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Why do you ride that old steel road bike?

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Why do you ride that old steel road bike?

Old 09-14-21, 08:17 PM
  #301  
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post

Do they ride better than modern bikes with light, aerodynamic frames and improved ergonomic controls? Um, no, they don't. Modern materials, well made frames, lighter components groupsets and wheels, even modern saddles all contribute to a pretty darn terrific ride.
I'm working to sorta disprove that. I've set a goal of taking all my 20ish road bikes out on a similar route, just sometimes more miles on the route, to prove that under me all the bikes can run my best pace of somewhere around a 19 mph avg. So this means 80's steel with 6 speeds and DT shifters to this century C.F. bikes with STI/Ergolever shiftes and all combinations in between. Even have a Klein and Cannondale aluminum bike to enter into the mix. What I've finding is that all the bikes are capable if the "engine" (me) is capable. Been fittitng inflammed lungs due to the western fires and the failed attempts as of late are directly related to my medical issues, not the bikes.

Documenting the silliness here:

https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-v...pace-game.html

Years ago I proved to myself that under me my 2011 Trek Madone 5.9 or 2008 Scott CR1 Pro weren't any faster than the several steel bikes I had but it would be fun to rent another 2021 C.F. bike to see for myself again. Hopefully I'm right, LOL!

Now I'll caveat my statements by saying I don't race, obviously don't push a bike to the 99% as humanly possible, etc. I'm talking the solo riding I do pretty much each day year in, year out, where I push myself to compete against just myself on other rides.
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Old 09-14-21, 08:22 PM
  #302  
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Originally Posted by rsbob View Post
I ride steel when it is really windy because I donít get blown around like I do on my wide carbon tubed bikes. Nice to have a fall-back.
Some value to that for sure. I'll do the same some days when I'm planning on taking out the Y-Foil and then realize the winds are really bad.

Of course this is more extreme that most carbon bikes I guess. LOL!


I actually got caught up top on the mountain by a front coming in this day. Sure made for one interesting decent on a road I can normally hit the low to mid 50 mph range on pretty easily. Not this day, the side gusts had me puckering, LOL!
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Old 09-14-21, 08:35 PM
  #303  
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Originally Posted by jamesdak View Post
I'm working to sorta disprove that. I've set a goal of taking all my 20ish road bikes out on a similar route, just sometimes more miles on the route, to prove that under me all the bikes can run my best pace of somewhere around a 19 mph avg. So this means 80's steel with 6 speeds and DT shifters to this century C.F. bikes with STI/Ergolever shiftes and all combinations in between. Even have a Klein and Cannondale aluminum bike to enter into the mix. What I've finding is that all the bikes are capable if the "engine" (me) is capable. Been fittitng inflammed lungs due to the western fires and the failed attempts as of late are directly related to my medical issues, not the bikes.

Documenting the silliness here:

https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-v...pace-game.html

Years ago I proved to myself that under me my 2011 Trek Madone 5.9 or 2008 Scott CR1 Pro weren't any faster than the several steel bikes I had but it would be fun to rent another 2021 C.F. bike to see for myself again. Hopefully I'm right, LOL!

Now I'll caveat my statements by saying I don't race, obviously don't push a bike to the 99% as humanly possible, etc. I'm talking the solo riding I do pretty much each day year in, year out, where I push myself to compete against just myself on other rides.
I recommend that you give serious thought to scoring criteria before beginning this experiment. Define what makes a positive ride, even subjective or other observable characteristics. Write them down and set scoring criteria for even the softest measures. Do this thoroughly beforehand. That way, you can look beyond the simple numbers. You may find something noteworthy. Good luck.
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Old 09-14-21, 09:05 PM
  #304  
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
I recommend that you give serious thought to scoring criteria before beginning this experiment. Define what makes a positive ride, even subjective or other observable characteristics. Write them down and set scoring criteria for even the softest measures. Do this thoroughly beforehand. That way, you can look beyond the simple numbers. You may find something noteworthy. Good luck.
LOL, too late! I'm already 1/2 there. Only Criteria for this is a silly goal of showing that one average joe rider can run pretty much the same pace on pretty much the same route with a slew of different bikes. That's all that matters to me with this. I already have the bikes dialed in to me fit and comfort level so now to see if one is truly any faster.

Although I have found a few handling issue differences between the bikes on this quick little dog leg I take from the road onto a bike path. Let's just say a time or two I've barely made the turn back onto the path at around 20 mph, LOL! Some are just a wee bit lazy in turning than others.
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Old 09-15-21, 09:37 AM
  #305  
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An Ongoing STEEL thread in General Discussion (or in Road Cycling) is a good thing. In fact, if it were 'stickied' that would be great!
Bringing it out of the realm of C & V broadens the audience awareness, especially for riders who started in the 2000s+ ...
We all know there are 'ride' differences between materials, as each has it's own feel, with differences within the material group.
Aesthetically, the difference is also worth considering...
In our area/town, Stinner Frameworks is doing a bang-up business, making frames for many of the riders who are finding steel to be a great thing!
...celebrate the differences !
one of mine... Late 80's Titan (Swiss) Columbus SPX, built very much in the 'Italian style' of the time... a very fun ride!

80's Titan, 57 cm, Columbus SPX
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Old 09-15-21, 11:19 AM
  #306  
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I think the main reason I ride vintage steel bikes is because they let me experience cycling on my own terms. That can mean a lot of different things. One thing is that i'm just out riding a bike. Nothing more, nothing less.
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Old 09-18-21, 08:40 AM
  #307  
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I posted this over on the +50 forum, 65-85+ thread, when we were asked why so many steel bike showed up on the "What do old people ride...?" and he asked seemingly incredulously are these everyday rides and why would you do that when carbon is so much better:
I religiously rotate through my collection; everyone of my bikes was hand-crafted by artisans with things like carefully brazed and tapered lugs, many thinned by craftsmen and craftswomen with files. This attention to detail and esthetics was paid to every stage of the build. I greatly value the components ease of repair and lack of planned obsolescence now present in the cycling industry. So when you say "better to ride" it is based on your set of well understood facts and personal beliefs, but for me "better" is influenced by my personal beliefs. Starting with a Trek 5500 in 1998 (still hanging up in my shop) I bought a new WIzzbang bike every few years only to let it go after a couple of years then stopped after four such bikes.
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Old 09-18-21, 04:28 PM
  #308  
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I ride my steel bikes because if I don't, they feel neglected and get mad at me! Of course, I can say the same thing about my aluminum bikes and my carbon fiber bike. And how dare you call them old! I prefer the term "vintage". Truth be told, even my carbon fiber bike is probably considered old since I got it in 2001.

Is carbon fiber better than other bike frame materials? Probably. Especially modern day carbon fiber where "tube" shapes are optimized for aero/stiffness/comfort (mine is monocoque construction but is basically round tubes). Is carbon fiber worth the extra cost? Maybe, but that's a personal decision. If I was forced to go down to one bike (that I already own), it would be a tough choice between my aluminum roadie and my steel roadie but I would probably choose my steel commuter/tourer. Take of the rack and fenders, pop in my aero wheels, and slap on some aero bars and I could race triathlons on it (oh wait, I've done that already). Put some sturdy wheels in it with 32-35mm tires and I could do a 2000 mile 3-week tour in the Alps on it (oh wait, I've done that, too).

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Old 09-18-21, 09:20 PM
  #309  
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Also, unless itís really high end it is cheap to get one and mod it for your purposes. Iíve changed everything on this except the brakes, and now have the bike I wanted to ride trails around here for around $300.
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Old 09-19-21, 12:42 PM
  #310  
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In part I ride old steel bikes because I know and understand the technology that went into them and the components. I like the almost zen feeling of riding a bike that I have completely built from the frame up.

In part I ride old steel bikes because I thought they were way cool when I first seriously got into biking in the 80s. The bikes back then that I was too poor to buy are now all on deep, deep sale

In part I ride old bikes because I'm not getting any faster and I don't give a damn if I'm not riding the fastest bike out there.
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Old 09-19-21, 04:32 PM
  #311  
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Addicted to lugs

You just can't beat the style of a classic lugged steel frame. Steel last forever and it's always worth fixing it up again, finding vintage components in good shape is getting harder but they're still out there. I've got a couple vintage steel bikes and I love them all. A 70s nishiki has been my daily driver for over 10 years now and I recently got an 80s univega sportour as commuter while I fix up my nishiki (again). Next project is an as yet unidentified bright yellow beast with amazing lug work. I think most of the improvements in road biking and recent decades have been in components, and frame materials, but actual frame design for road bikes hasn't an improved much.
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Old 09-20-21, 01:41 AM
  #312  
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Because the chances of it being stolen are low.
Raleigh made some decent bikes but the forks on these will give away soon and they are not all that great comparted to what is out there now.

No shiny = no steely
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Old 09-20-21, 02:19 AM
  #313  
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I ride steel because to me it looks right..

I do think if my goal was to go fast I’d probably be all carbon all the time but I’m not, so I’ll just look at pictures.
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Old 09-21-21, 04:57 PM
  #314  
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Why? Because my steel road bike still works 45 years later just fine, thank-you-very-much! Friction-shifting - so no various manufacturer's proprietary 6-7-8-9-10-speed compatibility issues. My steel-frame frame/fork doesn't weigh but a couple of pounds heavier than the lightest CF/AL whizzbang contraption - I only wish that I still weighed what I did 45 years ago...So it'd be far easier for me to lose weight than the impossibility of trying to take 60-pounds off a 25-pound bike.

The point is, even as out-of-shape as I am, I still ride. AND I still ride at 63+ years old. AND I still ride my 12.5-mile one-way commute at ~20mph riding speed on my old steel steeds!!!


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Old 09-22-21, 12:23 PM
  #315  
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Because bike riding for me is exercise and nostalgia. About 50 miles a week on a clean vintage bike.
I always thought that pro bike competitors should be training on 2 speed Balloon tire bikes.
Getting used to a 60 pound bike with gears spaced too wide apart would make jumping on a 15 pound bike with an even spread more like a walk in the park.
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Old 09-23-21, 08:58 AM
  #316  
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I ride my vintage steel bikes for a few reasons. I have been riding them since the early seventies and they just feel right to me. I don't like change and no need to at my age. If I were younger I would probably ride something super light and modern. When I was in my twenties finding a bike under 24lbs in my size (25" frame) was challenging. I did not drive a car for a few years and speed was important to me . Now I own bikes I could not afford BITD and I enjoy the way they ride and the nostalgia.

1982 Medici and 1975 Colnago-love them both
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Old 09-23-21, 06:46 PM
  #317  
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How shall I put this?

Last month my wife and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary.
May this year my bike and I celebrated our 47 anniversary.

My wife and I knew each other for 5 years before we married.
I knew after just two short blocks on the test ride that I was buying this bike.

fat biker, still fat
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Old 11-09-21, 01:05 PM
  #318  
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Originally Posted by GamblerGORD53 View Post
Mine isn't pretty, light or fast, but does a 100 miles with EASE.
Plus it's 100% reliable and absolutely silent and the most comfortable ride I've had.
How the multi use bikes for real people used to be.
Technically, this is not a road bike; it's a Dutch city bike.
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Old 11-09-21, 03:33 PM
  #319  
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I like my various (original Old School) MIELE bicycles. They're comfortable and they meet MY needs.

I also like the Raleigh Vector I rescued from the garbage. I've been riding that a lot even though it's a basic entry-level bike with 6 cogs on the rear wheel and a 42-52 double chainset on the front.

Cheers
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Old 11-09-21, 05:15 PM
  #320  
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Originally Posted by jamesdak View Post
I've set a goal of taking all my 20ish road bikes out on a similar route, just sometimes more miles on the route, to prove that under me all the bikes can run my best pace of somewhere around a 19 mph avg.

Now I'll caveat my statements by saying I don't race, obviously don't push a bike to the 99% as humanly possible, etc. I'm talking the solo riding I do pretty much each day year in, year out, where I push myself to compete against just myself on other rides.
Originally Posted by jamesdak View Post
... Only Criteria for this is a silly goal of showing that one average joe rider can run pretty much the same pace on pretty much the same route with a slew of different bikes. That's all that matters to me with this. I already have the bikes dialed in to me fit and comfort level so now to see if one is truly any faster.

Although I have found a few handling issue differences between the bikes on this quick little dog leg I take from the road onto a bike path. Let's just say a time or two I've barely made the turn back onto the path at around 20 mph, LOL! Some are just a wee bit lazy in turning than others.
I have similar experiences.

How fast I ride is never a function of which bike I choose but how I feel on a given day. If I were riding 99.9%, then yes, a pound or two would be a big difference .... when a "big difference" is measured in tenths of a second over a couple hours. For me just riding, my physical and mental condition on any given day determine the pace, not the weight, frame material, gearing, or aero of the bike.

Further ... if a CF bike is more wind-affected, it is tube shape, not material. If bike doesn't handle or stop as well, it is geometry or brake system differences, not frame material, making the difference.

Easy test would be to build two identical bikes, one in CF and one in steel, and ballast them to the same weight ... same build as to all components, same tube profiles, all that .... does anyone really think the CF bike would be faster because it is CF? If so , ... yes, the Earth is really flat and the Moon landings were fake. For the rest of us .....

I ride a vintage (well, 1984) steel bike because I own it. it isn't magic. every one of my bikes has its own personality and its own characteristics, and if I didn't enjoy riding them I would sell them and get something I liked. Some people act like steel is magic .... maybe they need to try Ti. ( ) Some people like opera and some people like rap. Some probably like both. it is personal taste, one hundred percent.

of course, in certain cases---say, competition---yeah, steel will always lose if weight is an issue. CF can be formed to give precisely tuned ride characteristics and steel is much less malleable--it could be shaped to the same forms but not with the same characteristics and it would always weigh more for the same strength. That is just physics. So what? I won't guess what percentage of us are really only riding hard-core, all-out competition but i am pretty sure it is a pretty low percentage ... and in any other setting, the question of "What makes a good ride" goes way beyond maximized speed performance.

My old Raleigh performs wonderfully by my standards. it has 23-mm tires, but well, it is 35+ years old. That's how things were (actually I can fit 28s, but I am waiting until the 23s wear out ... ) It is still a very comfortable ride ... but all my bikes are pretty comfortable, because I set them up to fit me. It has modern brakes and shifters ... but it would be just fine with downtubes and old sidepulls .... It is a bicycle made with a steel frame. It is not magic, it is not miraculous, it doesn't "subtly communicate every detail of the road surface without overemphasizing the input, dampening all the impacts just enough that they transmit information without vibration ...." or some such overblown pro-steel ad copy. it is a decent bike with a decent steel frame. I like to ride bikes, I have this bike, sometimes I ride it.

I ride old steel because it is there.
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Old 11-10-21, 01:55 PM
  #321  
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A properly built steel frame is more shock absorbing than an aluminum frame. Don't confuse the cheap steel bikes being sold with a quality frame from Colnago, for example. For me the issue was the change in frame geometry to accommodate freewheels and cassettes with more than 5 speeds. Mass production moved to aluminum and carbon fiber for the mid to high level bikes.

That is changing though with the current situation where Trek adds $1200 to the price for a bike with a carbon fiber frame over the same bike with an aluminum frame.
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Old 11-14-21, 10:00 PM
  #322  
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I recently rented a couple-year old, carbon frame, 105-equipped Roubaix on a weekend during a business trip. It was fine, I didn't have any problems with it, except - I really prefer my 20-yo steel cyclocross frame, with SRAM Rival 10 right and a Tektro SSR left, front shifting with bar-end..... it's oddball, but kind of exactly what I want.

I prefer it because it rides better than any bike I've tried, though admittedly I'm not willing to go spend $3K on a bike. I do not stay on this bike because of anything romantic about "steel is real". I had my own carbon road bike a few years ago, and sold it to buy a BMX. I just didn't love it enough to keep it.
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Old 11-15-21, 09:21 AM
  #323  
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Why do I ride my old steel road bikes? Ah, because I have them and the fill my needs and wants.

Cheers
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Old 11-15-21, 11:14 AM
  #324  
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Since I sold my '79 Peugeot last weekend, I no longer have any old steel road bikes. I did enjoy them for what they were while I rode them, though.
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Old 11-16-21, 10:20 PM
  #325  
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Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
The majority of steel bikes never made it to road frequency failure stage, since many of them failed to make it past the dumpster stage.

Ouch ! True but it hurts
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