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Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

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Old 10-01-13, 03:16 AM   #1
ambro
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Steel CX bike - too heavy for racing?

Hi -

I am considering getting an All-City Macho Man or Surly Crosscheck frame, and swapping over my components. The reason is that my current AL CX frame is 6 years old, and ridden hard- so I'm concerned about frame failure, as well as I miss the feel of a Steel bike.

My question is - any racers out there on Steel? My current bike is just over 20lbs with a carbon fork (that I would switch over). I estimate that the Steel bike in my size, with my current components, would probably run 23.5lbs or so. Not a big deal - but I've read reviews on both the Macho Man and Crosscheck, where people say they feel those extra pounds after a few laps.

Any thoughts? If you have a steel CX bike - how does it do on road/group rides too (I use my CX bike for everything).

Thanks all.
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Old 10-01-13, 09:28 AM   #2
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if you are willing to pay more than Taiwan factory import prices, you can get a lighter steel frame.

But the mass produced stuff tries to please more types of users, costs less by lower labor-overhead,

and leave a safety margin, by using a bit heavier material .


But be assured they raced steel frame cyclocross bikes in the past ..

and rode regular pedals you had to flip over to put your feet in the toe clips each time.

Last edited by fietsbob; 10-05-13 at 10:08 AM.
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Old 10-01-13, 11:18 AM   #3
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Yeah, you'll probably feel those extra pounds, but the extra weight will make you stronger over time. Plus, CX racing is all about suffering so the extra weight is really a bonus.
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Old 10-01-13, 11:31 AM   #4
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I am building up a steel framed cross bike. I have a 23.5lb (heavy wheels), aluminum framed cross bike now and it has a frame warranty

I put it through it's paces last weekend and it was great. I plan to campaign both bikes and choose which to ride depending on the course and conditions. I know the extra weight might put off some folks but I would rather finish tired on an overbuilt bike than to worry about denting or breaking my frame from a silly fall. I am not going to be needing the lightest bike anyway as my technique sucks so bad.
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Old 10-01-13, 02:24 PM   #5
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I ran my 23lb steel singlespeed at my last race and on my (long) list of "excuses for being slow", the frame weight is no where near the top.
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Old 10-01-13, 06:48 PM   #6
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Yep, I race SS on a steel frame and love it! Lose a few pounds off the gut to make up for the slight extra weight.
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Old 10-01-13, 07:25 PM   #7
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Why not race the current frame until it actually does break?

Anyway, I race two steel bikes and would not hesitate to go steel again, though I am thinking about a "cheap" built to spec ti SS rig next.
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Old 10-02-13, 09:07 PM   #8
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I don't "race", or haven't yet, and just finished building up this steel frame Kona to be a CX bike. It weighs 22.9 lbs as you see it which is 5 lbs heavier than my road bike. The extra weight is spread pretty evenly through the various components, ie wheels/tires, fork and disc brakes, and I suppose a few grams in the frame.

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Old 10-03-13, 09:06 PM   #9
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My race bike is a Curtlo. OX Platinum tubes with a steel fork.

Campy Centaur 10 speed kit with an FSA crank.

Campy hubs with GL 330 rims and 30mm Tubulars.

the bike is 19.5 LBS ready to go.
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Old 10-03-13, 09:38 PM   #10
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On One Pompino SSCX. Weighs 18lbs. But then I don't have any heavy derailleurs to slow me down.
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Old 10-04-13, 08:46 AM   #11
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As the others have said, steel can be pretty light. My Lemond Poprad ( 55cm OX Plat) with race tubies comes in at 19lbs. Just fro a point of reference, I had a Cannondale CX-9 before and it weighed in at a bit under 18 lbs. My Poprad fits me better (the CX-9 was always a little too small) and I'm faster on the Poprad. Weight isn't everything, fit is more important than you think it is.
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Old 10-05-13, 09:12 AM   #12
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On One Pompino SSCX. Weighs 18lbs. But then I don't have any heavy derailleurs to slow me down.
Specs on the Pompino?

Its 2lbs lighter than mine! FWIW Mine is a medium, Thomson post/Zoncolon saddle. Front 32h GP4/record Challenge Fango. Rear GP4/Nashbar hub Challenge grifo/18t freewheel. Tektro 720 front/IRD Cafam rear Tektro levers. Ritchey stem/Salsa cowbell 3 bars. Fork is Tange steel and crankset is Tiagra with Ultegra BB and a 39t ring/BBG bashguard.

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Old 10-05-13, 09:15 AM   #13
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TIME atac Alium pedals, new I'd forget something!
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Old 10-08-13, 04:05 AM   #14
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Hardly a liability for a friend that's racing for All City/Fulton this fall.

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Old 10-08-13, 08:06 AM   #15
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Specs on the Pompino?

Its 2lbs lighter than mine! FWIW Mine is a medium, Thomson post/Zoncolon saddle. Front 32h GP4/record Challenge Fango. Rear GP4/Nashbar hub Challenge grifo/18t freewheel. Tektro 720 front/IRD Cafam rear Tektro levers. Ritchey stem/Salsa cowbell 3 bars. Fork is Tange steel and crankset is Tiagra with Ultegra BB and a 39t ring/BBG bashguard.

Wow. I don't know what I was thinking. I actually weighed it and it was 20.5.
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Old 10-08-13, 07:25 PM   #16
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I lost that .5 with the tubulars! Thinking about a carbon fork and different bars for mine.
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Old 10-09-13, 10:17 AM   #17
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I lost that .5 with the tubulars! Thinking about a carbon fork and different bars for mine.
Hey Scrub, I have a very light carbon fork (Easton EC90x) in my parts bin. PM me if you want more info.
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Old 10-12-13, 03:20 PM   #18
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I've been racing a Cross-Check. It's about 22 or 23 lbs. I notice the weight most when shouldering the bike - it digs in pretty badly. When actually riding, you don't really notice. But there's no doubt that a lighter bike is a faster bike, all other things being equal. It should be a given that fit and function are more important than weight, but losing five pounds with a lighter frame and fork wouldn't hurt durability any. Frames and forks break very rarely, it's the derailleurs and chains and wheels and shifters that any frame is burdened with that tend to fail.
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Old 10-13-13, 01:16 PM   #19
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Anymore, I think you really need to do something harsh to break some of these framesets. Frameset failure isn't a concern I would have had, but at the same token. I have seen my fair share of carbon fork failures and you mention just swinging your fork over to a new frameset. Is it also 6 years old? But I raced steel cross for years and my rigs were a tad under 25 pounds, they were all cross Bianchi builds. When lifting over long periods of obstacles, you notice but the feel and ride made up for that. I didn't go for gold but I ended up with plenty bronze finishes and had more fun than I ever thought possible.
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Old 10-13-13, 01:18 PM   #20
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I should mention. I used the grotesquely (and dangerous) FrankenStem on my cross rides. All aluminum flexstems, no failures with the alums.
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Old 10-14-13, 11:07 AM   #21
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Might be keeping you off the top spot on the Podium if you would otherwise be dominating the race ,
but for that last few ounces of bike weight,

But it will not keep you from going around the course, with your new friends,
and having, perhaps, Fun doing it..
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Old 10-16-13, 07:49 AM   #22
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Might be keeping you off the top spot on the Podium if you would otherwise be dominating the race ,
but for that last few ounces of bike weight,

But it will not keep you from going around the course, with your new friends,
and having, perhaps, Fun doing it..
Fietsbob,

Cyclist in my area are rare as hen's teeth! If i want to find riders to do group rides and hang out with at all. I probablly would have to travel about one hour. But, when i raced. It was always considered close to attend races that were 3 hours or more away from our area. There are not many who are vintage minded as well! Slim pickings around here. But now that i have my wife on a tour type bike. I have the best partner of all!
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