Plain Gauge Tubing- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Plain Gauge Tubing

    I'm excited to join the frame building game for my next bike, and am planning on using plain gauge .035 4130 tubing for cost and simplicity.

    Main question: Is there any downside to plain gauge aside from weight?

    My understanding on butted tubing is the butted ends are simply to create stronger joints with a lighter tube. Is that correct?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    It's not cheaper than butted tubing. A butted tubeset from Nova will be cheaper than all the tubing you would need from Wick's Aircraft supply, and they'll both be Asian tubes.

    No real upside, IMO.

  3. #3
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    And it's nice to use an actual seat tube and head tube so you don't need an odd seatpost size or need to remove a lot of material to fit the headset & seatpost

  4. #4
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    In addition to what's already been mentioned, you'll also need to be able to bend your own stays if you use straight gauge and, depending on what dropouts you're planning on using, it may be more challenging to join them to non-tapered stays.

    But mostly I'm with Erichimedes, it's not really any cheaper.

  5. #5
    pvd
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    It's easier and just about as cheap to use proper butted bike tubing where you can. You also get to learn about sizing tubing and fitting butts.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the replies! I'll look into and consider the butted route, too. Any recommendations on where to source them? Nova? Henry James?

    PVD, I've looked at your Concorde CADD drawings countless times to get an idea on tube ODs. Do you use a typical wall thickness for the center and butted sections, or do you vary that for TT, DT, etc.?

    Thanks.

  7. #7
    pvd
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    9/6/9 is what you should start with.

  8. #8
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    If you buy 4130 by the foot from some mail order house it's expensive. If you buy it by the stick from a place like Tube Service Co. it's a lot cheaper. Our local steel yard will get me a ~20' stick for the price I can buy 8' from AC Spruce or Online metals. If you only need 3-5 feet then it's not a big deal but buying a full stick to practice on is a no brainier.

  9. #9
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    Butted tubing should have a much greater fatigue life if done properly.
    Its all about stress distribution and control of the stress concentrations.

  10. #10
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    Aircraft and Vintage camper building supplies - Airstream aluminum sheet 2024 4130N tubing Airparts sources their 4130 from germany. nice stuff.
    if you are experimenting and going to build more than one frame, it's cost effective and rides pretty good. it's also great for steerer tubes, segmented forks, handlebars, racks, and other projects.......like roll cages.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by customfab View Post
    If you buy 4130 by the foot from some mail order house it's expensive. If you buy it by the stick from a place like Tube Service Co. it's a lot cheaper. Our local steel yard will get me a ~20' stick for the price I can buy 8' from AC Spruce or Online metals. If you only need 3-5 feet then it's not a big deal but buying a full stick to practice on is a no brainier.
    Aircraft steel is a joy to work with and easy on cutters. Can build larger frames and bending is more predictable. Tubing is straighter and wall thickness more precise and concentric. I am talking about US made aircraft steel. AC Spruce NOT Online Metals shit.

    Heat Treated bicycle tubing is harder on tooling. I've seen lot of bicycle tubing that the hole is not in the center to put it plainly and is not straight. I have even seen bike tubes split longitudinally. Section a bike tube every inch and see what I mean. I hope QC has improved since I last cut up a tube.

    They don't build planes out of bike tubing thank goodnes. nuff said.
    [SIGPIC]http://www.geckocycles.com[/SIGPIC]

    There is but one rule in life. "First one to the finish line wins!"
    VVA

  12. #12
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    Snox

    we can help with supplies @ www.bikefabsupply.com We have most of all your needs for frame buildings supplies. Give me a shout if you need some help deciding on tubing profiles, depending on what your building.

    I also have a decent personal stock of .035" x .875", 1.125", 1.25", .049" x 1.375 straight gauge 4130 tubing from Dillsburg before they closed that I can part with as well for a good price and I can cut it to length too. My contact info is at website above.
    Andrew Cooper
    Bicycle Fabrication Supply - Let's Build More Bikes
    bikefabsupply.com

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