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post #31 of 47

Re: Best Steel Road Bike-con't

Ryan Cousineau wrote:

> In article <yy7ou1b6raoz.fsf@marge.cs.sfu.ca>, Benjamin Lewis <bclewis@cs.sfu.ca> wrote:
>
>> Peter Headland wrote:
>>
>>> I seriously doubt many people here would accept $1000 to carry half a brick in their jersey
>>> pocket on every ride,
>>
>> Really? I would gladly carry 6 bricks in my panniers if I were paid $1000 to do so on every ride.
>
> Too late, Ben: you ride steel right? You got paid a thousand bucks just once to carry that
> brick .

I did? I don't remember anyone ever paying me for the privilege.

> PS: when you coming out for a crit?

I dunno. Is there another "recreational" category crit coming up? I seem to be recovered from the
Fleche Pacifique now, and I made pretty good time coming up to SFU today.

The Fleche (sorry, too lazy to make proper accents) was fun in retrospect, but probably the most
miserable ride I've been on to date -- solid rain for the first five hours, with the temperature
around 4 degrees centigrade. I'd done barely any training before the ride, so I completely wore
myself out, and started bonking after 360 km, and for a while I thought someone was going to have to
come pick me up and drive me the remaining 20 km.

--
Benjamin Lewis

Don't take life so serious, son, it ain't nohow permanent. -- Walt Kelly
post #32 of 47

Re: Best Steel Road Bike

"Tim McNamara" <timmcn@bitstream.net> wrote in message
news:timmcn-1C88FA.15155804062003@gemini.visi.com...
> In article <j7prdvo9gf5d8ir2ui5ve0qj8elf41qaqd@4ax.com>, Jasper Janssen
> <jasper@jjanssen.org> wrote:
>
> > On Tue, 03 Jun 2003 10:29:00 -0500, Tim McNamara <timmcn@bitstream.net> wrote:
> >
> > >There are rather more than 20 custom frame builders in
the US who
> > >will build you a work of art.
> >
> > But are there any custom frame builders who will build
you a decent
> > frame, for comparitively little money, rather than a
work of art
> > that costs more than most of the bikes I lust after, let
alone buy?
>
> Good question. I am sure that most builders would go
"utilitarian" if
> that was your desire, rather than all the full-on detail
work. There
> are no doubt exceptions, too, perfectionists who want to
make very
> frame the perfect expression of their art.
>
> However, you can get a *great* off-the-rack frame from-
among others-
> Heron or Rivendell (the Rambouillet frame) for about $1000
that would
> be 95% of a custom frame costing two to three times as
much. Few
> people really need custom measured frames, since most
humans are
> normally proportioned.

If you're serious about this, you might mention what your specific, special needs are -- why do
you think you need to go custom? Chances are there's an off the rack solution, which someone here
knows about.

Matt O.
post #33 of 47

Re: Best Steel Road Bike

In article <timmcn-1C88FA.15155804062003@gemini.visi.com>, Tim McNamara
<timmcn@bitstream.net> wrote:
>In article <j7prdvo9gf5d8ir2ui5ve0qj8elf41qaqd@4ax.com>, Jasper Janssen
><jasper@jjanssen.org> wrote:
>
>> On Tue, 03 Jun 2003 10:29:00 -0500, Tim McNamara <timmcn@bitstream.net> wrote:
>>
>> >There are rather more than 20 custom frame builders in the US who will build you a work of art.
>>
>> But are there any custom frame builders who will build you a decent frame, for comparitively
>> little money, rather than a work of art that costs more than most of the bikes I lust after, let
>> alone buy?
>
>Good question. I am sure that most builders would go "utilitarian" if that was your desire, rather
>than all the full-on detail work. There are no doubt exceptions, too, perfectionists who want to
>make very frame the perfect expression of their art.
>
>However, you can get a *great* off-the-rack frame from- among others- Heron or Rivendell (the
>Rambouillet frame) for about $1000 that would be 95% of a custom frame costing two to three times
>as much. Few people really need custom measured frames, since most humans are normally
>proportioned.

Actually the Rami or Atlantis are pretty close to full price of a custom frame from many builders
(but not Rivendell). Typical steel frame & fork prices from custom builders in the US seems to be in
the $1200-1500 range, although there is considerable variation depending on materials, construction,
paint, reputation, marketing.
post #34 of 47

Re: Best Steel Road Bike-con't

> The frame is no lightweight at around 4.25 pounds, and it is plenty stiff.

My steel frame is about that weight also (the steel fork adds a stack more weight - I am guessing
you cheated and used carbon there, but I couldn't find the parts list you say is on your web site).
It is nowhere near as stiff as the 5500, despite the oversized .8/.5/.8 down tube. I'd be truly
amazed if the frame you used as stiff as a 5500 either. Look at the properties of the materials used
and the thicknesses and diameters of the tubes - how could that steel frame possibly be as stiff in
torsion as the carbon one?

"Plenty stiff" may suit you; personally I didn't find it suited me.

Don't get me wrong - if I didn't do so much climbing I would have been quite happy with my steel
bike, and I still ride that quite a bit. But testing on a local climb (1,650', 4.3 miles)
demonstrated I could get up the hill on the Trek 10% faster than on the steel (that's what clinched
the buying decision). That is obviously due to more than just the weight difference (which would
account for about 3% of the bike and rider). It's not just the speed; the Trek is just much nicer to
ride up a stiff climb.
post #35 of 47

Re: Best Steel Road Bike-con't

In article <yy7o65nl4ppu.fsf@marge.cs.sfu.ca>,
Benjamin Lewis <bclewis@cs.sfu.ca> wrote:

> Ryan Cousineau wrote:
>
> > In article <yy7ou1b6raoz.fsf@marge.cs.sfu.ca>, Benjamin Lewis <bclewis@cs.sfu.ca> wrote:
> >
> >> Peter Headland wrote:
> >>
> >>> I seriously doubt many people here would accept $1000 to carry half a brick in their jersey
> >>> pocket on every ride,
> >>
> >> Really? I would gladly carry 6 bricks in my panniers if I were paid $1000 to do so on every
> >> ride.
> >
> > Too late, Ben: you ride steel right? You got paid a thousand bucks just once to carry that
> > brick .
>
> I did? I don't remember anyone ever paying me for the privilege.

Well, I'm thinking of the relative weight of your bike and a bike costing $1000 more and not made of
steel. Not a fair comparison, of course: you had other priorities when you bought. Heck, your bike
may weigh less than mine, sans racks and fenders.

> > PS: when you coming out for a crit?
>
> I dunno. Is there another "recreational" category crit coming up? I seem to be recovered from the
> Fleche Pacifique now, and I made pretty good time coming up to SFU today.

Hmm... I don't know of one, though the UBC crits are really cheap ($5 for the number, $5 for each
race) and they have a novice category for people like us. The bad news is that I got dropped again
this week. I really, really have to work on my climbing. But this time I did not get lapped by the
pack! Not the pack I started in, anyways. The women's pack did pass me, though. "You ride like a
girl" is no longer an insult, it's a goal I hope to achieve.

If you have an MTB, the Twoonie races are a great place to race. There's one tonight, and one in
two weeks.

> The Fleche (sorry, too lazy to make proper accents) was fun in retrospect, but probably the most
> miserable ride I've been on to date -- solid rain for the first five hours, with the temperature
> around 4 degrees centigrade. I'd done barely any training before the ride, so I completely wore
> myself out, and started bonking after 360 km, and for a while I thought someone was going to have
> to come pick me up and drive me the remaining 20 km.

Ouch! Sounds pretty grim. But, how did you do?

--
Ryan Cousineau, rcousine@sfu.ca http://www.sfu.ca/~rcousine President, Fabrizio Mazzoleni Fan Club
post #36 of 47

Re: Best Steel Road Bike-con't

PHeadland@actuate.com (Peter Headland) wrote in message
news:<f48af01d.0306041902.7a566e97@posting.google.com>...
> > The frame is no lightweight at around 4.25 pounds, and it is plenty stiff.
>
> My steel frame is about that weight also (the steel fork adds a stack more weight - I am
> guessing you cheated and used carbon there, but I couldn't find the parts list you say is on
> your web site).

Easy to find; go to the Frames link, just below the picture of the first frame.

> It is nowhere near as stiff as the 5500, despite the oversized .8/.5/.8 down tube. I'd be truly
> amazed if the frame you used as stiff as a 5500 either. Look at the properties of the materials
> used and the thicknesses and diameters of the tubes - how could that steel frame possibly be as
> stiff in torsion as the carbon one?
>
> "Plenty stiff" may suit you; personally I didn't find it suited me.

OK, you like stiff. So why do you believe you need to evangelize and imply that steel is inferior
for everyone because it is not as stiff? I have an OCLV bike (Trek carbon); it is OK, but I still
prefer steel and I ride probably as many or more hills than you do (closing in on 200,000 ft of
climbing for the year, just over 2000 miles).

> Don't get me wrong - if I didn't do so much climbing I would have been quite happy with my steel
> bike, and I still ride that quite a bit. But testing on a local climb (1,650', 4.3 miles)
> demonstrated I could get up the hill on the Trek 10% faster than on the steel (that's what
> clinched the buying decision). That is obviously due to more than just the weight difference
> (which would account for about 3% of the bike and rider). It's not just the speed; the Trek is
> just much nicer to ride up a stiff climb.

4.3 miles of 7% grade; what was your time? Under 30? Under 25?

- rick warner
post #37 of 47

Re: Best Steel Road Bike

Tim McNamara <timmcn@bitstream.net> wrote in message
news:<timmcn-1C88FA.15155804062003@gemini.visi.com>...

> However, you can get a *great* off-the-rack frame from- among others- Heron or Rivendell (the
> Rambouillet frame) for about $1000 that would be 95% of a custom frame costing two to three times
> as much. Few people really need custom measured frames, since most humans are normally
> proportioned.

Where do you get "two to three times as much"? I am having a custom steel frame made, and I
interviewed a relatively large sample of builders before selecting one. Prices for custom TIG welded
frames/fork ran $900 - 1600, with median about $1200. Standard lugs add $100 for the total. Chrome
lugs add $100/lug except for the BB which is about $200. Some exotic superlight tubing can increase
costs. The lugged frame/fork I am having built is costing me $1300; I get a bike built specifically
for me, mods I wanted for specific reasons, braze-ons and eyelets where I want them, etc. I am
paying $300 (30%) above the cost of a Rambouillet frame; for that premium I get to interact with the
builder and get something that fits me very precisely. In other words, my experience is that your
estimate is way off base. I could have a bike made that was twice the cost of the Rambo, if I got
all carved chrome lugs, chrome stays, and chrome legs on the fork. But that would be in a class way
above the Rambo.

All that said, for many people an off-the-shelf frame is fine. Rambo and Atlantis frames are
reportedly great, and now one can buy the Romulus/Redwood if one wants a somewhat less extravagant
frame in a full bike package. Soma Fab. has frame/fork combo's for $500; these are made in the same
factory in Taiwan in which most of the Bianchi frames are now built. It is TIG welded, but for most
folks that is fine. I have two Soma frames in my front room at the moment, bought by a friend. For
the price it looks quite respectable. So you are right, off the shelf can be cost effective and
sufficient; just no reason to over-sell the price difference.

- rick warner
post #38 of 47

Re: Best Steel Road Bike-con't

> First, the down tube is 0.9/0.6/0.9 and the top tube is .8/0.6/0.8.

On reflection, maybe that is how my frame is, also. I'd have to dig around and find the drawings. By
"oversize", I meant bigger than 1", not huge like some Al frames. In my frame's case, I think the
down tube is 30.8mm.

> Second, how do you reach the conclusion that it would be "nowhere near as stiff as the 5500?"

The tubes on the Treks are much bigger in diameter than those on normal steel frames; they also
appear to have thicker walls. If they were made from steel, they would obviously be stiffer. Beyond
that is the question of the modulus of elasticity of CF vs. steel.

> There is nothing magic about carbon fiber which makes it stiff.

What in the world does that mean? I trust that we all agree that different materials have different
moduli of elasticity? That Fe is stiffer than Ti, which is stiffer than Al? CF is more complicated,
because its elasticity is not necessarily uniform in all directions, depending on how the fibres
are oriented. However, as a generalisation, my recollection was that CF is less elastic than steel
(but it looks like I may have gotten that wrong, given the Damon Rinard tests - does anyone have
some figures?)

> Check out the results of Damon Rinard's frame deflection tests, and you'll see that the Trek OCLV
> (in this case the
> 5200) is not any stiffer than similar sized steel frames.

That was a surprise to me. It's certainly hard to argue with a really nice set of experimental
results like that. My frame is a 60cm; it's a shame that Damon didn't test a larger CF frame (where
tube stiffness would have a greater overall influence). That said, it looks like yet more evidence
that there truly is little real functional difference between frame materials (so, sorry, I still
don't buy this "steel is real" business).

Contrary to accusations elsewhere that I am "evangelising" against steel, my position is that a good
builder can make a really nice frame out of any of the popular materials and that the "ride" or
"feel" of the result will be dominated by tyres and geometry, not the material.

The lightweight bike on your site looks *very* nice, BTW - in the interests of fairness, I would be
happy to do some back-to-back comparisons up the local hills vs. the Trek - just send the free
sample bike across any time. :-)
post #39 of 47

Re: Best Steel Road Bike-con't

> > "Plenty stiff" may suit you; personally I didn't find it suited me.
>
> OK, you like stiff. So why do you believe you need to evangelize and imply that steel is inferior
> for everyone because it is not as stiff?

Excuse me, you are the one who was evangelising steel (claimed that "everyone was converted") and
sneering at "nanogram weenies". I merely responded to that said my personal experience was different
for the specific type of riding I am doing at present.

As I already said, I like my steel bike, still ride it quite a it, and would definitely not have
spent the money on the Trek 5500 if I hadn't found (by practical testing) that it worked better for
me on hills. If I ever go back to the UK, I will likely sell the Trek, because the steel bike is
much better for UK riding conditions (it has eyes and clearance for fenders); I doubt I would ever
sell the steel bike.

> 4.3 miles of 7% grade; what was your time? Under 30? Under 25?

How does my personal ability come into this? Or is this about to degenerate into one of those "you
are a weakling so your opinion doesn't count" debates? I have little doubt that you can ride up
hills faster than me. I am sure you could ride my steel bike up a hill quicker than I could on the
Trek. I don't know what you think that would prove?
post #40 of 47

Re: Best Steel Road Bike-con't

> So, given that your TREK weighs 5 lb less than your steel bike, the all- up weight of bike plus
> rider is 140 lb?

I rounded the percentage. I weigh about 160, the bikes are either side of 20.

> 10% difference in a hill climb??

I agree, as a sceptic on the claims for magic properties of various frames, etc. I expected about 3%
difference, purely based upon weight. I was very surprised when I got such a big difference. I have
no real explanation, but the effect was repeatable (I have now put the fenders and rack back onto
the steel bike and thus put its weight back up to 27+lb, so I can't do any more tests). I made very
sure to use the same cadence and effort (perceived and measured HR).

As mentioned, I know the Trek feels "livelier" (nasty subjective term) when climbing - the steel
bike feels rather leaden by comparison. But that may well be due to the very different geometries.
The bikes differ in lots of other ways (examples: Conti GP3000 25mm vs. Bontrager X-Lite 23mm;
105/Ultegra/XT drivetrain instead of D-A), but I am just as sceptical about the influence of those.

Lacking the time and money to do more thorough research (damn - I would really love to try Todd's
lightweight steel job now I have seen the picture), I just ride the Trek unless the roads are wet or
I want to carry extra stuff (or I just want to get the steel bike out for a run for the heck of it).
post #41 of 47

Re: Best Steel Road Bike-con't

PHeadland@actuate.com (Peter Headland) wrote in message
news:<f48af01d.0306061016.1f49fd5a@posting.google.com>...
> > > "Plenty stiff" may suit you; personally I didn't find it suited me.
> >
> > OK, you like stiff. So why do you believe you need to evangelize and imply that steel is
> > inferior for everyone because it is not as stiff?
>
> Excuse me, you are the one who was evangelising steel

Duh! Look at the thread title. The only reason to be in this thread and evangelising another
material is to act as a troll.

> (claimed that> "everyone was converted")

Put on the glasses, scroll back through the thread, and reread what I wrote. You left out a couple
of key words. I said something to the effect that everyone I had been able to convince to try steel
had been converted. That is a much more limited population than you claim; I clearly do not know
everyone and even in those I know I have not been able to get them all to try steel.

> and sneering at "nanogram weenies".

"sneering" has a connotation; one cannot "sneer" in the written word. I commented that a group of
people, whom I refer to as "nanogram weenies" to denote that they are more concerned with fractional
weight differences than anything else, choose more exotic materials than steel. Basing a choice on
weight alone or as the primary criterion is valid; not one I would use, but valid. But as Todd has
pointed out, with proper component selection steel can be "light"; and that is quite valid
considering that the majority of the weight of almost any bike is in the componentry, not the frame.

> I merely responded to that said my personal experience was different for the specific type of
> riding I am doing at present.

Actually, you were quite specific in implying that anyone riding a lot of hills would be better off
with carbon due to lightness and stiffness. I countered that I ride a lot of hills on steel and
carbon and I think that your point as a generality is invalid. You may think it right for you, but
you generalized and you provided no support to validate that.

> > 4.3 miles of 7% grade; what was your time? Under 30? Under 25?
>
> How does my personal ability come into this?

Merely trying to place your assertion of a 10% decrease in time to climb this hill into context. Did
you drop 4 minutes? 3 minutes? 2 minutes?

- rick warner
post #42 of 47
Thread Starter 

Re: Best Steel Road Bike

Thanks for your input Richard. I've really enjoyed the thread, it has drawn more comments than
anything else on the NG it seems. Steel obviously has 'passion' associated with it too.

I just bought a used Italian Pegoretti this morning w/ Chorus Campy components. Am really looking
forward to getting it. He was a private frame maker for the Pro's before his name became well known.
He has a good reputation.

Then I hope to buy a Landshark "touring" bike for making the comfortable century rides through our
mountains here in West Texas. And the items you listed have influenced me in this decision too.

I'm indebted to people like you who have contributed to my education. Just because you are 73 does
not mean you have unlimited wisdom in all areas. ha!

Tom

"Richard Kaiser" <nospam@no.info> wrote in message news:sSHCa.8631$JW6.2406@nwrddc02.gnilink.net...
> On Sun, 01 Jun 2003 03:44:36 -0700, B a r r y B u r k e J r . wrote: ...
> > Not every one who buys a Lemond rides it in the same position Greg did. With a proper fitting
> > and a test ride, I'm sure a 73 year old can make up his own mind.
> ...
>
> This was the only mention in this thread about getting fitted for a bike. With age "adapting to
> the bike" become harder, getting a good fit becomes essential. After the fit the choise of
> suitable bikes will be much smaller. Other things to consider in selecting the bike are: Service
> life (higher end groupos and Campy have advantage here) Serviceability (Campy) Familiarity
> (probably Shimano) Place to clip route sheet (Shimano's flying cables) Reduce weight (Ti and
> slight advantage for Shimano) Distance riding (longer wheelbase & more fork trail for slower
> steering) More saddle time (harder seat for longer distances) Are you a runner (steeper seat tube)
> Local temperature and humidity (number of water bottles) Local crosswinds (no bladed wheels in
> crosswinds) Local headwinds (close gear spacing for best gear selection) How much junk do you
> carry (rear rack) Local road surface conditions (36 spokes is a strong wheel) Climbing strength
> (triple for gravity chalenged) Pedals (Suggestion: Look with adjustable tension & Kool covers)
> Good local bike shop (Move to Boulder/Denver/CO Springs area 8-)
>
> Richard Kaiser

-----= Posted via Newsfeeds.Com, Uncensored Usenet News =----- http://www.newsfeeds.com - The #1
Newsgroup Service in the World! -----== Over 80,000 Newsgroups - 16 Different Servers! =-----
post #43 of 47

Re: Best Steel Road Bike-con't

Ryan Cousineau wrote:

> If you have an MTB, the Twoonie races are a great place to race. There's one tonight, and one in
> two weeks.

I sort of do, but it's barely a MTB at this point. The tires I have on it are slicker than the ones
on my road bike.

>> The Fleche (sorry, too lazy to make proper accents) was fun in retrospect, but probably the most
>> miserable ride I've been on to date -- solid rain for the first five hours, with the temperature
>> around 4 degrees centigrade. I'd done barely any training before the ride, so I completely wore
>> myself out, and started bonking after 360 km, and for a while I thought someone was going to have
>> to come pick me up and drive me the remaining 20 km.
>
> Ouch! Sounds pretty grim. But, how did you do?

I finished within the 24 hour time limit (I think we clocked about 23:30). There are three possible
trophies for the ride, and we didn't get any of them. We didn't really have a chance, actually --
the team that won the award for the most distance went 529 kilometres (out of the 600 km they
planned for; one of the riders on the team hit a rumble strip on hwy 1 and broke his collerbone). We
didn't have anyone old enough to qualify for the other two awards.

I got one of the nifty pins shaped like BC, though.

http://www.randonneurs.bc.ca/fleche/fl_award.html

--
Benjamin Lewis

On a paper submitted by a physicist colleague: "This isn't right. This isn't even wrong." --
Wolfgang Pauli
post #44 of 47

Re: Best Steel Road Bike-con't

In article <yy7oy90c8bo4.fsf@css.css.sfu.ca>,
Benjamin Lewis <bclewis@cs.sfu.ca> wrote:

> Ryan Cousineau wrote:
>
> > If you have an MTB, the Twoonie races are a great place to race. There's one tonight, and one in
> > two weeks.
>
> I sort of do, but it's barely a MTB at this point. The tires I have on it are slicker than the
> ones on my road bike.

Tires Schmires. Spend the $40, get a set of knobbies from MEC, and come out to Buntzen Lake on
Thursday night. (And that goes for the rest of you, too.)

--
Ryan Cousineau, rcousine@sfu.ca http://www.sfu.ca/~rcousine President, Fabrizio Mazzoleni Fan Club
post #45 of 47

Re: Best Steel Road Bike-con't

Ryan Cousineau wrote:

> In article <yy7oy90c8bo4.fsf@css.css.sfu.ca>, Benjamin Lewis <bclewis@cs.sfu.ca> wrote:
>
>> Ryan Cousineau wrote:
>>
>>> If you have an MTB, the Twoonie races are a great place to race. There's one tonight, and one in
>>> two weeks.
>>
>> I sort of do, but it's barely a MTB at this point. The tires I have on it are slicker than the
>> ones on my road bike.
>
> Tires Schmires. Spend the $40, get a set of knobbies from MEC, and come out to Buntzen Lake on
> Thursday night. (And that goes for the rest of you, too.)

That's a long way to ride on knobby tires. Also, on Thursday evenings my roommates aren't home, and
I get to play Frank Zappa as loud as I want.

I'll think about it, though.

--
Benjamin Lewis

On a paper submitted by a physicist colleague: "This isn't right. This isn't even wrong." --
Wolfgang Pauli
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