from a thread about making/tooling new lugs, etcetera...

> Just out of curiosity.... How difficult is it to cast new molds

> of lugs to be used for steel frame construction? I am asking
> because there seems to be a limited amount of 1 1/8" head
> tube lugs that would allow for the greater selection of new
> carbon forks to be used. Thanks.
if you have a design that's finalized in solidworks or similar program,
then consider that it's just shy of 6K to get the three tool molds created,
and then you'd need to order a minimum amount of parts (about 300, at
least) for it to be cost effective.

one thing to consider is this - 1 1/8" is a dimension created by industry
in order to standardize things. it has its roots in the mtb era and it got
that way because mtb-ers were often using road parts (headsets, fork
steerers...) to make their bicycles. growing the spec 1/8" seemed to
shut alotta people up. the spec (1 1/8") further became a norm when
nonferrous materials made their way into the market. it's perfect
for that!

now - most lug folks also feel that the frame and the fork area single
unit, and should be designed in tandem, and even made in total by the
same builder. as such, there is no reason to make1 1/8" steel forks
because by and large they are heavier than need be. so, the same guys
that would think "lugs" would also be thinking "1 inch" and steel, at that!

the only cat that i know who has entered the fray is llewellyn with his
slant 6 lugs. he intro-ed them 2 or so years ago. they are a good design
and i would think that dazza did it more for the money than for a true
conviction that 1 1/8" is better. and good on him for taking the initiative.
i hope he makes a pile!
> In my opinion the 1 1/8" road fork is an answer to a question no one
> asked. There is a strength advantage with 1 1/8" but any 1" road fork,
> properly built, has no strength issue as it stands. The 1 1/8" fork is
> heavier. There is no performance advantage.The real advantage is
> for the manufacturer. They can use one process and one set of tools
> for both road and offroad.
> yes, 1-1/8” leads to one process which leads to economy of scale
> which reduces costs for everyone and improves quality. Regarding
> a heavier fork, that would be the manufacturers fault if it's true. The
> larger steerer has an advantage of added stiffness which in turn allows
> for thinner walls without reducing overall strength. Sounds like some
> should take advantage of this basic physics if no one already has.
> I see no downside to the larger fork other than to traditionalists.
> Honestly, I'm not trying to crack on you Dave, or on Richard who
> similarly loves 1" forks. Heck, I like them too. I just don't get the
> banter that larger steerer tubes, much like larger handlebars, are
> bad. I have two different lugged frames that use super OS pipes
> (similar sizes to Slant Six). Had to order the lugs from Peter at
> Ceeway since no one in the US offered lugs that sized at the time.
> Both frames use a carbon fork (sorry) and meet my every expectation
> - noticeably stiffer in the bottom bracket than my regular OS frame
> built with ZeroUno (not the thinnest tubeset around as you know)
> yet the frame is slightly lighter. I say yes to super OS tubes, larger
> steerer tubes. Now if I could only build a frame as nicely as you guys…
ed -
if i could make a fork with 1 1/8" steerer specs and have it weigh
the same or less than what i use now, i would. it would also have
to have the longevity of the forks i make now. the issue of "...stiffer
due to the added 1/8" (on steel units)" is not one i can relate to.
i have spent years riding and racing, and the column diameter
is not a spec where i can discern any changes in how the bicycle
or the fork feels.were this solely about nonferrous materials,
and/or what i would do from an entrepeneurial standpoint had
i the inclination, it'd be another story.

> Richard, Let me say this another way, the larger steerer could
> be made thinner without giving up strength. The thinner tube
> would make the fork no heavier than a 1" steerer. This same
> principle is what allows OS frame tubes to be lighter, than
> regular tubes for any given frame stiffness.There were some
> posts on the Framebuilders list recently where the topic of
> 1-1/8" steerers came up and several people had some good
> information. One person stated that the True Temper MSRDLT1
> steerer was as light as most 1" steerer tubes since it uses a 0.045"
> wall at the top and 0.065" at the bottom. Another guy stated:
> "Howdy Listers,Wondered if anyone had any experience using
> 1-1/8" x 0.049" (1.24mm.) cro-mo tube for steerers? Calcs give
> 17.7% greater moment of inertia and 10.6% less weight than a
> 1" x 1.6mm. steerer and a yield load in excess of thirteen thousand
> pounds. Obviously this begs the question of why most 1-1/8" steerers
> are 2.3mm. wall at the bottom. Thanks for reading."
> Correct me if I'm wrong Richard but don't you use 1.6mm straight
> gauge steerers? Food for thought...
i know all this (and, btw - that was andy newlands' quote at the end).
the point is why re-tool for the steerer and all the adjoining lugs when
what you have now yields the same results? tell me - would a stiffer
or stronger steerer (the 1 1/8" in steel...) solve a particular problem
that we all have now? atmo, no. what it might do is allow for some
builders that build for the market rather than base what they do on
their own learning curve - it would allow them to say, "yes, we offer
a 1 1/8" steel fork in our lugged frames." but then why do they do it?
because the market has drawn them in. capitalism has a way of
drawing the marginal into the mainstream. to wit, there is no issue.
there was an issue back when 1 1/8" started because mtb-ers were
(wrongly) using road spec in their off-road forks and headsets.
ah - the worst of all worlds collide! otoh, for market-driven units that
are sold at the lbs, standardization is a good thing. but just because
the framebuilding community doesn't lie down and embrace it (the
steel folks, that is) doesn't imply we are luddites. we all make frames
that are modern, of 21st iterations of proven materials and
methodologies, and we are not forced to jump through hoops
just because the folks at forks R us are using another dimension
which is only 1/8"different than what most of use.
> I can think of nothing to add to this. Some folks have a way with words
> and some no have way. You have the way. Thanks for putting it into
> good words.