Interesting comparison. How much heavier are we talking with a steel frame? Do you guys own a steel frame bike and if so who makes it?eric1115 said:Pros - Steel (and ti) is a great material if you want a frame that was made by hand / in the USA / for you specifically / not the same as three other guys on the group ride. If you are the type that appreciates the form of a thing as much as the function, that wants a bike that was built by a craftsman instead of manufactured in a factory, then steel might be for you.
If you are after "bang for the buck" or "performance" or want a full suspension, steel may not be for you. You'll get a lighter bike with nicer parts and a perfectly functional frame if you take the same money to a bike shop and get an off the rack bike from one of the big manufacturers.
Is one better than the other? I would say no. Is one a better fit for you than the other? Maybe so.
You could make a comparison to the difference between a '65 Mustang and a new Honda Accord. The Accord is faster straight line, around corners, with better fuel economy, and more comfort. Is there an aesthetic, visceral appeal to the Mustang that speaks to some people in a way that overcomes some of the empirical advantages of a new sedan? Yes!
Steel frames are often a whole pound heavier than their aluminum counterparts (4.5 vs 3.5 or less for a Medium). I own a few steel bikes, because I like the look of steel and the durability of the frames.roc865 said:Interesting comparison. How much heavier are we talking with a steel frame? Do you guys own a steel frame bike and if so who makes it?
I'm certainly not in it to win races so a steel frame might be worth a try. Can you guys recommend some bike builders and should I pick a local builder or company to make it easier for sizing purposes and not dealing over the phone.mtnbiker72 said:Keep in mind that while a steel frame may weigh 1-1.5 lbs more than a comparable Aluminum frame, this generally represents less than a 5% increase in total bike weight. I have owned many steel Mountain, CX, and Road bikes over the years and in my opinion (which includes owning Aluminum and Carbon Fiber hardtails) it is the best material for full rigid and hardtail bicycles if comfort and enjoyment are more important than how light your bike is.
Thanks. I've heard about Viscious and I'm going to look into them. The others you mentioned are a long ways from me so I guess it would be kind of risky getting a bike from say Gunnar or Curtlo?mtnbiker72 said:Independent Fabrications is in your neck of the woods (based on your profile), so is Seven (known mostly for Ti but they do steel too). Vicious is in New Palz, New York.
I've sold and worked on these three brands and have been very impressed with their quality. Others I'm familiar with are Gunnar, Strong, Sycip, and Curtlo
so you own a steel road bike?dirt farmer said:I'll always stick to aluminum for my mtb rig (until I strike it rich and get Ti.), but I will always love the feel of steel on roads. It's just so.... buttery smooth on every little bump or divot in the pavement.