How many of you only ride old steel? Am I an anachronism?
How many of you only ride old steel? Am I an anachronism?
Steel is real. I still ride my 1979 Centurion, and my MTB is steel. If you like riding it, ride it and - Enjoy the ride.
I ride steel every morning when I commute on my Orange Crush.
Plenty of old steel riders here. I ride new steel myself.
All my bikes (7) except one (aluminum) are steel. I never ride the aluminum bike, as I prefer the feel of steel.
Well, I knew I had anachronistic tendencies when I took my '73 Competition in to a local shop for a tuneup and owner said "You're not going to ride that are you"? "Sure that's what it was made for, what would you do with it"?......He said I'd hang it on my wall. This is a shop that has a $10,000 Orbea sitting on the floor.
Fortunately both the owner and service manager appreciate old steel and my old Raleigh was the Belle of the Ball.
Glad to know I'm not the only old fart who loves riding these old bikes.
I have been winding down my racing career this year, so I have put 0 km on my carbon fiber Trek, I haven't ridden my aluminum Dolan track bike since Spring, and I've been doing all my riding on a steel Benotto Modelo 2700 track bike (set up as a fixie with brakes) that I purchased in 1989 at the Benotto factory in Mexico City, near the Xola metro station when I was racing down there. I've also been riding the steel Kuwahara tandem until we had the crash which has rendered my stoker hors du combat for the next little while...
What's paradoxical is that in order to be satisfied with riding a steel-frame bike, you have to own a carbon fiber bike as well (which doesn't need to be ridden). If you have the steel bike but not the carbon fiber bike, you will be unhappy riding the steel frame because you will be constantly lusting after a bike made of carbon fiber. I think the Buddhists have understood this for centuries. I think the satisfaction of riding the steel-framed fixie is partly due to having the knowledge that I can ride a full carbon race bike with 10-speed cassette if I wanted to. Maybe once you have all the material stuff you've ever wanted, you can finally forego them all to attain Nirvana?
The one concession I do make to carbon on my steel fixie is the forks, which are Reynolds Ouzo Pro with carbon steerer (1"). They used to be on the tandem until I got actual tandem-rated Wound-Up forks for it (carbon with steel 1" steerer). The Reyonolds forks are not tandem-rated, and they did flex a bit on hard stops, but they are stong enough for a 320-lb team. On the fixie, they completely outperform the steel forks that came with the frame in terms of comfort, accuracy (absolutely no problem riding no-hands at low speeds) and "responsiveness."
Steel frames are great because they last forever - you can keep repairing them. Large diameter aluminum is way too stiff for bikes (they're great on the track, but note that all top-end alu road bikes have carbon forks and stays. Do you suppose there's a reason? Plus Alu has this nasty habit of becoming extremely brittle when it gets bent. Ti is highly overrated and overpriced. I have broken every Ti frame I have ever owned. And carbon is probably the ideal frame material, but it's hard to tell when it's going to break, and it often doesn't fail gracefully. However, it will withstand way more flex cycles than steel.
Last edited by lhbernhardt; 09-26-08 at 01:17 AM. Reason: clarification added
In my own case, I rode a steel bike in blissful ignorance for many years. Then I started going to message boards and club rides. And the bike lust began. In this century, I have acquired an aluminum bike, a titanium bike, a folding bike, a classic three-speed Raleigh from the 60s, an Italian-built Bianchi frame, and, most recently, a fixed gear bike.
Now, after various adventures and misadventures, I'm starting to simplify my bike life. I've given away the Raleigh. I put the fixie up for sale on Craigslist. When I get around to it, I'll sell the Bianchi (too small) and might even dispense with the folder.
Quite simply, N+1 has lost its appeal for me. I've been around the block a few times, made a few stops. Now I just want to pedal home on one of my old steel bikes.
I'd also be happy to ride home on the titanium bike. Or the aluminum bike. And maybe on the way, I'll make a detour to the LBS. I hear they've got some new carbon fiber frames in stock. I mean, it doesn't hurt to look, right?
Last edited by Jet Travis; 09-26-08 at 03:38 AM.
"Light it up, Popo." --Levi Leipheimer
I'm an anachronism. I love my aluminium bikes!
My dentist is happy. He loves my aluminium bikes.
My beater (early 90s TREK 930) is probably my most-used mount. We might should view such things not as out of their time but like us, good things that last.
AUDENTIS FORTUNA IUUAT
- Virgil, Aeneid (Book 10, Line 284)
I love my steel and almost all my rides are steel, but I also enjoy the crisp
handling of my aluminum bikes. Of course of the lowly 2000 miles I've rode
this year, only 75 were on aluminum.
My lugged steel bikes:
'92 Bridgestone RB-1
'92 Trek 970
'80 Fuji S12-S
My only beer can bike is my '08 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp. Not steel, but real fun.
The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.
Great post Ihbernhart!
I bought a plastic bike for my 50th birthday and having used it for a year. I am finally getting to like it.
Compared to a steel frame, CF feels "dead" or unresponsive. However, a properly designed CF bike will out perform any classic steel bike by any objective measure.
Since most of us are not paid to race bikes but rather we ride for pleasure; a steel framed bike may be the better choice. The road feedback from a cro/moly frame tells me exactly how much traction I have (esp in a fast turn). A steel frame on 32 or 36 spoke tubular wheels with Veloflex Criterium or Vittoria Corsa Seta tires is the ultimate in responsiveness and tactile feedback. ( I run both clinchers and tubular wheelsets on all 3 of my steel bikes, with equivalent tires, so I know what I am talking about.)
I LOVE my steel bikes!
1973 Nishiki Professional, steel, green/black, Campy NR FG conversion, Brooks Pro
1991 Serotta Colorado II, steel, pearl white, full DA 8 spd STI, SI Flite
2002 Waterford 1700 Track, steel, jet black, DA, Ultegra and Phil, SI Flite
2006 Trek Madone 5.2, carbon fiber, blue, Ultegra and Bontrager, Fizik Arione
Last edited by BSLeVan; 10-16-08 at 03:47 PM.
Oh I used to be disgusted and now I try to be amused. But since their wings have got rusted, you know, the angels wanna wear my red shoes. But when they told me 'bout their side of the bargain, that's when I knew that I could not refuse. And I won't get any older, now the angels wanna wear my red shoes.
I have many bikes, mostly steel, and a few aluminum.
The steel ones get most of my miles.
Some of my steel is nice steel, some of it is heavy... but it is all fun to ride.
For me- Steel is heavy and a bit flexible. But then I enjoy riding aluminium.
Saying that- I have a Kona Explosif that does give a comfortable ride. But the Bianchi aluminium does ride better.
How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.
I have steel, aluminum, and carbon. I've tried Ti and didn't like it; otherwise I might have one of those too.
I don't think I've ever been on a bike that isn't steel.
My Book: Drive, Ride, Repeat: The Mostly-True Account of a Cross-Country Car and Bicycle Adventure
I think you should ask this question over in C&V. There's an entire forum of "anachronisms", quite popular too.
As for me, for road bikes, my new ride is carbon, my old ride is aluminum, but my back-up remains a steel Bianchi that I've upgraded to 7 speed brifters. I'm building up a 54cm, 89 Centurion, Dave Scott, Ironman with Tange 1 tubing as a 16 speed. The frame will be original paint, fork, headset and Shimano 600 crank. Everything else will be upgrades to include Shimano 600 brifters. I'm also upgrading a 86 Fuji Team from a downtube, friction shifting 12 speed to a 14 speed brifter bike. It will be interesting to see which bike becomes my main ride.
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I ride an old steel Clark Kent custom & have no plans to replace it so long as it is rideable.
My stable is all steel ( most of the frames I made). However I find nothing wrong with Aluminum ,Ti or Carbon.