Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > General Cycling Discussion
Reload this Page >

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

Notices
General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

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

Old 07-24-20, 12:16 AM
  #51  
Senior Member
 
merziac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: PDX
Posts: 13,966

Bikes: Merz x 5 + Specialized Merz Allez x 2, Strawberry/Newlands/DiNucci/Ti x3, Gordon, Fuso/Moulton x2, Bornstein, Paisley,1958-74 Paramounts x3, 3rensho, 74 Moto TC, 73-78 Raleigh Pro's x5, Marinoni x2, 1960 Cinelli SC, 1980 Bianchi SC, PX-10 X 2

Mentioned: 266 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4445 Post(s)
Liked 6,128 Times in 3,567 Posts
Originally Posted by mstateglfr
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.
merziac is online now  
Likes For merziac:
Old 07-24-20, 07:05 AM
  #52  
Sunshine
 
mstateglfr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Des Moines, IA
Posts: 16,430

Bikes: '18 class built steel roadbike, '19 Fairlight Secan, '88 Schwinn Premis , Black Mountain Cycles Monstercross V4, '89 Novara Trionfo

Mentioned: 123 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10820 Post(s)
Liked 7,293 Times in 4,090 Posts
Originally Posted by merziac
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.
mstateglfr is offline  
Likes For mstateglfr:
Old 07-24-20, 08:46 AM
  #53  
Senior Member
 
Drew Eckhardt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Mountain View, CA USA and Golden, CO USA
Posts: 6,341

Bikes: 97 Litespeed, 50-39-30x13-26 10 cogs, Campagnolo Ultrashift, retroreflective rims on SON28/PowerTap hubs

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 550 Post(s)
Liked 324 Times in 225 Posts
Originally Posted by noimagination
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?
Drew Eckhardt is offline  
Old 07-24-20, 10:03 AM
  #54  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 1,532

Bikes: Working on replacing my stolen Soma Buena Vista Mixte

Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 417 Post(s)
Liked 95 Times in 44 Posts
Originally Posted by The_Joe
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.
jade408 is offline  
Old 07-24-20, 11:37 AM
  #55  
Senior Member
 
merziac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: PDX
Posts: 13,966

Bikes: Merz x 5 + Specialized Merz Allez x 2, Strawberry/Newlands/DiNucci/Ti x3, Gordon, Fuso/Moulton x2, Bornstein, Paisley,1958-74 Paramounts x3, 3rensho, 74 Moto TC, 73-78 Raleigh Pro's x5, Marinoni x2, 1960 Cinelli SC, 1980 Bianchi SC, PX-10 X 2

Mentioned: 266 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4445 Post(s)
Liked 6,128 Times in 3,567 Posts
Originally Posted by mstateglfr
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.
merziac is online now  
Old 07-27-20, 01:30 PM
  #56  
Full Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 313
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 123 Post(s)
Liked 83 Times in 63 Posts
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.
dkatz1 is offline  
Old 07-27-20, 05:53 PM
  #57  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Dripping Springs, TX
Posts: 142

Bikes: Simoncini, Wilier (2), Cinelli Supercorsa, Cicli Barco XCr

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 85 Post(s)
Liked 84 Times in 42 Posts
Cicli Barco XCr custom stainless steel

Originally Posted by Pop N Wood
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.:


Johnk3 is offline  
Likes For Johnk3:
Old 07-27-20, 10:22 PM
  #58  
Clark W. Griswold
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: ,location, location
Posts: 13,112

Bikes: Foundry Chilkoot Ti W/Ultegra Di2, Salsa Timberjack Ti, Cinelli Mash Work RandoCross Fun Time Machine, 1x9 XT Parts Hybrid, Co-Motion Cascadia, Specialized Langster, Phil Wood Apple VeloXS Frame (w/DA 7400), R+M Supercharger2 Rohloff, Habanero Ti 26

Mentioned: 54 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4184 Post(s)
Liked 3,766 Times in 2,514 Posts
Originally Posted by Johnk3
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.
veganbikes is offline  
Likes For veganbikes:
Old 07-28-20, 09:57 AM
  #59  
Senior Member
 
DMC707's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Norman, Oklahoma
Posts: 5,387

Bikes: Too many to list

Mentioned: 36 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1764 Post(s)
Liked 1,113 Times in 740 Posts
Originally Posted by Koyote
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
DMC707 is offline  
Old 07-28-20, 04:14 PM
  #60  
Senior Member
 
thehammerdog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: NWNJ
Posts: 3,704

Bikes: Road bike is a Carbon Bianchi C2C & Grandis (1980's), Gary Fisher Mt Bike, Trek Tandem & Mongoose SS MTB circa 1992.

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 722 Post(s)
Liked 353 Times in 226 Posts
Originally Posted by noimagination
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.
thehammerdog is offline  
Old 07-31-20, 06:35 AM
  #61  
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 7
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 2 Posts
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
cycology is offline  
Old 07-31-20, 10:48 AM
  #62  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 1,603
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 579 Post(s)
Liked 921 Times in 518 Posts
Originally Posted by Litespud
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.
ClydeClydeson is offline  
Likes For ClydeClydeson:
Old 07-31-20, 09:02 PM
  #63  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Menomonee Falls, WI
Posts: 1,844

Bikes: 1984 Schwinn Supersport, 1988 Trek 400T, 1977 Trek TX900, 1982 Bianchi Champione del Mondo, 1978 Raleigh Supercourse, 1986 Trek 400 Elance, 1991 Waterford PDG OS Paramount, 1971 Schwinn Sports Tourer, 1985 Trek 670

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 600 Post(s)
Liked 1,045 Times in 526 Posts
No, you just need to spend more money!
Tim
tkamd73 is offline  
Old 08-01-20, 07:44 AM
  #64  
Senior Member
 
George's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Katy Texas
Posts: 5,667

Bikes: Specialized Roubaix

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 92 Post(s)
Liked 51 Times in 30 Posts
What about Ritchey. I thought he built pretty nice bikes.
__________________
George
George is offline  
Old 08-01-20, 11:36 AM
  #65  
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 43,598

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 197 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7607 Post(s)
Liked 1,354 Times in 861 Posts
Originally Posted by George
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.
fietsbob is offline  
Old 08-01-20, 01:01 PM
  #66  
Senior Member
 
rebel1916's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 3,138
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 67 Post(s)
Liked 83 Times in 44 Posts
Originally Posted by cycology
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.
rebel1916 is offline  
Likes For rebel1916:
Old 08-01-20, 02:15 PM
  #67  
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 43,598

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 197 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7607 Post(s)
Liked 1,354 Times in 861 Posts
Last thing Any One should do is Over Generalize.
fietsbob is offline  
Old 08-02-20, 06:55 AM
  #68  
Senior Member
 
Dirt Farmer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Madison, Wi.
Posts: 1,181

Bikes: Jamis Quest Elite; Fuji Sagres; Trek Fuel EX 8

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 329 Post(s)
Liked 73 Times in 53 Posts
Originally Posted by shelbyfv
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.
Dirt Farmer is offline  
Old 08-02-20, 08:43 PM
  #69  
Advanced Slacker
 
Kapusta's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 6,177

Bikes: Soma Fog Cutter, Surly Wednesday, Canfielld Tilt

Mentioned: 26 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2747 Post(s)
Liked 2,510 Times in 1,420 Posts
Originally Posted by noimagination
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.
Kapusta is offline  
Old 08-08-20, 10:27 PM
  #70  
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 118
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 95 Post(s)
Liked 12 Times in 11 Posts
Originally Posted by Pop N Wood
It looks like a GeoCities site from 1995.
satrain18 is offline  
Likes For satrain18:
Old 08-08-20, 10:34 PM
  #71  
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 118
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 95 Post(s)
Liked 12 Times in 11 Posts
Originally Posted by Johnk3
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
satrain18 is offline  
Old 08-08-20, 10:46 PM
  #72  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Dripping Springs, TX
Posts: 142

Bikes: Simoncini, Wilier (2), Cinelli Supercorsa, Cicli Barco XCr

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 85 Post(s)
Liked 84 Times in 42 Posts
Originally Posted by satrain18
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.
Johnk3 is offline  
Old 08-09-20, 02:03 PM
  #73  
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 118
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 95 Post(s)
Liked 12 Times in 11 Posts
Originally Posted by Johnk3
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/

Last edited by satrain18; 08-09-20 at 02:15 PM.
satrain18 is offline  
Old 08-09-20, 02:05 PM
  #74  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: In the south but from North
Posts: 677

Bikes: Turner 5-Spot Burner converted; IBIS Ripley, Specialized Crave, Tommasini Sintesi, Cinelli Superstar, Tommasini X-Fire Gravel

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 391 Post(s)
Liked 370 Times in 205 Posts
Originally Posted by satrain18
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...
vespasianus is offline  
Likes For vespasianus:
Old 08-09-20, 10:31 PM
  #75  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Dripping Springs, TX
Posts: 142

Bikes: Simoncini, Wilier (2), Cinelli Supercorsa, Cicli Barco XCr

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 85 Post(s)
Liked 84 Times in 42 Posts
Originally Posted by satrain18
$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.
Johnk3 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.