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Yep, I heard the UCI is going to require all future racing to be done on Penny Farthings. They are awaiting implementation until Campy gets a handle on spoon brake technology (should be by 2020).
Battaglin to focus on steel and phase out carbon fiber frames

Anticipating a market shift toward steel frames, the storied Italian brand is bringing all its frame production back in house, offering custom options, and is renewing its relationship with Columbus. Alessandro Battaglin explains the changes.


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"Anticipating a market shift toward steel frames"

I'd guess what that really means is they figure they don't have a chance to complete in the carbon market but can be a player in the smaller steel market especially if that is their only focus.

Then again the European market may be more astute than 'merkins and is weening off snake oil so perhaps they see things I'm not seeing about the market.
 

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Yep, I heard the UCI is going to require all future racing to be done on Penny Farthings. They are awaiting implementation until Campy gets a handle on spoon brake technology (should be by 2020).

That would be cool. If they had an event like that I would go watch it, buy a ticket or whatever. I know a guy that has a Penny Farthing bike. His is an antique but he rides it once in a while. He is a collector of bicycles and has an extensive head tube badge collection. Obviously your being sarcastic but it would be fun to watch the race.
 

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"Anticipating a market shift toward steel frames"

I'd guess what that really means is they figure they don't have a chance to complete in the carbon market but can be a player in the smaller steel market especially if that is their only focus.

Then again the European market may be more astute than 'merkins and is weening off snake oil so perhaps they see things I'm not seeing about the market.
It seems "around here" the market shift is towards Nashbar carbon and Motobecane carbon bikes. Right now the big box manufacturers compete against that and are losing in the local market.

I ride steel myself which is why I clicked on the thread.
 

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:p
Battaglin to focus on steel and phase out carbon fiber frames

Anticipating a market shift toward steel frames, the storied Italian brand is bringing all its frame production back in house, offering custom options, and is renewing its relationship with Columbus. Alessandro Battaglin explains the changes.


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That is great. I always knew carbon was a fad:D

I guess no one was impressed with a generic Chinese-made CF bike with a Battaglin logo on it
 

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It seems "around here" the market shift is towards Nashbar carbon and Motobecane carbon bikes. Right now the big box manufacturers compete against that and are losing in the local market.

I ride steel myself which is why I clicked on the thread.
I'm in Boston and still see pretty much nothing but carbon super bikes as far as 'roadies' go. I see a ton of bikes direct and nashbar types with hipsters and city casual riders though.

Since taking up gravel and trail riding though I'm seeing a ton of steel and Ti in that scene. And it's not just that a bunch of Retro Crouches do that type of riding. That crowd seems better in tune to what works for the riding they do and don't let marketing impact that. Most of these steel and ti bike have disc brakes and tubeless set ups, so it's pretty clear they're not just using steel and ti for retro cool reasons.
 

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IMO, carbon frames are becoming commoditized so this makes sense for a smaller legacy brand. Steel is clearly hip right now as are legacy brands. If Battaglin can establish themselves as a go-to brand for made-in-Italy steel, it's great for everyone.

I'd love to get a reasonably priced option for traditional but updated Italian steel. I hope they offer a brazed / lugged road frame at ~$1,500. I'd also like to see some interesting TIG welded, fatter tire / disc brake options and perhaps a high end stainless option like Cinelli's current XcR (which may be my dream bike).

I'll be disappointed if it's yet another overpriced ($3,500+ for a frame), Columbus SL retro cash-in like what other legacy Italian brands like DeRosa and Colnago have been doing. Nice frames but they should cost half of what is being charged.
 

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"Anticipating a market shift toward steel frames"

I'd guess what that really means is they figure they don't have a chance to complete in the carbon market but can be a player in the smaller steel market especially if that is their only focus.
Seems like a good strategy to me...
 

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That would be cool. If they had an event like that I would go watch it, buy a ticket or whatever. I know a guy that has a Penny Farthing bike. His is an antique but he rides it once in a while. He is a collector of bicycles and has an extensive head tube badge collection. Obviously your being sarcastic but it would be fun to watch the race.
In the day.


2013

 

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How fast are these guys going?
Don't know but those wheels are probably 52" or so in diameter, and a guess at their cadences and a rough idea could probably be arrived at. If I figured right the circumference of a 52" wheel would be 163" times the cadence aught to give a rough figure.

Why did the penny-farthing have a large front wheel ? Illustrating insight from data | NewMR

I do know that I met up with a dude riding one and rode a coupla miles with him and we were loafing along at 10\12mph. He said his original had a 50" wheel but he was riding a new manufactured one with a 52" wheel.

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Since taking up gravel and trail riding though I'm seeing a ton of steel and Ti in that scene. And it's not just that a bunch of Retro Crouches do that type of riding. That crowd seems better in tune to what works for the riding they do and don't let marketing impact that. Most of these steel and ti bike have disc brakes and tubeless set ups, so it's pretty clear they're not just using steel and ti for retro cool reasons.
Yeah, here in the midwest gravel racing is huge. Carbon bikes are relatively rare in gravel racing. Lots of steel, aluminum and Ti.
 

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Cool videos.. It appears to be a long way to the pavement when you fall.
It's gonna hurt! Falls on those often resulted in death.
 

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It's gonna hurt! Falls on those often resulted in death.

About a year or so I went on the Roger Sands Memorial ride in Santa Cruz to honor Roger who had passed. When he retired he sold a lot of his collection and owned a Penny Farthing bike that he sold for $2000.00 to one of the guys that worked for him. The owner "Jim" rode it on the ride which was from West Santa Cruz to Davenport and then Swanton Loop. An ordinary ride actually as it was more of a get together. Anyway I got to see him ride the bike to Davenport. He had a relatively high cadence for the slow pace the ride was going at. Also there was another guy who had bought a Hetchins from Roger's wife at the same time and he was riding that bike. A lot of the guys out there still had their bikes from back in the day and in real nice condition. They wanted everyone to bring old gear if they still had it. One guy still had a Davenport Whalers Jersey from the 70's. It was patched in a couple places but he brought it out for one more ride.

Anyway in Santa Cruz, Ca there are at least 4 custom shops turning out steel and aluminum bikes for people that want one. There is a market for steel but the pricing is competitive. Specialized just jumped back in the steel market recently with the Sequoia model. An all rounder touring style. I no longer go into bike shops so I probably will not see one. We have a shop in town but the owner does not like me and the next shop is 50 miles (Santa Cruz) so I just buy on-line.
 

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IMO, carbon frames are becoming commoditized so this makes sense for a smaller legacy brand. Steel is clearly hip right now as are legacy brands. If Battaglin can establish themselves as a go-to brand for made-in-Italy steel, it's great for everyone.

I'd love to get a reasonably priced option for traditional but updated Italian steel. I hope they offer a brazed / lugged road frame at ~$1,500. I'd also like to see some interesting TIG welded, fatter tire / disc brake options and perhaps a high end stainless option like Cinelli's current XcR (which may be my dream bike).

I'll be disappointed if it's yet another overpriced ($3,500+ for a frame), Columbus SL retro cash-in like what other legacy Italian brands like DeRosa and Colnago have been doing. Nice frames but they should cost half of what is being charged.
My high end Castelli Laser bike, constructed using Columbus SL steel tubes brazed, cost $3000 back in the early to mid 90s. This was not a custom frame, just a mass produced (in Italy) high end frame.

If you're asking for a $1500 high end steel frame today, lugged and brazed, made in anywhere in the Western World with any sort of quality control to them, it is economically nonviable. Because if it were economically viable, you can bet that market forces would dictate that there would be some people already doing it.

Having said that, going back to steel production is not a guarantee survival strategy for these smaller boutique builders either. Because at any give time, if steel frame were to really take off again, then bet that the Chinese would also be back mimicking high end steel frames at a fraction of a cost, and they'd sold at places like Bikedirects and Nashbar. But I don't see the mass majority embracing steel. Steel right now is mostly a nostalgic moment embraced usually by the minority, but maybe this minority mass is still big enough to support Battaglin's business model
 

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My high end Castelli Laser bike, constructed using Columbus SL steel tubes brazed, cost $3000 back in the early to mid 90s. This was not a custom frame, just a mass produced (in Italy) high end frame.

If you're asking for a $1500 high end steel frame today, lugged and brazed, made in anywhere in the Western World with any sort of quality control to them, it is economically nonviable. Because if it were economically viable, you can bet that market forces would dictate that there would be some people already doing it.

Having said that, going back to steel production is not a guarantee survival strategy for these smaller boutique builders either. Because at any give time, if steel frame were to really take off again, then bet that the Chinese would also be back mimicking high end steel frames at a fraction of a cost, and they'd sold at places like Bikedirects and Nashbar. But I don't see the mass majority embracing steel. Steel right now is mostly a nostalgic moment embraced usually by the minority, but maybe this minority mass is still big enough to support Battaglin's business model
I dont know of any Chinese manufacturers of high-end steel frames past or present (other than Huffy level bikes). There are a few decent steel frames being made in Taiwan (Soma, Surly, Ritchey). If these buyers are purely buying steel for "nostalgic reasons" as you state they are not going to buy fancy lugged steel bikes with high-end tubing from China even if they are substantially cheaper.
 
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