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New Steel Frame Under $1,000

Old 04-09-19, 07:06 PM
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downhillmaster
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New Steel Frame Under $1,000

I am looking to add a commute/gravel drop bar bike to my small stable and would like to build it up from a new steel frame that is under $1,000.
Would like to keep it simple and main use would be 20-30 mile road rides that include some gravel side roads.
As of right now if I was going to buy a complete bike I think the Raleigh Tamland 1 would check off all my boxes but I kind of like the idea of using a lesser known frame with a bit of a Ďcoolí factor.
Any and all advice greatly appreciated.

Last edited by downhillmaster; 04-09-19 at 07:10 PM.
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Old 04-09-19, 07:15 PM
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Black Mountain cycles:
https://blackmtncycles.com
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Old 04-09-19, 07:20 PM
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downhillmaster
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Originally Posted by trailangel View Post
Black Mountain cycles:
https://blackmtncycles.com
Good call.
I had looked at their pure road bike before I bought my Litespeed but hadnít thought of them again.
The Road + looks solid.
Thanks!
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Old 04-09-19, 07:37 PM
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Black mountain cycles is a great frame for the price.

I ride a Soma Fogcutter and I like it a lot. Steel or carbon fork options at around $700 but less if shop around or can find your size on eBay. It’s on the road side of the spectrum so max tire is ~40mm rear and ~42mm front with a little more if going 650b.

Last edited by Spoonrobot; 04-09-19 at 09:16 PM.
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Old 04-09-19, 09:28 PM
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My current gravel frame is a canti brake black mountain and its been nothing but exceptional. Fantastic geometry for me, quality tubing, and well finished.
it's lighter than a otso warrakin(stainless) frame and fairlight Secan(853 main triangle) frame in my size.
the black mountain thru axle will be a bit heavier than the rim brake, but it's still most likely be at/just under the weight of those other frames I mentioned.
The downside(for some) of Black Mountain is the head tubes only fit 1 1/8 steerer, so no tapered carbon forks fit.

at the end of this year I am going to build a gravel frame and my black mountain frame will be set up with everything on my touring bike. Can't give up that frame!


other options to look into- Otso Warrakin($1200), Fairlight Secan(about $1200), All City has a few options under your budget, soma has a couple options under your budget, Bombtrack has a cpuple optiona, Handsome devil, and Fairdale Rocketship.
https://shop.fairdalebikes.com/colle...-enve-fork-kit
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Old 04-10-19, 09:19 AM
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I think this frame is beautiful in person. Designed to be a single speed. I don't think they sell the complete bike any more.

https://detroitbikes.com/collections/frontpage/products/frame?variant=44147853332
https://static1.squarespace.com/static/559c0f31e4b0c77842e3bb06/55b66b95e4b0019200ab6145/595e88013a0411b88e76c3a2/1551394009263/Red-C-type-New.jpg
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Old 04-10-19, 09:57 AM
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Right under your budget ($999) check out the Otso Waheela S (Steel). Reynolds 520, massive tire clearance and innovative adjustable chainstay design. I really like the geometry on this one, however stack is a little low.

https://otsocycles.com/products/waheela-s-frameset

Last edited by gravelED; 04-10-19 at 10:26 AM.
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Old 04-10-19, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Spoonrobot View Post
Black mountain cycles is a great frame for the price.

I ride a Soma Fogcutter and I like it a lot. Steel or carbon fork options at around $700 but less if shop around or can find your size on eBay. Itís on the road side of the spectrum so max tire is ~40mm rear and ~42mm front with a little more if going 650b.
I've had great luck with Soma frames, though I've never had a Fogcutter. I was poking around their website and noticed that there's a new Wolverine out as well, the v4.0 which comes in both a "Type-A" and "Type-B" variant. I think the base frame is $599, plus around $250 for the steel through-axle fork. The geometry seems to vary depending on what size you get though. For example the 52 has a stack/reach ratio of around 1.46, which I think would be considered on the aggressive side for gravel. Meanwhile the 54 and 56 are closer to 1.55, which is more relaxed like my Niner RLT9 RDO and Soma Saga (touring frame).
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Old 04-10-19, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Metaluna View Post
I've had great luck with Soma frames, though I've never had a Fogcutter. I was poking around their website and noticed that there's a new Wolverine out as well, the v4.0 which comes in both a "Type-A" and "Type-B" variant. I think the base frame is $599, plus around $250 for the steel through-axle fork. The geometry seems to vary depending on what size you get though. For example the 52 has a stack/reach ratio of around 1.46, which I think would be considered on the aggressive side for gravel. Meanwhile the 54 and 56 are closer to 1.55, which is more relaxed like my Niner RLT9 RDO and Soma Saga (touring frame).
Ive seen this mentioned before- the stack to reach ratio. Is that really a thing? I would think they would want to be evaluated separately and that there isnt a magic ratio since everyone's body is different and some may want more reach while others may want more stack.
Anyways, this got me looking.

My current Black Mountain canti gravel frame is a 1.585 ratio.
In my size-
Otso Warrakin - 1.63
Fairlight Secan - 1.60
Cannondale Topstone - 1.59
All City Cosmic Stallion - 1.54
Black Mountain MCD - 1.65
Canyon Grail - 1.46
Soma Saga - 1.65
Soma Wolverine - 1.59

That Canyon Grail is a crazy outlier for the XL sizes of gravel bike/frames ive looked into.
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Old 04-10-19, 03:21 PM
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tall and short, vs long and low I guess. Of course the length and height of your stem can greatly change your numbers. I have a fairly "high" ratio, but a very short stem changes that a lot.

Stack+ and reach+ are more relevant to where you touch the bike.
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Old 04-10-19, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by trailangel View Post
Black Mountain cycles:
https://blackmtncycles.com
Agreed.

Hard to go wrong.

DSC00029 by gomango1849, on Flickr
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Old 04-10-19, 06:10 PM
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^^^ I prefer the curved fork, but I don't think it's offered anymore.
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Old 04-10-19, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by trailangel View Post
^^^ I prefer the curved fork, but I don't think it's offered anymore.
The rim brake Road and Monster Cross frames still come with curved forks. The disc brake Road + and MCD have straight blade forks.
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Old 04-10-19, 07:02 PM
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Thanks for that.
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Old 04-13-19, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by trailangel View Post
^^^ I prefer the curved fork, but I don't think it's offered anymore.
Disk brakes don't play well with curved forks
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Old 04-13-19, 08:05 AM
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New Albion Drake frame and fork:

https://www.nashbar.com/new-albion-d...64196?v=734462

They had the fork, too, but seem to be out, currently.

Review:

https://newalbioncycles.blogspot.com...on-review.html
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Old 04-13-19, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by chas58 View Post
Disk brakes ivedon't play well with curved forks
I've read that a lot- something about the twisting force and a curved leg being a bad combo.
I also see Ritchey forks have curve thru multiple generations of models.

I've always wondered exactly where the truth lies. Does Ritchey make a lesser product because of the curve? Do they engineer thete forks differently to account for curve? Etc etc

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Old 04-13-19, 08:49 AM
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Disc brakes don't play well with curved forks solely because they are more difficult and more expensive to manufacture. There's nothing inherent in the curve, whether carbon or steel, that makes it weaker. Straight blade is also much more friendly to flat mount and may actually be a requirement. I don't think I've seen a curved flat mount fork.
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Old 04-13-19, 10:04 AM
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That ritchey looks plenty beefy longitudinally.

There are a few curved disc forks out there. Some do exist.


my old school (non disk) forks move like a suspension. Those skinny flexible fork ends are not too compatible with disk brake torque.
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Old 04-14-19, 07:47 PM
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Old 04-15-19, 11:12 AM
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The new Black Mountain Road+ frame looks super nice. Paired with cheap 105 R7000 from Merlin and you got a nive plush road bike to do whatever. Plus you can get 142 spacing 650b wheelsets for crazy cheap nowadays like DT Swiss which would be bombproof.
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Old 04-15-19, 11:49 AM
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Lemond Poprad. The cool factor is that the Lemond brand doesn’t exist any more. Plus the True Temper Platinum OX tubeset, and the bile was made in the USA.

https://boulder.craigslist.org/bik/d...838298010.html
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Old 04-15-19, 03:15 PM
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I agree with @KeatonR that I'm happy with used bikes/frames/etc, especially for commuting/utility/errands.

Some of the hybrids are good for drop bar conversions, and often are dirt cheap.

My Jamis Coda came to me for $50 as a complete bike. Butted 520 steel frame. Mine is an older chromed version. Most of the hybrid components were discarded when building it up.

There are disc versions, but so far I've ended up discless... primarily due to the age of my components.




Overall, I'm not real impressed with the fatter tires, and will eventually move to a light touring bike built around 853 steel, and either 25 or 28mm tires (for mostly paved riding).
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Old 04-16-19, 03:42 PM
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Some good options here with Black Mountain at the top of the list. Thanks!
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Old 04-16-19, 08:24 PM
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Jamis Steel Renegade (well under budget!)
Bombtrack Hook 1

My wife rides the Renegade. I am about to pull the trigger on a Bombtrack Hook 1
Hook 1 2019 ? Bombtrack
https://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/renegadeseries.html
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