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  1. #1
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    Next bike, steel frame?

    Hi guys, thinking about getting a new bike, really into the whole steel look. Looking to go with the Bianchi Imola. Any thoughts on that make and company as a whole? Wondering why it's so hard to come by steel frames at bike shops. Are they inferior in some way? How much heavier would an Imola be compared to a cannondale bad boy 9?

  2. #2
    Senior Member stayfed's Avatar
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    Theres an abundance of aluminum and carbon these days but there is nothing better than a good steel frame. I just built up a Affinity 212. I haven't weighed it yet but it's really light. I could definitely pick up the bike and throw it across the street with no problem. haha.

  3. #3
    Bus Stop Ratbag
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    All my rides are no steel, soo stinking comfy! My "fun" roadbike is an 84 or 85 Bridgstone that I rebuilt with a modern wheelset. Its a 61cm and is only a bit over 17 pounds. Unless I spent really big money I couldn't better that anyhow!

    My commuters are both steel, have a Cargo bike, and an 70's Peugot frame. The Peugot is nice in that it has nice relaxed geometry and clearance for big snow tires.

    I've had too many Aluminum frames breakdown or fail to use them as an everyday bike, plus there just so stinking uncomfortable in comparison to steel. Carbon is just too fragile to make a good commuter or townie.

    But in answer to your question, Carbon is cheap, and so is Aluminum in compairison to Steel, so bike company's make more money on them.

  4. #4
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    http://treadrightly.blogspot.com/

  5. #5
    Senior Member koolerb's Avatar
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    Plenty of steel bike out there if you like downtube shifters. With modern components, not so much.

  6. #6
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stayfed View Post
    there is nothing better than a good steel frame.
    Titanium. Stronger than steel,doesn't rust,don't need to paint it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Trower View Post
    I've had too many Aluminum frames breakdown or fail to use them as an everyday bike, plus there just so stinking uncomfortable in comparison to steel. Carbon is just too fragile to make a good commuter or townie.

    My all aluminum Otis survived bike polo with only scratches in the paint. I've seen two steel frames and two steel forks belonging to friends fail;all were street bikes that weren't used offroad or for polo.

    C'dale BBU('05 and '09)/Super Six/Hooligan8and 3,Kona Dew Deluxe,Novara Buzz/Safari,Surly Big Dummy,Marin Pt Reyes,Giant Defy 1,Schwinn DBX SuperSport/Qualifier,Dahon Speed Pro TT,Brompton S6L

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by koolerb View Post
    Plenty of steel bike out there if you like downtube shifters. With modern components, not so much.
    That is not true at all. It took me less than 1 min to pull up a modern steel frame bike with brifters and 105. The Bianchi he is talking about has modern components and no downtube shifting.

  8. #8
    Senior Member RGNY's Avatar
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    prefer steel. my primary ride is the All City Nature Boy.

    (but i confess that my back up is a Ridley Crossbow, alu/carbon. the only non-steel in the stable)

  9. #9
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    I just picked up a Fuji touring frame from nashbar for a bit over 100.00 paired with a soma tange fork. Had it out thismm
    Morning for the first time. Was a great ride.

  10. #10
    Senior Member koolerb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by weshigh View Post
    That is not true at all. It took me less than 1 min to pull up a modern steel frame bike with brifters and 105. The Bianchi he is talking about has modern components and no downtube shifting.
    I would have to disagree. I'll bet if I counted all the new, steel, geared, drop bar road bikes at my six local bike shops there would be less than 10; maybe less than 5.

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    checking out all city bikes, pretty cool stuff

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    Senior Member PDX Reborn's Avatar
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    I highly suggest, you spray a few coats of JP Weigle framesaver inside the frame, before assembly. Some, use flaxseed oil to resist rust on a their steel frames, but I've had great success with JP over the years on all my steel bicycle and motorcycle frames.

    "Steel is real!"

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by koolerb View Post
    I would have to disagree. I'll bet if I counted all the new, steel, geared, drop bar road bikes at my six local bike shops there would be less than 10; maybe less than 5.
    If we go by what a few local shops carry, then everyone will have a very different answer. The two shops I visit have very few carbon bikes and much more steel and aluminum. There are at least 15 models different model of steel road/cross bikes that that description, that are pretty common and easy to find. Yes, not all shops carry them, but there are quite a few great options available.

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    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    Aluminium is actually cheaper to mass produce frames with, carbon fiber has more technology appeal and steel .... is a sleeper.

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    Senior Member RGNY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wobbooze View Post
    checking out all city bikes, pretty cool stuff
    and they are frame-saver'ed at the factory.

  16. #16
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    i like the space horse

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by wobbooze View Post
    i like the space horse
    Yes, Space Horse is what I have my eye on for my next bike. I've taken a couple test rides, its only a matter of time.

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    Senior Member RGNY's Avatar
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    if i could justify it, i'd probably go with the Mr. Pink.

  19. #19
    Senior Member rebel1916's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trower View Post
    Carbon is just too fragile to make a good commuter or townie.
    Suuuuuuuuuure it is...
    http://www.pinkbike.com/news/santa-c...-test-lab.html

    To the OP, go on and getcha some. Make sure it's celeste.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Ozonation's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by koolerb View Post
    Plenty of steel bike out there if you like downtube shifters. With modern components, not so much.
    Define modern. I have a Rivendell - all steel. Great bike. Bar end shifters. Made with the latest technology and metal, so I guess that's "modern". However, if you mean indexed, thumb shifters, etc., or things look complex, that's another story all together. But if you go by that definition, "modern" does not always mean better. A good steel bike is a dependable classic, modern components or not.

    And no, I'm not a technophobe: I also have an aluminum fat bike with the latest components.
    Rivendell Sam Hillborne and Hunqapillar; Brompton M6R Sage Green; Salsa Mukluk 3 FAT Bike; Nerdy Academic; Nikonian; Wing Chun; and a Patridge in a Pear Tree.

  21. #21
    Senior Member puckett129's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rebel1916 View Post
    Suuuuuuuuuure it is...
    http://www.pinkbike.com/news/santa-c...-test-lab.html

    To the OP, go on and getcha some. Make sure it's celeste.
    Please don't let "facts" or "logic" get in the way of a good argument.

  22. #22
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    I was given an estimate of $1,250.00 for a 2012 Bianchi Imola.

    Fair price?

  23. #23
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    Brand new btw

  24. #24
    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
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    Carbon and aluminum have taken over bike shops because consumers have become obsessed over the weight of bikes, believing that it is a magic formula for making them faster. You can buy modern steel bikes that are as light as aluminum but they might be more prone to dent due to thin tubing. Supposedly any material can be used to design a comfortable or stiff frame, but I'm skeptical. Although design is very important, I owned one aluminum bike that was the most uncomfortable one I have ever ridden, transmitting every bump in the road into vibrations. I've vowed to never buy another aluminum bike, although I am sure that there are AL bikes designed to be comfortable. I've never owned a carbon bike but have ridden several and they felt kind of dead or wooden to me.

    Steel bikes can be designed to be very comfortable, very stiff or in-between. The most comfortable bikes I have owned have been steel, although my one titanium bike is very close to steel in ride characteristics. A couple of my steel bikes have been more stiff than others due to tubing and geometry differences, but they have all been more comfortable than my one aluminum bike (which had a carbon fork). Regardless, I just like the way steel bikes feel. I started out riding steel bikes 40+ years ago and that's what feels right to me. If I had an unlimited budget for a custom frame, however, I would probably buy a ti frame due to its rust resistance and slight advantage in weight.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Ozonation's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tarwheel View Post
    Carbon and aluminum have taken over bike shops because consumers have become obsessed over the weight of bikes, believing that it is a magic formula for making them faster. You can buy modern steel bikes that are as light as aluminum but they might be more prone to dent due to thin tubing.
    Spot on - good point. Although not everybody likes what he says, I think Grant Petersen of Rivendell had an excellent point: if you're that concerned about weight, you're better off lightening the engine (you), rather than the bike. Most of us could stand to lose a few pounds; but a few pounds off a frame can have significant structural implications.

    The exceptions are of course those who race or whose cycling needs place lightweight as a premium. But for the majority of us, a good quality, dependable bike would be more than sufficient. Besides, I suspect most of us - including me! - more than make up the difference in weight between frame types by the clothes we wear, the junk we pack along, etc.!

    The obsession over bike weight reminds me of photography: everybody wanted more and more megapixels, the industry was happy to sell them on it (more money!), and of course, almost nobody prints photos much anymore, and certainly not at the size justified by the megapixels. Most people only need a 6 MP camera, and yet the average consumer camera is now double or triple that. For what? Bragging rights mostly. Most people would be better off spending the extra money not on high-end and often dubious features they'll never use, but instead on some basic photography lessons... so that you don't do what I saw on a recent trip to Paris where another tourist was trying to shoot Notre Dame at night while on a moving boat 2 km away using his pop up flash. I wanted to walk over and slam the flash down.... (bad me...)
    Rivendell Sam Hillborne and Hunqapillar; Brompton M6R Sage Green; Salsa Mukluk 3 FAT Bike; Nerdy Academic; Nikonian; Wing Chun; and a Patridge in a Pear Tree.

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