M5 vs M4 tubing
who here is the expert? My local shop, along with the big S rep couldn,t really answer my question. I did e-mail the big S, awaiting their reply.
In my on-going investigation to go with either the 06 Stumpy Pro, or the SW frameset, I'm curious to know...
What would you expect the weight savings to be between these two alloy mixes concerning total frame weight?
Would the increase in frame stiffness be a significant amount?
Ball park here 06 Stumpy pro+$3500, I would have to upgrade the wheelset at least
dream build 06 SW frameset=$5500, included estimate for much better 06 Talas XTT, Stans Olympic wheels, lot's of carbon, xtr, sram stuff..really a dream build bike.
So, if you include the wheel upgrade(a real must with the pro IMHO) on the Stumpy Pro, even if I sell the new wheelset, I'n near $4K. Really only a $1500 diff? I'm getting itchy, so any alloy guru's out there?
Well, this is something I have been looking into for quite a while and would love to hear more input regarding this. Let me first state I'm no material engineer (I'm actually an mechatronics engineer by training) but I have some mechanical engineering background.
According to Specialized FAQ, M4 is:
Most Specialized FSR frames, with the exception of the S-Works FSRxc, are made with A1 Premium Aluminum. A1 is an exclusive aluminum material, design, and manufacturing process that gives Specialized engineers complete control over every part of the process of turning raw materials into finished frames. The raw material from which an A1 frame is built starts as a 6000-series aluminum alloy. The specific numeric designation is not published.
M4 Manipulated Alloy is a proprietary material that is comprised mostly of alumninum, but is alloyed with four other metals in precise trace amounts. The base aluminum material is alloyed with: silicon, copper, magnesium and vandadium, though not necessarily in that order. Four alloying materials, hence the name "M4". The result is an alloy that hase nearly twice the tensile strength of "standard" 6061 aluminum, plus excellent fatigue resistance and elongation properties.
It's the % elongation of M4 that allows us to build frames with very complex shapes and greatly varied wall thicknesses. The end result is a frame that's lighter, stiffer, stronger and more durable. Relative to A1, it's also significantly more expensive.
According to Specialized FAQ, M5 is:
M5 was developed directly from the phenomenal results achieved with E5 Alloy. In fact, the base aluminum and alloying elements are the same as E5's, but tailored to meet the needs of off road frames.
Why we use it:
Our engineers had a clear objective - design the lightest mountain frame possible. What they learned with E5 lead them to the M5 alloy which shares the outstanding strength (and hardness) characteristics of its cousin. Specifically:
M5 has exceptionally high tensile strength so less material can be used without sacrificing strength requirements.
M5 retains substantially more of its strength (hardness) after welding than other alloys, again enabling less material use while maintaining high strength.
Comparison between M4 and E5:
M4 vs E5
6061-T6 ~ 12%
M4 ~ 15.5%
E5 ~ 8%
Ultimate Tensile Strength (KSI)
6061-T6 ~ 45,000
M4 ~ 58,000
E5 ~ 62,000
Yield Strength (KSI)
6061-T6 ~ 40,000
M4 ~ 50,000
E5 ~ 55,000
Based on the informatin provided, I suspect that M5 is some variant of 7005 aluminium alloy while Specialized has mentioned that M4 is actually a variant of 6061 aluminium alloy
Another thing to take note is I understand that both M4/M5 frameset are built with something called ORE Tubing. I have not found any information regarding this but I suspect that it has something to do with the shape of the tube.
Hope this helps! Let me know if you find out anything else!
Last edited by sdchew; 08-08-2005 at 08:04 PM.
ORE= Optimized Radial Engineering, marketing-speak for butting and frame manipulation.It sounds better than just saying "we manipulate our frames so that we don't need to use gussets and can save weight" that would be a very large decal. You'll see the ORE logo on the downtube near the headtube junction of many Specialized bikes including the Stumpjumpers.
M4 vs M5 keep in mind you are only talking about the downtube of the Stumpjumpers, the rest is A1 Aluminum.
Last edited by speedoxc; 08-08-2005 at 09:20 PM.
so why isn't s-works all M5?
That's always been curious to me. If its stronger and all that, why is it they don't use more of it in more of the s-works tube sets. Is it a matter of cost? Despite the seriously dimishing returns in the S-works relm (especially in the mountain bike with so little special tubing), I'm admittedly considering one so I can build it with my preferred component set - basically a cream bike before i'm too be doing stupid things with my money and body. I can't wait.
Originally Posted by speedoxc
But then again maybe I'll save the $1,500-$2k and put it towards a few big bike trips....hmmm.
M4 vs M5 keep in mind you are only talking about the downtube of the Stumpjumpers, the rest is A1 Aluminum.[/QUOTE]
where did you get this info from? I think I remember reading/hearing this on this forumn before. If that is truely the case, the answer to my question's, is simply...it ain't worth the extra$$
One of the reasons only one M5 tube is used on the Stumpjumper framsets, the downtube, is that the M5 alloy is very thin walled aluminum and cannot be shaped into complex forms such as the monococque toptube.
Buying a frame made with M5 in order to build it up with the components you want does not make financial sense. It will always cost you more to build up the bike than to buy it whole. If money's not a concern then go ahead. Otherwise, consider buying the Stumpjumper Pro or Expert, keep the parts you want and sell off the ones you don't.Your LBS should be willing to work with you on this as well. With the money you saved going this route you could buy another bike.
That's news to me! Is that the same for all other S-Works bikes like Epic too? I thought they were entirely made of M5!
Originally Posted by speedoxc
Just got my S-Works Epic today!
Based on what I see on the frame, M5 is actually an aluminium based alloy with Copper (Cu), Zinc (Zn), Silicon (Si), Magnesium (Mg), Manganese (Mn).
Anyway, just in case anyone cares about this kind of info, the bike frame also says "Hand made in Taiwan ROC".
A1 versus M4 aluminium...
Well, I find this interesting. It makes me wonder why the Enduro, Demo and Big Hit bikes are made of A1 instead of M4. Why don't they use the 'lighter' and 'stronger' M4. Especially for DH, Freeride use the stronger M4 seems very suitable.
Originally Posted by sdchew
Does anyone know how the weight of both A1 and M4 compare?
M4 is actually 6069 aluminum alloy, the same used in some Santa Cruz bikes.
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