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Old 09-12-17, 11:21 AM   #1
box opener
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How good is Surly steel frame? What are its competitors in markets?

is there any professional and well received test of stiffness of steel frame available in market please? who are the present day competitors of surly steel touring bike frame? please exclude the custom bike or handmade steel frame by individual craftsman builders, I only want to buy from production line manufacturers.


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Old 09-12-17, 11:37 AM   #2
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I suggest the OP use a search engine and the search term "steel touring bikes". You will find lots of manufacturers and bikes. No, touring bikes are such a small part of the market that you will not find a 3rd party study on touring bike stiffness, Also, do you mean stiff enough for the load or do you mean stiff in the way racers use the term. My opinion is you want a frame that is comfortable for all day riding, but not flexy, which will depend on what type of load you are carting around.
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Old 09-12-17, 11:41 AM   #3
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If you want a stiff frame get a Cannondale (no, it's not steel) but stiffness alone is not the measure of a good frame. You seem to be continually in pursuit of things that really don't much matter - a stronger fork, higher gear, stiffer frame.
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Old 09-12-17, 11:55 AM   #4
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You are going to have to say what it is that you desire in a ride. Stiffness can be a good thing and a bad thing.

But as with almost everything... you have to compromise on many different factors to arrive at the perfect bike for you.
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Old 09-12-17, 12:23 PM   #5
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I don't think you'll ever find something like the Nebraska tractor tests for bikes.
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Old 09-12-17, 12:34 PM   #6
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Pretty broad request. What exactly are you looking for? I own 3 Surlys. All work well, are durable and can be configured many ways. Stiff? Depends on load, trail, tires, psi and such. Salsa, Waterford, Gunnar, Kona, Raliegh and others make steel frames.
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Old 09-12-17, 01:01 PM   #7
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steel frames tend have a bit of flex to them... that is a good thing, and does not compromise strength.

surly bikes have a reputation for being bomb proof.... the Long Haul Trucker model is highly sought after by touring types, and commands a high price even used.
the bare frame sets sell for $4-600 used!

All City is another steel bike maker to check into.

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Old 09-12-17, 01:36 PM   #8
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From prior posts, OP puts out massive power and spins out 52t and smaller chainrings. I don't think any off the shelf frame is going to work.
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Old 09-12-17, 03:46 PM   #9
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From prior posts, OP puts out massive power and spins out 52t and smaller chainrings. I don't think any off the shelf frame is going to work.
To be fair I don't think he mentioned 52 and judging by the pics the bike he spins out on is old mtb with 26 wheels. So likely smaller gearing compared to 52x11 on 700C wheels. But I do believe OP is likely headed in the wrong direction with muscle training and super-duper stiff frame and fork
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Old 09-12-17, 04:00 PM   #10
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............... But I do believe OP is likely headed in the wrong direction with muscle training and super-duper stiff frame and fork
That is my thinking too. And I'm not going to look at the OP's prior threads to try and glean their level of cycling.

BUT.... until the OP injects some more details to give the thread direction we'll just have to imagine our own circumstances for the issue.

It does seem to me that muscle trained at a slow cadence will pretty much stay slow twitch. Strong muscles can be fast twitch, but your body won't make them until you start letting it realize you need them by spinning fast.

Maybe it is that the OP is pushing 100 to 120 rpm in the 53 ring. It sure would help if we knew so we wouldn't be making statements that may not be material to the post and only serve as argument fodder for others that are assuming a different set of circumstance.
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Old 09-12-17, 07:10 PM   #11
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A large list of touring bikes: https://www.cyclingabout.com/a-compl...s-with-prices/ Majority of touring bikes are steel.
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Old 09-12-17, 09:12 PM   #12
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MaxWay Ltd. Taiwan, they are the manufacturer of many brands, that you know. but don't realize they get a separate company to make them.

So you may have different Importer's brand names , but they all came from the same OEM manufacturing company ,
following the details their customer company specified.

(by this realize, there is no separate Salsa, Surly or Soma factory, + Richey is also a client)






....

Last edited by fietsbob; 09-13-17 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 09-12-17, 09:41 PM   #13
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Soma Fabrications makes some nice steel frame bikes that won't break the bank. My brother has a Soma San Marcos and it is well made.

John
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Old 09-12-17, 10:34 PM   #14
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The OP has to get past the notion that some is good, more is better and most is best, when thinking about the various desirable properties of bikes or frames.

It's rarely true about anything, and very rarely true about anything bike related.

An overly flexy frame may be problematic (note the "overly") but an overly stiff one is miserable. Also, optimal stiffness will be different for different people.

A bike that I find to be perfect can ride like an empty truck for someone lighter me.

I wish the OP good luck in his/her bike search, but as I said, it will take an appreciation of nuance rather than a flurry of simple questions.
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Old 09-12-17, 10:55 PM   #15
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An overly flexy frame may be problematic (note the "overly") but an overly stiff one is miserable. Also, optimal stiffness will be different for different people.

A bike that I find to be perfect can ride like an empty truck for someone lighter me.
I understand what you are meaning, but how do people cope on aluminium frames?


I'm surprised we hear stories about how "dead" or unlively an unloaded LHT is, but these comments don't seem to get made for aluminium framed bikes
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Old 09-12-17, 11:06 PM   #16
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I keep repeating here on BF that it's not about the material per se, but how it's used. Any of the 4 common frame materials can be used to make a stiff frame, or a wet noodle, or anything in between.

I own road bikes with frames of brazed steel, bonded aluminum and welded titanium, and all have similar nicely balanced ride characteristics. My track bike is brazed steel, and rock stiff, owing mostly to oversize fork blades and chain and seat stays.

You can even take various frames of identical material, all from the same builder, and find a large spectrum of handling properties reflecting the builder's preference for each.

You can also have various mixes of stiffness in different places, ie. stiff BB against crank flex, vertical stiffness, rear triangle side stiffness, and these can be controlled independently (within ranges). So good bikes showcase the builder's skill with good blending of ride properties. And, as I said, a bike that rides beautifully for one person may be either too stiff or flexy for another.
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Last edited by FBinNY; 09-12-17 at 11:15 PM.
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Old 09-13-17, 09:25 AM   #17
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The Vintage Bike Quarterly subscribers echo the author's use of the term Plane ing..
meaning there is a little flexibility for comfort but any deflection of pedal force induced flex is returned at the end of the power stroke
as the frame material springs back.

this, as said above, is in relation to rider weight and load carried..






.....
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Old 09-13-17, 10:01 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by box opener View Post
is there any professional and well received test of stiffness of steel frame available in market please? who are the present day competitors of surly steel touring bike frame? please exclude the custom bike or handmade steel frame by individual craftsman builders, I only want to buy from production line manufacturers.


Thanks
If it's stiffness, strength and lightness you want look no further than a vintage Cannondale ST sport touring frame.

If you specifically want a steel touring frame Surly bikes seldom live up to their reputations. One of the most commonly sold "built" bike sold by the original owners after obsessing about every aspect of the build is the Surly Long Haul Trucker.

Email sellers on Craigslist and communicate the bike isn't your size but you are curious why they are selling it. What didn't they like?

Surly bikes just seldom meet the owners expectations. Production quality. Heavy. Slowfooted. Flexy when climbing, especially under touring loads. They don't track particularly well on loaded descents (again frame flex).
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Old 09-13-17, 10:27 AM   #19
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That is my thinking too. And I'm not going to look at the OP's prior threads to try and glean their level of cycling.

BUT.... until the OP injects some more details to give the thread direction we'll just have to imagine our own circumstances for the issue.

It does seem to me that muscle trained at a slow cadence will pretty much stay slow twitch. Strong muscles can be fast twitch, but your body won't make them until you start letting it realize you need them by spinning fast.

Maybe it is that the OP is pushing 100 to 120 rpm in the 53 ring. It sure would help if we knew so we wouldn't be making statements that may not be material to the post and only serve as argument fodder for others that are assuming a different set of circumstance.
Each person and muscle group has a fairly set ratio of fast twitch and slow twitch muscle fibers. You can increase the strength of one or another with training but I've not seen the proportions change in literature I've read.

Adults don't grow new fibers. They can increase the size of what they have (hypertrophy). To a small extent, one type can be trained to work as the other but it's not a complete transition. We all know people who are powerful and never got much endurance and we know plenty of enduro freaks who can't sprint, no matter how many years they train. Thankfully, most of us are in the middle, giving us options based on our preference.

This pretty much has nothing to do with the op. He needs to test ride some bikes.

Fwiw, I used to bump into a guy who was former Olympic track racer. He never complained about his carbon calfee. He never managed to spin out his gears either. This was an extraordinary strong rider. Just saying.
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Old 09-13-17, 11:21 AM   #20
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Look for a late 1980's vintage Japanese bike made by Fuji, Shogun, Centurion, Univega, etc. etc., They can usually be had for around $100. Cost about another $150 to get the frame powder coated. Brand new threaded parts fit right on. Save a ton of money. Have a better quality bike than what's available now. No worries. Be good. Have fun.
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Old 09-13-17, 11:28 AM   #21
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Velo Orange and Soma also make inexpensive steel frames.
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Old 09-13-17, 11:35 AM   #22
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Again to be accurate, they sell some... they make them available, for sale,.. neither have their own frame builders in house. ..
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Old 09-13-17, 11:41 AM   #23
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Adults don't grow new fibers. They can increase the size of what they have (hypertrophy). To a small extent, one type can be trained to work as the other but it's not a complete transition. We all know people who are powerful and never got much endurance and we know plenty of enduro freaks who can't sprint, no matter how many years they train. Thankfully, most of us are in the middle, giving us options based on our preference.
Well there is a lot of stuff on the growing of new muscle too. So look at terms like hyperplasia and myofibrils. Part of the issue is when people write about and discuss the subject is that they don't define if they are talking about a muscle considered as a group of muscle fibers that make up your bicep for example, or strand of muscle fibers within that bicep, or a single fiber, or even the cells comprising that fibers.

So I don't know at what level we are arguing that point.

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This pretty much has nothing to do with the op. He needs to test ride some bikes.
Yeah, I was hoping it would go no further either on this branch. I shouldn't have added my comment towards that.

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Fwiw, I used to bump into a guy who was former Olympic track racer. He never complained about his carbon calfee. He never managed to spin out his gears either. This was an extraordinary strong rider. Just saying.
And? Just like the OP's lack of sufficient guidance to their query. I've no idea how to relate to that to any thing else here. Did the racer push a big ratio? Is the OP wanting to ride track races? All I can make of it is that he had his gearing selected properly because he didn't spin out. To spin out would mean he has little hope of winning unless others spun out first.

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Originally Posted by rosefarts View Post
This pretty much has nothing to do with the op.
Yeah, I need to let you say that again..... because my comment on the fast/slow twitch thing was pretty much intended like your "fwiw"

P.S. don't take this as mean and angry argument. I just like to argue. Preferably with a beer in hand. All my friends argue with me. If they didn't, I wouldn't have them as friends.

Last edited by Iride01; 09-13-17 at 11:45 AM.
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