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Trying to find a new steel bike

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Trying to find a new steel bike

Old 07-03-14, 02:50 PM
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rwpshaw
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Trying to find a new steel bike

I've been looking, with little success, to find a new steel bike. I have an old '85 Schwinn Le Tour Luxe. I've had other older (vintage) bikes. I want a steel bike for general road riding. I ride 2 -3 times a week, 30 to 75 mile day rides, supported tours like BRAG and BRAT, and weekend self supported excursions. I want good/better components that are easily replaceable and things like braze-ons for a rear rack. I don't want a bike for a self-supported tour (ie, Long Haul Trucker, 520 - not now, anyway) - a bit less, lighter, and more of a daily road bike. Without spending a fortune on a custom built bike, what's available?
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Old 07-03-14, 02:57 PM
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https://www.racycles.com/road/colnag...-2012-frameset
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Old 07-03-14, 03:03 PM
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Surly Pacer and Soma Smoothie ES are probably your best bet if you don't want to break the bank. Both are basically "sports touring" bikes (they take long reach brakes and have eyelets). Alternatively, you could get a steel cross bike such as a Surly Cross Check or a Soma Double cross. I think a steel cross bike set up with a triple is a fine bike for the kind of riding you describe. I find the cross a bit more versatile since you can go fat or skinny on the tires and tire size matters when it comes to different road surfaces. This is my Soma Double Cross:

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Old 07-03-14, 03:15 PM
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I likes the Pacer but it doesn't have braz-on for a back rack. Surly's website states that it does not customize a frame. I'll look at the others.
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Old 07-03-14, 03:28 PM
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Salsa Vaya is a great all arounder.
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Old 07-03-14, 03:31 PM
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Reynolds 520, rack mounts, 105 group for $800. Out of stock at the moment but should have some in this month.

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Old 07-03-14, 03:32 PM
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All-City Mr. Pink is another option. Surly, Salsa, and All-City are all made by the same company QBP in Minnesota.
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Old 07-03-14, 03:49 PM
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Check out the soma stanyan. GVH has a nice looking 56cm frame in stock..
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Old 07-03-14, 04:40 PM
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I feel your pain... while I'm not currently shopping, I have decided that my current bike will be replaced with a steel one. I just prefer the ride and durability of steel over aluminum or carbon. I'm also getting to be more of an endurance rider than I ever was. Plus, since I occasionally turn into a 9 year old kid when riding, I certainly could use the durability of steel, again!
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Old 07-03-14, 05:02 PM
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Bianchi? My Imola has been great. Reynolds 631, carbon fork, rear tabs, 105. Closer to racer than tourer (though somewhat in between). I think the MSRP is a bit high, but there are some used ones and frames available.
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Old 07-03-14, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by mercator View Post
Check out the soma stanyan.
Good choice, as kitted out for wet weather.
Works a treat.

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Old 07-03-14, 05:59 PM
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I like my Gunnar Sport. It comes as just a frame and fork so you can put on whatever components suit you. I've ridden it on several BRATs, hope to be there this year.
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Old 07-03-14, 06:57 PM
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Jamis makes some nice steel bikes. Quest series. My wife has a 2013 Satellite Sport and we mounted a rack and some 28 c tires on it.
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Old 07-03-14, 08:12 PM
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Old 07-04-14, 05:18 AM
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More than any other material, very nice classic steel frames can be purchased used on CL and ebay for very little. If you can afford up to $500 for a beautiful repair and repaint, you can really end up with a gem.
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Old 07-04-14, 05:38 AM
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I like steel frames also. This is a 1985 columbus SLX frameset, with all modern campy components. I have the great ride of steel with the comforts of modern 10 speed.
Nice steel frames with the add ons can easily be found on ebay, then build it up with your choice of components. Ribblecycle has great prices on groups.I bought this complete campy group for $400, wheels off another forum and so on. Ended up building this for a pretty low price, and its exactly what I've been wanting.



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Old 07-04-14, 06:21 AM
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If you don't want to spend a fortune, the Kona ***** Tonk is a decent general purpose steel road bike. But if I were you I'd go vintage. Lots of 1980s reynolds 531 bikes out there for modest money, fairly easy to upgrade with modern drivetrains...

EDIT - Jeez, the censor won't even let me post the name of a bike. It's the Kona H*nky Tonk.
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Old 07-04-14, 07:33 AM
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Budget? There are a lot of nice steel frames that are relatively light. My Guru (Columbus Spirit) weighs 18 lbs with Speedplay pedals and Ksyrium Elite wheels. I have a friend who has a Gunnar custom and it weighs 16 lbs. FWIIW my Guru is a 54 frame.
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Old 07-04-14, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by rwpshaw View Post
I likes the Pacer but it doesn't have braz-on for a back rack. Surly's website states that it does not customize a frame. I'll look at the others.
Honestly I can think of lots of reasons not to buy a back but the lack of seat stay braze on is not one of them. It has eyelets. You can easily mount a 4 point attachment rack with p clamps. You can also use a 3 point attachment rack. There are some very high quality large size bags that are made that don't need a rack as well; I use a Jandd mountain 3 for the kinds of events you like to ride (BRAG and BRAT). The new Pacer is pretty sweet with a full shimano 105 group.

Not trying to sell you on the Pacer but I'm skeptical that this ought to be a deal breaker if you really like the bike and it fits you right.
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Old 07-04-14, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
Budget? There are a lot of nice steel frames that are relatively light. My Guru (Columbus Spirit) weighs 18 lbs with Speedplay pedals and Ksyrium Elite wheels. I have a friend who has a Gunnar custo and it weighs 16 lbs. FWIIW my Guru is a 54 frame.
Yeah, my 54 cm 531 SL Romic with carbon fork and light group and cockpit weighs 16.75 lb sans pedals, cages, and computer. Ready to ride it is about 17.5. And that is for a bike with no modern frame design improvements. With oversize, thin-walled tubing and modern construction methods, dropping another 1-1.5 lb is easy.
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Old 07-04-14, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
Budget? There are a lot of nice steel frames that are relatively light. My Guru (Columbus Spirit) weighs 18 lbs with Speedplay pedals and Ksyrium Elite wheels. I have a friend who has a Gunnar custo and it weighs 16 lbs. FWIIW my Guru is a 54 frame.
I have custom from a local framebuilder. After much discussion, I too chose Columbus Spirit. Weighs about the same as yours with my racing wheels on, but I generally ride it a bit heavier than that with openpros and a Brooks Swift saddle. Nice bike. Spirit (or Reynolds 853, I guess) with carbon forks makes for a beautiful ride.

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Old 07-04-14, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Lazyass View Post
Reynolds 520, rack mounts, 105 group for $800. Out of stock at the moment but should have some in this month.

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That's a heck of a deal on a steel sports touring bike with Shimano 105.
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Old 07-04-14, 08:04 AM
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Old 07-04-14, 11:11 AM
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Prices & retailers in the US?
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Old 07-04-14, 11:31 AM
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Buddy of mine has a Rodriguez bike that is pretty darn nice (even has a bottle opener for your post-ride beer). There are plenty of different applications (even custom sizing) to choose from.

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