What does steel ride like?

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Barrzy257
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What does steel ride like?

Postby Barrzy257 » Sat Feb 02, 2013 22:51 pm

As the title says, really fancy a steel frame, currently on a carbon ribble, wondered what the main ride characteristic are of steel compared to carbon are?
Not trying to start a massive debate as I no these happen regally! Just after a few opinions :)

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lotus49
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Re: What does steel ride like?

Postby lotus49 » Sat Feb 02, 2013 22:57 pm

The best answer you will get to this question is by reading "It's All About the Bike" by Rob Penn.

Jonny_Trousers
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Re: What does steel ride like?

Postby Jonny_Trousers » Sun Feb 03, 2013 00:41 am

It's nice.

rainwatrs
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Re: What does steel ride like?

Postby rainwatrs » Sun Feb 03, 2013 01:08 am

Steels flex and snap ares what makes it special. Rode 853 cross frame for 8 years and miss it for that characteristic only. That said, my carbon frame is totally better in every way. No linseed oil, no rust issues and on and on.

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Hoopdriver
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Re: What does steel ride like?

Postby Hoopdriver » Sun Feb 03, 2013 09:35 am

Steel gives a lovely ride.

Rust issues are a non event if you look after your bike - as you should with any frame of any material - and are about as wearisome to hear about, for those who love steel frames, as cracking issues and the perils of leaving carbon in the rain must be to those who like to ride carbon. There are plenty of wonderful old steel frames on the roads, 20 30, 40 years old and some much, much older.

neeb
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Re: What does steel ride like?

Postby neeb » Sun Feb 03, 2013 09:56 am

I think it depends on your riding style and the type/vintage of the steel tubing in about equal measure. I had a lovely 2nd hand Mercian frame in Reynolds 725 which was great for long rides at a constant pace but was seriously flexy for short efforts out of the saddle. In the end I couldn't live with it because of the style of riding I normally do, but it could be a great frame for somebody else. I think the modern steel frames with oversize stainless tubing and compact geometry can be pretty stiff - I have vague plans to get a custom XCR frame at some point.

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sungod
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Re: What does steel ride like?

Postby sungod » Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:52 am

i've got an xcr steel frame, it's very stiff, no flex when out of the saddle, so maybe more like a carbon frame in that respect, but it has that bit of spring that takes out road buzz, 'zingy' is probably the best description - if you flick the tubes with a finger they ring

i lurrrve my xcr
my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny

mjbennett
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Re: What does steel ride like?

Postby mjbennett » Sun Feb 03, 2013 16:01 pm

They feel solid, and very sturdy. In my view the classic look of a steel frame is unbeatable, but the are heavier than Carbon frames. To get to a comparable weight you have to pay big money. That said, if you don't live in the hills , frame weight isn't a massive issue.

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passout
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Re: What does steel ride like?

Postby passout » Sun Feb 03, 2013 21:54 pm

Varies. Can be very comfortable & zingy but also rigid & lifeless and everything in between. Per £ it's heavey. As much variance as any other material really.
'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.

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Monty Dog
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Re: What does steel ride like?

Postby Monty Dog » Mon Feb 04, 2013 07:42 am

Some of the best and worst frames I've ridden were made from steel - when done right it feels 'zingy' and alive, when done wrong it feels dead and heavy, just like duff frames in other materials. What works for a 60kg rider will feel whippy for an 80kg riders - so try and find something that suits your weight and style.
Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..

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FransJacques
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Re: What does steel ride like?

Postby FransJacques » Mon Feb 04, 2013 08:27 am

Yes, you really need to give us your weight, style of riding, whether you're a wattage cottage or pootle along the lanes for 45 mins every second week.

I'm 83kgs and like sprinting so have found that, for the weight, I'll never ride steel or Ti again, they'll not deliver a stiff flex-free ride like carbon. My old lugges frames were quite whippy, a more modern 853 frame I had was nice but too heavy.

Maybe you just need a high dollar carbon frame to see how nicely they ride - like an R5.
When a cyclist has a disagreement with a car; it's not who's right, it's who's left.
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neeb
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Re: What does steel ride like?

Postby neeb » Mon Feb 04, 2013 09:00 am

Coincidentally, there were some interesting comments about steel & carbon in RKP's new review of the Specialized Tarmac SL4:
I think it’s with observing that what carbon fiber allows a manufacturer to do is control the entire fabrication process from the shape of each tube to the material used as well as where it’s placed. As much as I love steel frame building, there’s not a builder out there who has as much control over their fabrication. After all, they aren’t creating their own tubing, specifying the tube shapes before they are drawn and then also dictating the butt lengths. Previous history has shown that the stiffer a steel frame is in torsion, the stiffer it will be vertically. The only steel frame I ever rode that is as stiff as today’s carbon fiber beauties was an Eddy Merckx made with Columbus’ stouter-than-a-Cuban-cigar Max tube set. I’ve ridden only a handful of bikes that bucked more on a bump than that bike; most memorable among them was Cervelo’s SLC-SL.

So with steel it's important to get the stiffness just right - you don't have so much leeway to vary torsional stiffness and vertical stiffness independently.

neeb
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Re: What does steel ride like?

Postby neeb » Mon Feb 04, 2013 09:02 am

sungod wrote:i've got an xcr steel frame, it's very stiff, no flex when out of the saddle, so maybe more like a carbon frame in that respect, but it has that bit of spring that takes out road buzz, 'zingy' is probably the best description - if you flick the tubes with a finger they ring

Is it an Enigma by any chance? Can I ask how heavy you are and what sort of riding you do?

dwanes
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Re: What does steel ride like?

Postby dwanes » Mon Feb 04, 2013 09:13 am

Steel frames in general are too flexy, i can still remember the flex 15 years on from my expensive columbus tubed bike. Some may be stiffer than others but it could be an expensive mistake to find out. The prices of some of these steel bikes are obscene and just selling them on nostalgia alone.

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sungod
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Re: What does steel ride like?

Postby sungod » Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:21 am

neeb wrote:Is it an Enigma by any chance? Can I ask how heavy you are and what sort of riding you do?


no, it's a cinelli, the original xcr but i changed the fork, i'm 75-78kg depending on time of year and biscuit intake

prefer long rides with fair bit of climbing, haven't raced for a while, i'm more of a go for a long break than a sit-in and sprint rider
my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny


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