I'm just wondering why there are seven kinds of tube sets by Columbus (or Reynolds). There's XCr, Spirit, Life, Zona, Max, SL, and Cromor. I recently had a frame made using the Cromor tubeset; mainly because it was the cheapest set they have. Now I'm wondering what really is the difference between the other sets and why they cost more.

I read the product catalogue, it's mostly about the material used and mechanical characteristics, which I'm not really familiar with. Could someone explain the differences, as well as pros and cons, in layman's terms?

  • 4
    Different tube sets have different geometries based on what kind of material properties the steel has as well as their intended use. You can see some for Columbus here. The metal itself has different compositions and processing to reach the desired metal characteristics (if you have specs, you can look up the corresponding parts on wiki or something for what they do in metallurgy).
    – Batman
    Nov 3, 2016 at 2:54
  • 2
    Realistically the answer is "no", because you're getting into the interaction between metallurgical fine print and detailed design of a complex object (see 'factors that affect stability' question, closed as too broad)
    – Móż
    Nov 3, 2016 at 22:53
  • Can someone edit the question to remove the reference to Reynold's tubing. The OP isn't really asking about Reynolds and the best answer doesn't respond to Reynolds. It seems a red herring or SEO-fu.
    – RoboKaren
    Dec 15, 2016 at 8:06

1 Answer 1


The Bicycle Info Project has a nice page at http://www.equusbicycle.com/bike/columbus/columbuschart.htm that describes the different Columbus tubesets in layman terms. The following is a sampling of what is on the site. The information gets even more specific relating characteristics to particular tubes (e.g. top tube, seat tube, chainstays, etc..)

Bicycle Info Project

  • Is it just me, or does this not really answer the question?
    – andy256
    Dec 15, 2016 at 5:14
  • @andy256 I think it answers the question relative to tubing differences it may not be enough information to translate into which tubeset you should choose. If and when we have the opportunity select tubesets for our custom bike this table paired with framebuilder recommendations will give you a better understanding. For instance when considering SL vs SLX you can expect the same bike design with SLX to be stiffer and more responsive to input.
    – dafew
    Dec 15, 2016 at 14:06
  • That confirms what I thought.
    – andy256
    Dec 15, 2016 at 21:56
  • This is also very much out of date. Tube sets "spirit" and "life" have been produced from the early 2000s and are missing from the list.
    – ojs
    Dec 17, 2016 at 14:30

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