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Why is steel out of favour?

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Why is steel out of favour?

Old 09-25-20, 06:59 PM
  #101  
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
Please explain. To my knowledge, the last ten years have brought no advancements in the metallurgy of bike frames nor in the methods used for assembling them.
Originally Posted by Mulberry20 View Post
Not sure I would agree. The Columbus XCR tube set is fairly new. It is the only seamless, stainless steel tube set available and it is lighter and stronger than any metal tub set. Walls can be a thin as .4 mm. The Cicli Barco reviewd in the link is 17.7 lbs with Barco’s in house stainless fork. A carbon fork would probably bring it to flat 17. That bike is spec’d to the gills and came in at 12k. A new Trek Domane weighs 20lbs.

Honestly, would you pick a 12k Giant, Specialzed or Trek over that gorgeous, custom, handmade Italian beauty?

https://www.cyclist.co.uk/reviews/66...rco-xcr-review
I wasn’t arguing over the weight of steel bikes, nor whether they are beautiful. But I am telling you that the XCR tubeset is over 10 years old.
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Old 09-25-20, 07:21 PM
  #102  
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Good Lord Boy's give it a rest.
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Old 09-25-20, 10:20 PM
  #103  
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Originally Posted by Mulberry20 View Post
Not sure I would agree. The Columbus XCR tube set is fairly new. It is the only seamless, stainless steel tube set available and it is lighter and stronger than any metal tub set. Walls can be a thin as .4 mm. The Cicli Barco reviewd in the link is 17.7 lbs with Barco’s in house stainless fork. A carbon fork would probably bring it to flat 17. That bike is spec’d to the gills and came in at 12k. A new Trek Domane weighs 20lbs.

Honestly, would you pick a 12k Giant, Specialzed or Trek over that gorgeous, custom, handmade Italian beauty?

https://www.cyclist.co.uk/reviews/66...rco-xcr-review
From the article you linked “It is what it is, so don’t expect superbike performance”
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Old 09-25-20, 10:51 PM
  #104  
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Originally Posted by Mulberry20 View Post
Not sure I would agree. The Columbus XCR tube set is fairly new. It is the only seamless, stainless steel tube set available and it is lighter and stronger than any metal tub set. Walls can be a thin as .4 mm. The Cicli Barco reviewd in the link is 17.7 lbs with Barco’s in house stainless fork. A carbon fork would probably bring it to flat 17. That bike is spec’d to the gills and came in at 12k. A new Trek Domane weighs 20lbs.

Honestly, would you pick a 12k Giant, Specialzed or Trek over that gorgeous, custom, handmade Italian beauty?
That's odd. The very same magazine says the Domane weighs LESS than the Cicli Barco. Also costs £1250 less. Also has disc brakes vs. the Cicli Barco's rim - depending on what you want.

EDIT: Now, obviously the Cicli Barco is, as Jeremy Clarkson once said of an Aston Martin, "Bite-the-back-of-your-hand beautiful", but they don't have any dealers in the US, whereas Trek thinks 3 bike stores within 6 miles might have a Domane SLR 9 in stock in my size. But I'm full up on bikes at the moment anyhow. No more room in the garage.
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Last edited by genejockey; 09-25-20 at 10:58 PM.
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Old 09-25-20, 11:04 PM
  #105  
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Originally Posted by genejockey View Post
Note - I have two steel bikes and two CF. The two steels are in a three-way tie with one of the CFs for 'Favorite Bike'. Each one has the edge for favorite till I ride one of the others. The other CF bike? Close Fourth. But definitely fourth.
The Update You Never Asked For: Okay, the odd man out is making a real play for the podium. It's a 13 year old CF Bianchi 928, which just got a new wheelset and crankset, and on the shakedown cruise I scored multiple PRs on segments I've ridden dozens of times, AND the new Centaur cranks don't make me feel duckfooted like the old FSAs did.
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Old 09-25-20, 11:07 PM
  #106  
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Originally Posted by Mulberry20 View Post
High end steel frames are actually lighter than carbon frames.
No.
Originally Posted by Mulberry20 View Post
The Cicli Barco reviewd in the link is 17.7 lbs ... A new Trek Domane weighs 20lbs.
No.

You seem to make up a lot of things you state as facts.
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Old 09-26-20, 04:49 AM
  #107  
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Originally Posted by Mulberry20 View Post
Not sure I would agree. The Columbus XCR tube set is fairly new. It is the only seamless, stainless steel tube set available and it is lighter and stronger than any metal tub set. Walls can be a thin as .4 mm. The Cicli Barco reviewd in the link is 17.7 lbs with Barco’s in house stainless fork. A carbon fork would probably bring it to flat 17. That bike is spec’d to the gills and came in at 12k. A new Trek Domane weighs 20lbs.

Honestly, would you pick a 12k Giant, Specialzed or Trek over that gorgeous, custom, handmade Italian beauty?

https://www.cyclist.co.uk/reviews/66...rco-xcr-review
I'd definitely take the Barco. But XCr came out in 2007 which is already 13 years ago.

And they were using walls that thin with 753 if not 531 back in the 80s. It wasn't as strong but they didn't have CEN testing.

Reynolds 931 is sometimes seamless. I don't think anyone ever uses 931 or 921 though. If you're going to the bother of using stainless might as well make it 953 or XCr.
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Old 09-26-20, 07:44 AM
  #108  
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My GURU is made with Columbus Spirit and it's my understanding that it's pretty light for steel. But, no, it's never going to be as light as a good CF frame.
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Old 09-28-20, 06:19 AM
  #109  
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Originally Posted by Point View Post
For the record, allRivendell frames are steel
As are all Surly's.

I was disappointed when Salsa went to mostly aluminum and carbon bikes.
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Old 09-28-20, 11:40 AM
  #110  
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Not all "steel" is "steel"

Originally Posted by yo vanilla View Post
I think I'd love to have another 4130 chromoly frame again!!
Yes! Before "stressed skin" technology chrome molybdenum steel alloy tubing used to provide the structural framework in aircraft due to its high strength to weight ratio. The alloy of steel makes all the difference. I have a chrome moly and an aluminum bike. I casually ride for exercise and recreation about 50 miles per week. I nominally prefer the chrome moly bike, but they both weigh almost exactly the same and they both ride well.
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Old 09-28-20, 01:36 PM
  #111  
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
I'm struggling to make sense of those three sentences. What trade wars? How did they pertain to the near-disappearance of steel frames from the marketplace? What studies? Has anyone else come across such reports of steel bikes being "vastly superior in downhill speed" (not solely because of increased weight, presumably)? What evidence is there that "major manufacturers were poised to shift the majority of their production to steel"?

The more likely reason that steel frames effectively disappeared from the part of the market served by bike shops is simple: aluminum frames cost no more to produce than high-tensile steel frames and substantially less than frames built of better steels. That's a product manager's no-brainer. And now aluminum bikes are slowly being supplanted by carbon bikes at increasingly lower price points.

Another likely factor: warranty costs. The lifetime frame and fork warranty that used to be offered on all steel adult bikes sold in U.S. bike stores (a policy that was introduced by Schwinn as a marketing strategy many decades ago to promote the superior durability of their frames, forcing other companies reluctantly to follow suit, but that's another story) began to be rolled back; as other and more exotic frame materials came to be accepted by bike purchasers, the companies must have figured that it was a golden opportunity to change that policy.

Which reminds me of what I was told by a Trek sales rep back a couple of years after they'd begun producing their first aluminum frames. I'd asked what effect introducing the aluminum bikes had had on business. He replied that they were saving money because the number of warranty claims for defective aluminum frames was substantially lower than the steel frame warranty claim rate.

By the way, about descending on steel frames: a few years ago, a European cycling magazine rounded up several steel racing bikes from the golden era of the late '80s or early '90s and persuaded several young amateur racers, all of them used to racing on high-end carbon bikes, to ride in the Alps on the steel bikes and then printed an article reporting their impressions of the bikes. In short, all of them enjoyed riding the bikes, but they also said that the bikes were a little too unpredictable in high-speed descending. I feel the same way; the increased torsional rigidity is one of the reasons I prefer my aluminum bikes. In fact, I haven't ridden any of my steel bikes in years.
I still ride Steel, an 07 Karate Monkey and a 2018 Kona Rove ST. They are both rigid and a really "lively" when you let them run on a rough DH track. I ran a front shock on the KM for years and that dampened the ride and it was great for a hard tail. The topic of steel is still an application thing, if you are going on an epic through Africa and need something durable that isn't going to leave you stranded go steel, everyday commuter go steel with fenders. If you're going to rage on a DH Track a stiff AL frame with FS, Xcountry and the odd down hill FS Carbons the game.
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Old 09-28-20, 01:51 PM
  #112  
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Originally Posted by wilson_smyth View Post
Is there a reason steel is not used much now days?
Most articles i read on the topic say due to newer steel types & manufacturing methods, steel frames are now much lighter, to make the difference in weight too little to worry about for all but the pros.
A lot of the articles also say steel is more durable with a longer life and easier repaired.
Carbon is getting more affordable but many sources say cheaper carbon frames are inferior to metal frames in the same price braket & a good carbon frame is expensive.

Ive no doubt the articles are written with a bit of bias, but is there much truth? is weight not so much of an issue now days in relation to steel frames vs the average aluminium bike?
I just bought a nephew a KHS URBAN XCEL and it feels light and he loves the feel. He is only 13 so maybe he will grow up liking steel.
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Old 09-28-20, 02:16 PM
  #113  
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Originally Posted by guy153 View Post
It's hard to beat cold-drawn seamless tubes for strength-to-weight ratio. This is why you see them used in roll-cages. What Thyssenkrupp are doing is a great way to mass-produce car bodies where strength to weight is important, especially as crash-testing and emissions-testing both become stricter, but not such a high priority. It is certainly impressive that they are now in the ballpark where they can make a bike frame but I doubt it's actually as good. All this stuff about how you can design the structure to be stiff where you need it etc. is something you say if your method of manufacture happens to allow that but I doubt it's significant enough to make up for the difference in wall thickness and weight.
I see a lot if reference to Thyssenkrup and wonder, do they make bikes, or just steel? I work for I/N Kote and we make the finest finished steel for autos at least in the us of a. Our high strength for honda door frames for instance I have wondered if it would make a good bike frame.
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Old 09-28-20, 02:57 PM
  #114  
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Originally Posted by donaldp View Post
I see a lot if reference to Thyssenkrup and wonder, do they make bikes, or just steel? I work for I/N Kote and we make the finest finished steel for autos at least in the us of a. Our high strength for honda door frames for instance I have wondered if it would make a good bike frame.
If it's high strength it should but I'd still make it into tubes. I think Columbus's niobium alloy that they used until recently is the same or similar stuff to what they use in side-impact bars.
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Old 09-28-20, 04:48 PM
  #115  
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All three of my bikes are steel.
I've not been concerned about being trendy or not, and no matter what my frame is made out of, I'm still slow.
I ahve a Lemond, an Independent Fabrication, and for it just being cool, an old Rudge 3 speed (Rudge was part of Raliegh, ti's the same as a raleigh Sports)
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Old 09-28-20, 05:29 PM
  #116  
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I first began riding a real bike in the early 1980's with a Italian Simoncini made from Columbus SL which I still have. I took 20 years off to get lazy and overweight but went back to riding about 10 years ago with a couple of CF bikes. After a year or so I tired of them and began riding my old Simoncini again. That caused me to think, and now I have my new custom made Cicli Barco XCr. It is made from stainless steel Columbus XCr tubing which is very thin and very light. The frame is a size 58.5 cm and weighs 18.675 lbs with pedals. I could have knocked off weight with a lighter saddle and wheels but I ride some rough roads and the saddle fits my butt just fine. I use it for all my bikes.

My personal opinion is that, although CF frames are lighter, they also benefit from having a lot more advertising space and potential gimmickry.

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Old 09-28-20, 05:58 PM
  #117  
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Originally Posted by Johnk3 View Post
I first began riding a real bike in the early 1980's with a Italian Simoncini made from Columbus SL which I still have. I took 20 years off to get lazy and overweight but went back to riding about 10 years ago with a couple of CF bikes. After a year or so I tired of them and began riding my old Simoncini again. That caused me to think, and now I have my new custom made Cicli Barco XCr. It is made from stainless steel Columbus XCr tubing which is very thin and very light. The frame is a size 58.5 cm and weighs 18.675 lbs with pedals. I could have knocked off weight with a lighter saddle and wheels but I ride some rough roads and the saddle fits my butt just fine. I use it for all my bikes.

My personal opinion is that, although CF frames are lighter, they also benefit from having a lot more advertising space and potential gimmickry.

I always drool a little bit every time you post this bike. Absolutely beautiful.
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Old 09-28-20, 07:25 PM
  #118  
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Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
did anyone else notice how suddenly djcookie suddenly appeared on this forum and establish him/herself as a troll? does cookie have some kind of creepy personal vendetta against Grant Petersen? every other cookie post is about Grant Petersen. it's really quite odd.
he’s the Cookie Monster
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Old 09-28-20, 07:29 PM
  #119  
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Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
Why is steel out of favor?

I challenge the premise. Favor with who?

I only ride to please one person.
That one person knows that tire size and inflation determines the ride quality much more than any other attribute. Frame material isn’t even second in ride quality.

I spend a fair amount of $$$ on quality tubular road tires. Money well spent.

If you want to appreciate ‘ride quality’ keep 15 roadies ready to go (steel, CF, Ti, Al) and compare them with every outing. You will end up buying better rubber!

Steel is not out of favor here.





nice collections, what’s your address? Lol
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Old 09-29-20, 09:28 AM
  #120  
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Originally Posted by genejockey View Post
Also, nobody's won a TdF on steel since Indurain. Why do you suppose that is?
Because cycling teams can afford the throw away $10,000 light weight CF bikes. Light but too fragile for most cyclist.
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Old 09-29-20, 09:33 AM
  #121  
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
Because cycling teams can afford the throw away $10,000 light weight CF bikes. Light but too fragile for most cyclist.
Right, because TdF riders don't put out that many watts or torque their bikes when sprinting and the road surfaces are always perfect.
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Old 09-29-20, 09:33 AM
  #122  
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I would suggest that in all the worlds bike production, steel still leads in numbers.
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Old 09-29-20, 10:16 AM
  #123  
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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.
Possibly true although it isn't the kind of nice cromoly you would want.

I say possibly because most of those ofos and things which were produced in ridiculous numbers and then almost immediately scrapped again were made of aluminium. There were probably more of them than there were of any other bicycle ever made in the history of mankind.
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Old 09-29-20, 10:37 AM
  #124  
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
Because cycling teams can afford the throw away $10,000 light weight CF bikes. Light but too fragile for most cyclist.
Pure nonsense.
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Old 09-29-20, 10:41 AM
  #125  
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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.
And McDonald's makes the most hamburgers in the world ...
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