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  1. #1
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    Should I Spec Heat Treating For My New Cr-Mo 29er Frame

    Hi,

    New question from my frame builder. I've gone with 4130 cr-mo with double butted tubes on the front triangle and the next question is do I want heat treating? Is it worth it, what are the benefits? As I understand it the frame will be stronger and more fatigue resistant.

  2. #2
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    Reputation: smilinsteve's Avatar
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    I think all the top of the line steel tube sets are heat treated, so they can be stronger while having thinner walls and being lighter. They are supposed to give a nicer more lively ride as well.

    I really can't see having a builder build you a custom frame using a cheap tube set.

  3. #3
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    Reputation: Eric Malcolm's Avatar
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    Are you confusing the processes used with Aluminium over to steel?

    Air hardened steel requires no heat treating.

    Can you expand on specifically which DB tubing is being used? (eg: Manufacturer, type - Columbus Life, True Temper OX, Reynolds 853)

    Eric
    If I don't make an attempt, how will I know if it will work?

  4. #4
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    Reynolds 853 is heat treated and air hardening

    Reynolds Technology

  5. #5
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    None of the (steel) tubes commonly used for bicycle frame building require post-weld heat treatment. Reynolds 953 is the only exception I can think of.

    -Walt
    Waltworks Custom Bicycles
    Park City, UT USA
    www.waltworks.com
    waltworks.blogspot.com

  6. #6
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    Thanks guys, appreciate the feed back. So I think I'll say no to the heat treating but as Eric reminded me, I haven't even asked what make the DB tubing is so I better do that!

  7. #7
    Nemophilist
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    Hey;

    Heat treating? No. If they offered you a service that they called this, I'd wonder about their technical proficiency, at the least. Stress relieving or normalizing is different. There may be some benefit to that, but I don't think it would even be quantifiable by mere mortals. Steel frame bikes are generally welded, built up, and shipped.
    Most people ply the Well Trodden Path. A few seek a different way, and leave a Trail behind.
    - John Hajny, a.k.a. TrailMaker

  8. #8
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    I think you need to clarify if they are talking about a heat treated tubeset or heat treating after welding. Heat treating after welding doesn't even seem like a reaonable question, since as mentioned above, you normally don't do it unless it is a special tube set that you have to do it.

    I'm surprised you are getting a custom frame built but haven't specified the tubing? That's the key thing!

  9. #9
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    Yeah, this sounds like miscommunication to me. Anyone (using steel) who offers to heat treat the frame is probably not a competent bicycle builder and I'd run the other way. I am guessing it's a situation where the builder is going to charge a few extra bucks for heat treated tubing, which is a little odd for a custom bike, but I see all kinds of odd stuff (there are folks who have pages and pages of upcharges for everything down to individual water bottle bosses...)

    -Walt
    Waltworks Custom Bicycles
    Park City, UT USA
    www.waltworks.com
    waltworks.blogspot.com

  10. #10
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    I don't fully understand the question. But if the question is do you want heat treated tubes before its welded/brazed/lugged the answer is yes. Depending on what heat treatment it is of course. If its the same tubes from the manufacturer but now heat treated then yes.

    If the question is do you want the whole bike heat treated after its welded/brazed/lugged then say no. Its gonna warp like fukn crazy during quenching. heat treatment for 4130 is not some kind of aging process.

    MatWeb - The Online Materials Information Resource

    And at the very least it has to be stress relieved, then hardened and quenched in oil most likely to even get some useful hardness/strength increase, then tempered twice, and after each temper it should be quenched. Also this will only work as intended if it was welded, and then welded with 4130 wire so it all responds exactly the same, if welded with something else it gets risky, the welds could get overly brittle or weak and soft as butter depending on what material was used.

    The cost and labour for heat treating a frame correctly I'd say is about the same as or more than the cost of the rest of the work combined. If someone has a big enough oven that is, one thats good enough to keep the temperature within +-5C, (+-10C at most, kinda sloppy) on all locations in the oven.

    It could work quite good and trouble free in molten salt. But these salts are extremely toxic.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

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