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No mainstream love for steel?

Old 04-11-20, 04:05 PM
  #76  
indyfabz
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Titanium is the best frame material. Fact!


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Old 04-12-20, 04:01 AM
  #77  
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Why do you need ďmainstreamĒ love? Are you that insecure in your frame choice?

Doesnt it feel good to know, I mean really really know deep in your bones that youíre riding the holy grail of frames? The one true bestest most enviest frame evah.

Enjoy what YOU ride. Smirk condescendingly when you see some schmuck on a carbon frame (or aluminum for that matter-gross) and pass that Lycra clad carb loaded power meter having ******, secure in your legendary status at the top of the frame game!

Hey...do you like disc brakes? *spittle forms at the corners of the mouth*

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Old 04-12-20, 09:23 AM
  #78  
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It's all marketing BS! They want to promote whatever the newest and usually more expensive stuff is even though you can find similar stuff for less that half the price without sacrificing performance. It use to be steel was the big thing, than aluminum, and now carbon fiber, which in about 10 to 15 years will have to be dethroned if they're going to keep the buying public from getting bored, maybe magnesium will make a huge impact in cycling in the next wave of fairy dust.
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Old 04-12-20, 11:08 AM
  #79  
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Few new steel frame bikes may have to do with manufacturing cost as well as marketing. The difference in cost of a few lbs of aluminum vs steel is a very small percentage of the selling price, But may be easier to manufacture.

Except for pro racing IMO the frame material plays a small role in most bikes overall performance and comfort. I'm sure a well designed frame of steel, aluminum, or carbon fiber can be made to be fast, and/or comfortable.
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Old 04-12-20, 01:33 PM
  #80  
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Originally Posted by Designmindz View Post
I'm about to pull the trigger on a steel bike (when the damn bike shop opens again), so as long as its 4130 I'm good, right? I mean is there different grades of 4130 etc?
It's all the same alloy but there are a few differences.

Some 4130 may be made from a sheet that's rolled up and welded (in a machine) and then drawn over a mandrel a few times (called "DOM" for "drawn over mandrel". The more high-end stuff is made out of a billet that's drawn over a mandrel more times (called "CDS" for cold-drawn seamless). The latter is a bit stronger (so might be thinner) but it doesn't make much difference. Columbus Cromor is the first kind, Zona the second.

More important than DOM vs CDS is double butting, which means the tubes are thinner in the middle and thicker at the ends where they're joined to each other. Standard 4130 that's produced for roll cages, chassis etc will be the same thickness all the way down.

Double butting reduces stress on the joints (but they'll be fine without it these days), makes it a bit lighter (but not so you'd notice) but also may affect the ride quality (it'll be a bit stiffer without it).

Then it also might be heat-treated which makes it a bit stronger and so it might be thinner. Reynolds 525 is regular 4130 and 725 is heat treated.

Any 4130 frame should be pretty sweet.

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Old 04-12-20, 02:08 PM
  #81  
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Originally Posted by pbass View Post
Is it about steel having a bad weight rap?
I'm sure it comes down to the relative simplicity (ubiquity) of hydroformed aluminum, in framing, which drives production, and the resulting driving of advertisement expenditures for those products.


Love all the fairly inexpensive decent steel designs, these days, though many don't seem to compete on a price basis with their roughly-equivalent hydroformed aluminum counterparts.

Frame/fork designs that interest me, these days, include: Kona Sutra; Kona Rove; Velo-Orange Piolet; previous vintage Salsa Vaya (ie, Apex, Deore); Surly LHT, Pack Rat and similar. All are sub-$1K designs (for the frame/fork, plus components). Can knock a few $hundred off that with a factory hydroformed-AL design, allowing for better components at a similar full-bike market price. Hard to beat, if you're a steel bike maker. Unless a manufacturer can determine a production method of getting the cost of mass-produced quality steel frames/forks down to that of comparable-performance aluminum ones, it gets hard to compete just on the "Steel is Real" aspect. Seems to me that most typical bike buyers don't seem to care, beyond basic functionality and price.

Wish it were different, but ...
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Old 04-12-20, 04:58 PM
  #82  
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Originally Posted by Clyde1820 View Post
I'm sure it comes down to the relative simplicity (ubiquity) of hydroformed aluminum, in framing, which drives production, and the resulting driving of advertisement expenditures for those products.


Love all the fairly inexpensive decent steel designs, these days, though many don't seem to compete on a price basis with their roughly-equivalent hydroformed aluminum counterparts.

Frame/fork designs that interest me, these days, include: Kona Sutra; Kona Rove; Velo-Orange Piolet; previous vintage Salsa Vaya (ie, Apex, Deore); Surly LHT, Pack Rat and similar. All are sub-$1K designs (for the frame/fork, plus components). Can knock a few $hundred off that with a factory hydroformed-AL design, allowing for better components at a similar full-bike market price. Hard to beat, if you're a steel bike maker. Unless a manufacturer can determine a production method of getting the cost of mass-produced quality steel frames/forks down to that of comparable-performance aluminum ones, it gets hard to compete just on the "Steel is Real" aspect. Seems to me that most typical bike buyers don't seem to care, beyond basic functionality and price.

Wish it were different, but ...
Yep, I guess this is about it. Too bad so many folks will never even encounter a new steel bike to try while they're shopping.
FWIW I have a 2019 Rove ST. I swapped out a few things but even stock I think it's killer bang-for-buck. I rented the aluminum version w/carbon fork that's a little pricier while traveling last year and it was nice, but the ST rides so much nicer....
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Old 04-13-20, 05:50 AM
  #83  
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I think the reason you donít see more steel frames is pretty simple: Weight. At a given price-point steel frames are nearly always heavier than Al or CF.

People tend to value what can be measured, and in a competitive market, companies compete on these easily understood numbers.

Weight is easily quantifiable, and in the cycling market (especially road bikes) less is considered better.

The advantages of steel are mostly subjective. Weight is not.

It is kind of silly, IMO, but thatís the way it is.
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Old 04-13-20, 11:06 AM
  #84  
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
I think the reason you donít see more steel frames is pretty simple: Weight. At a given price-point steel frames are nearly always heavier than Al or CF.

People tend to value what can be measured, and in a competitive market, companies compete on these easily understood numbers.

Weight is easily quantifiable, and in the cycling market (especially road bikes) less is considered better.

The advantages of steel are mostly subjective. Weight is not.

It is kind of silly, IMO, but thatís the way it is.
True, true. And if you read Bicycling Mag, etc etc, or the marketing from the big bike manufacturers, everything is skewed towards a "racing" mindset - lighter/faster is top priority. So, folks who are simply recreational riders are often only choosing a bike based on that, even if the bike that might be best for them isn't something trying to be as racey as possible, but something more versatile.
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Old 04-13-20, 11:43 AM
  #85  
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The most important thing for any bike is that it fits. If it fits you will get years of enjoyment. Check out a site called ďcycling aboutĒ. The site is not driven by ad dollars. It focuses on touring and bike packing, so almost all the bikes reviewed are steel, which is the material of choice for touring. There are both custom and off the rack bikes reviewed.
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Old 04-13-20, 11:49 AM
  #86  
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I've not read through all the replies, but off the top of my head Salsa, Surly, Jamis and Kona all make steel framed bikes at the ~$2000 price point.

Last edited by chiefsilverback; 04-13-20 at 12:15 PM.
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Old 04-13-20, 11:53 AM
  #87  
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Marinoni, a longtime maker of custom bikes, continues to offer steel frames, including a touring model with disc brakes, their turismo extreme. I'd post a link but I don't have enough posts to do so yet.
They also have a very traditional road bike, the SL.
What makes these interesting is that the steel fork with the curve near the bottom adds "spring" which is important for a comfortable ride.
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Old 04-13-20, 12:31 PM
  #88  
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Originally Posted by Chris! View Post
my new jamis renegade.... My renegade makes me very happy
Which Renegade model is that? Jamis has a gazillion submodels on their website.

I'm getting old and now looking for maximum comfort road use with mild gravel capability. Can I ask how old you are and how comfortable you think your Renegade feels to you?
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Old 04-13-20, 12:37 PM
  #89  
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
Exactly!!!!!

BTW there are still steel bikes built by the Wright Bros that are way over 100 years old. In 100 years, how many of todays plastic bikes will be around. If any, I bet if you would give them a good thump with your finger they would shatter.
I'm sure this is true which explains why all the plastic airplanes built with essentially the same materials and construction technology are falling out of the sky all over the place.
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Old 04-13-20, 01:36 PM
  #90  
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There are decent steel bikes out there from major manufacturers. You can also go custom for some pretty wicked rides. Google can be your friend. Iíve got 2 steel bikes, one made by Specialized and the other by Trek. People can hate me all they want since 5 of my bikes are Specialized (3 aluminum and 1 carbon besides steel). Most are unique even though made by mainstream manufacturers.

Itís already been mentioned but there are great steel bikes available. I almost bought a Surly but found a great year end deal on a Specialized Tricross Steel. Waterford is a gold standard of custom steel (or it used to be at least). Rivendell has really nice classic steel frames. Go ahead and special order something from your LBS. I wouldnít get caught up in having to test ride something if steel is what you want. Just look at geometry, components and such. You canít really go wrong with steel IMO. Good LBSs can give great advice along with local bike clubs.
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Old 04-13-20, 01:43 PM
  #91  
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My new Cicli Barco XCr stainless steel frame adorned with Campy Super Record and WR Compositi carbon stuff.
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Old 04-13-20, 03:06 PM
  #92  
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Steel bikes....

Try Soma for nicely built and riding steel frames, and I believe complete bikes. I just built a beautiful Soma Smoothie with a Shimano 105 group for less than $1500. Great riding steel and only weighs about 19 lbs.
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Old 04-13-20, 03:16 PM
  #93  
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Originally Posted by Tom B. View Post
Try Soma for nicely built and riding steel frames, and I believe complete bikes. I just built a beautiful Soma Smoothie with a Shimano 105 group for less than $1500. Great riding steel and only weighs about 19 lbs.
Is it the "Baja" blue color? Very attractive bike. I have a dark gray Stanyon from a couple years ago. Not one of the earlier ones with the stainless headtube lugs, but just plain painted. I think that for the quality of the frames these things are real bargains.
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Old 04-13-20, 03:24 PM
  #94  
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You have indeed answered your own question. it is Bicycle magazine, driven by ad placement. If any of those steel bike makers ran enough ads, they would be on the list.
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Old 04-13-20, 03:48 PM
  #95  
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Back in the day, you could predict the Motor Trend Car of the Year by the number of ads placed. Pay to play is alive and well.
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Old 04-13-20, 03:49 PM
  #96  
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Old steel

I have ridden bikes of all types. Owned a Kestrel, Colnago C-40, Look and have ridden others. They just donít feel like a good steel bike. My favorite rides are a Merckx Corsa extra with Campy 11 speed and a Serotta Legend Ti. If I had to choose between the two, the Merckx wins. But barely. Other great steel bikes Iíve ridden are an Olmo professional, and a Colnago Master Light. All of these have been bought used for far less than the cost of new carbon and will still be good bikes when the carbon is broken and abandoned.
just my two cents worth.
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Old 04-13-20, 03:50 PM
  #97  
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My main road bike is a '05 Bianchi Veloce. Reynolds 631 and full Campy, down to the wheels. Perfect mix of traditional and modern. Rides like a dream and turns heads at every group ride. Goes toe to toe w/ any boutique steel bike out there. I think most steel bikes have an artisanal quality not seen in CF or aluminum. They are built on purpose, not to sell to the masses.
Disclaimer: I also ride a late 90s Trek single track made with Tru-Temper OX and once in a while I'll get out my old steel Gary Fisher for a ride to the pub.
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Old 04-13-20, 03:57 PM
  #98  
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Soma Smoothie

The Soma Smoothie I just built ( second one in a few months for friends) was a 54cm black frame--left over before they changed color to blue--that I found brand new in box discounted on line at a dealer. The other was a newer blue one. Nice Tange Prestige butted tubes.
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Old 04-13-20, 04:11 PM
  #99  
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I'm hopefully joining the steel world soon My only issue is I think steel and I think rust, but then I owned an original mini once and that thing rusted like nothing else.

I guess with alu I tend to think I can just leave it and not worry about it. I just imagine having not owned a steel bike that there may be more post purchase upkeep.
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Old 04-13-20, 04:17 PM
  #100  
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Aluminum

Originally Posted by JayKay3000 View Post
I'm hopefully joining the steel world soon My only issue is I think steel and I think rust, but then I owned an original mini once and that thing rusted like nothing else.

I guess with alu I tend to think I can just leave it and not worry about it. I just imagine having not owned a steel bike that there may be more post purchase upkeep.
Just take reasonable care and your steel bike will last for years. I have a 69 Schwann Paramount still going strong. Several steel bikes from the 70ís. The ride difference will make any extra care worth it. Believe me.
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