In the world of road bikes, many folks are convinced there is an easy way to identify the best road bike: the "lightest bike is the best bike". People who think "lighter is better" may think that there is no reason to consider buying a bike with a steel frame and steel fork.
Check out Amy Abele's Rivendell. The bike comes in at under 19 pounds total. The frame and fork combined come in at under five pounds. And, the it has the "classic" feel, ride, and beauty of a lugged steel frame and steel fork. This bike shows that even a "weight fanatic" can enjoy the "steel" experience.
www.Rivendellbicycles.com Look for the "link" on the right to "Our lightest Rivendell ever": Amy's Rivendell. The paint and details around the lugs are terrific. The two tone paint around the head tube lugs is especially nice. A work of art in steel.
Grant Peterson says this particular frame was designed for a rider weighing less than 160 pounds. He "mixes and matches" the tubes on each bike around the weight and the riding style of the owner. So, a 250 pound rider might ask for a bike weighing more than 19 pounds.
By way of comparison, a 1976 Schwinn Paramount Road Racing model weighed 23 pounds, and the touring version of the Paramount Road Racing model weighed 26 pounds. The Paramounts were among the lightest bikes made in America at that time.
The Rivendell at 19 pounds is NOT a racing bike. It is designed as an everyday bike. The components are selected to be reliable and durable. If someone does not need "reliable and durable", they can probably shave off another couple of pounds. Steel can be as light as you wanna be.
Waterford, and other companies, are also building superb bikes with steel frames and forks. Steel remains an attactive choice for making bikes, especially for riders whose goals center on ride quality, feel, and longevity. Some of my steel framed bikes are twenty years old. I hope my godson will be riding them someday, and perhaps his son will enjoy riding them a couple of decades after that.