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Finding a steel

greeny1greeny1 Posts: 106
edited June 2011 in Road buying advice
Right heres the deal guys, Im looking to buy a classic steel bike I can cycle to work on and use through the winter, I looked at off the peg frames and thought of building one up but I just cant afford it at the moment, therefore Im looking to buy off Ebay and find myself a bargain. I just wondered who manufactured good steel frames, what type of bike do I need to take guards (essential) and a rack if possible (not esscential)? Will it have to be an audax bike? Or will a classic racer take the guards? I have seen a few lovely bikes from colnago and bianch on there as well as a raliegh but they are not in my size and would they be suitable for the winter miles withou getting my back filthy? I have about 450 to spend. I am clueless as to what I should be looking for! Im only 24 and never ridden a steel bike although after what I have heard and as well as the aesthetics of them I have decided it is what I want. Any help and advice would be usefull Cheers :)

Posts

  • unixnerdunixnerd Posts: 2,864
    A lot of classic steel racing bike frames won't take mudguards or wider tyres. They can also have narrower rear ends that must be widened before you can fit a current road wheel (normally around 130mm). Sheldon Brown's site has a good article on how to do this and lots of other good advice on steel bikes. A lot depends on whether you intend to fit modern STI levers or stick with a 5 speed rear end and downtube shifters.

    Some brands such as Puch made low end steel frames and really nice ones, going just by the brand isn't always enough.

    This is lovely, reduced to 250 as well:
    http://www.planet-x-bikes.co.uk/i/q/FRG ... d-frameset

    I have a steel framed tourer I use as a winter / rainy day bike. It has a pannier rack so it's great for shopping and long runs too. Fitting a wheelset that doesn't weigh a ton is worthwhile too. You can't go wrong with a good audax frame.
    http://www.strathspey.co.uk - Quality Binoculars at a Sensible Price.
    Specialized Roubaix SL3 Expert 2012, Cannondale CAAD5,
    Marin Mount Vision (1997), Edinburgh Country tourer, 3 cats!
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Look / post wanted on Retrobike forum or LFGSS. You're probably looking at a classic British 'clubman' frame rather than an Italian race frame - you can pick up a decent Reynolds 531 frame from about £150 whereas a classic Italian race frame in Columbus SL or SLX would be double that. Events like L'eroica are also pushing up demand for classic bikes.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • TMRTMR Posts: 3,986
    unixnerd wrote:
    This is lovely, reduced to 250 as well:
    http://www.planet-x-bikes.co.uk/i/q/FRG ... d-frameset

    It looks fantastic, but bloody hell it's heavy! 2KGs?! That's twice and a bit the weight of most modern carbon and Ti frames :shock:
  • unixnerdunixnerd Posts: 2,864
    Nobody ever went steel to save weight :-) Plus it looks like the weight includes the headset.
    http://www.strathspey.co.uk - Quality Binoculars at a Sensible Price.
    Specialized Roubaix SL3 Expert 2012, Cannondale CAAD5,
    Marin Mount Vision (1997), Edinburgh Country tourer, 3 cats!
  • greeny1greeny1 Posts: 106
    just looking at the touring bikes, yer a clubman is perfect. I know dawes have a new one! century if i remember. Basically somehting like that! How much should I be looking to pay? Is ebay my best bet?
  • BelgianBeerGeekBelgianBeerGeek Posts: 5,230
    Try looking for an old Raleigh bike. I have an old 531 that has "Triathlon" stickers attached (not sure I would tackle a triathlon on it though). Has the correct fittings and takes SKS guards, and is a really sweet (retro) ride. Upgrading may be an issue as it's 6 speed so the rear stays will need to be stretched at some point. Unless it morphs into a single-speed :wink:
    Ecrasez l’infame
  • dombo6dombo6 Posts: 751
    unixnerd wrote:
    This is lovely, reduced to 250 as well:
    http://www.planet-x-bikes.co.uk/i/q/FRG ... d-frameset

    It looks fantastic, but bloody hell it's heavy! 2KGs?! That's twice and a bit the weight of most modern carbon and Ti frames :shock:

    The lightest carbon frame might be 1kg, 2lbs in old money, just 10% total bike weight. You could build these steel frames into a sub-19lb bike easy with decent wheels, eg Easton EA90 SLX at 1.5kgs and highish end groupset. My steel/carbon Lemond weighs 18.5lbs with the above wheels and carbon bars/stem and Ultegra triple. A compact ch/set and lighter forks would get it to a smidge under 18.
    My mate's Cervelo R3 is about 15lbs. Two full bottles and his kerbweight is over 18lbs. I am 70kgs, he's 80kg. Guess who gets up the hill first?
    More importantly, steel frames are fantastically comfortable on long rides.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,286
    I stripped an 80's peugeot Triathlon recently. Bog standard 501 tubing. Weighed it out of curiosity more than anything. 2kg on the nose! It's still a lovely ride though.

    As I was removing the last of the paint I was disappointed to find a tiny hole in the underside of the chainstay near the BB which leaked a bit of black / rusty water, suggesting some internal corrosion (I'm not talking about the breather hole at the dropout end of the stay)

    Anything I can squirt inside to arrest the corrosion before filling the hole and painting it? Or should I forget about rebuilding it and find another frame?
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