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  1. #1
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    Scandium riding characteristics

    At present I`m riding a Columbus steel Kona Explosif frame - nice ride but heavy at 1995g. I`d like to purchase a new frame and I`m looking at the Kula Primo (scandium) 1395g.The price is right at $600. new.

    I`ve heard that the scandium rides softer then standard aluminum and is closer to a "steel feel". Is that true? Does anyone have experience with the Primo frame (or scandium frames) when comparing the ride characteristics to steel and also standard aluminum frames?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Salsa Scandium!

    I have the Salsa Las Cruces cross and the Cabelero mountain bike scandium frames and both are sweeeeeeeeeeeet! The Cabelero feels like the Ti Litespeed Unicoi I've ridden for years but with out the high price tag.

    Scandium is lots more forgiving than aluminum but a little less flexy than Ti. I also have a steel KHS Solo One thats' not quite as comfortable as the Cabelero but it's only got 3/4 inch of travel verses the 4" of travel with the Cabelero.

    Scandium is also not as fragile as some say as I've put 2000 plus miles on the Las Cruces and about 200 miles of it off road on some fairly technical trails with lots of roots, rocks, etc....The Cabelero has been through several 24 hour and 12 hour events with no problems concerning the frame, just a broken hub and handlebar due to a mild encounter with an oak tree. Look at the Salsa Line as the frames are well within the $600.00 mark for FS and less for hardtail.

  3. #3
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead! ?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Scary
    Hi, my name is Davide and I can tell you that scandium is all marketing hype. It is just aluminum pure and simple...
    No offense, but have you ridden a scandium frame? I find it hard to believe someone would say that after having ridden one. I have a scandium cyclocross frame and it is definitely not hype. First of all, the weight is under 2.9 lbs (56 cm). It also does not ride like aluminum. It is not harsh at all. It's the best ride I've ever felt. My previous cross bike was a standard aluminum frame.

    Chris

  4. #4
    Jm.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Scary
    Hi, my name is Davide and I can tell you that scandium is all marketing hype. It is just aluminum pure and simple...
    Yeah, aluminum alloyed with scandium, but here's the critical part, it's only alloyed with a "little bit" of scandium. It's just a tiny bit stronger than a normal aluminum alloy which allows them to make the tubes a little thinner, which is how it turns out a little lighter. It rides like an aluminum bike, which is what it is for the most part.

    I've ridden the salsa extensively, and a couple others. It's not quite as much BS as "nitanium" was, but it's still just an aluminum alloy, as is every "aluminum" bike.
    I know in my heart that Ellsworth bikes are more durable by as much as double. AND they are all lighter...Tony Ellsworth

  5. #5
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    going from an alloy frame without scandium reinforcement to one that had it was a very nice change for me ...the ride became smooth and less jarring

    also, the tubes are very thin!

  6. #6
    Doesntplaywellwithmorons!
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    The reason that adding scandium to the aluminium alloy mixture makes for a gentler riding frame is that it vastly increases the fatigue strength as well as makes it easier to weld. And its this increase in fatigue strength and easier welding, that allows them to make a high strength 7000 series aluminium alloy, that can be welded into frames, in smaller tubing diameters. The reason regular Al frames ride stiff is they have to use larger diameters tubing to have a lot of stiffness to also have a good fatigue life (Al doesn't have a defined fatigue load limit like steel and Magnesium and Ti alloys so everytime it flexes, it comes one step closer to failure, so the more it resists flexing the longer it lasts) and most of the higher strength aluminium alloys aren't easily welded.

    Easton's SC7000 alloy for example has a fatigue strength in the order of 70,000psi which is about equal to 7075T6, which ISN'T weldable. 7005T6, which many Al frames use and is weldable has a fatigue strength of about 42,000psi. So with the greater strength you can use less material (smaller diameter and same tubewall thicknesses), and get a more comfortable ride, as well as better resistance to dents (the higher the ratio of diameter to wall thickness, the more easily the tubing dents).

    Scandium alloyed aluminium's original application was in soviet SLBMs. That's Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles for the uninformed, and the way the soviets used to fire them was from below the polar ice cap, THRU the ice. Since the missile bodies are primarily aluminium, they had a problem with the guidance fins, which are welded to the missile bodies, ripping off during the launch thru the ice. Adding scandium to the alloy mix increased the strength and kept the guidance fins in place. So its ironic that technology used to make it possible for them to successfully fire nukes at america, would later become commercially available to US companies after the end of the cold war. The reason it was the soviets that came up with the technology is because siberia is home to the majority of scandium on the planet.
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  7. #7
    Doesntplaywellwithmorons!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jm.
    Yeah, aluminum alloyed with scandium, but here's the critical part, it's only alloyed with a "little bit" of scandium. It's just a tiny bit stronger than a normal aluminum alloy which allows them to make the tubes a little thinner, which is how it turns out a little lighter. It rides like an aluminum bike, which is what it is for the most part.

    I've ridden the salsa extensively, and a couple others. It's not quite as much BS as "nitanium" was, but it's still just an aluminum alloy, as is every "aluminum" bike.
    Tiny bits are relative. Tiny bits of elements added to the mix of any alloy can have a major increase in its strength properties, and Easton's SC7000 is about 75% stronger than their regular 7005-T6 alloy.

    For example... 7005-T6

    Component Wt. %


    Al 91 - 94.7
    Cr 0.06 - 0.2
    Cu Max 0.1
    Fe Max 0.4
    Component Wt. %


    Mg 1 - 1.8
    Mn 0.2 - 0.7
    Other, each Max 0.05
    Other, total Max 0.15
    Component Wt. %


    Si Max 0.35
    Ti 0.01 - 0.06
    Zn 4 - 5
    Zr 0.08 - 0.2


    Material Notes:
    Applications : bike frames

    Data points with the AA note have been provided by the Aluminum Association, Inc. and are NOT FOR DESIGN.

    Click here to view available vendors for this material.

    Physical Properties Metric English Comments


    Density 2.78 g/cc 0.1 lb/in AA; Typical

    Mechanical Properties


    Hardness, Brinell 94 94 500 kg load with 10 mm ball. Calculated value.
    Hardness, Knoop 119 119 Converted from Brinell Hardness Value
    Hardness, Rockwell A 39.5 39.5 Converted from Brinell Hardness Value
    Hardness, Rockwell B 59 59 Converted from Brinell Hardness Value
    Hardness, Vickers 106 106 Converted from Brinell Hardness Value
    Tensile Strength, Ultimate 350 MPa 50800 psi
    Tensile Strength, Yield 290 MPa 42100 psi
    Elongation at Break 13 % 13 % In 5 cm; Sample 1.6 mm thick
    Modulus of Elasticity 72 GPa 10400 ksi Average of Tension and Compression. In Aluminum alloys, the compressive modulus is typically 2% greater than the tensile modulus
    Poisson's Ratio 0.33 0.33 Estimated from trends in similar Al alloys.
    Fatigue Strength 150 MPa 21800 psi 500,000,000 Cycles
    Shear Modulus 26.9 GPa 3900 ksi
    Shear Strength 215 MPa 31200 psi


    and 7075-T6

    Component Wt. %


    Al 87.1 - 91.4
    Cr 0.18 - 0.28
    Cu 1.2 - 2
    Fe Max 0.5
    Component Wt. %


    Mg 2.1 - 2.9
    Mn Max 0.3
    Other, each Max 0.05
    Other, total Max 0.15
    Component Wt. %


    Si Max 0.4
    Ti Max 0.2
    Zn 5.1 - 6.1


    Material Notes:
    General 7075 characteristics and uses (from Alcoa): Very high strength material used for highly stressed structural parts. The T7351 temper offers improved stress-corrosion cracking resistance.

    Applications: Aircraft fittings, gears and shafts, fuse parts, meter shafts and gears, missile parts, regulating valve parts, worm gears, keys, aircraft, aerospace and defense applications; bike frames, all terrain vehicle (ATV) sprockets.

    Data points with the AA note have been provided by the Aluminum Association, Inc. and are NOT FOR DESIGN.

    Click here to view available vendors for this material.

    Physical Properties Metric English Comments


    Density 2.81 g/cc 0.102 lb/in AA; Typical

    Mechanical Properties


    Hardness, Brinell 150 150 AA; Typical; 500 g load; 10 mm ball
    Hardness, Knoop 191 191 Converted from Brinell Hardness Value
    Hardness, Rockwell A 53.5 53.5 Converted from Brinell Hardness Value
    Hardness, Rockwell B 87 87 Converted from Brinell Hardness Value
    Hardness, Vickers 175 175 Converted from Brinell Hardness Value
    Ultimate Tensile Strength 572 MPa 83000 psi AA; Typical
    Tensile Yield Strength 503 MPa 73000 psi AA; Typical
    Elongation at Break 11 % 11 % AA; Typical; 1/16 in. (1.6 mm) Thickness
    Elongation at Break 11 % 11 % AA; Typical; 1/2 in. (12.7 mm) Diameter
    Modulus of Elasticity 71.7 GPa 10400 ksi AA; Typical; Average of tension and compression. Compression modulus is about 2% greater than tensile modulus.
    Poisson's Ratio 0.33 0.33
    Fatigue Strength 159 MPa 23000 psi AA; 500,000,000 cycles completely reversed stress; RR Moore machine/specimen
    Fracture Toughness 20 MPa-m 18.2 ksi-in K(IC) in S-L Direction
    Fracture Toughness 25 MPa-m 22.8 ksi-in K(IC) in T-L Direction
    Fracture Toughness 29 MPa-m 26.4 ksi-in K(IC) in L-T Direction
    Machinability 70 % 70 % 0-100 Scale of Aluminum Alloys
    Shear Modulus 26.9 GPa 3900 ksi
    Shear Strength 331 MPa 48000 psi

    Minor changes in the element percentages added to the base aluminium make for a big change in the properties. As to nitanium, that was a nickle/titanium alloy of steel.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by top_ring
    At present I`m riding a Columbus steel Kona Explosif frame - nice ride but heavy at 1995g. I`d like to purchase a new frame and I`m looking at the Kula Primo (scandium) 1395g.The price is right at $600. new.

    I`ve heard that the scandium rides softer then standard aluminum and is closer to a "steel feel". Is that true? Does anyone have experience with the Primo frame (or scandium frames) when comparing the ride characteristics to steel and also standard aluminum frames?

    Thanks.
    Scandium is still one of the best materials for bicycle frames:
    light and still stiff yet it has indeed ride characteristics best described as "like steel".

    german Mountain Bike magazine just did a compariosn test on different materials. along this test they had 3 different Rocky Mountains which all shared the same geometries and were built using the exact same parts. the result was that the Scandium weighs almost 1 kilo less than the Steel yet has about the same ride. the Aluminium frame sits in the middle weight-wise yet rides extremely harsh.

    it's just now that Carbon starts to rival the scandium...it can make for even lighter frames with as nice a ride. so far it's Scott that gets the best out of the fibre. the others still aren't any lighter than a well done Scandium frame and worst of all offer a extremely stiff and harsh ride.

    yet not all Scandium is equal. as said above Scandium gets mixed in only to a small percentage. it's the tubes shape and dimensions that will do more "shock absorbing" than the material alone. usually Scandium HT frames weigh around 1250-1350g. Scott scandium MTB frames weigh about 1150g.

    belows scans show the different numbers of the frame materials. and farther down you seer the numbers for those 3 Rocky Mountain frames. the steel frame got a great review since it rides nicely but is just too heavy. Scandium offers a similar ride yet at 1 kilo less weight and the aluminium shakes your bones hard...

    in that same test the magazine also tested the new carbon HTs from Scott (scale) , Merida, Storck, Simplon...and they said only the Scott offers the advantages we are looking for: light weight yet stiff and a nice ride. the other manufacturers frames weren't any lighter than a nice Scandium frame yet offered too stiff rides. so stiff testers complained...
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  9. #9
    Max
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    i'd read tests with a grain of salt. although they might contain useful information, i wouldnt regard them as the only source for valid results. esp. germans test their parts on machines that don't always represent reality. the old stiffness debate, you know... i just dont like it when people run down bikes or parts only because they scored 2 points less than the winner of the comparison

    whatever. i guess if you made the Sc frame as stiff as the aluminium frame, it would still weigh around 1550g. or if you made the aluminium frame lighter, it would offer a similar ride to the Scandium vertex.


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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Max
    i'd read tests with a grain of salt. although they might contain useful information, i wouldnt regard them as the only source for valid results. esp. germans test their parts on machines that don't always represent reality. the old stiffness debate, you know... i just dont like it when people run down bikes or parts only because they scored 2 points less than the winner of the comparison

    whatever. i guess if you made the Sc frame as stiff as the aluminium frame, it would still weigh around 1550g. or if you made the aluminium frame lighter, it would offer a similar ride to the Scandium vertex.
    hmm...in that test they showed the stiffness numbers but they also commented on how each bike felt on the trail. that's where most new carbon offerings seem to have built in too much stiffness which isn't needed.

    the Scott didn't have the numbers the Storck or Merida offer but the ride was still much better. so once again stiffness numbers don't reflect if one is better than the other here, you are right.

    same in that Rocky Mountain comparison where the stiffness numbers vary some but the rides differ big time. as you say, it's not just the numbers.

    but Scandium offers a frame builder the option to use thinner, lighter tubes than regular Aluminium which makes frames lighter without hurting it's stiffness/strenght. Carbon could be even better as shows Scott but still not many get the best out of the fibres.

  11. #11
    jonny_mac
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    dee eight

    scandium is harder to weld than conventional aluminum, i dont know who is telling you
    otherwise, but it is not right. that is one of the reasons it is more expensive.

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    Aren't you the same guy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Scary
    Hi, my name is Davide and I can tell you that scandium is all marketing hype. It is just aluminum pure and simple...
    Aren't you the same guy that said front suspension was just a fad!

  13. #13
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    correct.

    Quote Originally Posted by jonny_mac
    scandium is harder to weld than conventional aluminum, i dont know who is telling you
    otherwise, but it is not right. that is one of the reasons it is more expensive.
    absolutely correct.

  14. #14
    Neg reppers r my biatches
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    Chics dig scandium...that is why I got one

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by FoShizzle
    Chics dig scandium...that is why I got one
    Well... that settles it. I`ll have to get one for the chics. lol

    Perhaps the only way to find out for sure is to bite the bullet and buy one.

    Thanks for the info.

    BTW... how much $$ are Scott frames, and do they have a weight restriction?

  16. #16
    Axe
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    Quote Originally Posted by FoShizzle
    Chics dig scandium...that is why I got one
    Welded fins to your shaft?

  17. #17
    Max
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    *lol* funny to see somebody really believing that all it takes to win the TdF is a trek bike. they are great bikes for sure, but there's more to winning races than buying the right bike


    Skinny guys fight 'til they're burger

  18. #18
    Neg reppers r my biatches
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe
    Welded fins to your shaft?
    Forgive me Axe but I am a dumb blond....what does that mean?

  19. #19
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    scott is not the only ones doing carbon correctly..... but trek certainly isnt!

    Down with lugs!

  20. #20
    Max
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Scary
    The Trek must work pretty good, there's this American guy named Lance, who rides a Trek...
    He can pretty much kick any Euros a_s at any time (when he chooses to).
    sorry if there was a misunderstanding, but i thought you were trying to use lance's results as an argument for trek's superior quality. i think basically he'd win on any bike, maybe beside his custom-made TT bike.

    i'm quite into making carbon products myself, and scott's carbon technology is way ahead from these days' carbon parts and frames


    Skinny guys fight 'til they're burger

  21. #21
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    Ok, so admittedly I'm a bit of a Specialized fanboy but if you want to see a well made carbon frame check out the 2005 Specialized Tarmacs (road bikes). The top tube alone is a thing of beauty, and the construction, while not one piece, is about as good. They make the bike out of three peices, downtube/chainstays, toptube/seatstays, and seat tube. Its hard to explain but they make the top tube in almost and "H" like section and then it blends into the seatstay, check one out at a shop if you get a chance, its a great piece of engineering. I would show pictures but mine aint here yet (damm Shimano not making parts!)

    Anyway Scott seems to be doing something right with their carbon too, the lugged construction that trek/giant and others use just does not yield as good a bike. Any lugged bike I've ridden has seemed flexy and not as active. Plus it adds unnescesary weight

  22. #22
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    notice I never said anything about how light specializeds were, only that the tarmacs were a great design and well engineered, and that most lugged designs are inherently heavier and flexier

    Also the Specialized S-Works roubaix and tarmac frames of this year are both around 1000g, which is pretty light. The S-Works roubaix is under 1000, I forget the number though. I'll agree the mt frames aren't super light

    by the way, this is the seattube/toptube junction on the tarmac I was talking about, note the cool pass through cables

  23. #23
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    7075 is most certainly weldable, in fact all the 7000 series aluminums are weldable, along with the 6000 and 5000 series. Just thought Dee Eight might like to know that.

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