Suggestions of light steel frames!

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
User avatar
Tinea Pedis
Posts: 8453
Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2009 6:08 am
Location: Geelong
Contact:

by Tinea Pedis

pdmtong wrote: it rides much differently than the SSR.

Given the rear stays, of course.

And they definitely would have helped with the weight.


My Ristretto was a little over 1700g, frame alone. That said, it is my race bike when I don't have a team issued one. If I'm getting selled on climbs, it's not because my frame is a little too heavy.

jahknob
Posts: 115
Joined: Tue Sep 07, 2004 1:27 pm
Location: London, UK

by jahknob

Have you taken a look at this thread:

http://weightweenies.starbike.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=101178

The frame weight (with S&S couplings) is 1579g in a 55cm frame. Admittedly, it does have carbon rear stays. Chas Roberts is building frames using the Columbus Life tubeset and these come our really nicely. A friend of mine is about to take delivery of his.

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

by SWijland

It really puzzles me why steel can't be made any lighter. Last year I sold a small sized Pinarello KL (Columbus KL tubing) frame that weighed just 1400g. It probably wasn't all that stiff, though I would think that 20 years or so later they would be able to make something lighter than that, right?...

User avatar
Wingnut
Posts: 1859
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2007 12:41 am

by Wingnut

Many are fooled that carbon is better so maybe there just isn't the push to make steel lighter...cheaper for companies to go to Asia for a lighter plastic frame?
"It's not the destination...it's the ride!"

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

by dvincere

There is no doubt in my mind that from a materials point of view, carbon can be made lighter than steel given similar engineering time. Undeniably though it is also far easier to produce cheaper as you can greatly reduce the amount of skilled labor involved in producing frames. One can also produce more interesting shapes. This all leads towards more marketing opportunities, aesthetic brand differentiation (since it's virtually impossible to differentiate based on performance anymore), high perceived customer value in the fancy new stuff, and better profit margins and fewer labor disputes.

What are you, the consumer, left with for a final product? You can save 0-500 grams. You get a piece of equipment that has no recyclable value, has a much harsher environmental impact, rewards the frame built with the least skilled laborers, in most cases removed any local connections to a frame building heritage, and is far more likely to suffer failure.

Is it worth it? That depends entirely on what you value.This is weightweenies.

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

by SWijland

Wingnut wrote:Many are fooled that carbon is better so maybe there just isn't the push to make steel lighter...cheaper for companies to go to Asia for a lighter plastic frame?


I agree, but with steel becoming more and more popular these days I suppose there would be quite a big demand for high end steel tubing, even if it would be more expensive than what is on the market today.

Pantani
Posts: 863
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2005 11:40 pm
Location: Eire

by Pantani

Dvincere - I'm not sure your analyisis is completely correct. The era of steel had passed before bike manufacture moved significantly to SE Asia. I'm fairly confident that if it had not been supplanted by aluminum and latterly carbon, that Chinese worker would be turning out good quality steel frames in quantity today.

A second observation. Ultimately the weight/stiffness frontier is determined by the physical characteristics of the material. Ti seems to bottom out at around 1200/1300g and Steel at 1500/1600g.

Even at that, neither material will deliver the stiffness of a 1000 g carbon frame at those weights.

I'm not championing carbon exclusively BTW. I have Alu (Ridley) Steel (Colnago) and Ti (Merlin) bikes as well.
Not everything that counts can be counted. Not everything that can be counted counts.

wpccrunner
in the industry
Posts: 364
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2012 8:34 pm
Location: North Carolina

by wpccrunner

SEROTTA!!! Oh wait...

User avatar
kbbpll
Posts: 409
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 5:56 am

by kbbpll

Pantani - "The era of steel had passed before bike manufacture moved significantly to SE Asia".
Around 1981 Raleigh of England moved production of their high-end 531 frames to Japan. I don't know a lot of history of the industry, but I think there was pretty significant movement of manufacture to Asia even during the heyday of steel in the early 80s.

arbitrage
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2010 3:49 pm

by arbitrage

Interesting take on the topic here: http://www.gaulzetticicli.com/blog/2013/4/9/detritus

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

by stanseven

I've ridden light (1500g) steel frames and they flex, especially in the areas where you want stiffness for steep climbs and sprints - bb and rear stays. Steel is good for comfort but they need to be much heavier 1600+ before they are good for all around riding.

I've got a 750g CF frame and it is so much stiffer than my Waterford steel or Ti, it's amazing.

rtarh2o
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Mar 04, 2013 3:43 am

by rtarh2o

How about a Bianchi Boron steel? I have a 57 that weighs roughly 1,600 grams. I also have an older Liotto custom steel frame made with Columbus EL/OS that weighs in right at 1,700 grams. Got them both on Ebay, the Bianchi I paid $150, the Liotto I paid $99!
Love them both, just goes to show that like someone said keep your eyes open on ebay, deals can be found!
The Liotto is a custom made frame, pretty rare, it was an ugly teal color when I got it so I repainted it, the Bianchi was in great shape, Celeste in color, can't beat that!
Still though, my favorite bike is my Look KG 281, if you are considering steel for comfort you might think about an older Look frame as well. These were small diameter lugged traditional geometry frames that ride incredibly smooth, nothing at all like modern carbon frames, even more comfortable than steel and are right at 1,500 grams for my 57 frame
Just a thought

User avatar
53x12
Posts: 3762
Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 6:02 am
Location: On the bike

by 53x12

As others have said, if I was getting a steel frame now I would have English high on my list along with Strong Frames. Those are probably the only two steel guys that interest me at the moment. Top notch work by both imo.
"Marginal gains are the only gains when all that's left to gain is in the margins."

JulienLeBreton
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Aug 07, 2013 3:47 pm

by JulienLeBreton

HI everyone,

I came across an interesting build up, it's in french sorry :) :
http://www.veloptimal.com/forum/viewtop ... =2&t=45008

Tommasini tecnos under 6kg, quite an achievement! :beerchug:

User avatar
Wingnut
Posts: 1859
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2007 12:41 am

by Wingnut

Where...I see three pages of french dialogue and only several pictures of some headsets?
"It's not the destination...it's the ride!"

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post