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Has the "golden age" of custom steel bikes passed?

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Has the "golden age" of custom steel bikes passed?

Old 07-24-20, 12:16 AM
  #51  
merziac
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
This was very politely worded. Geniunely impressive and better than I could do, so I just don't directly respond each time I see it.
No worries and no thin skin here, I'd be happy to hear your take, I'm sure many here agree with you and that's fine, we don't all agree all the time.

I know it's not everyone's cup of tea, I also know it defies several tenants in several facets of what we do.

But as I have said, it works great for me, rides like a dream and turned out just how I wanted.

I guess this far down the road "custom" can mean very different things to different people.
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Old 07-24-20, 07:05 AM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by merziac View Post
But as I have said, it works great for me, rides like a dream and turned out just how I wanted.
I think I am your height- I for sure understand the challenge of a bile looking good in the classic sense. There is always too much seatpost showing and too many spacers.
Whats important is that it fits and works great for the user.
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Old 07-24-20, 08:46 AM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by noimagination View Post
But how many of the current generation of steel frame builders have had the opportunity to work closely with professional/olympic-class racers and have had their designs tested in races, as the "old guard" did? Does that affect the quality of the design and the skill of the builder?
How many people buying custom steel frames are the same size as professional cyclists (154 pounds on average, under 2 pounds per inch for climbers which is 138 pounds for the average 5'9" man), have the same power to weight ratio, and plan to race them?
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Old 07-24-20, 10:03 AM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by The_Joe View Post
I was just about to post how Chapman doesn't seem to get much attention. His bikes are beautiful, I've had the opportunity to see them up close. He's also a very good Instagram follow if you're into that sort of thing.
I do follow. But the IG algorithm sucks and so few of the builders I follow show up. I hate the way the feed decides what to display. I purposely follow brands and such and those posts never show up.
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Old 07-24-20, 11:37 AM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
I think I am your height- I for sure understand the challenge of a bile looking good in the classic sense. There is always too much seatpost showing and too many spacers.
Whats important is that it fits and works great for the user.
Agreed, several folks asked why we didn't make the frame bigger in general, there were many reasons and constraints for the parts, pieces, tubing and fit here, now and way down the line, it wasn't easy and this is the result of being 6ft tall with a 38in inseam/PBH.
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Old 07-27-20, 01:30 PM
  #56  
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I know a guy who's been builidng wonderful steel frames (complete with lugs) for many years, and says that in the last few years, intrrest (and sales) in his bikes has gone way down...and he thinks it's carbon frames.
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Old 07-27-20, 05:53 PM
  #57  
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Cicli Barco XCr custom stainless steel

Originally Posted by Pop N Wood View Post
That 18 lb bike looks like about a 53 cm frame at most.

Here is a real light stainless steel bike at 18.875 lbs including pedals for a 58.5 cm frame using Columbus XCr tubes, and it even has a stainless steel fork.:


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Old 07-27-20, 10:22 PM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by Johnk3 View Post
That 18 lb bike looks like about a 53 cm frame at most.

Here is a real light stainless steel bike at 18.875 lbs including pedals for a 58.5 cm frame using Columbus XCr tubes, and it even has a stainless steel fork.:


The picture was taken all wrong but once you look past all of that it looks like a nice bike

You need to line up your valves ideally at 12 o-clock, big ring at the front and the smallest cog at the back and line up the cranks at 3 o-clock (though in some circles people line it up with the chain stays).

Beyond that you have the makings of a pretty slick bike. Re-take the shot and you have gold.
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Old 07-28-20, 09:57 AM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
That guy might sometimes be in a peloton -- but if you actually read the article, you'll see that he's not a pro cyclist.

Yes -- very very nice bike he has built up, but its an enthusiasts bike. You'll rarely see such boutique-y parts on a high end "sponsored pro"
race bike ----

Im curious just how much of the pro cycling market is owned by Specialized -- just buy an S-Works Tarmac or Venge --- lace some tubular rims to it, and go racing
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Old 07-28-20, 04:14 PM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by noimagination View Post
No Richard Sachs, no Tom Kellog, no Dario Pegoretti, no Ben Serotta, no Brent Steelman ...
Not sure about Sacha White, Kelly Bradford...
old fellers.
young bunch now taking us to next level.
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Old 07-31-20, 06:35 AM
  #61  
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steel frames

IF you ask about steel, bet you're not a racer. Bikes are developed for use, racing bikes for racers. Racing development can make a bike worse for nonracers (google Grant Peterson, Jan Heine, etc, racers can be too stiff, low, aero etc. )

Steel bikes are developed for comfort and distance, common on PBParis (steel may be best unless your body is developed for TdF)
And R&E makes a 15lb steel bike
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Old 07-31-20, 10:48 AM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by Litespud View Post
Those old frame builders were working with racers to build the best no-holds-barred racing bikes possible, because racing bikes were steel. That space has been taken over by CF, and generally "off the peg" CF at that. Steel frame builders are now building bespoke cruisers for the well-heeled "civilian" cyclist - not saying that these aren't lightweight, well-handling bikes, often rolling works of art, but they're not balls-to-the-wall racing bikes, so input from actual racers is irrelevant. Racers aren't interested in pretty steel bikes, they want light, bordering-on-disposible, plastic bikes.
To be fair (to be faaaiirrr), superlight steel racing bikes from the pre-aluminum era (mid 90s and before) were also pretty much disposable. A lot of heavier consumer-grade steel bikes lasted a long time and took a lot of abuse, but racing bikes were built with the bare minimum of material and were often weak as kittens. THis is why the industry so easily switched to aluminum bikes - cheaper, lighter, and often stronger than previous generations of steel bikes. A well made carbon frame with a similar weight to an old racing bike has the potential to be much stronger than the old racing bike.
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Old 07-31-20, 09:02 PM
  #63  
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No, you just need to spend more money!
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Old 08-01-20, 07:44 AM
  #64  
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What about Ritchey. I thought he built pretty nice bikes.
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Old 08-01-20, 11:36 AM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by George View Post
What about Ritchey. I thought he built pretty nice bikes.
Tom uses the services of Maxway Ltd TW , now .. Many other brands use their services too.
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Old 08-01-20, 01:01 PM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by cycology View Post
IF you ask about steel, bet you're not a racer. Bikes are developed for use, racing bikes for racers. Racing development can make a bike worse for nonracers (google Grant Peterson, Jan Heine, etc, racers can be too stiff, low, aero etc. )

Steel bikes are developed for comfort and distance, common on PBParis (steel may be best unless your body is developed for TdF)
And R&E makes a 15lb steel bike
Good Lord, the last thing anyone should ever do is bring Grant into a conversation.
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Old 08-01-20, 02:15 PM
  #67  
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Last thing Any One should do is Over Generalize.
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Old 08-02-20, 06:55 AM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
Those guys need to hire a bike fitter! Can't believe they are selling custom bikes with skyscraper stems! Not to mention MTB seatpost extension. Isn't the purpose of custom to get a fit w/o kludges....?

In fairness to them, that photo is from when they were still located on State Street, which was seven years ago, in addition to the fact that their website photos are probably even much older than that.
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Old 08-02-20, 08:43 PM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by noimagination View Post
But how many of the current generation of steel frame builders have had the opportunity to work closely with professional/olympic-class racers and have had their designs tested in races, as the "old guard" did? Does that affect the quality of the design and the skill of the builder?
Yes. In the case of bikes being built for anything but pro racing, it probably helps.
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Old 08-08-20, 10:27 PM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by Pop N Wood View Post
It looks like a GeoCities site from 1995.
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Old 08-08-20, 10:34 PM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by Johnk3 View Post
That 18 lb bike looks like about a 53 cm frame at most.

Here is a real light stainless steel bike at 18.875 lbs including pedals for a 58.5 cm frame using Columbus XCr tubes, and it even has a stainless steel fork.:


Keep in mind that the frameset alone will set you back $2,800
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Old 08-08-20, 10:46 PM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by satrain18 View Post
Keep in mind that the frameset alone will set you back $2,800
Nope, it was $3,600 and a real bargain at that. The Cinelli XCr frame costs $1,200 more for a much less finished frame. The Columbus XCr frame set tubes alone cost about $900.
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Old 08-09-20, 02:03 PM
  #73  
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Originally Posted by Johnk3 View Post
Nope, it was $3,600 and a real bargain at that. The Cinelli XCr frame costs $1,200 more for a much less finished frame. The Columbus XCr frame set tubes alone cost about $900.
$3,600 for just the framset is not a bargin, considering that a carbon fiber road bike with Shimano ultegra di2 electronic shifting AND disc brakes can be had for under $3,000. https://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/ribble-r872-disc/

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Old 08-09-20, 02:05 PM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by satrain18 View Post
Sound like you got hosed, considering that a carbon fiber road bike with Shimano ultegra di2 electronic shifting AND disc brakes can be had for under $3,000. https://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/ribble-r872-disc/
Holy god, I hope you are being sarcastic...
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Old 08-09-20, 10:31 PM
  #75  
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Originally Posted by satrain18 View Post
$3,600 for just the framset is not a bargin, considering that a carbon fiber road bike with Shimano ultegra di2 electronic shifting AND disc brakes can be had for under $3,000. https://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/ribble-r872-disc/
Comparing a mass produced Asian CF bike with mid and low end components to a fully custom, handmade Columbus XCr stainless steel frame with Campy Super Record group and WR Compositi components is like comparing a Fiat to a Maserati. I have 2 high end carbon fiber bikes. I'm not impressed with either of them. I would not have either electronic shifting or disc brakes if you paid me. My bike will be ridden decades after your CF cheapie is in the recycle bin.
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