Jim Merz wrote: "Tubing stickers are just branding, pure and simple...."
I agree, one should trust a builder's choices. But, this got me thinking...
Personally, I feel no need to advertise any tube makers wares on my bikes, nor do I feel a need to even subtly proclaim to the cognoscenti just how much money I may have spent on a newly purchased older steel bike or frameset.
However... if a frame tube is ever damaged and in need of replacement, is it truly an easy matter for a frame builder approaching such a repair to determine a correct (or most suitable) replacement tube? I would think that especially with the increasingly diverse tubing types available these days, it may be a useful aid for future repairs to clearly identify the original tubing type used on a bike.
More often, in my case, a more critical concern might be where on Earth one could still find, say, Super Vitus 981 metric-sized tubing these days, if at all... But, speaking of more common Imperial sized tube sets, I would think that there are distinctly different brazing requirements for 531, [-definitely for 753], and for many other tubes available within the On Topic timeframe. It seems this info would be extremely useful for a man behind the torch to be aware of.
If the tubing type is not disclosed, how does a builder begin to make a repair without adversely effecting those characteristics enjoyed by the original build of a frameset?
Would a difference in weight be the ONLY thing noticed if a simple straight
gauge chro-moly tube were to replace a DB 531 frame tube or stay?
I seem to recall Brian Baylis relating how very differently a bike had handled when he had a favorite frameset carefully "duplicated" by another highly respected builder (Ron Cooper, perhaps?). Was the difference in the tubing?
Please do excuse my ignorance on such matters. Frame building still seems quite magical to my simple mind.
Any thoughts from actual frame builders who may have struggled with troublesome repairs due to tubing differences?
BOB HANSON, ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO, USA