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New Steel Bike -- Seven/Waterford/Serotta/Lemond?(18 posts)

New Steel Bike -- Seven/Waterford/Serotta/Lemond?JerryA
Nov 15, 2001 11:19 AM
I don't think I can afford good titanium and want a better ride than my 6 year old Cannondale R500. I like the Seven Steel/Carbon Odonata and what Seven seems to offer for custom. Or comments on Seven steel Axiom? Haven't seen too many mentions of Waterford on this board. What about them? Then there's the question of whether I'm "worthy" of custom or if it's just delusional overkill. I'm 45 years old and ride 2000 miles a year, but want a nice bike that I'll have for awhile. I ride a century or two a year, but mostly 30-50 milers. Should I splurge for custom or would something like a Lemond Zurich fit my needs? Thanks!
re: New Steel Bike -- Seven/Waterford/Serotta/Lemond?Jon
Nov 15, 2001 11:39 AM
Wants and needs are two different things. You're "worthy" of whatever you want and
can afford! Will you ride faster and longer on custom vs. a stock bike? Probably not.
Will you feel more pride, excitement, and satisfaction on a finely crafted custom bike?
Probably. This sport, assuming you can afford it, like most other things is about more than
just function and cost/benefit ratios.
Custom bikes in generalDMoore
Nov 15, 2001 11:49 AM
Do you need a custom? Depends. Do you have any sizing or physical issues that cause problems fitting a stock frame? Examples could be legs that are long/short for your torso, very light build, very heavy build, etc. If you have any such problems, a custom bike may be the only way to get something that fits properly and rides properly for you.

Then there's the other 90% of riders, who can make do pretty well with a stock bike. Even so -- do you want something that is truly your own, and are you willing to pay for it? You may have a custom lug fetish (like me), or want something special in the way of paint, or whatever.

The Seven bikes are pretty expensive. If you're willing to spend that much, the field is wide open and you could get just about any custom steel bike. Waterfords are "semi-production" bikes, made in a small factory with some variation allowed in dimensions. Not a true custom, however. I wouldn't mention the Lemond or any true factory production bike in the same breath.

But if you're willing to go custom steel, there is a wide world of choices. You're probably not interested in the "art" class of steel bikes - Sachs, Baylis, Columbine, Moon, Spectrum, etc. But a step down from them (at least a step down in $) are lots of custom builders like Anvil, Strong, Simonetti, Landshark, and many others.

If you're really interested in going custom, I'd suggest you check around your area and see who is making custom bikes. Visit their shops, talk to them. Get an idea what you're after, and what a custom builder can do for you. I'd really only suggest a "far-away" custom builder if you know exactly what you want, and that person is the only one who can give it to you. (For example - I live in Southern California, but bought a bike from Richard Sachs in Connecticut. I wanted an RS, period.)

Bottom line- should you splurge? If you can afford it, why the heck not? You only go around once, and who deserves a treat more than you????
great postgtx
Nov 15, 2001 11:54 AM
I assuming from this and your post below that you have both a Holland ti and a RS. How would you compare the fitting/buying process on each and the finished product on each? Which one do you want to ride more?
re: New Steel Bike -- Seven/Waterford/Serotta/Lemond?dsc
Nov 15, 2001 11:55 AM
I can only speak for the Zurich. It's a very comfortable ride over long distances. I also have an upgraded fork on mine, the Reynolds Ouzo Pro. Very nice. This is definitely not a 'sprint' bike, but I bought mine for the purpose of training for centuries, not racing.

Be aware that the Zurich, and Lemonds in general, have a slightly longer top tube and more laid back seat angle than most. So although I was comfortable on many other manufacturer's 57 cm frames, I went with a 55 cm Zurich, due to a more stretched out position on the bike.
Suits me just fine, though. Good luck with your search.

BTW, we are all 'worthy' of a great (custom) bike!
custom vs. standardkenyee
Nov 15, 2001 11:58 AM
From a practical view, if your body shape (torso/leg ratio) is fairly average, you can probably fit a stock frame relatively easily.
If you're weird, like having long legs and a short torso or being realllllly tall or short, you'll have a hard time finding a stock frame that fits.

It sounds like you can fit a stock bike if you've ridden a Cannondale for so long. If you can afford a Seven, by all means, do it and live a little if you want to :-)
re: New Steel Bike -- Seven/Waterford/Serotta/Lemond?Ed3
Nov 15, 2001 12:00 PM
Hey, it's not up to this Board to decide whether or not you are worthy of any bike...if you can afford it and it makes you happy, go for it!

Of the brands that you have mentioned, all are top-of-the-line brands with quality products, and as long as it fits you should enjoy it, whatever brand it is. A modern steel ride will definitely improve the comfort level over your old bike. The only bike I have personal experience with is the Waterford, I have a cross bike that is lugged, Reynolds 531 frame and fork w/ 700x23 wheels that is a very smooth, comfortable ride. The longer chainstays and wheelbase may play a part in the comfort but it is a pleasure to ride for extended periods. It's not the lightest bike out there though.
re: New Steel Bike -- Seven/Waterford/Serotta/Lemond?grzy
Nov 15, 2001 12:02 PM
Hey, take a really good look at the Serotta CSI. Find a certified fit specialist (on their website) and see if you can get your mitts on one of their demo bikes. Once you get dialed in on the sizing requirements consider picking up a used one - you can save huge $$$$ - check their message board for classifieds. Snagged a complete Legend for around $1,500 and then did a bunch of upgrades - replacement cost on this ride is enough to cause a heart attack, good thing it didn't actually cost me that much. Plz don't tell my insurance co.

Some people can percive the differences (both real and imagined) while others can't. Having a sweet ride that speaks to your soul is a pretty special thing. Ultimately life is too short to ride cheap bikes. It will make you ride longer and harder than you ever imagined. The Terrible Two was my first ever double century and I enjoyed the hell out of that little ride. No way it would've been the same on my plastic OCLV. Once you're done analyzing everything with your mind, go for the one that steals (steels?) your heart, then ride the hell out of it such that it's always dirty. ;-)
Serotta would be my choiceColnagoFE
Nov 15, 2001 12:06 PM
I think of the bikes you mentioned the Serotta (CSI's are sweet) would be the "best". Seven's Axiom is probably OK, but they are not that well known for steel bikes. I've seen one built up and it wasn't all that impressive to me...TIG welds don't impress me on steel bikes so I guess I might be biased. Zurich is OK if it fits you...longish top tubes though. For what it's worth, I really like my Colnago Master XL if you need a bike with a slightly shorter TT.
Nov 15, 2001 2:32 PM
I think you are right that the Serotta is the best of his list of steel bikes and about Seven. I don't have any problem with Seven being argued as being on the short list of "best" ti frames, but I definitely do when it comes to steel. There are any number of custom builders who have built hundreds or thousands of steel frames before Seven even lit a welding torch. 'Course, in this case I am biased and thinking about my Spectrum. DMoore has a good list and Serotta has a good strong steel history.
some ideasDAS
Nov 15, 2001 1:31 PM
I was recently researching Reynolds 853 bikes and here's my .02.

-Lemond Zurich is a great value. Easy to find, comfy. If it fits, could be a great choice for the price.
-Gunnar frame is only $600! Not sure why, but I think it's a little clunky. Could be another low cost option. Not too common. Made by Schwinn/Waterford people.
-Waterford: Great reputation. Boutiquey?
-Land Shark: pricey?
-Steelman: pricey but so choice.
-I was recently on Steve Rex's site, and noticed a 56cm, red 853 frame/fork in stock. For lighter riders (1 1/8 seat tube). Don't buy that one, I'm going to get it after I win the lottery.
-Schwinn Pelaton: Very pretty, classic geometery. Not so pricey. This is the bike I would choose if I were shopping.
-Independent Fab. Very boutiquey. So choice. Like artwork.
-Ritchey: Awesome ride, pricey?

I'm one of those riders who doesn't need a custom bike because stock bikes fit me fine. Custom makes sense if you know exactly what you want and you want it exactly how you want it.

Not sure about Sorotta, Seven, etc.

Good luck
some ideas part IITig
Nov 15, 2001 2:45 PM
Here's my steel or steel w/carbon fiber list I'd choose from, not in any specific order.

Serotta CSI (among the very best), or Colorado III if budget is limited
Ciocc EOM Carbon (CF seat stays from
Coppi Foco (
Tommasini or De Rosa steel of any kind, regardless of weight
Strong custom
Land Shark custom - get past the silly name and you have a wonderfully built frame with unmatched paint (from classic to wild works of art). Go through for an online dealer who can order something custom for you, or check out what he has in stock. Take a look at to see what tubes and paint he has to offer.
re: New Steel Bike -- Check out Wrench ScienceCJ3
Nov 15, 2001 1:51 PM
As I shopped for a steel frame, I came across wrench science ( They have an excellent custom bike program on their site - you can pick your frame, fork, components - everything, and get a price. Their shop is in Berkely so if you live in the bay area, consider going there. Very helpful, friendly, etc. The web site would be a good way to identify high & low end custom bike prices for reference purposes.
Nov 15, 2001 3:17 PM
Question: who actually does the work and what kind of experience do they have? Are they simply laid off pipe fitters waiting to be called up by their union? Ultimately if you get the fit wrong you're screwed. Would you order a custom suit this way?
Nov 16, 2001 5:40 AM
Being able to pick your frame, fork, components- everything- is NOT custom.
Nov 16, 2001 6:15 PM
"Wrenchscience" is an internet outlet associated with Medina Cycleworks in Berkeley, CA. This last spring Medina put together a custom Moots VaMoots for me. It was truly custom, as the frame was ordered with a shorter than "stock" top tube. I have not dealt via internet with them, but the bike Built by Medina is fabulous! If you are anywhere near the Bay area, or want to try internet sales, you might want to check them out.
Cervelo's Prodigy or Renaissance are Excellent Steel Frames.Hans1
Nov 15, 2001 2:07 PM
Go to for the whole scoop. I ride a Prodigy and love it. I came from scandium, then aero aluminum, now steel. Steel offers such an enjoyable ride. I race on this bike and felt the geometry was perfect for me.
go LandsharkSprPntguy
Nov 15, 2001 8:25 PM
Go with Landshark. Call the guy up (he'll answer the phone himself) and he'll work through everything you need: tubing choice, fit, paint, etc. He'll send you to a local store for a complete fit-kit and then he'll call you as he's building it. Very much an impressive display of personal attention. I have short legs and needed a custom job - but past that my bike is the coolest to look at and is EXACTLY what I wanted.

And who's the guy that called my bike "silly"?