Replacing Carbon Frame with Custom Steel

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
bikewithnoname
Posts: 999
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 1:29 pm
Location: UK

by bikewithnoname

Any steel frame will weigh at least 500gms more than a carbon frame in the same size, and it won’t be as stiff. But unless you are a 95kg masher you’re unlikely to need the level of stiffness most carbon frames provide. I don’t notice any material flex in my Responsorium (XCR) or my commuter (853).

With a modern carbon fork and geometry that suits you and your riding style a steel bike will climb and descend just as well as a carbon one.

I’d say find a local builder (which will be pretty easy to do in Portland) and enjoy the design process. I’d also consider stainless if weight is your primary focus but you’ll end up with a more oversized tube set (which may not be the look your going for) and a bigger whole in your wallet.
"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

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

by ticou

I'm a 109 kg masher and don't need the extra stiffness carbon provides. I'm mashing the hillocks in me 50 v.nicely thank you. And seated.

skiezo
Posts: 150
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 2:32 am
Location: Mid. PA. USA

by skiezo

I had a custom steel frame built by a local builder in PA. It is a combo of life/sprit tubing the winter of 2011. I love the bike and would do it again. Mine is just below 15#.
Here is an early pic from his gallery. Mine is the silver/marron fade with the red bling.
Great out of the saddle as well and climbing. descends like it is on rails. It looks a bit different now tho.
http://bicycleframes.com/gallery/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Skiezo

bm0p700f
in the industry
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Joined: Sat May 12, 2012 7:25 pm
Location: Glermsford, Suffolk U.K
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by bm0p700f

I want an XCR frame made with disc mounts. I agree that weight is not a big issue so long as the total weight of the bike is sensible.

mosovich
Posts: 104
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 3:47 am
Location: Augusta, Ga

by mosovich

I went from carbon to steel and couldn't be happier.. I've got a Hampsten Max frame. .

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

by boolinwall

Yeah,, you certainly wouldn't miss the stiffness with a Max frame huh?lol

maxxevv
Posts: 1955
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 4:51 am

by maxxevv

The bike that fits best is the bike that rides best. Built quality being parity at least of course.

If you want options of build stiffness and ease of maintenance (say you live in a region of high rainfall / humidity), the latest stainless steels like Reynolds 931 or KVA are the way to go. They come in seamless and wider range of tubing diameters. Allowing builders more leeway in shaping the tubes to your desired ride characteristics. And they are cheaper (as far as I know) than XCR and 953.

go4custom
Posts: 152
Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 3:30 am

by go4custom

Check out the few threads I have on my Steel Sycip. There is not much difference I can tell between my BMC and Sycip. But what I can tell you is this...There is nothing better than being able to walk into a builders shop, discuss exactly what you want, how you want to ride, what you want it to do, and have a "say" in what the final product will be. Try this with any "big" carbon brand and you'll find there is no chance you'll get what you want.

viewtopic.php?f=10&t=87620

viewtopic.php?f=10&t=107517

maxxevv
Posts: 1955
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 4:51 am

by maxxevv

Carbon doesn't have to be 'big' to be good. There are custom carbon bike builders out there who can customise a carbon build to your ride requirements too. In fact, it can be done to a far greater degree of finesse on carbon than on any metal tubing. Carl Strong and Cyfac make excellent custom carbon just to name 2.

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

by ticou

Indeed they do Max, but you'd need one of them rocket firing helicopters to bust the front door of Fort Knox afore you visit the venerable fibre de carbone workshop.

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

by andyindo

mosovich wrote:I went from carbon to steel and couldn't be happier.. I've got a Hampsten Max frame. .


We need pics of this......

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

by dvincere

go4custom wrote:Check out the few threads I have on my Steel Sycip. There is not much difference I can tell between my BMC and Sycip. But what I can tell you is this...There is nothing better than being able to walk into a builders shop, discuss exactly what you want, how you want to ride, what you want it to do, and have a "say" in what the final product will be. Try this with any "big" carbon brand and you'll find there is no chance you'll get what you want.



As much as I love my steel bike this is really just not entirely truthful. Yes the big brands don't do custom. And yes, there is something entirely more satisfactory about getting input into every detail. But this can be done with any material. I can walk out my door and ride over to Gaulzetti and get a custom Al bike. I can go a bit closer and all downhill landing at the doorstep of Firefly for a fully custom steel bike, and I can take a short bike ride over to Parlee and get the exact same service down up in carbon fiber. And I can soft pedal over to Seven on my way and get done up for a custom Ti rig. This is leaving out a multitude of other local builders such as Geekhouse but you get the point.

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

by ticou

So CF is lighter and a little stiffer. Who'd have thunk it?. But once you get that golden steel, you'll have something to cherish, use as a daily driver, never need to upgrade, and might be around in 30 years time, and they can thump any col you choose. Someone spent month's or years even training to devote their work life to the lathe 'n brazing torch, and that's why they have more soul than CF mouldin' and gluing.

To complete the poem, just schlop some Chorus on it and your away.

claus
Posts: 251
Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2008 10:04 pm

by claus

ticou wrote:But once you get that golden steel, you'll have something to cherish, use as a daily driver, never need to upgrade,


Is a Serotta Atlanta considered a "high end" steel bike that has this "magic" feel? I'm just wondering how that bike rates for steel lovers, so I can compare it properly to carbon bikes.

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

by ticou

I don't think so, it was a mid '90's design, and steel has been lightened and strengthened greatly since then. It was no 2 in the Serotta line up at the time. Appears to have heavy lug work also, but no doubt good back in the day. Smooth perhaps but superseded by today's standards.

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