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  1. #1
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    Scandium vs. Aluminum?

    Scandium vs. Aluminum?

    Is it really worth the extra quid?

    I am debating between the Niner Air 9 and the EMD. The frame geometry on both frames are the EXACT same.
    What happens in Vegas....I brag about for years....

  2. #2
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    steel.

  3. #3
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    agreed steel!

  4. #4
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    from my limited experience

    What I know from my limited experience is this:

    Aluminum is harsh and rigid... Scandium is less harsh and less rigid (also easier to weld). My experience from these two metals in bikes is an AL rig and my scandium Dos Niner. You can't really compare the bikes or the ride so that really isn't valid, however, I can say that my rig frame cracked at a weld and my dos niner is still going strong.

    Scandium is a reletivly new thing Salsa cycles believes in it and so do I I say go with the Scandium.

    just my $0.02 though...


    Edit: But if I were you and I was going to get a hard tail bike I would go with a SIR or a MCR. I owned a SIR and I can compare it to the rig and the SIR was much much more compliant and a smoother ride.
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  5. #5
    wot no bike?
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    power-san:

    I recently purchased a scandium frame to build-up and, if I had to choose between scandium and aluminum I would definitely choose the scandium, I think it's well worth the extra cost. Just like people say, it really does ride a whole lot more like steel, I'm really happy with it. I don't have experience riding a scandium frame with a ridged fork, however. I don't know if that would feel as good as a steel frame in that regard.
    pete

  6. #6
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    arg.

    I'm sure this has been covered many times, in many places. Ride quality is a function of frame DESIGN, not material selection. Material selection, however, does place limiters on what is practical and/or feasible in a given design.

    That said, "scandium" as a term in frame construction, refers to an aluminum alloy with a small percentage of scandium added to improve weldability. This allows for shorter butts in the tube (eg: less length of increased thickness at the joint) which typically yeilds a more responsive ride.

    However, you could easily do the same with a 7xxx series aluminum, and get the same ride qualities (but likely for a shorter lifespan). Conversely, a production frameset originally designed for 7xxx series changed to a scadium alloy will yield no improvements in "harshness"

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by InVeloVeritas
    arg.

    I'm sure this has been covered many times, in many places. Ride quality is a function of frame DESIGN, not material selection. Material selection, however, does place limiters on what is practical and/or feasible in a given design.

    That said, "scandium" as a term in frame construction, refers to an aluminum alloy with a small percentage of scandium added to improve weldability. This allows for shorter butts in the tube (eg: less length of increased thickness at the joint) which typically yeilds a more responsive ride.

    However, you could easily do the same with a 7xxx series aluminum, and get the same ride qualities (but likely for a shorter lifespan). Conversely, a production frameset originally designed for 7xxx series changed to a scadium alloy will yield no improvements in "harshness"

    So true, so true.

    Main point: "Scandium" is a marketing term for one particular alloy of aluminum. There are many different aluminum alloys (by the way, steel is an alloy too) and each has its own properties which benefit frames in their own ways.

    Second point: Aluminum that is alloyed with scandium can be used to build a lighter frame. If you believe that saving a 1/4 pound (maybe less) is worth the extra money, then it is.

    Last point: Any frame material can be used to build a harsh riding frame. People that assume aluminum is the culprit are incorrect and repeating old wives' tales. A well designed frame uses the material in a way that achieves the design goals. It's easy to build a stiff and light frame out of aluminum, so when that's the design goal, it makes a good material. However, not all aluminum frames are stiff riding bikes. Similarly, not all steel frames ride nicely, nor are they necessarily compliant.

    While the material matters, the frame's geometry, what it's designed to do, and how it's designed to ride, are all more important that the particular alloy that was used to put it together.
    Each bicycle owned exponentially increases the probability that none is working correctly.

  8. #8
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    Scandium is aluminum.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by grawbass
    Scandium is aluminum.
    Okay...

    7005 Aluminum vs. Aluminum w/ Scandium GX2.
    What happens in Vegas....I brag about for years....

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jomissa
    steel.
    Blah blah blibbity blah


    Quote Originally Posted by Kenny Bloggins
    agreed steel!
    blibbity-bloopity blah.

    unityhandbuilt

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by grawbass
    Scandium is aluminum.
    Not if you look at the periodic table...

    Scandium alloyed with Aluminum improves strength and weldability. It makes for a better frame.

  12. #12
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    The addition of Scandium to alu seems to be documented to improve stiffness by up to 10%.
    However, Scandium frames oftem seem to be built to drop more than 10% off a brand's top alu frame. This makes you end up with a flexier frame, IME. Weightweenie material because of that.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by power-san
    Scandium vs. Aluminum?

    Is it really worth the extra quid?

    I am debating between the Niner Air 9 and the EMD. The frame geometry on both frames are the EXACT same.
    Scandium is just another Aluminum alloy with it's principle alloying element being.....scandium. the addition of Scandium increases the yield, elongation and tensile numbers allowing tubesets to be formed in smaller diameters with thinner wall. This allows for lighter frames with a softer ride. Oh and for all you "steel" idiots, frame ride quality has phuck all to do with material and everything to do with tube diameter and thickness and also frame design.
    "Do not touch the trim"

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cloxxki
    This makes you end up with a flexier frame, IME. Weightweenie material because of that.

    Would this be better for XC racing? or would the more stiff frame be more suited?
    What happens in Vegas....I brag about for years....

  15. #15
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    Nonono! Scandium is a magical, mystical material that will make your frame lighter, stiffer and absorb vibration all at the same time. Frame design has nothing to do with it, it's all down to material choice, and the more exotic sounding the material, the better.

    All you people who think that scandium is just another aluminum alloy are crazy. You are probably believe that pork, bacon AND ham all come from the same animal or something

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by InVeloVeritas
    arg.

    I'm sure this has been covered many times, in many places. Ride quality is a function of frame DESIGN, not material selection.
    exactly.
    talk to anyone who's ridden a titus riddler (aluminum version of what is now the eleven) and they will tell you it's one of the smoothest, least harsh hardtails they've ever ridden. unfortunately titus probably went a little too far with the riddler based on the number of broken frames they've had.

  17. #17
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    I have three Niner frames that are set up identically... an EMD 9, One 9, and Sir 9 (The only difference is the EMD 9 does not have the eccentric bottom bracket, I found a "MAgic Gear ratio to make it singlespeed). All three bikes have the same fork, White Bothers, same length cranks (although one has Race Face, one Shimano, and one Truvativ) and the same wheelset and tires. The geometry on all three of the bikes are the same....

    So with all that said, The EMD and the One 9 ride pretty much the same... Rough and stiff!! They are both stiff aluminum frames that are unforgiving to ride and really pound you on rough trails. Was it worth the extra money for the "Scandium" frame... no... it rides pretty much the same as the cheap "Aluminum" frame. The only difference that I can tell is the weight. Would I buy either of these frames again... no. I wanted to drop some weight for my race bike for next year so I bought the One 9... mistake. (I won the EMD9 in a raffle and use it as a training bike). I had people tell me about the magic ride of the Scandium Niner frame and that it is closer to steel than regular aluminum frames, and I read many reviews about how great and forgiving the Scandium frames are... These people have never ridden one of the Aluminum frames (Scandium/7005) back to back with an "Identical" steel bike!

    So, back to steel for me! Rides nicer, causes less fatigue 3 hours into a ride, faster downhill, but weighs a little more (2 lbs... I can lose two pounds on my body someplace). Now that I have done all the tests and know the difference for myself, it is time to sell the Aluminum and get another Steel bike!!

  18. #18
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    did you know that scandium was originally developed by the russians to build rockets with tailfins stong enough to say together when it broke through an ice sheet? The scandium added makes the aluminum harder to weld because a special filament is needed to produce the right heat to mate the material. The scandium is added to make aluminum stiffer and lighter. bike companies use it because they can make a lighter frame with the same stiffness as a heavier model.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by tamen00
    I have three Niner frames that are set up identically... an EMD 9, One 9, and Sir 9 (The only difference is the EMD 9 does not have the eccentric bottom bracket, I found a "MAgic Gear ratio to make it singlespeed). All three bikes have the same fork, White Bothers, same length cranks (although one has Race Face, one Shimano, and one Truvativ) and the same wheelset and tires. The geometry on all three of the bikes are the same....

    So with all that said, The EMD and the One 9 ride pretty much the same... Rough and stiff!! They are both stiff aluminum frames that are unforgiving to ride and really pound you on rough trails. Was it worth the extra money for the "Scandium" frame... no... it rides pretty much the same as the cheap "Aluminum" frame. The only difference that I can tell is the weight. Would I buy either of these frames again... no. I wanted to drop some weight for my race bike for next year so I bought the One 9... mistake. (I won the EMD9 in a raffle and use it as a training bike). I had people tell me about the magic ride of the Scandium Niner frame and that it is closer to steel than regular aluminum frames, and I read many reviews about how great and forgiving the Scandium frames are... These people have never ridden one of the Aluminum frames (Scandium/7005) back to back with an "Identical" steel bike!

    So, back to steel for me! Rides nicer, causes less fatigue 3 hours into a ride, faster downhill, but weighs a little more (2 lbs... I can lose two pounds on my body someplace). Now that I have done all the tests and know the difference for myself, it is time to sell the Aluminum and get another Steel bike!!
    so the steel sir9 is 2lbs heavier in the frame than the one9 or is it some different components? they only claim like a 1.2lb difference in frame weight on their site.

  20. #20
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    Would be nice if they used scandium in non-weight weenie applications, such as trailbikes and freeride rigs.

  21. #21
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    There is almost a 2lb difference in the frames... Both Frames are larges; Scandium, 3.22 lbs and the Sir 9, 5.12 lbs. They were both weighed at the same time on the same digital scale.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by tamen00
    All three bikes have the same fork, White Bothers
    Suspension or rigid?

  23. #23
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    Suspension fork

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rivet
    The addition of Scandium increases the yield, elongation and tensile numbers allowing tubesets to be formed in smaller diameters with thinner wall.
    Except....the scandium tubesets I've seen are just as large in diameter as the AL tubesets, if not bigger. I keep hearing this "allows smaller diameter tubes" marketing claptrap about scandium that the mfrs keep feeding us, but I have YET to see ONE scandium-tubed frame with smaller than the usual AL diameter tubes.

  25. #25
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    I can't believe the difference in opinions I have been receiving the past few weeks on Scandium vs. AL vs. Steel...
    The tough thing about building a bike is that there is rarely a good opportunity to ride these frames at the LBS's..
    What happens in Vegas....I brag about for years....

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