mo tubing, this is a pretty broad tag and covers cheap stuff not so much better than the likes of 18-23 high tensile tube, such as Reynolds 500, all the way up to 'high performance' cromoly steels like SLX and the more recent Reynolds 725.

    David
    "It is not enough merely to win; others must lose." - Gore Vidal
  • 18-23 = 0.18 to 0.23 carbon content in the steel composition with other trace alloys in the mix. Maybe, it was a bit gimicky at the time but hey-ho that's the answer.

    Lot's of snobbishness here choosing to dwell on weight.

    Q: 100kg rider on a top end carbon frame or a 90kg rider on 18-23 carbon steel. Both with the same fitness level, wheels, tyres and set up - who is the more efficient?

    If you are on 18-23 and think weight alone is so important drop a couple of kg and save yourself 100's of quid shelling out for a bike that is only a tad lighter than the one you already have. Funny how some fellow cyclists feel so comfortable debating the weight of the bike as opposed to the size of the waist.

    I have a few bikes, one of which is a restored 'bog standard' 18-23 Raleigh Pursuit from 1980 something. Bog standard yes but still a fantastically comfy and reasonably fast bike up to 50 miles. It's quircky and soulful by comparison with the pro replica clad Giant/Trek/Cannondale/Specialised riders i am seeing all over the place at the minute.
  • imposter2.0
    imposter2.0 Posts: 12,028
    thread revival
  • drlodge
    drlodge Posts: 4,826
    meagain wrote:
    Why worry?

    All you need to know is that the nicest "steel" for cycle frames is Columbus SLX from the 1980s and the second best is Reynolds 531C!

    Well, that's my opinion anyway!

    I had a Columbus SLX (actually SLX New) tubed road bike not so long ago, it was a very nice ride indeed, though Reynolds 753 just shades it for me on the 'classic steel' front! As for th earlier mention of Cr-Mo tubing, this is a pretty broad tag and covers cheap stuff not so much better than the likes of 18-23 high tensile tube, such as Reynolds 500, all the way up to 'high performance' cromoly steels like SLX and the more recent Reynolds 725.

    David

    Well...I've got a 531 Professional frame, which is essentially thin walled 531c main tubes with 753 rear stays - best of both!! :D
    WyndyMilla Massive Attack | Rourke 953 | Condor Italia 531 Pro | Boardman CX Pro | DT Swiss RR440 Tubeless Wheels
    Find me on Strava
  • wgwarburton
    wgwarburton Posts: 1,863
    18-23 = 0.18 to 0.23 carbon content in the steel composition with other trace alloys in the mix. Maybe, it was a bit gimicky at the time but hey-ho that's the answer.

    Lot's of snobbishness here choosing to dwell on weight.

    Q: 100kg rider on a top end carbon frame or a 90kg rider on 18-23 carbon steel. Both with the same fitness level, wheels, tyres and set up - who is the more efficient?

    If you are on 18-23 and think weight alone is so important drop a couple of kg and save yourself 100's of quid shelling out for a bike that is only a tad lighter than the one you already have. Funny how some fellow cyclists feel so comfortable debating the weight of the bike as opposed to the size of the waist.

    I have a few bikes, one of which is a restored 'bog standard' 18-23 Raleigh Pursuit from 1980 something. Bog standard yes but still a fantastically comfy and reasonably fast bike up to 50 miles. It's quircky and soulful by comparison with the pro replica clad Giant/Trek/Cannondale/Specialised riders i am seeing all over the place at the minute.
    Wow... The thread that lived again. ...

    There's more to a Decent Steel Frame than just weight, though. Seam welded carbon steel frames can be lifeless, as well as massy. A better one will be springy, giving a better ride and feeling more responsive.

    Cheers,
    W.