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Question about Steelman Stage Race Frame(4 posts)

Question about Steelman Stage Race Framejoekm
Sep 12, 2002 4:56 AM
Just trying to re-educate myself on what's out there and I came across this frame builder. I found them on RBR and there are 14 reviews of this frame with every one of them being 5 star ratings.

Forgive my cynisism but, that's kinda hard to believe. Are these frames really that good?
everybody loves their biketarwheel
Sep 12, 2002 5:18 AM
If you read other reviews, you'll find that most people rates their bikes 4 or 5 stars. That means most people are pretty happy with what they purchase, don't have the perspective to compare with other bikes, or don't want to admit that the bike they spent $2,000 on isn't the best.

That said, Steelman seems to make very nice frames. I haven't seen one up close and personal, but the pictures sure look nice on their website. I wouldn't kick one out of my garage.
From one of those reviewersMike Prince
Sep 12, 2002 7:38 AM
I'm one of the 14 out there and after 1.5 years with the bike have no complaints. Came from a Cannondale and the Steelman is a night and day difference. When I bought it I had already decided on steel and looked at several options - a European frame (Colnago, etc.) as I was living in the UK at the time and the price was right, LeMond (geometry fits me), Serotta, IF, and had started to consider a smaller builder as well. Found out that the "big boys" (Trek, etc.)mostly ignore steel in favor of alum, carbon, titanium.

So anyway, I decide to support my local LBS in the US and order a LeMond frame. $900 or so with fork. Fine. Also at that time I discover RBR and hear the same Steelman rumblings you are hearing. So I send them an email. Brent personally replies to my tire-kicking questions within the hour. Hmm. Call by LBS in the states to see about the LeMond. He has ordered the frame a few days after I order from him, LeMond may be out of framesets for the year (this is in April!). Say OK, see what you can find out. No response from him in a week. In the meantime I get an unsolicited e-mail from Brent thanking me for my interest, asking if he has answered all of my questions satisfactorily. WOW! 2 weeks later I call my LBS. Oh yeah, Trek is out of 61 cm LeMonds, but I can get a 57 or 59 (both way too small for me). Tell LBS to order me a bike instead of a frame and let's do this. Have more email comms with Brent (feel like I'm cheating on my LBS). Finally chase down LBS again, no response. Tell him if he can't call me back in a few days I'll pull the trigger on a Steelman. After a few days I order a Steelman. Painless process, frame will be to my house in US in 3 weeks (perfect as I'm planning a trip to the US then). Finally get in touch with my LBS. The unobtainable LeMond frame arrived yesterday! Cancel order and get my Steelman. End of long, overblown story.

So to make a long story short, service sold me on Steelman. Could I have gotten a Serotta or IF (or Strong or Teesdale or....) and been as happy from a performance point of view? Sure. But in the end I had confidence in Steelman and they delivered. IMO they are upfront and will not try to sell you on fads. They believe in steel and work in nothing else, which I like. Another thing I like is that I helped design my bike and there's nothing else like it out there. Can Strong or Anvil or Teesdale give you that too? Sure. Steelman won for me mostly because he was the first small builder I called and felt comfortable with him. Also his lead time was shorter at that time.

Have fun, hope this helps.
Sep 12, 2002 9:24 AM
In this industry, customer support carries a lot of weight. Not really in the market for a frame at this time, just trying to bring myself up to speed on what's out there. 14 perfect reviews definately gets one's attention.

I'm sorta sold on steel as well and, if I do upgrade my current frame, I'll upgrade to custom sometime after my riding skills warrent it and I become more knowledgable of what is out there.

Your info was helpful, thanks :)