Stainless Steel - new wonder material?

dodgy
dodgy Posts: 2,890
edited March 2011 in Workshop
Well that's what this page is basically hinting at, just wondering what we all thought of Stainless Steel as a material for road bikes?

http://www.bikebiz.com/news/read/toughe ... h-at-nahbs

I can't see the point myself, all the characteristics they talk about are already covered by other materials?

Comments

  • Stainless steel tube sets have been available on the market for a few years now, I believe both Reynolds and Dedaccai produce them, and probably Columbus too.
  • sungod
    sungod Posts: 16,845
    i've got a stainless steel bike, cinelli xcr (columbus tubes)

    about 7.8kg at the moment, it's lovely to ride and remains very very shiny in spite of the dire weather of the last few months

    l1010158.jpg
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • dodgy
    dodgy Posts: 2,890
    Nice, very nice. Have you ridden Titanium? If so, comparison?
  • sungod
    sungod Posts: 16,845
    dodgy wrote:
    Nice, very nice. Have you ridden Titanium? If so, comparison?

    i've not ridden a ti frame

    didn't want cf for this bike, and i'd narrowed things down to xcr or ti, then i saw an xcr in the shop and was smitten by the looks and the lightness for a steel bike

    took about 6 months for cinelli to build the frame though, milan seems to operate on a different timescale!
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • keef66
    keef66 Posts: 13,123
    Mother of God! How tall are you??

    That head tube looks longer than my seat tube! (although I am a midget)
  • sungod
    sungod Posts: 16,845
    a smidge over 6'2" and leggy with it, not as flexible as i used to be either, it all combines to put me quite a way above the ground
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • I was always under the impression that adding chromium to steel made it brittle, which is why steel blades, for example, that will undergo stress and are not just for display tend not to be stainless steel. Having said that I suppose whilst a sword will flex significantly in use so brittleness is an issue, a bike frame will flex but not so much.

    Interesting from a metalurgical point of view how they juggled the mix.....
  • giant_man
    giant_man Posts: 6,878
    Columbus xcr is a wonderful material, feels fantastic. Livelier than titanium too.

    Ti feels (to me) dead in comparison.
  • fossyant
    fossyant Posts: 2,549
    That KVA stainless isn't as 'tough' as 953. 1400 MPA vs 2000 MPA for 953.

    Very tempted to get a custom build in it next time I get a new road bike.
  • I was always under the impression that adding chromium to steel made it brittle, which is why steel blades, for example, that will undergo stress and are not just for display tend not to be stainless steel. Having said that I suppose whilst a sword will flex significantly in use so brittleness is an issue, a bike frame will flex but not so much.

    Interesting from a metalurgical point of view how they juggled the mix.....

    Maraging steels (carbon free) have been used in landing gear for a long time. Only recently technological advances have allowed these steels high in Chromium and Nickel to be drawn in thin tubes and welded succesfully.
    left the forum March 2023
  • I am lusting over the Milani 'Puro'

    http://www.milanicycles.com/index.php?l ... #go:cycles
    Colnago C60 SRAM eTap, Colnago C40, Milani 107E, BMC Pro Machine, Trek Madone, Viner Gladius,
    Bizango 29er
  • Carlos_SC
    Carlos_SC Posts: 20
    I'm bringing in a couple of KVA frames from the US at the moment, they are being built as I speak by who I am confidant is a top quality builder. If they are as good as they seem (and look!) then I'll be investing a lot into them over here.
    I'm convinced that it could well be a 'wonder material'! I'm a big fan of steel anyway, but this steel seems to offer the pluses of steel and the pluses of Ti together...can you really go wrong with that?!
    I'm not here for a blatant plug but I do want to convince people that steel is the way to go, so if anyone wants to take one for a spin, let me know :)
    Either way, I'm pretty sure we'll be hearing a lot more about this material in the near future :D
  • tenor
    tenor Posts: 278
    The KVA butted tubes are typically 0.7-0.4-0.7mm wall thickness, which makes them a little thicker than Deda' eom 16.5 or Columbus Spirit.
    The Reynolds 953 and Columbus XCR are drawn a little thinner and so could be built into a slightly lighter frame. For any given tube diameter +weight and frame geometry any of the above should ride the same.
    It would be useful to know from the metalurgists out there whether it would be possible to weld stainless rear triangle (or just chain stays and dropouts) to an otherwise normal steel; XCR rear to Spirit main triangle, for instance.
    This would provide improved durability and a little sparkle to an otherwise painted frame.
  • Carlos_SC
    Carlos_SC Posts: 20
    The framebuilder I'm in contact with is doing similar to this at the moment. The other way around though! KVA aren't doing MTB tuning for a while, and to create an MTB frame, he is using lugs to join a stainless KVA mainframe to a standard painted steel rear end (the current KVA seems fine for MTB use but can't do MTB rear triangles due to the bent stays).
    I've seen a pic of this done by someone else and it looks greeeaaat :D
    So not weldable but lugs can be used :)
  • Clank
    Clank Posts: 2,323
    tenor wrote:
    It would be useful to know from the metalurgists out there whether it would be possible to weld stainless rear triangle (or just chain stays and dropouts) to an otherwise normal steel; XCR rear to Spirit main triangle, for instance.

    Easy - just need the right wire to make sure there's a compatible weld metal (it's tubular so you need the bulk of the fillet to spread the loading). No reason it shoudln't come out beautifully.

    I've done stainless to plain carbons in sheet stock without a filler for a production app (but used a laser).

    (/geek)
    How would I write my own epitaph? With a crayon - I'm not allowed anything I can sharpen to a sustainable point.

    Disclaimer: Opinions expressed herein are worth exactly what you paid for them.