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I've decided I must have a nice steel frame to build up. Been looking at Gunnar, Burley, Curtlo, etc. It looks like Wheelworks.com carries just about every high-end manufacturer. Anyone dealt with them before? I'm looking to spend $1K - 1.5K for frame and fork. I really don't want to be in a build queue more than a couple of months, and would seriously consider off-the-rack. Any builders I should seriously consider? I've been watching eBay and the classifieds, but high-end steel in my size (60cm) is apparently very rare, or at least rarely sold.

Thanks for any feedback.

Jim
 

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Currently, I am riding a Waterford 2200 and just picked up an Andy Gilmour steel frame. I simply love the ride of steel. Can't say enough good things about Waterford and after about 60 miles on the Gilmour, I will be having a tough time deciding which one to ride. Check the Waterford and Andy Gilmour websites. Also, I have heard great things about Gunnar. Of course, Gunnar is owned by Waterford (Richard Schwinn.) Also, I almost bought a frame from GVH Bikes, the Viner was what I was considering. Viner also has received great reviews and I think $675 was for frame and carbon fork. Anyway, have fun researching. There are oodles of quality steel frames out there.
 

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I'm on a Dean steel bike that I really like so far. They're now making them under the Iconic label. Probably the same stuff. For $1k, you could get a killer bike on eBay if you wait.
 

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My Heron frames are in your price range, and I stock sizes up to 65 cm. The best choice for you will depend on the type of ride you are looking for. Heron Road and Rally frames have a geometry that is similar to the racing bikes of the 70s - a bit more comfortable and stable than today's racers. If you want ultra-quick handling, what we used to call "crit" geometry, Herons might not be for you. Of course, our Touring and Wayfarer frames have a more traditional touring geometry.

I can also recommend Gunnar. As Waterford builds my Heron frames, I am familiar with what they can do with steel. It's hard to beat them in quality. Gunnar frames are available in a fairly wide range of geometries so be sure to check them out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the feedback so far. I'm in the Southern California area. Todd, I'm going to check out your site. Keep the ideas coming.

Jim
 

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What about Italian steel?

If you are a steel lover, have you considered the Merckx Corsa Extra (OK, not "Itailian"), the De Rosa Neo Primato, the Cinelli Super Coursa, or last, but my personal favorite, the Colnago MXL ( comes with a cabon fork, but NOS Precisa steel forks are floating around)?

.
 

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Lots of great stuff for steel. Gunnar is great. But if you have the $$, Waterford is that much sweeter. I'd also consider Sycip, Strong, Independent Fabrications, Steelman, Kelly, etc. I'm sure you know there are many builders out there. I guess my top picts would be Waterford, IF, Sycip, Strong. There are many smaller builders as well. Just depends on how much time you have to research.
 

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Both the Gunnar Roadie and the Gunnar Sport could be had for under $1000 (frame and fork)
 

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Call around to some Specialized dealers in your area and see if any of them have any Allez Cro-Mo's in the Comp or Elite trim levels. Columbus Foco frame and Ultegra parts for probably around $1500 complete, IF you can still find one.
 

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I'm not sure if you can get just the frame, but I have a Lemond Sarthe that I love. I have the '05 model so it has Campy, but the '06 comes with Ultegra. I prefer the Campy, but that's just me.

I'd look at ebay for one, I can't think the frame would be too much. I loved a Zurich I had about 5 years ago and was disappointed when they went to half carbon. I knew I was getting a Sarthe the minute I saw it.
 

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OK, my two cents

Based on personal experience, I suggest Carl Strong. Not sure of the wait but it's worth a try.
$1200 for a frame is in your range.
 

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Specialized FOCO

TACSTS said:
Call around to some Specialized dealers in your area and see if any of them have any Allez Cro-Mo's in the Comp or Elite trim levels. Columbus Foco frame and Ultegra parts for probably around $1500 complete, IF you can still find one.
There is a bike shop in Baton Rouge, La (sorry, I can't remember the name), which is just outside of the LSU campus that has a size 61 Specialized Foco steel frame and fork on the floor for 400 bucks. It is a great deal. If you can figure out what shop it is (it is right next to campus), they would probably ship it.

Mike
 

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Several good suggestions, including Strong, IF, and Gunnar. Another to consider, and with a particurally good overall impression within this forum, is gvhbikes.
http://www.gvhbikes.com/
You will note on their web site they have a large selection of steel frames built on various grades of steel, and well within you price range. Additionally, they have build kits very reasonably priced. Talk to Tom (seems weird not saying Gary) and an sure he can help.
 

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I was in a similar situation a few years ago...

when I got to ride a Gunnar, and that was it. It wasn't an interesting or expensive component set-up but the frame worked well. There really is something about a bike with a fine builder-pedigree (Paramount>>Waterford>>Gunnar), these guys know how to make a nice bike. The Gunnar is both very smooth riding, solid under power, and very nimble handling. Very good skill set, no compromises. Ride one if you can.



Seamus said:
I've decided I must have a nice steel frame to build up. Been looking at Gunnar, Burley, Curtlo, etc. It looks like Wheelworks.com carries just about every high-end manufacturer. Anyone dealt with them before? I'm looking to spend $1K - 1.5K for frame and fork. I really don't want to be in a build queue more than a couple of months, and would seriously consider off-the-rack. Any builders I should seriously consider? I've been watching eBay and the classifieds, but high-end steel in my size (60cm) is apparently very rare, or at least rarely sold.

Thanks for any feedback.

Jim
 

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HeronTodd said:
My Heron frames are in your price range, and I stock sizes up to 65 cm. The best choice for you will depend on the type of ride you are looking for. Heron Road and Rally frames have a geometry that is similar to the racing bikes of the 70s - a bit more comfortable and stable than today's racers. If you want ultra-quick handling, what we used to call "crit" geometry, Herons might not be for you. Of course, our Touring and Wayfarer frames have a more traditional touring geometry.

I can also recommend Gunnar. As Waterford builds my Heron frames, I am familiar with what they can do with steel. It's hard to beat them in quality. Gunnar frames are available in a fairly wide range of geometries so be sure to check them out.
No offense meant Todd, but shouldn't a response like this either be sent to the OP as an email or appear as a paid ad on the sidebar of this page? A bike seller offering advice is one thing, but I find that your use of this board to make a targeted sales pitch inappropriate.
 

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Picshooter said:
Based on personal experience, I suggest Carl Strong. Not sure of the wait but it's worth a try.
$1200 for a frame is in your range.

The wait he is giving for custom is 12 weeks. I don't think he has stock bikes lying
around
 

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12 weeks isn't bad at all. Trust me, you want to do the right thing here, don't choose a builder strickly on the wait. Some guys have a 1.5 year wait! I'm waiting a good 4.5 months or so for my mtn. bike frame.
 

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Sure, 12 weeks isn't bad for a custom bike.
Only reason I know the Strong wait-time is 12 weeks is that Carl
quoted me this number via email.
I am currently considering Strong to build a Titanium frame for me.
decisions, decisions

" I don't mind being driven, I just don't want to be taken for a ride."
 
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