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Thread: What is M5

  1. #1
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    What is M5

    Can anyone tell me what M5 aluminum is? All big bike manufacturers seem to have their own little names for the aluminum they use. Im interested to see what aluminum alloy M5 compairs to Is it 6061, 7000 series what temper grade?

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    M5 chemistry is...

    M5 is just another aluminum alloy like 6061 series 7005 series, M5 whatever alloy.... A couple thimbles of some secret metal which goes for approx $15,000 per pound. This is nearly 12X the cost per pound of Gold Bullion ($ 1,296 / lb). These couple thimbles full added to the alloy make your bike NO stronger, NO lighter and COSTs YOU a few extra hundreds of dollars, BUT and this is a Big BUTT...you now are the proud owner of some "M5" - yes indeed more valuable than gold. Well OK it does make you lighter in the wallet by a few grams but at a huge expense.

    This M5 braggadicious metal does indeed significantly enhance profitability of said frame to the maker.

    It is just another alloy...no big deal....not worth wasting all that extra $$ on, but it is fun to poke in the eye.

    CS
    JW
    Last edited by CSPRINGS; 12-10-2007 at 09:45 PM.
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  3. #3
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    funny

    but seriously, I know a little about metal alloys and Im just courious what it compares to.

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    cont'd....

    Hey x_trailJunkie_x

    If you know a little about alloys, you know more than. I am no metallurgist nor can I spell well. I was poking fun because I am not aware of any aluminum alloy rating standard that explains the chemical composition of M5 alum.

    6061 vs 7005 is the typical discussion. Methinks these various alum alloys include combinations of aluminum, nickel, zinc, iron, silicon, copper, magnesium,manganese, cromium, and sometimes titanium, and perhaps others ( I do not recall). The chemical composition of the alloy and grading/rating is an international standard, so that someone in MorganHill CA, could request some 7005 stock and know exactlly how they should weld, heat treat, quench in order to maximize the strength of the welded product so that it is suited for the particular application. Stength is a pretty crappy term, but tensile strength, elasticity, ductile strength, brittleness, resistance to deformation, fatigue crack propogation, resistance to corrosion, etc, etc are all different characteristics of metals.

    M5 might be a term Spech uses to describe some particular alloy and it might not be an industry standard and only some fancy schmancy marketing term for for their glossy bike brochures, some non standard Aluminum Alloy. I would have to read Spech metallurgical assay of this ingot of M5. On your behalf I oogled 'M5 alloy' and came up with zilch.

    http://www.luskmetals.com/basic_alloy.html

    Is a nice brief discussion of the Alum alloys. These are the basic categories, again no M5. Check out the 6xxx and 7xxx description as these are the two typically uses groups in MTB, 6061 and 7005 alum.

    Thank you for your reply as it prompted me to research my favorite MTB which wears the Easton Ultra Lite sticker on the seat tube. Rode it for years with pride, loved it to no ends and never knew what grade of alum this Ultra Lite was. It looks like this tube is 7005 aluminum. No M5 "unobtanium" here but another little discussion of alum alloys from the Easton folks:

    http://www.eastonbike.com/downloadab...l%20Alloys.pdf

    Keep us posted if you discover anything about this "M5".

    CW
    JW
    Last edited by CSPRINGS; 12-10-2007 at 10:44 PM.
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  5. #5
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    Metal Matrix 5.

    It's metal plus something else, something else could be metal, or not.

    Aluminum / Aluminum Dioxide? I don't know.

    Check:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metal_matrix_composite

    http://spokesmanbicycles.com/page.cfm?pageID=332

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    The M5 aluminum mistery

    Hello

    Thanks CSPRINGS for the very informative and through post.

    The search continues for the mystery of M5 alloy

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    I found the word Duralcan used in an article that associates that with the M2 aluminum.

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    keep us posted...

    x_trailJunkie_
    Keep us posted if you uncover any related info. Read thrice as what you read of M5 on this internalnet must refer to the alloy and there is no assurance that this is the same term M5 used by Spech.

    Peace
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    I think M5 is marketing hype -- it's sooo much better than Specialized's old M4 alloy -- but, hey maybe we should wait until 2009 to get M6.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OldDogDan
    I think M5 is marketing hype -- it's sooo much better than Specialized's old M4 alloy -- but, hey maybe we should wait until 2009 to get M6.

    If M5 is marketing hype why do you feel its better then M4? and what have you used to compare the two.

    In reality when companies use abstract terms to describe an aluminum alloy it could be they might have something to hide. Like the fact that M5 might me not the same quality as 6061-T6

  11. #11
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    First, CSPRINGS is t3h funnAy, and that had to be addressed.

    Second, I have been trying to find the reference to this material I read before that used some degree of ceramic material in the mix. Dusthuffer had a couple of good references, and what I have gathered in reading and speaking to material engineers a while ago, these alloy changes can be there to not only add strength to the resultant material (and therefore, allow less material to achieve the same end strength to get less weight) but can be for post production and finishing purposes. In other words, make it easier to, well, make it. You can also alter other properties such as stiffness, elongation, and other cool things listed here:

    http://spokesmanbicycles.com/page.cfm?pageID=328
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  12. #12
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    Of course, I clicked submit and then found these:

    http://forums.roadbikereview.com/pri...ad.php?t=50487

    http://www.hautestick.com/LaxGear/La...SM2C-Info1.htm

    http://forums.bicycling.com/eve/foru...7/m/5941052953

    From these, you can probably find more useful information.

    HTH
    1997 Specialized Stumpy Pro
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    Seems The M material could be a metal composite. But thats just from reading blogs. There is no real evidence that M5 is a aluminum ceramic composite. Which may I add has issues cracking at the welds

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    If M5 is marketing hype...

    Quote Originally Posted by x_trailJunkie_x
    why do you feel its better then M4? and what have you used to compare the two.

    In reality when companies use abstract terms to describe an aluminum alloy it could be they might have something to hide. Like the fact that M5 might me not the same quality as 6061-T6
    Ummm...I was joking. M5 is a registered Specialized trademark. And it's proprietary -- meaning you could ask them but they won't tell you. I'm sure their engineers feel it's better than their old M4, and better than 6061-T6. They probably made some minor tweak to the formula. You can make literally thousands of slight variations to an alloy. 6061-T6 is totally standard alloy anyone can buy. I seriously doubt M5 is something lesser, which you seem to suspect. Maybe they made some slight changes to better accomodate forming, butting, or heat-treating. I don't really think it matters. Hey, it's an aluminum bike frame. I wouldn't obsess over the alloy. If you don't want carbon or steel, ride the bike. Geometry, component selection, and how it feels to you are way more important.

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    huh !! ???

    Fellows,
    There are essentially an unlimited variants between 6061...,...., 60601 T6, to 7075 Tx, etc. The industry standards are 6061 ( various tempers) and 7005 various tempers. These two industry/worldwide standards are... well... the most commonly used for three reasons, they are cheep, they can be extremely stong, and the strength to weight to cost ratios are superior. All the various alloys have been beaten, forged, welded, stress fractured, stress risered, pissed on, crashed, left in the rain, endoed, flown, driven, submarined, rocketed into space, and used to CNC idols of various shapes and sizes of industrial shiney pretty bits, extruded, anodized, painted, etc etc etc etc etc,

    6061 thru 7075 are such fantastic alloys that they are are used everywhere strength and to a lesser degree weight is paramount concern. They weld very well and the welding techniques are very similiar, granted they age or heat treat/ temper differently but that is the beauty.

    I will bet you lunch (not recycled/reconstituted/regurgitated lunch) that MX is no mystery tubing. If the Mx was proprietary it would be patented by you know who. It is not patented, the term is most assuredly sales puffing, spelled another way BULLSHEITE. . Easton nor the other sources of alloy tube, ingot, rolled foil, whatever... cross reference it. Can you spell vaporhardware? Is Spech a tube manufacturer who blends the metals in their secret foundry? - NO. Even if they did someone would sample the alloy identify the blent and replacate. M5 ?=? Vaporhardware. Hmmm perhaps the newest variant before M6 will be M5V (see prior sentence).

    Metal Matrix Composites...l my head aches already.
    If the frame was ceramic with metal added, carbon fibre with metal added, plastic with metal added, caca with metal added, it would be called cermaic metal whatever, carbon metal whatever, plastic metal whatever, caca metal caca.

    I say bring back Drillium.

    CS
    JW




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    M5 proprietary?

    Quote Originally Posted by CSPRINGS
    .If the Mx was proprietary it would be patented by you know who..
    Something does not have to be patentable to be proprietary. It just means it's something (anything) they deem to be a trade secret. They don't even have to make it. A company can buy Acme heavy-duty tubing, call it "M5" or "unobtainium" or whatever and say it's proprietary so their competition doesn't know what they're using.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldDogDan
    Something does not have to be patentable to be proprietary. It just means it's something (anything) they deem to be a trade secret. They don't even have to make it. A company can buy Acme heavy-duty tubing, call it "M5" or "unobtainium" or whatever and say it's proprietary so their competition doesn't know what they're using.
    Hey, isn't Unobtanium both proprietary and patented by Oakley?
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    Propecia...what ? Dictionary might be a good idea....

    With respect to goods, and products or components proprietary inferrs ones ability to control exclusivity or chose not to exercise the exclusivity. This means the ability to preclude someone else from advertising / offering this special sumthing. Think product uniqueness and the ability to preclude someone from copying. Hummm... copying....
    copyright…similiarly this applies to the written text. Interesting evolution.

    Ones ability to preclude or not is via enforcement of a patent or a secret process that no one else has. This was the purpose of enacting patent laws to enforce exclusivicity. Sales puffing is legal and can be blat and disinformation or a whimsical wish. It doen't matter you can still get away with it.

    Trademarking is the mechanism to similiarly exercise exclusivity of a particular icon or special term. Said term is typically new, bastardised, not commonly used. For example if BMW trademarked the reference M5 for their autos and then Spech started use it, there would be a phone call from some leaderhosen wearin pissdrinker to Mike S telling them to cease and desist or else…. (all in a crumbly germanic accent).

    OK I finally cave, M5 per Spech insiders were told M% was aluminum alloy with CU added. But 2014, 6061, 7005, 7075 are all alloys which already have Cu as a component. 7075 Alum usu has a bit more Cu than 6061 and 7005 series. If they were simplying using industry standard 7075 they should have just said so. Don't buy the hype. You want more copper? Think of tossing an extra penny or two into the slag at the foundry. Spending a few hunderd bucks on them couple pennies is how do we say.............. RETARDED. << From my perspective at least.

    Speaking of which...brother can ya spare a dime?

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    Last edited by CSPRINGS; 12-15-2007 at 09:42 AM.
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  19. #19
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    I heard M5 stands for Magic 5. It makes you faster and stronger like EPO cept for bike frames.

    (I'm sure it's just a marketing gimmick. Like Trek OCLV® Carbon, Litespeed 6Al-4V round titanium tubing, ZR 9000 Custom Alloy, LeMond Aeroluminum tubing... You think Spesh is bad, look at trek is all I can say.)

  20. #20
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    Propecia...what ? Dictionary might be a good idea....

    I believe:.
    With respect to goods, and products or components proprietary inferrs ones ability to control exclusivity or chose not to exercise the exclusivity. This means the ability to preclude someone else from advertising / offering this special sumthing. Think product uniqueness and the ability to preclude someone from copying. Hummm... copying....
    copyright…similiarly this applies to the written text. Interesting evolution.

    Ones ability to preclude or not is via enforcement of a patent or a secret process that no one else has. This was the purpose of enacting patent laws to enforce exclusivicity. Sales puffing is legal and can be blat and disinformation or a whimsical wish. It doen't matter you can still get away with it.

    Trademarking is the mechanism to similiarly exercise exclusivity of a particular icon or special term. Said term is typically new, bastardised, not commonly used. For example if BMW trademarked the reference M5 for their autos and then Spech started use it, there would be a phone call from some leaderhosen wearin pissdrinker to Mike S telling them to cease and desist or else…. (all in a crumbly germanic accent).

    OK I finally cave, M5 per Spech insiders were told M5 was aluminum alloy with CU added. But 2014, 6061, 7005, 7075 are all alloys which already have Cu as a component. 7075 Alum usu has a bit more Cu than 6061 and 7005 series. If they were simplying using industry standard 7075 they should have just said so. Don't buy the hype. You want more copper? Think of tossing an extra penny or two into the slag at the foundry. Spending a few hunderd bucks on them couple pennies is how do we say.............. RETARDED. << From my perspective at least.

    For 2008 Spech will be advertising A1, M4, M5 aluminum alloy frames. They are most assuredly industrial alloys in the 6061 and 70xx series. Back in early 200x the weight diff was a fraction of a lb at MOST, perhaps the weight of a couple fries, two slices of tomatoes, and three pickle slices.

    Speaking of which...brother can ya spare a dime?

    Peace
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    Last edited by CSPRINGS; 12-15-2007 at 10:33 AM.
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  21. #21
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    Don't you wish you never asked what M5 was.

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    Full disclosure: the following comes from a Specialized employee:

    M5 is a specific aluminum alloy (not a metal matrix composite) containing silicon, copper, manganese, magnesium, and zinc (Five alloying metals, hence "M5". Get it?)

    Specialized uses it because it has an exceptionally high ultimate tensile strength (about 60K PSI vs. about 45K PSI for 6061-T6 aluminum) and M5 retains substantially more of its strength and hardness after welding. Together, these properties allow the use of less material, resulting in a lighter frame.

    M4 is also an aluminum alloy, this one using silicon, copper, magnesium, and vanadium. Four alloying metals, hence "M4".

    Neither M4 nor M5 is a common aluminum alloy. They're not 6061, nor 7005, nor 7075.

  23. #23
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    RedSWeb thanks for clearing up the question, perfectly put!
    I was waiting for someone to give an accurate explaination of S technology.

    CSPRINGS do some research before spewing out all kinds of info (I think) about what is only your opinion.

    M4 and M5 also add to an improved ride quality.

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    Quote Originally Posted by snow-man
    M4 and M5 also add to an improved ride quality.
    But for the BEST ride quality, you gotta use ZR9000 (yeah, I ride a Klein)

    Industrial seemed to suggest ZR9000 was just marketing, so I wanted to offer the following link. It's straight from a Klein manual, but it's still an interesting read because Gary explains why the various alloying materials were chosen.

    Start reading from page 10. Buy a Klein if you have some spare change too, maybe Trek will keep making them.
    http://www.kleinjapan.com/tech_guide...ech_manual.pdf

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    Quote Originally Posted by greyhorse
    But for the BEST ride quality, you gotta use ZR9000 (yeah, I ride a Klein)

    Industrial seemed to suggest ZR9000 was just marketing, so I wanted to offer the following link. It's straight from a Klein manual, but it's still an interesting read because Gary explains why the various alloying materials were chosen.

    Start reading from page 10. Buy a Klein if you have some spare change too, maybe Trek will keep making them.
    http://www.kleinjapan.com/tech_guide...ech_manual.pdf
    Interesting read but really man...

    "So I made my best guess at what the percentages should be, and
    had the first batch poured."

    really??

    [pure speculation]
    I'm sure the percentages aren't a huge deviation if in fact it was actually poured on his best guess at all. I work on aircraft and I've tinkered a bit in the past in auto racing and what these bike companies are claiming is akin to a racing team (say Prodrive for example) spending millions of dollars to try new radical deviations of stainless steel or titanium for exhaust pipes. That doesn't happen. They work with what works and is already in the industry from the giants. Think Boeing, Airbus, the military and Ford.

    It is very possible that in fact all these proprietary alloys are indeed different than industry standard alloys but my guess would be that these alloys deviate very VERY little from the original alloy. Perhaps too little to make any real difference from the properties of the original alloy.

    That's mainly why I kind of laugh at the branding of alloys in the bicycle industry. I don't think they really have the capitol to innovate in the field of metallurgy.
    [/pure speculation]

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