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  1. #1
    Squelch the weasel.
    Reputation: JaquesN's Avatar
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    VIntage MTB frame tubing

    Hi All,

    Does anyone know when mountain bikes started being made with OS tubing (1.125 top tube, 1.25 down tube) and what the typical tubing would have been for an early MTB, before people like Reynolds and Columbus made oversize and MTB-specific tubing?

    What's the history of the big tube makers getting on the MTB bandwagon?

    Thanks,
    Jim
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails VIntage MTB frame tubing-earlyritchey.jpg  

    Last edited by JaquesN; 01-30-2013 at 02:35 PM. Reason: it's always better to have a picture

  2. #2
    Squelch the weasel.
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    OK, no replies. Any way to move a post to another forum (vintage), or should I just re-post over there?

  3. #3
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by JaquesN View Post
    Hi All,

    Does anyone know when mountain bikes started being made with OS tubing (1.125 top tube, 1.25 down tube) and what the typical tubing would have been for an early MTB, before people like Reynolds and Columbus made oversize and MTB-specific tubing?

    What's the history of the big tube makers getting on the MTB bandwagon?

    Thanks,
    Jim
    IIRC my '83 Univega Alpina Sport used Tange 1.125/1.25 TT/DTs.
    mtbtires.com
    The trouble with common sense is it is no longer common

  4. #4
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    Jack Taylor was the first builder with enough clout to convince Reynolds to make oversized tubing. He would build you a frame with Mayfac cantilevers and with or without twin laterals. 650B tires were made in sizes from 35mm to 50mm. The Wolber super randoneur had an inflation of 7 bars 102.9 psi. What we call the mountain bike was already a well established design in the 50's though it was called a tourer. You also need to recognize world records for strength have more than doubled since the 50's and height has increased 5 inches. If anything most bicycles made today use undersized tubing.
    "Dish is illogical." Spoke of Vulcan.

  5. #5
    www.derbyrims.com
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    Charlie Cunningham was the first during this ongoing modern trail bike era to use aluminum and was using larger diameter 6061 tubing than the steel frame alternatives at the time.

    Here's a link to a picture of his #1 frame he built in '79 or '80 I think: View topic - So you want a Charlie Cunningham Indian #1 | Retrobike

    His welds became more even, and he introduced the first sloping top tube tail bike design a few years later.

    He rigged up an "erector set" (for those old enough to remember) style adjustable fork to adjust and seek the best handling offset (he finally determined to be near 1.5' , 38mm) for the common 68' head angled head tube angles the early custom frame designers were using for their 26" rigid bikes.

    To add a little trivia... Later, the invasion of pro road racers in the mid '80's, poaching cash wins in the early NORBA pro series, and with their sponsor money and media influence, reduced trail bike race difficulty from the very rocky real trail early Stumpjumper races into grass and machine groomed trails still used in WC and the most recent Olympics with minimal handling difficulty, and devolved popular trail bike design to use steeper road like frame angles, narrow low and far forward reaching handlebars for aerodynamics, and narrow rims and semi-slick tires for lighter weight climbing advantages.

    Gary Klein was next to make aluminum mountain bikes with much larger diameter tubing than common in 1985, he had made aluminum road frames with larger tubes previously for about 10 years.

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