Stainless tube versus mild

Oct 19, 2012
Wakefield, UK
I've been wondering of the benefits or not of changing to stainless tube for my next chassis. Apart from the rust resistance I'm labouring under the impression that stainless has less flex than mild for the same weight / size but also less ability to bend before permanent deformation. I am wondering though if that extra flex of mild is actually a good thing in making a ride less harsh on an unsuspended trike. Is any difference too small to be noticed?

Mostly the tubing is simply cut on a chop saw and welded so the extra ache of working stainless will only kill the odd drill bit but it means no stripping back down for paint or the cost of the paint either. Saving the paint will more than pay for the stainless over mild.

The next chassis won't have bike head tubes as kingpins so no issue there in having to use carbon steel but it's unlikely I'll find a stainless bottom bracket so that will have to come from a donor and be painted.

Equally whilst I've regularly welded bits of stainless with mild wire I've never used stainless wire in the MIG.
Last edited:
Jan 16, 2011
Vilvoorde / Flanders / Belgium
Unless you have a cheap supply of stainless, it's not worth the hassle. (imo)

Strength wise, normal stainless is "better" than cheap mild steel, but the difference for our purposes is neglible.

Unless you opt for the specific alloys like "Chromoly". But then you're also looking at the specific welding rods and technologies.