Suggestions of light steel frames!

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
Post Reply
Posts: 217
Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2013 6:42 am
Location: Copenhagen

by Slagter

I´ve been looking for light steel frames for quite a while now. The only one i´ve found is the Colnago Master X Light. But it´s old and therefore quite expensive. Does any of you have suggestions where to find other light ones?

I´m fully aware of this thread:


But that´s not quite what I´m looking for.

Thanks in advance!

Posts: 91
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:07 am

by Dimitri

there are plenty. but you have to be realistic. light for a road frame in steel in "smaller" sizes is ~1500g. larger sizes more like ~ 1800g.

you need something with the more modern tube sets.

by Weenie

Posts: 217
Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2013 6:42 am
Location: Copenhagen

by Slagter

Dimitri wrote:there are plenty. but you have to be realistic. light for a road frame in steel in "smaller" sizes is ~1500g. larger sizes more like ~ 1800g.

you need something with the more modern tube sets.

Thank you Dimitri.

Right now i have i Columbus SLX frame, size 57 at 2.020 grams, which is not light at all. Are there any brands in particular, I should look out for?

User avatar
Posts: 853
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2006 1:41 pm
Location: The Netherlands

by SWijland

Brands are not the main thing you should look out for, if you are going for a lightweight frame. Tubing is much more important. If your only goal is a light frame, than look into stainless steel tubing (made by Columbus KVA and several others) or Columbus SPIRIT/LIFE tubing. If you don't mind going for a used or vintage frame, then take a look at Ebay. Several of the 1990's frames and early 2000's frames were really light. For example, my Fondriest X-Status frame (58cm) came in at under 1700 and was very cheap to buy.

Posts: 1725
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2006 6:01 pm

by Briscoelab

I have a customs Hot Tubes CX frame is is quite light. It's made from Life tubing. My wife has a few Vanilla Speedvagen's that are also competitive weight wise. So, do your homework and you can be happy.

More importantly, pick a builder or (tube size/type if going off the shelf brand) that is appropriate for your size and how you want to ride. It's easy to make a light steel frame.... less so in making a properly fitting, durable, light steel frame.

Posts: 395
Joined: Tue May 12, 2009 10:03 am

by andyindo

+1 on the speedvagens being light. Think its a mix of true temper ox and other things. I was really surprised by how light it was. Saying that, and I know this is weightweenies but you can get most bikes pretty light by component choice rather than the frame. My SV built up with light tubs was 6,7kgs with nothing too fancy on it.

Posts: 997
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 1:29 pm
Location: UK

by bikewithnoname

my Responsorium (XCR) frame in size 58cm (ish) is about 1950g. Steel is just not light in comparison to carbon.
"We live in an age when unnecessary things are our only necessities." Oscar Wilde

Pegoretti Responsorium, Parlee Z5i, Donhou Commuter, 1946 MacLeans Featherweight L'Eroica!, 2x MTB 'dales

Posts: 3868
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2004 12:32 pm

by KB

About the lightest at the moment is Columbus Spirit; lighter than XCR and 953.

I have two custom frames in this that are size 58 ST, 57 TT. One came out at 1,700g that was tig welded, the other was fillet brazed at 1,800g. I doubt you would get much lighter than this.

If you want light you need to go carbon. The way to get a light bike in steel is to use really light wheels; in my case i got a complete bike down to 6.48kg with a wheelset that weighed 900g.

Posts: 395
Joined: Tue May 12, 2009 10:03 am

by andyindo

Rob English builds some crazy light steel bikes. Never going to be as light as some Carbon but very impressive for steel.

Posts: 195
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2012 11:19 pm

by boolinwall

Personally. If I had to have a steel bike, I'd accept that it's never going to be really light by today's standards and build one that balances strength, stiffness and weight. Most modern steel frames can accomplish this.
However. If it had to be steel and I wanted to go lighter than most steel frames, I'd be trying to track down either a Salsa Primero (very few were made) or a Waterford R33. Not cheap, but available fully custom and really easy on the scales.
I'd also likely check into Baum out of Australia. I've yet to see or hear anything to suggest that they do anything but top notch work.

Posts: 19
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2013 1:09 am

by fposse

The Cherubim Piuma weighs a mere 1400g.

User Name
Posts: 596
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2005 3:32 pm

by User Name

Hmm, your SLX frame is pretty heavy. I realize that SLX is 'legendary', but I never liked the 3 i had, and I reckon it's overrated. :mrgreen:

I have a 58cm, 1988, lugged Reynolds 531 Raleigh, which is 1865g, and another 56cm 531 which is a tiny bit lighter. My 58cm Cervelo Superprodigy, made with Columbus Ultrafoco, is 1687g, which isn't too bad. I also had a tigged 57 or 58cm Scapin, made with Columbus Genius, which was 1670g, and I was very pleased with that weight at the time (over ten years ago). I weighed a tigged 57cm Lemond Zurich (Reynolds 853), which was 1770g

In light of these older frame weights, you should be able to get something 'well under' 1700g, but as others have suggested, I don't think there really is such a thing as a super-light steel frame. In my opinion, you probably should be happy if you found something under 1600g. I gather you'd have to pay top dollar for something substantially lighter.

Posts: 459
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:33 pm
Location: bay area, california

by wojchiech

Rodriguez frames use S3 tubing and can come at or below ~1kg

Posts: 1536
Joined: Mon May 30, 2005 7:13 am


I would be shocked if rodriguez does any frames below 1300 grams with a stock S3 tubeset. English doesn't even use all S3 for his light weight projects and he builds frames in the 1100-1300 gram range.

And to that end, I would disagree that when it comes to weight material is more important than builder. To get a light steel frame you need a builder who understands where weight can be cut and through what methods. As Rob English has shown, it takes custom tubes and mixing and matching to the rider. I'd say if you want light steel, Robs got to be top of the list.

by Weenie

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Last post