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Affordable Modern Steel Road bike options

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Affordable Modern Steel Road bike options

Old 09-11-21, 12:33 PM
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Affordable Modern Steel Road bike options

I've decided for my next bike I would like a modern road bike with a steel frame. I really like the ride of my vintage bikes, but miss my brifters and indexed shifting. Don't really want to modify an old bike. My only real qualifications are steel frame, wider tires like 30mm+, endurance geometry, and indexed shifting drivetrain with brifters. I want to start searching the used market for one. Hoping for some suggestions of brand and model that I should be looking for. Thinking like a $500 budget. I've seen some Jamis bikes that seem to meet what I'm looking for, but haven't seen one in my size. I'm hoping there are other brands and models I should be looking for. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
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Old 09-11-21, 01:26 PM
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Anything is possible but I wouldn't expect many choices with that budget.
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Old 09-11-21, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
Anything is possible but I wouldn't expect many choices with that budget.
maybe frame only?
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Old 09-11-21, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
Anything is possible but I wouldn't expect many choices with that budget.
Yeah I've seen some that meet all of what I'm looking for in the price range except for size. Hard one to search though as it mostly turns up vintage steel bikes.
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Old 09-11-21, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by BikingViking793 View Post
Don't really want to modify an old bike.
Why not? If what you're after is the feel of the older bikes, the easiest way to nail that is to use an older bike as a base. Modern steel often uses wider tubing and ends up a lot stiffer.

In many cases it's not like you'd actually need much modification anyway. As long as you're not buying something really old, or that uses a bunch of French standards, adding brifters is unlikely to require much "modification" besides re-spacing the rear end.
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Old 09-11-21, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by HTupolev View Post
Why not? If what you're after is the feel of the older bikes, the easiest way to nail that is to use an older bike as a base. Modern steel often uses wider tubing and ends up a lot stiffer.

In many cases it's not like you'd actually need much modification anyway. As long as you're not buying something really old, or that uses a bunch of French standards, adding brifters is unlikely to require much "modification" besides re-spacing the rear end.
It's a fall back if I can't find anything. But prefer not to. I think finding one with clearance for wide tires would be a challenge alone.
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Old 09-11-21, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by BikingViking793 View Post
My only real qualifications are steel frame, wider tires like 30mm+, endurance geometry, and indexed shifting drivetrain with brifters. I want to start searching the used market for one. Hoping for some suggestions of brand and model that I should be looking for. Thinking like a $500 budget.
At $500, I would not use any specifics besides 'steel' for your search. Keep the search as wide as possible at that price and go from there.
Don't even look for a specific size since if you look for '56cm', you may miss out on what someone calls 'M/L' or a 55cm that fits like the 56 you want due to geometry.


As for brands with modern steel frames...
jamis, kona, surly, all city, black mountain, fairlight, soma, mason, and many more.
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Old 09-11-21, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by BikingViking793 View Post
It's a fall back if I can't find anything. But prefer not to. I think finding one with clearance for wide tires would be a challenge alone.
20c tires became a thing in the late 80s/early 90s, but outside of that era, tire clearance really shouldn’t be a problem. Even in the mid-80s you’d see bikes like Fignon’s with his Modolo calipers that could probably easily take a 30.
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Old 09-11-21, 09:37 PM
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Out of your budget but I keep looking back at Waterford made frame sets. I have all the parts from my old broke Madone but my carbon wheels are rim brake.

https://www.benscycle.com/milwaukee-...BoC8i4QAvD_BwE
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Old 09-12-21, 02:21 AM
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I was going to recommend the Soma Fog Cutter but then I saw your small $500 budget. Good luck with that. No one can tell you what to look for in used bikes, we have no clue what's for sale where you live.
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Old 09-12-21, 06:00 AM
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Originally Posted by biker128pedal View Post
Out of your budget but I keep looking back at Waterford made frame sets. I have all the parts from my old broke Madone but my carbon wheels are rim brake.

https://www.benscycle.com/milwaukee-...BoC8i4QAvD_BwE
yeah that seems like a fun option down the road. This is more of a budget option:

https://carsoncitybikeshop.com/priva...me-52cm-black/

for now I’m gonna stick to finding something used though.
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Old 09-12-21, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by BikingViking793 View Post
yeah that seems like a fun option down the road. This is more of a budget option:

https://carsoncitybikeshop.com/priva...me-52cm-black/
A New Albion frameset would be a good option, either the Privateer, Homebrew, or Drake. I used to own a Homebrew that was pretty nice.
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Old 09-12-21, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by BikingViking793 View Post
I think finding one with clearance for wide tires would be a challenge alone.
If you're talking about modern gravel tires, sure. But in your OP, you wrote "30mm+." Tons of quality vintage steel road frames can fit that no problem, especially if you're looking at early 1980s and before.
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Old 09-12-21, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by HTupolev View Post
If you're talking about modern gravel tires, sure. But in your OP, you wrote "30mm+." Tons of quality vintage steel road frames can fit that no problem, especially if you're looking at early 1980s and before.
And those will all have quill stems. I know it can be done, just not really interested in changing a vintage bike.
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Old 09-12-21, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by BikingViking793 View Post
And those will all have quill stems.
Yes. I didn't realize that you'd have any issues with that.
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Old 09-19-21, 08:05 PM
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Will a Surly Cross Check frameset work well for me? Thinking I like it a bit better than the New Albion and have a bike I could take most the parts from to build it up.
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Old 09-20-21, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by BikingViking793 View Post
Will a Surly Cross Check frameset work well for me? Thinking I like it a bit better than the New Albion and have a bike I could take most the parts from to build it up.
A new CC frameset costs more than your entire stated budget. And its hardly anything special in terms of design, features, butting, etc. But yeah, it can work fine if thats the geometry and style bike you want. It has canti posts, I would assume you know this but since you want a road bike(traditionally caliper brakes) I figured I will still mention that.
The CC geometry is definitely longer and lower than some other options, at least thats true at the larger end of the frame sizing.

You have had many bikes and presumably know what works well for geometry so I would guess you know if the CC geometry works in your frame size.
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Old 09-20-21, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by BikingViking793 View Post
I've decided for my next bike I would like a modern road bike with a steel frame. I really like the ride of my vintage bikes, but miss my brifters and indexed shifting. Don't really want to modify an old bike. ...... Thinking like a $500 budget.
Really?

It seems from this post (and the half-dozen bikes in your info) that you have considerable experience cycling, and ridiculously unrealistic expectations. I had to go back and check that this wasn't a zombie post form ten or more years ago.

Except for big-box stores, I don't know anybody selling quality bikes (on par with what you already ride) for $500. You can get some decent but outmoded bikes from Bikes Direct, with either ancient 7-speed or 8-speed Claris, cheap, heavy wheels, cheap heavy seats and seat posts, etc ..... Stuff you probably wouldn't enjoy riding. And certainly nothing you would call "modern."
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Old 09-20-21, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Really?

It seems from this post (and the half-dozen bikes in your info) that you have considerable experience cycling, and ridiculously unrealistic expectations. I had to go back and check that this wasn't a zombie post form ten or more years ago.

Except for big-box stores, I don't know anybody selling quality bikes (on par with what you already ride) for $500. You can get some decent but outmoded bikes from Bikes Direct, with either ancient 7-speed or 8-speed Claris, cheap, heavy wheels, cheap heavy seats and seat posts, etc ..... Stuff you probably wouldn't enjoy riding. And certainly nothing you would call "modern."
I said used market. I’ve received the help I wanted and know a few more brands to look for.
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Old 09-20-21, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by BikingViking793 View Post
I've seen some Jamis bikes that seem to meet what I'm looking for, but haven't seen one in my size.
I had a 2006 Jamis Quest. What a bike. Great ride. But no way it would fit 30mm tires. 25mm max.

I've converted several vintage frames. Huge project, even for one that seems simple, just because stuff always comes up that you don't expect. And likely not made easier given the current parts shortage. Fun stuff if you're into it but if not...

I think an older Surly is a decent idea. I don't know about pricing but you might get lucky with a ~10 year old model.

Good luck
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Old 09-21-21, 05:39 AM
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if I may recommend a custom Ti from chinese factory, I got one for around $500 (frame only) been 3 years on it without any issues. But for the record the ride quality is a bit "harsher" than my vintage steel or my modern steel CX bike (with the same wheelset, tyre, and saddle/seatpost combo)
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Old 09-21-21, 07:52 AM
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A Thorn Audax frameset is around about your budget. I've seen a few of them on Audax and BCTC rides - they look very well made and the owners are always complimentary about them. They'll take tyres up to 35mm. The people who run Thorn are very good and they will ship overseas.
https://www.thorncycles.co.uk/bikes
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Old 09-21-21, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by BikingViking793 View Post
I've decided for my next bike I would like a modern road bike with a steel frame. I really like the ride of my vintage bikes, but miss my brifters and indexed shifting. Don't really want to modify an old bike. My only real qualifications are steel frame, wider tires like 30mm+, endurance geometry, and indexed shifting drivetrain with brifters. I want to start searching the used market for one. Hoping for some suggestions of brand and model that I should be looking for. Thinking like a $500 budget. I've seen some Jamis bikes that seem to meet what I'm looking for, but haven't seen one in my size. I'm hoping there are other brands and models I should be looking for. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
Check this out in the for sale section, in Wisconsin...'

1984 Klein Performance with your choice of components
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