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Beautiful Steel(22 posts)

Beautiful Steelswinman
Mar 18, 2002 5:38 PM
I'm giving up mountain biking for the true love of my cycling life....the Road. I've decided to buy a steel bike for the comfort and reliability it provides. I'm looking for quality, however, I am on a limited budget of $1800. I have yet to decide gruppos, but I am leaning towards Campy Centaur or Chorus. I would like any and all advice.
re: Beautiful Steelloop
Mar 18, 2002 7:12 PM
Everyone will no doubt tell you about GVH bikes, and I've heard good things about Gary. Still, take a look at Dean, specifically their Culebra. They've still got a fair bit of them in stock from last year and they're pretty cheap. Dean's build kits are competitive too. No, I DON'T work for them, although I did recently buy one and I like it.

Good luck hunting!
raleigh professionalfuzzybunnies
Mar 18, 2002 7:42 PM
Check out the current years raleigh professional which features a columbus steel frame, full chorus group, carbon fork, and a fairly decent looking paint job. Also falls in your price requirement.
re: Beautiful Steelmwood
Mar 18, 2002 7:44 PM
The common choice with the guys I ride with would be the Lemond Zurich, but with Shimano comps. I've also heard good things about the Cervelo Prodigy, available full Ultegra group for $1300!
re: Beautiful Steelgtx
Mar 18, 2002 8:00 PM
also look at the Tommasini from Colorado Cyclist and the Ritchey from Excel Sports. For custom check out Curtlo and Teesdale.
Check out Colorado cyclist.look271
Mar 18, 2002 8:06 PM
They have Tommassini Sintesi's for $1699 w/ Ultegra. I know that you were leaning towards Campy, but at that price, where else can you get a beautifully lugged Italian steel bike, weighing less than 20 lbs, with very good components?If I didn't have what I have now, that would be on a short list.....
Check out Colorado cyclist.RayBan
Mar 19, 2002 6:35 AM
I was going to suggest that too. I had one of those and the chrome lug work is really nice. If your into Itlian tradition the Tommassini is a good choice. My only complaint is the color scheme of this years Tommassini is not nearly as beautiful as years past...
great value steelSpirito di Finocchio
Mar 18, 2002 8:43 PM
at gvh bikes. you could get a real nice cinelli super corsa with daytona/centaur for well under your price.
go for some chromed steel ...who cares about weight.
re: Beautiful SteelElefantino
Mar 18, 2002 8:52 PM
Just a thought to screw up things: Supergo (no, I dont work for it) is selling Scattante 853 steel bikse with full Ultegra for $1,099. There are some pretty inexpensive but quality bikes out there this season with Ultegra and steel, Ultegra and 7005 aluminum ... And if you're really, really daring, you could take a look at the the ... shhh! ...Motobecane Team Record with Kinesis frame, carbon fork and Dura-Ace for under $1,800.

One bike to hunt for: The now-deceased Univega's Modo Volare, the 2001 model: Columbus Thron steel, (its cheapest, but still very good), complete Campy Daytona 20-speed group (last year's Centaur). If you can find one as new old stock, you could probably pay as little as a grand for a bike that's worth as much as five hundred dollars more, depending on your love of canolis as quick energy food.

re: Beautiful SteelS-U-B
Mar 18, 2002 9:41 PM
There is a guy that can get you a Jamis Eclipse for $1800, yes I have posted this before, and no I do not work for Jamis or anything of the like, just got done with a 2 month search for a steel bike for my wife, and I came across that deal, it became my second choice once I found a new zurich frame for $395, had gary at GVH bikes, who I would highly recommend, build it up with ultegra and Ksyrium SL's for 1500, not bad eh? anyways the guy's name is Jerry and his email address is, pretty hard to beat the specs on this bike for that kind of money.
good luck

Cervelo Prodigy for me (nm)CalgaryDave
Mar 18, 2002 9:50 PM
Mar 19, 2002 3:33 AM
i ride a lugged steel italian bike with centaur. check gvh bikes: you can get a centaur package for $900. with $900 left in your pocket you can get a wonderfull lugged steel ride.
why not a torelli?colker
Mar 19, 2002 9:02 AM
nice bikes.
re:gvh bikesdzrider
Mar 19, 2002 5:23 AM
Plenty to choose from there! Italian, American, all different shapes at reasonable prices. I got a Jeff Lyon from Gary; I love the bike and found the service was excellent. The 1st seatpost he sent me had no set-back which didn't work with my long arms. He sent another, of equal quality, without waiting to get the first one back.
re: Beautiful Steelmackgoo
Mar 19, 2002 6:08 AM
For your group set check out 570$ for Chorus 10sp, that doesn't include pedals seat pin as they say and hubs, you want hubs it's some where around 700$ these guys are unbeatable for price in the things they sell. Now you have over a 1000$ for the frame set. Heck you could get alot of frame for that money. I do agree if your going steel go lugged steel, just for the beauty. Colnago"s master is a beautifull frame set.
re: Beautiful Steelharry hall
Mar 19, 2002 4:53 PM
US custom bargain frame builders: Lyonsport, Della Santa,
Waterford, Davidson, TET--do business with these guys before the masses of aluminum bike buyers realize that they've been suckered and steel is cool again!
I was drooling over an GVH last night...Lone Gunman
Mar 19, 2002 6:25 AM
Gary had a Pegoretti lugged steel frame that was just stunning and the Cinellis with the chromed out frame were gorgeous, and even the Bassos weren't bad, and cheap!!
re: Beautiful Steelsprockets2
Mar 19, 2002 7:55 AM
Yeah, I feel the pull of steel too. I am going to sell all of my old bikes and buy a steel frame. I don't know which one either, but I have some guidelines.

Put most of your money in the frame. Components will wear out and need to be changed while frames are forever, or close enough.

I have both Centaur and Ultegra and I prefer the Campy. The Ultegra doesn't do it for me. Cheap feeling controls, and I hate the brakes-tons of flex-and what the F is their take on a splined BB. Not that it will make much of a difference in the long run for most riders, but for big powerful guys I would prefer the old square axle.

Personally, I would buy from a bigger steel builder, and here is why: experience, choice, economy of scale, true customization-not what tubes they have on hand (it happens), refinement of design, to name a few. Most smaller steel builders-and I have dealt with a fair number over the years on a preliminary basis-did not impress me. It seemed like they lacked in some of the areas I noted, or could not provide any evidence to the contrary. Lots of people can braze a frame together, not too many can build superbly crafted frames of excellent design, and designed to really fit you.

I was impressed by Waterford's willingness and ability to really find out what design would work for me, right down to multiple tube choices. They seem big enough and old enough to have impressive know-how, but still be small enough, and up-to-date to do a personal job for you.

A couple of the smaller builders I have dealt with have what I call "hermit complex". They have operated on their own for too long, surrounded by underlings but no true peers to act as reality and ego checks, and they have started believing all of their own ideas and utterances, even without a firm basis for them. I am reminded of a very well (nationally) known builder of bikes who is local to me, and he tried to convince me that his tandem felt like a noodle because of the wheels, not the frame. As I had just changed out the wheels to heavy touring rims during my demo ride and saw no improvement, in my opinion, this builder fell right out of the starry sky of famous builders, a place where most people unknowingly place him. Just an example.
Probably not Chorusjtolleson
Mar 19, 2002 9:16 AM
Chorus is pretty damn pricey -- more than Ultegra and not that much less than Record. Good stuff, but I'm doubting you can get a Chorus-equipped ride of the caliber you desire for $1800. I'm sure someone won't hesitate to tell me if I am wrong.

Obviously, if you are an experienced wrench the analysis improves... Chorus build kit from one place, sale price wheelset from another, fork from eBay, and frame from the internet (or whatever) can save big $$ but it requires both know-how and leg work. It certainly wouldn't have been in the cards for me.

You've been given some great suggestions above.
Few choices with Chorusdzrider
Mar 19, 2002 11:23 AM
GVH has Chorus build kits for $1195 w/o pedals. Another $100 for Chorus profit or Look pedals and there's not that much left for a frameset. Kind of a backwards way to build a bike in my mind. I encourage people to spend on the frame to get the geometry and details they want most and live with a less expensive component group.
and yet another choicetheBreeze
Mar 19, 2002 9:36 AM
Check out the Gunnar Roadie. Reynolds 853,TIG welded from Waterford. Neutral geometry, not too laid back, not too twitchy. I picked it over Lemond Zurich (too twitchy for me), Marinoni (but would have been a great light-touring bike), Modo Volare (Campy daytona felt cheap, ok flame me now) and a few others I have since forgotten. Web site ( lists price for frame at $600 to $850 depending on fork choice. Schwab Xmas catalog has it for $550 frame only, and just over $1700 for Ultegra 9 spd, $2K for Chorus. A beautifully put together bike, just wish they were a little more careful with the decals.
Don't forget...surly357
Mar 20, 2002 9:38 AM
Don't forget the guys at SOULCRAFT. Matt and Sean are great to work with and put out a very nice product. I liked the ride and quality of my mountain frame enough to order a road frame. Reviews of their products on this site mirror my experience.