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want to build a steel racing bike(13 posts)

want to build a steel racing bikesurly
Oct 22, 2001 9:11 PM
I want to build a good cat 4 racing bike for next season. I want the frame to be steel. I was thinking about the Ritchey Road Logic but I dont know if they are any good. Also $$$ are a big issue. can any one help me?
Two words: Tommasini Sintesi...Cima Coppi
Oct 23, 2001 5:19 AM
Sweet Italian steel frame with a sweeter paint job. You can get it at Colorado cyclist for $1699 loaded with Ultegra. It will burn the Ritchey in a heart beat.

Of course, that is if the fit is good for you. Fit is #1 in importance when buying a frame.

Two words: Tommasini Sintesi...badabill
Oct 23, 2001 6:15 AM
"Burn the Ritchey in a heart beat". What have you been smoking CC. Having said that the Tammasini is a fine bike at a great price but dont expect it to pedal itself. The road logic is a great US made steel frame, every bit as good as the Tommasini. The rider makes the bike.....
Ride/build quality also make the frame.Cima Coppi
Oct 23, 2001 6:46 AM
Yes, the rider does make the bike, but a quality bike will make the rider enjoy the experience. The Tommasini comes from a long tradition of Italian craftsmanship and attention to detail that can never be found in 90% of domestically produced frames. Yes the Ritchey is handmade, but from a guy who's background is in MTB's. The Columbus tubing is tried and true, but what is the Ritchey made with? Nitanium? What the f$&@!ck is that? For the price listed (both are the same) I'd certainly take the Italian reputation and history over this American frame.

come onDA
Oct 23, 2001 9:29 AM
I love Italian more than the next guy, but you are talking like a fanatical Litespeed owner. Have you even ridden a Ritchey?
One word: Serotta <nm>Obiwan
Oct 23, 2001 7:52 PM
Go for oversize TIG steel insteadNessism
Oct 23, 2001 6:51 AM
As much as I love lugged steel bikes, the Tommasini Sintesi is not the best frameset to start your racing career off on. It uses small diamater steel tubing, not the more common oversize tubing, and because of this you can expect the frame to flex more. It's not that the Sintesi is a bad frame, it's just that there are better choices as far as racing frames are concern. The Ritchey is a better choice in my opinion: stiffer and just as light or lighter.
Ritchey is small diameter tubing as well.9WorCP
Oct 23, 2001 7:39 AM
The down tube is ovalized ot the BB to increase stiffness. Both are great road racing frames at their respective price points. Both highly regarded by their ownwers and in professional reviews that I have read. If you are not a clydesdale I wouldn't worry about frame flex at all and even if you are over-sized yourself, flex is a way over-rated issue in regards to racing. We're talking minute differences that don't add up to a hill of beans in the course of a ride. The ride quality and geometry of both frames will allow you to be as competitive as you like and will not hold you back in any substantial manner. You are not going to get a better or faster ride in the $1,500-$2000 price range.
Depends on the size of the rider...Cima Coppi
Oct 23, 2001 7:46 AM
The original poster on this subject did not tell us any information about his size. This could certainly make a difference in what frame to buy. If he is a tall rider, and more than 160#, I could certainly agree with you on opting for a frame with oversized or ovalized tubesets. The flip side is that if he is a smaller rider, a frame with a bit more flex will not give harsh riding conditions (relatively speaking, of course).

What matters most, as I pointed out in my first response, is that fit is of the highest importance. He may not have the right body dimensions for either bike, or he may feel comfortable on both. Neither the Ritchey or the Tommasini is available in custom sizing (and they are both sized in 2cm increments), so a fit is in order to see what is the correct size before selecting any frame.

160# is too low of a cut off point.9WorCP
Oct 23, 2001 8:35 AM
I'm positive these frames can be ridden effectively by substantially larger riders. The fact that a frame flexes marginally does not translate into a slower ride. The frame absorbs the energy and gives almost all of it back like a spring. The amount lost is negligable. Keith Bontrager and Sheldon Brown have both weighed in on this overstated issue claiming as much. Also note, it is not just the frame and in fact the frame may be the least flexy aspect of a noodly ride. Think stem. Think wheels. Think crankset. Think handlebars. The so called "thin-tube" steel frame set was the standard for decades and only began to change in the last 6 years or so to to compete (my opinion) with hyper-stiff image of over-sized aluminum tubing. If it looks different or new then it must be "high-tec" and therefore it must be better. That's just a base assumption. Some road racers really like the super stiff ride because it makes them feel as though they are translating all power into forward motion. But what they feel and what is real are probably two different things. Another thing to note is a smooth cyclist is far less likely to induce noticable flex than a brute pedal masher.

Cat 4 racer? < 200lbs? Hop aboard you'll do fine IMHO.
Frame flexNessism
Oct 23, 2001 9:14 AM
I'm not sure how much frame flex affects speed but it's hard to imagine that it would slow one down much if at all. Chain rub while sprinting however can be quite anoying with a flexy frame.
As far as tubing sizes is concern, the old standard for steel (still used by some frame sets such as the Sintesi) is 1" top tube, 1-1/8" seat/downtubes. Frames such as the Ritchey Road Logic use a 1-1/8" top/seat tube and 1-1/4" down tube. The increased diamater of the oversized tubing adds quite a bit to the stiffness. Admittedly, these tubes are not large at all compared to oversized aluminum, but they are still considered oversized as far as steel is concern. The advantage with these oversized tubes is that the tube thickness can be reduced (removing weight) without adding flex compared to non-oversized thick walled frames.

Now in the Sintesi's case, you have non-oversized AND thin walled tubing. This is a great combination for a lightweight frame, however it is not good for stiffness. How much stiffness is needed? This is a hard question to answer but I contend that for a racing frame, why not dispense with the fancy chromed finish (which adds weight by the way) and put the extra beef into the tubes? Just my $0.02.
re: want to build a steel racing bikeJohnS
Oct 23, 2001 8:20 AM
Go to and check out the Viner Pro Team under current inventory.
re: want to build a steel racing bikejschrotz
Oct 23, 2001 11:20 AM
Speaking from experience, the Ritchey Road Logic is a fantastic frameset. In fact, it's one of the few steel frames that I wouldn't bother fitting with a carbon fork. The original steel fork is perfect. I too was originally enthralled with all things Italian when I first got into cycling, but regretfully found that most Italian frames don't fit me. The Ritchey's longer top tube allowed me to stretch out instead of being bunched up as I was on my Italian steed. The Ritchey frameset is comfortable over the long haul, it's light and handles very well. If the geometry of the RL suits you, you'll have a very sweet bike to throw your leg over.