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3 Steels and a Ti for all around use. Which??

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3 Steels and a Ti for all around use. Which??

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Old 08-08-18, 06:09 PM
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hoovbikes
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3 Steels and a Ti for all around use. Which??

Hey everybody, Iíve come to another multi fork in the road for buying a new whip. Iíll be concise about breaking down my thought process as much as possible:
Starting from the top, Iíve been lusting after titanium for quite some time now, but at this moment it simply isnít in the cards financially, the sole exception being the On One Pickenflick. Incredibly affordable for Ti and not bc of poor craftsmanship as far as I could read from the internet. Even won road.cc Bike of the Year back in í14. Unfortunately it doesnít come standard with rack mounts (Iím awaiting reply from them about making a frame that has them) and the wheelbase seems longer than I would prefer compared to what I ride now and what I would prefer out of something new. Also shipping from the UK feels worrisome.
In Tiís stead there are a few steel options Iím considering settling for. The one that I feel would win this contest in most peopleís opinions is the Niner RLT 9 steel. Reynolds 853 frame (if not Ti then damn near the next best thing, save for a small weight penalty), all the rack mounts a commuter/adventurer could ask for, hydro disc brakes, thru axles. Pretty much hits every checkpoint on the list. Except the wheelbase. This bike is pretty much marketed as a dedicated gravel adventurer with no mention of CX capacity anywhere, but compared to a few other racier CX branded frames, 8-13mm of wheelbase difference is almost the only thing that sets it apart. Am I pettily splitting hairs in being slightly turned off by this? Or do any of you RLT 9 owners out there crown it as the ultimate all arounder?
The final two main steel options on my radar are the All City Macho Man or the Bombtrack Hook 2. The Bombtrack sounds particularly enticing to me bc it is the shortest wheelbase and highest BB of any of the aforementioned options and I do want a bike with that kind of agility not just for making rides around town exciting but of course for racier style joy rides as well. Iíve owned an All City Space Horse before and the ride feel on that was fantastic so I do not doubt All Cityís "612 select" steel, but the Hookís Columbus Cromor doesnít sound too bad either and it actually wins in the weight contest with the Macho Man by roughly 1.5 lbs or so (presumably bc of the carbon fork). Both come with rear rack mounts and ordering through Adrenaline I can always upgrade either to hydro disc if I want (both come stock w mechanical which is kind of lame IMO).
All in all, Iím looking for this bike to be strong, durable, capable of carrying small amounts of stuff when need be, and hopefully not too heavy so that it ******* agility/climb ability on days that Iím pretending Iím training for a cross or MTB race (sadly, life is only allowing for one bike in the stable right now, hence why I want this one to be somewhat of a best of all worlds).
Constructive input most welcome! Thanks and sorry for the lengthy ramble.
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Old 08-08-18, 06:14 PM
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Which ever YOU prefer.
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Old 08-09-18, 12:13 PM
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Ill just add that 8mm of wheelbase difference is not something that should be focused on by almost anyone who is a recreational rider(even if said rider competes in races). Thats less than 1cm difference.
In context, whatever frame you choose(even a small one) will have a 1000mm wheelbase at least. So we are talking about a wheelbase difference of .008% or less.

The RLT and the All City frames are really nice. Whichever looks the best to you and is closest in the important geometry measurements is probably the best choice.
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Old 08-09-18, 12:29 PM
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Pick the bike that makes YOU happy, for me it’s Ti!
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Old 08-09-18, 01:42 PM
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I don't think you should put so much emphasis on the frame material. There are broad statements you can say about steel vs aluminum vs carbon vs titanium, but they mostly fall apart when you talk about any specific bike because things like geometry, tube thickness/diameter, make a much bigger difference. The only time frame material is really going to matter is if you had two bikes with identical geometry and weight, the only difference being frame material. Since that situation is exceedingly uncommon, it make more sense to evaluate each bike as a whole, with frame material being a relatively minor attribute.

So like others have said, pick the bike that makes you feel happy. Try to ride them, or buy the one that looks cool, or the one that has the components you like. But one steel vs another steel, probably shouldn't be much of a factor in your decision. The bikes you've listed are all solid choices, none are made out of subpar materials.
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Old 08-09-18, 07:52 PM
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If it were me I'd go with the one with low bb and shorter chain stays. Used to be big on rack mounts but unless you're carrying a laptop or something frame bags can hold plenty of cargo as well.
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Old 08-09-18, 09:49 PM
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I love ti and steel so it is a tough choice. However go Ti all day everyday. I am highly considering trying to convert more of my fleet to titanium as I like the ride granted as the great spirtual leader the Buddha said above geometry does make a big difference. So try and test ride the Niner and the Ti one and see which one you like better. Generic cromo bikes are ok but I wouldn't really go for one most of the time. The All City Nature Boy 853 is however a different story but I am not working for a All City dealer. I think AC and similar brands make some cool bikes with 4130 chromo in whatever naming they give it but for a single bike option I would go with something nicer.
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Old 08-09-18, 10:07 PM
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I would go with a proven steel builder rather than the most affordable Ti.
Remember the 'bargain' season is coming for many bike companies. Lynskey does sales regularly. So do the steel guys. Soma had a model CrossCheck.
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Old 08-10-18, 07:46 AM
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I'd get the niner.
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Old 08-10-18, 11:07 AM
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The best riding steel frame is made from titanium. And that's coming from a guy who loves his C&V steel rides.

But you will feel more difference in the geometry than you would from the frame material but it doesn't sound like you can test ride any of these so moot point there.

What do you need mounts/a rack for? You say you don't want to carry a lot of stuff so why not just do a bikepacking seat pack or something?
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Old 08-10-18, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by zze86 View Post
The best riding steel frame is made from titanium.
This will perplex me for the afternoon. There goes any chance of work getting done!
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Old 08-10-18, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
This will perplex me for the afternoon. There goes any chance of work getting done!
lol, TGIF!
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Old 08-10-18, 03:37 PM
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OK. I’ll break this down. My opinions only obviously.
  • The On-One is a cheap ti frame from Planet-X, the Nashbar of the UK. Might as well just get the Motobecane. I really don't understand the appeal of cheap ti, but then I don't really understand the appeal of expensive ti either.
  • Maybe worth considering the bombtrack as a frameset if you are on a budget. I wouldn't consider the complete bike with a 1x transmission and mechanical disks for a second as my n=1 bike
  • The all city macho man is fine. It’s is a QBP bike, pretty ordinary frameset for the n=1 bike if you ask me. I think the forks are pretty ugly personally. Again, I wouldn't consider the complete bike with the 1x transmission.
  • Niner went bankrupt last year and were bought by UWHK Ltd. Same company that owns Huffy, so this is probably your last year to get a decent niner, but at fifteen-hundred bucks for the frame, I’d probably just drop a few hundred more and go full carbon.

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Old 08-12-18, 10:08 PM
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Thanks for the opinions everybody. As it (never) happens, shortly after posting this I miraculously stumbled upon an insane deal on a 2018 Lynskey Cooper CX frame (probably the bike I was most lustful for out of the lot) and snatched it up instantaneously. I am suspiciously yet presently surprised to say that it seems like I might be coming out with the best of all worlds in the end- a brand new high quality Ti frame from one of the most reputable builders in the country at a price point closer to that of a quality steel bike. Still have some research to do on the build front but in the end I think it's going to be sick and definitely should satisfy the OCD a-hole who's been yelling at me from inside my brain for too long now.

p.s. @mstateglfr I hope your afternoon torment was at least somewhat manageable lolol
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Old 08-13-18, 03:45 AM
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Originally Posted by hoovbikes View Post
Thanks for the opinions everybody. As it (never) happens, shortly after posting this I miraculously stumbled upon an insane deal on a 2018 Lynskey Cooper CX frame (probably the bike I was most lustful for out of the lot) and snatched it up instantaneously. I am suspiciously yet presently surprised to say that it seems like I might be coming out with the best of all worlds in the end- a brand new high quality Ti frame from one of the most reputable builders in the country at a price point closer to that of a quality steel bike. Still have some research to do on the build front but in the end I think it's going to be sick and definitely should satisfy the OCD a-hole who's been yelling at me from inside my brain for too long now.

p.s. @mstateglfr I hope your afternoon torment was at least somewhat manageable lolol
glad you found what you were looking for...a spare set of wheels and it would morph into a capable road bike as well...
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Old 08-13-18, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by hoovbikes View Post
Thanks for the opinions everybody. As it (never) happens, shortly after posting this I miraculously stumbled upon an insane deal on a 2018 Lynskey Cooper CX frame (probably the bike I was most lustful for out of the lot) and snatched it up instantaneously. I am suspiciously yet presently surprised to say that it seems like I might be coming out with the best of all worlds in the end- a brand new high quality Ti frame from one of the most reputable builders in the country at a price point closer to that of a quality steel bike. Still have some research to do on the build front but in the end I think it's going to be sick and definitely should satisfy the OCD a-hole who's been yelling at me from inside my brain for too long now. . .

Congrats - I think the Lynskey is a great choice. My experience is somewhat similar to yours in that I also jumped on good Lynskey deal through their auction site. In my case though, the frame was an Urbanskey, very similar geometry to the Cooper CX, but with rack & fender mounts.

I was looking to build a versatile, all-around bike and am pleased to report that's what I wound up with. The build is largely Ultegra 8000 - the brakes & levers are series 685/785 disc - with a Hydra/Sapim Force/Bitex CL wheelset with 12mm TAs. I used Cane Creek 110 headset bearings (Lynskey will press the races in for you if you buy the bearings from them) paired with a TRP Cyclocross carbon fork, similar to the Enve but less expensive and with internal brake line routing and mudguard mounts.

The bike ticks pretty much every box on my list and is a joy to ride; nimble and quick but stable at high speed. It performed flawlessly during RAGBRAI last month, including on the optimistically named 20-mile gravel route, where gravel was in short supply but sand, including deep sand that was a challenge even with 32mm Gravel King tires, was not.

In any event, I'm happy to provide more info about my build (my only regret was not springing for White T-11 hubs for the wheelset) so feel free to PM me,

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Old 08-19-18, 09:34 AM
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I can only comment on the Macho Man - as that is my only bike and I love it. I enjoy the lower BB (7MM) and somewhat race oriented geometry (although with slacker head and seat angles than a true race bike). Great riding bike. I put on a carbon Ritchie race fork but took it off because I actually prefer the ride on the OEM fork. I should mention that I upgraded the drivetrain to Shimano 105 with CX70 Cranks as well as Ritchie stems and handlebars. My point is that the oem components (especially the wheels and tires) are somewhat lacking. That being said - the Frame is solid, compliant and makes for a great all around machine.
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