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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all - I currently ride a Columbus Spirit frame. Lately, I've been interested in some of the other high-end steels, such as Reynolds 953 and Tru Temper S3.

Does anyone have any feedback on these three frames and how they compare or contrast?

Is one vastly better than the others?

I like my Spirit frame very much. I'm just wondering what else is out there.

Thanks. :D
 

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Banned forever.....or not
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Tru Temper S3 is good for a bike that you won't crash very often (and you're not too fat). OX Plat is a little more "sturdy". Everything else is crap.
 

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eminence grease
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Built to the same geometry, they're all going to ride about the same. I have an S3 bike and a 953 bike and they are so close in everything as to be pretty much indistinguishable. Both are wonderful bikes because they were built for me. But honestly, they're only better than any of the other steel bikes I own in that they look the way I want them to look and they were built by guys who knew what they were doing in tuning them to my needs.

I bet you'd be happy with either and I'm sure you'd be happy with a likewise-built Spirit frame. In terms of performance, there are no advantages. It's a also likely that the S3 bike would be the lightest of the bunch if you are interested in that.

953 offer some opportunities to do things that the others can't do, like bare stays or a completely unpainted bike. So it boils down to some aesthetic opportunities and not much more. You'll pay a lot to make it look some special way however.

Don't go into the purchase expecting something special or different. Go in with the idea that you want some bike to look some way. That will help you decide which material suits you.
 

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monkey with flamethrower
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Steel is steel and all steel alloys will have amazingly similar properties. You honestly won't be able to tell the difference between one steel alloy or another besides the weight of the frame.
 

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The streets of San Fran
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Scooper said:
FWIW, I agree with terry b.

953 is a little more dent resistant and isn't subject to rust like S3, Spirit, or 853, but otherwise you're unlikely to tell the difference.

This is very much appreciated. I have an '02 853 Lemond Zurich and the ride is splendid. I also have a few older steel bikes (531/4130) and the ride similarities are indicative of the steel family - very comfortable - very stable. The one advantage 853 has is weight. There is a slight weight advantage with 953 but not as significant enough to warrant an upgrade. If I were in the market for a a new bike, in the absence of the Lemond, I would opt for 953 but since I have the 853, I'm standing pat.
 

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I have a 853 and a 953 both built by the same manufacturer. The ride about the same but the 953 is lighter by about 3/4 of a pound. It is also important with the 853 to use frame saver to prevent internal rust, an issue with thin walled steel. 953 as others note is very hard and dent resistant. Makes a great bike but truth be told it what you do with the material rather then what a bikes made from. BTW I'm planning my next frame, a cross bike and it will be 953
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
If I had the coin, I'd build a 953 bike with the exact same angles as my Colnago SL frame, which is the best bike I've ever owned. It's just that the Colnago is nearly 25 yrs. old and won't accept modern components with its spacing.

But man! $4,000 for a frame? Whoa!
 

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If you like steel and want a forever bike then the 953 is for you. If you are just thinking about an upgrade ride, then I would agree and say there might not be much difference in the ride.

I do strongly disagree that all steels feel the same. I've owned Thron, SL Prestege, True Temper OX, Columbus Ellitica, and 853 and they have all had a different feel and quality. I would say my favorite has been 853. It is smooth, hums along nicely and never beats you up.

IMO, it is ike saying a violin is just a violin and they all sound and play the same. Those that know, know that it is not so!
 

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Ding!!!

Now that's a beautiful bike. The paint just seems to fit with the exposed steel, and the metal fenders are a great touch too.

Speaking of prices, Ionic (steel division of Dean) lists thier price for a custom 953 frame at $1,500 (welded, not lugged). I'm not endorsing them, don't know what they're like. I've seen a couple of their other steel frames and they seemed nice. Just saying that's the lowest price I've seen for a 953 frame.
 

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monkey with flamethrower
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raymonda said:
If you like steel and want a forever bike then the 953 is for you. If you are just thinking about an upgrade ride, then I would agree and say there might not be much difference in the ride.

I do strongly disagree that all steels feel the same. I've owned Thron, SL Prestege, True Temper OX, Columbus Ellitica, and 853 and they have all had a different feel and quality. I would say my favorite has been 853. It is smooth, hums along nicely and never beats you up.

IMO, it is ike saying a violin is just a violin and they all sound and play the same. Those that know, know that it is not so!

Since they are all different frames obviously with different tubes with different wall thicknesses and butts with different frame geometries there are bound to be differences in how it feels.
Suppose you create two identical bicycle frames with absolutely identical tubes and absolutely identical geometries but with two different high end steel alloys. I doubt that anyone would be able to tell a difference. The high end steels other than 953 are so similar from a metallurgical standpoint there isn't much of a difference.

People get obsessed with which type of steel tube in there bicycle its funny.Good steel is good steel provided its built and designed well. You could have a 853 frame that rode horribly if that's what you wanted. Just like you could have a violin made with the finest woods with the finest laquer and played with a fine pernamubuco bow and it would still sound terrible if it wasn't designed and built very well.
 

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Rubber Lizard said:
Since they are all different frames obviously with different tubes with different wall thicknesses and butts with different frame geometries there are bound to be differences in how it feels.
Suppose you create two identical bicycle frames with absolutely identical tubes and absolutely identical geometries but with two different high end steel alloys. I doubt that anyone would be able to tell a difference. The high end steels other than 953 are so similar from a metallurgical standpoint there isn't much of a difference.

People get obsessed with which type of steel tube in there bicycle its funny.Good steel is good steel provided its built and designed well. You could have a 853 frame that rode horribly if that's what you wanted. Just like you could have a violin made with the finest woods with the finest laquer and played with a fine pernamubuco bow and it would still sound terrible if it wasn't designed and built very well.
I once had an Merckx Strada made with Columbus Gara straight gauge tubing. Not the most impressive tubing in Columbus' line up, but it was a good looking, strong, durable bicycle that rode wonderfully. What more can one ask for from a bike frame??:wink5:

IMHO, I think fitness and state of mind have the most affect on how a bicycle feels. Some days the bike just feels better than others....
 

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The streets of San Fran
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homebrew said:
I have a 853 and a 953 both built by the same manufacturer. The ride about the same but the 953 is lighter by about 3/4 of a pound. It is also important with the 853 to use frame saver to prevent internal rust, an issue with thin walled steel. 953 as others note is very hard and dent resistant. Makes a great bike but truth be told it what you do with the material rather then what a bikes made from. BTW I'm planning my next frame, a cross bike and it will be 953
What is frame saver, please? Ah, I found it. I'll have a look into this. I want to keep my 853 Lemond. I love that bike's ride. Smooth....
 

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monkey with flamethrower
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keesue said:
What is frame saver, please? Ah, I found it. I'll have a look into this. I want to keep my 853 Lemond. I love that bike's ride. Smooth....
Framesaver is a product that comes in an aeresol can that you spray inside your tubes. Once it dries it has a very gooey tacky consistency and will stick to the insides of your tubes for many years. Properly applied framesaver will prevent any rust from forming in your tubes as water cannot contact the steel.
The official name is JP Weigels Framesaver. Any bike shop will be able to order it in for you.
 

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terry b said:
953 offer some opportunities to do things that the others can't do, like bare stays or a completely unpainted bike. So it boils down to some aesthetic opportunities and not much more. You'll pay a lot to make it look some special way however.
I dug up this old thread when looking info on the tube sets. I'm trying to make a choice between Dedacciai Zero Replica, Columbus Spirit and XCR. My guess is that XCR is more or less the same as 953, but what about the other two? How do they compare? It's hard to find anything meaningful on the Dedacciai.
 
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