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-   -   Steel is Real.. Explain? (https://www.bikeforums.net/general-cycling-discussion/1173463-steel-real-explain.html)

Juggy_Gales 05-20-19 01:46 AM

Steel is Real.. Explain?
 
Ok I keep hearing and seeing quotes about "Steel is Real".

What is with the fascination? I am assuming it is related to steel framed bikes.. but why is this the thing now?

Im not mocking steel bikes.. they are robust.. very rugged.. But aren't they a bit heavy too?
With everyone trying to be light and go carbon.. Im seeing so much "Steel is Real"

krecik 05-20-19 02:12 AM


Originally Posted by Juggy_Gales (Post 20938080)
Ok I keep hearing and seeing quotes about "Steel is Real".

What is with the fascination? I am assuming it is related to steel framed bikes.. but why is this the thing now?

Im not mocking steel bikes.. they are robust.. very rugged.. But aren't they a bit heavy too?
With everyone trying to be light and go carbon.. Im seeing so much "Steel is Real"

Yh, I wonder as well. I guess it's the latest edgy thing to go "Carbon frame? Pffft! Steel is real bro!"

But idk, Kret :)

Gconan 05-20-19 02:15 AM

It means steel is still a viable material for bike frames.

ridelikeaturtle 05-20-19 02:26 AM

If you're used to one type of frame material that isn't steel, or never had a steel bike (e.g. only aluminum or carbon bikes), then you should be pleasantly surprised by the different riding characteristics of steel.

Sure it's a little heavier. But let's stop taking ourselves too seriously. Unless you're doing the Giro, who are you fooling? "Steel is real" is not a dig on new designs ... but there was little wrong with bike design prior to carbon and aluminum (and titanium, though I do like my titanium bikes).

Machka 05-20-19 02:28 AM


Originally Posted by Juggy_Gales (Post 20938080)
Ok I keep hearing and seeing quotes about "Steel is Real".

What is with the fascination? I am assuming it is related to steel framed bikes.. but why is this the thing now?

Im not mocking steel bikes.. they are robust.. very rugged.. But aren't they a bit heavy too?
With everyone trying to be light and go carbon.. Im seeing so much "Steel is Real"

Now? It's been the thing for decades.

If you do a Google search on "steel is real" quote, the first result up is dated 2005.

Plus of course, bicycles have been built out of steel since ... well ... pretty much the beginning. Seriously, read some history!
https://gearpatrol.com/2015/05/20/wh...s-still-great/


And steel doesn't have to be heavy.

Juggy_Gales 05-20-19 02:52 AM

It's just something I have been hearing recently..

I had owned bikes years ago.. But had not ridden in 20yrs until 2017 when I bought my aluminum bike and kept seeing everything being
Aluminum, Carbon or Titanium.. And sure Surly made steel bikes but so many bikes were not..
But now I am seeing many more steel bikes being made and new manufacturers using steel.
Nothing wrong with steel, I know.. and any bike I owned growing up including my first mountain bike in the 90's was steel.

I just have not ridden a steel bike in all of those years so I forget what a steel bike even feels like and how they would compare..
Does a steel bike feel sluggish in comparison..

Read history? lol.. I know.. Steel was how bikes were made since they were first built.. I get it. I know its not 'NEW'

I meant it as I am noticing a resurgence in Steel bike popularity and wondered what sparked it. Nostalgia? Steel Durability?

John Young 05-20-19 02:56 AM

Its just choices for people as each bike frame material feels different to ride on and some like the feel of a steel bike. One thing I have found with my new bike with carbon forks is it feels more 'skittish' going down hill compared to my old bike with steel forks which felt rock solid

Machka 05-20-19 03:18 AM

I've been riding steel bicycles since I started cycling ... 1971.

I bought an aluminum bicycle in 2000 and traded it in on another in 2002. I still have that bicycle, but it is my trainer bike. Aluminum is just not good for long distances!

I bought a titanium bicycle in 2010, when my steel bicycle was stolen. Fortunately my steel bicycle came back to me. :) Now my titanium is one of a set of steel bicycles I ride.

None of my bicycles are Surly.

ridelikeaturtle 05-20-19 03:30 AM

My steel '97 Colnago is quite light, and it's not their top-grade steel frame by about two or three levels - you can get a steel frame that's just as light as anything else (within a certain budget of course), but also softens rough roads and makes long sportives more forgiving on your body.

Another "bonus" is maintenance and longevity, you don't have to worry so much about transporting on a rack, press-fit bottom brackets, or overtightening a seatpost binder bolt and cracking something.

Paul Barnard 05-20-19 04:26 AM

It means that bikes shouldn't be made out of fishing poles.

krecik 05-20-19 04:31 AM

Damn. :roflmao2:

texaspandj 05-20-19 04:51 AM

Here you go. Just replace the word people with bikes.

FlMTNdude 05-20-19 04:57 AM

If you ever looked at entry level or slightly higher aluminium or carbon frames, and have been riding steel, the first major letdown is the weight. Steel frames with modern components do not take much to get 20lbs or even less. And then there is the ride. Steel is a comfy ride, more so than aluminium and even carbon. Add in there that steel can be repaired, unlike carbon and al (for the most part). Some even prefer the flex which steel has (a whole new thread of controversy as to whether it hurts or has zero effect).

indyfabz 05-20-19 05:07 AM

Because they rhyme. Try that with carbon, aluminum or ti. :rolleyes:

Kapusta 05-20-19 05:13 AM

It rhymes better than “steel is sexy”

I have never drooled over a CF or Al road or hardtail MTB frame.


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. It (steel) has steadily become more popular I would say since the mid 00s. When i was looking for a steel hardtail frame in 2006 there were plenty of options out there.

medic75 05-20-19 05:42 AM

It is my understanding, and I may be wrong, that steel is much more resilient. Each bump, drop, rough road, etc. causes the frame to flex. Steel can supposedly be subjected to an infinite amount of minor flexes while other materials will eventually fail under the same conditions. Does this matter to the average person when it comes to frame materials? Probably not. I own three bikes. All three are aluminum frames. Forks on these three bikes are carbon, suspension, & steel. Supposedly, the repeated flexing failure concern requires aluminum forks to be super stiff, which leads to a harsh ride.

Koyote 05-20-19 05:45 AM

I've got steel-framed bikes, and I've got a cf-framed bike. They all ride nicely - smooth, stiff enough, etc. The steel frames are slightly heavier, but not enough to make much difference.

As a trade-off for the weight, steel offers a few advantages over cf, such as easier repairability, much easier customization (I think only a few companies offer custom cf frames, and they're expensive), etc. And, to me, a nice steel frame is prettier.

As far as the people who are paranoid about cf's fragility: I've got an 11-year old cf-framed bike that I have ridden as hard as any, and crashed once or twice. No problems.

MoAlpha 05-20-19 06:09 AM

It means that if someone bops you enthusiastically across the occiput with a piece of SL tubing, the probability you'll get your bell rung greatly outweighs that of witnessing an apparent pantomime.

jgwilliams 05-20-19 06:25 AM

I was surprised by how light modern steel bikes can be. This Holdsworth Strada 953 weighs in at 7.6kg and sure looks pretty in polished stainless steel. Whether it will outlast heavier designs I can't say, of course.

My 1993 Witcomb 653 bike comes in at around 9.8kg. It's a nice bike and I won't be getting rid of it any time soon - in fact I want to refurbish it all - but for a daily commute I prefer my CF bike. Each to their own.

johnnyace 05-20-19 06:31 AM

Wait, you mean there are bikes made with materials other than steel?

Lemond1985 05-20-19 06:38 AM

Steel doesn't beat you up on long rides the way stiffer aluminum and CF frames do. Anytime I'm on my bike more that 3 hours or so, I prefer a steel frame, for comfort.

Performance-wise, I will concede that steel is not quite as fast. If I accelerate from a dead stop on my CF bike, I can get up to speed several seconds faster, and with fewer pedal strokes than on any of my steel bikes. This is not insignificant in a competitive situation, but I don't race, and if given a choice still prefer the comfort of steel on many (but not all) of my rides.

u235 05-20-19 06:48 AM

I prefer a very rigid frame as the foundation and get my compliance and comfort for the long haul from other things like tire choice and pressure. No real preference on the frame material as long as there are no noodles and minimal flex.

iCollector 05-20-19 06:52 AM

what they all said....

livedarklions 05-20-19 07:24 AM

I have 2 aluminum bikes and a steel bike. I have ridden multiple centuries on each of them. To be honest with you, I don't notice that much of a difference between how they ride, but I suspect people vary in how sensitive they are to certain vibrations, flexing, etc. For me, tires are a much bigger factor in comfort over long rides than frame material. I fully admit that I have never ridden a CF bike for any distance whatsoever, so I have no opinion on how they ride.

With the kind of riding I do, marginal differences in the weight of the frame just really don't make big differences in overall speed--it's probably the least important factor for me, as the equipment I need to make my bike self-sustaining over a long ride probably negates any chance that the percentage difference in gross vehicle weight is even going to be noticeable.

Some of this is just esthetics--steel bikes, in my opinion, look better with the thinner tubes that the material allows. To me, many of the CF and AL forms just look bulbous in a way that I don't appreciate.

55murray 05-20-19 07:26 AM

Well, when I was a kid in the 70s most of what I owned was plastic, even the airguns at the time were getting into plastic stocks. All very prone to break and fail. But our bikes were all steel and rubber and would last forever. Thus, "steel is real". For those of us who never stopped riding, the connection with steel was never broken.


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