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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i am looking for some recommendations on a first cylcocross frame. i am am looking for something to replace my rain road (Ti) bike that i can then also take off on fire roads, etc. i will do a lot of road riding and climbing on it, so i definitely want a roadish set up and want to keep it light and quick w/o spending a ton of $. most folks i have spoken to have steered my away from a Ti cross frame (flexy and not noticably lighter).

i like the look and weight of the new '04 salsa las cruces with its salsa carbon fork and wonder if anyone has any feedback on it. on a more macro level, does anyone have direct experience with scandium cross frames? i already ride a steel road frame and something different migt be fun.

on the steel side, i like the look of a (used) steelman eurocross - hard to find - and maybe the dean/ionic digby. what other lightweight steel frams would people recommend?

thanks in advance :)
 

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lostrancosrd said:
i am looking for some recommendations on a first cylcocross frame. i am am looking for something to replace my rain road (Ti) bike that i can then also take off on fire roads, etc. i will do a lot of road riding and climbing on it, so i definitely want a roadish set up and want to keep it light and quick w/o spending a ton of $. most folks i have spoken to have steered my away from a Ti cross frame (flexy and not noticably lighter).

i like the look and weight of the new '04 salsa las cruces with its salsa carbon fork and wonder if anyone has any feedback on it. on a more macro level, does anyone have direct experience with scandium cross frames? i already ride a steel road frame and something different migt be fun.

on the steel side, i like the look of a (used) steelman eurocross - hard to find - and maybe the dean/ionic digby. what other lightweight steel frams would people recommend?

thanks in advance :)
Check out a Gunnar Crosshair, a Lemond Poprad, Curtlo, etc. For the money, Curtlo can just about customize to your requirements for about $700. I have a Steelman and it rides great but Brent does charge a pretty penny for his frames. Soulcraft, Sycip and Mikkalsen make some good frames, too. But, again, you might be paying a little more since these are customs.
 

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for your usage

steel will make a better all rounder and will last years. get the used Steelman, as fine a steel cx bike there is. The other poster had some good choices as well. Kellys run about 900. There's a few nice steel bikes on the web (steelman included) get one (Steelman Preferred great bikes and Brents a nice guy
 

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Another vote for a Steelman

I'm a retired road racer and replaced my Pinarello with my Steelman Eurocross. I looked hard for a road bike feel that could go off road. I tried several makes of CX bikes (Cannondale, Ridley, Litespeed, Lemond) before I landed on the Eurocross. I've been exceptionally happy and have never questioned the decision. I rode on the roads yesterday with a guy who was riding one of Trek's new carbon Madone's. He let me ride it and I still prefer my much cheaper Steelman. Though that Trek sure is light!

For someone who comes from a roadie background, the Steelman will feel familiar and can be used for a variety of purposes. Brent's customer service is excellent too. There was an auction for a 55c Eurocross on ebay that just ended a couple days ago. It went for about $500.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thanks for the feedback so far

bud wiser said:
I'm a retired road racer and replaced my Pinarello with my Steelman Eurocross. I looked hard for a road bike feel that could go off road. I tried several makes of CX bikes (Cannondale, Ridley, Litespeed, Lemond) before I landed on the Eurocross. I've been exceptionally happy and have never questioned the decision. I rode on the roads yesterday with a guy who was riding one of Trek's new carbon Madone's. He let me ride it and I still prefer my much cheaper Steelman. Though that Trek sure is light!

For someone who comes from a roadie background, the Steelman will feel familiar and can be used for a variety of purposes. Brent's customer service is excellent too. There was an auction for a 55c Eurocross on ebay that just ended a couple days ago. It went for about $500.

Good luck.
you have confirmed what i have heard about the eurocross. i own a stage race and the eurocross is the only cross bike i have ridden (although just for a few mins). i bid on the eurocross frame on ebay earlier this week, but when i got to $500 for 4-5 yr old frame that had beeen raced quite a bit, i thought i should step back and look around. especially since i really don't know anything about any of the other options and have never rode one of the new scandium frames, so i thought i would ask.

besides ebay and rbr classifieds, where else would you look for a used eurocross frame?
 

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Scandium is... well... kinda scary

Go with a steel frame. All the frames suggested thus far are great.

As for the Salsa (or other scandium frames)... scandium probably is not the best material for a cyclocross frame. Ask around (esp. neutral support folks who work cross races) and I'm sure you'll hear some stories that will curl your hair.

US built steel is by far the best compromise of quality and value.

Good luck.
 

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Scandium is great if you're a sponsored racer who gets new frames by the crateload...

If not go with steel or al or ti...

I am thinking about going steel for my next 'cross bike... A bit smoother through the bumps.
 

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Scandium

I've heard the stuff about it as well. short life, fatigues or goes dead quickly. I've never owned so I can't make claim myself. I hear it's the closest to a steel feel you can get out of an AL Hybrid (after all Scandium is just mixed into an Al amalgam) so I guess by reading this the rumors I hear are true.
 

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I've been a steel guy for a loooong time. But I'm taking a plunge this year and ordering up a Kona Scandium to try out. If it doesn't work, I can always sell it. We'll wee how it goes. I'm 6'5", and 230lbs, so I should be able to give this bike a test. It certainly is a cool looking bike. I'd love to see folks stop using hearsay about materials that vary from the norm. If you haven't ridden it, hold yer tounge till you have.

That being said, if budget is a concern, and you're looking for a Steelman like ride, go with Curtlo! Someone alluded to the fact that its almost custom earlier. Its ALL custom, ALL the time for Doug. I looked into having him build my 29"er a few years ago, but went with Rick Hunter instead.
 

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I'll put in my vote for Teesdale

Henry Chinaski said:
I think Steelman is pricing himself out of the market. Affordable--check Teesdale, Kelly, Gunnar, Ionic. If you want to spend more, check Strong, Soulcraft, IF, etc.

I think the Ionic looks cool for $750.



https://www.ionicbikes.com/Digby/bikes_digby.htm
I've owned one of his Prestige bikes. Rode WAY nice! Not too expensive either.

If you're set on AL, check out Kona's Jake the Snake. I got my JtS f/f/hs for about $240 semi-used.

Mike
 

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scandium life

That is so much BS on the fatigue life and "going dead too quickly" about alu and scandium frames. Define fatigue life. You are talking about years not seasons. I have seen just as many poorly constructed steel and carbon frames brake as well. If aluminum is such a bad materiel to be using why is just about every single component that you hang on a frame made of it. Not to mention all the mountian bikes, they take a hell of alot more abuse than a crosser.
The Las Cruces is a great frame, real light, carbon fork (04)and relatively cheap. Is it stiff? Yes. Is it compliant as steel? No. But do you really want a flexy, whippy ride under you? Is it somehow harsher to ride than a steel frame? Probably, but with big cross tires and a carbon fork on it will you ever notice? No.
 

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I was asking the question but you are missing an important point. Scandium Frames are Aluminum. People aren't complaining about Al in general but some of the hybrid Al MAtrix (Scandium being one) composite frames. I have a Specialized S-Works which is a Al / Ceramic Matrix and it rides well, far smoother than most Al. Companies are experimenting
with these hybrids to soften Al up. Scandium mixed in Al (the percentage is small) is #1 choice right now as it is strong, light and produces a more 'steel like' ride. This isn't the only board where people have complained about it. But Al parts have nothing to do with this as they aren't made from the same material. From what I've heard Scandium has a shorter 'lifespan' than it's Al brothers. I'm no expert as I avoid it due to my size and $$$ I want to spend. Uncle Fuzzy we're about twins! lemme know first hand how it works for ya.
there's enough of us Clydesdales here to make a voting block or something.
 

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Soulcraft

great guys. Sean the framebuilder does great work. they are the ex-corp sellout crew of Salsa that didn't want to leave Sonoma county.
 

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second question: are there any SC MTB's, how have they been received / reviewed?
third: Cross bikes take far more abuse IMHO than MTB's, narrower tires and no suspension means far more stress to the structure (frame)
BTW I've broken 1 AL composite cx frame (design flaw)
, 2 AL FS MTB frames (design flaw)
and 1 steel rigid MTB (design flaw)
all 3 companies (1 semi directly due to my exposing said flaw to them) changed the design on theiir bikes. We big guys are good for something.
 

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Way too much hype about frame materials and ride quality. Talking about frame material and ride quality is like the princess talking about the pea. Your "ride quality" comes from your tires and the inflation you're running, geometry and fit, and the fork you're using.

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/frame-materials.html

Scandium is AL, just lighter AL. AL isn't as durable as steel, it's not easily repaired, etc. But with those big fat tubes it's easier to build stiff and light. My old steel Bonti cross bike is almost twenty years old, I've rolled out dents, had it re-alinged after riding it into the back of a car, etc. If it had been AL it would have hit the garbage years ago. However, any bike made out of any material can break if it's not built properly--crummy frames often break where there was overheating during the build.
 

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IF Planet X

I just purchased a steel IF Planet Cross to act as a spare road ride/commuter/cross bike. I was looking for a bike that would fill the same role you described. Sure, I paid a premium to other brands out there, but I also have an IF Crown Jewel and the craftsmanship and service is unparalleled. The nice thing about a custom rig is that you can specify geometry and ride characterictics (and paint!).

For example, I had them lower the BB a bit to make it more stable (for pack riding) and added fender and rack mounts. Because of my build, flexibility, the benefit received from the added expense for a custom far outweighs the cost.All in all, I was delivered exactly what I ordered in about 3 weeks.

I have seen numerous posts about the Steelman and would agree that it is also a top notch product.

In terms of an aluminum cross bike, I know a few guys who race them and love them. I think it all comes down to personal preference
 

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in a cx race

I've never thought about how comfy my bike is. I would say for an all rounder / commuter / trail rider for all the above mentioned reasons go steel. custom is great if you can afford it, even in it's various forms. as for race I think Al has taken over strictly for the weight advantage. in a 50 minute race the benefits of steel are next to nil. I can sure feel the difference from Al to Steel on a century though. My lower back always feels better after the steel ride. Both bikes very similar in set up and it's not a cheap Al model. If you don't think theres a diff, for the most drastic example ride a good distance on a steel roadie vs. a CAAD 3 Cannondale Filling Rattler.
 
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