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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone, I am looking to add yet another bike to my collection, and i think i want a steel bike.....I love all kinds of cycling, both Mountain and especially Road.

I know what i kind of want, but i am not sure what would suit me best.....
What i have in mind basically is a steel bike, with all 105 components.....Basically a modern racey type bike but with a steel frame. No fenders, No Bags, No Bell, No Racks, No downtube shifters Basically, No doo-dads.
I would be using it for primarialy training rides, (20-100miles per ride) and during inclement weather.

I have been looking at frames such as Surly Pacer, Soma Smoothie, Salsa Casseroll etc. and all these frames have mounts for or accept fenders and all the doo-dads that i am not interested in.

What is the best clean/simple frame or complete bike for making a simple, modern, racey steel bike??? (I am trying to avoid having un-used tabs and mounts all over the place)

Also, what are some used steel frames i could possibly use for my build?


Thank you for any help,
Jon
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Also, I would really perfer a non-custom frame for now, maybe if i like the steel bike alot i can upgrade to a custom steel frame at a later time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well i really did not think about a budget, but i would say 1500ish total. (I am one of those patient guys, so i would be willing to hunt and shop around for sales on all of the components.)

The Gunnar looks nice, but costs almost as much as a full custom steel frame. I was thinking $500ish on the frame which would leave me with plenty for a decent set of wheels and the components.

This bike would mainly be somthing to ride in inclement weather, and also a bike that i could ride to work and leave it out of sight without worrying about it, that is why i am trying to keep it cheap.

What are the steel codes that are good? Also which codes are weaker and should be avoided??? I am seeing alot of discussion of 4130/reynolds531/863/etc. in threads i found by searching......it is really confusing as to what is what.
 

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My winter bike is a Bianchi Volpe (designed as a croos bike, I put road wheels and tires on it) is a 4130 frame with Tiagra - goes for about $1,110 to $1,200 new. It functions well for its uses - winter trainer and commuter - however the 4130 is heavy as steels go. 105 or Rival would be a solid upgrade for this bike.
 

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jcgill said:
The Gunnar looks nice, but costs almost as much as a full custom steel frame. I was thinking $500ish on the frame which would leave me with plenty for a decent set of wheels and the components.
There's plenty of frames for under $500, the Gunnar isn't one of them though. If you're patient, and you said you were, try a used Gunnar on ebay.
 

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salsa used to sell some good steel frames very recently. they have kinda turned towards adventure-style along their 700c series of frames. however, im sure you can find them at some retailer. heck, i think bikeman still has some kickin around. possibly webcyclery.

i have a la raza i really like. its more of an all day bike, so im not sure its racy enough for ya.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for all the replies! That jamis that was posted above is exactally what i have envisioned in my mind. I wish Jamis sold just the frame tho, so that i could build it myself.

I was studying the Surly Pacer frame again and it looks like when built up the fender/rack tabs wont be too visible, the only thing you will see is the DT shifter braze on, and for $449 i think i can live with that.

I am now wondering how durable the rear derailer hanger is on steel bikes. On other material frames it is removable/replaceable, but it looks like it is part of the rear dropout on all the steel models no matter what brand......is this somthing to worry about as far as longevity is concerned???

Also are any frame brands better/worse than others, as far as longevity is concerned, or will they all last a long time if properly cared for???

Thanks Again,
Jon
 

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If I were looking for a racing (no fenders, etc.) good steel frame, I'd look on ebay for a classic/vintage/older frame. I've seen lots and lots of excellent Japanese, Italian, British and American frames, in excellent condition for $300- $1,000. Really, the only thing you need to make sure of to use all modern components is the BB - make sure it's Italian or English. Avoid French if you want to use any type of modern BB you want (and therefore, crank). It would be nice if the rear spacing was 130, but you can spread pretty easily, especially if it's 126. Everything else should match up fine w/ modern components. If it has a threaded headset, you can either go with a classic looking quill stem, or use a threadless adapter and use modern threadless stems.

I happen to be looking for a frame w/ a longer wheel base and fender eyelets, but I've been sorely tempted by many more racing-type frames I've seen in the past couple of months. I have this dream of a classic old steel frame w/ 1/2 chromed fork legs and seat/chain stays and nice outlined or chromed lugs. You should be able to find something like that if you just look a little.
 

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jcgill said:
Thanks for all the replies! That jamis that was posted above is exactally what i have envisioned in my mind. I wish Jamis sold just the frame tho, so that i could build it myself.

I was studying the Surly Pacer frame again and it looks like when built up the fender/rack tabs wont be too visible, the only thing you will see is the DT shifter braze on, and for $449 i think i can live with that.

I am now wondering how durable the rear derailer hanger is on steel bikes. On other material frames it is removable/replaceable, but it looks like it is part of the rear dropout on all the steel models no matter what brand......is this somthing to worry about as far as longevity is concerned???

Also are any frame brands better/worse than others, as far as longevity is concerned, or will they all last a long time if properly cared for???

Thanks Again,
Jon
The rear derailleur hanger on my steel ride has been holding out since 1978, the year the original owner bought it...

If it ever breaks you can buy a set of rear dropouts and put them on the frame. Which will be a little expensive, but it probably happens only once per century, barring traffic accidents.

Oh and if you are considering classic frames or NOS, this guy has a lot of them: www.matuzmaster.hu/en.

Bianchi also makes a couple of TIG welded steel frames: Volpe, Imola, Vigorelli, but they don't normally sell them as framesets.
 

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Masi has the Gran Criterium. Lugged, horizontal top tube, with full 105 at an MSRP of $1850. The frame MSRP is $655. No doo-dads. You could also get one of their cheaper steel frames and swap a full kit easily enough.

The Raleigh Grand Prix is also nice, lugged with Tiagra kit. The next one up is the Record Ace with Ultegra.

I also like the Kona Honky Tonk. Fender eyelets, but nice looks. Apparently the frame is available separately.

Don't worry about the derailleur hanger. It can be realigned when bent. If it breaks (!) a new one can most likely be welded on.
 

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To me the Surlys don't have a lot of appeal - they're tanks. I'd much rather go with a Soma. If you don't like the white, GVH bikes still has a couple blue ones. You want a bike for bad weather and you don't want braze-ons for fenders? I just went for a ride on my SS and I didn't have my clip-on fender - the ride started dry and got nasty. I was miserable. To me fenders are a quality-of-life issue, if your going to go out in the wet.
 
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