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Affordable steel frames?

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Affordable steel frames?

Old 02-03-13, 03:22 PM
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teamtrinity
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Affordable steel frames?

So I know there's Soma, Surly and All-City. Are there any other brands with affordable steel frames?

Thanks!
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Old 02-03-13, 03:40 PM
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For what use? Since you posted in the road forums, I'm assuming you're looking to do a road build?

Of those listed, the Soma Smoothie looks like it would be the best value (Tange Prestige tubing, etc). Many of the steel frames these days are either lower quality or very high (expensive) quality, with not much in between. The Soma Smoothie and Smoothie ES seem to be the best value (IMO) in that price range.

Also consider picking up a used frame set on CL or Ebay - either like those you've listed or an 80's or 90's high end frame. I've done just that and for half the price of those frames you mention I have a very nice frame from a reputable builder with top end tubing (of its day).

Do you know what size and geometry you are looking for?
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Old 02-03-13, 04:07 PM
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Loads of em on Ebay.
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Old 02-03-13, 04:50 PM
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Jamis doesn't seem to offer steel frames but they have some nice steel completes.

Seems like Torelli used to offer some reasonably priced frames.

Last edited by LesterOfPuppets; 02-03-13 at 04:54 PM.
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Old 02-03-13, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by teamtrinity View Post
So I know there's Soma, Surly and All-City. Are there any other brands with affordable steel frames?

Thanks!
What do you consider "affordable"?
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Old 02-03-13, 05:08 PM
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Tommasinni (sp) is a good steel frame maker, really nice and takes modern components, too.

Bill
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Old 02-03-13, 05:57 PM
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You may or may not know, but there are plenty of high-end used frames to be had. Some of these you can get for a steal on eBay or Craigslist and many can be built up with new parts. It's another option to think of. An old steel frame that is well taken care of would make a great new bike.
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Old 02-03-13, 06:09 PM
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Just to add a list to your names, Marinoni sells frames although you had to email them the last time I looked at their web site. If I recall correctly, the touring frame was $500.
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Old 02-03-13, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by halfspeed View Post
What do you consider "affordable"?
Same range as Soma/Surly/All-City...under $700 for frame and fork.
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Old 02-03-13, 10:21 PM
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You can always try Velo Orange. I don't know much about them other than they really like old school stuff.
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Old 02-03-13, 11:05 PM
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Originally Posted by teamtrinity View Post
Same range as Soma/Surly/All-City...under $700 for frame and fork.
That's going to be pretty limited. Go up to ~$900 for a frame and another $300 for a fork and your options widen considerably.
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Old 02-03-13, 11:16 PM
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Originally Posted by qcpmsame View Post
Tommasinni (sp) is a good steel frame maker, really nice and takes modern components, too.

Bill
Based on the "affordable" comment, I kept Tommasini, Cinelli, De Rosa and similar high end makes out of the mix. It is tough to find an 80's Tommasini frame for less than $1,000 and the new ones are $2k+
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Old 02-03-13, 11:19 PM
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Originally Posted by teamtrinity View Post
Same range as Soma/Surly/All-City...under $700 for frame and fork.
Again, context/use will help. A road race frame and touring frame are different animals, so it is hard to make a suggestion without knowing what type of bike you are wanting to build.

If you are going with a road race build, Smart Cycle has many good quality chromo frames for decent prices: https://www.smartcycles.com/frame_closeouts_list.htm
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Old 02-03-13, 11:50 PM
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Very hard to answer such a vague question. We don't know what kind of riding you will be doing or what you consider to be affordable.

If I wanted a steel bike, I would be tempted to go looking for a used Lemond Zurich or similar. I think the later Zurich's were carbon, but the earlier ones were Reynolds 853, for sure. Ummm, except maybe the forks.
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Old 02-04-13, 12:04 AM
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Old 02-04-13, 02:23 AM
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Raleigh has a pretty wide selection of mid-priced steel bikes. They have one frameset, the International although I think it is well north of $1000. It's very pretty though, lugged everything, matching fork.

OTOH you can get one of their steel offerings for under $1000, sell off the components, and be well under your $700 target.
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Old 02-04-13, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
Jamis doesn't seem to offer steel frames but they have some nice steel completes.

Seems like Torelli used to offer some reasonably priced frames.
I'm pretty sure Jamis sells the Eclipse as a frameset with carbon fork. About $1300 for 853. Not sure if that qualifies as "affordable," but it sure is pretty.
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Old 02-04-13, 07:42 AM
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Look at 90's Italian racing frames on ebay preferably the Columbus EL ones. I just watched a beauty go for $250 most go around 400-600.
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Old 02-04-13, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
If I wanted a steel bike, I would be tempted to go looking for a used Lemond Zurich or similar. I think the later Zurich's were carbon, but the earlier ones were Reynolds 853, for sure. Ummm, except maybe the forks.
This is definitely something to consider. I got a 2001 LeMond Nevada City with Reynolds 853 main triangle/525 rear triangle/steel fork complete bike in pristine condition for $300 and sold the parts I didn't want for around $200. I built the frame up with 6600-series Ultegra parts and Ultegra/Open Pro wheels and it came in under 20 pounds.
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