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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm starting a search for a steel frame winter/foul weather bike and I'm liking the salsa colossal 2 and volagi viaje. I'm looking in the 1500-2000 tops range with probably shimano 105. These 2 bikes have disc brakes but that is not a must have. I'm a recreational / fitness rider so weight is not a concern. Comfortable and smooth riding is my main criteria.I'm in southern NJ so no hills, but sometime windy conditions. I'm also thinking about a soma es or gunnar sport frames and transferring components from a bike I'm selling for a little less expensive way to go but I wouldn't have a way testing the frame only option before deciding so I'm leaning on a complete bike purchase so I can test thoroughly. Any real experience or thoughts of any other options would be appreciated. I'm not in a hurry and probably won't buy until early fall so I have plenty of time to test all options. Thanks in advance for any opinions.
 

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If you know your size and basic geometry you're looking for I wouldn't think you'd need to necessarily test ride first. It sounds like you're OK with building up a bare frame so in your shoes I'd look for a good quality used frame. A LeMond frame in Reynolds 853 springs to mind as a good mid range frame you should be able to get for < $300. Search local CL and eBay. 2 minutes on eBay and came up with this in the first 5 of the list
Voodoo Rada Road Bike Frame Set 55cm Medium Reynolds 853 CR MO | eBay
 

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I'm starting a search for a steel frame winter/foul weather bike and I'm liking the salsa colossal 2 and volagi viaje. I'm looking in the 1500-2000 tops range with probably shimano 105. These 2 bikes have disc brakes but that is not a must have. I'm a recreational / fitness rider so weight is not a concern. Comfortable and smooth riding is my main criteria.I'm in southern NJ so no hills, but sometime windy conditions. I'm also thinking about a soma es or gunnar sport frames and transferring components from a bike I'm selling for a little less expensive way to go but I wouldn't have a way testing the frame only option before deciding so I'm leaning on a complete bike purchase so I can test thoroughly. Any real experience or thoughts of any other options would be appreciated. I'm not in a hurry and probably won't buy until early fall so I have plenty of time to test all options. Thanks in advance for any opinions.
I dont know where you are in south Jersey, but I cant think of any shops that stock a built up Salsa or Volagi
 

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I own a Volagi Viaje and highly recommend it for this purpose. It's a great all around bike. Room for big tires, racks and fenders. Extremely comfortable on long rides.

It's not exactly a crit racers dream bike, but for everyday, all around riding, it's a wonderful bike.

Also, the people that work there are great folks. I've had the opportunity to meet and ride with a few of them, and they will go out of their way to help and answer questions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
there are a couple volagi dealers the closest being Phila. and 1 near scranton a little far. Plenty of salsa dealers in north jersey, 1 in wilmington de ( no tax), 1 in phila. I've inquired if they can get each bike in my size and I just have to call to confirm its there or they would have to get one, thanks.
I dont know where you are in south Jersey, but I cant think of any shops that stock a built up Salsa or Volagi
 

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I visited their website at volagi.com...what a beautiful, unique steel frame. Not a bad price at $1,200. If you sourced new parts - even with a 105 group - using decent quality bits, it seems you will hit closer to $2,000.

Still in the midst of putting my own winter bike together. (They say my frameset is in transit, after ordering it off-the-rack in early May.). My frame search involved hunting around eBay and craigslist for ages. The obstacle to finding the best steel frame concerned getting one with enough clearance for fenders and big tires. About the only thing out there was a heavy Schwinn LeTour. Or worse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I know a used frame is attractive because of price, but I'm leaning towards new. thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
the website says 700x35 with fenders will fit, I plan on using either 700x28 or 32 tires with fenders possibly so it meets my criteria, thanks
 

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The Twin Six Standard Rando is another good value steel bike, about $600 for Frame/fork or about $2,000 with Sram Rival, though with BB7 brakes, still a good deal, and I've heard great things about the geometry and how it rides. Have a friend with a Volagi and he likes it, looks great with Campy Athena 11, and TRP hyrd brakes.
Adam
 

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I have a gen 1 bomb pop blue Colossal. It's a fantastic bike. The only negative is that you really can't go with anything larger that 28mm tires however I know they improved the clearance on the newer models. Mine came standard with Apex and BB7 brakes both have which have been great over thousands of miles. The only major thing I replaced was the FSA Gossamer crankset with a Shimano 105.

The ride is everything you would expect a steel bike to be. Very comfortable on beat up and pitted roads. It's a sit and spin type of climber which you may or may not like but this isn't supposed to be a bike to win races.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the input. I not to familiar with this bike, but looking at the website looks the a nice bike. It looks like its more of a gravel grinder and I mainly if not always are on roads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I've been looking at a 2015 colossal clearance model (orange Gen Lee) and the tire clearance is better than 2013. I would use 700x28-30 tires possibly with fenders so should be good. Between the volagi or salsa will be a tough choice. thanks for the input.
 

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I have been a year round commuter in Fargo ND for the past 6 winters. Our conditions are a bit colder, but I find the 20-32F range to be the worst, and I suspect you will have plenty of that. My current winter ride is as follows:

Frame: an ancient Ritchey that I have modified to use disc brakes and had powder coated.

Wheels: 26", Origin8 sealed bearing hubs with Mavic XM819 rims

Brakes: Avid hydraulic disc

Saddle: Brooks
Post: cheap alloy

Gears: SRAM 3X9

Bars: Ritchey steel bull moose

Pedals: cheap MTB platforms. They had nylon clips, but they broke in the cold. I never put steel clips on, and the setup is fine.

Tires: Conti Nordic Spike

I formerly rode an ancient MTB with cantilever brakes and a composite saddle. The brakes froze on several occasions. This is a problem for me when it gets "warm", like about 20F.

Composite saddles crack when it is below 0F. I have cracked two. Chains get very stiff below 0F. Derailleurs don't work well below 0F, particularly the front one.

Cables freeze, both derailleur and brake. Worst in the 20F range. Chains corrode and so do steel frames. Even my powder coated Ritchey is bubbling.

Ideal ride:

Frame: Something Ti (I have been considering a Habanero): it doesn't corrode when it gets dipped in a puddle of the salt and molasses that they put down on warm (20F) days to melt the ice, and it will not crack like carbon can when I bounce it off a stationary object. My powder coated Ritchey has some rust where it has scratches.

Wheels: Hope Enduro. Again, I have Hope hubs on my summer bike and on my tandem. The summer bike has 4K on those wheels with no trouble. The tandem is new, so only about 400 miles. Again, no problems. The Mavic XM819 are bullet proof above 0F, but when it is below 0F, the inserts loosen up.
I suspect differential expansion of the inserts and the rims. My ideal ride will have plain old spokes and nipples.

Brakes: Hope hydraulic disc. Nothing wrong with the Avid. I have Hope on my tandem and I find them easier to bleed and otherwise work on. Hydraulic is a must have if you have freezing slush or rain that will make cables stop working. Don't even think about rim brakes if you have freezing conditions.

Saddle: Brooks - cracked saddles are a pain in the ...
Post: cheap alloy

Gears: SRAM 1X10 The front derailleur doesn't really work most of the winter so why bother. The 11 speed chain and gears are too expensive for even my rather excessive taste in bicycles. And I would expect them to be a maintenance nightmare when the de-ice goo is on the roads. I have considered going with the SRAM etap for the rear. I would clear it with them before I try it. It may not work in sub zero conditions. Or even at 20F.
I also considered an internal hub and belt drive, but I believe that Gates doesn't recommend them below 10F. And if the oil in the hub is good for 90F, it will probably be very stiff at -30F.

Bars: Ritchey carbon bull moose if I can find them, because they look very cool.

Pedals: cheap MTB platforms to offset the cost of those bars.

Tires: Conti Nordic Spike. For me, studded tires are a must in snow and ice.

-Dan
 

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I'll put in a plug for a rigid, steel 29er, particularly since you're not concerned about weight or swapping components. Rides beautifully, can fit wide tires and fenders, and potholes don't faze it. Does better in wind than my road bike. If you were in hilly terrain then I'd point out the gearing, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'm really looking at strictly steel road bikes that can add fenders and fit 700x28-32 tires. I only ride roads and as far as a dedicated winter rider, if its below freezing or snow or ice on the shoulder I don't ride. It would be for a threat of rain in the summer and winter salt/brine road type of bike. I have 2 ti lynskeys (230& peloton) set up the exact same way, wheels and components, that I'm selling the custom 230 to fund this steel bike. I would put framesaver in the frame and wax the bike 2 or 3 x a year so I'm not to worried about rust.
 

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I'm really looking at strictly steel road bikes that can add fenders and fit 700x28-32 tires. I only ride roads and as far as a dedicated winter rider, if its below freezing or snow or ice on the shoulder I don't ride. It would be for a threat of rain in the summer and winter salt/brine road type of bike. I have 2 ti lynskeys (230& peloton) set up the exact same way, wheels and components, that I'm selling the custom 230 to fund this steel bike. I would put framesaver in the frame and wax the bike 2 or 3 x a year so I'm not to worried about rust.
Yep, that Fairdale checks those boxes. I was impressed with the frame and fork, especially for the low price.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Just a follow up on this post I started. I wound up buying a 2015 volagi viaje xl with S 105 off of ebay last week. It was between a salsa colossal and viaje and after riding each (new that each LBS got in to test ride) I decided on the viaje because it checked off just about every box that I was looking for in a winter steel/rain bike. I haven't rode steel since the mid 1980s and forgot how it smooths out the ride. My lynskey ti peloton is just as smooth and less weight at a higher price. I am glad I waited and bought used because I got this 2015 bike for $710.00 + 100 to ship from Oregon so a pretty good deal instead of 2200-2400 new. Save for a few scratches its in very good condition. Never had disc brakes before and I'm not really sure they are better than rim brakes that I'm used to. Its not like I'm going to go bombing down a mountain in the rain at 50-60 mph but I have them now anyway Bicycle frame Bicycle tire Tire Wheel Bicycle wheel rim
 
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