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Steel is Real! Which kind?(16 posts)

Steel is Real! Which kind?seth1
May 31, 2001 10:57 AM
Last time I rode a steel bike was about 15 years ago. From all that I've heard, steel has come a long way.
Leaving price aside, what is the difference between the types of steel (ie 853, foco, zero uno, etc.)? I've seen more and more steel frames with tappered, oversized and ovalized tubes.
Play Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys over and over for 5 days-blue bayou
May 31, 2001 11:04 AM
Then, answer will come to you in a midnight dream. Just kidding. Merle did a tribute to the Boys a few years back and I went aluminium.

But, one of our friendly posters will surely fill you in on the steel deal.
What about Kinky Friedmanmike mcmahon
May 31, 2001 11:13 AM
and the Texas Jewboys? I heard them live on the radio recently, and they're still having a ball. If it doesn't come to you after listening to Kinky for 5 days, it's never coming.

P.S. For those of you who take offense at my use of the name of Kinky's band, please direct your complaints to Mr. Friedman. He named the band; I didn't.
Didn't Kinkys' son get kicked out of Porkies? nmblue bayou
May 31, 2001 11:26 AM
I don't know. Breck? (nm)mike mcmahon
May 31, 2001 11:28 AM
No, sir, but I do thank you kindly.nmblue bayou
May 31, 2001 11:31 AM
No, I was asking Breck if he knew about Kinky's son (nm)mike mcmahon
May 31, 2001 11:34 AM
Talk to a buildermike mcmahon
May 31, 2001 11:06 AM
If you're giving any consideration to going with a custom steel frame, I'd suggest calling a builder and discussing the relative merits of different types of steel. Of course, if you're considering an off-the-peg steel frame, a builder may not be all that excited about spending 30 minutes with you on the phone discussing frame materials. Names that come to mind are Carl Strong at, Don Ferris at, and Marty Williams at I think you will also be able to find some info in the web that compares the different materials. Good luck.
Talk to a builderCima Coppi
May 31, 2001 11:18 AM
Don't forget about Richard Sachs. Of course to him, brands of steel do not matter, since he'll mix different brands of steels in the build to produce the best possible combonation for a particular rider.
I didn't forget himmike mcmahon
May 31, 2001 11:26 AM
It's just that I've heard he is so backlogged that he probably doesn't have 30 seconds to spend on the phone.
I am totally consumed byseth1
May 31, 2001 11:19 AM
Landshark bicycles. I think they are some of the most beautiful frames I've ever seen (besides my Kestrel of course). So, yes I would probably go for the custom.
Second LandsharkDean
May 31, 2001 11:47 AM
I have a Landshark and I love it. It is Dedacciai 01 and does exactly what I wanted it to do. You can get them in any steel with a 100% unique paint job. Give John at Landshark a call and he can probably help answer some questions. He was great to deal with when I talked to him.
re: Steel is Real! Which kind?veloboy
May 31, 2001 11:38 AM
I think I am the opposite of a lot of people these days. I had a Cannondale about ten years ago and it drove me to steel. I have never ridden titanium or carbon fiber so I can't compare. I am riding an Ibis Sonoma now with their proprietary Deda tubing and I really like it. Before that I rode an Ibis Spanky, I assume made with the same tubing although the tubing diameters seemed smaller. Prior to that I had a Battaglin with bombproof Columbus SLX. They all had their own feel and all good.

I think the other responses offer some good advice and I have heard a lot of great things about Carl Strong and his frames. Ironically, I picked up a used steel Strong Hardtail MTB frame last year and really like it. Actually, Ibis just moved their facility into Carl Strong's in Bozeman, MT.

From what I hear, Carl looks at your riding style, size and what's important to you and can make suggestions or mix tubes. His prices are also competitive or better than many other custom builders.

If you want to look for some reviews on his stuff, there are a boatload of postings in the Velonews tech talk forum's archives.

Good luck,

It's all truemike mcmahon
May 31, 2001 11:42 AM
I've posted about my positive experiences with Carl enough times here and other places that I'm not going into detail again (huge, collective sigh of relief). To make a long story short, Carl builds a beauty of a steel frame and he's a heck of a nice guy to boot.

re: Steel is Real! Which kind?AD14
May 31, 2001 4:36 PM
Call Tom Teesdale at He likes foco as it is differentially butted which saves weight. A 55cm frame is 3.25lbs which is straight guage ti weight. His prices are very reasonable and he is an experienced builder. He also is great to talk to. Best of all all his frames are made by him and custom geometry is included in the price.
re: Steel is Real! Which kind?jschrotz
May 31, 2001 5:55 PM
I put Landshark and Sachs at the top of my lists, but price and time can be a bit of a concern when dealing with those guys. I just got my hands on a Hampsten Cinghiale ( ) made of True Temper's OX Platinum, and I absolutely love it. It's light, stiff and yet still comfortable over the long hauls. They used to use 853, but they think OX Platinum is a lot easier to build with. The guys I dealt with, Steve Hampsten and Ben Spencer, were great to work with throughout the entire process.