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Old 06-17-22, 06:17 AM
  #26  
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As others have written, it's more about the engineering. If you engineer an aluminum bike to be compliant, it will quickly reach its fatigue limit and fail. So aluminum bikes are deliberately made to not flex. Steel can be allowed flex a little. Too much and it's whippy, too little and it feels like aluminum - or worse! Likewise carbon and titanium are built to the desired stiffness.
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Old 06-17-22, 07:53 AM
  #27  
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I am certain that the 50+ guys who drop me on their carbon super bikes would also drop me if we exchanged bikes. But ten years from now they will have disposed of those and likely other bikes in favor of some extra super bike while I will continue riding my tried and true lugged steel. I also won’t need to replace my frames in the event of a crash.
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Old 06-17-22, 09:08 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by Classtime View Post
I am certain that the 50+ guys who drop me on their carbon super bikes would also drop me if we exchanged bikes. But ten years from now they will have disposed of those and likely other bikes in favor of some extra super bike while I will continue riding my tried and true lugged steel. I also won’t need to replace my frames in the event of a crash.
Obviously the people who drop me now will still drop me regardless of the bikes we are on. To your second point, I don't know what you mean, "they will have disposed of those"? If you mean they wanted new bikes, sure. A lot of us like to buy new bikes. I used to buy a new bike when it suited me but now I don't work....

I've seen a few steel bikes damaged in crashes. Seen TIG welded ones tossed out when bent and seen lugged ones repaired. Friend paid as much to have one fixed and painted as he paid for the bike when he bought it used.

I've broken 3 steel frames and 1 aluminum frame. One of the steel frames was warrantied by Trek and the others were all trashed.

I bought a new mtb before I retired but if I still had a little extra each month I would love to buy some new bikes right now. Maybe start with a BMC.
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Old 06-17-22, 01:22 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by big john View Post
Obviously the people who drop me now will still drop me regardless of the bikes we are on. To your second point, I don't know what you mean, "they will have disposed of those"? If you mean they wanted new bikes, sure. A lot of us like to buy new bikes. I used to buy a new bike when it suited me but now I don't work....
Not sure how obvious it is--Many folks believe that the latest greatest bike makes a significant difference in performance and I'm only referring to the guys that I ride with. Buy a new bike. You shoudn 't need to defend your carbon fiber buying habits. I will say, that in general, two guys who each spend 10-12 grand on a road bike that they intend to ride for significant yearly miles, where one gets a steel framed bike and the other gets carbon, 5-6 years from the date of purchase, the carbon guy is much more likely to abandon his former latest and greatest for the newest latest and greatest. That is all and It is ALL good.
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Old 06-17-22, 01:48 PM
  #30  
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Carbon bikes aren't all 10 - 15 grand.

In fact they are down in the 3000 or less price range. And you aren't going to get a comparable quality and component build on a new steel bike that you can on a new CF bike.
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Old 06-17-22, 02:07 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Carbon bikes aren't all 10 - 15 grand.

In fact they are down in the 3000 or less price range. And you aren't going to get a comparable quality and component build on a new steel bike that you can on a new CF bike.
The BMC I posted is $2999 with 105.
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Old 06-17-22, 02:14 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by Classtime View Post
Not sure how obvious it is--Many folks believe that the latest greatest bike makes a significant difference in performance and I'm only referring to the guys that I ride with. Buy a new bike. You shoudn 't need to defend your carbon fiber buying habits. I will say, that in general, two guys who each spend 10-12 grand on a road bike that they intend to ride for significant yearly miles, where one gets a steel framed bike and the other gets carbon, 5-6 years from the date of purchase, the carbon guy is much more likely to abandon his former latest and greatest for the newest latest and greatest. That is all and It is ALL good.
Actually the only full carbon bike I've ever had is my mountain bike. Most of my road bikes have been all steel including the fork. I've had 1 each steel, aluminum, and titanium road bike with carbon fork and 1 aluminum touring bike with a steel fork. Most of the time I ride a Seven.
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Old 06-17-22, 02:37 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
I honestly thing that frame geometry and fork rake have as much to do or more than frame material in the ride quality and certainly the handling.

But whatever the reasons, I really do like the springy ride of a high quality lugged steel frame bike. At this point, I have bikes that are Al/C, Ti/C and steel ... for different reasons, I love them all.


beautifule bike !

I was also going to add that the rim profile will also play into a bikes perceived comfort too

A higher profile rim like your CXP-30's will ride different than a simple box section rim regardless of frame material
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Old 06-17-22, 07:08 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Classtime View Post
Not sure how obvious it is--Many folks believe that the latest greatest bike makes a significant difference in performance and I'm only referring to the guys that I ride with. Buy a new bike. You shoudn 't need to defend your carbon fiber buying habits. I will say, that in general, two guys who each spend 10-12 grand on a road bike that they intend to ride for significant yearly miles, where one gets a steel framed bike and the other gets carbon, 5-6 years from the date of purchase, the carbon guy is much more likely to abandon his former latest and greatest for the newest latest and greatest. That is all and It is ALL good.
They are changing their carbon bikes after a few years out of choice rather than necessity. People buying steel bikes are by definition not concerned about having the latest frame tech, so it's hardly a shock if they decide to keep them for 10+ years. If steel bike tech was fast moving then guys buying steel bikes might be more tempted to upgrade them more often. I don't think how long people keep their bikes for has anything much to do with their actual useful lifespan, regardless of frame material.
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Old 06-18-22, 12:09 AM
  #35  
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For riding comfort, and reliability, nothing beets steel. Had carbon and aluminum. The closest to steel was my Lemond Tourmalet. Ally frame, carbon fork. A large part is frame geometr


y. And, tire size plus pressure throws a huge variance into the mix. But, I’m good with my current ride. Cross Check, 42 Conti Speedrides……
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Old 06-18-22, 04:41 AM
  #36  
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I have numerous steel bikes, including De Rosa, Eddy Merckx, Pinarello...

Steel has a smooth feel, but carbon fiber also mutes vibrations efficiently. My aluminum bikes ride smoothly and I like the extra stiffness aluminum offers.

Bike tires are probably more important than frame material if you are seeking a smooth ride. A plush 700x32 tire at 75psi on an aluminum frame will feel smoother than a stiff 700x23 tire at 105psi on a steel frame bike.
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Old 06-18-22, 08:39 AM
  #37  
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Those 40mm tires on your Kona Sutra probably go a long way to giving you a smooth ride.

John
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Old 06-18-22, 02:13 PM
  #38  
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steel bikes are not all 10-15 grand either. AND a 10,000 dollar steel bike will often be of a higher quality than a production carbon super bike. AND cyclists upgrade their carbon bikes out of a necessity to always have the latest and greatest at their individual accessible price point.

Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Carbon bikes aren't all 10 - 15 grand.

In fact they are down in the 3000 or less price range. And you aren't going to get a comparable quality and component build on a new steel bike that you can on a new CF bike.
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Old 06-18-22, 02:25 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
I have numerous steel bikes, including De Rosa, Eddy Merckx, Pinarello...

Steel has a smooth feel, but carbon fiber also mutes vibrations efficiently. My aluminum bikes ride smoothly and I like the extra stiffness aluminum offers.

Bike tires are probably more important that frame material if you are seeking a smooth ride. A plush 700x32 tire at 75psi on an aluminum frame will feel smoother than a stiff 700x23 tire at 105psi on a steel frame bike.
agree

I put a fair amount of miles on steel, aluminum, and carbon bikes

set up relatively similar - same saddle / bar tape (etc)

at my size especially - small frame size - the tires / tire pressure made more difference than the different frame material

in larger frame sizes this might not be the case (?)
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Old 06-18-22, 02:33 PM
  #40  
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The idea that aluminum bikes are harsher then steel comes from early aluminum, the same thing happened in motorcross. the early aluminum frames were way over built for fear of failure. it took time but eventually the balance of the material was figured out. I have both and and like both. That said, I like round tubes, so I prefer steel for that hahaha
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Old 06-18-22, 02:46 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Jheitt View Post
The idea that aluminum bikes are harsher then steel comes from early aluminum, the same thing happened in motorcross. the early aluminum frames were way over built for fear of failure. it took time but eventually the balance of the material was figured out. I have both and and like both. That said, I like round tubes, so I prefer steel for that hahaha
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Old 06-18-22, 03:10 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by Classtime View Post
steel bikes are not all 10-15 grand either. AND a 10,000 dollar steel bike will often be of a higher quality than a production carbon super bike. AND cyclists upgrade their carbon bikes out of a necessity to always have the latest and greatest at their individual accessible price point.
How do you compare the "quality" of a top-end steel vs carbon bike?
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Old 06-18-22, 04:04 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Classtime View Post
. AND cyclists upgrade their carbon bikes out of a necessity to always have the latest and greatest at their individual accessible price point.
So your counter point for steel is that cyclist don't upgrade because they are happy with old components?

Don't get me wrong. I like steel bikes. I like carbon bikes too. Pretty much it's easier to find a very decent carbon bike today. Decent steel not so easy. Haven't seen one in the local shops here in a very long time.
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Old 06-19-22, 08:13 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
How do you compare the "quality" of a top-end steel vs carbon bike?
Top end steel is likely made to measure. Top end carbon is likely not—although it can be.

Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
So your counter point for steel is that cyclist don't upgrade because they are happy with old components?

Don't get me wrong. I like steel bikes. I like carbon bikes too. Pretty much it's easier to find a very decent carbon bike today. Decent steel not so easy. Haven't seen one in the local shops here in a very long time.
Anybody might be happy with old components that work. My point is that a rider who’s primary high mileage bike is steel is less likely to be looking to replace it.

AND, Yes it is easier. Folks who have a decent bike and are looking for a newer decent bike, want another carbon bike. So yah, the shops have plenty of carbon bikes.

If it is really important, and we have time, we should Suvey: of 100 riders of carbon bikes on a popular route, how many of those bikes are at least 10 years old? And do the same for 100 riders of Steel. We could correct for age too. Let’s get to the bottom of this.
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Old 06-19-22, 08:58 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
I have 6 steel bikes, a titanium bike, and I use to have a scandium bike, plus I have ridden many CF bikes. Here's what my arse and hands told me. The scandium bike was the worst riding bike by far over the others. Next comes CF, while CF does smooth o ut minor road imperfections, but once you get onto rough roads like where I live, the ride is no longer very good, the rougher the road gets the worse the ride gets, but I would place CF ahead of scandium, scandium was like riding on bricks, CF was more like riding on wood? Next comes steel, the comfort of steel is very good, day and night difference over scandium, but better than CF. Of course, CF is lighter than steel, and CF is stiffer, so it feels like a rocket when cranking hard, much like the scandium bike did, steel really doesn't have that effect, but if all you ride is steel some steel bikes will feel faster than others depending on the geometry, tubing used, and if the tubing has rifling or flutes inside. Now lastly is titanium, I think that titanium is the best riding material I have ever rode, both minor imperfections are fairly muted, as well as major imperfections, the ride is fantastic, the tracking is very good though that does depend a lot on the fork, mine is a Enve 2.0; I can ride on that bike for a hundred miles and not be as tired as I would be on steel or CF, but the scandium was like riding 100 miles after only doing 50!

Having said all of that geometry plays a lot into how a bike will feel, all the bikes I have are road geometry bikes, except for one, that one is a steel touring bike with a relaxed touring geometry, it also has 38c tires, that bike is very comfortable even though the frame tubing diameter is larger than other steel bikes I have. They also have improved AL frames a lot since I bought the scandium, they claim they have removed a lot of the harshness out of the ride, but I doubt it would still match TI, steel, or CF, but could come close. AL bikes are the best bang for the buck though, especially if you're a beginning race person, when a person starts out racing the chances of a crash is quite high, and unlike pro who get free bikes you have to pay for yours, and an AL frame is the least expensive frameset to buy.

But if you all you want is comfort, the best bang for the buck is steel; the TI is for those who don't mind spending a bit more.

Anyway, that is my opinion of the different types.
RE: CF was more like riding on wood?

A wood frame would have the best dampening and shock absorption and flex so would be by far the most comfortable

RE: titanium is the best riding material

Agree, I have all the frames and TI is the best ride

I love steel but if climbing then CF would be my pick
Wheels make a big diff, would change wheels before changing a frame, given you dont have many bikes for many purposes
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Old 06-19-22, 09:52 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by Classtime View Post
Top end steel is likely made to measure. Top end carbon is likely not—although it can be.
I guess that's something to consider for those who don't fit on regular sized bikes.
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Old 06-19-22, 12:22 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by t2p View Post
At 70 I’m still riding a Cannondale Criterium on 25’s. Not a smooth comfortable ride, but boy is it a fun ride.

Then again, harshness is also a result of where you live and the roads. Fortunately where I live the roads are like glass compared to other areas that experience inclement weather.

John
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Old 06-19-22, 03:01 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Classtime View Post
If it is really important, and we have time, we should Suvey: of 100 riders of carbon bikes on a popular route, how many of those bikes are at least 10 years old? And do the same for 100 riders of Steel. We could correct for age too. Let’s get to the bottom of this.
Thing is it's not really important at all what material a bike is made of.

All though you seem to be promoting the idea that steel is the only thing a sensible cyclist should ride. The only message I think any of us should take away from here is that bikes are good, no matter what they are made of. It's not the material that makes a great bike. I've had plenty of steel clunkers as well as some good ones. Just like CF bikes come in clunkers and others that are good.
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Old 06-19-22, 03:52 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by joesch View Post
RE: CF was more like riding on wood?

A wood frame would have the best dampening and shock absorption and flex so would be by far the most comfortable

RE: titanium is the best riding material

Agree, I have all the frames and TI is the best ride

I love steel but if climbing then CF would be my pick
Wheels make a big diff, would change wheels before changing a frame, given you dont have many bikes for many purposes
By wood I meant a dead type of feeling, it's weird to explain.

I hear you about climbing CF would be the way to go, especially if you're a power person, but I don't buy a new bike every 3 or years, I make my bikes last, I still have my 84 Trek 660 that I use to race on and just ride in general, it has over 150,000 miles on it, I don't think there will be too many CF bikes that will last that long. When I bought my Lynskey it was with the intent that it would be my last road I'll ever buy new, and knew TI would last several lifetimes, so I was good that; which is why I bought the Masi for touring, while it was steel, it too could last at least a couple lifetimes.

Sheldon Brown use to ride to work on a 1916 (or earlier) Mead Ranger if my memory serves me right, which he said was made using gas pipe, but he loved the ride, that bike lasted several generations and will probably last several more.
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Old 06-19-22, 06:33 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Thing is it's not really important at all what material a bike is made of.

All though you seem to be promoting the idea that steel is the only thing a sensible cyclist should ride. ….
I was only promoting the idea that cyclists who prefer steel are less likely to replace their current favorite rider at any point in time. I’m glad you guys are keeping the bike shops open so I can buy a cable now and then, shoot some bull and entertain their suggestion that I get a carbon bike. 😁 It is all good
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