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How Many Steel Road Bikes do you see at T-Shirt Rides?

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How Many Steel Road Bikes do you see at T-Shirt Rides?

Old 05-26-17, 03:10 PM
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Jarrett2
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How Many Steel Road Bikes do you see at T-Shirt Rides?

Probably like many here, I'm a bike geek. Half the reason I like doing large bike rallies (AKA T-shirt rides) is to check out all the different bikes there.

Granted, I am a steel bike fan, but I do appreciate other bikes as well. Every time I go to one of those rides and start checking bikes out, I'm pretty amazed at how many steel (and titanium) bikes I see there.

I consider it amazing because if you walk into your average bike shop today, you don't see any steel (or titanium) bikes in stock. It's all carbon fiber and aluminum the majority of the time. Yet at these bike rallies, I see an estimated 10-20% of the riders on steel and titanium bikes.

And it makes me wonder, why are there so many bikes there that you can't typically find in a bike store? I'd think these rides would be 95% Trek & Specialized bikes, but they are not. At least in my area. What about yours?
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Old 05-26-17, 03:18 PM
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There are several models from the big manufacturers still in steel, and there are a few companies (notably Jamis, Soma, QBP's brands Salsa, Surly and All City) doing steel bikes. There's been a strong fad the last decade for steel fixed gear bikes, too. At the same time, you might be seeing older bikes. A bike stored indoors and kept in repair has a long life.
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Old 05-26-17, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Jarrett2 View Post
Probably like many here, I'm a bike geek. Half the reason I like doing large bike rallies (AKA T-shirt rides) is to check out all the different bikes there.

Granted, I am a steel bike fan, but I do appreciate other bikes as well. Every time I go to one of those rides and start checking bikes out, I'm pretty amazed at how many steel (and titanium) bikes I see there.

I consider it amazing because if you walk into your average bike shop today, you don't see any steel (or titanium) bikes in stock. It's all carbon fiber and aluminum the majority of the time. Yet at these bike rallies, I see an estimated 10-20% of the riders on steel and titanium bikes.

And it makes me wonder, why are there so many bikes there that you can't typically find in a bike store? I'd think these rides would be 95% Trek & Specialized bikes, but they are not. At least in my area. What about yours?
Lots of avid cyclists started young, and still ride bikes they like from decades ago. I've been riding the same titanium frame for 20 years, having having purchased it when I'd been out of school four years and had a good paycheck. Jobst Brandt stuck with frames through many 10,000 mile years and had 300,000 miles on one set of spokes.

Lots know we want something LBSes don't sell and buy bikes elsewhere. My next frame will be titanium with travel couplers from one of two local builders. I'll probably still ride 2001-2006 Campagnolo 10 speed components where they reached their aesthetic peak, with 2010 Ultrashift levers which are the most robust and comfortable 10 speed levers Campagnolo ever made.

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Old 05-27-17, 07:17 AM
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Might also be the 'weekend fun machine' factor.

They might have a late-model Trek, Giant, Spesh', etc., that they use for the day-in day out riding and training, and then pull out the RB-1, or 912, or whatever for the big group rides.
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Old 05-27-17, 07:59 AM
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Steel is real. My road bike is a 2010 Jamis Quest which has a TIG welded Reynolds 631 frame with a carbon composite fork.

I was at my LBS yesterday, and I saw a customer with a 1990 pink/salmon colored steel frame Bianchi. He had upgraded the components, but it was still the original frame and paint job. I should have asked if I could take a picture of the bike.

While I never like to say never, I don't foresee myself buying an all carbon frame bike. I have an aluminum mtb.

Here's a picture I found online that is close to what the bike looked like. He had removed the stem shifters and upgraded the gruppo. Did not see what set it was. His cabling was pink to match the frame. I want to say his handlebar tape was brown, but I'm not sure.

http://oi1068.photobucket.com/albums...502_171834.jpg

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Old 05-27-17, 09:27 AM
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I'd say that's not unexpected. Say bikes built in the last 50 years are not uncommon. Carbon has been popular for 10-15 years, aluminum for around 20. So you have 30 years of bike production that were almost entirely steel. Plus of course a ride like that is an opportunity to get the classic out and show it off.
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Old 05-27-17, 10:40 AM
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I don't have a bike with a frame made from anything but steel! My 'newest' road bike is triple-butted CrMo, made in 1986. Yup, thirty years old is my NEWest road bike.. The others are 34 and 42!

No, I won't find anything like my bikes in a LBS. Heck, I can't even find parts for my bikes at a LBS. Three of them take 27" tires, which the LBSs don't even keep in stock! None of my road bikes are index-shifting, either.
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Old 05-27-17, 10:51 AM
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Last 'wool jersey' ride I was on was 100% steel. Even the Lady of Mystery in her little black dress.
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Old 05-27-17, 11:11 AM
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Of my bikes, most are steel and I have 2 aluminum and 1 carbon, the last few bikes that I have gotten are used steel bikes. If I were at one of these events I would be riding steel.
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Old 05-27-17, 01:38 PM
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Just did a t-shirt ride last Sunday, and saw very few steel bikes. I'm guessing 1 in 50 were steel. And some of those were tha hybrid steel/carbon type, like the Coeur d'Arcier by Serrota.
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Old 05-27-17, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
Last 'wool jersey' ride I was on was 100% steel. Even the Lady of Mystery in her little black dress.
Yup, hers is just like my 'newest' road bike - my '86 Miyata 710, but hers is a bit smaller...

mine:

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Old 05-27-17, 08:25 PM
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I presume you mean classic type steel, not just any steel bike.

It varies by ride. Last one I was on, there was actually quite a few. Generally, I'm one of the few. Rare I see a truly nice classic, mostly they are either bikes the Fred has had since they bought it new, college kids on rusty old Schwinns, or the occasional rehabbed mid level ride by an actual enthusiast here or there.
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