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Steel All-road frames

Old 11-04-19, 09:22 AM
  #1  
shoota 
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Steel All-road frames

Help me find options for what I'm looking for.

I recently built up a 70s Windsor all an all road bike and I'll admit, it has opened my eyes to how a full steel bike can feel on the road. Really the only thing I'd change on it if I could is I'd make it disc brake and wider tire clearance.

So what's out there that is disc (preferably post mount), threaded BB, lively geo, full steel, and 38-40mm tire clearance at least? And not full custom prices.

I was looking at BMC but it seems like he doesn't make a disc version of anything except the Road+ frame. (Which is actually a pretty cool frame, and I love the lugged fork :heart:

Also looked at:
Soma Fog Cutter - pretty good contender
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Old 11-04-19, 10:07 AM
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https://blackmtncycles.com/frames/mcd-frames/

Thru axels. Takes wide tires. Disc brakes. Good price.

I think will take up to 45mm tires
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Old 11-04-19, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by trailangel View Post
https://blackmtncycles.com/frames/mcd-frames/

Thru axels. Takes wide tires. Disc brakes. Good price.

I think will take up to 45mm tires
Wow, not sure how I missed that. Thanks
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Old 11-04-19, 10:28 AM
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Pretty sure has threaded BB as well. I like the olive color.
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Old 11-04-19, 10:52 AM
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I built up a Jamis Renegade Escapade and at $850 for the frameset (with carbon fork), I think it's a great deal. Threaded BB, thru axles, clearance for 700 x 42 or 650 x 47.

https://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/reneg...ade_frame.html
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Old 11-04-19, 11:53 AM
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I see you've heard the gospel of the Fog Cutter, that's about my favorite mid-range steel frameset right now. Nice lively frame, steel or carbon fork options and two different rake choices to really dial in the handling you want. It's QR which is a positive for me but might be a negative for you, it does have correctly oriented dropouts. Soma Double Cross disc is a good contender as well, slightly stiffer but still rides well. I would recommend staying away from anything with an oversize headtube. 1.25"+ can be tolerable with a full carbon fork but an all steel fork and it's miserably stiff. Velo-Orange's new Pass Hunter Disc is a notable frame that regressed by going to OS headtube and steerer fork.

FWIW, if I had to restart my bicycle squadron today I'd get a MCD first and go from there. Probably the best frameset deal going if you're of the weight and preference for the tubing choice.
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Old 11-04-19, 12:24 PM
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When I was looking for something like what you describe a couple years ago, my short list came down to:

Soma Fog Cutter
All City Space Horse
Twin Six Standard Rando.

I went with the Fog Cutter. Only the CF fork was available at the time, I might have gone with the steel one if I were doing it over. I like the bike a lot.

Recently, A friend got a Space Horse. Very nice bike, and the paint scheme is pretty freaking cool. Having checked hers out, I could have been happy with either frame, and cost was similar.

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Old 11-04-19, 12:27 PM
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Here's mine, with low-trail fork (slightly heavier and stiffer than regular fork):

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Old 11-04-19, 12:58 PM
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Lots of threads on this...

Good steel gravel frames?
Choosing a steel frame...
Best Steel Frame Under $1500

etc
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Old 11-04-19, 02:28 PM
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Copied from the Paceline post for completeness:

I agonized over this same question for the past couple months before finally buying a Black Mountain Road+ last week (still haven't received it or built it up yet so I can't comment) but here was the list that I compiled that somewhat fits this category.

I am in the "much more road than all road" category so some of these are definitely more pavement oriented. In the end it came down to the Black Mountain Road+ and the Soma Fog Cutter. That Fog Cutter can be had for $600 with the carbon fork and Velomine has some really decent 700c disc wheels for $200.


- Black Mountain Cycles Road+
- Soma Fog Cutter
- Soma Double Cross Disc
- Jamis Renegade
- All City Space Horse
- Velo Orange Polyvalent
- Niner RLT 9 steel
- Velo Orange Pass Hunter (new version not yet released)
- Fairdale Rockitship
- Kona Rove ST
- Twin Six Standard Rando
- Fairlight Secan

Building up the Road+ with a Shimano 105 groupset and going to have a go building my own wheels with the Pacenti Forza Disc rims laced to Shimano R7070 hubs.

PS: you guys and your Fog Cutter builds are making me have a twinge of buyer's remorse!
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Old 11-04-19, 03:44 PM
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I've been intrigued by BikesDirect 853 Gravel frameset.

Full Reynolds 853. Disc, thru axels, says capable of 700c*40.

Edit: Fork is Carbon

Last edited by dpicare26; 11-04-19 at 03:49 PM.
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Old 11-04-19, 04:03 PM
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Gunnar Sport Disc? Sport Disc
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Old 11-04-19, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Spoonrobot View Post
Here's mine, with low-trail fork (slightly heavier and stiffer than regular fork):

what WTB tires are on there?
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Old 11-04-19, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by loheiman View Post
I built up a Jamis Renegade Escapade and at $850 for the frameset (with carbon fork), I think it's a great deal. Threaded BB, thru axles, clearance for 700 x 42 or 650 x 47.

https://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/reneg...ade_frame.html
X2 on this! Jamis has been making great steel bikes for 3 generations now. The Renegade is on the third generation of frames and really has it dialed in. Great carbon fork as well. Very reasonable price and looks good too.

BTW, I have a new never ridden Steel Bombtrack gravel bike frame with carbon fork available that will fit someone about 5'10" - 6'. PM me if you are interested. It is European Columbus steel and very beautiful! Never ridden...
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Old 11-04-19, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by shoota View Post
Help me find options for what I'm looking for.

I recently built up a 70s Windsor all an all road bike and I'll admit, it has opened my eyes to how a full steel bike can feel on the road. Really the only thing I'd change on it if I could is I'd make it disc brake and wider tire clearance.

So what's out there that is disc (preferably post mount), threaded BB, lively geo, full steel, and 38-40mm tire clearance at least? And not full custom prices.

I was looking at BMC but it seems like he doesn't make a disc version of anything except the Road+ frame. (Which is actually a pretty cool frame, and I love the lugged fork :heart

Also looked at:
Soma Fog Cutter - pretty good contender
So full steel will eliminate a lot of possibilities since so many mix a steel frame with carbon fork(niner, all city, Janis, etc etc).


The Black Mountain MCD frame, as mentioned, is an option. I really like the geometry and set up my old rim brake frame for commuting/touring. The geometry is very 'middle' in that nothing is super aggressive or super slack.
The frame is made with .8/.5/.8 heat treated tubing and the paint is really quality. Its wet paint with a clear coat powder.
50mm tires fit, thru axle, post mount brakes.
The MCD frames have a good bit of stack height to them, just a specific mention since you've said you like a more stretched out setup. The reach is a bit more than most frames I compared, for what its worth.

Then you have Surly.
And then you move on.

As mentioned, Soma is a great option and there are multiple forks to give you a more custom setup based on how you want to ride(low trail or mid trail, basically).

All City Spacehorse is a full steel frameset for a reasonable price and comes in 3 colors.

And I bring in something outta left field- Fairlight Faran. Not one that would be mentioned, just due to small size and being across the pond.
Reynolds 631 shaped main tubes with S bend stays. Room for 42mm tire. Post mount brakes. Geometry that is more road than slack. 3 different frame colors.
$770 for frame, fork, headset, and seat collar.



If you do go with a steel frame and carbon fork, there are obviously tons of option- many already mentioned.
And bombtrack seems to be a popular option to see mentioned...its columbus cromer tubing which is .9/.6/.9 butting. It's perfectly fine, but I mention this because generic tubing or 631 is thinner/lighter and strong.

Last edited by mstateglfr; 11-04-19 at 07:21 PM.
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Old 11-04-19, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Fairlight Faran.
4.8 pounds for the 54R, woof.

ISO TEST CERTIFICATE EXCEEDS BS EN ISO 4210-2:2015.


Originally Posted by Metieval View Post
what WTB tires are on there?
Compass 650bx42 Babyshoe Pass on the rear, WTB 650bx47 Horizon on the front.

Last edited by Spoonrobot; 11-04-19 at 08:02 PM.
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Old 11-04-19, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by shoota View Post
Help me find options for what I'm looking for.

I recently built up a 70s Windsor all an all road bike and I'll admit, it has opened my eyes to how a full steel bike can feel on the road. Really the only thing I'd change on it if I could is I'd make it disc brake and wider tire clearance.

So what's out there that is disc (preferably post mount), threaded BB, lively geo, full steel, and 38-40mm tire clearance at least? And not full custom prices.

I was looking at BMC but it seems like he doesn't make a disc version of anything except the Road+ frame. (Which is actually a pretty cool frame, and I love the lugged fork :heart

Also looked at:
Soma Fog Cutter - pretty good contender
does it have to be a 700?

Midnight special
https://surlybikes.com/bikes/midnight_special

I mean if you want fat tires and lively. It's with this bike. Road geo but can do so much more.
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Old 11-04-19, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Spoonrobot View Post
4.8 pounds for the 54R, woof.
Yes, not a feather.
I often find this among the under $1000 steel framesets- they certainly arent light and in the case of the Faran, it's to meet whatever the certifications over there are.

The Jamis Renegade 631 frame in size 56 weighs 4.93#, so in line with a slightly smaller Faran weighing slightly less.

Meanwhile, the largest Black Mountain MCD frame weighs 2275g or 5 pounds with what I would guess is probably the thinnest butting and profile on this price range of frames.

Since you built up the fog cutter, what does that frame and fork weigh?
This stuff always interests me since it is so uncommon to list on websites.
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Old 11-04-19, 08:16 PM
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Don't sleep on the Ribble CGR series. There's a steel version that gets good reviews, ticks your boxes, and is a solid value (subtract 17% VAT from the listed price but add shipping cost). I have a currency value alert set on the pound. If it drops low enough I'm gonna snatch one of these up.
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Old 11-04-19, 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by dwmckee View Post
X2 on this! Jamis has been making great steel bikes for 3 generations now. The Renegade is on the third generation of frames and really has it dialed in. Great carbon fork as well. Very reasonable price and looks good too.

BTW, I have a new never ridden Steel Bombtrack gravel bike frame with carbon fork available that will fit someone about 5'10" - 6'. PM me if you are interested. It is European Columbus steel and very beautiful! Never ridden...
I'll admit it, the Renegade Escapade is one of the only (mostly) black bikes that I've really liked, it looks amazing. My wife has a Renegade Expat so I'm very familiar with them. For the price we paid it has been an absolutely ridiculously good deal. The problem with the Renegades is that their geo doesn't suit me well. I'm very in between sizes :/

PM me on that bombtrack, that's my height so I'm curious what you have.

Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
The Black Mountain MCD frame, as mentioned, is an option. I really like the geometry and set up my old rim brake frame for commuting/touring. The geometry is very 'middle' in that nothing is super aggressive or super slack.
The frame is made with .8/.5/.8 heat treated tubing and the paint is really quality. Its wet paint with a clear coat powder.
50mm tires fit, thru axle, post mount brakes.
The MCD frames have a good bit of stack height to them, just a specific mention since you've said you like a more stretched out setup. The reach is a bit more than most frames I compared, for what its worth.

Then you have Surly.
And then you move on.

As mentioned, Soma is a great option and there are multiple forks to give you a more custom setup based on how you want to ride(low trail or mid trail, basically).

All City Spacehorse is a full steel frameset for a reasonable price and comes in 3 colors.

And I bring in something outta left field- Fairlight Faran. Not one that would be mentioned, just due to small size and being across the pond.
Reynolds 631 shaped main tubes with S bend stays. Room for 42mm tire. Post mount brakes. Geometry that is more road than slack. 3 different frame colors.
$770 for frame, fork, headset, and seat collar.

If you do go with a steel frame and carbon fork, there are obviously tons of option- many already mentioned.
And bombtrack seems to be a popular option to see mentioned...its columbus cromer tubing which is .9/.6/.9 butting. It's perfectly fine, but I mention this because generic tubing or 631 is thinner/lighter and strong.
I always love your insight, you know a ton about these bikes, so thank you I saw the Fairlight Secan mentioned but for the life of me I cannot find a geo chart for any of the Fairlight bikes. Do you have that by chance?

Originally Posted by Metieval View Post
does it have to be a 700?

Midnight special
https://surlybikes.com/bikes/midnight_special

I mean if you want fat tires and lively. It's with this bike. Road geo but can do so much more.
I've been pondering the 650 vs 700 thing. I'm not opposed to 650 but I think I'd want the frame to be able to handle to 700 as well. Not sure if the Midnight Special can do that. And the other thing about this bike I just can't seem to get over is how ugly the fork is. It's just plain awful.

Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Yes, not a feather.
I often find this among the under $1000 steel framesets- they certainly arent light and in the case of the Faran, it's to meet whatever the certifications over there are.

The Jamis Renegade 631 frame in size 56 weighs 4.93#, so in line with a slightly smaller Faran weighing slightly less.

Meanwhile, the largest Black Mountain MCD frame weighs 2275g or 5 pounds with what I would guess is probably the thinnest butting and profile on this price range of frames.

Since you built up the fog cutter, what does that frame and fork weigh?
This stuff always interests me since it is so uncommon to list on websites.
Very interesting on the weights there. I'm also definitely curious to know what the Soma frameset weighs in at. I have one local to me that could be a contender.
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Old 11-04-19, 08:42 PM
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Word is the TA fittings and OS headtubes are behind the weight increase but I'm not sure that's all. I think butting profiles are being changed as well to account for disc brakes and collateral ISO testing. Either way most gravel bikes are now in a weird grey area where they a lot heavier than road bikes, not much less than mountain frames but without the capability. A divergence for another thread maybe, it's my personal windmill this season. Bike weights for off-road road bikes are too high!

My 52cm Fog Cutter was 4.25lbs for the frame and 2.2lbs for the fork with 230mm of steerer.

52cm Double Cross Disc (2015 model) was 4.38lbs for the frame and 2.0lbs for the fork with 200mm of steerer.

I also have a alu/carbon 53cm 2016 Diamondback Haanjo Comp - 4.05lbs for the frame and 1.5lbs for the alu steerer/carbon blade fork.

And for a wildcard I also noted the weight of the 2018 Masi Speciale Randonneur as 4.98lbs for the frame and 2.8lbs for the fork. This is fairly close to the weight of the Surly Midnight Special noted above. The framesets are very similar visually and with respect to design, I found them indistinguishable when riding back to back.
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Old 11-04-19, 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by DanBell View Post
Don't sleep on the Ribble CGR series. There's a steel version that gets good reviews, ticks your boxes, and is a solid value (subtract 17% VAT from the listed price but add shipping cost). I have a currency value alert set on the pound. If it drops low enough I'm gonna snatch one of these up.
I don't see an option for steel fork which is one of the OP's requirements.

So what's out there that is disc (preferably post mount), threaded BB, lively geo, full steel, and 38-40mm tire clearance at least? And not full custom prices.
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Old 11-04-19, 08:49 PM
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Oh yeah, you're right. I missed that bit.
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Old 11-04-19, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by shoota View Post
I saw the Fairlight Secan mentioned but for the life of me I cannot find a geo chart for any of the Fairlight bikes. Do you have that by chance?
Page 75 in here. A friend of mine has the Strael, their more road-oriented offering. It's a fantastic bike.
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Old 11-04-19, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by shoota View Post
I saw the Fairlight Secan mentioned but for the life of me I cannot find a geo chart for any of the Fairlight bikes. Do you have that by chance?
The faran geometry info is here-
https://fairlightcycles.com/faran/fa...v=7516fd43adaa

Some general Faran info is here- https://fairlightcycles.com/faran/?v=7516fd43adaa

And concept/design notes(story behind the build) is here- https://fairlightcycles.com/faran-co...v=7516fd43adaa

With all this said, it looks like the Faran is out of stock right now. If you email the company, Dom(an owner and main designer) or someone will usually reply within a business day, if not the same day. They continually resupply the Secan and Strael(beautiful road frame) frames thru the year, so I would think they would have a date for the Faran too.



Curious- what do you like about your Windsor when compared to the Raleigh or Cannondale? You mentioned the Windsor is fun to ride and opened eyes. I'm guessing it has a lot more flex compared to your other bikes, based on the traditional tubing diameters.


Also, I've only been mentioning the Faran since it's a steel frame and fork. The Secan is a full carbon fork and about $1250 for the frame, fork, thru axles, headset, and seat collar.
Just clarifying since you mention the Secan in response to my post on the Faran(similar seeming names for sure).

Last edited by mstateglfr; 11-04-19 at 09:00 PM.
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