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New steel vs old steel?

Old 06-28-10, 08:18 AM
  #1  
Loose Chain
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New steel vs old steel?

Why with so many high quality frames (or maybe there are not so many as I think) floating around would anyone want a "new" steel frame such as Soulcraft, Waterford, Gunnar, etc. My point is that I took my new build, a Centurion Prestige, into the shop I do business with for some help on my headset install and they liked my bike but they were trying, as usual to sell me a new Gunnar. So, they had a Gunnar in stock, a frame, and I had them set it on the scale, the Prestige was lighter. I don't get it, what would I gain by eBaying the Prestige and getting a Gunnar or similar new steel bike other than less money in my pocket?

Then there is the compact, sloped tt thing I cannot come to grips with and there are no lugs and frankly I think the Centurion is as nicely made if not nicer and a better bike and my Guercittio SLX certainly is and it, I betcha, is both lighter, stiffer and stronger.

So, why purchase/order a new steel frame rather than hunting down a vintage steel frame?

Thoughts?
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Old 06-28-10, 08:21 AM
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There aren't any old 953 or XCr frames.
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Old 06-28-10, 08:30 AM
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Most new steel frames have bigger diameter tubing, will take 1-1/8 headset also. I am not saying I like the look of the new tig welded compact frame, just pointing out a few advantages.
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Old 06-28-10, 08:46 AM
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Let me be clear I do not intend this thread to be a bash new or old, I just would like to understand more what the differences or advantages, pros, cons etc. of old vs new.

The larger diameter which means a thinner wall I assume to increase stiffness without increasing weight?
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Old 06-28-10, 08:56 AM
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I can see a few reasons for new steel bikes.

1. Not everybody knows how to upgrade older bikes to brifters and such. It is expensive to buy the stuff on its own, so why not get a new bike too(not endorsing the modern stuff, but since they are popular)

2. For many people, money doesn't matter. People want to have the best.

3. There are those that need odd geometries due to an unusual body build.

I have to say though, if money wasn't an issue, I would look into a custom bike for myself.
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Old 06-28-10, 09:15 AM
  #6  
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I am looking to add a long distance loaded touring bike (or 2 -his and hers) on my stable and here are my requirements:

- light lugged steel frame
- high bottom bracket
- 135mm rear spacing
- dual eyelets on both dropouts
- fork lowrider attachments
- 3 or 4 water bottle attachements
- large fork rake

my matches with old steel are exactly zero (so are my matches with new production steel). So I will probably end up going the custom way and get some fancy lugs and maybe curve stays in the process...
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Old 06-28-10, 09:23 AM
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Shopping for old steel is the gump-like box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get. This works out in both good and bad ways, but the whole endeavor has a bit of serendipity to it as well as requiring patience, knowledge, and frequently a good deal of time. Buying new steel, especially for those without a whole bunch of knowledge, is a lot simpler and cleaner and one pays for that convenience as well as warranties, shiny newness, newer technology and compatibility with current components, etc.
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Old 06-28-10, 09:35 AM
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Hey E...Wouldn't it be possible (and maybe even fiscally viable) to buy something you like and have the bosses/attachments added as well as have a fork made?? If you start with a 130mm bike...135mm coldset is no problem of course. I would think a few hundered as opposed to a couple thousand...no?

Just a thought...

Originally Posted by EjustE View Post
I am looking to add a long distance loaded touring bike (or 2 -his and hers) on my stable and here are my requirements:

- light lugged steel frame
- high bottom bracket
- 135mm rear spacing
- dual eyelets on both dropouts
- fork lowrider attachments
- 3 or 4 water bottle attachements
- large fork rake

my matches with old steel are exactly zero (so are my matches with new production steel). So I will probably end up going the custom way and get some fancy lugs and maybe curve stays in the process...
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Old 06-28-10, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by EjustE View Post
I am looking to add a long distance loaded touring bike (or 2 -his and hers) on my stable and here are my requirements:

- light lugged steel frame
- high bottom bracket
- 135mm rear spacing
- dual eyelets on both dropouts
- fork lowrider attachments
- 3 or 4 water bottle attachements
- large fork rake

my matches with old steel are exactly zero (so are my matches with new production steel). So I will probably end up going the custom way and get some fancy lugs and maybe curve stays in the process...
Miyata 1000. Except its only got 2 or 3 water bottle braze-ons.

I agree with the sentiment though, I'd only really want a new frame if it was a custom job to fit a specific set of requirements of mine.
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Old 06-28-10, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by buldogge View Post
Hey E...Wouldn't it be possible (and maybe even fiscally viable) to buy something you like and have the bosses/attachments added as well as have a fork made?? If you start with a 130mm bike...135mm coldset is no problem of course. I would think a few hundered as opposed to a couple thousand...no?

Just a thought...
Agreed, it will be possible (a good frame builder can do all the attachments and make a new fork), if it had a high enough BB That is where the main problem usually is in trying to find an older frame that would work for what I am looking to do and it is lightweight lugged steel.
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Old 06-28-10, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Zaphod Beeblebrox View Post
Miyata 1000. Except its only got 2 or 3 water bottle braze-ons.
Not high enough BB and 126mm spacing
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Old 06-28-10, 09:54 AM
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what's with the high BB on a tourer? I thought a lower BB would be better for that due to a lower center of gravity....stability.

I'll re-measure mine later, but its stock and I'm pretty sure its 135mm
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Old 06-28-10, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Zaphod Beeblebrox View Post
what's with the high BB on a tourer? I thought a lower BB would be better for that due to a lower center of gravity....stability.
Personal preferences mostly, but as far as I am concerned, a higher center of gravity balances the added weight on full lowriders and panniers so the bike is more responsive and climbs better. I am looking for about 32-33 cm BB (ground to center of crank/housing). Most road bikes are at about 26-27 cm on that measurement some are 28ish. 32-33 is MTB territory. Added benefit: you can use cranks with longer arms.
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Old 06-28-10, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Loose Chain View Post
Let me be clear I do not intend this thread to be a bash new or old, I just would like to understand more what the differences or advantages, pros, cons etc. of old vs new.

The larger diameter which means a thinner wall I assume to increase stiffness without increasing weight?
Yes, but it'll dent more easily.
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Old 06-28-10, 10:13 AM
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Mostly people don't like trolling Craigslist/ebay/garage sales constantly. They want buying bikes to be like buying any other simple consumer product: walk in, ask what the best they can get for the money and then buy it.

Why would anyone buy a new car when the previous year's models are two-thirds the price?
Why would anyone buy a computer when they could assemble one from parts?
Why would anyone buy a house when they could build their own at a fraction of the cost?

Some people don't want to put in the effort to save money.
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Old 06-28-10, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Fasteryoufool View Post
Yes, but it'll dent more easily.
Not necessary true. Depends on the type of steel alloy. Modern 853 tubing is much more dent resistant than 531 for the same thickness.
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Old 06-28-10, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Loose Chain View Post
Then there is the compact, sloped tt thing I cannot come to grips with...

Thoughts?
Ah, like the more modern, horizontal top tube look, then? I'm kind of a classic & vintage man myself.

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Old 06-28-10, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by jtgotsjets View Post

Some people don't want to put in the effort to save money.
Money is one thing I was thinking on but not the primary issue, I was more considering differences in performance, design, ride qualities etc. One can easily dump a ton of money into an older bike.

Aside from the one inch headset assuming a 126 bike can be spread or it is already a 130mm, what keeps one from using the newest components? I see one inch to 1 and 1/8 headset adapters around for threaded headsets. They look fine to me is you don't want the old "Seven" and want to use newer ergo bars. What am I missing here?
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Old 06-28-10, 10:27 AM
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There are lots of good points here. The one that strikes me is the build capability. Many of us on this site have rebuilt bikes, done frame up builds and performed difficult repair operations. But that is not typical of a bicycle buyer. How many of your freinds refer to the rear derailer as "that funny looking thing that hangs off the rear that changes gears, you know the Disraeli thingy."
I have several older rides, including a built up 86 Nishiki Prestige and a 93 Bianchi Campione. I also now have a newer steel bike, a 2001 Bianchi Campione. The only observation I can make is that as I acquire more steel, newer or older, the aluminum bikes are losing favor. One of my C'dales is going on the CL list very soon along with an aluminum vintage Trek MTB. The aluminum Univega I had is gone.
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Old 06-28-10, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
Ah, like the more modern, horizontal top tube look, then? I'm kind of a classic & vintage man myself.

tcs
Me too

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Old 06-28-10, 10:36 AM
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^^ damn hipsters and their fixies.

Obviously they've progressed on to period correct dress and old-timey photography.
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Old 06-28-10, 10:59 AM
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It's all been done before....
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Old 06-28-10, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Zaphod Beeblebrox View Post
^^ damn hipsters and their fixies.

Obviously they've progressed on to period correct dress and old-timey photography.
The handlebar moustache is always a dead giveaway.
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Old 06-28-10, 01:01 PM
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One difference I heard of (Not sure if this is entirely true) between old and new steel is that the new tubing resists cold setting because of the type of tempering they do now.. I don't know how that effects the bike's future for possible frame alignment repairs/adjustments.

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Old 06-28-10, 01:13 PM
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E...Sounds like you looking for a cross bike. https://www.somafab.com/dcdc.html.

As for the old steel vs. new I am on the side of new. The tubing i.e. Tru Temper OX Platnium, 853 and 953 are much stiffer and lighter than 531 or older steels. They can be lugged or tig welded and generally become stronger when welded at the joint. I like the geometry slightly better as well. The ability to run modern drivetrains without cold setting and in my Soma's case disc brakes.
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