a Recreational Rider
from Berkeley, CA
Date Reviewed: January 14, 2002
Strengths: Very high quality build and finish, very balanced front and rear, excellent handling. Small builder, custom builds available, lots of admiring looks. No toe overlap even with my size 12's.
Weaknesses: It took a little longer than expected. Tough to wait when you are anxious.
I have had this bike for a year and a half now, and every ride is great. Most miles are put on in the summer months when there is enough daylight to ride the 32 miles home from work. Semi-slick tires give me a dozen ways to get home ranging from all road to half dirt with lots of singletrack along the way. Loose terrain, rocks, and ruts require more attention than on a mtb, but I love the versatility. The CC makes for a great all-around bike. Errand running, commuting, riding to the trails, and even a few centuries on it. I chose a Steelman because he was local, I got a perfect fit, the quality was very high, and I love the straight blade fork. It handles really well in corners, but is still compliant enough to keep things comfortable.
I have not regretted buying this bike even once.
Similar Products Used: VooDoo something or other. Forgot the model, it was the steel frame.
Bike Setup: 105 8spd stuff I pilfered from my road bike (53/39), XT rear Dr & 12-30 cassette, Chris King HS, Ult
a Recreational Rider
from Madison, WI, USA
Date Reviewed: August 28, 2000
Strengths: Versatility. My commute now includes an extra trail/dirt-road loop that really gets my day off to a good start. This frame really does what a lot of folks want - nearly everything. I've ridden it on very technical singletrack and the road. Sure, I don't bomb the big downhills like I used to (with suspension) but now I remember just how fun off road riding is. Remember "picking a line"? I've never had more fun on single track; this frame soaks up shock and handles perfectly. On the road, its a bit slower than a dedicated road bike but this is almost exclusively due to the tires and not the frame. Still, its no slouch on the road and I pass up my road bike just in case I decide to ride a dirt road. Like a lot of other bikes in the 'cross reviews, this bike is uncatchable on fire roads. Another great thing about the frame is the maker. I spent a lot of time on the phone and email with Brent Steelman about the frame choice and sizing. Personal attention is standard with Steelman frames. In the end, I got exactly what I wanted and I couldn't be happier. Did I mention how fast it is offroad?
Weaknesses: None, it's a classic steel frame. It might not be quite stiff enough for fully loaded touring but Steelman nevers claims it is. I really can't think of any weaknesses except that they don't give the frames away. It is supposed to be the beefier Steelman cross frame but mine is very light and agile.
1999?, 2000? same great design every year...This is one fun bike to ride. It is super-fast, super-responsive, and super-BAD.
Similar Products Used: Ibis, Redline, Cannondale, Litespeed.
Bike Setup: XT/Ultegra. Steelman stem, Salsa Bell Lap bars. Mavic Open Pro rims, Conti tires. Avid 15c shorty brakes.
Date Reviewed: April 18, 2000
Strengths: durability, quality, geometry, finish
This is the ultimate one bike. I got mine in 1996 I have used mine for everything from road riding, commuting to work and off road riding. Oh yeah, it makes a damn fine cross bike too! It has tons of tire clearance. The sloping top tube lets you move around on the bike a bit more without hitting the top tube. Steelman does lots of little things like a reinforced headtube and framesaver in every frame, that make the bike so nice and durable. He also builds his owns forks. Always has, always will. Too many builders use some one elses fork or buy a cheap steel fork manufactured in taiwan. A high quality fork really defines how the bike rides.
Who should buy this bike? Someone looking for either one bike to own or someone looking for a bike that makes ignore your other one(s).
Similar Products Used: OWNED IBIS HAKKALUGI & KELLY KNOBBY CROSS, OWN A CROLL CROSS. MANY OTHER CROSS BIKES TRIED
Bike Setup: OLD XTR CRANK, FRT DER, & REAR DER, ULTEGRA BAR ENDS, CAMPY LEVERS, MAFAC BRAKES, SALSA STEM, SALSA BAR, RITCHEY POST, OLD XT HUBS, MAVIC CXP 33'S, TIRES and pedals vary.
from Madison, CT
Date Reviewed: December 13, 1999
Strengths: Perfect fit and ride. Superb craftmanship. Beautiful. Reasonable price.
This is a sweet bike. The ride is completely predictable, comfortable and familiar for roadie-types like myself, but if you know what you're doing you can really cook on singletrack.I thought it was kind of an indulgence when I bought it -- how much would I ride a 'cross bike anyway? But let me tell you, this is the kind of bike that calls to you when you see you see it on the wall in the morning. I've put lots of miles on it. With fat tires and good brakes it'll go just about anywhere a mountain bike goes, and even a mediocre bike handler like me can keep up on the downhills. Point it up a fireroad on Mt. Tam, though, and look out! If you're a climber, you can be THE MAN.That being said, this is the heavier, beefer Steelman cyclocross frame. If you're looking for something very light or more road-ready (it takes MTB cranks), check out the Eurocross, as the CC is more of a 700c MTB bike. (Although I put some Heliums on it and it made a damn fine road racing machine for two months.)