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Any top-level racers/teams using steel bikes ?(10 posts)

Any top-level racers/teams using steel bikes ?HouseMoney
Jan 15, 2004 6:46 AM
Just curious. Seems all I read about these days are cf, aluminum, some ti (or a combination), but not much about steel (for racing, not training or everyday riding). I've been told, to cite one example, that the Torelli foco Nitro Express is reported to be a very responsive steel frame that could be used for racing. I'm sure there are other examples.

Don't want this to turn into a "what type of tubing is better" thread, but has steel been passed by for competitive racing? If so, why? Too much weight? Too compliant, i.e. not responsive enough? Marketing?
CSC on Cervelo Super-Prodigy in Paris-RoubaixSpunout
Jan 15, 2004 7:00 AM
and me 365 days per year.

It is all marketing. Give them a choice, things would change.

M.
Not quite what you asked, but Mike Voigt, who won the elite RRbill
Jan 15, 2004 7:50 AM
US Championship (amateur) last summer, did it on a steel LeMond. Doubly impressive when you realize that the 120 mi race featured something like 13,000 feet of climbing. Here's a little blurb from today's Post --
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A18425-2004Jan14.html
I mention it because I just happened to see it this a.m. Mike used to ride with my club. He's a real nice kid (I can say that, because his dad is only a couple of years older than I am) and a very promising racer -- Velo News last summer mentioned him first among a half-dozen or so top unsigned amateurs.
I think that the developments in ti, CF, and alu in terms of developing alloys and working with the stuff, are just sort of sexier than steel right now. It's also true that, even with the best steel alloys, you can't get down to the 2.5 lb frames that you can do with some of the lightest, chichiest alu and ti. The weight ranges for the best steel are competitive with mid-level ti and alu and the best CF, but CF has everyone's imagination right now because of the shaping that's possible. While the companies are marketing this stuff and trying to generate excitement about it -- and, let's face it, that's what the pros ride, advertisements on two wheels -- steel is taking a back seat. I wouldn't be shocked if steel never came "back" to the pro peloton, but, at all but the highest price points, steel will always have a place in racing and riding.
I wrecked my good steel Pegoretti last summer, and Pegoretti is supposed to be making me another one as we speak ("supposed to be," you say? he is Italian, after all), and I can't wait to get it. All other frames are about trying to imitate a good steel frame. Sure, you can give away as much as a pound, but it's hard to beat that ride.
How true. All investment to make Al ride like steel.Spunout
Jan 15, 2004 8:38 AM
Just ride steel!
doing what the pro's do (why you shouldn't)aaroncvc
Jan 15, 2004 9:07 AM
they're paid to ride what they ride. they usually only have control over their shoes and saddle, and sometimes they don't even have that much control. on the other hand they usually get custom geometry/sizing, and with that you can turn any bike into something that rides 100% different with enough of a change in angles...

with steel tubesets like 853pro, thermacron, and s3, you can get a really light, strong bicycle. many times these frames are comparable in weight to their aluminum counterparts, with a better ride, better strength, and at a much better price. my lemond 853pro frame with ksyriums, a ti seatpost, and an ultegra group is an amazing race bike. though it's worth noting that the weight difference between it and my lemond with 853 select tubing is considerable...

someone already mentioned TSV, but they did much more than have a guy win the elite RR championship - stage win at toona, green jersey at toona... tons of crit and RR wins... all on lemond 853pro frames.

at this point i think it's stupid to buy a frame based solely upon what it's made out of. every ride is unique, and all have their own set of strengths and weaknesses. i think the price point on 853 pro tubing is pretty good, while s3 and thermacron tend to get into the price range where i'd consider a good carbon frameset instead...
I'm not sure, but I don't think Mike's bike was the selectbill
Jan 15, 2004 10:21 AM
tubing. I kind of remember that he was riding one of Snow Valley's second-tier, heavier training bikes that day for some reason.
But, you know, this is esoterica of the highest order.
The only thing I would add to what you're saying about pros getting paid to ride what they ride is that even the pros with the pull to ride what they want ride the chi-chi stuff and not steel, necessarily, because, why shouldn't they? The ti or alu highest price point bikes may cost a lot more than a steel bike in order to ride like a steel bike, but it doesn't cost THEM any more than a steel bike would, because they're not paying for it, and, hell, it rides like steel, anyway, so why not?
if I said select I mean pro... my bad! nm.aaroncvc
Jan 15, 2004 11:21 AM
I don't know which is which, I assure you, but my point is thatbill
Jan 15, 2004 12:22 PM
I'm pretty sure that Mike was riding a heavy training bike.
simple question aswered by too many steel lovers...sievers11
Jan 15, 2004 12:26 PM
1. I am not going to ride a 2.5 lb steel frame.
2. Don't need to "frame save" a Al frame.
3. Stiffer the better, don't care about "ride quality". Care about "speed quality"
4. Aero Tubing
5. Good steel is too expensive. Good Al is cheap.

You can scoff at the 1 lb difference, but when you are at your lowest reasonable body fat and 145 lbs, a 16 lb bike is way better than a 17 lb bike.

Don't get me wrong I like a good steel frame, I am just not going to go out there an prove that you can win on a steel frame. I will save to sexy steel for training and century rides were I am not going to wreck a sweet frame.
simple question aswered by too many steel lovers...aaroncvc
Jan 15, 2004 1:20 PM
i 1. I am not going to ride a 2.5 lb steel frame.

that seems awfully heavy

i 3. Stiffer the better, don't care about "ride quality". iCare about "speed quality"

my 853 pro frame is stiffer than my 7005 alu frame. every manufacturer is different. you can't assume that because something is made of a certain material it's going to be any stiffer than something made of a different material. everything from wall-thickness, to weld-quality, to tube-butting and shaping, to geometry has an effect on the perceived stiffness of a frame. alu has the potential to be much stiffer than steel because you can build thicker walls with less weight, than you can with steel.

i 4. Aero Tubing

with the exception of the cervelo soloist i haven't seen anyone riding an alu frame that has any real "aero" savings. then again no one brings tri bikes to crits.

i 5. Good steel is too expensive. Good Al is cheap.

?????? uh ... ??? how do you figure? maybe "good" is a relative term. i suppose if you're looking for a custom steelman or waterford, you're going to pay alot of money. i think 853 pro can be a really good tubeset to race on and it's uber-cheap. some people say that s3 is gods gift to steel, and right now i think you can s3 frames between $800-2000.

i You can scoff at the 1 lb difference, but when you are at i your lowest reasonable body fat and 145 lbs, a 16 lb bike i is way better than a 17 lb bike.

I know i'm not at my lowest reasonable body weight and neither is anyone i'm going to be racing against next year. but if we're going to talk about weight savings, we should talk about what's really important: rotational weight. wheels are the biggest and best upgrade you can purchase. before you worry about a frame that weighs 16oz more you should consider buying a better wheelset. eventually, yes, all things being equal, that 16 oz can save you time and energy. on the other hand it's probably not enough to have an effect in amateur bicycle racing.

i Don't get me wrong I like a good steel frame, I am just inot going to go out there an prove that you can win on a isteel frame. I will save to sexy steel for training and icentury rides were I am not going to wreck a sweet frame.

you don't need to prove anything. mike voight showed the US he can win elite national's with 13,000 feet of climbing on his steel bike. oh but it weighed 1 lbs more than everyone else's bike... didn't it?

don't get me wrong, i think a good alu frame is awesome. i simply ride steel because for me, it's proven to be more economical and the frames have proven themselves to be stronger than their alu counterparts. my 7005 frame is less than a half a pound under my 853 pro frame... so whatever...