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Is it my imagination...?(14 posts)

Is it my imagination...?MSA
May 20, 2002 10:30 AM
or is there a general move back to steel bikes. One of the general themes that I have learned from these discussions is how many experienced riders are choosing steel bike frames. I have been very surprised by this. As one relatively new to the sport, I thought carbon and Ti would have been preferred by more experience riders. Even Seven is making steel frames now. Are carbon and Ti becoming passe?
Just a guess......Old ageDave Hickey
May 20, 2002 10:40 AM
For racing you're going to continue to see carbon,ti and aluminum. I think the demographics of this board is a little older than the road riding public. Steel is very comfortable. I have 3 carbon, 1 steel, and 1 aluminum. I'm currently looking for a "good" steel bike to be my main ride.
who you calling old!?DaveG
May 21, 2002 8:16 AM
Dave, I think you hit it dead on. Younger racers are going to continue to look for the lightest bikes perhaps at the expense of some comfort (and sometimes durability). Older recreational riders tend to be more concerned with comfort and tradition and are more likely to consider steel. I'm sure there are lots of exceptions to this but it seems to hold up with what I've observed. Now that I have 3 steel bikes, I'll put myself in the old, slow and comfortable category
nah...but for many steel is a sweet rideColnagoFE
May 20, 2002 10:52 AM
Maybe 1/2 to a pound heavier, but the ride is hard to beat.
nah...but for many steel is a sweet rideDMoore
May 20, 2002 3:41 PM
Oh - it's more than that. My Specialized race bike (aluminum), fully tricked out, is 15 lbs. 4 oz. My Richard Sachs is about 20 lbs. Some of that difference is in the components, but the Sachs steel frame and fork outweigh the Spec by two to three pounds. My Sachs is the bike I ride most of the time. I race on the Spec, but that's about all it's good for.
probably depends on the framesColnagoFE
May 21, 2002 7:19 AM
I ride a larger frame (61-62cm) so weight differences are less than if you rode a smaller frame I'm guessing. My Merlin XL with Campy Chorus weighed in complete at about 19lbs with 9 speed Chorus and a set of Open pro 32s--had a SI Turbomatic 3 on it though that was pretty heavy. My MXL with Chorus/Record weighs in about 20lbs complete--can probably get it to 19 with SLR saddle and lighter special-event wheels.
probably notgrandemamou
May 20, 2002 11:04 AM
I love my AL bike it's stiff,light and very responsive. I also appreciate the ride characteristics of my 2 steel rigs. There are lots of people or more correctly a majority who don't need or want a super light weight frame. It's impossible to beat the ride of steel for the price.
re: I rode aluminum for 10 years now back on steel.dzrider
May 20, 2002 11:31 AM
Face it, a lot of this stuff is subjective. Many of us choose bikes that feel good to us or for some reason make us feel good. Steel bikes, for this oldtimer, come closest to feeling the way bikes are "supposed to feel".
not judging from the bunch I saw yesterdayterry b
May 20, 2002 12:29 PM
riding a 2000 or so rider organized century, I'd have to say the most common bikes were Cannondales, OCLVs, and Lemonds. An even distribution of steel, carbon and aluminum. If that's a significant sample of the real riding demographic, looks to me like no shift at all - mostly regular people riding regular bike store bikes. I'm guessing that the average rider, not to be confused with the people on this board, is going to walk into a bike store, pick it based on looks, ride it around the lot and never get into a quandry about materials. Unless, they decide to go after that "next" bike once they've gained a lot of experience and developed an opinion about the one they're on.

I don't think you can draw any conclusions from builders like Seven, they're trying to reach the educated, monied rider and they want to make sure they cover the bases. Steel just makes their portfolio that much more attractive.

Another way to look at might be to consider Litespeed. Two years ago, their advertising claimed you were missing the boat if you weren't on on of their Ti only bikes. Now they're selling aluminum.

For me, I started with Ti, added a carbon and then added 3 steel. I found I really like the steel ride and I doubt I'll ever own anything else. However, for every example of me, I'd bet you're going to be able to find one or more that would say the same thing about Al, carbon and Ti.
re: Is it my imagination...?DINOSAUR
May 20, 2002 5:13 PM
When I finally received my Colnago Master X-Light I thought my old Klein QR would never come off the hook in my garage again. I found that I still enjoy riding it. Steel would be my choice as an everyday ride bike, but the Klein is still fun to ride. Nice to have two different bikes to choose from...
re: Is it my imagination...?crosscut
May 20, 2002 8:17 PM
Dino,
Are we going to get a review of your Master x-light, or did I miss it?
re: Is it my imagination...?DINOSAUR
May 21, 2002 8:03 AM
Yeah, I already posted a review. It's one sweet ride and it exceeded my expectations. The problem is it's almost TOO NICE to ride and any clouds in the sky, or chance of rain, and I take the Klein. Also had a problem mounting a computer to the oversized Deda Magic bars, but I found a device at Branford Bike called a Cronometro Nob that attaches to the stem that solved the problem.

Old Ernesto knows how to build steel frames. One of the few times in my life I have had no second thoughts about a purchase...
I think it's just a settling-back type thing.Leisure
May 21, 2002 12:08 AM
When Al first came out there was a lot of hype behind it, for good reason. It was light, different, and...well I guess that covers it. But being light is big, and so everyone got on the bandwagon. After a while people just rediscover the virtues of what they had before so the market swings back a bit to some other equilibrium. Steel feels nice, and is an old, finely honed art.
If you look at the mtbr page you'll occasionally see some riders posting about rediscovering their hardtails. Even I have done a bit of this, though I'm pretty sure full-suspension will remain my mtb ride of choice. And steel and Ti will be my preferred ride in roadbikes.
The best I've ever riddenhayaku
May 21, 2002 4:22 AM
Was steel. However it's all about priorities and that is what this industry thrives on.

Personally Steel is it for me.