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Visited a shop today that sold both Trek and Lemond bikes. I had not seen the Lemonds before. I began to ask questions, mentioning that I was currently riding a steel frame, when the back shop employee says to me, "steel frames wear out much faster, they fatigue, almost no manufacturers are doing steel anymore". I began to voice some disagreement when his eyes seemed to glaze over.

I realize that it has been twenty years since I worked in a bike shop, but is this really the way bikes and frames are being sold to folks now? Is online really the only way to explore a new steel frame?

Bill
 

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There are some great steel frames being made today but they're not fashionable what with the carbon fiber craze. Check out Rivendell or Waterford for starters. Steel lasts. I've got 2 treks that go back to 85 and 87. They won't rust if treated properly. And lest any thinks I'm just a steel freak I also have aluminum and ti. Love 'em all.
 

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My Specialized Allez is FoCo steel, and it's only a few years old. Good bike, I'm happy with it.
Besides, aluminum and carbon fiber break when fatigued,,,, steel bends. I would much rather have somthing bend than snap off sudenly.
 

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Yes, that is exactly how bikes are being sold today. Of the larger companies, there are little to no steel alternatives available. A friend of mine works in a LBS and is one of thier main sales guys. He gave me **** for buying a Ti bike saying it is not competitive anymore. That the only way to go is Carbon. :rolleyes:

He used the same logic on Campy parts. Appearantly Shimano is the only choice.
 

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Another classic case of an uninformed LBS employee attempting to mask his ignorance with an air of expertise. Just like the one who told me that the store didn't have any 1" headset spacers since 'no one is doing 1" head tubes any longer.'

There are tons of steel bikes on the market, and an entire world of custom that is largely built around finely crafted steel bikes.

You can spend as much or as little as your like. Waterford has been mentioned and in the less stratospheric price ranges, Gunner makes some great bikes. You can put yourself on a steel Soma or Surly for less than $500.

They don't wear out or fatigue or any of the other half-brained things he told you. I have 7 steel bikes ranging from a robust, lugged Italian to a featherweight American custom done in True Temper S3 and everyone is as showroom ready and the day I built it up.

You want steel? Shop around and try to steer clear of the carbon pushers. Nothing wrong with CF, but these days that's all the LBS teenagers seem to be able to sell.
 

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I have steel bikes, as well as aluminium and Ti, and I like/love 'em all, but the bikes that I can guarantee to leave me smiling at the end of a ride are--you guessed it--steel. I'm not saying it will or won't be the right choice for you, but you owe it to yourself to get away from the bike shop you were in, and find a dealer who carries some of the brands that have been mentioned here.
 

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This is exactly why I bought the last of the Eddy Merckx Columbus MXL frame! Cuz I wanted steel before it becomes completely obsolete soon (at least the traditonal round tube/geometry steel frame). And this MX Leader is built to last as long as I live and then some.

I took it my Eddy out today for the first time after I built it a couple days ago and I love it to death!

I have never ridden Ti before and had only ridden a first generation carbon fiber bike (Giant Cadex 980C) but, I find the feel of a steel bike more suited to my liking. viva Steel!
 

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Steel bikes are far from being obsolete. The problem is the industry is so driven by perceived demand that no big manufacturers are loyal to steel any more.That said, there are pros and cons to every material a bike can be made of. Just to give an example of exotic, consider a Calfee Bamboo bike. This is no joke, it's an environmentally-friendly bike made from select pieces of bamboo that rival carbon fiber for strength and are quite tough.

There are dozens of small builders that still make fine steel bikes. Considering the price of a lot of high-end major-manufacturer bikes nowadays, many of the small builders can give you a custom geometry that fits like a glove for less money. You can get a steel bike with an 1 1/8 headset that suits modern forks or go retro with a 1 inch headset. Many 1 inch forks are still around as well.

Beware of young bike shop personel for they have limited experience and point of view, yet may talk like an expert or act as if they know more than you.
 

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Modern steel! I like!

Get a Marinoni Piuma (columbus Spirit), or a Pegoretti Marcello, or a De Rosa Corum.

But really, the Marinoni will be half the price (including carbon fork) and will be just as beautifully done.
 

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Bull. ... Although it's true that the bike companies are pushing steel frames less and less, it is simply not true that steel frames wear out or fatigue faster. Steel also will not corrode worse if reasonably maintained.

Bikes these days are textbook cases of planned obsolescence. Bike marketers do a great job convincing cyclists that they need to buy new frames, wheels, group sets every few years whether they need them or not. Many cyclists have been sucked into the myth that saving weight (however small the amount) is the holy grail of biking technology, while many lightweight parts are simply less durable.

I am certain that my steel Eddy Merckx Corsa will be alive and kicking 10 years from now, but I have doubts about all of these hybrid carbon/aluminum, carbon/ti frames that are glued together. Perhaps the newer hybrid frames will last as well, but there are plenty of old steel frames around to prove that well-cared-for steel bikes will last a very long time.
 

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This part of the quote is pretty much true.

wsriii said:
almost no manufacturers are doing steel anymore".
Bill
You really only need to add the word "major". Their goal is to produce a competitive bike for the least possible money and aluminum and carbon are better materials for achieving that goal in a marketplace that focuses on lightness and stiffness. As others have pointed out, the niche manufacturers are still making wonderful steel bikes for people who look at other criteria.

The stuff about steel fatiguing seems kind of silly to me. My wife and I went for a ride Saturday on our 1984 Pinarello and 1986 Marinoni and both the bikes and the riders did just fine. We climbed easily, rode twisting descents without clutching the brakes, and sat comfortably on our old-timey saddles. I owned a Vitus aluminum and still own a Look CF. Both bikes were lots of fun to ride, but for a long. challenging day in the saddle, I'll take the Columbus SL Marinoni over either of them. For me, it's how a bike should ride.
 

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Visit GVH bikes on line. They still carry some fine steel bikes. The Cinelli super corsa, the Colnago Master x-light as well as Landshark and Viner steel frames. Steel will never fatique, last forever and be comfortable way after the legs say it's time to go home. i own 4 steel frames ( the super corsa, master x-light mentioned) no regrets.........
 

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Colnago tried to do away with the MXL last year and had to bring it back thanks to consumer demand.

I have two, and I can't see myself buying anything but steel in the future.

I'm going to have one of those Merckx MXL frames one day. I'd take any color, though I would prefer Molteni Orange.
 

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wsriii said:
Visited a shop today that sold both Trek and Lemond bikes. I had not seen the Lemonds before. I began to ask questions, mentioning that I was currently riding a steel frame, when the back shop employee says to me, "steel frames wear out much faster, they fatigue, almost no manufacturers are doing steel anymore".? Bill
That has got to be the most rediculous piece of sh** I ever heard. Steel is world reknown for it's resilience, backed up with a hundred years of technology that says otherwise. It is the only frame material that you dont have to worry about, or worry about less if you happen to crash it. But like everything else, it's not without it's natural enemies, so "no", it wont last forever throughout time, just close to it. - Steel needs no defense!!

I remember in '96, in one of my vain attempts to get back into cycling, I pulled an old 'Vista' touring bike (anyone remember 'Vista'?) out of a weed bed and got it running again. The guy who owned the property adjacent to mine said the bike had been there for years, and that if I wanted it, I could have it. It took me a good thirty minutes to hack it out of the thick growth of weeds and dirt with a machete, but it did'nt seem to be in too bad a shape once I got it home. The chain was rusted solid, along with a few bolts, but the lugged steel frame was still good, as was the green metallic paint that was on it. It was overall still in fairly decent shape. I did'nt do a complete restoration on that bike, but I did get it going again. Jeez that was a sweet riding bike. I loved the geometry of it, but unfortunately it was stolen from me. I wish I had it back now, because it was classic, and would make the perfect commuter bike, even if it was just a little bit heavy.
 

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Marketing

The bicycle industry has got ridiculously silly about weight. Steel frames weigh more. If you read all the reviews about steel vs other tubing, the main disadvantage about steel is the weight. They also point out that nothing rides like steel. The whole pro peloton is riding carbon fiber bikes as that's what they are supplied with. The main disadvantage about steel other than the weight factor is rust. You have to maintain a steel bike. However, I will have to add that I have never ridden a c.f. bike, so I can't really provided a good argument. A lot of mike manufacturers are still making steel bikes. Nothing wrong with steel. It ain't what between your legs when you ride, it's the machine that makes it go....

A good LBS would point out the differences between different types of tubing and point out the advantages and disadvantages, plus the price, and let you decide what you want...
 
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