Too Old For Carbon! Too Young To Die! Any Steel Bikes Left?

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by ffs1942, Sep 16, 2006.

  1. ffs1942

    ffs1942 New Member

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    Maybe I'm turning into my father, yet I throw all those AARP ads away(I'm 50 and trying to ignore it).

    My last new bike was a Paramount GP2 in 92. An unknown force killed it in my basement and I got a used 85ish Schwinn Tempo in 96 or so. Carbon and aluminum road bikes in the $500 range (in 96)left me totally cold. They were dead, mushy and slow. The Tempo looks like a proper bike if you got your first 10 spd in 73. Artfully lugged Italian frame, swanlike Cinelli stem-YUM!

    During RAGBRAI, this marriage of convenience turned to love. A perfect gear ratio, too narrow bars cause no ulnar pain and I hear the Biopace crank is good for knees. Replaced the wornout 22 yr old Brooks Team Pro with a pretty new one.Think I'll keep it forever or until my next severe crash crushes my Tempo and 85 Bell helmet.

    Good non-steel bikes were slow in evolving. Remember the Kestrel, Teledyne Titan and the Original Plastic Bike? How about ENGLISH Raleighs, steel Paramounts, De Rosas and Colnagos.

    Haven't seen ANY good steel bikes in the $500 and up range. Even the Schwinn Varsity is aluminum. The last Colnago I saw looked as old as my Tempo.

    Are there any good steel bikes left? Have carbon and aluminum finally been perfected? Why does something as simple as a stem have to look like plumbing now?

    Brian
    Des Moines

    PS-That title is from a Jethro Tull album.
     
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  2. Powerful Pete

    Powerful Pete New Member

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    There are many good steel frames, my friend. Not in the USd500 range, but try De Rosa and any number of small frame makers. Also do a search, we had a long thread on steel frames some time ago.

    Start here... http://www.cyclingforums.com/t362303.html
     
  3. Jaguar27

    Jaguar27 New Member

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    That's funny!! I'm in the same Boat, I turned 50 last January....
    But anyway, I'm just about to order an ID8 from seven cycles, I see they have some Steel Frames too...I've never ridden a steel frame since my ENGLISH Raleigh Racing Bike when I was 11....so I can't comment mate...
     
  4. ffs1942

    ffs1942 New Member

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    Yeah! What ever happened to Raleigh of Nottingham? I got my Record in 73 and had it 17 yrs before a crash with a Qtip killed it. A shop said they could fix the frame, but by then It was maybe an inch or 2 short for me and back then long seat posts were not made. By then, only the seatpost, stem and chainset were original. A lug cracked in 77 and Raleigh honored their warranty, unlike Schwinn. I bought a Raleigh Capri for my daughter in 90, but it was US. Good bike though. We still have it.

    When I was a kid, a Raleigh was the bike to have, though most kids had a Grand Prix or even a Super Course.

    What happened to the Raleigh "Bobby's Bike"? That was your PD bike with 28" wheels, generator hub and rod brakes.
     
  5. DiabloScott

    DiabloScott New Member

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    Iowa's premier custom builder:
    http://www.tetcycles.com/
    You're 50, you do RAGBRAI, you deserve this.
     
  6. joule

    joule New Member

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    Well I'll be turning 50 in 2007 and I'm not too old for carbon. Call it a mid-life crisis, but bought a Trek 5500 in 2004 and have on order a Cervelo Soloist Carbon atm. Should be getting this week.
     
  7. Jaguar27

    Jaguar27 New Member

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    Here's an interesting Page...
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/nottingham/features/2002/11/raleigh_past_and_present.shtml

    They even have an audio documentary under "Watch and Listen"....
    I still have two photo's of me on my Raleigh when I was 11...I'm 50 now, so that was a loooong time ago...I remember when me and my mates used to ride for MILES during the summer holidays, we would leave early in the morning and come home late at night...when we were starving ;-) No Cell phones in those Days..;-)
     
  8. Mariner Fan

    Mariner Fan New Member

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    There a tons of steel bikes left. How do you ride? Looking for a roadie or a touring bike? I have a Lemond 1/2 steel, 1/2 carbon and love it. Lemond also makes a fine all steel bike called the Sarthe. If your looking for lugs, you can do like I did and rebuild an old frame (1985 Trek) or buy a Waterford (Schwinn Paramount), Rivendell, Vanilla, etc. These bikes are really expensive.
    Fixing up an older frame is kinda fun.
     
  9. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    Plenty of steel/aluminium bikes on the market : Bianchi, Opera (Pinarello) still do them.

    As regards Raleigh : they still have a sales office in Notts but the bikes they sell are manufactured in the Far East.

    I bought a Raleigh R200 nearly 10 years ago.
    I like the bike - it's reliable and I have done some good touring on it.

    here's raleigh's site :


    http://www.raleighbikes.com/
     
  10. Jaguar27

    Jaguar27 New Member

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    It takes Vanilla 22 mths to complete a Bike
    :eek:

    Either they're really busy or really slow :D
     
  11. Jaguar27

    Jaguar27 New Member

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    This might seem like a Stupid question, but I haven't ridden a Steel Frame since I was 11, I'm 50 now...so, what is the difference between riding a steel Frame compared to a CF? Or CF/Alum or CF/ti mix?

    I know People who do ride steel love them, I'd really like to try one myself, maybe that's the best way to find out?
     
  12. Mariner Fan

    Mariner Fan New Member

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    It depends on how you ride. If you are a racer then you would like cf or aluminum. I'm close to 50 myself and I like the way steel bikes feel on the road. They tend to be more forgiving on road buzz but can be a bit whippy if you really get on it.
     
  13. ffs1942

    ffs1942 New Member

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    Steel seems more responsive, maneuverable and energetic than carbon or aluminum, but this came from some limited testing I was allowed to do in the early/mid 90's of two bikes in the $500 range. I think one was a Specialized carbon and I think the aluminum was a Trek. I seem to recall the steel Paramount Gp2 with oversized steel tubing handled more gently on bumps too.

    I got the Paramount with the $$$ from a settlement when my steel Bridgestone was wrecked by another Qtip. This dullard was 89 and I saw him still driving 10 yrs later.

    One day in 96 or 97 I found my beloved Paramount in the basement with the top tube caved in. This mystery was never solved. The OS frame was no longer made and Schwinn's offer of a new frame was useless since my components were for the OS frame. I lost the subsequent lawsuit and had to buy a new bike on my own.

    With less $$$ to spend, I had to go used and the Tempo was just under $200. The Tempo seems functionally identical to the Paramount, but less squirrelly charging downhill. I covered the "TEMPO" with Scotchlight tape and put my "PARAMOUNT" marked bottle cages and toestraps on it and had a Faux Paramount.

    The Bridgestone, Paramount and my Tempo all get a little tricky when pushed, but I think this is due to frame geometry and not material
     
  14. ffs1942

    ffs1942 New Member

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    You Brits and Irish have my condolences. Raleigh went the way of our Schwinn.

    That TET is in West Branch, which is I think close to Iowa City maybe off I-80.

    My first date was on a bike. She had a Schwinn Varsity. I either had my Raleigh Record or maybe my Schwinn Collegiate 5 spd that had been altered to look like a 10 spd. I think it was the Record. Ehh, maybe she had Grand Prix. She rode ahead of me and I was looking at other things than her bike -cue that Queen song ;-)~
     
  15. e0richt

    e0richt New Member

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    well, there are some Dawes bikes being sold on ebay that have the chro-molly frames and fork. Everything else is aluminum and I find it a good ride unfortunately (?) it is under the 500.00 range so Im not sure if thats what you want or not... I have around 250 miles on mine and I love it...
     
  16. wugga

    wugga New Member

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    For what it's worth im my opinion. I don't think anybody is too old for carbon. Yes, I began on steel loved it and went over to the dark side of AL and had my body rattled to death. Now, I'm a solid convert to carbon. Big issue is the difference in types of carbon fiber buildup. Personally, my Look rides like a steel bike of old with quite a bit of "nice" snap when I need it.

    Though, I have seen some really nice steel Waterfords that look tempting! :)
     
  17. dsb137

    dsb137 New Member

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    I started on Raleighs in my mis-spent youth (mid 70's...), went on to a Fuji, 'nag or 2, a few Paramounts (used to ride for a team that was sponsored by S...). The last steel bike that I owned was an SLX tubed Merckx, brilliant bike... wish I still had it (and the funky Croce d'Une...). My latest bike is a C-50 and I like it a lot, but I got an itch and ordered a Pegoretti Marcelo... This bike is the definition of modern steel, the frame is just a touch over 3lbs, it's stiff, it climbs like a lemur, and decends like you would imagine a MotoGP bike would... I can't say enough about this bike...

    **Caveat** I ride on old school 36 spoke tubulars, which have a lot to do with the way a bike rides... I have no idea what this bike would ride like on low spoke count ultra stiff modern clinchers...
     
  18. RickF

    RickF New Member

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    I am 54, and love my carbon Specialized Roubaix Elite, but if you really want steel, Serotta makes the Coeur d'Acier and the Fierte in steel. Both are excellent bikes, but out of my price range.
     
  19. lwedge

    lwedge New Member

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    Greg LeMond !

    http://2006.lemondbikes.com/2006_bikes/sarthe.shtml



    Didi Senft is another option ( below )

    lw
     
  20. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    Gios still makes one or two steel frames, and so does Ben Serotta. Still riding my 1979 Gios, I was planning to buy something more modern, but I think I'll build up the old Frejus track frame I've had lying ariound instead.
     
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