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  1. #1
    Burning Fists of Love
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    WTF happened to steel bikes?????

    OK, I am not a material guy. In short, I do not get misty about a specfic magical BS scenario about Ti, or aluminum or steel or carbon, however, I do have a question after doing some research. CAUTION, this is a tad wordy.

    My medical sitiation has improved, I am getting back on the trainer, feeling TIRED, but OK, I guess in about a year, I will be ABOUT where I was before my body betrayed me. No problem all is good. Its nice to feel the legs say hello again and while its HARD, its fun.

    The bills have pretty much drained any free cash, so I thought, why not take a while, and just research bikes etc etc and see WTF has changed over the last 3 yerars which seems like a total blur, but hey, why not,

    My question, WTF are the steel bikes? You know, thjose lugged retro machines that look cool and are pretty much what I grew up with? My "new bike" will probably be the CAAD9, Cannondale, and this was after finding out that since I have a mortgage and want the kids to at least attempt college, lugged steel is not in my new bike future WHY?

    Is steel more expensive now? Did aliens take over, eat all the steel and **** carbon? Did everyoen abandon steel, and in the haste, JACK UP the pricing?

    WHY is a steel bike no longer cheap (er)

    Again, this is or morbid curiosity for those of you who live to let all of the un initiated into the world of wow, steel sure is expensive......

    As a note, I loved the CAAD 9, rode great and of course is not steel which is fine by me. I just miss lugged steel...........
    This old anvil has cracked alot of hammers

  2. #2
    Darling of The Lounge
    Reputation: Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Carbon is the current flavor teasing the collective palate these days. I own two carbon and one steel bike and I have to say the steel rig is my favorite for long, lazy rides.

  3. #3
    Militant commuter
    Reputation: SilverStar's Avatar
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    Define "cheap steel"...many bike manufacturers (Kona and Bianchi and Masi come to mind just now) make one or a couple of steel-framed models that aren't frighteningly expensive...at least not as expensive as their carbon counterparts. It just takes a little more searching is all.
    "Luminous beings are we...not this crude matter!"

  4. #4
    Burning Fists of Love
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    definition of cheap

    Quote Originally Posted by SilverStar
    Define "cheap steel"...many bike manufacturers (Kona and Bianchi and Masi come to mind just now) make one or a couple of steel-framed models that aren't frighteningly expensive...at least not as expensive as their carbon counterparts. It just takes a little more searching is all.

    Under 2 grand
    This old anvil has cracked alot of hammers

  5. #5
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Carbon fiber is much cheaper to produce, both material and labor costs are significantly lower than steel and titanium. Steel is now produced primarily for fixed gear/single speed bikes and custom road bikes. The custom road bike market has grown quite a bit, as there are more new builders each year at the NAHBS (North Am Handbuilt Bicycle Show), which is in Austin later this month. Check out the NAHBS list of exhibitors - quite impressive and its more of a US phenomenon.

  6. #6
    Cheese is my copilot
    Reputation: wooglin's Avatar
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    Steel isn't the issue. There's lots of those on the market. It's the lugged part that'll kill you.

    I like the Jamis Quest. Except for the sloping top tube.
    Life is better in the big ring.

    http://theclemencyblog.blogspot.com/

  7. #7
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ttug
    OK, I am not a material guy. In short, I do not get misty about a specfic magical BS scenario about Ti, or aluminum or steel or carbon, however, I do have a question after doing some research. CAUTION, this is a tad wordy.

    My medical sitiation has improved, I am getting back on the trainer, feeling TIRED, but OK, I guess in about a year, I will be ABOUT where I was before my body betrayed me. No problem all is good. Its nice to feel the legs say hello again and while its HARD, its fun.

    The bills have pretty much drained any free cash, so I thought, why not take a while, and just research bikes etc etc and see WTF has changed over the last 3 yerars which seems like a total blur, but hey, why not,

    My question, WTF are the steel bikes? You know, thjose lugged retro machines that look cool and are pretty much what I grew up with? My "new bike" will probably be the CAAD9, Cannondale, and this was after finding out that since I have a mortgage and want the kids to at least attempt college, lugged steel is not in my new bike future WHY?

    Is steel more expensive now? Did aliens take over, eat all the steel and **** carbon? Did everyoen abandon steel, and in the haste, JACK UP the pricing?

    WHY is a steel bike no longer cheap (er)

    Again, this is or morbid curiosity for those of you who live to let all of the un initiated into the world of wow, steel sure is expensive......

    As a note, I loved the CAAD 9, rode great and of course is not steel which is fine by me. I just miss lugged steel...........
    were you in a coma for the last 20 years?

  8. #8
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    You can get a custom made steel frame for well under $2K. You can get an Asian made lugged frame for $500. And there are plenty of tig'd steel frames that are light and stiff. And Raleigh is offering complete steel bikes.

    Steel is not the most common frame material anymore. But it isn't hard to find. You're not looking, or asking the right questions.

  9. #9
    LC
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    If you want cheap, but still fairly high end steel tubes then look at Soma frames.

  10. #10
    Burning Fists of Love
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    nope

    Quote Originally Posted by rubbersoul
    were you in a coma for the last 20 years?
    Parkinsans, last 2 years, and the wifeys cancer......new bike shopping, was not on the list....go figure

    Ever ride hard when you cant stop shaking, I have, it sucks, you wreck, you get angry, resentful, then you take meds, do the scans, hopefully get better. Key is, stop denying when the body says OH HELL NO, then, you listen
    This old anvil has cracked alot of hammers

  11. #11
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    Raleigh has several steel road bike offerings in their 2011 line up. I actually own a 2011 Grand Prix.

    http://www.raleighusa.com/bikes/steel-road/

  12. #12
    Burning Fists of Love
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    good inputs

    Raleigh and Masi appear to have some rather cool new bike options. Lugs as well. woo hoo

    Hmmmmmmm

    I very much appreciate the input here folks
    This old anvil has cracked alot of hammers

  13. #13
    Eye of the Bobke
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    In the pro racing/consumer marketing scheme of things, aluminum took the market from steel in the 90s and carbon took the market from aluminum in the past decade. Today carbon defines the mid-to-high-end of the mass market and aluminum the mid-to-low.

    This leaves hand-made steel boutique-y and pretty expensive with finished frames sometimes exceeding the price of hand-made ti frames. Any frame tech that sees relatively low small-shop production is going to cost $$.

    But as others have pointed out there's still reasonably-priced steel out there. You're probably going to find it's welded in Asia, but I doubt this matters from a quality standpoint. I have steel bikes that were made in Japan, Taiwan, China, Italy, and the U.S. and the build quality on all is excellent.

    EBay remains a great place to find classic steel at great prices, and Bikesdirect also has some reasonable steel nowadays (not a bad setup here if you can bear to be seen on a triple). IMO no reason to demand lugs except for aesthetics. A tigged 853, etc. frame will deliver the goods if you decide you'd rather risk rust over continuously-fatiguing aluminum, cracked ti, or exploding carbon .

  14. #14
    always right sometimes
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    I used to love the way steel bikes looked. I put 1500 miles on a handmade Raleigh in a month of riding in Germany when I was 17. I love the way they rode too. I have a steel touring bike in the stable now.

    Today, I just think the narrow diameter tubing looks funny. I can't get over it.

    We have a hand-made bike show coming up here in San Diego. I am assuming almost everything there will be for steel lovers.. A lot of 29er mountain bikes are still using steel. Niner makes the steel one that I have. Reynolds 853!

  15. #15
    old school drop out
    Reputation: laffeaux's Avatar
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    Raleigh is making some nice looking steel frames too.

    If you don't mind TIGed frame Soma, Surley, Handsom, and Salsa are making nicer cheaper frames. Rivendell makes nice lugged bikes that are a bit more spendy. Staying below $2K for a custom steel bike (with parts) might be tough, but if you own have components to put on it...

  16. #16
    take on me
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    Soma Stanyan is a nice lugged steel frameset for about $650.

    Likely could build it up with some SRAM Apex or Rival and have a pretty nice bike for under $2K.




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  17. #17
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by SystemShock
    Soma Stanyan is a nice lugged steel frameset for about $650.

    Likely could build it up with some SRAM Apex or Rival and have a pretty nice bike for under $2K.




    +1 ......
    here's my Stanyan. Frame and fork was ~$700. Nice ride,smooth and responsive. My everyday bike now, commuting,weekends and hopefully some light touring later this year.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails WTF happened to steel bikes?????-ei-2009_514-medium-.jpg  

  18. #18
    Roadcyclist
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    here's a lugged steel bike from '96.

    ignore the modern components
    it's a pig @ 17.88 lbs

    more pics available at the Merckx gallery..

    Official gallery of your Eddy Merckx bike(s)

    cheers!


  19. #19
    Frog Whisperer
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    ttug......check these out

    http://www.bianchiusa.com/bikes/gran-fondo/

    Unfortunately the Dolomiti is so blasted expensive (may be available as a frameset though)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails WTF happened to steel bikes?????-gf_dolomiti_y0be7i56ck.jpg  
    Of course I'm sure...that doesn't mean I'm right.....

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  20. #20
    Burning Fists of Love
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    custom, maybe not

    Quote Originally Posted by laffeaux
    Raleigh is making some nice looking steel frames too.

    If you don't mind TIGed frame Soma, Surley, Handsom, and Salsa are making nicer cheaper frames. Rivendell makes nice lugged bikes that are a bit more spendy. Staying below $2K for a custom steel bike (with parts) might be tough, but if you own have components to put on it...

    I took a peek at the sites and I like the way the Raligh has a lugged frame for a pretty decent cost. Also, the Masi looked slick.

    I am ~6'2" with a 32 inseam however, I do not like having my upper body stretched out. The C to C top tube measurement works for me, although lots of folks have said, I should go above a 57, I dont like the feel of anything larger.

    As to custom, thats waaaay larger than my budget for certain
    This old anvil has cracked alot of hammers

  21. #21
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    Check out gvhbikes.com. Inexpensive lugged, Italian-built frames from Viner. They also have Soma, Landsharks (awesome), and some KHS in Reynolds 853 it looks like...

  22. #22
    waterproof*
    Reputation: Creakyknees's Avatar
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    Lugged, not custom, Riv, $2k f/f, they claim $2400 for complete bike.

    http://www.rivbike.com/products/show/roadeo/50-618

    Me, I ride my Cdale, bought used. Used bikes can be great deals. But you knew that already.

  23. #23
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    Here is what you need, and I can be yours. Lug bikes are back in style but most are not mass producted.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...=STRK:MEUSX:IT

  24. #24
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Steel is everywhere, but good lugged steel is rare. One example is Tange Pretige tubing in the 90's... see mine here
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/5250162...7625826763946/

  25. #25
    n00bsauce
    Reputation: Mel Erickson's Avatar
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    Check out GVH Bikes http://www.gvhbikes.com/ They have a number of steel frames, including lugged steel like the Viner Competiton ($500). Good people to deal with and they'll set you up with a complete bike or just a frame.
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." Voltaire

    There are your fog people & your sun people, he said. I said I wasn't sure which kind I was. He nodded. Fog'll do that to you, he said.

    "We are all ignorant about most things."
    Mel Erickson

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