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Talk to me about Steel

bartman100bartman100 Posts: 544
edited September 2014 in Road buying advice
I've had alloy and carbon bikes in the past and currently have a Titanium road bike which is fine, but a little too large for me so I've decided to sell.

I've been somewhat seduced by high end steel and am a committed metal-head having been disappointed by carbon.

Possible options:
- Genesis Volare Team (Reynolds 953)
- Colnago Master (Columbus??)
- Condor Acciaio (Dedacciai Zero)
- Condor Acciaio Stainless ( Columbus for Condor XCr Stainless steel)

I get that the higher price will give me a stiffer and lighter frame but am struggling to understand the fine detail behind the differences.

Any experiences with these models? Do I need to consider components more carefully for steel? I plan to use the kit from my current bike to build it up - carbon forks and seat post, mavic R-sys premium wheels, Sram force.

Thanks
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Posts

  • You appear to have missed the Ritchey Road Logic from that list......
    My blog: http://www.roubaixcycling.cc (kit reviews and other musings)
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  • hypsterhypster Posts: 1,210
    Personally I think you will struggle to notice any difference between different tube types. It's much more likely that frame construction/geometry and component choice i.e. groupset, wheels, tyres etc. will have a much bigger overall effect on how the bike rides. The psychological effect of having your bike built from some high-end steel tubeset is probably the main contributor to "satisfaction factor" rather than any inherrant advantages.

    Unsuitable geometry is probably the reason why you have been unimpressed by carbon in the past. All off-the-shelf bikes will be a compromise in one way or another. The only way to get something tailored to your needs and riding style is to go to a custom frame builder.
  • thanks both.
    @hypster - sound advice and I won't overlook anything on the geometry front

    @bendertherobot - good shout, looks a great bike but the big problem - where in the uk stocks? Google not throwing up much.
  • I have an 853 steel that was made for me in 1999. I have changed the fork to carbon, which improved the ride. I then got a ribble carbon and the ride feels a bit dead. I may end up changing the groupset of my Ribble onto the steel frame and getting rid of the Ribble. Re weight, unless your body weight is at it's optimum, I wouldn't worry about an extra 600g on the frame. I put two 700g bottles on the frame if I am going out for a 3 hr ride. Rourke 853 custom frames are not badly priced (I admit 953 is a different matter).
    Greetings from the wet and windy North west
  • bartman100 wrote:
    thanks both.
    @hypster - sound advice and I won't overlook anything on the geometry front

    @bendertherobot - good shout, looks a great bike but the big problem - where in the uk stocks? Google not throwing up much.

    What size are you?

    http://www.tritoncycles.co.uk/frames-fo ... ting%2Bads
    My blog: http://www.roubaixcycling.cc (kit reviews and other musings)
    https://twitter.com/roubaixcc
    Facebook? No. Just say no.
  • LegendLustLegendLust Posts: 1,022
    bartman100 wrote:
    thanks both.
    @hypster - sound advice and I won't overlook anything on the geometry front

    @bendertherobot - good shout, looks a great bike but the big problem - where in the uk stocks? Google not throwing up much.

    What size are you?

    http://www.tritoncycles.co.uk/frames-fo ... ting%2Bads

    Didn't realise the Logic cost that much. On a par with UK builders
  • LegendLust wrote:
    bartman100 wrote:
    thanks both.
    @hypster - sound advice and I won't overlook anything on the geometry front

    @bendertherobot - good shout, looks a great bike but the big problem - where in the uk stocks? Google not throwing up much.

    What size are you?

    http://www.tritoncycles.co.uk/frames-fo ... ting%2Bads

    Didn't realise the Logic cost that much. On a par with UK builders

    Depends on your POV. It's cheaper than the Acciaio, more expensive than the Equilibrium. Considerably cheaper than the Super A or Enigma. Massively cheaper than bespoke.

    What price did you expect?
    My blog: http://www.roubaixcycling.cc (kit reviews and other musings)
    https://twitter.com/roubaixcc
    Facebook? No. Just say no.
  • GrillGrill Posts: 5,610
    LegendLust wrote:
    bartman100 wrote:
    thanks both.
    @hypster - sound advice and I won't overlook anything on the geometry front

    @bendertherobot - good shout, looks a great bike but the big problem - where in the uk stocks? Google not throwing up much.

    What size are you?

    http://www.tritoncycles.co.uk/frames-fo ... ting%2Bads

    Didn't realise the Logic cost that much. On a par with UK builders

    You do realise it comes with a £380 fork? No UK builder will come close, especially considering that the frame is lighter and stiffer than most.
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • bmxboy10bmxboy10 Posts: 1,917
    £1150 gets you a Rourke 853
    £1800 Gets you the Legend Fedaia! Custom again:)
  • GrillGrill Posts: 5,610
    solboy10 wrote:
    £1150 gets you a Rourke 853
    £1800 Gets you the Legend Fedaia! Custom again:)

    Plus fork...
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 16,015
    ~£700 gets you a Bob Jackson - custom. £200 less if you are a normal size. And they are very nice. Plenty of options, plenty of prices....
    Faster than a tent.......
  • Steel frames can perform just as well as carbon race bike exept maybe there are not as aero.

    What frame will depend on what you want from it. BB86 shells are found on genesis bikes which helps. Over sized headtubes also help stiffness too and the seat tube is 34.9mm in diameter. All this makes a stiff frame for power transfer. I think the Ritchey frame uses a convential BB and conventional headtube and a 28.6mm seat tube making a less stiff frame. It looks great and is not overly expensive so is a good option but the Genesis volare frames should be stiffer given the headtube and BB shell used, they are full on race bikes. The Ricthey I think makes a good all rounder and probably a great long distance audax machine. I think the Ritchey logic is comparable to the genesis equilibrium 853 but neither bike is similar to the volare, different frames built for different purposes. That my take on it and you are all comparing apples and oranges.

    I have no idea on the spec of of the condors or the colnago master so I can't comment on those. Look at the dimater of the tubing used, BB shell type and headtube size as that will give you a fair idea. Stays are important too but you often find little info on these.

    All the advise given here has not taken into account what bike will be used for. I cannot see that in the orginal post. It is worthwile not assuming anything, the OP may intend to race it.
    http://www.thecycleclinic.co.uk -wheel building and other stuff.
  • GrillGrill Posts: 5,610
    The Ritchey is stiff.

    Reference- I've had two Foils.
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • tlw1tlw1 Posts: 20,606
    Grill wrote:
    The Ritchey is stiff.

    Reference- I've had two Foils.

    how does the weight compare - as I'm interested in both of those as my next bike!
  • GrillGrill Posts: 5,610
    Frame of the 53 is around 1600g. Fork weighs next to nothing (300g).
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • tlw1tlw1 Posts: 20,606
    Grill wrote:
    Frame of the 53 is around 1600g. Fork weighs next to nothing (300g).

    so........... its a sunny day and you are going out for a ride, which bike do you take?
  • matthew h wrote:
    Grill wrote:
    Frame of the 53 is around 1600g. Fork weighs next to nothing (300g).

    so........... its a sunny day and you are going out for a ride, which bike do you take?

    I take the Ritchey. I used to have a Canyon CF.

    If I still had it I'd take the Ritchey. In fact I'd probably be more OCD about taking the Ritchey out, in all it's lustrous splendour, than a CF bike.

    Ritcheys are cool.

    20140920_185254_zpscrfzxmji.jpg
    My blog: http://www.roubaixcycling.cc (kit reviews and other musings)
    https://twitter.com/roubaixcc
    Facebook? No. Just say no.
  • GrillGrill Posts: 5,610
    matthew h wrote:
    Grill wrote:
    Frame of the 53 is around 1600g. Fork weighs next to nothing (300g).

    so........... its a sunny day and you are going out for a ride, which bike do you take?

    90% of this years miles on the Wyndy have been on holidays (albeit a lot of holidays). Most of my UK riding is on the Ritchey, although that may change when I've finished my winter TT bike.
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • bmxboy10bmxboy10 Posts: 1,917
    Grill wrote:
    solboy10 wrote:
    £1150 gets you a Rourke 853
    £1800 Gets you the Legend Fedaia! Custom again:)

    Plus fork...
    No the price includes a fork for either frame
  • GrillGrill Posts: 5,610
    solboy10 wrote:
    Grill wrote:
    solboy10 wrote:
    £1150 gets you a Rourke 853
    £1800 Gets you the Legend Fedaia! Custom again:)

    Plus fork...
    No the price includes a fork for either frame

    A censored £50 jobbie with alu steerer that weighs almost 700g- hardly qualifies. I was at Rourke a few month ago with a buddy who was bring fitted or his, the price adds up quick.
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • tlw1tlw1 Posts: 20,606
    matthew h wrote:
    Grill wrote:
    Frame of the 53 is around 1600g. Fork weighs next to nothing (300g).

    so........... its a sunny day and you are going out for a ride, which bike do you take?

    I take the Ritchey. I used to have a Canyon CF.

    If I still had it I'd take the Ritchey. In fact I'd probably be more OCD about taking the Ritchey out, in all it's lustrous splendour, than a CF bike.

    Ritcheys are cool.

    20140920_185254_zpscrfzxmji.jpg

    censored - didn't want to hear that, as it means keep the Wilier & buy another bike :)
  • styxdstyxd Posts: 3,234
    Grill wrote:
    The Ritchey is stiff.

    Reference- I've had two Foils.

    How much do you weigh?
  • GrillGrill Posts: 5,610
    78kg
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • bmxboy10bmxboy10 Posts: 1,917
    Grill wrote:
    solboy10 wrote:
    Grill wrote:
    solboy10 wrote:
    £1150 gets you a Rourke 853
    £1800 Gets you the Legend Fedaia! Custom again:)

    Plus fork...
    No the price includes a fork for either frame

    A censored £50 jobbie with alu steerer that weighs almost 700g- hardly qualifies. I was at Rourke a few month ago with a buddy who was bring fitted or his, the price adds up quick.

    Sorry but the fork I was quoted on was a Columbus full carbon or about £100 extra for the Enve.
  • styxdstyxd Posts: 3,234
    Grill wrote:
    78kg

    Fair enough, you're a touch heavier than me. I was considering buying one but thought it wouldnt be anywhere near stiff enough. It looks like it's got small diameter tubes, and it's pretty light, how's it so stiff?
  • Grill, I know a ricthey frame is stiff frame but a volare frame is stiff also how stiff they are relative to each other is hard to say as I am not lucky enough to do back to back comparisions with the same kit on both bikes.

    There is no way you can tell me that with all the the deisgn features I pointed out that the ritchey frame is stiffer than a volare frame - I know you did not say that but I did not say the ritchey frame was floppy either. One is a pure race bike the other is a damm good all rounder.

    How stiff a frame feels when you ride has alot to do with how much power you put out. You could be 78kg and average 150W and therefore flex the frame only a bit or a 78kg and average 300W on a 80 mile ride and therefore flex it more. Pedalling style has an affect too.

    The one thing I can say is comparing two frames which I have put many many miles on, is my Trator exile frame (2kg unknown double butted tubeset) 28.6mm seat tube and top tube and 31.8mm down tube and my old sannino (1700g) with 31.8mm seat tube, 31.8mm top tube and 34.9mm down tube. both bikes have a 1" headtube. The steel used in the sannino is columbus genius and the stays are oversized too. I don't even have to describe relative stiffness to you, you can just tell which frame is stiffer. Having tried a volare frame I really want to find the money to buy one and sell on the sannino because the volare is even better in every way except the price. However I doubt that will happen any time soon.
    http://www.thecycleclinic.co.uk -wheel building and other stuff.
  • There have been a fair few reviews of the Ritchey in the cycling mags recently (all massively effusive) and the one thing they all comment in us how stiff it is for a steel bike. It's something to do with where the tubes are joined.

    I'm hugely tempted, but I'm not sure I could get the sizing right for me (53 could potentially give to aggressive a drop, 55 too long a reach).
  • matthew h wrote:
    Grill wrote:
    Frame of the 53 is around 1600g. Fork weighs next to nothing (300g).

    so........... its a sunny day and you are going out for a ride, which bike do you take?

    I take the Ritchey. I used to have a Canyon CF.

    If I still had it I'd take the Ritchey. In fact I'd probably be more OCD about taking the Ritchey out, in all it's lustrous splendour, than a CF bike.

    Ritcheys are cool.

    20140920_185254_zpscrfzxmji.jpg
    Is that your bike? That is amazing! How can any rider not want to swing a leg over that??

    The issue with steel is that too many people lumber them with silly, heavy throw-back items like Brooks saddle, lots of alu parts (b/c they are silver), and 36 hole Open Pro rims. As a result it's easy to throw eggs at an expensive bike which is also heavy. Modern riders will ask what the point is.

    I really like the Genesis 853 or 953 frames. they're as modern as the new Lemond Washoe: https://greglemond.com/#!/washoe
    When a cyclist has a disagreement with a car; it's not who's right, it's who's left.
  • GrillGrill Posts: 5,610
    Grill, I know a ricthey frame is stiff frame but a volare frame is stiff also how stiff they are relative to each other is hard to say as I am not lucky enough to do back to back comparisions with the same kit on both bikes.

    There is no way you can tell me that with all the the deisgn features I pointed out that the ritchey frame is stiffer than a volare frame - I know you did not say that but I did not say the ritchey frame was floppy either. One is a pure race bike the other is a damm good all rounder.

    How stiff a frame feels when you ride has alot to do with how much power you put out. You could be 78kg and average 150W and therefore flex the frame only a bit or a 78kg and average 300W on a 80 mile ride and therefore flex it more. Pedalling style has an affect too.

    The one thing I can say is comparing two frames which I have put many many miles on, is my Trator exile frame (2kg unknown double butted tubeset) 28.6mm seat tube and top tube and 31.8mm down tube and my old sannino (1700g) with 31.8mm seat tube, 31.8mm top tube and 34.9mm down tube. both bikes have a 1" headtube. The steel used in the sannino is columbus genius and the stays are oversized too. I don't even have to describe relative stiffness to you, you can just tell which frame is stiffer. Having tried a volare frame I really want to find the money to buy one and sell on the sannino because the volare is even better in every way except the price. However I doubt that will happen any time soon.

    I would expect the Volare to be stiffer. My point is simply that the Ritchey is surprisingly stiff (I certainly wasn't expecting it) and it's unlikely that anyone who buys one will complain about it being floppy. Also, I'm sure you'll agree that component choice goes a long in these endeavors. The fork is a work of art and I use 32h Archetypes laced to 6800 hubs. When I use my Reynolds Assaults I can get a bit of rub at the limit, but this is due to the wheel although a less experienced cyclist may blame the frame.

    Considering that it's not only my daily beater bike, but also my climbing and Audax bike, it's handled everything I've thrown at it admirably. It was supremely comfy over the Mille Cymru (1000k w/16,000m climbing and over 20 20%+ climbs), and is just as good on club runs with the fast boys (usually 60-70 miles at 20mph+). Power-wise my FTP is right at 240w and I'm a smooth high cadence (90-105rpm) rider and far more diesel than anything. If I did do crits, I wouldn't hesitate to use the Ritchey as the geo is plenty aggressive and I don't feel as though I'd be at a disadvantage.

    I think that your description of both frames is spot-on, and I doubt that Ritchey designed the Road Logic to be a race bike. If, for some reason, I could only keep one bike, it would be the Plasma 3. And then the Ritchey. :mrgreen:
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • Having tried a volare frame I really want to find the money to buy one and sell on the sannino because the volare is even better in every way except the price. However I doubt that will happen any time soon.
    http://www.ukbikesdepot.com/m90b0s804p1 ... e_Frameset
    My blog: http://www.roubaixcycling.cc (kit reviews and other musings)
    https://twitter.com/roubaixcc
    Facebook? No. Just say no.
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