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Recommend a steel frame(29 posts)

Recommend a steel frameWoof the dog
Jun 2, 2002 6:50 PM
Say, I want a good quality steel frame as my primary one to train and race on. I've given up on a search for aluminum bikes and as much as I like my current cannonsnail, i don't want a new generation one.

The biggest obstacle is price of course. I can't pay more than 500 bucks for one. If its absolutely worth it I can throw in extra 100, but thats really pushing it. Any ideas? How about Gunnar?

Also, style-wise ok to have carbon fork on a steel frame?

Plus, how is Gunnar different from Waterford in quality? I heard they are one and the same.

Whats a good steel frame you'd get?

Thanx a lot

Woof the dog.
re: Recommend a steel framebattaglin
Jun 3, 2002 4:09 AM
I'd suggest you take a look at gvhbikes, he's got great steel frames. For me I'm lusting at the Zeus/Orbea genius frameset with reynolds carbon fork at $550usd. If you're a heavy rider like me( about 180lbs) you're going to like those megatubes for stiffness. I currently have a wilier brain os frame, and it's pretty stiff. I'd probably go italian they handle well on long rides.
re: Recommend a steel frameAvanti Guy
Jun 3, 2002 4:23 AM
It will blow your budget but the Scapin EOS7 is a fine steel ride. Of course there is the EOS3 which is still hand made in italy and a great ride by all reports.
Jun 3, 2002 4:49 AM
This is a repost of a thread I added in the Hot Deals forum.

Tom Teesdale aka TET Cycles is running a special right now on a full custom steel road frame - $460. He will build to just about any dimensions and configuration for this price. I have no first hand experience with his work but he comes highly recommend. NO BS - he knows what he's doing. For this price point I wouldn't expect much in the way of extra finish work, but the quality of the frame assembly and components will be good.

I do have first hand experience with the True Temper OXRCX tubeset TET is using and can say that it is first rate. Super solid and dependable. A 54 cm TIG frame should come in at approx. 3.7 lbs or so, maybe even a little less.

As far as using a carbon fork goes, I think it looks fine. A little iffy on a lugged frame but no problem on a TIG rig.

Good luck.

he's building a cross bike for meweiwentg
Jun 3, 2002 5:24 AM
same tubeset. I'm getting a pint-size frame, so it'll be ~3.5lbs. and yes, it was something like $460 for the frame only.
True Temper tubingNessism
Jun 3, 2002 5:47 AM
The OXRCX tubeset is one of the best values in tubing these days so guys like Tom can offer a good price on a great frame. The ride quality will be very similar to a Gunnar or Lemond which is to say medium stiff and not too jarring.

I receintly suggested TET so some guy looking for a frame and he is very happy.

Not much downside.

Jun 3, 2002 8:41 AM
I've heard bad things about the paint he uses--this comes from I'm thinking of having him build me a winter bike next year--fixed/single speed with 120 spacing and set up to run those new med/long reach Shimano dual pivots so I can fit fenders. So I'll probably see if I can have someone like Spectrum Powderworks do a powdercoat instead.

Regarding tubing, assuming the same geometry and build quality, I think the only differences you can feel between different types tubing is bb stiffness and weight (unless the bike is WAY too light and then it won't feel too hot at speed either--noodly under braking, etc.).
Jun 3, 2002 9:37 AM
He built a road frame for me and the paint was nice to look at but seems to chip easily. That is my only complaint, though, as the frame is straight and rides great.
Jun 3, 2002 10:45 AM
You have me puzzled. Seems like with tubing he uses, a frame will be lots lighter than Gunnar. This seems like a good deal too, and I will consider it.

This appears to be a better choice than Gunnar in terms of price. I don't know why.

Thanx ALL for your comments, I greatly appreciate your help

Woof the dog.
Waterford vs. GunnarCima Coppi
Jun 3, 2002 5:20 AM
To answer this question, the main difference is the Waterford is built with lugs, and the Gunnar is built TIG welded. Also, I do not think you can have a custom Gunnar built, so stock sizes are your only option.

As for as the carbon fork/steel frame question, I have a Reynolds Ouzo fork on my lugged steel frame, and it looks awesome. But what's more, it performs awesome. Don't worry about it, just get a good quality carbon fork.

Woof... read me...merckx56
Jun 3, 2002 5:49 AM
I got steel (foco) Look ac353 frameset with a 1-1/8" hsc3 Look fork for $450 from Boyersports in cali. it rides like a dream. the fork alone retails for $300+ in the catalogs.
with d/a it weighs @ 18 pounds (for a 57)!! check out the pic.
call tony at 837/883-4644.
Jun 3, 2002 10:00 AM
Just talked to Tony from Boyerbicycles (super nice guy by the way) and he told me they do have a few Look frames left. Sizing is hit or miss (I missed with a 53) but they do have a few larger sized AC353's as well as some other models.

The area code in the above phone number is incorrect however, the correct number is (831) 883-4646 - direct to Tony.

Good luck.

hey ed...merckx56
Jun 3, 2002 10:25 AM
you may want to try a 55 frameset. the geos are kind of funky. i got a 57 (measured to the top of the seat collar) and it gave a 56.5 top tube. i initially ordered a 55 and it was to small in both the seat and the top. it was more like a 53 c to c with a 55 top tube. tony sent the new frame out as soon as i gave him a confirmation # that i had shipped it back and didn't charge me shipping on the second one! it has a sloping (very slight) top tube as well. the chainstays are diamond shaped and the seatstays are triangular. the top tube and downtubes are both multishaped. i really like the ride and the responsive nature of the frame. my other rig is a steel merckx, so that's saying a lot!
what is the top tube on your current bike? if it's shorter than 55.5, this frame will work.
hey ed...Nessism
Jun 3, 2002 11:05 AM
Interesting information. In checking the Look frame sizing chart, the sizing gets confusing since many of the frames have sloping top tubes.

I was interested in a 53 c-c or 55 c-t (horizontal top tube measurement) with a 55'ish top tube. To be honest, I really don't NEED a new frame although a nice TIG'ed Foco frame sounds nice.

Do you think I should call him back?

hey ed...merckx56
Jun 3, 2002 1:19 PM
if you need a 55'ish top tube, you may want to try the 55.
these frames don't go by the standard Look sizing chart for ANY frames, much less the sloping geos. the frames were built with relaxed seat angles. mine is right at 73. the setback lends itself to VERY stable characteristics. i had an I.F. race bike and couldn't ride no handed. this thing is muy stable and corners like it on rails. the BB is the same height as my merckx. if memory serves, the top tube on the 55 that i got initially was 55.5cm. the closest geos for Look that i've found are for the CX and excel says it's a 55.6 top tube. the CX looks a lot like the AC353 in that it's a sloping tt, but not much! i know no one NEEDS another frame, but at $450, it's a swinging deal! i built mine with d/a, king h/s, deda magic stem and newton bar, syncros carbon post and flite ti gel saddle and only have around $1350 in it, not counting the wheelset. if you want a hook-up on parts, i have a good one! i paid $675 for my d/a group and a bit over $200 for the bar/stem/headset stuff!
I may just order another frameset just to have!

good dealgtx
Jun 3, 2002 1:51 PM
where'd you get the DA that cheap?

you found the IF twitchey?
good dealmerckx56
Jun 3, 2002 3:42 PM
my buddy chip has a little mail order shop here in town and I got the stuff from him. he's usually around cost plus ten percent plus shipping, which is much less than the big mail order houses. email me offline with what you need and i'll ge you pricing.
as for the IF, they made us team bikes one year and supposedly they were a "crit" geometry. when i measured mine, the seat angle was 74.5 and the head was 75. it was super twitchey. i just didn't like it. in my years of indentured servitude (working in shops), i got to ride a bunch of IFs and was really never that impressed with the ride. they all seemed nervous. my good friend eddy magrecke is the vp of sales at IF now and keeps telling me he'll send me a frame and keep saying no thanks! maybe if it was a custom with the same geos as my Look...
I know people with IFs will crawl from the woodwork now, so here's the disclaimer...
what you have just read about IF frames is purely opinion based on years of experience and exposure to more than 20 framesets. your experiences will probably vary, especially if you paid that much for your IF frame. mine was free and I still didn't like it. don't get your panties in a knot!
I ride a Look and a Merckx and i'm sure some people have low opinions of them as well.
good dealgtx
Jun 3, 2002 4:46 PM
Cool info. Not looking for DA right now but I'll be sure to e-mail you if I need something in the future. I worked in shops from '84-95, so I was gone by the time IFs came out (I've ridden and assembled Chris Chance bikes (Slim & Fat), which were the spiritual predecessor, anyway). Yeah, I had a bike with the crit geometry you describe and hated it, too, but the current IF Crown Jewel geometry actually looks pretty close to my Merckx (same STA and c-stay length, though a higher bb and pretty generic numbers in terms of HTA and fork rake). They seem pretty nice to me, perhaps a tad overpriced. Anyway, thanks for the info.
good dealKen_IF
Jun 5, 2002 2:29 PM
FYI, I have an IF Crown Jewel with the "stock" 52cm geometry. I love it, but I'll admit that it's super quick on the handling end of things. I can ride no-hands, but not comfortably or confidently.

I'm actually in the process of looking for a carbon fork, and due to the reduced rake (going from 50mm down to 45mm offset) may slow down the handling a bit. More coincidence than intentional, but that might be a good thing. =)
Boyersports on ebay?Nessism
Jun 4, 2002 5:11 AM
Found some frames on ebay that sound just like the Boyerbicycles/Boyersports guys. Same?

It doesn't seem like they have much left but the prices are good.

As for myself, I'm very particular about fit. Also, I've promised myself to NOT buy anything unless I KNOW it will work for me. The price is very tempting though.

the very same place!merckx56
Jun 4, 2002 6:06 AM
I just called 'em and ordered the frame for $450. the people who have bid on the frame are paying more than they will actually take for it! crew that bidding and waitin stuff! money talks!
Too cool!Nessism
Jun 4, 2002 6:29 AM
A price like that that is just too good to pass up! The ebay ad only lists 57 and 58 sizes so I don't think they have much left. Get'um while their hot!

Boyersports on ebay?gtx
Jun 4, 2002 6:38 AM
I assume Jonathan Boyer is involed in this--first US guy to ride in the Tour. I think it was called Boyer-Velotech in the 80s--they used to import Vitus, etc.
Jun 4, 2002 9:57 AM
it's jock boyer's company. it was called veltec-boyer until around 1996/7, when they parted company. he's into a bit of everything these days. the website lists powerwashers!!!!!
Woof... read me...flying
Jun 3, 2002 8:55 PM
Nice ride for that price!
what did just the frame & fork weigh?
Also does BoyerSport have a website?
Woof... read me...merckx56
Jun 4, 2002 6:08 AM
the frame was about 3 1/4 pounds and the fork was 14 ounces.
a steel f/f at right around 4 pound isn't bad. it's a 57 too!
Another one - FortUSANessism
Jun 3, 2002 6:06 AM
These guys have some great prices. Zona frame w/Kestral fork for $600. Also check out the "Red Sheet" blowout frames.
2nd the FortAaronL
Jun 3, 2002 4:06 PM
I have a Zona, with a Time fork. I absolutely love the bike. I also have a Bianchi EV 2, have had a boron, and countless other bikes over the years. The Zona rates as one of my favorites.

It's got a great combo of stability, comfort and stiffness.

Other things that sold me on the frame. It's fully prepped, the bb shell is chased, the hanger threads are chased and so are the water bottle threads. The head tube was also faced. The alignment was spot on too. Try that with most Italian builders.

It's also powder coated so you can beat the heck out of it.

It's not feather light like many of the aluminum frames out there, my 58 came in at 1900 grams for the frame. But once built up with Daytona, it was at 20 lbs. For an all around bike that will serve you for years, you can't beat it.

Finally, Greg is the Fort rep for the US and he was great when I was looking into the bikes. Drop him a line.

re: Recommend a steel frametarwheel
Jun 3, 2002 1:03 PM
This might be a little over your budget, but excelsports has the Gios Compact Pro for $550 w/out the fork, $700 with the steel fork. They used to carry the Gios Megapro, a tig-welded version, for about $100-150 less and may still have a few in stock. also has some frames in your price range, including some Torellis, Casatis, and Viners.