's Forum Archives - General

Archive Home >> General(1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 )

Can new lightweight steel compete with Ti/CF?(9 posts)

Can new lightweight steel compete with Ti/CF?SGG
Jun 3, 2003 6:33 AM
I'm starting to test ride new road bikes. Currently have a lugged steel frame, set up with Chorus 10. I borrowed a Trek 5200 from a friend and it had a lot more "snap", accelerated and climbed better, and generally felt quicker than my current steel bike. The Trek is lighter, obviously, but even on flats it felt better, so I am in the market for a second road bike. I've always owned steel, but I am trying to keep an open mind. My list of bikes to test is:

Steelman Stage race
IF Crown Deluxe
Serotta Colorado III
Ritchey Logic
Calfee Luna Pro
Macalu Professional
Trek 5200
Dean El Diente
Litespeed Classic

I am in no hurry, so that is why my list is long. I am looking for a bike that will be as light and stiff as possible, while still having nice ride characteristics, and my upper limit is $1500 for frame/fork. I will race this bike in Cat 4 races in CO, as well as doing fast group rides, training, etc.

Some of these I can ride easily and some I can't, and the steel frames may be hard to find locally. Have any of you ridden any of the high-end steel road frames, and how do they compare to equal priced offerings in Ti and CF? Also, if you can't tell, I have a bit of an affection for smaller companies, so the idea of a Steelman or IF is enticing.

Jun 3, 2003 6:44 AM
I have a 5200 and love it. However on slower rides I really crave a steel frame. Have you looked at a Brew? I think the last time I looked you could get a custom steel frame and fork for 1500!
A few more choices...Picshooter
Jun 3, 2003 8:49 AM
In Colorado you have Anvil for steel. I would suggest Moots for Ti but that is more than you are looking to spend.
I have a Strong steel.( I perceive the new lightweight steel to ride better than the Italian SLX & SL steel I also own. It is the bike I ride the most.
I also like the idea of smaller US builders. Carl Strong was easy to deal with and provided what I felt was a super value for the money. I wanted a compromise between a compact and regular top tube, a 3 degree sloping top tube was not an issue at all. When It came to color selection they shipped me a selection of tubes so I could make a final decision.I highly recommend giving Strong a look.
A few more choices...Koolaideprived
Jun 3, 2003 9:10 AM
Strong is awesome. They're based out of my hometown of Bozeman MT and they're some great people, willing to work with you. They have no problem with some bum of a college kid coming in and taking their multi-thousand dollar bikes on test rides. If I had the money that's where I'd be buying my next bike.
Ritchey Road Logicjtlmd
Jun 3, 2003 10:33 AM
I've had a Ritchey for a year and a half. I'm very happy with it. The ride quality is wonderful on centuries and climbs are not a problem. I can't compare it to titanium or CF though. I've never encountered another Ritchey on the road or in a group ride. Every now and then someone in the know, shop owner or experienced rider, comments on what a good bike it is. Good Luck.
In a nutshell, yes.Mel Erickson
Jun 3, 2003 10:37 AM
And so can alu, old steel, old alu and any other metal or composite someone has dreamed up to construct a bike from. It's not really the bike, it's you. Give Armstrong an old Alan noodle and he'll still win the TdF and a new ride will not improve your placing, either. Don't get me wrong. I lust after new bikes, materials, components, etc. just as much as the next guy/gal. However, it's not because they'll be more competetive. It's just..... because! BTW, I'm partial to Steelman too.
In a nutshell, yes.Spiderman
Jun 3, 2003 11:38 AM
What I find to be very appealing about steel is its durability. I am not all that familiar with the particular type of steel most of the manufacturers are using so i cant address each frame but frames that use the ultra foco steel do not seem very durable to me. They have such a thin wall thickness it frightens me.
I have ridden the serotta Col III and it isn't as "snappy" (definately no slug though) as a cf bike, it is very smooth, very stable and a confidence inspiring ride. Plus, over some of the production bikes in your list, it can be custom made (as can strong, steelman and others).
The only thing you can do is really take each one out and ride them. I like the smaller companies as well because you are a person to them, thier customer service tends to be a bit better (although i heard Trek's is very good).
you had mentioned you were in CO, you should swing by Ron Kiefel's shop in Denver called Wheat Ridge Cyclery. Talk to Ron or anyone else at the shop. They have a great selection and will fit the bike to you perfectly. Hope this helps.
In a nutshell, yes.SGG
Jun 3, 2003 11:49 AM
This is what I thought - (I'm riding a lugged steel bike that probably weighs 22 pounds) until I took the Trek on my standard hill time trial. I've got data back for several years, and the first ride on the Trek (poor gearing for a steep climb 42X25, not exactly set up correctly) I took about 1 1/2 minutes off of my best time ever, and did not feel like I was working at 100% efficiency. The next ride out with my old bike, I rode myself into the ground and basically equalled that time. The Trek is lighter, but the weight difference should not make a difference of 1 1/2 minutes out of 30 minutes.

In the big picture, a minute or two does not matter, but it will be interesting to explore other frames and see if anything feels different.

IF Crown JewelMajor Kong
Jun 3, 2003 11:41 AM
I've had mine since August of last year and absolutely love it, the fit and finish is amazing. When I was looking into getting a frame last year it was between IF and Steelman. The SR is great frame, but since I live in Boston I felt it was important to spend my money locally and I like the fact that IF is employee owned. I don't know if helps at all. Enjoy your dilemma.