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Lightweight Steel Frames?

Old 03-03-20, 06:55 PM
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Lightweight Steel Frames?

Hi All,

In the market for a lightweight steel road frame. Trying to keep it non-disc, and a threaded BB. Been reading around and it seems like Reynolds 853 Steel is pretty light, but we can get lighter too.

Anyone have any lightweight road bikes/frames they recommend?

Best,
996
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Old 03-03-20, 07:22 PM
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big john
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Budget? Save Up To 60% Off Pro Level Steel Road Bikes FREE SHIP 48 STATES ON ALL BICYCLES FREE SHIP* Motobecane Gran Premio Elite New Shimano 22 Speed 5800 / 105 + Shimano Wheelsets Reynolds High Grade Steel Road Bikes

https://waterfordbikes.com/road-race/

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Old 03-03-20, 07:38 PM
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https://www.rodbikes.com/catalog/out...tlaw-main.html

These look cool. Ritchey Logic are also highly regarded.

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Old 03-04-20, 01:05 AM
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All depends on how much cash you want to lay out. There are some incredible custom frames that are super-lightweight, if you want to invest in that kind of project. Alternatively, I am familiar with one of the sites big john references. Some really good deals there.
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Old 03-04-20, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by 996 View Post
Hi All,

In the market for a lightweight steel road frame. Trying to keep it non-disc, and a threaded BB. Been reading around and it seems like Reynolds 853 Steel is pretty light, but we can get lighter too.

Anyone have any lightweight road bikes/frames they recommend?

Best,
996
The brand or model of tubing is not at all as important as frame geometry and the butting of that tubing. example- Reynolds 853 comes in many different butting profiles and can be just as 'heavy' as generic taiwan 4130. 853 DZB is marketed for use in gravel/MTB/ATB bikes and is not a lightweight, because it isnt designed to be.
I mention this because it is mostly meaningless to look for frames based on just the tubing sticker.

I built a frame using Columbus Zona tubing, which is mid-upper level tubing and it came in at about 200g more than a higher level of tubing. Even then, Zona comes in multiple butting profiles and had I used the more aggressive butting, it would have been lighter(and flex a bit more, but who knows if i could tell or not).

Columbus Zona, Columbus Life, Columbus Life, Reynolds 853, Reynolds 725, Tange Prestige Japan, Kaisei, Variwall Thermlx - all these are quality and one isnt 'better' than the other. They are great for different applications and needs. They also come in a variety of diameters and butting, which greatly affects the fell depending on the rider.

Look at Breadwinner https://breadwinnercycles.com/product-category/bikes/ and Rodriqgez https://www.rodbikes.com/profiles/profiles.php to get general ideas on qualty frames that are well designed and well built. There are honestly dozens of great builders in the US and these are just 5% of whats out there and quality. Handmade obviously costs more than generic off the shelf. Look into Gunnar too- as they make quality custom frames for good prices.
Also check out Black Mountain Cycles https://blackmtncycles.com/frames/road-frames/ and Ritchey for some quality generic tube frames. The tubing isnt listed(Black Mountain is generic and Ritchey is in house/proprietary), but it is very much quality. Both frames use heat treated tubing and the Black Mountain is 8/5/8 butting while the Ritchey is not listed, but is similar and possibly thinner(guess based on weight). Something to note on both of these- the head tubes are for 1 1/8 steerers. This is significantly different from current trends of 44mm head tubes for massive front end stiffness. A steel road frame with a 1 1/8 steerer will be plenty stiff and track well when riding for any amateur/enthusiast. Somehow, pros excelled on even thinner head tubes too, so they clearly can be fine on them too. A smaller diameter head tube will allow for a bit more compliance(less harsh) on the front end. Also note- the Ritchey comes with a carbon fork, but the Black Mountain has a steel fork. You could use a Ritchey WCS fork https://us.ritcheylogic.com/us_en/wcs-carbon-road-fork or a Whiskey No7+ fprk https://whiskyparts.co/forks/no7_rd_...mid_reach_fork as both have similar/same rake and length as the stock steel fork, but will be over 1 pound lighter. Its a great way to get a really good frameset for under $1000.

There are production bikes with 853 like the Motobecane mentioned already Save Up To 60% Off Pro Level Steel Road Bikes FREE SHIP 48 STATES ON ALL BICYCLES FREE SHIP* Motobecane Gran Premio Elite New Shimano 22 Speed 5800 / 105 + Shimano Wheelsets Reynolds High Grade Steel Road Bikes as well as many British brands. But many/most will be disc brake since thats trendy.


Having the lightest steel frame is like having being the lightest heavyweight boxer. Its nearly meaningless. All my drop bar bikes are steel(853 gravel, Black Mountain MC for touring/commute, Columbus Zona road bike, Columbus Tenax road bike) and weigh different amounts, but the moving weight for all is within 1% of each other since that is bike weight + rider weight + gear(water, wedge bag, etc). If a bike is 20.5# or 19.5#, it rides the exact same on flat and down hills, and the 1# isnt noticed when climbing since its barely measurable. More important is frame geometry and comfort- does the geometry match what you want in a road bike?- then itll feel great. Does the bike have compliance where you want it?- then itll feel great.

More weight can be dropped due to components than can be dropped due to frame tubing choice. Keep that in mind. Zona tubing that is 7/5/7 and Spirit tubing that is 6/4/6 is just not much different in weight.
Also worth noting- as a tube increases in diameter, it becomes exponentially stiffer. So that tube can also become thinner which then offsets the stiffness and makes it lightweight and 'springy'.


tldr- dont chase grams. All those tube models/sets I mention are quality and what should be focused on is geometry. Are the chainstays the length range you want? Is the frame's trail the style you want? Can it fit the tire size you want? That stuff is what I think should be focused on.
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Old 03-04-20, 09:03 AM
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I've always thought the cinelli xcr looked like a pretty cool steel frame, but at that price point there are tons of options.
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Old 03-04-20, 09:26 AM
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Forgot to add the coolest production steel frame out right now- https://allcitycycles.com/bikes/mr_p...th_anniversary
Zona tubing, Whiskey road+ fork, and killer paint.
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Old 03-04-20, 12:51 PM
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Thank you all for the suggestions. Am doing my research now and will keep the thread updated with my decision.
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Old 03-04-20, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Forgot to add the coolest production steel frame out right now- https://allcitycycles.com/bikes/mr_p...th_anniversary
Zona tubing, Whiskey road+ fork, and killer paint.
Thank you for such a comprehensive breakdown - it is much appreciated. Wow I am totally speechless about the all city Mr. Pink - I did not see this. Wonder how much it weighs. Seems like such an amazing bike. Checks all my boxes:

- threaded bb
- wider tire clearance
- rim brakes
- carbon fork
- steel frame
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Old 03-04-20, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by 996 View Post
Thank you for such a comprehensive breakdown - it is much appreciated. Wow I am totally speechless about the all city Mr. Pink - I did not see this. Wonder how much it weighs. Seems like such an amazing bike. Checks all my boxes:

- threaded bb
- wider tire clearance
- rim brakes
- carbon fork
- steel frame
The Zona road frame I built was 65cm and once painted and ready to build, the frame weighed 1970g. All City claimed the 52cm frame weighs 2100g. That, to me, seems like a lot, even if its a production frame and has some un-stated reinforcement(i doubt it). So that could mean the frame and fork together weigh 2100g in size 52, which is possible since the fork is listed at 385g, so the 52cm frame weighs around 1715g. That could line up with what my significantly larger frame weighs.

That didnt give you actual detailed info, but its a couple of data points to estimate what a frame in your size might weigh. Also note- the 10th anniversary frame was made in limited numbers for each size. So there is that...

Good luck on the search. If you do end up wanting to explore disc options, something like the Fairlight Strael could be a great option(there are a lot more options too, since thats the trend).
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Old 03-04-20, 01:49 PM
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My Guru Sidero is made with Columbus Spirit. With SRAM Red and Mavic USTs it weighs 17 lbs 10 oz. If that appeals to you, you will have to find one used since Guru folded a few years ago.

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Old 03-04-20, 02:06 PM
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That's a nice bike! bruce19 .

mstateglfr Thanks again for your comment. I am kind of looking at the Genesis Equilibrium Reynolds 725. https://www.genesisbikes.co.uk/bike/...um-725-fs-2020

Thoughts?

thanks!
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Old 03-04-20, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by 996 View Post
Thank you for such a comprehensive breakdown - it is much appreciated. Wow I am totally speechless about the all city Mr. Pink - I did not see this. Wonder how much it weighs. Seems like such an amazing bike. Checks all my boxes:

- threaded bb
- wider tire clearance
- rim brakes
- carbon fork
- steel frame
Nearly all steel frames are going to be between 3 and 4 pounds, most closer to 4.
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Old 03-04-20, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by 996 View Post
mstateglfr Thanks again for your comment. I am kind of looking at the Genesis Equilibrium Reynolds 725. https://www.genesisbikes.co.uk/bike/...um-725-fs-2020

Thoughts?

thanks!
There are a ton of British brands with Reynolds tubing, but many(most) have disc brakes.

There is a 725 bike available in full builds for dirt cheap. https://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/ribble-endurance-725/
The cool think about Ribble's bikes is you can create totally custom paint schemes for $320 extra. And the full build costs are so low, you could swap out stuff that you specifically want after the fact and still come in cheaper than a lot of other options.
The disc version weighs 2100g and fork weighs 470g. So the rim brake versions probably weigh 2050g and 400g or something like that- slightly less, but negligable.


As for the Genesis bike you listed- yeah it looks nice. The site specifies the Volare frame's weight, but not Equilibrium, and given the tubing its fair to assume itll be heavier than the Volare, so probably about 2100g for the frame.


Neither of the bikes mentioned in this post are featherweight, but if the geometry works for you, they could be great. A set of quality wheels and supple tires plus light components is where a lot of weight is saved anyways.
The Genesis bike has a pretty neutral trail, and common numbers(bb drop, chainstay length, etc). Looks nice and the price is low.
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Old 03-04-20, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Forgot to add the coolest production steel frame out right now- https://allcitycycles.com/bikes/mr_p...th_anniversary
Zona tubing, Whiskey road+ fork, and killer paint.

$650 for a Mr. Pink frame and steel fork - not sure what year - several sizes available...: https://www.velomine.com/index.php?m...oducts_id=5555



Max. tire size?


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Old 03-04-20, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by 996 View Post
That's a nice bike! bruce19 .

mstateglfr Thanks again for your comment. I am kind of looking at the Genesis Equilibrium Reynolds 725. https://www.genesisbikes.co.uk/bike/...um-725-fs-2020

Thoughts?

thanks!
This might help.

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Old 03-04-20, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by 996 View Post
Thank you for such a comprehensive breakdown - it is much appreciated. Wow I am totally speechless about the all city Mr. Pink - I did not see this. Wonder how much it weighs. Seems like such an amazing bike. Checks all my boxes:

- threaded bb
- wider tire clearance
- rim brakes
- carbon fork
- steel frame
Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
The Zona road frame I built was 65cm and once painted and ready to build, the frame weighed 1970g. All City claimed the 52cm frame weighs 2100g. That, to me, seems like a lot, even if its a production frame and has some un-stated reinforcement(i doubt it). So that could mean the frame and fork together weigh 2100g in size 52, which is possible since the fork is listed at 385g, so the 52cm frame weighs around 1715g. That could line up with what my significantly larger frame weighs.

That didnt give you actual detailed info, but its a couple of data points to estimate what a frame in your size might weigh. Also note- the 10th anniversary frame was made in limited numbers for each size. So there is that...

Good luck on the search. If you do end up wanting to explore disc options, something like the Fairlight Strael could be a great option(there are a lot more options too, since thats the trend).
https://allcitycycles.com/bikes/mr_pink_classic

Sorry to be a downer but it seems like this is a porker of a bike. 49cm frame alone weighs 4lb 5oz or 1956g. They claim that a 58cm weighs 1999g. Oddly small difference.
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Old 03-04-20, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by smashndash View Post
https://allcitycycles.com/bikes/mr_pink_classic

Sorry to be a downer but it seems like this is a porker of a bike. 49cm frame alone weighs 4lb 5oz or 1956g. They claim that a 58cm weighs 1999g. Oddly small difference.
Yeah- those weights arent correct...or at least one of the weights isnt correct.
Zona isnt the lightest tubing around and comes in mutiple buttings so AC may have selected beefier butting since they need to over-build to be safe, but the road frame that I built with Zona, which is larger than anything commonly spec'd, was just under 2000g once painted.

But unless its a custom frame, most brands are going to error on the side of overbuilt frames and you will see that in the weight because they will be 200-300g heavier than custom alternatives.
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Old 03-04-20, 05:12 PM
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I think mstateglfr pretty much sum's it up, don't stress the frame weight, find weight savings somewhere else like the wheels, tires and tubes.

Thing about steel is you can get a beautiful looking bike, with some really nice paint schemes and I'd rather have a bike I like to look at over something 2 lbs lighter then an all black carbon (I have one of those) or some such.
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Old 03-04-20, 05:53 PM
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https://wabicycles.com/pages/tubing-info

"Columbus Spirit Niobium: similar in weight to the 953, the Spirit is one of the lightest steel tubes sets available"
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Old 03-04-20, 05:58 PM
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I always recommend BikesDirect for people who don't know what they're doing because you can't get hurt too badly financially. Why pay a lot for something when you don't really understand what it is you're buying? Why you would want to go lighter than Reynolds 853 in steel is beyond me.

Last edited by onyerleft; 03-04-20 at 06:04 PM.
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Old 03-04-20, 06:17 PM
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I like the look of this one: https://www.planetx.co.uk/i/q/FRHOCO...ition-frameset
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Old 03-05-20, 07:01 AM
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Jaegher bikes are awesomes.



Jaegher
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Old 03-05-20, 07:11 AM
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Have you considered the used market for a frame? Plenty of high end light steel frames from back in the day available. I will agree with many of the others to say that light isn't everything. I've got 25+ steel bikes and lightest is not always the best riding, the fastest, or even the best climber. It's always a compilation of things.

As an example though, this one was picked up and built back up last years. Mid 90's Giordana Excell Podium tubed frame. I've got a couple of bikes made with this old tubeset and it was quite light. This bike built up exactly as in the picture below is 17 lbs 14 ozs. Not bad at all for old steel.



Pretty much excellent frame except for one mark in the paint on the top tube.

So, just throwing out the used idea as that opens up a whole new world of quality bikes for what can be a great price.

This early 90's bike was picked up in mint condition. Threw on some modern wheels and set a PR for my 25 mile route on it that I can't seem to beat with any other bike I have.



Columbus TSX tubed, carry's speed so well.
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Old 03-05-20, 11:55 AM
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All - thank you for the replies. jamesdak - those are amazing bikes, and surprisingly very light. Thank you for the input. Aiming a bit towards more comfort, but I do appreciate old. Steel - I have a 90s Bianchi Pista (heavy steel tange tubing), but it's fun and rides very smooth. I get very fast on it.

mercator I also did come across this, the grey color scheme is what I like more. This seems like a good purchase for a frameset honestly. Light and decent, made by a reputable producer.
onyerleft I am heavily considering BD for a motobecane roadie, but looks like the tire clearance on the road frame with caliper brakes is only 25mm, i'm trying to run 28's at least.

mstateglfr - thank you for that suggestion. This really seems like good value for how much bike you're getting. Will take Ribble seriously, just trying to find out how much these things weigh as it is not specified.
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