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For those readers who have ridden a fair spread of racing steel bikes, what was the best ever? Criteria for this unbeatable experience would have to include comfort but mainly that magical feeling of speed, up, down and in a straight line that more sluggish machines have been unable to replicate. The question is regardless of groupsets and wheels so imagine you can have whatever you wish, what would be your dream bike? I simply ask so I can go out and buy one! I've heard the Merckx Corsa's are pretty special, but also Colnago's, Peugeots, etc.
 

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"Fastest" steel race bike I ever rode was a Tesch that I borrowed from a friend last summer. I'm normally an average at best sprinter, but on that thing I was winning bunch sprints on the group rides and just flying in the 2 crits I did on it.

But... "best ever" is far too subjective to really answer.
 

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Fastest ones I've ever seen were the old Coors Light Serotta team bikes of the early 90's. Those things were unstoppable in the road races and criteriums around Texas at the time. I've often thought of running one down in order to improve my own results and personal bests.

Here's one in action:



Extremely fast bikes...
 

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If you want to go out and buy steel, forget brands and go custom. You will go faster on a bike built for you. In the past 8 years, I've owned steel, alu, carbon and mixed from Trek, Casati, Colnago, Cervelo, Panasonic (vintage) and two no-name Asian carbon bikes.

But the "fastest" bike I own (and heaviest) is my custom, lugged-steel Zanconato made in Worcester, Mass. www.zanconato.com
 

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Too many variables.
If you are a 150 pound racer, one of the classics might make the list. If you are pushing 180, another set of frames might do it. If you are "adult sized", you will need something with a modern tubeset.
My favorite (until I became too heavy to race on it), was an early 80's Bianchi TSX (max weight 180). My current ride is a Gunnar Roadie.
 

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Ha!
He doesn't even make steel bikes anymore. (big mistake)
 

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My Francesco Moser World hour record edition was the fastest, hence the name!! But for my heavy plumbers apprentice, warehouse worker, weightlifting ass, the Masi 3V volumetrica built from Columbus Max tubing was the bomb!
There's a crapload of nice retro italian steel out there for 7-800 bucks. Can't go wrong with any of 'em, unless your pushing 200.
Now I'm on fondriest deda steel wich is really acceptional, beautiful, snappy, livelly ride. (See signature pic).
 

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If he just made one modern steel bike, (in Molteni orange), he'd sell thousands.
 

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Rossin's Ghibli. I lusted after one when I was too young to afford one, and when I finally did I loved it and rode it into the ground. The geometry, the ride, the unmistakable paint -- certainly my vote for the best steel race bike.
 

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Okay...
DeRosa, Tommasini, Ciocc, Concorde, Viner, Somec, Fuso, Havnoonian, Masi 3V Volumetrica, Masi Gran criterium, Pinarello, Bianchi (shout out to grumpy), Mondonico, Torelli, Tommasso, Basso, Gios, Pogliogi, Faggin, Cervelo prodigy, Mercian, Mercier, Sachs, Cinelli, Geurciotti, Carrera, peugeot, Bennotto
I can't think of any other brands just now. But peg, geurc, tomi, and colnago are my faves
 

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My 89/90 Tesch. at least for Crits. The Tesch was a track bike with gears and brakes. Very short, steep, extremely stiff and high bottom bracket. My son now races it and it will keep up with the modern plastic bikes.
 

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hummm. Actually an 86 Paramount (Waterford I think) was an excellant all round racer and comfortable. But not as good of a crit bike as the Tesch. Still have the Paramount frame and fork, but it needs a paint job.
 

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