Replacing Carbon Frame with Custom Steel

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
photocycler
Posts: 86
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:19 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon

by photocycler

Wondering if I will regret this,

I am considering selling my carbon frame and moving on to a custom steel frame (life tubing). Its not that I am unhappy with the carbon, its that I want something more unique and stylish.

I live in a hilly area of Portland, Oregon so weight does matter. I think with the Columbus life tubing it wont be much heavier then my current carbon frame ( will be using a enve carbon fork for the steel frame).

I am wondering if I will miss the carbon bike, I don't race and dont really ride in groups.

Always loved the tech look of carbon, but steel has won me over the past year and considering the type of riding I do it shouldn't matter carbon or steel.

by Weenie


ticou
Posts: 459
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:31 pm

by ticou

I'm a steel c/made chap, and it climbs just fine, plus it keeps it's class. Bestoke is so rare in today's world, and thus tremendously prized. Over the years too. Fudge the molds, unless your a pure racer.

notsoswift
Posts: 176
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:00 am
Location: Melbourne

by notsoswift

Did it, but with XCR, stainless

My bike is huge (61x62) and mid 7's on my race wheels, not super lightweight components either (Chorus)

veloflyte
in the industry
Posts: 88
Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2009 3:08 am

by veloflyte

I have been racing and riding bikes for a long time. And I can tell you one thing for certain... Your climbing ability has little to do with the weight of your bike...as long as it's under 25lbs. Climbing ability has far more to do with leg extension strength. I've ridden the Death Ride here in California many times, I weigh about 175lbs, and with a simple on bike strength workout that I do during the training months leading up to the event, I can climb and climb and climb...all day long. And not slowly either.
I was born in the Portland area and rode/raced there for about 3 years before I left to California. The only "hill" that matters in the greater Portland area is Mount Hood. If you're ever in an adventurous mood, and have a few friends to go on a long ride with, try riding out to Mount Hood and riding up to Timberline Lodge. It's a pretty nice ride and there's lots of climbing.
And if you ever want to see how good road cycling and racing can be, move to the San Francisco Bay Area. It's excellent. We've got Mt Hamilton on the east side of the bay and Mt Umanum on the west side. There's nothing as long or as beautiful as these climbs in the entire Portland area. And down here I ride my bike 11 months of the year in sunshine. In Oregon I was lucky to ride 4 months of the year in nice weather.

Steel is a wonderful material for a frame though. Be sure to get the largest diameter tubing possible. Stiffness is paramount in transferring your power to the ground.

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

by boolinwall

I've pondered the same thing a few times. It comes down to money here. Plus, my new carbon rig is only a few months old. However, if I were in the market for a new rig, I'd definitely give steel a serious look. A nice Guru or Waterford.

shimmeD
Posts: 366
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2012 10:52 pm
Location: eNZed

by shimmeD

Good thought: I hope you go through with it. My choice of builder is Rob English from Eugene, who's already famous at North American Hand Build Show (NAHBS) but has just added 2013 Best in Show.
Less is more.

stanseven
Posts: 63
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2013 4:25 am

by stanseven

I have an old Waterford, a Seven Ti, a Cervelo and a CF Guru. I like them all and the steel is very comfortable. But my favorite is CF and I know I would miss it (them) if I only had steel. IMO CF is the best all aroudn material - fast, feels great, handles well, and light.

But it also sounds like appearance and having something unique is important to you. If I were in your part of the country, I would consider Carl Strong and go custom.

Enjoy the search - that's half the fun

NealH
Posts: 492
Joined: Sat May 12, 2007 3:40 am
Location: Triange, NC

by NealH

stanseven wrote:I have an old Waterford, a Seven Ti, a Cervelo and a CF Guru. I like them all and the steel is very comfortable. But my favorite is CF and I know I would miss it (them) if I only had steel. IMO CF is the best all aroudn material - fast, feels great, handles well, and light.

But it also sounds like appearance and having something unique is important to you. If I were in your part of the country, I would consider Carl Strong and go custom.

Enjoy the search - that's half the fun


Agree wholeheartedly. The agile lightweight feel of my CF bike exudes a character that continues to elude every metal bike I've owned or ridden. The steel (or Ti or Al) are nice bikes and certainly can look nice (and ride well) but its the handling and quick confident feel of carbon that I fancy. Good bikes come from every material though, just a matter of preference.

shimmeD
Posts: 366
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2012 10:52 pm
Location: eNZed

by shimmeD

And when you've decided steel is for you, then do you TIG-weld, braze or lug? That may decide who your builder is.
Grab it by the handle(bar)s and enjoy the ride :thumbup:
Less is more.

photocycler
Posts: 86
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:19 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon

by photocycler

Thx guys...

I do love the light responsive feeling of the carbon bikes, It feels like a sports car when descending which I would miss

As far as builders go, I have my mind kind of made up with a local builder who does tig welded. It's a sporty frame and the builders have a great history.

My commuter/rain bike is columbus zona and it feels great but very different from my carbon - also a good 7-8lbs heavier

climberevan
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2013 5:42 am
Location: Tahoe, NV

by climberevan

Go for it. If you worry you'll miss the carbon bike, keep it. Your steel bike will need company anyway.

My perspective is that carbon can be amazing --stiff, light, and comfortable. On paper it is just a better material...but steel frames have a a feel and look that can't be quantified. My race bike is a tool for going fast, bit my steel Seven is my friend. If I had unlimited funds a Baum Ristretto would be in the stable too. No carbon bike makes me lust like that.

steel515
Posts: 82
Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2011 2:03 am

by steel515

Which steels are the stiffest?

dvincere
Posts: 204
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2012 6:40 pm

by dvincere

I have a CF, two AL, and two steep bikes sitting in the bike room. All great bikes but there's something special about a good steel bike. The weights range from about 15 lbs even to 21 lbs and honestly, the guys I'm faster than on my WW approved bike, I'm still faster than on the heavier bikes. And the guys I'm slower than, I'm slower on them all! Get the frame that plucks the chords of your heart most. A lot of the feelings like how responsive the bike is are based on geometry and wheels -- not the frame material.


As a side question, since types of steels are coming up, which steel tubes are best for retro skinny tubes (and light rider)?

User avatar
michel2
Posts: 1172
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2005 10:47 am
Location: somewere floating between here and the other side

by michel2

if steel was good enought for big mig ( miquel indurain ) im sure its good enough for us mere mortals (-:
my pegoretti marcello was very responsive, roughly 600 grams more then my colnago ep.
other than weight i could tell the difference, both very solid, i also have a eddy merckx mx leader, now there is a difference, not as responsive but to be expected with the difference in tubbing.

by Weenie


ticou
Posts: 459
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:31 pm

by ticou

All modern steels are stiff. Dedacaia Zero replica is my frame, but you'd be happy with 953, Spirit, XCR and I think Life's OK as well in ye olde BB region. Porky lad tells the CF crowd;STEEL FRAMES ARE STIFF!!

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post