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Modern Steel Road Bike Appreciation Thread

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Modern Steel Road Bike Appreciation Thread

Old 01-23-16, 08:34 AM
  #251  
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I find the specs and looks of the 853 Kona Roadhouse very appealing.
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Old 01-23-16, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
I find the specs and looks of the 853 Kona Roadhouse very appealing.
I don't dispute you on that Sy, but it appears to be a real boat anchor. What folks are saying about the weight, it is very nearly 2 lb heavier JUST IN THE FRAME AND FORK than a Ritchey Logic. How do you justify that?
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Old 01-23-16, 09:09 AM
  #253  
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
I don't dispute you on that Sy, but it appears to be a real boat anchor. What folks are saying about the weight, it is very nearly 2 lb heavier JUST IN THE FRAME AND FORK than a Ritchey Logic. How do you justify that?
Seems to be built for real multi-purpose and utility/commuting, maybe possible for some touring. I think stock it comes with 30c tires and is built to take fenders/racks. I guess I have a tendency though to not look at steel bikes as a weight savings play in the first place.

EDIT: You sure you're referring to the Roadhouse frameset weight? I didn't think Kona sold these framesets standalone, only for their lower-end *****Tonk 520 frameset.

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Old 01-23-16, 10:35 AM
  #254  
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Originally Posted by StanSeven View Post
Now older riders with more money want their dream bikes from youth.
All I dreamt about in my youth was Schwinns. Then I got one: Rode a Varsity Sport for ~10 years. The last thing I would want now is anything vaguely resembling one of those tanks!


Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
a nice looking steel bike doesn't have to be expensive or custom-built.
+1 To be honest I think my best looking bike is the 1986 Bridgestone 600 I got off ebay & use for commuting, foul weather rides, and training when I really want to suffer. That bike was maybe $300 when brand new? Something about a perfectly level top tube, 1" threaded steerer, quill stem, and skinny pipes just looks attractive -- in the literal sense of the word, those bikes attract me to wanna throw a leg over and ride 'em.


Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
Steel is [...] a material that a small builder can work in, and exercise a great deal of skill with, unlike carbon fiber.
If Nic Crumpton were here he'd give you a wedgie and then steal your lunch money in the playground.
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Old 01-23-16, 10:52 AM
  #255  
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
Seems to be built for real multi-purpose and utility/commuting, maybe possible for some touring. I think stock it comes with 30c tires and is built to take fenders/racks. I guess I have a tendency though to not look at steel bikes as a weight savings play in the first place.

EDIT: You sure you're referring to the Roadhouse frameset weight? I didn't think Kona sold these framesets standalone, only for their lower-end *****Tonk 520 frameset.
I'm just quoting what others have written in this thread. May have been bought as a complete bike, but the frame was weighed at some time.
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Old 01-23-16, 11:09 AM
  #256  
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
I'm just quoting what others have written in this thread. May have been bought as a complete bike, but the frame was weighed at some time.
honestly haven't read thru entire thread.. tried searching on Kona and roadhouse though, nothing else came up. Can you tell me the post # ?
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Old 01-23-16, 11:31 AM
  #257  
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
honestly haven't read thru entire thread.. tried searching on Kona and roadhouse though, nothing else came up. Can you tell me the post # ?
Sorry, but I can't find it. Advanced Search is giving me nothing. It doesn't seem to be in this thread, but I don't know where I read it. Last couple of days.
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Old 01-23-16, 12:46 PM
  #258  
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It was in another thread. Someone asserted that the Roadhouse frame was 2.4kg without fork. That's pretty stout for a modern steel frame if true.
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Old 01-23-16, 01:09 PM
  #259  
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Davidson Handbuilt Bicycles | Bicycles Handbuilt in Seattle, Washington
Just got this. Davidson is still building and the seller was the original owner. He told me he had it made in the early 90s. Sweet bike. I'll probably pull the DuraAce 7 speed in favor of a Campy Centaur 10 speed group I have sitting in a box.
Not bad for $275 I think.

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Old 01-23-16, 01:26 PM
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Not sure that stem is long enough ... it looks like the bars might still be in the same timezone as the seat.
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Old 01-23-16, 01:28 PM
  #261  
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Lol. I wondered why a custom build had such a stem. For the price I got it I don't really care though. Sooner or later the bike will transform.
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Old 01-23-16, 02:14 PM
  #262  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Not sure that stem is long enough ... it looks like the bars might still be in the same timezone as the seat.
Yes, it's not exactly the poster child of "custom geometry" is it? Massive stem, and huge setback on the seatpost as well!
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Old 01-23-16, 05:08 PM
  #263  
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Originally Posted by dr_lha View Post
Yes, it's not exactly the poster child of "custom geometry" is it? Massive stem, and huge setback on the seatpost as well!
Well for a tall, long armed rider where their weight is still kept centered on the bike, and who wants a lighter, stiffer, sportier frame, it may just have been the calculation that it was preferable to keep the frame as compact as possible (given old school, narrow guage steel tubes) and to use the stem and seatpost to adjust fit (shocker there) rather than make the frame more rangy or resort to unorthodox bracing (e.g. a 2nd top tube).

It is a damn long stem though, maybe a 160mm?
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Old 01-23-16, 05:25 PM
  #264  
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Assuming the seller was in fact the original owner (he is an older guy who spoke about the bike as if it had always been his) I don't "get" the stem either. The bike is 57 seat tube X 55 top tube so a shorter TT with a long stem is a bit of a head scratcher. However, I don't know the guy and there could certainly be reasons. Bad advice later in life comes to mind. In any event I'm pretty happy with it and it complements my steel collection pretty well.

Davidson Signature Steel
LeMond Maillot Jaune (853)
Colnago Master
1970s Harding (531 from Ireland)
1980s Basso

I know the last 2 aren't modern but figured I'd throw them in.
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Old 01-23-16, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Walter View Post
Assuming the seller was in fact the original owner (he is an older guy who spoke about the bike as if it had always been his) I don't "get" the stem either. The bike is 57 seat tube X 55 top tube so a shorter TT with a long stem is a bit of a head scratcher. However, I don't know the guy and there could certainly be reasons. Bad advice later in life comes to mind. In any event I'm pretty happy with it and it complements my steel collection pretty well.

Davidson Signature Steel
LeMond Maillot Jaune (853)
Colnago Master
1970s Harding (531 from Ireland)
1980s Basso

I know the last 2 aren't modern but figured I'd throw them in.
What's the seat tube angle? The top tube could be effectively longer than it seems if the seat tube is steep. That could explain the big saddle setback too. Think of 73 deg as standard for the seat tube. For every degree steeper than 73 deg the top tube is effectively one cm longer than the spec number indicates. This could be a blind alley, but just saying.
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Old 01-23-16, 08:43 PM
  #266  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
But in reality, someone who wants a steel bike, and the ride of a steel bike, can either buy something old and rebuild it, buy something really expensive if he can afford it, or buy something like that Motobecane....



I see a lot of bikes I would never own or want to own, but I don't dump on them. I try to appreciate them for what they are.
...I think I understand what it is. It's a utilitarian bicycle cycle with a steel frame and relatively unassuming components, and the average local city Craigslist is filled with such things, some of which need to be fixed, some of which are in decent condition. IOW, on the scale of bicycles, steel framed or otherwise, it's an unsophisticated product that will get you around for a minimal investment.

The world is already filled with them, and I don't really see why producing more of them, just because of the particular frame material, ought to be a worthy pursuit. If your predictions hold true, more of these orange Bikes Direct Chinese Motobecanes only serves to further muddy the waters for people who have no experience with the frame material. The threads on the 41 in ten or fifteen years will have a certain guaranteed percentage of them entitled "I don't see what's so great about steel. This Motobecane I bought is a POS, and I'm going back to CF ASAP."
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Old 01-23-16, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Walter View Post
For the price I got it I don't really care though. Sooner or later the bike will transform.
...Davidson made a good bike. I think he closed up shop. I have two of them, and they are worthy of note.
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Old 01-23-16, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
I don't dispute you on that Sy, but it appears to be a real boat anchor. What folks are saying about the weight, it is very nearly 2 lb heavier JUST IN THE FRAME AND FORK than a Ritchey Logic. How do you justify that?
...weight weenie alert !!!
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Old 01-23-16, 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
...I think I understand what it is. It's a utilitarian bicycle cycle with a steel frame and relatively unassuming components, and the average local city Craigslist is filled with such things, some of which need to be fixed, some of which are in decent condition. IOW, on the scale of bicycles, steel framed or otherwise, it's an unsophisticated product that will get you around for a minimal investment.

The world is already filled with them, and I don't really see why producing more of them, just because of the particular frame material, ought to be a worthy pursuit. If your predictions hold true, more of these orange Bikes Direct Chinese Motobecanes only serves to further muddy the waters for people who have no experience with the frame material. The threads on the 41 in ten or fifteen years will have a certain guaranteed percentage of them entitled "I don't see what's so great about steel. This Motobecane I bought is a POS, and I'm going back to CF ASAP."
What are you talking about? Why the negativity? Most people ride such decent bikes and appreciate them for their value. Why are you attacking the mainstream of the cycling world? I don't mean Bikes Direct is mainstream. But the product type certainly is. Decent quality steel, competent construction, better than basic components. A good value package. So good value may not be what your collection is about. But that doesn't mean it isn't what most folks want and need.
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Old 01-23-16, 09:38 PM
  #270  
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
...Davidson made a good bike. I think he closed up shop. I have two of them, and they are worthy of note.
Website is still active.
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Old 01-23-16, 10:22 PM
  #271  
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Modern steel road bikes can be Fixed Gear machines made from Columbus Spirit triple butted, heat treated tubing like this Wabi Lightening SE:



Ride quality is particularly important for those who do long distances on a FG, easing over rough road surfaces while coasting never happens while spinning out on descents after muscling up grades does......

A light nimble but solid frameset is required for riding FG on the road: steel works quite well in this application.



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Old 01-23-16, 10:55 PM
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
What are you talking about? Why the negativity? Most people ride such decent bikes and appreciate them for their value. Why are you attacking the mainstream of the cycling world? I don't mean Bikes Direct is mainstream. But the product type certainly is. Decent quality steel, competent construction, better than basic components. A good value package. So good value may not be what your collection is about. But that doesn't mean it isn't what most folks want and need.
...you are pushing a bike with a CF fork in the "modern steel bike" thread. Maybe you want to redefine the material to suit your weight weenie persona, but I'm not enthusiastic about it. More to the point, most of those "exclusive, bike snobby" steel bikes cost less than this Bikes Direct offering (bought used via CL). So I fail to see your point, assuming you have one, which I am beginning to doubt.

FWIW, I have owned (briefly) and ridden modern steel with CF forkage. It works fine. But to tout it as an enlightened use of the material is pushing it. I see it as what manufacturers do when they need to sell product to a public with the mindset that lighter is where it's at. Do we know anyone like that ?
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Old 01-23-16, 10:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Walter View Post
Website is still active.
...I could be wrong, but it seems to me I read a posting from someone on the C+V about a year ago who said he helped Mr Davidson clear out the shop.
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Old 01-24-16, 06:23 AM
  #274  
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
...you are pushing a bike with a CF fork in the "modern steel bike" thread. Maybe you want to redefine the material to suit your weight weenie persona, but I'm not enthusiastic about it. More to the point, most of those "exclusive, bike snobby" steel bikes cost less than this Bikes Direct offering (bought used via CL). So I fail to see your point, assuming you have one, which I am beginning to doubt.

FWIW, I have owned (briefly) and ridden modern steel with CF forkage. It works fine. But to tout it as an enlightened use of the material is pushing it. I see it as what manufacturers do when they need to sell product to a public with the mindset that lighter is where it's at. Do we know anyone like that ?
Your prejudices are redefining my stated positions so that they will be directly opposite to yours. In other words you are making crap up re: what I am saying so that you can tear it down. No one ever said "enlightened use of the material" or anything suggesting that, certainly not me. I am talking about basic functionality for a basic price and not too bad looking either by today's standards. Weight weenieism is something I apply to my own builds, but wouldn't foist on a novice or other cyclist in need of the basic, quality bike.

Regarding buying used from any source, that is not for everyone. You forget the experience you bring to the process. When the buyer can't afford to make a mistake and doesn't have the knowledge and experience to assure that they won't, buying new is often the better proposition. Why should John Doe care whether their downtube says Holdsworth, Davidson, Sachs, Mercian, or (Chinese) Motobecane? And why should they have 20 year old components for the same price as brand new. I defy you to demonstrate that the BD Moto, when properly setup for the rider, doesn't ride as well as any of those hallowed names. It can't be done! Do I know this for a fact? No, but based on years of trying unsuccessfully to reliably correlate ride quality with pedigree that is my belief, and I am sticking with it.

Face it: the kids are infringing on your lawn, and you can't stand it.
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Old 01-24-16, 08:17 AM
  #275  
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My take on this is more that "modern steel bikes" (which is the topic and part of the title of the thread) includes these low-end Motobecane bikes as well as the high-dollar custom builds. The topic does Not include classic/vintage bikes built up with C/V components, although of course those would be welcome, because we don’t have sticks up our butts, but the thread is about Modern Steel Bikes.

And try this idea: The tank-like Schwinn Varsities many remember so fondly as their first “real” roahd bikes, were in no way worse or better than this Motobecane. In fact, the two share a lot in common, being basically the common man’s bicycle, the bicycle for the masses, as opposed to the bicycles for the elite (which back in those days all came from overseas.)

So this BD Motobecane, regardless where its name came from (and anyone who knows the brand for what it was knows that the new bikes have nothing to do with the old—and no one else knows the name) is just a basic steel-framed bicycle, an entry-level introduction to the steel-framed bike.

Just as I went on to try other frame materials, most people who buy a Motobecane from BD (if they expand as cyclists) will also shop around. However, just as so many of us fell in love with cycling on a simple, entry-level steel-framed behemoth (Likely a Huffy, or Murray, or a 3-speed Sturmey-Archer Robin Hood) and now appreciate steel despite having tried other things, maybe some of those people who start riding a steel Motobecane will preserve fond memories of the bike, and maybe when they decide to explore Classic/Vintage bikes ... they will shop around for some barn-find Motobecane.

Hey, neither my Robin Hood nor my Schwinn Suburban were anything but basic bicycles. There was no artistry involved, no hand-crafting, no pride of fabrication; just simple, mass-produced, steel-framed transportation at a very affordable price. Yet I just last night put the finishing touches on an all-steel 1984 Raleigh Olympian—and guess what, it isn’t and never was a top-end ride either. Just more basic transportation. But if I posted a build report and photos in the CV forum ... well, since I updated it, it might not go over so well, I guess.

My point is, there is no point in crapping on utilitarian, entry-level transport bikes. That is where we all started, and if steel is going to have any place in the marketplace besides a very few boutique builders ....

I am not suggesting anyone has to personally aspire to own a Motobecane the way most of us aspire to own any number of high-end bikes. But shouldn’t we respect the people who do aspire to own a steel Motobecane? How are they any different than we were, when we aspired to own that 36-lb. Schwinn?

Where is that damned "Rant Off" button? My computer doesn't seem to have one.

Last edited by Maelochs; 01-24-16 at 09:23 AM.
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