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Qustion of the day: Has anyone gone from al back to st?(30 posts)

Qustion of the day: Has anyone gone from al back to st?DINOSAUR
Aug 17, 2001 9:12 AM
Pondering question: I'm on the never ending quest of buying a new bike. My current ride is a '99 Klein Quantum Race. I love it, it's a tad too big, I will have money avaible to make a new bike purchase as soon as I unload my classic car.

My options are to purchase a Klein Quantum Pro fuselage and have it built up or go back to a steel bike, probably lugged. I can get a good deal on a Campy Chorus equipped Colnago Master X-Light. I'm familiar with the fitting with the Colnago, I have long legs, short torso and I always have a problem with top tube length.

I'm sort of perplexed, I love the ride of my Klein, part of me says it would be silly to own two al bikes as I have no intent of selling the Klein. The other part of me lusts for the ride of steel for long comfortable rides. Weight is not an issue for me. Another part of me says stick with a Klein as I know it works for me.

The Colnago would be far less expensive as the owner of my LBS will cut me a great deal.

My question is has anyone gone from a al bike back to lugged steel and what are your thoughts? The steel bike would be my main ride and the Klein would be my back-up, winter bike.

This is not meant to be a al vs steel debate, I love my Klein, I would build it up with Campy Record in a heartbeat if it fit me.

Any thoughts, has anyone made this switch? I know, newbie question but it is bugging me. My only contact with the cycling world are forums such as this.

The cost for a Klein QP fuselage alone is $500 under the cost of a fully equipped Colnago Master X-Light/Campy Chorus (less pedals).
re: Qustion of the day: Has anyone gone from al back to st?Lone Gunman
Aug 17, 2001 9:21 AM
I am going the other direction. Steel to Ti and am thinking of staying with Lemond simply because they share the same geometry that my body is already in tune with. Nothing wrong with the Klein you own, why not add a little steel variety to the mix?
re: Qustion of the day: Has anyone gone from al back to st?Breezydz
Aug 17, 2001 9:43 AM
After 7 yrs on a Vitus 992 the derailleur hanger broke off and the price of fixing it was too high for a bonded aluminum frame that old. I got a Raleigh fat tube aluminum frame with headset and bottom bracket for $100, moved the parts over and rode it for 2 years.

I found while shopping for a new bike that riding on steel frames and forks was much more pleasant. The instant of first acceleration on a stiff aluminum bike is exhilirating, but I don't accelerate that well or often these days. I decided to go with a smooth, stable platform for the long haul. I find that I spin more consistently and also feel like the steel fork does a better job holding the front wheel on the pavement.

I'd suggest whatever frame material you pick try getting a bike with a very different wheel base and bottom bracket height than your Klein. That way you'll get a bike built for a different kind of riding. Have fun shopping.
re: Qustion of the day: Has anyone gone from al back to st?smokingjoe
Aug 17, 2001 9:44 AM

I would go with Steel. I have not made the switch, but I'm a lot like you in many regards. My current Al bike fits fine, and I love it, but I'm lusting after steel. I will have a steel ride soon, just don't know who is going to build it for me. Heck, have the fun is daydreaming about different builders, paint schemes, etc. I plan on keeping my Al bike as well. Too much of a good thing is bad though, and I see no reason to have two AL bikes in the garage when you could switch it up and add some variety. My personal inclination towards change is always negative, but in re my bikes, I'm looking forward to it.
Oh yes!MB1
Aug 17, 2001 10:01 AM
I am noticeably more relaxed on steel. I believe that on a long ride I have a lot more left at the end since I don't have to be as careful of bumps and the like.

At first I loved the aluminum frame, it felt like it accelerated and climbed so well. I didn't realize how tense I was. Going back to steel was a revelation; I actually like it better than titanium. I am only 145 lbs. or so and do big miles. Heavier riders or those who ride shorter distances might have different perceptions of the same frames.

Ride every frame you can if you can before you buy. It is always fun to swap rides with your buds on easy days, you will get some good ideas that way.
re: Qustion of the day: Has anyone gone from al back to st?terry b
Aug 17, 2001 10:07 AM
As I have built my collection, I have taken then "variety is the spice of life approach." I found a geometry that worked for me and have bought bikes as close to those specs as possible but with different frame materials. It's really nice to wake up in the morning and take a different bike out with a different feel and different behavior. While you will gain some improvement in buying a bike that fits you better, why not add the additional pleasure of getting one that does not feel the same? Interestingly, the one material I don't own is Aluminum, so I can only relate to your question in that I do have several Al MTBs. Knowing what they feel like on pavement, I've become a steel devotee - don't care about explosive sprints, rather I like a comfortable long haul bike. You've spoken several times about that Colnago - do it, you won't be disappointed.
re: Qustion of the day: Has anyone gone from al back to st?Dean
Aug 17, 2001 10:37 AM
I rode an aluminum GT for 4 seasons. Over the past winter I purchased a steel Landshark. It is fillet brazed, not lugged like you are looking at, but I love this bike. I rode the GT on a bad weather day and I really felt the difference. Part of it may be fit since the Landshark fits me a bit better, but the ride is great. 4 years ago I did my first century on the GT. I felt like someone had run me over with a truck. This year, I did the lcoal MS ride and did centuries both days. I felt better after the second day than I did after 1 day on the GT. I have never regretted my decision to go with steel and I would not hesitate to make the same decision again. I remember being in your place before buying the Landhsark. I was really getting on my wife's nerves because I learned something new every day and the bike I wanted changed at least twice a week. Good luck in your search for the perfect bike. Check out the Lanksharks, they are great bikes. You can get one through GVH Bikes for a great price. Plus you can get it totally custom for you. Also, each one is one of a kind, so you will never run into someone on the same bike.
Yes, I went back to steel, begging and pleading ...bianchi boy
Aug 17, 2001 10:47 AM
I got a new (slightly used) Bianchi Alloro (aluminum w/carbon fork) last fall after riding a mid-80s lugged, steel Bianchi for 16 years. At first I loved the Alloro and didn't notice that much difference in ride quality, and it was definitely lighter. However, as I began to ride more often and accumulate more miles, the aluminum frame started to bug me more and more. I found myself steering around any rough spots in the pavement and cringing when riding on bumpy roads. I also developed a lot of numbness in my hands, which was due to the geometry being off as much as the frame material.

To make a long story short, I ended up stripping all the new Ultegra gear and other components off the Alloro and putting it on my old lugged Bianchi frame. It's a little heavier, but difference in ride quality is incredible. The old Bianchi just smooths out all the bumps and vibration and is a joy to ride over longer distances.

I also bought a new bike this spring and my first decision was to go back to a steel frame. I didn't want to spend as much as it would cost for a carbon or titanium frame. After having a bike fitting done, I narrowed my choices down to a Colnago Classic, Gios and Tomassini. The Gios came closest to my ideal geometry and also was the least expensive. Although the frame has a very tight geometry, with a relatively short top tube, it is very comfortable and smooths out the rough roads just like my old Bianchi. I also was able to buy the Gios with a full Campy Chorus group for about $1,900 -- not much more than a ti, carbon or custom steel frame would have cost.

If I were you, I would buy the Master X-Light, hands down. I guarantee it would ride more comfortable than the Klein and in my view it's a lot nicer looking. Of course, Colnago paint jobs aren't for everyone, but I assume you like them since you are seriously considering the MX Light. Personally, I like the more conservative finish of a Tomassini or Gios, but Colnagos are starting to grow on me. Up close and in person, the Conalgos are pretty stunning to look at.
PS ...bianchi boy
Aug 17, 2001 10:56 AM
I don't think the difference in ride quality between aluminum and steel is that discernable in a short ride or test spin from a bike shop. I began to notice the difference when I started increasing my mileage, going from about 200 miles a month to about 500 miles. Then I really started noticing the difference, and the aluminum frame bothered me more and more. I took my old steel, lugged bike for a spin one day -- after not riding it for about 6 months -- and was shocked at how much smoother it rode than the aluminum. That's when I decided to go back to steel.
C-Dale to Atlantis; love it.Retro
Aug 17, 2001 10:52 AM
Bought a Cannondale used five or six years ago--my first al bike, but I've always liked the big tube look and I got a good deal on it. It works fine, nice and stiff (I weigh 225), does everything a bike should...but I kept thinking about lugged steel, and last year I finally ordered an Atlantis from Rivendell. Gonna ride it until I die.
re: Qustion of the day: Has anyone gone from al back to st?Mike Prince
Aug 17, 2001 11:06 AM
I rode a Cannondale CAAD3 for the past two years. Nothing bad to say about it as it's the bike that got me back into cycling after an 8-year layoff. Thought everything was OK but decided this was the year for a new bike. I decided to get a Steelman SR frame and fork for a lot of reasons. Since I got the Steelman on the road at the beginning of July, I have 1200 miles on that and 25 on the Cannondale. Enough said.
Let me get this right....JohnG
Aug 17, 2001 11:17 AM
Are you saying you can get a Campy Chorus built MXL for $500 more than a Klien frame??? If this is new C10 drivetrain then that seems like a no-brainer. If it's an old worn out C9 drivetrain then that's another issue. It's not clear from you post if you are referring to a new build or a used bike.

Hah.... If you think the Klein rides nice you will go gaga over the MXL. Last Klein I rode (granted that was about 15 years ago) nearly broke me in half. ;)

good rides... psst.... get the MXL! :)
New Campy Chorus 10 speed groupoDINOSAUR
Aug 17, 2001 4:03 PM
New Campy Chorus 10 speed groupo, Record bottom bracket, Deda 215 bar, Deda Zero stem, Thompson seat post, Mavic Open Pro DB 14/15 32h front/rear with Chorus Hubs, Sella Italia Flite Saddle (I'll probably swap to San Marco Era) Conti GP3000 tires= $1299

I was quoted a price of $2300.00 for the MLX, I presume this is with the Precisa fork, tack on another $150+/- for a Carbon fork. Price does not include pedals.

This means I getting a MLX frame for 1K.

The 2001 Klein QP frame is $1899.00. Next year the QP will have a carbon fiber wish bone type seat stay, which I'm sure will jack up the price a lot more.

I was thinking out loud on this post. It's sort of a no brainer. Obviousy the owner of the LBS is giving me a good deal as I am an old customer (11+ years).

I'm not disregarding the Mondonico's, or Torelli's that he has on stock. I'm just not clear on what tubing and the geometry.

I'm also interested in the Torelli Nitro Express with foco tubing. Unsure of cost.

Anyway, it's fun shopping.....
New Campy Chorus 10 speed groupoJohnG
Aug 17, 2001 4:32 PM
That does sound like a good deal.

One more thing to keep in mind is that CNagos have pretty good resale value..... better than almost any other frame maker.

good rides
Killer Deal Dino.9WorCP
Aug 17, 2001 7:22 PM
Just please do not accept the Deda Zero stem. Please. It's an aptly named ZERO stem. I cannot tell you the joy I found when I finally switched it out to proper stem. Really. NIGHT and DAY. MLX is a sweetheart and a beauty. You owe it to yourself. I know how the mind wavers when your shopping around and when the dust clears you may find yourself on a Litespeed or something but that MLX is a nice bike. Sounds like you're sticking to your LBS but you may want to look into Merckx frames. Same niceties yet outside the usual. Ah well.
Killer Deal Dino.DINOSAUR
Aug 17, 2001 7:49 PM
You opened Pandora's box. Actually I am mulling over a Merckx MX Leader. A different animal than the MLX but only a couple of hundred bucks more for the frame. What stem did you go with? I'm open for suggestions, the Record groupo comes with a Deda Newton stem, a better choice? Yesterday I was dreaming about a Moots VaMoots. I don't think I will ever get to the point of buying a new bike, I'll drive myself nuts first...
Ritchey WCS.9WorCP
Aug 18, 2001 1:42 PM
Big, stiff and something like 130gms. I think I've posted 3 or 4 times about this particular item I'm so impressed with the difference in the feel of my bike on the hills. It's not the weight but the stiffness; you can really honk on this thing and not flex it a bit. I thought the Zero was okay but it just feels like a noodle in comparison. One thing that is key is the 4 bolt design v. the standard 2 bolt setup on so many other stems. The Newton has this feature as well, a good sign but I personally haven't tried it. I think it's gotta be better than the Zero.

From what I heard that Merckx bike is a warhorse. Sans doubt a race bike for the big boys. I've always liked it because of that beefy crowned fork and the no-apologies traditionalist design. Definitely a peer to the MLX.

Too many great bikes in your price range, buddy. Ouch. But a good ouch, right?
I went from Ti to steel . . .DCW
Aug 17, 2001 12:38 PM
My ti Habanero was a little too small and dull, so I went with a red, Italian steel that fits better. Fit is about everything, but even so, I much prefer the steel's liveliness.

It seems as though you are asking whether, already dating one blonde you ahould date another one or try a brunette. Inasmuch as the brunette is less expensive and provides variety, why look for another blonde?
I'm in the process right now of going to steel from alu...keith m.
Aug 17, 2001 3:32 PM
I'm getting a custom made Anvil made of foco. After filling out an extensive order form with all kinds of measurments of myself and my current bike (bianchi EV2) Don Ferris called me and spent an hour and a half just asking me about the type of riding I do and what I like and dislike in a bikes handling characteristics. The man is very thourough to say the least. He said that this was just a handshake, and there will be many more measurements needed. It will weigh about three pounds. It's gonna take about five weeks but I'm so excited. Gonna transfer my Campy Record ten to the bike with a new set of Kysriums and a columbus carve 1 1/8" steerer (all carbon with Ti crown) and chris king headset.
geez, I thought you were getting a Steelman (nm)Hank
Aug 17, 2001 5:16 PM
Customer service....DINOSAUR
Aug 17, 2001 7:19 PM
I emailed Steelman about a month ago asking some questions and I never got a reply back. Interestingly enough, I sent a humorous email to the Klein website asking Gary Klein to email me and convince why I should buy another Klein. Fat chance I thought I would hear anything. A couple of days later I received a nice email from Gary himself. It makes me want to scrap the whole steel idea and buy another Klein. Actually if the prices for the 2001 QP gets down low enough I just might do that. I've heard other stories about Gary Klein directly answering Klein inquires. A nice touch in this automated world of ours. He also made an interesting comment about Shimano vs Campy which I will not repeat. Nice guy, you can't find a better al bike.
The bike hunt is still on, it's not over until the fat lady sings..
Hey Hank you'd look real good behind the wheel of a cherry '66 Ply Satellite, once owned by a little old lady from San Francisco (no joke).
Customer service....Hank
Aug 17, 2001 7:54 PM
that's odd--maybe he's on vacation or something. Cool about Klein, though. Still, I don't really care that much about customer service--you generally won't need it if they do things right the first time around. Since you seem to be alternating between classic lugged Italian and more modern US bikes, maybe you should check out Serotta--something like the CSI. Nice lugged bikes with good old American quality with just a touch of Euro flair.

My Mopar shopping is kind of on the back burner at the moment. Kind of thinking I need to save up more money and hold out for a convertible (I've always had convertible Mopars). There's a Fury vert on eBay right now that's killing me.
Customer service....DINOSAUR
Aug 17, 2001 8:15 PM
That is one beautiful car. A steel at that price. My sister-in-law had a 70 Ply Barracuda 440 frame up 440 show car that she was asking 20K for. She let it go for around 13K I think. At 13K I would have bought it and never would have thought about selling it.

I've never really considered Serrota's. My impression was they were a little too pricy for my blood. I'd like a nice bike, but I'd like to have a little money left over from the mopar sale to so some stuff around our property. I almost bought a Serotta Colorado back in 1989, I have regreted it ever since.

I'm giving my Mopar 2 more weeks to sell then I'll take it off the market. Then I'll just rebuild my Klein and skip the new bike idea for awhile a enjoy the Satellite for another year or so....
Customer service....Hank
Aug 17, 2001 8:23 PM
those E-bodies are going for crazy money these days. I prefer B-bodies myself.

what are you asking, out of curiosity? That's a 361 car with bucket seats and console AT, right?

I think the Colorado III isn't too expensive, and the stock geometry has relatively short tts.
Customer service....DINOSAUR
Aug 17, 2001 8:46 PM
How much for the Serotta's CSI's? I'm asking $5,500 for the Ply. It has a tricked up 361, too much to list. If you want more specs email me at I just listed it in the Sacramento Bee today, I have a feeling I will sell it no problem.
Ed (Dino)
Customer service....Hank
Aug 17, 2001 9:07 PM
sounds like a fair price. I almost bought a decent looking 66 Sat in SF for $4000 a few years back. Had a 383. Sounds like yours is in better shape, though.

Not sure what the Serotta pricing is. I'm guessing the CSI is close to $2000 with a fork but the Colorado III might be closer to $1200 or so with a fork. Just a guess...

How many roadie/Mopar fans do you think there are on this planet? I'm guessing not many.
Once was lost, now am foundMass Biker
Aug 17, 2001 7:26 PM
I have gone full circle, starting with an steel Univega while in high school, then graduating to an aluminum Trek "1000" (w/BioPace chainrings), then my first really sweet bike - a Serotta Nova Special: Columbus SL tubes. Along the road, I had a Giant CADEX, a Cannondale, an IF, a Giant TCR, and now a Colnago MXL. I have trained and raced on each, and was always true to each one in my fashion (sorry Cole). In my last iteration, I did exactly what you are pondering - switching from Al. to lugged steel. Why the switch?

Over the last year or so, I found myself actually missing my old Serotta. Now keep in mind, this is no fancy-schmancy Colorado II or anything. Nope. Simple lugged Columbus frame, steel fork (with flat crown!), down tube shifters (7 speed), and a prehistoric 52/42, 13/21 combination. In other words, a relic. But on a training ride on it about two years ago, I found myself carving through turns with aplomb, and making some of those Sunday morning hotshots on Litespeeds etc. sit up and take notice. Flash forward a couple of years when I would find myself noodling up and down hills on my featherweight TCR, I found myself getting misty eyed for the "feel of steel". The TCR was a hell of a bike - easily the lightest bike I have ever ridden, and one that defined affordable technology. I might have been tempted to keep it if fit just a little better, but the wheels were in motion.

Anyway, I found myself eyeing lugged steel bikes, and wondering why I ever gave them up. Was it the weight? Was it the allure of something new? More often than not, it was whatever frame deal a sponsor had going. On a lark, I took out a (too small) MXL for a ride, and realized that this was the way it was meant to be. The feel and confidence of steel (that reassuring "ping" every once in a while as I rode over the never-smooth New England pavement), with the shock absorption (and weight advantage) of a carbon fork. Hammer up a hill, put it in the big meat as you crest it, work the downhill, lean into a hard turn at the bottom and sprint out of it, in the drops, out of the saddle, across uneven pavement. The only thing that came close to achieving this feat was the old Serotta. That rear end of the MXL just stayed glued to the road.

For me, a big part of the switch was finding the right fit, and with my long legs and short torso, the MXL was a perfect match. Throw in the "new old fashioned" technology, and it was a match made in heaven.

It's funny - a lot of builders spend a lot of time and money trying to emulate the feel of steel. It's quite easy actually - just build a bike out of the material.

Good luck - MB
Once was lost, now am foundDINOSAUR
Aug 17, 2001 7:58 PM
That is why I am thinking of returning to full circle also. My first bike was a '62 Bianchi that must have weighed 30 lbs. Just about all my bikes have been tig or lugged steel. My Klein is the second al bike I've owned. I think steel just has that feel that you can't describe. Maybe that is the way bikes are meant to be built.
What I really need now is to get to the nitty gritty of how I am going to build it up, cost being a factor, $1300 for a Chorus Groupo/Mavic Open Pro's (see post above).
re: Qustion of the day: Has anyone gone from al back to st?werk
Aug 18, 2001 10:24 AM
I started out on Cannondales, back in the 3.0 and 2.8 days. After awhile I started hating both of these because of the harshness. So I bought a Ritchey Road Logic. I love that bike! This past spring, after 2 years of saying that was the last bike I would buy, I starting lusting after aluminum! So I bought a Klein Quantum. After riding it for awhile my conclusion is this: One is not "better" than the other they are just different. I choose depending on my mood or the ride (ie distance and road surface). Now I wouldn't want to give up either!
re: Qustion of the day: Has anyone gone from al back to st?DINOSAUR
Aug 18, 2001 11:55 AM
I was thinking today when I was on a morning ride. What do I like best about cycling? Is it the ride or the experience of the ride? Is it the feel of the bike or the experience of the great outdoors in all it's slendor? Sometimes I don't even think about my bike, it's like wearing a pair of good fitting shoes. It's just a tool that I use for my particular venue. Other times I'm honed in on my bike and
I am concentrating on every single little thing that I am doing.

It might be nice to have two bikes that are completely different, then I could pick one depending on my particular mood.

Good tip...