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Steel is Real.. Explain?

Old 05-20-19, 09:17 PM
  #126  
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
I freely admit that my Cannondale is objectively "faster" (especially during sprints) than any of my steel bikes, but steel really has the edge in comfort. Plus it's a "mature" product, meaning it's been studied and thought about for well over 100 years, so the technology is extremely well-developed.

If steel really was "faster", every pro in the peloton would be using steel frames, but they don't. There is at least one "ex pro" who does though, and you gotta respect his steel Paramount. He obviously knows his stuff, and absolutely loves the bike:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99Bb0R76AEw

beautiful bike

Colorful. I miss bikes with some color to them.
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Old 05-20-19, 11:41 PM
  #127  
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
Steel is real.............heavy.

Steel is real.............flexy.

I love how so many people tout the properties of different frames (of any material) ...........then ride 23mm Gatorskins on their classic steel bike while they weight like 200 lbs.

Also, none of the hipsters bother to run tubs either. Being that a tub would be more traditional for the bike AND be more comfortable.

Put 23mm Gators on a Ti frame and 28mm Vittoria G+ on a cheapo Chinese carbon frame and I bet the cheapo Chinese carbon "rides nicer".
I take it you're just guessing?

Last edited by Dr.Lou; 05-20-19 at 11:51 PM.
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Old 05-21-19, 12:16 AM
  #128  
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
It rhymes better than “steel is sexy”
I don’t know about road bikes, but in the mountain bike world, “steel is real” has been a saying since at least the late 90s. Maybe longer. I assume it became a thing not long after aluminum bikes frames dominated the market.
Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
And that date is fairly recent. Aluminum became the dominate frame material in the mid90s. People have been saying “steel is real” since at least then. It may even date from the mid80s when Cannondale and Klein started using aluminum as a new fangled material.
Boutiqe builders vs mass production.
‘Why does this old-fashioned lugged steel bike cost more than this one with big swoopy aluminum tubes?”

“Because steel is real, man” (strokes goatee)

Also, steel is a much more forgiving material to fabricate with. All you need to build a bike is a torch and some brazing rod. A guy can do it in his garage.


Aluminum requires TIG welding and heat treating to be both strong and stiff enough for use, and thin Aluminum is really difficult to weld on. Titanium, too is known to be finicky as well.
Making a frame out of CF is pretty much out of the question for, say a one-man bespoke bike shop.
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Old 05-21-19, 12:33 AM
  #129  
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In the event of a nuclear war, when everything has been burnt, there will be no aluminium or carbon bikes. But a welded cro-mo steel frame will still be the same, just without it's paint.
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Old 05-21-19, 12:46 AM
  #130  
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Originally Posted by Juggy_Gales View Post
Does a steel bike feel sluggish in comparison..
Frame material doesn't tell you a whole lot about how a bike will feel. Nor is "feel sluggish" even a particularly specific concern: are we talking about weighty or floppy handling, or pedal response, or what?

My 1983 Miyata 710 rides pretty similarly to my Emonda ALR. I've made their fits pretty close, the steering geometry is similar, and neither bike seems to care much about my pedal stroke.
They've also both got vibrant red color schemes, and they both came with midrange drivetrains featuring gearing considered low but not super-low for their respective era. Really, they're pretty much the same bike, made 32 years apart...

My 1979 Fuji America rides nothing at all like the Emonda or 710. Sluggish? No, just very different. Handling is similarly light, if less tight. Flex under pedaling forces is very noticeable, but not necessarily problematic. It's a temperamental bike. Pedal it in a way that it disagrees with and it angrily kicks back, but when it likes the power stroke, it rolls lively with it. It vaults explosively under high torque efforts. It's not my best climber, but punches above its weight on ascents.
Two days ago I took it on my weekly spirited shop ride. We chose a seriously brutal 50-mile loop that included 3 popular short regional climbs (roughly 3 to 11 minutes). The last time I did that full route, I was on the Emonda and rode my guts out on those hills. But this week, I PR'd every one of those ascents.



I do have a steel bike that feels sluggish. Riding my Velo Orange Campeur feels like pedaling a brick wall. Not because it's steel, but because it's a beefy loaded tourer. The legs just don't seem to engage with it very well at a high cadence, and so hard efforts rapidly drain the quads.

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Old 05-21-19, 04:24 AM
  #131  
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"Steel is real" is just one of those catchy but silly sayings. I have had TI, AL and steel bikes. Never had CF but for no particular reason. Currently I have a steel Guru that I absolutely love. It weighs in at about 17 lb. 13 oz. I also have a CAAD 12 (new and 105) that is amazing. A Masi roadie that is AL and a Colnago cross bike that is AL. The only thing that puts me off CF is the price of a quality frame. Equivalent AL and CF quality frame bikes will get you better components with the AL for the same price. Just my opinion.
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Old 05-21-19, 04:50 AM
  #132  
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
Equivalent AL and CF quality frame bikes will get you better components with the AL for the same price. Just my opinion.
True.

Similarly, I have a nice vintage steel sport/tour frame/fork that I completely updated with modern wheels, 2x10 drivetrain, brakes, shifters, handlebars, etc. - feels like a brand new bike for about $800.
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Old 05-21-19, 05:18 AM
  #133  
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Originally Posted by jlaw View Post
True.

Similarly, I have a nice vintage steel sport/tour frame/fork that I completely updated with modern wheels, 2x10 drivetrain, brakes, shifters, handlebars, etc. - feels like a brand new bike for about $800.
I bought this Guru Sidero (steel) from a racer friend for $1200 about 3 years ago. It came with Ksyrium Elite clincher wheels and all SRAM mid-range. She had ridden it about 3 times and it just didn't fit right. In any event, over the years I have upgraded it to SRAM Red and Ksyrium Elite USTs. I love this bike.
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Old 05-21-19, 05:37 AM
  #134  
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Steel is the deal!


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Old 05-21-19, 05:50 AM
  #135  
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I rode a very fine steel road bike to work this morning. Adjectives that came to mind as I experienced the ride just moments ago?

impeccably behaved
exquisite
refined
responsive
exhilarating

Wait. What were we talking about again?
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Old 05-21-19, 06:25 AM
  #136  
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
I rode a very fine steel road bike to work this morning. Adjectives that came to mind as I experienced the ride just moments ago?

impeccably behaved
exquisite
refined
responsive
exhilarating
I'll add

stiff
light


-Tim-
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Old 05-21-19, 08:04 AM
  #137  
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Last night, on the recommendation of my fish market, I tried Carbon fiber-head trout for the first time. Sorry, but I cannot recommend.
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Old 05-21-19, 08:32 AM
  #138  
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
I rode a very fine steel road bike to work this morning. Adjectives that came to mind as I experienced the ride just moments ago?

impeccably behaved
That’s geometry and is independent of the materials of construction. Few bikes are built to “misbehaved”.

exquisite
That’s in the eye of the beholder. Personally, I don’t find the thin tubes of a steel frame to be all that pleasing. Lugged frames can be pretty but if you understand the use of aluminum, titanium or carbon fiber, a well made frame of those materials can be equally as exquisite.

refined
Again, eye of the beholder.

responsive
Name a bike that isn’t. I have a Cannondale T1 that isn’t completely unresponsive even through it is a bike built for loaded touring. And when used as intended, it’s a far better bike than the steel touring bike it replaced. The old steel bike was too flexible and I couldn’t climb out of the saddle with a 40 to 60 lb touring load. The bike would wander too much as the frame flexed.

exhilarating
Again, any well designed bike is exhilarating.

Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
I'll add

stiff
While I agree (and have pointed out many times) that steel as a material is stiff while aluminum and titanium aren’t, it’s the way that the material is used that makes for a stiff bike. But most people don’t buy steel bikes because they are “stiff”. They want a softer, more cushioned bike that come from the way that the way the material is used. Aluminum bikes are stiff because of the size of tube they use. Steel bikes are flexible because of the size of tube that is used.

light
They can be but usually aren’t. As others have pointed out, you have to spend a lot of money to get a light steel frame. You don’t have to spend nearly as much to get a light aluminum frame. Cannondale, for example, introduced the 2.8 series of bikes in 1992. The “2.8” refers to the weight of the frame which was 2.8lb. They point out in their 1992 catalog that an equivalent steel frame of the era would weigh 8lb. Steel bikes have gotten a little lighter (but not much) since then but so has aluminum. Carbon fiber blows both completely out of the water.
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Old 05-21-19, 08:45 AM
  #139  
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Bamboo - the material for you:

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Old 05-21-19, 08:49 AM
  #140  
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
Bamboo - the material for you:

Having had bamboo furniture in the past when that used to be a thing, I do not recommend riding that.
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Old 05-21-19, 10:10 AM
  #141  
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Originally Posted by Trsnrtr View Post
Let's keep it civil, please. I know that's a lot to ask in a frame materials thread, but please try.
I agree I don't like when threads go to insults.. I really had nothing against steel.. I just kept seeing steel is real and truly wanted to know
whether it was just a resurgence of a love for steel frames because of this or that or what..
Id personally be fine with a steel frame bike.. I think for touring many miles it may be the best bet..
sure I think Carbon or Aluminum could tour and have toured.. Where I think Steel would do best is lugging weight and if you somehow damage the bike on your expedition.. It would be the easiest to repair if it is something frame related..
This is my humble opinion.. I do mean humble because you guys are much much more experienced than I am. I feel like I am really only just learning now.. When I was a kid I knew basics about bikes and fixing things that went wrong.. But I really didn't know jack diddly squat then.. and I am trying to learn jack.. then diddly.. after that.. I'll try to learn some squat.
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Old 05-21-19, 10:20 AM
  #142  
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Originally Posted by Juggy_Gales View Post
I agree I don't like when threads go to insults.. I really had nothing against steel.. I just kept seeing steel is real and truly wanted to know
whether it was just a resurgence of a love for steel frames because of this or that or what..
Id personally be fine with a steel frame bike.. I think for touring many miles it may be the best bet..
sure I think Carbon or Aluminum could tour and have toured.. Where I think Steel would do best is lugging weight and if you somehow damage the bike on your expedition.. It would be the easiest to repair if it is something frame related..
This is my humble opinion.. I do mean humble because you guys are much much more experienced than I am. I feel like I am really only just learning now.. When I was a kid I knew basics about bikes and fixing things that went wrong.. But I really didn't know jack diddly squat then.. and I am trying to learn jack.. then diddly.. after that.. I'll try to learn some squat.

I don't think anyone thought you weren't being civil. I think the comment was aimed at some of the "idiot" talk that was getting thrown around (not by you).
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Old 05-21-19, 10:26 AM
  #143  
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While steel frames can be repaired by an expert, I doubt a regular village welder could weld thin bike tubes easily.
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Old 05-21-19, 11:56 AM
  #144  
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Uh... we usually refer to those as the village "smitty" in steel frame welding discussions here.
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Old 05-21-19, 12:15 PM
  #145  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Having had bamboo furniture in the past when that used to be a thing, I do not recommend riding that.
That was a special custom build available only at Pier 1 Imports.


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Old 05-21-19, 12:17 PM
  #146  
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Originally Posted by Reynolds View Post
While steel frames can be repaired by an expert, I doubt a regular village welder could weld thin bike tubes easily.
Yes, the welder would definitely need to be at town or better level.
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Old 05-21-19, 12:23 PM
  #147  
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Originally Posted by jlaw View Post
That was a special custom build available only at Pier 1 Imports.


I guess you can actually go high-end with this:

https://calfeedesign.com/bamboo/
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Old 05-21-19, 12:26 PM
  #148  
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Originally Posted by Juggy_Gales View Post
Carbon or Aluminum could tour and have toured..
Put about 10,000 loaded miles on my (aluminum) Cannondale T700 during three long trips in '99-'00. Old gal is now in tatters in my basement. Keep meaning to put her out on the curb for the junk collectors.
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Old 05-21-19, 12:29 PM
  #149  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Having had bamboo furniture in the past when that used to be a thing, I do not recommend riding that.
I know a guy who rides a bamboo road bike regularly and has for years. I know another guy who used to make them from a wild grove of bamboo that grows along a riverbank just outside of Philly.
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Old 05-21-19, 12:38 PM
  #150  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
I know a guy who rides a bamboo road bike regularly and has for years. I know another guy who used to make them from a wild grove of bamboo that grows along a riverbank just outside of Philly.
I had to rethink that--the crap furniture I was thinking of was rubber wood that we had in my college days. You were lucky if you got a year out of that garbage.

I take it back, I'd try riding a bamboo bike.

I'll bet with a couple of strategically placed holes, you could get it to make a musical sound when you ride fast.
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