Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm sorry if this is a newbie question, but here goes anyway...

What's the difference between a mid-late '90's production steel frame like a Trek 930 or Fisher HKEK and a new production frame like Kona Explosif, Jamis Dragon, or even Universal Cycles' Phobia?

I understand there will be differences between frames in the materials used (853 vs TT OX, etc.), but is there a big difference in quality, workmanship, and most importantly, ride?

I currently am riding a '96 Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo frame built up with XT/XTR. It's triple-butted True Temper OXII- Hand made in USA. It suits my needs just fine in terms of ride, but it's just a little big for me (standover). I need to replace it and want to know if I should be shopping eBay, craigslist, and the pawn shops for an older frame or shelling out some dough for a new one.

Thanks.

Ron
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
571 Posts
I am big steel fan.

I've ridden mid ninties OX frames and modern 853 frames and can't say I notice a ride difference. Both have that nice steel feel. Workmanship, well that is sometimes more of a production quality issue rather a tubing issue.

The only steel tubesets that I've noticed an extreme difference in ride charteristics are the Surly frames. They are the heavy 4130 thick tubes are are extremely stiff and have a harsher ride feel than any steel frame I've ridden.

If you are looking for a basic good frame, check out Universal Cycles. They are selling a True Temper OX Ultra II hardtail frame for $90. The frame looks like it could be a KHS steel hardtail frame, same seatstay/seatube junction.

 

·
-7
Joined
·
255 Posts
My ride is a Trek 990 OXIII frame from 1995. It doesn't have an original part on it, but the frame is still as solid as ever. I have tried some of the new steel bikes and I don't notice a difference in the ride or quality (although perhaps the welds are more aesthetically pleasing on some bikes. Trek's steel welds were very strong, but utilitarian looking). Good steel is good steel and Trek pretty much uses the same neutral geometry on their bikes today. The only thing you should be concerned about if you buy a older frame is inspecting it for rust and making sure it fits.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
138 Posts
i love my steel hardtail. i ride a marin pine mountail columbus thron tubing. it has great ride characteristics and looks sweet. this frame was a frame replacement because i cracked my original eldridge grade steel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,635 Posts
steel is steel

Wall thickness and tube diameter are the two factors that influence a tube's rigidity, which is mainly what you're alluding to when you discuss "ride quality."
Doesn't matter if the metallurgy is Columbus, Tange, True Temper, etc etc. The metallurgy and any heat-treating and/or cold working all come into play by allowing use of thinner, and thus, lighter and probably more flexible, tubes. But the actual flex characteristics are pretty much identical among all the popular brands of tubing, given identical wall thickness and diameter.
Unlike with some other materials, the uses of which are still maturing, steel bicycle tubing pretty much hits its stride a few decades back with Excell and some other super high strength alloys. Air hardening is a small incremental improvement, but one that means more to a builder than to the rider.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top