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What is the speed advantage of a modern steel bike?

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What is the speed advantage of a modern steel bike?

Old 08-07-19, 10:36 AM
  #26  
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I will guarantee you that my mid-80's MAZA (Not MASI) Prestige TSX frame was heavier than my current Guru Sidero. That counts for something when climbing. Whether it's significant enough to cause a recreational rider to spent a bunch of money is up to you.
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Old 08-07-19, 10:57 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by dugla View Post
Hah. Maybe it's engine.
Can't resist. It is all about the Engin...


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Old 08-07-19, 11:09 AM
  #28  
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@Ironfish653's post made me think a little: if you are not using the full range of your 11-28 cassette, you could install a tighter one so that you are closer to optimal gearing most of the time. I, for example, have no use for a 50/11 top gear. Just switching to a 12-28 would bring the top three gears down and into the range where I do my riding. (In fact, a 13-28 would be even more to my liking. )
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Old 08-07-19, 11:12 AM
  #29  
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Dugla, I just went through this at the start of summer. I ride a frame that I built in 2001 from Reynolds 531. Had friction 5, 6 and 7 speed on it all this time and was happy with it, but now need lower gearing. I had to rebuild the rear end due to hitting it with the car so I built it with 135mm spacing for reasons other than gear choices. Installed my first ever indexed shifting in the form of Record brifters with Chorus derailleurs, but kept the Superbe Pro crank on it. The rear gears are Shimano 11-32, and there is not a doubt in my mind that I am able to climb faster and seated more often. Top speed is the same as always, but I can get up the hills better because I have lower gear ratios to work with.

In addition to this, at the end of hard rides like I did this morning I am fresher, dead, but not beat up.

One thing to note, my friend Paul rides an old Fuji Roubaix aluminum frame with beat up 105 on it and can stick with anyone any time. He is an old cuss, too. Work on your motor and get more appropriate gearing, and just maybe you will feel the speed.

The frame is unlikely to help. Aero tubing and design will only make a real difference at higher speeds and over a long distance.
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Old 08-07-19, 11:16 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Alas, that's what we're trying to tell you.

If getting a new bike or upgrading the old one inspires you to upgrade the engine, then it could be worth it, but it's not going to be a quick fix to move you up a couple MPH.
I was going to say much the same. New go fast goodies might make you want to ride more.

-Matt
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Old 08-07-19, 11:29 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by dugla View Post
I am fit and - due to limited time - ride hills for about an hour every other day during the week. On weekends I do a longer (32mi.) ride. I occasionally try riding with a local group ride but I am routinely dropped early in the ride. Average pace is about 17mph. It drives me nuts! The other riders are not exactly studs and do not look super fit. What I do notice is everyone is on a modern bike. Carbon mostly. Some titanium. Some steel.

You refer to 32 miles as a "longer" ride, what is your pace on this ride? How long is this training ride you are joining? Around here, our weekday group rides are in the 30-40 mile range. Many people I know routinely go double that on the weekends.


Honestly, 17mph doesn't sound like a blistering pace for a group ride on pavement unless you are in a very hilly area. It sounds like your current training is 2.5hr during the week + 32 miles on the weekend? While you may be fit in a general sense, it is possible that the ride you are joining is made up of people more fit than you are and you could benefit from more training. Or, consider finding a different group ride that holds a slightly lower pace if you are happy with your current training volume.
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Old 08-07-19, 11:39 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by dugla View Post
Hah. Maybe it's engine.

It's never the engine. It's always the bike. I could be a gold medaling, TdF superstar, mega-millionaire if only I had a better bike. Heck, I'd even be more handsome and charming too.


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Old 08-07-19, 11:46 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
Dugla, I just went through this at the start of summer. I ride a frame that I built in 2001 from Reynolds 531. Had friction 5, 6 and 7 speed on it all this time and was happy with it, but now need lower gearing. I had to rebuild the rear end due to hitting it with the car so I built it with 135mm spacing for reasons other than gear choices. Installed my first ever indexed shifting in the form of Record brifters with Chorus derailleurs, but kept the Superbe Pro crank on it. The rear gears are Shimano 11-32, and there is not a doubt in my mind that I am able to climb faster and seated more often. Top speed is the same as always, but I can get up the hills better because I have lower gear ratios to work with.

In addition to this, at the end of hard rides like I did this morning I am fresher, dead, but not beat up.

One thing to note, my friend Paul rides an old Fuji Roubaix aluminum frame with beat up 105 on it and can stick with anyone any time. He is an old cuss, too. Work on your motor and get more appropriate gearing, and just maybe you will feel the speed.

The frame is unlikely to help. Aero tubing and design will only make a real difference at higher speeds and over a long distance.
This is a lucid and well thought out post.


-Tim-
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Old 08-07-19, 01:16 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by dugla View Post
Hi,

I am trying to get a definitive, fact based answer to the question: what makes a modern steel frame road bike faster than my vintage - 20 years old - custom steel frame?
The rider.

/thread
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Old 08-07-19, 01:22 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by dugla View Post
Hi,

I am trying to get a definitive, fact based answer to the question: what makes a modern steel frame road bike faster than my vintage - 20 years old - custom steel frame?
I would say it‘s not „what“ but „who“. Someone who spins the same gear ratio with a faster cadence.
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Old 08-07-19, 01:45 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by dugla View Post
I like what I'm hearing. My Fuso is all set for a modern groupset as the spacing is wide enough for a 10/11 speed cassette.
Put on a new Shimano 11 speed groupset -- 105 level is very good, Ultegra is even better. I know you just bought a new rear wheel, so add a new front wheel -- or better yet, buy a nice new lightweight wheelset. Replace a few other key components -- go for best bang for buck by removing relatively heavy components if you can replace them with newer lighter parts at reasonable cost.

Most important part is to ride more, perhaps do some interval training. That will make the biggest difference in allowing you to keep up on the group ride.
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Old 08-07-19, 01:58 PM
  #37  
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If your bike has 130mm spacing and you don't feel the need to get disc brakes, you're probably fine just upgrading components.

I ride 2 steel bikes, both "modern" but also 20ish years old.

The road bike is set up with 10speed Campy Chorus that I upgraded cranks to a carbon compact UT. I switched to a carbon fork for fit issues too. On the nice wheels, I'm just at 17.5 lbs. Add a pound for my Open Pro workhorses. I am an ok climber, I drop more people than I get dropped by. This early aught bike rides modern and fast and certainly doesn't slow me down. It has never been the reason I've crushed souls or been crushed.

The gravel bike is a different story. It's a cross bike that takes wider tires. It's a bit of a Frankenstein build. It works super well but it has toe rub. For gravel, I'd prefer disc brakes. If I damage my tank of a fork, there isn't anything with a 1" steerer tube to replace it with. If I were to do that build again, I'd probably go a lot more modern.
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Old 08-07-19, 02:48 PM
  #38  
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I'm going to put this out there...

Modern Steel Road Bike Appreciation Thread

IIRC the thread got very contentious, especially regarding the semantics of the word "Modern", but it does contain some very nice steel bikes.


-Tim-
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Old 08-07-19, 07:24 PM
  #39  
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I'm still riding the steel frame I built around 1982. It's a Franken-bike now, with Campy Centaur 10 speed, mixed with some original bits.

Just grunt a bit when spreading the dropouts to insert a 130 mm rear wheel.
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Old 08-07-19, 07:56 PM
  #40  
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Spend some $$ on that old frame. A new, lighter wheelset. New tires. Shimano 105 11spd. Then ride the snot out of it.
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Old 08-08-19, 12:22 AM
  #41  
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Unfortunately, one of the best modern steel tubing, True Temper XO Platinum, is no longer available. Some of the Japanese makers have moved production to Taiwan. Maybe someone on the Framebuilding forum would know what is the best modern steel. A lot of them miss XO Platinum.
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Old 08-08-19, 03:32 AM
  #42  
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Ain't nothin' fast if you ain't fast.

I'm H.R Huffnpuff myself. The ride is fine though.
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Old 08-08-19, 04:39 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Can't resist. It is all about the Engin...


I always seeing this bike. Thanks.
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Old 08-08-19, 04:41 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by ironwood View Post
Unfortunately, one of the best modern steel tubing, True Temper XO Platinum, is no longer available. Some of the Japanese makers have moved production to Taiwan. Maybe someone on the Framebuilding forum would know what is the best modern steel. A lot of them miss XO Platinum.
My Guru is Columbus Spirit. I'd love to know what frame builders think of the material. I love my Guru.
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Old 08-08-19, 06:50 AM
  #45  
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Ok,

Thanks for the tons of useful input. Very cool.

If I try and distill responses down I think I have a punch list.

First, more context:
- My Fuso is at130mm and this was key to some of the changes I made. I had the local shop build me a wheel. Hub: Shimano 105 5800 36 hole 11-Speed rear hub. Cassette: Shimano 7-Speed 11/28. Rim: Mavic Open Sport 700c. So out with the old freewheel in with the cassette/freehub basically.

My todo list:
- upgrade to the latest Shimano 105 11-speed groupset
- (maybe) replace my front wheel with some Mavic coolness
- more hills

My goals are rather modest: ride comfortably at 17-18mph in the local group ride which is 36 miles-ish. A key aspect of this is "solving" riding on the rolling hills here in Mass. (Lexington/Concord/etc.). This is where the 11-speeds should pay dividends. I think I will get there. My weekday hill loops - 3 1-hour sessions per week - are getting faster and longer. Around 1400 ft of elevation in an hour, typically. I don't really have the time to do 40/50/60 mile rides.
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Old 08-08-19, 08:18 AM
  #46  
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ride more to get faster.

best upgrade to go faster is a good wheel set with great tires that have low rolling resistance
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Old 08-08-19, 08:52 AM
  #47  
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"Fast" Eddy Merckx said the way to get fast is to "Ride lots.".

Last edited by ironwood; 08-08-19 at 10:17 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 08-08-19, 08:56 AM
  #48  
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I mean I know plenty of people who ride thousands of miles a year who are slow. Literally every training program I've ever seen is basically variations on high intensity intervals. I didn't start getting faster until I did some targeted training.

Riding with other fast people also helps.
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Old 08-08-19, 09:18 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by ironwood View Post
"Fast" Eddie Mertz said the way to get fastis "Ride lots.".
Isn't that Fred Mertz, Ethyl's husband?
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Old 08-08-19, 09:37 AM
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...or "Fast" Eddie Felson, from The Hustler ?
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