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  1. #1
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    Columbus EL/OS suitability?

    Would EL/OS be suitable for a bigger ride, like myself? I'm over 6 feet and about 210 pounds, and very muscular, meaning that I'm not exactly a fluid pedaler but more of a heavy duty grinder who enjoys stiff steel frames. I'm thinking about buying a retro Basso EL/OS frame that is up for sale.

    I ask as I'm familiar with the general ride qualities of SL, SP, SLX, etc., but EL/OS escapes me. That tubeset I've never ridden.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Basso Astra

    I have one but size wise, I'm on the other end of the scale, 169cm, 55kg. I can only say that it's a stiffer tubeset than SL, SLX, TSX or MS. All tubesets on frames that I've owned. Not all of the Columbus stickers on the Astra's say OS including mine but it measures up as OS. The OS is going to help overall stiffness but it doesn't loose the liveliness that people like about steel. I believe you'll be fine. If you haven't owned a Basso, they're really nicely made. Basso also made a Max frame but I've only seen one come up for sale in the last 10 years.


    Quote Originally Posted by aptivaboy
    Would EL/OS be suitable for a bigger ride, like myself? I'm over 6 feet and about 210 pounds, and very muscular, meaning that I'm not exactly a fluid pedaler but more of a heavy duty grinder who enjoys stiff steel frames. I'm thinking about buying a retro Basso EL/OS frame that is up for sale.

    I ask as I'm familiar with the general ride qualities of SL, SP, SLX, etc., but EL/OS escapes me. That tubeset I've never ridden.

    Thanks!
    i've got limited minutes left in life, don't waste my time

  3. #3
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    Yeah, one of the Basso MAXes came up a few months ago on Ebay. I think it went for well, well over $1000 USD. The price simply shot through the roof. Insane.

    I may also go for a Gap with an SL/SP mix. That should be plenty stiff, too, and cheaper.

    Thanks for the info. I'm not sure that I can afford it (I just picked up a retro Merckx time trial frame), but I'm trying!
    Last edited by aptivaboy; 10-05-2010 at 06:54 PM.

  4. #4
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    Gap or Loto

    Basso's are pretty undervalued. The Basso Monza (Max tubeset) I saw was relisted three times before being sold. That was a couple of years ago. I bought my Astra NOS from a guy in Europe and paid $450, also a couple of years ago. Gap or Loto models are great values. Give the Astra a think as there are not that many of them out there.


    Quote Originally Posted by aptivaboy
    Yeah, one of the Basso MAXes came up a few months ago on Ebay. I think it went for well, well over $1000 USD. The price simply shot through the roof. Insane.

    I may also go for a Gap with an SL/SP mix. That should be plenty stiff, too, and cheaper.

    Thanks for the info. I'm not sure that I can afford it (I just picked up a retro Merckx time trial frame), but I'm trying!
    i've got limited minutes left in life, don't waste my time

  5. #5
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    You are too fat for that tubeset.
    Back in the early to mid 90's, most ELOS racing frames had a weight limit of 160/170 pounds. You need a modern tubeset like True Temper OX Plat. with 1-1/4" tubes. That will work just fine for you, and will weigh less than an old ELOS frame.

    Ain't modern steel grand?
    If your opinion differs from mine, ..........Too bad.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by MR_GRUMPY
    You are too fat for that tubeset.
    Back in the early to mid 90's, most ELOS racing frames had a weight limit of 160/170 pounds. You need a modern tubeset like True Temper OX Plat. with 1-1/4" tubes. That will work just fine for you, and will weigh less than an old ELOS frame.

    Ain't modern steel grand?
    Columbus SL had a published max rider weight of 125 and SLX was 150. I've been riding frames made of both of those for over 25 years and have yet to crush it under my enormous mass.

    I know quite a few folks on EL OS that are well over 200 lbs, and they have not had issues.

    Sounds like lawyer talk to me.

    I love my EL OS bikes.

  7. #7
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    I'm a little over 6' and weigh a hair over 180.

    I've ridden all of these framesets mentioned, except for EL-OS, extensively over varied terrain.

    I occasionally get to ride a buddies' Primato that is built from EL-OS. Sweet ride, no doubt.

    I've owned a fairly wide range of brands over the last forty years, mostly Italian in origin.

    I put on a decent amount of miles every year.

    I've yet to see an issue with any of my bikes, nor have the guys in our club with theirs.

    Go get an EL-OS framed bike, if that's what you'd like, and enjoy yourself.

  8. #8
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    Sure, you can "ride" them, but the first time you take a 90 at 28 mph, you will find that the top tube gets all wiggly. You don't want "wiggly" at 28 mph.

    For example, back in 1994, I was looking for a new frame. The Bianchi ELOS had a listed max weight of 160. I chose the Bianchi TSX because it's max weight was 180 (which is what I weighed at the time) The bike handled like a dream until I porked up to 190. That's when I could see my top tube (which was 1") flexing in turns. I had to adjust my counter-steering in the middle of turns (which isn't good).

    At your weight, you can ride an ELOS frame....You can even ride fast on a ELOS frame (in a straight line). Just expect to have trouble taking turns at speed.
    If your opinion differs from mine, ..........Too bad.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MR_GRUMPY
    Sure, you can "ride" them, but the first time you take a 90 at 28 mph, you will find that the top tube gets all wiggly. You don't want "wiggly" at 28 mph.

    For example, back in 1994, I was looking for a new frame. The Bianchi ELOS had a listed max weight of 160. I chose the Bianchi TSX because it's max weight was 180 (which is what I weighed at the time) The bike handled like a dream until I porked up to 190. That's when I could see my top tube (which was 1") flexing in turns. I had to adjust my counter-steering in the middle of turns (which isn't good).

    At your weight, you can ride an ELOS frame....You can even ride fast on a ELOS frame (in a straight line). Just expect to have trouble taking turns at speed.
    Not my experience.

    I have a TSX Century and it is stiff as a board at speed.

    In fact, we have a long downhill run of about three miles into Taylors Falls, Minnesota that we top out at 45+ mph with a wide variety of lefts and rights on the side of a bluff.

    No wiggles.

    None.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MR_GRUMPY
    You are too fat for that tubeset.
    Back in the early to mid 90's, most ELOS racing frames had a weight limit of 160/170 pounds.
    I don't know where this bit of info came from. At the time EL/OS came out, it was marketed as being for bigger, stronger riders. I was well over 220 when I got my EL/OS Mondonico, and have never had a problem.
    "Damn. Y'all murdered the sh*t out that mutherf***er"

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by rufus
    I don't know where this bit of info came from. At the time EL/OS came out, it was marketed as being for bigger, stronger riders. I was well over 220 when I got my EL/OS Mondonico, and have never had a problem.

    1994 Bianchi ELOS racing department frame had a weight limit of 160. The Bianchi TSX racing department frame had a weight limit of 180.
    Anybody over 200 will have a hard time cornering at speed on these frames.

    I would recomend something made out of True Temper tubing with an OD of 1-1/4. The frame will still weigh 1/2 pound (or more) less than the old school Columbus tubes.
    If your opinion differs from mine, ..........Too bad.
    .
    How would you like it if Hitler killed you
    Dogbert.

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    Buying parts to hang on your bike is always easier than getting fit.

    If you feel wimpy and weak, get out and train more, ya wee lassie!

    If Jesus had a gun, he'd be alive today!

  12. #12
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    ELOS has .4mm thick tubes in the center butt! Thin stuff! I had a frame made from the stuff and I could flex that thing pretty well and I was only 165 lbs at the time. I don't think it would break under a large rider but I recommend looking for something more substantial.

  13. #13
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    I think don't think you will break it but I bet your front derailleur will rub when out of the saddle.

  14. #14
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    Smile I remember a Bicycling mag review by Ed Pavelka....

    done on a De Rosa Primato made with EL/OS. He's a tall bigger rider. He had no problem with that frame. He actually said it was stiff in the BB. Me being 6'2", that was the next frameset I purchased. 14 years later and a bit heavier, I still ride it with no problems descending or sprinting.



    Tubeset specification for Columbus Tubing from circa 1989

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    TUBESET SEAT TUBE

    Thickness mm
    DOWN TUBE

    Thickness mm
    TOP TUBE

    Thickness mm
    FORK BLADES

    Thickness mm
    CHAIN STAYS

    Thickness mm
    SEAT STAYS

    Thickness mm
    STEERER

    Thickness mm
    HEAD TUBE

    Thickness mm

    MAX Tube set for special racing bikes made from the exclusive Nivacrom® steel with exceptional strength characteristics.
    The elliptical cross-sections are oriented in such a way that the major axes are directly opposed to the highest active and passive stresses.
    This set has been designed to optimize efficiency under the demands of extreme bads: sprint, time trials, climbing
    and strong centrifugal acceleration when descending. Nivacrom Steel - Weight: 1900 g 0.5/0.8

    butted. oval shaped and tapered
    0.8/0.5/0.8

    double butted. orthogonal oval tube ends
    0.7/0.4/0.7

    double butted. orthogonal oval tube ends
    1/0.8

    butted air profile
    0.6
    0.5
    2.3/1.55

    butted + helical reinforcements
    1.5



    EL Tube set for time trials over even terrain, climbs and triathlon events.Super-lightweight thanks to the reduced thickness of tubing made from the exclusive Nivacrom" steel with a very high yield point.
    Double-butted tubes and oval, butted unicrown fork blades. Nivacrom Steel - Weight: 1670 g 0.6/0.8

    butted
    0.8/0.5/0.8

    double butted
    0.7/0.4/0.7

    double butted
    0.8/1.2

    butted unicrown
    0.7
    0.6
    2/1.55

    butted + helical reinforcements
    1

    EL
    OVERSIZE Drawing on the experience with the EL set in the toughest professional competitions, this set features tubes of comparable lightness but with increased diameters for greater rigidity thanks to the use of the exclusive Nivacrom* steel.
    Nivacrom® Steel - Weight: 1800 g 0.6/0.8

    butted
    0.7/0.4/0.7

    double butted
    0.7/0.4/0.7

    double butted
    1/0.6

    butted unicrown
    0.6/0.8

    butted
    0.7
    2/1.55

    butted + helical reinforcements
    0.8

    TSX Tube set for professional use, coupling maximum performance with reduced weight. It is particularly suitable for stage races of more than 150 Km over mixed terrain.In addition to butted walls, this set has five helicoidal internal reinforcements, thus giving greater rigidity against tube flexing and torsion.
    Cyclex Steel - Weight: 1945 g 0.6/0.9

    butted + helical reinforcements
    0.8/0.6/0.8

    double butted + helical reinforcements
    0.8/0.6/0.8

    double butted + helical reinforcements
    0.9
    0.8

    butted with lengthwise reinforcements
    0.7
    2.3/1.55

    butted + helical reinforcements
    1

    SLX "Superbutted" tube set specially designed for professional cyclists, featuring five spirals for greater rigidity in the joint area or the bottom bracket.
    Double-butted tube ends. Cyclex Steel - Weight: 1966 g 0.6/0.9

    butted + helical reinforcements
    0.9/0.6/0.9

    double butted + helical reinforcements
    0.9/0.6/0.9

    double butted
    0.9
    0.8

    butted with lengthwise reinforcements
    0.7
    2.3/1.55

    butted + helical reinforcements
    1

    SPX "Superbutted" tube set with increased thickness for professional cyclists. Ideal for larqe frames. Double-butted tube ends.
    Cyclex Steel - Weight: 2325 g 0.7/1

    butted + helical reinforcements
    1/0.7/1

    double butted + helical reinforcements
    1/0.7/1

    double butted
    1.05
    1

    butted with lengthwise reinforcements
    1
    2.3/1.55

    butted + helical reinforcements
    1

    MS Multishape, special tube set developed in collaboration with Gilco Design. Each tube profile is shaped to withstand specific stresses.
    Designed for competition use, it requires a precise riding style, and improves frame response to sudden shocks.
    Cyclex Steel - Weight: 1930 g 0.6/0.9

    butted + tapered
    1/0.7/1

    double butted
    0.9/0.6/0.9

    double butted
    0.9
    0.9

    right: with rectangular oval shape left: with triangular shape
    0.7
    2.3/1.55

    butted +

    helical reinforcements
    1

    SL All-purpose, high-performance tube set for road races over even terrain. Double-butted tubes. Cold-rolled fork blades.
    Cyclex Steel - Weight: 1925 g 0.6/0.9

    butted
    0.9/0.6/0.9

    double butted
    0.9/0.6/0.9

    double butted
    0.9
    0.8
    0.7
    2.3/1.55

    butted + helical reinforcements
    1

    SP Heavy-duty, high-performance set, especially recommended for large frames. Double-butted tubing. Cold-rolled fork blades.
    Cyclex Steel - Weight: 2215 g 0.7/1

    butted
    1/0.7/1

    double butted
    1/0.7/1

    double butted
    1.05
    1
    1
    2.3/1.55

    butted + helical reinforcements
    1

    CROMOR Built of cold-drawn, chrome-moly butted tubing, this set is for the more demanding riders who favour versatile, high-performance light frames, but can also be used for larger frames. Cr Mo Steel - Weight: 2190 g 0.6/0.9

    butted
    1/0.7/1

    double butted
    0.9/0.7/0.9

    double butted
    0.9
    0.9
    0.8
    2.3/1.55

    butted + helical reinforcements
    1

    GARA Road set especially suited for amateur and touring cyclists who demand stout,
    lightweight racing frames. Cr Mo Steel - Weight: 2300 g 0.8
    0.8
    0.8
    1
    0.9
    0.8
    2.3/1.55

    butted
    1

    AELLE Set for amateur and touring cyclists, built of cold-drawn, microalloyed-steel thin-wall tubing which makes it especially lightweight.
    CMn Steel - Weight: 2345 g 0.8
    0.8
    0.8
    1
    0.9
    0.9
    2.3/1.55

    butted
    1

    MAX OR Set exclusively designed for the toughest off-road races. The oversized oriented elliptical cross-sections have thicknesses
    of as little as 0.5-0.6 mm, thanks to the exceptional characteristics of the exclusive Nivacrom® steel.
    The oversized unicrown fork blades are cold-rolled for greater elastic strength and resilience.
    Nivacrom® Steel - Weight: 2180 g 0.6/0.9

    butted. oval shaped and tapered
    0.9/0.6/0.9

    double butted. orthogonal oval tube ends
    0.8/0.5/0.8

    double butted. orthogonal oval tube ends
    1.2/0.9

    butted unicrown
    0.6/0.8

    butted
    0.8
    2.5/1.55

    butted + helical reinforcements
    1

    NIVA OR Tube set for off-road competitions and high-performance riding.
    It combines the excellent performance of Nivacrom' steel with the traditional diameters.
    Nivacrom Steel - Weight: 2220 g 0.6/0.9

    butted
    1.1/0.7/0.9

    triple butted
    0.9/0.6/0.9

    double butted
    1.3/1.1

    butted unicrown
    0.9
    0.8
    2.5/1.55

    butted + helical reinforcements
    1

    NIVA OR
    OVERSIZE Set built of oversized, round-section tubing for maximum off-road performance. The butted tubes are in the exclusive
    Nivacrom® steel, which has made it possible to increase diameter while reducing thickness, and hence weight.
    These features, and in particular the oversized tube cross-sections, ensure excellent rigidity
    and good handling over rugged terrain, making this set idea! for competitions.
    Nivacrom Steel - Weight: 2000 g 0.5/0.8

    butted
    0.9/0.6/0.9

    double butted
    0.8/0.5/0.8

    double butted
    1.2/0.8

    butted unicrown
    0.6/0.8

    butted
    0.7
    2/1.55

    butted + helical einforcements
    1

    CROMOR OR Set for off-road experts who want to take on any terrain, regardless of difficulty,
    enjoying the maximum safety and dependability of an indestructible vehicle.
    The cold-drawn, chrome-moly tubing has butted ends.
    The butted unicrown fork blades have increased thickness in the weld areas.
    CrMo Steel • Weight: 2495 g 0.7/1

    butted .
    1.15/0.85/1.15

    double butted
    0.9/0.6/0.9

    double butted
    1.4/1.2

    butted unicrown
    1
    1
    2.3/1.55

    butted + he lical reinforcements
    1

    CROMOR OR
    OVERSIZE Chrome-moly set specially designed for the most demanding mountain-bike enthusiasts.
    Oversized tube diameters give the frame excellent rigidity and stability,
    offering both pro and amateur cyclists a good measure of safety coupled
    with the characteristic lightness of Columbus butted tubing.
    CrMo Steel - Weight: 2580 g 0.6/0.8

    butted
    0.9/0.6/0.9

    double butted
    0.8/0.5/0.8

    double butted
    1.3/0.9

    butted unicrown
    0.9
    0.8
    2.3/1.55

    butted
    1

    GARA OR In addition to the advantages offered by the GARA set, different diameters
    and thicknesses in the three tubes of the triangle make this MTB set highly
    shock-absorbing and resistant to stresses on rough terrain.
    CrMo Steel – Weight: 2740 g 1
    1
    0.8
    1.3

    unicrown
    1
    1
    2.3/1.55

    butted
    1


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    Last edited by High Gear; 10-09-2010 at 10:00 AM.

  15. #15
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    Highgear,

    I think that is the problem, both of us have been riding Primato's, arguably one of the best steel bikes ever built, from one of the best steels, by one of the best builders. I feel no BB flex, maybe it's the builder?

    Last edited by zmudshark; 10-09-2010 at 06:28 PM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by gomango
    Not my experience.

    I have a TSX Century and it is stiff as a board at speed.

    In fact, we have a long downhill run of about three miles into Taylors Falls, Minnesota that we top out at 45+ mph with a wide variety of lefts and rights on the side of a bluff.

    No wiggles.

    None.
    TSX is stiff as a board?
    Really? I must have ridden a defective one in the 80 to 90's because one I rode was far from being stiff.
    I also had the similar experiences on my EL/OS.

  17. #17
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    He did say that the webed BB shell was something he thought was the reason for little BB flex. Wish I had the old issue of Bicycling from '94-'96 (?) to scan and show you guys.

  18. #18
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    Those webs do nothing...other than look cool. Also, people's perception about what flexes and what doesn't is highly suspect, no disrespect intended. The only way to judge frame stiffness is to instrument it. This link shows ELOS is medium flexy, although the testing method is flawed it's good enough so you can get the idea... http://www.sheldonbrown.com/rinard/r...frametest.html

  19. #19
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    What's fascinating about that graph is that it indicates that a larger frame size, like a 60 cm ctc like I ride, SL is almost as stiff as EL/OS. Toss in the beefier SP chainstays and downtube that a Basso Gap would have and its probably as stiff or stiffer as a Basso Astra with EL/OS. Obviously, an SL/SP frame would be heavier, but in a 60 I'm used to that little reality.

  20. #20
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    Yeah, my 63cm TSX Bianchi from the mid 90's was pretty flexy, especially in the chainstays. Maybe it was the size of the frame that was the issue. I don't know, but when I finally switched to a Cannondale CAAD 3 back in the day, the difference in stiffness was night and day.

  21. #21
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    My custom Roberts from England has lugless ELOS tubing. I weigh 225, and for 9 years, haven't detected any structural weakness. As others have said, the tubing is quite lively. The BB is pleasantly stiff, but the fork angle doesn't hammer me.

    Because of the lugless, the frame absorbs most road shock. It feels much like a Litespeed TI frame.

    Gary Curtis
    Santa Monica

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