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  1. #1
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    Steel frame recommendations

    Thinking about starting a new build with a steel frame. Preferably a taller head tube and more relaxed position and bosses for attaching a rear rack. Nothing too fancy or too expensive. Off the rack is fine.

    So far a cursory search turned up the Soma ES and the Genesis Equilibrium 725. Milwaukee also has a nice looking option, but the cost is tickling the upper range of the budget. Likewise, the Gunnar Sport.

    Any others out there you’ve had experience with?


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  2. #2
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    Let me throw this one out your way. Unless you have your heart set on building up an exotic bike from scratch, there is a great Reynolds 631 steel gravel bike on the market, the Jamis Renegade Exploit and Escapade:

    Renegade® Exploit

    Renegade® Escapade

    I own the Exploit and can't speak highly enough of it! Comfy and fast! It not only has bosses for panniers, but also has 5 sets of water bottle bosses. It could easily be used for loaded touring. The Escapade is a new model out for 2018 and the only differences I can see from the Exploit are Ultegra vs. 105 for an extra $500.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    Let me throw this one out your way. Unless you have your heart set on building up an exotic bike from scratch, there is a great Reynolds 631 steel gravel bike on the market, the Jamis Renegade Exploit and Escapade:

    Renegade Exploit

    Renegade Escapade

    I own the Exploit and can't speak highly enough of it! Comfy and fast! It not only has bosses for panniers, but also has 5 sets of water bottle bosses. It could easily be used for loaded touring. The Escapade is a new model out for 2018 and the only differences I can see from the Exploit are Ultegra vs. 105 for an extra $500.
    Thanks, Lombard. I’m not opposed to the idea of a complete bike. With my recent purchases, though, I seem to end up with a bike that’s good... but not quite right for how I’m built and how I ride. Then I inevitably spend extra time and money making it “right”. This time I thought I might try a ground-up approach. It’ll likely cost more in the end, but I can spread the cost out and hopefully have fewer compromises.

    I’ll check out the Jamis.


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  4. #4
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    Chris Kelly
    kellybike.com

    Good guy, makes great stuff.

  5. #5
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    I built up a Milwaukee road bike frameset for a winter bike/rain bike that I like alot. It come with a steel fork that can be used with an unlimited amount of spacers. I have a Lynskey peloton like you also and ride with an upright style that I made work to. I thought about the soma es but couldn't actually see one and the gunnar sport - to expensive for I was going to use it for. A friend had the Milwaukee and I was able to ride it and liked it. I had a volagi viaje and just didn't care for the disc brakes. I also have a carbon Scott Solace 20 that I use for fast and longer rides (>40 miles)

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Opus51569 View Post
    Thinking about starting a new build with a steel frame. Preferably a taller head tube and more relaxed position and bosses for attaching a rear rack. Nothing too fancy or too expensive. Off the rack is fine.

    So far a cursory search turned up the Soma ES and the Genesis Equilibrium 725. Milwaukee also has a nice looking option, but the cost is tickling the upper range of the budget. Likewise, the Gunnar Sport.

    Any others out there you’ve had experience with?


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    I really like my Ritchey swiss cross. Not expensive and not heavy. accelerates well and is built very well. it would make a good road bike as well if your into disc brakes.

  7. #7
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    I really like my Soma Smoothie. It'll easily take 28mm tires as well as handle a rack. The ES is a slightly more relaxed version, greater tire clearance, needs 57mm reach brakes. Soma quality is very good.

    As an alternative, GVH has on his site a Soma Double Cross in a 55.6 ETT size, with a Ritchey carbon c-cross fork for $395, which is a steal.. It'll take disc or V/Canti's. He also has a 58cm ETT Smoothie with a Ritchey carbon fork for $495, also a good price with a nice fork. The Soma store is up over $600 for that frame/fork.

    . . : : G V H : : B I K E S : : . .

    Also look at some of the frames on the Adrenaline site

    Adrenaline Bikes

  8. #8
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    Steel frame recommendations

    Hmm... I think I should add the Ribble 525 to the list, too. But it lists clearance for 23s???


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    Last edited by Opus51569; 12-22-2017 at 04:53 AM.
    The Law of Headwinds states: If the ride out is easy... wait.

  9. #9
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    I might be interested in selling my pretty much new Kona Tonk frame/fork (56) if you're interested. It's relaxed, can run a 28 and fenders, and has a nice paint job. For a basic steel frame, it rides quite nicely. It's just not exactly what I was looking for.



    It would have the OE steel fork, not the Whisky pictured.

    A used Gunnar Sport might also be worth looking into... they seem to really drop in value on the used market, and I just can't wrap my head around $1100 for a new one.

  10. #10
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    See if there's an old Jamis Quest out there in your size.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by tangerineowl View Post
    See if there's an old Jamis Quest out there in your size.
    I don't think the Quest has bosses for panniers. It's considered a road bike. I believe the frame can handle up to either 30 or 32mm tires.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Opus51569 View Post
    ... steel frame. Preferably ... relaxed position and ... rear rack. Nothing too fancy or too expensive... Any ... you’ve had experience with?
    go vintage chromoly and spread the frame if needed.

    i always keep my vintage blackburn rack on my '75 motobécane grand record:



    it uses a brake bolt mount with modern (nutted) calipers. the bike feels real solid with its 531 main frame and fork but hi-ten rear triangle. my '80 motobécane grand jubilé (vitus tubing) might feel a little lighter with its vitus 172 frame, even though it's a little longer:




    a full chromoly bike from the early '80s like this '83 nishiki international is probably easier to find:



    that one's probably like a schwinn voyageur, trek 400, fuji america, miyata 610, or similar full-chromoly touring bike from the period.

    choice of stem and bars can get you as relaxed as you want. build your own new wheels to make it feel like a brand new bike.
    Yossarian: don't worry. nothing's going to happen to you that won't happen to the rest of us.

  13. #13
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    If you’re the kind, like me, who likes to research incessantly, you can se what Jan Heine has to say. He is an Uber tourer and frequently reviews that style in his Bicycle Quarterly mag. Not sure what of his stuf is available online though.

  14. #14
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    the ribble is nice for what it is.
    Last edited by Trek_5200; 12-25-2017 at 07:40 AM.

  15. #15
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    I built up a soma ES for my dad a couple years ago. It was pretty reasonably priced and he's been happy with it. I've ridden it a handful of times for some camping overnighters or to climb up umunum and enjoyed the long wheelbase combined with lively handling. Fun bike. I put the nicer trp long reach brakes on and they're impressively good.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    I don't think the Quest has bosses for panniers. It's considered a road bike. I believe the frame can handle up to either 30 or 32mm tires.
    It's got eyelets on the drop outs and looks to have rack bosses on the seat stays.

    JAMIS BICYCLES

    I don't understand the logic that a "road bike" doesn't have rack.
    Too old to ride plastic

  17. #17
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    i'd go pannier. i've had and have a bike with a rack. it doesn't work that well. fall and spring are great for panniers and allow for more changes of clothing and not stuffing it all in jersey pockets.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by velodog View Post
    It's got eyelets on the drop outs and looks to have rack bosses on the seat stays.

    JAMIS BICYCLES
    Well then a stand corrected.

    Quote Originally Posted by velodog View Post
    I don't understand the logic that a "road bike" doesn't have rack.
    It's a weight weenie thing. Also, be sure to wash your bike after each ride, because dirt is heavy.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trek_5200 View Post
    i'd go pannier. i've had and have a bike with a rack. it doesn't work that well. fall and spring are great for panniers and allow for more changes of clothing and not stuffing it all in jersey pockets.
    A rack is needed to use a set of panniers.
    Too old to ride plastic

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    Also, be sure to wash your bike after each ride, because dirt is heavy.
    I'm sorry, but this is just asking a little too much.

    I got back from a ride the other day and looked down at the bike and thought to myself that the bike sure needed a good cleaning, and then hung it on it's hook.

    This time of year it gets dusty with road salt and I really don't want it wet to often. My thought is that the salt is more destructive when wet so I'll wait till spring to really wash it down. I don't ride when there's a lot of ground cover or ice so my plan usually works, but if I rode through the snow and slush I would have to do a better job of cleaning over the winter months.

    But right now my plan is all about chain maintenance.
    Too old to ride plastic

  21. #21
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    a NOS frameset could work, but it would need to be new enough to hang more modern parts on it (e.g. 1 1/8 threadless headset, 700c wheels, etc).


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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by velodog View Post
    I'm sorry, but this is just asking a little too much.

    I got back from a ride the other day and looked down at the bike and thought to myself that the bike sure needed a good cleaning, and then hung it on it's hook.

    This time of year it gets dusty with road salt and I really don't want it wet to often. My thought is that the salt is more destructive when wet so I'll wait till spring to really wash it down. I don't ride when there's a lot of ground cover or ice so my plan usually works, but if I rode through the snow and slush I would have to do a better job of cleaning over the winter months.

    But right now my plan is all about chain maintenance.
    Pretty sure the comment was meant to be sarcastic

  23. #23
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    Surly Cross Check, this bike can do anything. With road wheels a Fondo bike or 42s for the gravel, takes any groupo, a triple or a fixie, straight or road bar. A truly adaptable bike I love this frame.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
    Pretty sure the comment was meant to be sarcastic
    I'm pretty sure I knew that.
    Too old to ride plastic

  25. #25
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    Steel frame recommendations

    Hmm... The New Albion Homebrew looks like a possibility, as well.

    http://newalbioncycles.com/homebrew-road-bike/

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    Last edited by Opus51569; 12-28-2017 at 08:19 AM.
    The Law of Headwinds states: If the ride out is easy... wait.

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