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GiddyUp
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337 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Posted this over at another forum, hopefully I'll get better advice here as I like this forum better?

Looking at a few of FSA stems.

One is the OS-99 made out of Forged and CNC-machined AL7050/T6 with Ti hardware.
The other is a less expensive OS-150 stem and is made of 3-D forged and CNC-machined AL-6061-T6.
Yet another is the SL-K priced in between the two and made of 3D forged and CNC machined 2014 aluminum

Can anyone who speaks metallurgy tell me what in the world is the difference here?
 

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Two skinny J's
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21,324 Posts
The 7050,6061, and 2014 are the grades of aluminum. CNC (proces) machine(programable) used to cut say engine blocks and wheels to specific designs vs forging...that is better than cast products.
GENERAL ALUMINUM INFORMATION from Aircraft Spruce

Am I going in the right direction for what you are asking ?
 

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GiddyUp
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337 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
hmm, interesting. So the 7050 would have a stronger strength to weight ratio, thus the OS-99 comes in so much lighter than the other two stems.

The 6061 is the least expensive AL alloy, and it makes sense that the least expensive stem of the three I mentioned is made with this.

The 2014 I'm not quite sure what it's properties are.

So what I'm trying to get at is why is each stem made of different materials if the stem is supposed to do the same thing? Is it just strength? Appearance qualities? What am I paying for by getting the more expensive stem (less weight obviously). Not a weight weenie so no biggie, what tangible qualities are noticeable or not noticeable that I would want to consider one of the other less expensive stems?

Thanks
 

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Yesterday tired old man, Today retired old man
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4,311 Posts
I took metallurgy back a fue years ago 1962 I think. As long as it is not cast I would use it myself.
My .02
 

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Total noob (& forum admin)
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12,350 Posts
So what I'm trying to get at is why is each stem made of different materials if the stem is supposed to do the same thing? Is it just strength? Appearance qualities? What am I paying for by getting the more expensive stem (less weight obviously). Not a weight weenie so no biggie, what tangible qualities are noticeable or not noticeable that I would want to consider one of the other less expensive stems?

Thanks
They're all forged, then finished via CNC. Not being the expert on stems (but I know about tubing) my guess would be that the difference will be in weight. A higher grade alloy will probably be stronger than a lower grade, for the same weight. Therefore, they can use a bit less material to achieve the same result. In cycling, the lighter part is nearly always going to be more expensive.

It's also possible that there is no difference, just the price of raw materials, R&D, and their manufacturing process, plus associated marketing and distribution costs.
 
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