Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page >

Explaining steel to a carbon rider?

Notices
Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

Explaining steel to a carbon rider?

Old 05-29-12, 01:35 PM
  #1  
vinfix
Steel80's
Thread Starter
 
vinfix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: NJ
Posts: 629

Bikes: Breezer Venturi, Breezer Lightning Pro, Schwinn Peloton

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 43 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 7 Times in 5 Posts
Explaining steel to a carbon rider?

After a small group ride with some experienced riders, I was a little tongue-tied when one of them (with a BD Immortal something) asked about the advantages of steel. I, and another guy, had snappy answers about it being cheaper and heavier, but then I tried to explain about road feel, the solid feeling of riding on rails, not feeling isolated from it, yet not buzzed & pounded. Not wanting others to mock my choices, I certainly wouldn't say it's because I can't get used to riding a piece of Chinese plastic. To me, a diamond frame is what a road bike looks like, and steel OK, aluminum, too) is what it feels like.

Maybe this is one of those "if you have to ask, I can't explain" questions. When people ask you, what's your response?
vinfix is offline  
Old 05-29-12, 01:41 PM
  #2  
sloar 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Elwood Indiana
Posts: 6,737

Bikes: they change so much I'm tired of updating this

Mentioned: 149 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 969 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 373 Times in 169 Posts
They won't know until they experience it. I'm a believer after being a carbon rider. And I am still amazed of the riding quality of a nice
steel bike.
__________________
Semper fi
sloar is offline  
Old 05-29-12, 01:42 PM
  #3  
noglider 
aka Tom Reingold
 
noglider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: High Falls, NY, USA
Posts: 39,879

Bikes: 1962 Rudge Sports, 1971 Raleigh Super Course, 1971 Raleigh Pro Track, 1974 Raleigh International, 1975 Viscount Fixie, 1982 McLean, 1996 Lemond (Ti), 2002 Burley Zydeco tandem

Mentioned: 484 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6856 Post(s)
Liked 1,460 Times in 928 Posts
I tell them it's heavier and cheaper. Not only that, it's older.
__________________
Tom Reingold, tom@noglider.com
New York City and High Falls, NY
Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

“When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments.” — Elizabeth West, US author

Please email me rather than PM'ing me. Thanks.
noglider is offline  
Old 05-29-12, 01:54 PM
  #4  
Puget Pounder
Wookie Jesus inspires me.
 
Puget Pounder's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 2,225
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I tell them it's impossible to generalize so I try tobe more specific. For example, I tell them that my Gunnar feels springier and more lively than a a Carbon roubaix. The roubaix felt more dampening and like a piece of wood.

However, I think a lot of bike feel is actually the wheels and the tires, so I try to hype up the other aspects of steel. Durable, repairable, long history, etc... It's kind of silly to trash on another product to promote yours ya know?
Puget Pounder is offline  
Old 05-29-12, 01:57 PM
  #5  
iab
Senior Member
 
iab's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: NW Burbs, Chicago
Posts: 10,715
Mentioned: 146 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2163 Post(s)
Liked 1,292 Times in 601 Posts
I'd tell them it is different. Not better or worse. I prefer different riding experiences, and steel is one option.
iab is offline  
Old 05-29-12, 01:58 PM
  #6  
DiabloScott
It's MY mountain
 
DiabloScott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Mt.Diablo
Posts: 9,149

Bikes: Klein, Merckx, Trek

Mentioned: 60 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2788 Post(s)
Liked 728 Times in 428 Posts
It's just different and some people like it better. Part of it is tradition and some people like that too.
DiabloScott is offline  
Old 05-29-12, 02:03 PM
  #7  
IthaDan 
Senior Member
 
IthaDan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Ithaca, NY
Posts: 4,915

Bikes: Click on the #YOLO

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 26 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 6 Posts
No catastrophic failure with steel and as near as makes no difference to infinite flex cycles.
__________________

Shimano : Click :: Campy : Snap :: SRAM : Bang
IthaDan is offline  
Old 05-29-12, 02:11 PM
  #8  
repechage
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 15,611
Mentioned: 103 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1796 Post(s)
Liked 655 Times in 509 Posts
Originally Posted by IthaDan View Post
No catastrophic failure with steel and as near as makes no difference to infinite flex cycles.
Indeed, if you crash there is very little chance you cannot remount and have no questions at to the integrity of the bike, if there is damage it shows.

Beyond that, steel came before carbon fibre. It's more cost effective, yes its heavier and you can ride in those steel only bicycle races.

https://menofsteelracing.com/
repechage is offline  
Old 05-29-12, 02:14 PM
  #9  
GuyForget
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 111

Bikes: 1985 Peugeot PH501

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I don't buy bikes new, and would not feel comfortable riding a used CF bike (maybe that's stupid but I just wouldn't). I'd rather have something more likely to bend than to catastrophically crack.
GuyForget is offline  
Old 05-29-12, 02:27 PM
  #10  
iab
Senior Member
 
iab's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: NW Burbs, Chicago
Posts: 10,715
Mentioned: 146 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2163 Post(s)
Liked 1,292 Times in 601 Posts
Originally Posted by repechage View Post
It's more cost effective, yes its heavier and you can ride in those steel only bicycle races.
Higher capital cost for carbon, but lower labor cost. In the long run, carbon is cheaper.

I have a steel bike that is 7.0kg. I have seen one that is 6.0kg. With a UCI weight limit of 6.8, weight is irrelevant.





And on a completely different note (and absolutely not directed to you or your post), I give this thread another 5 posts before it becomes a carbon sucks and steel is real thread.
iab is offline  
Old 05-29-12, 02:29 PM
  #11  
Der_Kruscher
Senior Member
 
Der_Kruscher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 128
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked 9 Times in 4 Posts
A bike that rides great is a bike that rides great, regardless of material. I never evangelize about steel because I don't necessarily think it's better - just different and like anything, it has pros and it has cons. If someone is really interested to know what a steel bike rides like, offer to let them ride yours. If they're intent on ribbing you for riding steel, do the talking with your legs - those guys are dorks, anyway :-)
Der_Kruscher is offline  
Old 05-29-12, 02:39 PM
  #12  
calamarichris
Horse Categorie
 
calamarichris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Carlsbad, CA
Posts: 6,196

Bikes: '09 Felt F55, '84 Masi Cran Criterium, (2)'86 Schwinn Pelotons, '86 Look Equippe Hinault, '09 Globe Live 3 (dogtaxi), '94 Greg Lemond, '99 GT Pulse Kinesis

Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 231 Post(s)
Liked 57 Times in 34 Posts
I tell them I need the extra weight to give them any hope of keeping up.

But seriously, why do you feel the need to justify your choice? They know very well the advantages and disadvantages. IMO, they're just asking so they can mock your choices.
And there's no need to mock their choice of Chinese plastic either. Sometimes my family mocks me for not eating chicken, cow, human or pig cadavers, but I never take their bait. It's a personal choice, not a social agenda.
calamarichris is offline  
Old 05-29-12, 02:42 PM
  #13  
RobbieTunes
Banned
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 27,297
Mentioned: 34 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 378 Post(s)
Liked 1,370 Times in 884 Posts
Explaining steel to a carbon rider

1. find a blank wall space 3' wide x 7' tall
2. facing wall, stand 1' away, feet shoulder width apart
3. place hands on wall, palms flat, shoulder width apart
4. quickly snap head forward and down, impacting forehead against wall
5. continue until the urge to explain dissipates

A few get it, most don't. Pick your battles.

My response?

What, you don't recycle?
Greg Lemond.
Craftsmanship.
Character.
Consistency.
When I'm riding a bike, I want to look down and see a tube made of steel, about the same size as my...
When I'm shifting a bike, I don't want to hear a hollow echo.
I just like it, and I have 3 or 4 more. The cost is about as much as your wheels.
I'm not competitive; it's killing me to keep up.
And, hey, that's a pretty cool bike you have; I'll bet it's light and stiff.

Walk away.

Last edited by RobbieTunes; 05-29-12 at 08:59 PM.
RobbieTunes is offline  
Old 05-29-12, 02:44 PM
  #14  
Italuminium
Cisalpinist
 
Italuminium's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Holland
Posts: 5,556

Bikes: blue ones.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Reverse psychology: race 'm, saying meekly that you're so weak that they can beat you even on a steel bike... Once they take the bait put them on a steel bike. The nice ride will reel 'm in.
Italuminium is offline  
Old 05-29-12, 02:44 PM
  #15  
calamarichris
Horse Categorie
 
calamarichris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Carlsbad, CA
Posts: 6,196

Bikes: '09 Felt F55, '84 Masi Cran Criterium, (2)'86 Schwinn Pelotons, '86 Look Equippe Hinault, '09 Globe Live 3 (dogtaxi), '94 Greg Lemond, '99 GT Pulse Kinesis

Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 231 Post(s)
Liked 57 Times in 34 Posts
Originally Posted by vinfix View Post
To me, a diamond frame is what a road bike looks like, and steel OK, aluminum, too) is what it feels like.
To paraphrase Chris Rock:
"I love rap music, but I'm tired of defending it. Whatever kind of music was playing on popular radio stations when you lost your virginity... you're locked in--that will be your favorite music for the rest of your life."
calamarichris is offline  
Old 05-29-12, 02:46 PM
  #16  
Italuminium
Cisalpinist
 
Italuminium's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Holland
Posts: 5,556

Bikes: blue ones.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Originally Posted by calamarichris View Post
to paraphrase chris rock:
"i love steel roadies but i'm tired of defending them. Whatever kind of bikes they rode in the tour when you lost your virginity... That will be your favorite bike for the rest of your life."
fify, but to disprove your statement I have a total dislike for... wait, this is a family show.
Italuminium is offline  
Old 05-29-12, 02:54 PM
  #17  
TimeTravel_0
commuter
 
TimeTravel_0's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 535
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Steel is sexy.
TimeTravel_0 is offline  
Old 05-29-12, 03:01 PM
  #18  
JohnDThompson 
Old fart
 
JohnDThompson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Appleton WI
Posts: 22,421

Bikes: Several, mostly not name brands.

Mentioned: 131 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2522 Post(s)
Liked 1,089 Times in 703 Posts
"Steel is real."

/thread

JohnDThompson is offline  
Old 05-29-12, 03:03 PM
  #19  
repechage
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 15,611
Mentioned: 103 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1796 Post(s)
Liked 655 Times in 509 Posts
Originally Posted by iab View Post
Higher capital cost for carbon, but lower labor cost. In the long run, carbon is cheaper.

I have a steel bike that is 7.0kg. I have seen one that is 6.0kg. With a UCI weight limit of 6.8, weight is irrelevant.





And on a completely different note (and absolutely not directed to you or your post), I give this thread another 5 posts before it becomes a carbon sucks and steel is real thread.

Most likely my next bike will be a carbon fibre frame, with 33 steel ones in the shed, one Mod bike will not be too bad... And on that one I could care less about the UCI weight minimum, I'm going to go with whatever it ends up, my guess 12 lbs. about.
repechage is offline  
Old 05-29-12, 03:03 PM
  #20  
jan nikolajsen 
Mostly Mischief
 
jan nikolajsen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Moab, Utah
Posts: 1,500
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 37 Post(s)
Liked 51 Times in 19 Posts
I'm big with long legs and ride 63-65cm steel frames with a fist full of post showing. They are beautiful things.

But in that size my carbon bike is definitely safer on descents and windy conditions. Never had any of that dreaded speed wobble I feared from all those years on steel. And since I like keeping my bones intact I ride carbon mostly, although I wish I had a sub 150 lb body that could fit on a 56cm Columbus frame.
jan nikolajsen is offline  
Old 05-29-12, 03:11 PM
  #21  
trek330
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: New York City
Posts: 799
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 4 Posts
Feel.I've never ridden carbon fiber but I have a titanium.I was on a 4 mile descent flying happilly at 30MPH+ and thinking" I wish I was on my Pinarello."Love the liveliness of steel and yes there is a difference in types of steel.Subtle,like fine wines.
trek330 is offline  
Old 05-29-12, 03:49 PM
  #22  
RJM
I'm doing it wrong.
 
RJM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 4,874

Bikes: Rivendell Appaloosa, Rivendell Frank Jones Sr., Trek Fuel EX9, Kona Jake the Snake CR, Niner Sir9

Mentioned: 75 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8399 Post(s)
Liked 1,578 Times in 974 Posts
I have yet to get the steel frame question, but I have had the friction shifting question thrown at me. Cheaper, easier to repair and set up and I like dropping through the whole rear cluster in one motion.

I prefer steel because of the look, the ride feels right to me, and lugged carbon frames look like crap compared to steel and I would prefer to ride lugged bikes. I have ridden a few carbon bikes (Trek's Madone comes to mind) and I would much rather descend a hill on my steel bike. Probably has more to do with geometry though.
RJM is offline  
Old 05-29-12, 03:56 PM
  #23  
calamarichris
Horse Categorie
 
calamarichris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Carlsbad, CA
Posts: 6,196

Bikes: '09 Felt F55, '84 Masi Cran Criterium, (2)'86 Schwinn Pelotons, '86 Look Equippe Hinault, '09 Globe Live 3 (dogtaxi), '94 Greg Lemond, '99 GT Pulse Kinesis

Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 231 Post(s)
Liked 57 Times in 34 Posts
Originally Posted by Italuminium View Post
Originally Posted by calamarichris
to paraphrase chris rock:
"i love steel roadies but i'm tired of defending them. Whatever kind of bikes they rode in the tour when you lost your virginity... That will be your favorite bike for the rest of your life."
fify
True 'nuff.



Oh, who'm I kiddin'.... If that statement were true, I'd be more pining after bikes like this...

Last edited by calamarichris; 05-29-12 at 03:59 PM.
calamarichris is offline  
Old 05-29-12, 04:01 PM
  #24  
ThermionicScott 
7-speed cultist
 
ThermionicScott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: CID
Posts: 20,101

Bikes: 1991 Bianchi Eros, 1964 Armstrong, 1988 Diamondback Ascent, 1988 Bianchi Premio, 1987 Bianchi Sport SX, 1980s Raleigh mixte (hers)

Mentioned: 88 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2794 Post(s)
Liked 740 Times in 519 Posts
I rarely have to "explain" to my group why I like old steel bikes (with downtube shifters if they have any). I just laugh with them, and spend most of my time at the front of the group on rides.
__________________
Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
Originally Posted by noglider
People in this forum are not typical.
RUSA #7498
ThermionicScott is offline  
Old 05-29-12, 05:19 PM
  #25  
chris1548
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Sandy, UT
Posts: 69

Bikes: Gunnar Roadie, Gunnar Sport, Surly LHT, Gary Fisher Genesis 2, Miyata 610, Seven Elium Race

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
It's the overall ride, and I like it. But I agree with those who point out -- different strokes for different folks. I personally feel steel does provide the best overall ride. I tell people that, and it's what I generally ride. But, I'm not on a crusade about it.
chris1548 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.