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Thread: Steel Bikes

  1. #1
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    Steel Bikes

    I plan to get a new bike this year. Previously I rode a Lemond 853 steel framed bike. I liked the feel of the bike but it didn't fit me to well. I'm now riding a Giant TCR aluminum frame. Fits fine but I'm not crazy about the feel. I would like to get another steel framed bike but don't know who makes a reasonably priced, high quality frame. I'm not a complete weight weenie but it's still an issue.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Fattest Thin Man Az B's Avatar
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    I just bought a Mercier from bikesdirect. It's all 853 steel, 18.5 lbs, all Ultegra, and has Ritchey wheels.

    $1295, no tax, free shipping.

    Motobecane also has a steel bike. It's called Legacy. It's roughly the same price range.

    It is hard to find good steel bikes, none of the bike shops in my area carry them. Lemonds are very nice, but they don't have an all steel bike for '06 do they?

    Az

  3. #3
    Senior Member Nubie's Avatar
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    Also check out Jamis bikes - they have a lot of steel options and make really nice bikes.

    http://www.jamisbikes.com/

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    Banned wagathon's Avatar
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    I'm with you about 853. Something magic about it. If you want a US-made bike, you could look at an 89-200x Lemond Zurich or BA, date depending on if a quill stem is Ok. Don't know about your fit issues but mine were addressed by changing stems and seatposts on both their 59c and 61c sizes. I've got nothing against lugs but to me, a welded 853-Lemond is about the cleanest-looking machine there is
    Last edited by wagathon; 01-11-06 at 07:22 PM.

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    Senior Member squeegy200's Avatar
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    Take a look at www.gvhbikes.com
    There are plenty of nice steel framesets for sale there.
    98 Colnago Altain
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  6. #6
    Duct tape won't fix that slotibartfast's Avatar
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    Take a look at the Bianchi Veloce. I have a 2003 version. Smooth steel ride and fast, too. Not too expensive. Here's a link:

    http://www.bianchiusa.com/06_veloce.html
    It's no matter, no distance, it's the ride.....Stephen Stills...Throughfare Gap

  7. #7
    The Recycled Cycler markwebb's Avatar
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    There are lots of good even great steel bikes. Mercian from England. Viner from Italy. Rivendell Atlantis is a beautiful bike. You don't have to settle for aluminum when you can have a beautiful and wonderful lugged steel beauty.

    There are also tons of good used steel bikes on eBay. You can get a great used steelie on eBay with Ultegra or Campy Chorus for less than $800 this time of year.

    I would shy away from the Merciers and Motobecanes - these are not from the original famous companies. Someone bought the names and imports generic bikes from Asia with the names. Who knows who makes these steel frames. I'm not sure if they are lugged or just welded. I would think they are just welded steel frames - much different than a true work-of-art steel lugged brazed frame. That being said, even the Lemonds are welded not lugged but I think they were at least made in the USA (the oldewr steel models). And I, too had a Lemond steelie and I must say it was a great bike. I'd buy a used older Zurich, BA, or MJ at a good price any day!!!

    Here's pics of my new steel baby.
    Last edited by markwebb; 02-17-07 at 10:44 PM.

  8. #8
    Heeeeeere's Johnny! live311's Avatar
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    Go to your LBS and see what they have. It's possible they'll show you a sweet looking frame from a small individual frame builder. If the frame is overstock from a previous model year, they should make you an offer you can't refuse.

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    Fattest Thin Man Az B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markwebb
    Who knows who makes these steel frames. I'm not sure if they are lugged or just welded. I would think they are just welded steel frames - much different than a true work-of-art steel lugged brazed frame.
    Lugs are a thing of the past with 853. It's a new steel that is designed to be stronger when welded. This was not true of the older steel and Cro Mo frames of yesteryear. They needed the lugs to help strengthen thier weakest part of the frame.

    853 is pretty amazing stuff.

    I'm not saying that those old frames are not beautiful or strong, I'm just saying that times have changed. I just bought a Mercier, and while it is obviously not hand made and sports no beautiful lugs, it is a very lightweight and strong modern steel frame for an affordable price.

    Az

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    The Guadfather Lecterman's Avatar
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    Or you can buy a used vintage steel bike. I got my Centurion Ironman Back in November on ebay for $175. It is a fantastic bike, Shimano 600 (Ultegra's predecessor) group in great condition. It weighed 22.5 upon delivery and if I were to put some newer, lighter wheels, bars, stem, and seatpost on it it could probably get it below 20 pretty easily. I think it is Reynolds 531 which I think is great, not as nice as 853, but not bad. Just a thought...good luck!!
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    Those Mercians look cool. I was bouncing around the web and found the Serotta web site. They have a bike called the Couer d'Acier that looks very nice. And the price while high for a steel frame is not totally outrageous.

  12. #12
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    LeMond still offers all steel bikes - check out the "Classics" section of their site.
    You might like a Zurich - steel and carbon. I moved from a AL bike and love mine.

    Smooooooth.

  13. #13
    Back in the Sooner State
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    Orbea still has a steel bike. The Spirit and Spirit Carbon (the latter with carbon seatstays). I've got an Ultrafoco Carbon and love it.

  14. #14
    Feed me your soul! Jakey's Avatar
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    10lbs of evil in a 5lb bag

    Torelli Gran Sasso
    Torelli 20th Anniversary
    Torelli Carbon / Ultrafoco
    GT Karakoram (commuter)

  15. #15
    Feed me your soul! Jakey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ImprezaDrvr
    Orbea still has a steel bike. The Spirit and Spirit Carbon (the latter with carbon seatstays). I've got an Ultrafoco Carbon and love it.

    My lbs has a guerciotti (I know I destroyed that spelling) ultrafoco/carbon frame for like $1200....so tempting...
    10lbs of evil in a 5lb bag

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  16. #16
    I couldn't car less. jeff williams's Avatar
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    What's reasonably priced?_____?
    This is a NiTi (nickle\titanium\chromolly) steel frame.
    I don't have\ride his road bikes, am in awe of my mtb frame he welded.
    If flush and shopping a new road bike, I'd likely go with what has already impressed me.
    http://www.excelsports.com/new.asp?p...ajor=1&minor=1
    5.1 pounds for frame and fork, $698.88 US.

    For you that might be a Lemond 853 steel, one that fits.?
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by jeff williams; 01-11-06 at 10:50 PM.

  17. #17
    Senior Member
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    I would second the Ritchey. I have a roadlogic...I like the new breakaway!
    fogriderlooking for sun

  18. #18
    cs1
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    I bought both of my Waterfords on ebay. My RSE-11 was a frameset only and cost approx $1200 to piece together over 18 month. The 1200 was a complete Chorus 8 speed bike with 2 wheelsets and 7 extras cassettes. I had the frame repainted and built it with Daytona 10 speed for about $1600. I still have all the Chorus 8 speed parts and wheelset waiting another frame for a super cheap build.
    Both of these bikes are Reynolds, RSE is 531 and the 1200 is 753. The 1200 is the lightest steel frame I've ever had. Good luck and be patient.

    Tim
    1999 Waterford RSE-11, 1995 Waterford 1200, 1989 Specialized Rockhopper Comp
    1989 Raleigh Technium, 1989 Schwinn Traveler, 1986 Specialized Rockhopper
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  19. #19
    taking the piss macca123's Avatar
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    steel is for poo pushers, I say go for it if you are into that kind of stuff but you aren't welcome at my house! by the look of your name "girlyman" steel will suit you fine.
    I can touch mc hammer

  20. #20
    Thor's dad Odin's Avatar
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    FFS will you give it a bloody rest?!?!

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    Ride It Like You Stole It oneponychick's Avatar
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    Made in the USA:

    www.serotta.com
    2006 Serotta Fierte

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    Senior Member lokerola's Avatar
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    LeMond, Torelli, Bianchi, Jamis
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  23. #23
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    . bbattle's Avatar
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    That Orbea Spirit frame looks so nice. $1099. Columbus Spirit tubing is some very light steel.

    Heron makes affordable steel frames. $995 Well, Waterford makes them for Heron.

    Surly makes steel frames, check out the Pacer or Cross Check frames.

    Trek makes a steel frame touring bike. $1239

  25. #25
    Senior Member Don Cook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Az B
    Lugs are a thing of the past with 853. It's a new steel that is designed to be stronger when welded. This was not true of the older steel and Cro Mo frames of yesteryear. They needed the lugs to help strengthen thier weakest part of the frame.

    853 is pretty amazing stuff.

    I'm not saying that those old frames are not beautiful or strong, I'm just saying that times have changed. I just bought a Mercier, and while it is obviously not hand made and sports no beautiful lugs, it is a very lightweight and strong modern steel frame for an affordable price.

    Az
    This is almost correct. Most steel alloys, prior to the air-hardening types such as 853, were weakened at the joints if they were welded. That's why the older less expensive steel bikes were so heavy. To make a steel bike at department stores prices, it had to be a production line welded frame. To do this, they had to use thick tubes. Hence the extra weight. The only way to join thin light weight steel tubes was silver or bronze brazing. As you said with the advent of steel alloys, that didn't become weaker as a result of the welding torch, this production technique has enabled us to enjoy inexpensive steel bike frames that are also relatively light. However, many custom builders still use lugs and brazing to join frame tubes. They even use lugs with the air hardened steels, such as 853. Why would they use lugs with a steel alloy that can be tig welded in a fraction of the time? Did you know that in the last couple of years of the Schwinn Paramount, it could be had in a lugged 853 frame? If you run across one of these frames for less than $700, grab it! An equivalant frame new would be $1600 or more. Check some of the custom build sites and read what some of the frame designers say about lugs and why they still feel it's the overall best way to join tubes. Lugs have been around a long time but is still the choice method of custom frame builders.

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