Monday, September 5, 2011

Too Much?

I mean really.
Just how much is too much?
Okay, coming from someone who has Swarovski crystals on his freakin valve stems, maybe it's sort of a rhetorical question.
Still, I'm beginning to believe that there is a limit.
If you've been following along at home you, the reader, know that I've been looking at a lot of frames.
Not so much recently, well okay, I still am making ga-ga eyeballs at a few certain frames of the Italian goodness variety.
Just for fun don't you know.
I got to thinking though, these elaboratly lugged frames are really nice and all but are they really worth it?
First of all, I never look at my bicycle while I'm riding it.
In fact I'm often too busy a huffing and puffing and worrying about heart explosions to even think about the bicycle.
I don't know how I got it into my head, but I desire a lugged frame:

Boy, they sure look nice don't they.
I mean some of them are works of art!
I started thinking about this.
Bicycle frames being works of art I mean.
I don't know about you, but I don't take any works of art with me say like, to the beach.
Which is where I often ride.
I ride past the beach.
I mean I don't take any works of art with me while I'm cruising around Kailua, or doing some epic adventures.
I certainly don't take any works around with me while tooling around in the rain.
Why should I even consider paying like a GAGILLION bucks on a nice lugged frame and letting it even leave the house?
I should like hang it on the wall, put a light on it so that I can admire it late at night while wearing my smoking jacket and sipping some brandy.
This whole pretty bicycle thing goes way beyond my logic.
Let me tell you, I can bend logic pretty far, but this might be a bit beyond my bending skills.
I mean do I really need an ornately decorated frame?

Just what exactly do them lugs do anyways?
Chrome them and what do you have?
A heavier bicycle?
Okay, they sure look nice and all, but like I said, it's not like you can really enjoy that niceness while riding around.
Well, not unless someone else is riding it and you're following behind.
Then I guess you can sort of admire it while riding around, but you won't be riding it.
Unless you got like two of them, then you could be admiring it and riding, sort of at the same time.
Sort of.
Now this hasn't deterred me from thinking about a lugged bicycle frame.
It has sort of put in another perspective.
I mean all the decorative stuff is nice to look at, but not really necessary.
Yes, if I had some serious disposable income, I'd probably feel different, but I don't so I well, don't.
Maybe I'm finally coming out from under the brightness of the bling.
Looking at too many pictures of classic bicycles have I.
After all, it's a tool, not a jewel.
Unfortunately, I like nice tools.
Besides, I've sort of been leaning towards fillet brazing.


John Romeo Alpha said...

Someone told me, and you can also check g00gl3 for this, that the ornate lugs do or can perform functions related to lowering stress concentrations, or helping to control stress risers (cracks), or helping bonding or capillary action of the brass or silver brazing molten metal, or lower weight by permitting thinner lugs with same strength. Or show off the craftsmanship of the maker.

Steve A said...

JRA, think about the ornateness lowering stress concentrations or helping bonding for a bit. Now let out your breath. It feels good to regain your senses, eh? As for the craftmanship theory, that seems plausible...

limom said...

How about the stress factor involved when the rubber side leaves the ground?
Having a history of 0mph crashes does not help.

Tracy W said...

I've got a friend with a really nice lugged frame. It's blue, wiht white lugs. Then, he added a blue saddle and blue tires. Next came a blue water bottle, blue jersey, blue socks and blue gloves.

I feel like I'm ridin' with a stinking smurf....just warning ya about what can happen when you start drooling over those lugs

limom said...

Now that you mention it, I have a really hard time wearing my celeste jersey.
I mean I put it on, then I take it off, I just can't do it.
I may have to get one of them older blue Bianchi jerseys.
As far as the lugged frame goes, I've been seriously considering orange, you know like Molteni.
I guess that would make me like Pokey.
Or maybe the Cheetos dude.
Which reminds me, I got some Cheetos in the car.

John Romeo Alpha said...

Gentlemen: I direct your attention to "Bicycling Science", third edition, p.360 (in the Chapter "Materials and Stresses"): "Changes of section should therefore be gradual. High-quality frame lugs are tapered, filed, and cut with decorative patterns to transfer stress gradually from tube to lug and then to a connecting tube. Likewise, the walls of high-quality frame tubes are gradually tapered to provide greater thickness at the ends, where the stresses from bending are highest." I think J.E. Gordon also writes about lugs, but I couldn't find the reference yet.

limom said...

The other thing I read was that it allows the metal to be worked at a lower temp, so that the joined areas are not weakened by heat.
I'm still sort of feel that lugs are mostly cosmetic.
I may have to get that book by the way.