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Bikexchange.com logo, link to Home Bits 'n Bolts from the Spring '02 Ask the Mechanic Bikexchange.com logo, link to Home 

By Andy "The Mechanic" Wallen

We borrow two noteworthy Q&A's from our resident handyman/advisor's most recent Ask the Mechanic column.

Ifs, Ands and Butts (Double and Triple-Butted Terms Explained)

Andy,

I have a Miyata bicycle with a frame described as "triple-butted." I have seen this term used to describe frames before but have not seen a description of what triple-butted means. What does this mean?

Mike

Mike,

Butting is a mechanical process that adds thickness to the ends of frame tubes.  You start out with a very thin walled tube, and manipulate the wall thickness where more strength is needed, which is presumed to be near the welds. Double-butted tubing is thicker at each in than in the middle, having two-wall thickness.  Triple-butted tubing would have three-wall thickness, and quad-butted would have four.  Some of the exotic tubing from Columbus and Dedaccia have differential butting, using an extremely thin tube, and manipulating various computer designated areas into various wall thicknesses. You can do this sort of treatment to aluminum and ti as well.

Andy

Familiar Bike Company Story: Tale of 2 Makes--1 Made At Company, 1 In Asia

Andy,

Realizing your time is valuable, thanks in advance. I would value a quick opinion. Question: What is your opinion of Bianchi bike in general, and Eloce model in particular? 

Thanks,
Mike Wolfman

Mike,

Like with most bike companies, there are two distinct types of Bianchi: the ones that they make, and the ones that they'd like you to think they make. The Italian-made Bianchi's are as fine as any bike made, and are ridden by many professionals, such as Marco Pantani. The other ones are made wherever cheap labor can be had, and are like everybody else's Asian-made bike, which is not necessarily bad, just not "Old World" craftsmanship--in a word, inexpensive, and yet cheap.  I'm not familiar with the line, so I don't know where your bike fits in, but if it is less than $1000, it's probably a Chinese or Taiwanese-built Italian bike, just as a Schwinn at the same price point is a Chinese-built American bike.

Andy

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