from a thread about why use lugs...

> A large part of the reason that lugged construction became
> the norm was that it was better suited to large scale production
> by semi-skilled labor - not because it was always "better."
since the 80s and the mtb era changed everything and took
any convention that bicycle aesthetics had and tossed them,
tig has became
the norm and is better suited to large scale
production by semi-skilled labor
. it's an economic issue,and
nothing more. welding is an accepted look, and more folks in
tech schools (and other venues) are trained to weld then are
to braze, this providing a steady labor stream intoany factory
that chooses makes bicycle frames en masse.
> "Still" is not a verb, and thus has no infinitive form. That said,
> no, there's no reason at all still to use lugs. It is so, so much
> easier to make a glue-bike in a mold; even kids can (and do)
do it. Just do that.
uh -
with that logic i can may i deduce that we no longer need
ovens as long as microvaves exist? better yet, why cook
food when we can get the stuff that mixes with water. well,
for that, we'd prolly need military stripes! do we eschew
mechanical watches and all get quartz? that kinda' sums
it up here.
I read recently that some words and phrases are going away
> because they are used so little. Counter / anti clockwise was
> one.I haven't worn a watch in over 6 years. If I do need accurate
> time I look at my cell phone. But then again I haven't had to do
> that in years either.I no longer have any lugged bikes.I like the
> look of my sloping top tubes, on my smallish frames. No doubt
> different skills are needed to tig rather than braze.I have a lot of
> respect for someone that can lay down a frames worth of tig
> welds as there is no where to hide. Plus the mitres are as tight
> if not tighter than lugged frames.Watching a skilled tig welder is
> amazing. Besides using both hands, they get to use a foot too.
fwiw - i am tig lover, not its anti-christ.
i don't wear a watch, and i don't care who cooks my meals or how!
so this isn't (for me) an issue about if one method is better than another.
as a bicycle maker, ibelieve that design and construction trumps all,
and that material is over-rated. and i'd rather have a nice cannondale
or C-50 than many of the so-called artisan made frames that are
so-called lovingly built with lugs. lugs constitute a joining process,
and their inclusion validates nothing atmo. but when used by a
skilled builder, they can still grab my attention.
> All my bikes are lugged, and I built about half of them myself.
> I couldn't think of a good answer, so I gave a bad one. In truth,
> I have no idea why we still "need" lugs, or why anyone still uses
> them at all. I think they're nice. I like the way my bikes ride, but
> I doubt it has all that much to do with the joinery method. I work
> for a shop that does pretty much exclusively TIG'd frames, and
> they all work pretty well, too.
one reason that some use them is simply that some use them.
it's true - they make no difference at all. they are just a visual
when the frame is built. however, for some (me...), it's not
about lugs, it's about brazing. and i know that as a brazer,
i can make a better frame than if i transferred my skills to tig
welding. when a client orders a frame from me, it's not because
i use lugs, or make my own lug designs, or anything closely
related. a client chooses the entire body of work; design,
execution, history, longevity, etc. not to parrot lance, but it
really isn't about the bike at all. it's more likely about the maker.
and if the maker is a brazer, and a good one,there is no reason
at all to veer simply because the cat across the hall has a
pulse welder.

> I've been around a while and started racing back in the days
> when everyone rode lugged steel frames and everyone knew
> what chromoly meant. That was also back in the day when a
> typical race bike weighed 23 pounds. The steel is real crowd
> forgets that when newer frame materials were being developed
> in the mid-80s, many pro teams actually chose to buy these
> new frames rather than accept a steel frame sponsor...

can we get some examples of teams that bought frames with
"newer frame materials" rather than accept free steel frames?
That used to be Look's slogan (the only bikes in the peloton teams
> buy...). Like arguing against a creationist, there's no way the steel
> is real crowd will ever be persuaded but there's a reason why
> every pro team rides carbon frames--it's a vastly superior material,
> and getting past traditional lug designs is one of those superior qualities.
i believe the reason "every" pro team rides carbon frame is that
the parties involved cut equitable business deals, and the the
unit cost (not selling price) of an asian made nonferrous material
frame is quite low, and that thesebad boys are practically disposable.
that's quite a good price considering these are just tools.
> The question was, is there a reason to still use lugs. The
> answer, from a performance perspective, is a definite no.
> Non-lugged construction is structurally superior.
be that as it may (even if i don't know how one would quanitify
that non-lugged construction is "structurally superior", the
performance is equal parts design and design, with a small
dose of construction skill thrown in for good measure (and
that good measure will only matter if you desire a frame with
longevity), and the smallest measure of the equation is material
choice. don't get me wrong, it's all good, but pros ride what
they ride because of deals cut for economic reasons. mj coulda'
got it done in cons, but nike paid him more yada yada.
> i'm not denying that if you choose tradition, craftsmanship,
> etc., a steel frame is a fine choice. Just don't pretend steel
> can go toe-to-toe on any performance characteristic of
> newer materials.
i'm not pretending. it can.
> E-Richie, the notion that pro teams ride carbon just
> because it's what their sponsors tell them to ignores
> the history of the development of carbon frames. None
> of these are sponsored frames-simple sponsorship economics
> doesn't explain it. It is because carbon frames have a distinct
> advantage that teams are willing to pay for out of pocket.
> I believe Kelme or Once bought their Look badged frames
> instead of a sponsorship.

here's a little anecdote for you -
in the film sunset boulevard, the william holden character meets the
gloria swanson character at the staircase of her hollywood mansion.
startled, he says -
"you're norma desmond. you were in pictures. you used to be big."
to which she replies -
"i am big; it's the pictures that have gotten smaller."
by and large, the industry has veered away from steel because,
using nonferrous materials, it can eek out higher profits from
better production numbers using more automated processes
and leaving more of what was the skilled work force behind.
listen - i am not anti-profits or anti-progress, but look around
the rose colored glasses and realize that the sport is also
underwritten heavily by industry, and the racers use what
they are paid to be seen with - and i have no issues with
that either.