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raceable steel frames?

Sep 22, 2009
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Im planning a to spend some time racing in central europe, maybe belgium. Just to get some hard race experience and some holiday time too. im starting my third year racing seriously. I am 65 kg.

to my question;
i have a carbon race bike but i have always loved steel bikes. would it make sense to have a steel frame that would take the hard races, possibly on bad roads, maybe a couple minor crashes, plus all the plane traveling. of course they are heavier, and not so stiff. But they would be repairable and of course, so cool! Would I give up too much of my legs compared to using carbon? I wouldn't be winning any races there (not in the next couple of years anyway) but i am serious about my future results.

Do you have any tips on raceable steel frames that wouldnt cost too much? i don't want to search ebay so i'd like it new, in Europe.

These i know, are cool, but maybe too expensive for me:
Colnago Master X Light
Cinelli Super Corsa
 
FKLance said:
Im planning a to spend some time racing in central europe, maybe belgium. Just to get some hard race experience and some holiday time too. im starting my third year racing seriously. I am 65 kg.

to my question;
i have a carbon race bike but i have always loved steel bikes. would it make sense to have a steel frame that would take the hard races, possibly on bad roads, maybe a couple minor crashes, plus all the plane traveling. of course they are heavier, and not so stiff. But they would be repairable and of course, so cool! Would I give up too much of my legs compared to using carbon? I wouldn't be winning any races there (not in the next couple of years anyway) but i am serious about my future results.

Do you have any tips on raceable steel frames that wouldnt cost too much? i don't want to search ebay so i'd like it new, in Europe.

These i know, are cool, but maybe too expensive for me:
Colnago Master X Light
Cinelli Super Corsa

They are 'heavier' but not heavy. 'Not so stiff'?, yep, like Goldilocks said, just right.

'Would you be giving up too much"? No. I'll bet more than a few cyclists in the Belgium peloton ride steel. Great combination of what you are looking for in a bicycle.

http://www.gunnarbikes.com
 
Jul 16, 2009
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loads of TSX frames, Columbus Es steel frames are fantastic and available on ebay at not mad money.

recently bought a 1995 Bianchi SLX- mighty bike build up.

sadly none will ever match the 800 gram carbon frames out there.

but they are hand made with SOUL
 
I would say you'll see a fair bit of cheap carbon and aluminum bikes. Steel would be a great choice and for a guy your size stiff enough for sure. Marinoni out of Montreal builds fantastic steel frames for the price. Columbus Spirit tubing. Anything like that would be great. Don't go for some old school SLX or TSX. You'll get something that rides nothing like a modern race bike (and doesn't fit like a race bike anymore). The Lemonds that were around a few years ago were good too...True Temper Platinum. Other than steel you can't go wrong with a Cannondale Caad 8 or 9 for racing. Dents a bit easy maybe but rock solid.
 
Sounds like a good idea. I wouldn´t worry about a lack of stiffness. If you end up on cobbles you´ll be glad of some flex.

Try checking both craigslist and ebay in Belgium for second hand steel bikes. I´d expect there´d be loads for sale since we´ve all gone carbon. I´d expect you´d find plenty of used bikes in Brussells if you search shops or the classifieds. Also clubs and newsgroups there may have some leads. Something from the 90s should be cheap enough and certainly good enough.

Here are some European makers:

Bianchi
Colnago
DeRosa
Merckx
Orbea
Zeus
Pinarello

They´re all good. Why don´t you give us your name so we can follow your fledging career onto the podium? Good luck at the races.
 
FKLance said:
Im planning a to spend some time racing in central europe, maybe belgium. Just to get some hard race experience and some holiday time too. im starting my third year racing seriously. I am 65 kg.

to my question;
i have a carbon race bike but i have always loved steel bikes. would it make sense to have a steel frame that would take the hard races, possibly on bad roads, maybe a couple minor crashes, plus all the plane traveling. of course they are heavier, and not so stiff. But they would be repairable and of course, so cool! Would I give up too much of my legs compared to using carbon? I wouldn't be winning any races there (not in the next couple of years anyway) but i am serious about my future results.

Do you have any tips on raceable steel frames that wouldnt cost too much? i don't want to search ebay so i'd like it new, in Europe.

These i know, are cool, but maybe too expensive for me:
Colnago Master X Light
Cinelli Super Corsa

try googling bike builders in Europe. If you posted them all your requirements and measurements I'm sure you'd find a good builder willing to have it ready for you.

My bike is a 10 year old LLEWELLYN made by Brisbane builder Darrell McCullock. It has full Durace 9 speed and is in great nick. My riding buddy has a 16 year old 8 speed Ultegra equiped Llewellyn which is also in good nick. The cost of my hand built Llewellyn, with chrome lugs was about the same as my previous Trek 5500. The Trek was pretty good, except I got a speed wobble in the front forks a couple of times in fast downhill sprints. (I believe they corrected the forks in later models). But the steel bike has been nicer to ride and I was always confident descending on it. I'd like a new carbon bike with all the bells and whistles and I could afford one, but it would be silly as the one I've got does just fine.

For your racing needs I think a good steel bike will serve you well. It should handle a few crashes better than other materials and be comfortable on poor roads. Watch for rust in wet European climates; take care and it will last you a long time.

Check out http://www.llewellynbikes.com. He has a nice gallery. I believe Darrell is still a mechanic for some of the the Australian teams.
 
Sep 22, 2009
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Thank you very much for all the comments!

About myself - I will start a blog someday next year, where I will attempt to describe the preparation next spring as a low level amateur rider from the very north of Europe travelling to Belgium, and put some of the suffering into words! i will race as much as possible on my trips, probably stay for a month or more maybe in july/august. Tell me if this sounds interesting, then I will definetly start the blog.

custom would be very cool. I will try googling and make a list today of all possible builders in Europe.
 
FKLance said:
Thank you very much for all the comments!

About myself - I will start a blog someday next year, where I will attempt to describe the preparation next spring as a low level amateur rider from the very north of Europe travelling to Belgium, and put some of the suffering into words! i will race as much as possible on my trips, probably stay for a month or more maybe in july/august. Tell me if this sounds interesting, then I will definetly start the blog.

custom would be very cool. I will try googling and make a list today of all possible builders in Europe.

Might read this, very interesting.

http://www.amazon.com/Dog-Hat-American-Betrayal-Belgium/dp/1934030260
 
Mar 19, 2009
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www.ridemagnetic.com
FKLance said:
Thank you very much for all the comments!

About myself - I will start a blog someday next year, where I will attempt to describe the preparation next spring as a low level amateur rider from the very north of Europe travelling to Belgium, and put some of the suffering into words! i will race as much as possible on my trips, probably stay for a month or more maybe in july/august. Tell me if this sounds interesting, then I will definetly start the blog.

custom would be very cool. I will try googling and make a list today of all possible builders in Europe.

Bustedknuckle said:

Also check out Joe's blog: http://www.6yearsinaraincape.com/

Ask him any questions you have about racing in Belgium. He's a very nice guy, and I'm sure he'd give you some great advice.
 
Sep 22, 2009
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I know Joe's blog, haven't read the book yet, though.

Seems that all the best custom builders have a long waiting list.
Only thing I'm worried about Ebay frames is that many of them are very much used and beat up.