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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 07-22-20, 01:24 PM
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Has the "golden age" of custom steel bikes passed?

No Richard Sachs, no Tom Kellog, no Dario Pegoretti, no Ben Serotta, no Brent Steelman ...
Not sure about Sacha White, Kelly Bradford...
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Old 07-22-20, 01:37 PM
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I think you haven't been spending enough time on the internet. There are plenty of lust-worthy steel frames out there.
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Old 07-22-20, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote
I think you haven't been spending enough time on the internet. There are plenty of lust-worthy steel frames out there.
Yeah. Tons of great steel builders out there. Tommasini, Battaglin, Hampsten, Vanilla, Bishop, IF, etc. So many too choose from.

Last edited by vespasianus; 07-22-20 at 04:07 PM.
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Old 07-22-20, 02:37 PM
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Add DeSalvo, Cicli Barco, long waits record demand. Demand for bikes from Pegorettiís shop is higher now actually.
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Old 07-22-20, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by vespasianus
Yeah. Ton's of great steel builders out there. Tommasini, Battaglin, Hampsten, Vanilla, Bishop, IF, etc. So many too choose from.
With the popularization of air-hardened steels like Reynolds 853, even tig-welded frames are more than strong enough for a lifetime of hard use...Which has made possible much more economical options in both off-the-rack and custom steel frames. And if you want decorative lugs, there are plenty of great builders doing that, too.

If anything, it seems like we are -right now - in a golden age for steel bike frames.
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Old 07-22-20, 03:07 PM
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What about my Della Santa? Rides great for me, especially as a climber. Thatís why I bought it. Test ride from Orinda Cycle and straight up the hill as far as I could go up the hill until I really couldnít go any farther. What a bike! Sorry your ideas are so limited
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Old 07-22-20, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote
I think you haven't been spending enough time on the internet. There are plenty of lust-worthy steel frames out there.
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?
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Old 07-22-20, 03:10 PM
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No... I ride a Waterford RS33 Campy Record. Best bike I have ever ridden in over sixty years of riding. Great company... phenomenal workmanship, ride quality, performance and customer service.
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Old 07-22-20, 03:23 PM
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This thread lacks imagination.
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Old 07-22-20, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by noimagination
(1) 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? (2) Does that affect the quality of the design and the skill of the builder?
1) I don't know.
2) No.
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Old 07-22-20, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Climb14er
No... I ride a Waterford RS33 Campy Record. Best bike I have ever ridden in over sixty years of riding. Great company... phenomenal workmanship, ride quality, performance and customer service.
Picture?
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Old 07-22-20, 03:52 PM
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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?
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.
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Old 07-22-20, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Mulberry20
Picture?
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Old 07-22-20, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Climb14er
That is a beauty. I bet the bottom bracket and seat post donít squeak. 😂
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Old 07-22-20, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Mulberry20
That is a beauty. I bet the bottom bracket and seat post donít squeak. 😂
You would win your bet with that one.
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Old 07-22-20, 04:08 PM
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Tell me you won't rub one out to this

Waterford's Latest Lightest R33 Frameset from Yellow Jersey
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Old 07-22-20, 04:18 PM
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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.
You are correct that carbon fiber frames now dominate the racing sceneÖ But there are still plenty of custom builders who are producing relatively light steel frames targeted toward racers. As a mature technology, any decent builder, who is interested in doing so, can build such a frame.
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Old 07-22-20, 04:50 PM
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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?
Interesting. This sounds like fan boy Kool-Aid but it's not impossible. Anyone know of any racer inspired/ builder specific design changes that would be relevant on a bike for today's enthusiast?
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Old 07-22-20, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Pop N Wood
I wonít, but whatever floats your boat.
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Old 07-22-20, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Pop N Wood
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....?
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Old 07-22-20, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Pop N Wood
Not even an angry one.
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Old 07-22-20, 05:24 PM
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Also, no mention of Baum in this thread. For shame.
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Old 07-22-20, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Pop N Wood
I like Waterford, but that is a fugly bike.
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Old 07-22-20, 05:32 PM
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Here is a good example of how steel can still be a viable option in the peloton:

https://cyclingtips.com/2018/11/bike...ife-in-girona/
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Old 07-22-20, 06:15 PM
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Bike racing is a dying sport. I always thought that building bikes for racers was overblown anyway. Lots of builders out there building nice bikes for people that actually pay for their bikes.
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