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And then there were three(11 posts)

And then there were threeZaphod
Mar 1, 2002 2:48 PM
After much fussing and fiddling, the three contenders for my custom steel cross bike are: Steelman, Strong, and Soulcraft. Sponsored by the letter 'S'

Any experience/advice would be greatly appreciated.

Here are my reasons for each (read on if you care)

Steelman - has various flavors of cross bikes, thus showing his expertise in not just making bikes but good geometry cross'z. Costly, local, and light.

Strong - Not local but they say, "you're in charge" in regards to what tubes and joining techniques. Not that I remotely claim to be able to pick smarter tubes then an expert builder but I would prefer to use really ornate LUGS for the head tube & tig the rest. This for swank factor alone. I think lugs are awesome. They claim a three week turnaround, little waiting on this one. They don't claim to be cyclo race refined builders like the steelman but would likely do a fine job anyway. Price is a scant bit lower, but not enough to matter.

SoulCraft - again a local builder. They likely have joint quality that rivals anybody. They seem to come primarily from the mtn biking sector. They have a production cross and probably know geometric details fairly well. OK OK I admit it, the name "SoulCraft" is just really really phat. I believe that bikes do have a soul, or develop one as they get ridden, so getting miles atop a soulcraft seems a good idea.

So the choice comes down to super expertise & super quality for cross specific race geometry (steelman), Maybe less cross expertise but same attention to detail (soulcraft), and total freedom to make a lugged frame and maybe more of a risk in getting that spot-on dialed feeling that I think is guaranteed with the steelman(strong).

Most of this has been through emails and website checking. In other words, the builders might simply have different marketing/web teams.

Any thoughts? Any experience with these builders??
I know, rough decision I'm up against...life is hard.
-Zaphod
The Blue Onegrzy
Mar 1, 2002 3:55 PM
No red.

Oh darn, that won't work, you can get any color you want.

Let me get this straight - you're looking at custom cross bike via the web from companies that begin with the letter "S" and you have no idea which one to choose b/c you haven't riden any of their products or formed an opinion of which bike builder meets your needs. Either you don't have any real needs (like what non-racer really needs a custom cross bike) or you're in the business of collecting bikes like they were "swank" trophies for some popularity contest and you want to know which one will score more points. No wonder you're confused. Then there's always Sycip....
Wow, did you really say that?Zaphod
Mar 1, 2002 4:39 PM
Mr flamebait or whatever,

I've looked at a number of bikes through discussion, testimonials, and yes the web. My resultant short list happens to all start with S.

Your response is full of animosity and attitude. You don't know anything about what kind of rider I am. But I'll guess that I could spank you on any surface... any day. Ya trashtalkin' cheeky bastid.

Instead of getting intelligent responses from people that actually *own* one of these bikes, I get the likes of you. The posters on this site today are a sad soul-less bunch. What a waste.

-Zaphod
s'moreS-man
Mar 1, 2002 5:08 PM
Soma, Surly, Serotta, Seven, Simonetti, Salsa, Soulcraft, Santa Cruz, Seisentraut, Shitespeed..........
At Least He's ConsistentSlipstream
Mar 1, 2002 5:50 PM
He is quick on the offense (I mean flaming BIC throwing), that's for sure. I'll give him 4 BICs for attitude and outright animosity on this one.

Take a look at his comments in:

grzy "Are Roadies Too Uptight?" 3/1/02 11:18am
grzy "Are Roadies Too Uptight?" 3/1/02 2:56pm
lame post, grzygtx
Mar 1, 2002 6:15 PM
seriously, why bother?
lame post, grzyslm
Mar 2, 2002 9:08 AM
grzy IS the lamest on this board.

He says he's an engineer, but you wouldn't believe some of the ridiculous theories or explanations he comes up with!
Man, I still get tears in my eyes from laughing about his explanation of F=ma and how stationary objects can be accelerating!
lame post, grzygtx
Mar 2, 2002 10:13 AM
I generally find him pretty entertaining. I think he was having a bad day yesterday or something. He does sometimes give some totally wrong info and then won't own up to it--I seem to recall a comletely off statement about freewheels recently, which leads me to believe he hasn't been riding all that long. And this most recent post just comes off as kind of odd from someone who rides a ti Serrota.
good listgtx
Mar 1, 2002 6:07 PM
I'd probably have narrowed it down to the exact same group. If you don't need full custom, I'd go with either Steelman or Soulcraft--Steelman for more of a race bike or the Soulcraft for more of a tough all-rounder (it's very close to the Salsa La Cruz those guys used to build--lots of tire clearance and a pretty slack HTA). I have no experience with Strong but have had dealings with both Steelman and the old Salsa guys--both are great. If I had the money for new bikes I'd get a Steelman SR road bike and a Soulcraft Groundskeeper. Good luck and have fun!
re: And then there were threejc66502
Mar 1, 2002 8:35 PM
Great list. I came up with almost the same list when I got my last frame (except I also included IF, alas no S there). I ended up getting a Steelman. The frame is excellent. And it was a pleasure dealing with Brent Steelman.
re: I like my SteelmanFrank
Mar 2, 2002 9:08 AM
I don't rode cross bikes, but for several years I wanted to own a Steelman. However, I never bought one until a couple of months ago when I found a like new one (SR 525) for sale on this forum. I like everything about it...paint is durable and pretty metallic powdercoat but looks like wet paint, welds are neat and nice, ride is wonderful, and Brent is good about returning e-mails.