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Why is steel out of favour?

Old 02-14-21, 02:19 PM
  #251  
UncleG
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
There have been plenty of NON "exotic" steel bikes available for a long time. For example, Surly was founded in the late '90s...And given that it is a QBP brand, it has long been widely distributed.

LeMond is another brand that was widely distributed until around 2008, until his beef with Trek led them to drop the line. But until then, they were very widely distributed, and had several models available at the entry level -- under $1000 in some cases.

Just two examples from my recollection.
I just picked up a well maintained 2013 LHT not 3 months ago. It was pressed into commuter service at some point.

I almost have it ready, maybe next week.

Thanks for the info on the LeMonds.
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Old 02-14-21, 02:21 PM
  #252  
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Originally Posted by guy153 View Post
I thought the Tonka truck argument was pretty good. We acquire a prejudice against plastic from an early age.

It is actually an incredible material but familiarity breeds contempt. Would you rather have a plastic watch or pen or a metal one? Apple even make highly expensive computers and phones out of aluminium completely unnecessarily but because it's more desirable.

Of course CF is a higher performance material. But many people just like metal more.
Got an Apple Iphone the other day. Then I had to take a safety class and get a license to carry it concealed.
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Old 02-14-21, 02:33 PM
  #253  
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Originally Posted by UncleG View Post
I just picked up a well maintained 2013 LHT not 3 months ago. It was pressed into commuter service at some point.

I almost have it ready, maybe next week.

Thanks for the info on the LeMonds.
That's a good grab -- the LHT is a terrific bike. I'm still kind of kicking myself for not buying my next-door-neighbor's from him...But I already have plenty of bikes.
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Old 02-14-21, 08:19 PM
  #254  
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I certainly have carbon fiber bikes - two of them, and they're great racing bikes that have done well for years. But this one? Last year I went to the local shop ride and rode off the front on this 1972 steel beauty, and wound up talking for almost two hours with the folks afterwards who wanted to know everything about it! Steel isn't out of favor, it's just not what the industry as a whole wants to sell. Technology is available to make great bikes out of many materials, but Carbon Fiber is still cutting edge and is a sure thing profit maker. My Peugeot is much heavier than my carbon fiber bikes, but it's a joy to ride - lively, quick, and in the end, it's what you enjoy.

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Old 02-14-21, 08:52 PM
  #255  
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Originally Posted by Germany_chris View Post
Learn something new every day. Nice looking steel bicycle.
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Old 02-14-21, 08:59 PM
  #256  
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Originally Posted by tgenec86 View Post
I certainly have carbon fiber bikes - two of them, and they're great racing bikes that have done well for years. But this one? Last year I went to the local shop ride and rode off the front on this 1972 steel beauty, and wound up talking for almost two hours with the folks afterwards who wanted to know everything about it! Steel isn't out of favor, it's just not what the industry as a whole wants to sell. Technology is available to make great bikes out of many materials, but Carbon Fiber is still cutting edge and is a sure thing profit maker. My Peugeot is much heavier than my carbon fiber bikes, but it's a joy to ride - lively, quick, and in the end, it's what you enjoy.

The bike industry is a fashion industry. You are so right about the industry just wanting to sell what it wants to sell. Make new component standards so new bikes can't use backwards compatible parts from the last 60 yrs. Its all about making more money. That is a great looking Peugeot with its Simplex derailleurs and Mavic centerpulls. No wonder you were so fast.
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Old 02-14-21, 09:13 PM
  #257  
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Originally Posted by Eric F View Post
In relation to using those specific incidents as a reason why CF is not a good material, they ARE isolated incidents. You also might want to consider that materials failures are often issues with engineering and/or production, not the material itself. Besides - as has been pointed out by others - metal materials in airplanes don't exactly have a clean history, but yet you don't seem to have an issue with metal bikes. There are thousands of examples of CF being an excellent material (durable, strong, light, safe, etc.) in a multitude of applications. Is CF the right material for every application? Of course not. Using one issue to discredit CF material in all applications is being willfully ignorant.

Price is driven by the market. If people are willing to spend $1000 for a widget that costs $1 to make, then so be it. It also seems that you aren't willing or able to look past the simplistic view of just the cost of the raw material. As with a LOT of products, material cost is only a small part of the cost of production. Bicycle frames would be one example of that.

Here's another example - A friend of mine sells a product that he assembles and ships out of his garage. The parts for his product aren't a special material, nor are they complex. Someone with some mediocre fabrication skills could easily replicate a single copy of his product for quite a lot less than the cost he sells his for. Is he ripping people off? Absolutely not. Making a copy of his product doesn't include...
- The tremendous amount of time and wasted materials involved with developing the final design.
- The time and effort that goes into sourcing vendors to provide and manufacture the parts for larger-scale production.
- Printing of the company name on the product.
- Packaging for retail sale.
- Website and marketing costs.
- Profit (it's a business, not a charity)
- A bunch of little **** that it takes to run a business of any size.

If you think CF products are a rip-off because the material is so cheap, I invite you to start producing some CF parts of your own so you can pocket all that easy money for yourself.

As I've said, if you want to ride only metal bikes with metal components, have at it. Do what makes you happy...but try not to let the thought of metal airplane failures spoil your ride. Your arguments against CF are only serving to justify your own prejudice.

The difference between a $5k frame and a $15k frame?....Mostly marketing, probably. EDIT: Low-production specialty bikes could justifiably hit that number (see below).
I agree with you Eric. There are no reliable bicycle industry statistics on frame, fork, and component failures. Not only that the bicycle industry worldwide is set up to automatically defeat any product liability lawsuits made against them. It is pretty much useless to speculate as to which material is better. You run the risk of making a fool of yourself because no real, reliable information is available to the consumer upon which to base any opinion about durability in service of any materials used in bicycle manufacture. I'm a steel is real(cheap) kind of guy but have no opinion about other frame/fork materials. My wife has ridden an aluminum Trek hybrid bike, from the early 2000's, for years with no problems.
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Old 02-14-21, 09:31 PM
  #258  
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
Try riding that bike across country!!! You wouldnt see anything but your front wheel.
Try racing that guy on your tricycle couch. You're not even gonna see his BACK wheel at the finish line.

It's all about USING the right tool for the job, and not BEING a tool.
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Old 02-14-21, 09:49 PM
  #259  
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Originally Posted by tallbikeman View Post
I agree with you Eric. There are no reliable bicycle industry statistics on frame, fork, and component failures. Not only that the bicycle industry worldwide is set up to automatically defeat any product liability lawsuits made against them. It is pretty much useless to speculate as to which material is better. You run the risk of making a fool of yourself because no real, reliable information is available to the consumer upon which to base any opinion about durability in service of any materials used in bicycle manufacture. I'm a steel is real(cheap) kind of guy but have no opinion about other frame/fork materials. My wife has ridden an aluminum Trek hybrid bike, from the early 2000's, for years with no problems.
Bicycle frames of steel, aluminum, titanium, and carbon fiber break. This has always been the case. When you push the limits of a material's strength and durabilty in order to reduce weight for improved performace, the rate of failures increase. Likewise, there are TONS of examples of frames of each of these materials having great durability. Anyone who says otherwise is either dishonest or ignorant. There is no single best material. I have my preferences for my reasons, and have no issue with other people having another preference. I do have an issue with people who make up ******** to justify their preference as being superioir (not you, tallbikeman).
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Old 02-14-21, 10:50 PM
  #260  
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
Try riding that bike across country!!! You wouldnt see anything but your front wheel.
Your posts are bad.
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Old 02-15-21, 01:38 AM
  #261  
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
I would suggest that in all the worlds bike production, steel still leads in numbers.
Having done an Internet cruise through India's bicycle online marketplace they seem to sell tons of cheap steel one speed bikes. They still sell 27"x1 1/4" wheel equipped bicycles there. That market must be huge, probably as big as Europe and America put together. Hard for me to find sales figures for India. They also sell the latest CF Specialized and Trek type of equipment in India. America still sells lots of steel bicycles out of big box retailers like Walmart and Target. I haven't found data detailing the worlds bicycle output detailing the types of materials used to manufacture them. Like you I suspect that steel dominates but can't prove it. Just my opinion.
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Old 02-15-21, 09:50 AM
  #262  
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
That's a good grab -- the LHT is a terrific bike. I'm still kind of kicking myself for not buying my next-door-neighbor's from him...But I already have plenty of bikes.
I've been looking around for a couple of years for one and then around two years ago I met a guy up on the C&O canal who had one and I spent about half an hour talking to him and took his LHT for a little spin, it was a 63 cm and it was still just a little tall, but not as tall as my old Schwinn Le Tour III, which might have been a bit too tall.

The early 90s, and that was the last time I was in a super big box bike store at Potomac Mills in Virginia and it was Bikes USA I think. Anyway, I went in there looking for a Cannondale touring bike but Cannondale had discontinued producing that particular model which I was seeking, which was also a model that a friend of mine had and I liked its attributes. So... in the store and mountain bikes are all the rage and I walked out of that store with two Trek 950 Single-Tracks, one for me and one for my wife. I kept the Le Tour for tooling around a bit.

The Le Tour finally bit the dust around 2010, and I started poking around the internet probably around 2015 or so... changes in the Surly landscape, nothing new off the shelf was available so I kept looking around at different sites and at different brands for a used tourer at a fair price.

I think it's gonna be a great ride.

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Old 02-15-21, 03:18 PM
  #263  
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
Try riding that bike across country!!! You wouldnt see anything but your front wheel.
This is like criticizing a Formula 1 car for not having a place to put groceries or a baby seat.
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Old 02-17-21, 03:18 PM
  #264  
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The more carbon bikes I see and ride, the better I like mine.


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Old 02-19-21, 10:34 AM
  #265  
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Originally Posted by Eric F View Post
This is like criticizing a Formula 1 car for not having a place to put groceries or a baby seat.
Well I guess that rules one of those out as my next car.
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Old 02-19-21, 11:44 AM
  #266  
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
Well I guess that rules one of those out as my next car.
I don't get it. There are plenty of places to put groceries and small children on that big shelf on the back.
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Old 02-19-21, 12:03 PM
  #267  
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My guess is weight saving? or maybe to be flashy? hahaha
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Old 02-19-21, 12:08 PM
  #268  
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Originally Posted by guy153 View Post
The Trek 520 touring bike has always been steel. The switch to aluminium for most bikes seemed to coincide with production moving away from Europe to the far east. That might have just been coincidence of course. 520s were made in USA until about 2008, then possibly Taiwan for a bit, and now they're made in China.
Yes. I worked in the first Trek dealership in Maryland, starting in the late '70s, when all their bikes were steel (and were shipped with the frameset in one box and the build kit in a second box) and continuing into the early '90s, after they switched their lines to mostly aluminum and carbon. We sold lots of Treks, but by the '90s, at the peak of the predominance of mountain bike sales, less than 10% of the bikes sold in the U.S. were road bikes and about a 5% slice of that 10% were touring bikes. We sold maybe four 520's per year back then, if that many. As I said, not much steel in evidence then.

Come to think of it, though, several brands continued producing steel mountain bikes in large numbers well into the 1990s. I forgot about those. Never mind!

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Old 02-21-21, 12:28 PM
  #269  
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I think this article is on topic here.
https://www.cyclingnews.com/features...ily-heirlooms/

Forty-seven years and 40,000 bikes later, Cycles Marinoni is one of the most well-known bicycle manufacturers, and some say the first, in Canada. "I still build frames," Marinoni says. "Not as many as in the past, but I still do. Steel bike frames are not as trendy as they used to be. I still build around 20 steel bike frames per year. The technique is always the same. Although, I might even be improving on my technique to this day.
I am wondering if the future might be in composite materials, by which I mean some mix of CF with aluminum or even steel or whatever else. Maybe not like having top alu tube with the rest of the frame CF but a marriage of the materials, like aluminum core wrapped in CF or something of the sort.

The idea comes from today's dream of 'all electric automobiles' vs combustion ones. But there is some very good marriage of the two in hybrid cars, at upper performance end of the lineup anyway. For consumer cars, the finding is that after a while, people end up not using their electric side at all. But those performance cars are true marriage of the two, its not like you can choose between the two kinds of propulsion, they both work most of the time depending on the situation and beat the hell out of classic racing cars.

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Old 04-07-21, 11:14 PM
  #270  
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Originally Posted by guy153 View Post
Yes that sounds about right. But it is possible to make a steel bike that's under the UCI weight limit. There was a UK pro team who were/are competing on Reynolds 953 frames made by Genesis.

For ultimate performance in a race you'd always want CF but steel is a fine choice for every other kind of bike.
A year later, they actually ditched steel in favor of carbon fiber.
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Old 04-09-21, 10:28 AM
  #271  
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Originally Posted by guy153 View Post

.............. Or for probably only slightly more from YouTube sugar evangelist and life coach Durianrider.
​​​​​
​​
Yep. It just dawned on me that "his" brand Pragma is very close to Dogma. Durianrider is entertaining.
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