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Steel Bike Options?

Old 05-16-19, 05:00 AM
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dkyser
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Steel Bike Options?

Although I will be doing mostly road and greenway riding, the roads are rough and I want a wider tire bike. I like the geometry of my Domane but want a nice steel option.

My requirements are disk brakes, quality steel frame that has been treated to prevent rust.

Right now I am looking hard at these two. All City Cosmic Stallion and Jamis Renegade Escapade as the geometry seems a lot like the Domane.
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Old 05-16-19, 05:52 AM
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Black Mountain Cycles has a couple of bikes/frames that meet your requirements.
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Old 05-16-19, 05:57 AM
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Black Mountain Cycles Road+ or Soma Fog Cutter.
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Old 05-16-19, 06:02 AM
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Bianchi Orso Orso 105 | Bianchi USA Raleigh Tamland https://www.raleighusa.com/tamland-1-r142 As mentioned in one of your other threads, don't get sidetracked by frame coating. You can easily treat any frame with Framesaver and it will outlive the rider.
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Old 05-16-19, 07:12 AM
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Option 1: Don't be fooled by the myths about steel - there may be some comfort advantage if using narrow high pressure tires, but if you have over ~32mm tires, deflection in the tire is 100X what the frame can provide.

Aluminum is generally a better material for Clydesdales IMO.
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Old 05-16-19, 07:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Wilfred Laurier View Post
Option 1: Don't be fooled by the myths about steel - there may be some comfort advantage if using narrow high pressure tires, but if you have over ~32mm tires, deflection in the tire is 100X what the frame can provide.

Aluminum is generally a better material for Clydesdales IMO.
I have ridden aluminum bikes, including my ‘Dale mountain bike. Aluminum can be pretty harsh compared to steel.

May I suggest a nice, used Ti frame. I had a Litespeed Classic Ti bike that I bought used. It was supremely comfortable. Unfortunately it did not fit me right so I had to sell it.
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Old 05-16-19, 07:27 AM
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Between the two, the All-City would be my sure pick, as the Jamis inexplicably has a press-fit bottom bracket, and there's absolutely no need for that.

Also take a look at the Rodeo Labs Flaanimal 4.1 and the Ritchey Outback. The Flaanimal gets an edge build-wise, if just for the T47 BB, but I do love Ritchey. I have a few-years-old Swiss Cross and absolutely love it.

After spending a few years on an aluminum CX bike, I can tell you that steel is indeed real. I'll never buy an AL-framed bike again.
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Old 05-16-19, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
Between the two, the All-City would be my sure pick…

Also take a look at the Rodeo Labs Flaanimal 4.1
I was also interested in the Cosmic Stallion when the first one was released. It was sold out when I was ready to buy, so I waited impatiently for the new ones to come out. When they finally did, I was disappointed to see they downgraded from hydro brakes to mechanical and it still cost the same.

That's what lead me to purchasing my Flaanimal 4.1, and I couldn't be happier with the build they created for me.
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Old 05-16-19, 09:15 AM
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Everything mentioned so far are really great options that vary slightly in different ways. Some insignificant variations, and some more significant. Geometry and frame spec is individual, so its great there are so many options.

Something not mentioned is this - https://otsocycles.com/products/warakin-frameset
The Warakin is a stainless steel(no rust) frame with a carbon fork. It has thru axles, adjustable chainstay length, and plenty of mount points. The geometry is definitely not stretched out too.
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Old 05-16-19, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
Bianchi Orso Orso 105 | Bianchi USA Raleigh Tamland https://www.raleighusa.com/tamland-1-r142 As mentioned in one of your other threads, don't get sidetracked by frame coating. You can easily treat any frame with Framesaver and it will outlive the rider.
The Bianchi is not coated, but like said I can coat it. Just not sure the steel is as good a quality as All City Ace. I do like the flat mount hydro brakes.
How do I know if the bottom bracket is threaded or not?

There is a Bianchi in my size local and is $500.00 cheaper than the All City Cosmic Stallion.
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Old 05-16-19, 01:53 PM
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I have ridden aluminum bikes, including my ‘Dale mountain bike. Aluminum can be pretty harsh compared to steel.

May I suggest a nice, used Ti frame. I had a Litespeed Classic Ti bike that I bought used. It was supremely comfortable. Unfortunately it did not fit me right so I had to sell it.
Yeah, old school Aluminum was harsh (as are many new AL bikes).

Ironically, Salsa says their newer aluminum bikes are less harsh than their Ti bike, so they discontinued the Ti.
Presumably if you form the Aluminum properly (and don't just butt together oversized round tubes) you can get a nice ride out of it.


@dkyser
I've always been attracted to the Genisis steel bikes (if you can get them where you live).
https://www.cyclingweekly.com/editor...-fer-20-361717
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Old 05-16-19, 02:27 PM
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I just got a Gunnar Hyper XF and I love it. I have two wheel sets for it, one with 32mm slicks for road riding and one with 40mm gravel tires for going off road. The geometry of the bike is such that for me it makes a perfectly adequate road bike, but switch wheels and it's also a great gravel bike. For me, it is my new do-it-all bike.

Also in the running was the All-City Macho King and the Voodoo Rada (both with Reynolds 853), and the Ritchey Outback.

Including a pic with the road tires (32s).

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Old 05-16-19, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by dkyser View Post
How do I know if the bottom bracket is threaded or not?
The specs for the Orso 105 show BB RS500, which is a proper BSA threaded bottom bracket. Also, the frame description for the Sora model specifically states BSA. The shop could give you a definitive answer. I saw an Orso 105 on the road this week, a very cool looking bike. Both versions have the desirable/ current flat mounts for brakes and 12mm thru axles. The Sora has a steel fork which could be viewed as a plus if weight is not the primary consideration.
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Old 05-16-19, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by KeatonR View Post
I just got a Gunnar Hyper XF and I love it. I have two wheel sets for it, one with 32mm slicks for road riding and one with 40mm gravel tires for going off road. The geometry of the bike is such that for me it makes a perfectly adequate road bike, but switch wheels and it's also a great gravel bike. For me, it is my new do-it-all bike.

Also in the running was the All-City Macho King and the Voodoo Rada (both with Reynolds 853), and the Ritchey Outback.

Including a pic with the road tires (32s).


Stunning looking bike.
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Old 05-16-19, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by ColonelSanders View Post
Stunning looking bike.
Thanks. It is suddenly the most beautiful thing I own. But wait until you see it with the off-road wheels. Will post a pic this weekend.
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Old 05-17-19, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by KeatonR View Post
Also in the running was the All-City Macho King and the Voodoo Rada (both with Reynolds 853), and the Ritchey Outback.


Yep, a Ritchey would be high on my list If I wanted to spend a little more $$ than on a Genesis Croix de Fer

Genesis: https://road.cc/content/review/15896...e-fer-frameset

Ritchey: https://road.cc/content/review/23657...tback-frameset



Originally Posted by KeatonR View Post
Thanks. It is suddenly the most beautiful thing I own. But wait until you see it with the off-road wheels. Will post a pic this weekend.
I will wait patiently.

I have an old school double butted chromo road bike from back in the day when the art form was perfected. But I’ve always loved the look of bigger tires on a steel bike.
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Old 05-17-19, 08:40 AM
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I have almost decided to build up a frame. Seems the best way if frame has not been treated for rust.
Does Gunnar use Reynolds 853?
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Old 05-17-19, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by dkyser View Post
I have almost decided to build up a frame. Seems the best way if frame has not been treated for rust.
Does Gunnar use Reynolds 853?
What they say about their material is that “Here our artisans hand TIG weld together the finest proprietary tubesets in the industry.” Elsewhere on their website they say that the Hyper XF tubeset is lighter than what they use for their Fastlane. I asked the shop I bought through and they said it’s their own proprietary tubing but that it’s certainly equivalent to 853.

These frames come without treatment but I had mine sprayed with framesaver as part of the build and intend to reapply it every couple of years.
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Old 05-17-19, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by dkyser View Post
I have almost decided to build up a frame. Seems the best way if frame has not been treated for rust.
Does Gunnar use Reynolds 853?
More important than the tubing number is the geometry and butting profile. Those two things will make more of a difference when it comes to weight and handling. A butting profile affects weight and flex. Bike geometry affects flex and handling. All those go into if a bike then feels right or not.

853 comes in regular 853, 853 pro team(lighter), and 853 DZB(double zonal butted). As an example I know well, Columbus Zona(quality tubing) comes in a host of butting profiles. The same diameter tube can have long butts, short butts, thinner gauge butting, or thicker gauge butting. So saying 'I want Zona tubing' is sort of like saying 'i want an apple' to a grocer- ok, what apple do you want- a granny smith, honeycrisp, disgusting red delicious?


All that is giving background for why it would be best to ask Gunnar what the specs of the tubing are. Are the top and down tubes .9/.6/.9 with long butts or are they .7/.4/.7 with short butts? Are the chainstays .9mm or .7/.5mm?
What they use will affect handling, feel, and weight. I just think that is more important than focusing on which model of tubing is used.

Email/call Gunnar. Good chance Richard Schwinn will answer/respond and he can go as deep or general on details as you want.
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Old 05-17-19, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
What they use will affect handling, feel, and weight. I just think that is more important than focusing on which model of tubing is used.

Email/call Gunnar. Good chance Richard Schwinn will answer/respond and he can go as deep or general on details as you want.

If you do that, please report back -- I'd be curious.
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Old 05-17-19, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by KeatonR View Post
If you do that, please report back -- I'd be curious.
Not sure if this response is directed to me since its responding to my quote, but if it is meant for me...
Ive emailed with Richard before about the HyperX. I sked about expected frame weight for my size compared to my current frame and the Gunnar canti brake frame, we discussed potential forks(due to steerer tube length plus headset stack height), fit of a stock bike vs my current bike, tire clearance due to chain stay bend(the XX vs X), and me building a frame vs buying from Gunnar.

I suggested calling/emailing Gunnar to the OP because if the company is willing to go back and forth on email that much for me, who didnt order a frame, I would imagine they would be very willing to discuss more details with someone ready to buy.
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Old 05-17-19, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Not sure if this response is directed to me since its responding to my quote, but if it is meant for me...
Ive emailed with Richard before about the HyperX. I sked about expected frame weight for my size compared to my current frame and the Gunnar canti brake frame, we discussed potential forks(due to steerer tube length plus headset stack height), fit of a stock bike vs my current bike, tire clearance due to chain stay bend(the XX vs X), and me building a frame vs buying from Gunnar.

I suggested calling/emailing Gunnar to the OP because if the company is willing to go back and forth on email that much for me, who didnt order a frame, I would imagine they would be very willing to discuss more details with someone ready to buy.
Oh, sorry. I knew what you were saying, and what I meant was if the person you were giving that advice to hears back from Gunnar with any details about the tubing, I'd be interested. I'm already an enthusiastic owner, so it'd would just be a matter of interest for me.
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Old 05-17-19, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Wilfred Laurier View Post
Option 1: Don't be fooled by the myths about steel - there may be some comfort advantage if using narrow high pressure tires, but if you have over ~32mm tires, deflection in the tire is 100X what the frame can provide.
Aluminum is generally a better material for Clydesdales IMO.

Except for the higher likelihood of stress cracking. If you are a clydesdale, the weight difference is very small percentage wise, I'd go with steel.
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Old 05-21-19, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by bigredgrad01 View Post
Except for the higher likelihood of stress cracking. If you are a clydesdale, the weight difference is very small percentage wise, I'd go with steel.
This is a common misconception,, generally stemming from a misunderstanding of the concept of 'fatigue limits' -

Steel has a fatigue limit - meaning there is a level of stress below which steel can be subjected an infinite number of times without fatigue failure. Aluminum does not have a fatigue limit, so theoretically, any level of stress will eventually cause fatigue failure - 'eventually' meaning possibly in the Billions of cycles...

The misunderstanding, I believe, comes from the assumption that because steel has a fatigue limit it will last forever... well we know this is not true. For the fatigue limit to be a factor, stress has to be below the fatigue limit - an assumption you can't really make, especially when talking about heavier riders, and especially especially when talking about heavy riders on light steel bikes. And the advice given here and elsewhere on the intrerwebbs is always as you present it - 'steel is tougher than aluminum' without any context or thoughtful discussion about fatigue, but many steel frames would not be suitable for a heavier rider. I would feel it safe to assume that a very heavily built steel frame such as a Surly will last a very long time, but I would not have peace of mind on a <BRAND NAMES REMOVED> lightweight steel bike.

As for aluminum failure - most mass manufactured aluminum frames are vastly overbuilt, to the point that the weight difference is minimal between mediocre Al and high-end steel, but that results in the Al potentially outlasting the steel... which agrees with mine and many others experience. And besides, the vast majority of bikes fail due to misadventure long before fatigue becomes an issue.

For example, the only manufacturer that I am aware of who made a 'Clydesdale Specific' bike is Kona - their Hoss line from a few years ago... and guess what? They were made from aluminum..
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Old 05-23-19, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Wilfred Laurier View Post
This is a common misconception,, generally stemming from a misunderstanding of the concept of 'fatigue limits' -

Steel has a fatigue limit - meaning there is a level of stress below which steel can be subjected an infinite number of times without fatigue failure. Aluminum does not have a fatigue limit, so theoretically, any level of stress will eventually cause fatigue failure - 'eventually' meaning possibly in the Billions of cycles...

The misunderstanding, I believe, comes from the assumption that because steel has a fatigue limit it will last forever... well we know this is not true. For the fatigue limit to be a factor, stress has to be below the fatigue limit - an assumption you can't really make, especially when talking about heavier riders, and especially especially when talking about heavy riders on light steel bikes. And the advice given here and elsewhere on the intrerwebbs is always as you present it - 'steel is tougher than aluminum' without any context or thoughtful discussion about fatigue, but many steel frames would not be suitable for a heavier rider. I would feel it safe to assume that a very heavily built steel frame such as a Surly will last a very long time, but I would not have peace of mind on a <BRAND NAMES REMOVED> lightweight steel bike.

As for aluminum failure - most mass manufactured aluminum frames are vastly overbuilt, to the point that the weight difference is minimal between mediocre Al and high-end steel, but that results in the Al potentially outlasting the steel... which agrees with mine and many others experience. And besides, the vast majority of bikes fail due to misadventure long before fatigue becomes an issue.

For example, the only manufacturer that I am aware of who made a 'Clydesdale Specific' bike is Kona - their Hoss line from a few years ago... and guess what? They were made from aluminum..
I think you are greatly underestimating the probability of fatigue cracking in light alloy frames based on my personal experience with road riding, stress cracks and chainstay snapping going over relatively small bumps on alloy road frames. Gravel terrain puts even more tension on chainstays, a lot of flexing forces, and higher risk of dings, all are things that steel is better than alloy in dealing with. You can overbuild an alloy frame, but then it won't be as comfortable as a steel frame, and still have more catastrophic failure modes, even if overall strength is same. I don't hate on alloy as a budget option, but it's just not as good for gravel, IMO, and I'd start checking it frequently after the miles rack up.
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