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I'm in the market for a second bike and I am tempted by a steel bike (a Colnago master 55). However, it's a battle between my head and heart.

Heart says yes, head says 'huh?'

I absolutely love my C59. Why buy something that may not be as good?

Thoughts?
 

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I have a C40 and a Colnago E1, both awesome bikes. I have bought many steel bikes since these and love 'em all. Is the Master a vintage model or one of the new MXL's. I think you'd like either way, but if it's vintage and you get a fair price, you can resell without a loss if it doesn't make you happy.

The C40 was designed with the same geometry as the Master, but I would guess that has changed over the years in the evolution to the C59. When you go n+1 you learn there's more than one perfect ride!
 

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Go with your heart. You're mistaken to think that a good steel bike is any less than a good carbon bike.
 

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I don't think steel is inferior to carbon, but it will feel differently. My Ti Firefly in many ways rides better than my Carbon Colnago, but in many ways it does not. It simply feels different. Absorbs road vibration better and feels a lot more solid, but it doesn't feel as agile or sprightly.
 

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I'd go for the steel frame master,, if you can look at that bike and not seriously drool,, there is some bad wiring in that head.. I too love steel and Ti and carbon is sweet too.. My steel bikes are like the ford f150s of the world and the Ti is a little sports car,, ya need both and the closer to N+18,, the better!!!
 

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I think Steel is a great option to explore, but outside the nostalgia argument, I think there are better examples of Steel bikes out there either made by Italians or here in America.
 

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I don't think steel is inferior to carbon, but it will feel differently. My Ti Firefly in many ways rides better than my Carbon Colnago, but in many ways it does not. It simply feels different. Absorbs road vibration better and feels a lot more solid, but it doesn't feel as agile or sprightly.
If I remember correctly your your Firefly is a gravel bike (or whatever you want to call it). The differences you note would be mostly bike design not material. Firefly would never make a gravel bike to handle like a race bike. I'm guessing you have bigger tires on the Firefly too which would also be a huge factor.

anyway, op. I have a top end carbon wonder bike and a 'pretty good' steel bike. If I could only keep one of them for all my riding it would be the steel bike (mainly due to it's ability to take bigger tires and take a beating, aka versitility). If I had to choose one for a race it would be the carbon one.

Other than weight, it's about geometry and tires.

Not that you asked but: I get having a second bike but when you already have a race geometry bike what's the point of another one? Why not get something that will allow you to do some different sorts of riding? I suppose that's n/a if there's no trails or gravel where you ride though.

And, while I'm sure the Master is a great frame I think for that money you can do a better getting a custom steel frame which will allow you to nail the exact fit and handling you want assuming you pick a capable builder.
 

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Depends what type of riding you do and what you want from a bike. If you live in the mountains it'll become obvious quickly that added weight and lack of stiffness will cause you to work a noticeable amount more to do the same thing.

If you just ride your bike to ride your bike for fun it's probably a good pick up. It'll be a different feel and fun in it's own way. Very possibly could be more comfortable feeling and for sure will be a different experience.

What matters most is that it fits right. If it fits perfectly like the carbon bike or rather exactly the same and if you don't care about the being on the edge of performance it's probably a great idea.
 

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You are correct. Some of what I'm describing is surely attributable to geometry.
I agree that the second bike should serve a different purpose.
Me personally if I were getting a steel bike I would look at Derosa, Cinelli or Bixis on the Italian side(I can't remember which ones come with a threaded bottom bracket). In the U.S. I would look at Kelly Bedford or Firefly. There are others I'm sure.
 

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I like steel because it's tough, easier to work on and you can get a threaded BB easily. I'm also over 40 so I also like the classic thin tube / parallel top tube aesthetics. The Master has classic geometry and probably handles well. The Master in PR82 and PR99 is sweet, I don't like any of other Colnago paint schemes. For the price of the Master, I'd probably go custom. $3,500 buys one hell of a nice domestic handbuilt.
 

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A good carbon bike isn't that much worse than steel.
 

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You are correct. Some of what I'm describing is surely attributable to geometry.
I agree that the second bike should serve a different purpose.
Me personally if I were getting a steel bike I would look at Derosa, Cinelli or Bixis on the Italian side(I can't remember which ones come with a threaded bottom bracket). In the U.S. I would look at Kelly Bedford or Firefly. There are others I'm sure.
I don't think FF does steel anymore (and when the did it was just stainless, which is fine, but wouldn't be my choice).

Seven (yes, they do steel) and Honey are also good choices. Honey is Seven under a different brand name and rather than offering custom they just make every size, feature and geometry 99% could possibly want.

Loads of great custom steel makers. While I've never ridden or even seen a Spectrum, it would be tough to beat having Tom Kellogg design a bike for you. Pretty much anyone can weld or lug a nice set of tubes. Bike design is what separates the great from the hacks.
 

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I don't think FF does steel anymore (and when the did it was just stainless, which is fine, but wouldn't be my choice).

Seven (yes, they do steel) and Honey are also good choices. Honey is Seven under a different brand name and rather than offering custom they just make every size, feature and geometry 99% could possibly want.

Loads of great custom steel makers. While I've never ridden or even seen a Spectrum, it would be tough to beat having Tom Kellogg design a bike for you. Pretty much anyone can weld or lug a nice set of tubes. Bike design is what separates the great from the hacks.
I've owned a couple carbon bikes and still have a Colnago C-40 along with a titanium Litespeed. A couple of years ago I came upon an Eddy Merckx 01 Corsa frame for sale on ebay. It was repainted and had a carbon fork (painted to match) so I don't think it was ultra desirable to the hard core Merckx collectors. Still, a nice frame -- looked brand new -- made out of more modern tubed (deda zero-uno). I bought it and built it up with polished Campy parts and a set of custom wheels. It's not C-59 light, but it's not a boat anchor either. Feels about the same weight as my titanium bike. It rides so nice. I've never owned a bike quite like it. With all the really nice used Colnago, Merckx, etc. steel frames out there selling for a song, I can't see plunking down thousands of bucks and waiting a year for a steel frame. I liked it so much, I found a nice frame for my wife as well.
 

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If you want Italian steel, I agree with Trek_5200 about Bixxis, but there is also Pegorotti.

Bixxis - Handmade steel and tianium bikes by Doriano De Rosa

INTRO GALLERY ? DARIO PEGORETTI

American made, I really like my Della Santa

Della Santa custom built frames

But if you want full blown custom, maybe DiNucci

DiNucci Cycles

https://www.flickr.com/photos/dinuccicycles/

Or for something other than a race geometry bike, how about a Weigle or MAP

https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/with/24663736381/

MAP Bicycles | Handmade, Custom Bicycles | Chico, California.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mapcycles/with/19382026012/

But here's a couple of lists of builders

Directory Of Custom American Handmade Road Bike Frame Builders |

Custom Frame Builders List by State/Country - The Paceline Forum

And here's a video of Roland Della Santa and his philosophy

 

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If you want Italian steel, I agree with Trek_5200 about Bixxis,
I most certainly wouldn't unless that's what the OP wants and would work best for him. The don't do rider/size specific tubing which is strike one (as compared to other options) but strikes two and three are they use Columbus Spirit. Columbus Spirit is definitely not the appropriate tubset for a lot of riders.
If it works for the OP or whoever then great but.......
 

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that's where a kelly bedford, firefly, seven or maybe even a strong come in handy they'll select tubing based on rider weight and goal
 

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I built up a new Colnago Master with modern Campy drivetrain and it's a wonderful bike. Ride is very differently than my Trek Domane 6 series but I love them both.

FYI the new masters are still hand built in Italy.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
 

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surpirsed that colnago steel bikes are so well regarded. back in the 80's many of them were made in Mexico. Always thought the vintage steel De Rosa's were nicer. Saw one recently with internal cable routing. Didn't realize they had that back then.
 

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surpirsed that colnago steel bikes are so well regarded. back in the 80's many of them were made in Mexico.
There was a Colnago "Mexico" model, named in reference to Eddy Merckx' 1972 hour record ride in Mexico City. But Colnago 'made in Mexico' frames, really?
 

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