Looking for first (steel) road bike - what should I do?

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Looking for first (steel) road bike - what should I do?

Postby kallvatten » Sat Nov 09, 2013 12:59 pm

Hi there! New to the forums so please forgive me if I'm asking things that have already been asked before.

I'm eager to find myself a road bike, preferably steel, as I'm currently riding a Mongoose Switchback City Pro - it's an aluminium hybrid, so basically a 26" MTB with 24 speeds and disc brakes. Comfortable, if a little small, but I've had it for six years or so ridden casually and I want to start doing longer rides for exercise (and eventually commuting). I live in Melbourne, and I've been trawling Gumtree and the marketplace here on the forums. Looking at most LBSs I feel like I can get more bang for my buck going second hand, thus my particular interest in steel. And admittedly I don't like that most carbon frames these days are built for racing and are lathered in decals. However there is a shop out in Fitzroy I have yet to check which exclusively deal in restored ~80s steel bikes starting at $350 (hm..)

I've spent the entire year doing general reading on bikes to learn more so I have a good idea of what components are good and what are bad, what frames and tubing to look out for, etc, but I'm a little torn as I'm still a rather casual cyclist. I'd love to jump on a full DA 7400 Merckx Strada in my area, for example, but as good as it might be, it might be too good a bike for a casual rider like myself. It's evidently a great bike though, and as long as the frame lasts it's worth replacing components as needed. On the other hand, I could keep my budget lower and stick to something else from the 80s or earlier and spend half as much. What do you guys think? For a first real road bike, should I be sticking to something cheaper or is it worth keeping an eye out for and forking out more for something higher quality? Or rather than looking for a complete, should I try just going for a frame first and build the bike up from there?

Thanks in advance!

Anthony
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by BNA » Sat Nov 09, 2013 7:58 pm

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Re: Looking for first (steel) road bike - what should I do?

Postby TDC » Sat Nov 09, 2013 7:58 pm

Go the Merckx strada if that's what you want. It's not too good for you. It's nothing without someone like you to ride it.
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Re: Looking for first (steel) road bike - what should I do?

Postby rodneycc » Mon Nov 11, 2013 10:11 am

Hi kallvatten, Are you sure you want to go steel? I'd suggest you would only want to go steel if you wanted the vintage look or a bit of a restorer and not as a rider. I'd be going a good aluminium road bike first up maybe with a carbon fork and seat post. Depends on your budget but I'm sure you would find something there to your liking instead of the old 80's steelys (I use to ride one of those in the early days and it was so heavy I had to push it up the hills!). You just need to make sure you get a good fit and that you feel comfortable on it which is why I like Gumtree instead of Ebay because you can generally go and see the bike and talk to the owner a little more easier than getting into the bidding game on ebay without checking it out.
regards, Rod.
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Re: Looking for first (steel) road bike - what should I do?

Postby rjk » Mon Nov 11, 2013 10:38 am

dont listen to them all, you can get steel i have a salsa casseroll triple and i love it to death.

They are a little heavier than alu or carbon but the plush ride is unbelievable, the Merckx will get your heart racing and you will just love getting out on the road. Anything that gets you out riding is always worth it.

I used to think like you old age, crap body but i dont care anymore, i am about to pull the pin on a trek domane 6.9 its a shed load of money but i dont care.

Dont worry about what anyone thinks of your bike so long as you love.
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Re: Looking for first (steel) road bike - what should I do?

Postby rodneycc » Mon Nov 11, 2013 11:18 am

Plush Ride? I must of been riding the wrong bikes in the 70's and 80's. Mine use to roll like they had square wheels (well with all the punishment we use to give them they prob weren't round!).
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Re: Looking for first (steel) road bike - what should I do?

Postby lobstermash » Mon Nov 11, 2013 11:30 am

Sounds like you need to get on a steel bike again, Rodney... A good quality CrMo frame is a thing of beauty to ride. Most mid-upper range steelies were from 10-11.5kg, which is hardly heavy enough to have to get off and push it up hills...
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Re: Looking for first (steel) road bike - what should I do?

Postby rjk » Mon Nov 11, 2013 11:33 am

mine comes in at 9kg now, lighter wheels make a hell of a difference
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Re: Looking for first (steel) road bike - what should I do?

Postby lobstermash » Mon Nov 11, 2013 11:40 am

I'm converting a triple butted Ishawata frame to 700C and 9sp cassette. Looking forward to the weigh in myself. The biggest weight saving I reckon will be the freehub/cassette - the old 6sp freewheel weighs a tonne!
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Re: Looking for first (steel) road bike - what should I do?

Postby rodneycc » Mon Nov 11, 2013 11:56 am

Oh no.. I like my carbon rocket ship just nicely thanks. Nothing against Vintage, restorers, the good 'ol days etc. But I reckon my old ones were shipped straight from the BHP refinery (lumps of lead at 15-20kg plus). But wasn't just the weight, the wheels and those 28mm straight groove tyres just didn't roll compared to nowdays. I did love the centre pull brakes mind you (why have we stuck with side pull anyway?).

I actually still do have my last steely in the shed, an old Roadmaster flat bar model (crossrider I think they were called back then)but its not really rideable. You never know might restore it one day.
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Re: Looking for first (steel) road bike - what should I do?

Postby rjk » Mon Nov 11, 2013 1:05 pm

Mine is a 10 speed 105 triple with rs 80 wheels and conti gp4000s 23mm rides bewdiful selle smp seat

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Re: Looking for first (steel) road bike - what should I do?

Postby kallvatten » Mon Nov 11, 2013 1:36 pm

TDC wrote:Go the Merckx strada if that's what you want. It's not too good for you. It's nothing without someone like you to ride it.

Cheers TDC. Sadly did miss the Strada but I'll just keep looking!

rodneycc wrote:Hi kallvatten, Are you sure you want to go steel? I'd suggest you would only want to go steel if you wanted the vintage look or a bit of a restorer and not as a rider. I'd be going a good aluminium road bike first up maybe with a carbon fork and seat post. Depends on your budget but I'm sure you would find something there to your liking instead of the old 80's steelys (I use to ride one of those in the early days and it was so heavy I had to push it up the hills!). You just need to make sure you get a good fit and that you feel comfortable on it which is why I like Gumtree instead of Ebay because you can generally go and see the bike and talk to the owner a little more easier than getting into the bidding game on ebay without checking it out.
regards, Rod.


I am fairly sure. As far as appearance goes I do prefer the look of steel frames to alu or carbon. I suppose I shouldn't completely rule out finding a good alu-carbon bike, but I am definitely a bigger fan of steel, although I am aware to get a steel frame on the lighter side I would have to spend significantly more :P And as for ride comfort and so on, from what I've read as long as I'm not getting bottom-end steel it should be the most comfortable ride of the three - though nothing against high quality carbon. So I think I should be happy with steel!
Thanks also about the Gumtree/eBay comparison. I definitely want to be able to go and see the bike before I really do anything about buying. Cheers Rod :)

rjk wrote:the Merckx will get your heart racing and you will just love getting out on the road. Anything that gets you out riding is always worth it.
I used to think like you old age, crap body but i dont care anymore, i am about to pull the pin on a trek domane 6.9 its a shed load of money but i dont care.
Dont worry about what anyone thinks of your bike so long as you love.


Unfortunately I missed out on the Merckx, someone bought it Saturday when I messaged them about it Saturday night. Just have to keep looking! :D Thanks rjk, and enjoy the Trek!
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Re: Looking for first (steel) road bike - what should I do?

Postby rjk » Mon Nov 11, 2013 1:50 pm

hwat part of oz are you in - have a look at the jamis range of new steel road bikes

http://www.myjamis.com/SSP%20Applicatio ... grp=road_7

17lbs = 7.7kgs damn light for a steelie, not to damn bad for a carbon either

Image

---------------
Reynolds 853 heat-treated, seamless air-hardened chromoly main tubes, SST tubing diameters, sloping top tube design, double-tapered heat-treated stays, reinforced head tube collars, Ritchey lost wax socket dropouts

Fork
Jamis full carbon fiber with forged alloy dropouts

Headset
Ritchey Pro Logic AheadSet, 1 1/8"

Wheels
Ritchey WCS Zeta wheelset, 20/24H, 24mm Vanadium aero rims, WCS hubs with German stainless steel cartridge bearings and Sapim CX/CX-Ray bladed stainless steel spokes

Tires
Vittoria Rubino Pro Slick, 700 x 23c, folding

Derailleurs
Shimano Ultegra RD-6700 rear and Ultegra FD-6700 front with 28.6mm alloy clamp

Shiftlevers
Shimano Ultegra ST-6700 Dual Control STI, 20-Speed

Chain
Shimano 10-Speed

Cassette
Shimano Ultegra CS-6700 10-Speed 11-25T

Crankset
Shimano Ultegra FC-6750 compact double, 50/34T, 170mm (48/51), 172.5mm (54/56), 175mm (58/61)

BB Set
Shimano Hollowtech-II external

Pedals
N/A

Brakeset
Shimano Ultegra BR-6700 Super SLR dual pivot calipers with cartridge pads and Shimano Ultegra ST-6700 STI brake levers

Handlebar
Ritchey WCS Logic Curve, 7075 aluminum, 31.8 x 400mm (48/51), 420mm (54/56) 440mm (58/61)

Stem
Ritchey Pro 4 Axis, 3D net forged 2014 alloy. 6° x 90mm (48/51), 100mm (54/56), 120mm (58/61)

Grips
Jamis gel suede tape with Jamis logo and "J" end plug

Seat Post
Ritchey WCS 1 Bolt, 27.2 x 300mm with cromo seatpin

Saddle
Selle San Marco Concor with Microfil cover and hollow chromoly rails

Sizes
48, 51, 54, 56, 58, 61cm

Color
Polished

Weight
17.00 lbs
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Re: Looking for first (steel) road bike - what should I do?

Postby kallvatten » Mon Nov 11, 2013 2:10 pm

rjk wrote:hwat part of oz are you in - have a look at the jamis range of new steel road bikes


I live in Melbourne. I'll give those a look, cheers rjk. Although I am a fan of more horizontal top tubes/old racey geometry :P
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Re: Looking for first (steel) road bike - what should I do?

Postby rodneycc » Mon Nov 11, 2013 2:19 pm

After looking at that Jamis I take every bad word back. Lovely bike! Wonder how much. I love the colour in the Spec = "Polished", enough said really.
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Re: Looking for first (steel) road bike - what should I do?

Postby rjk » Mon Nov 11, 2013 2:28 pm

:D
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Re: Looking for first (steel) road bike - what should I do?

Postby CXCommuter » Mon Nov 11, 2013 2:49 pm

Image

Shown before elsewhere on BNA, my 2011 Jamis Eclipse- only updates since is white bartape, cut the steerer down and about to put Ultegra 6800 carbon pedals on *when I have matching shoes)

$2,500 built up with sram red (mostly) and prolite braccianos- it can be fast or leisurely/long ride and the ride quality is rather pleasant (takes the edge off the road without taking away the zing. Also note it has been properly weighed and with pedals and other carp attached sits just about 7.8kg.

It is fast, much faster than me (not hard to achieve).
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Re: Looking for first (steel) road bike - what should I do?

Postby singlespeedscott » Mon Nov 11, 2013 2:57 pm

Nothing wrong with an old steel frame. Particularly if upgraded with a modern groupset.

My favorite ride is a 30 year old Geoff Scott built with a mix of Campagnolo Record, Chorus, Centaur and Veloce 10 speed. I don't think it slows me down and it's ride is more comfortable compared to modern carbon frames I've ridden. Built up with a heavy Brooks Professional saddle it comes in just under 9kg.
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Re: Looking for first (steel) road bike - what should I do?

Postby Mulger bill » Mon Nov 11, 2013 3:15 pm

CXCommuter wrote:Image

Oooohhhhhh!
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
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Re: Looking for first (steel) road bike - what should I do?

Postby Jean » Mon Nov 11, 2013 3:44 pm

If you like the Jamis frame you might also like the steel offerings from Enigma in the UK. At a lower price point there is also the Soma Smoothie.

These are just frames so you need to buy & do the build up, but that's half the fun :D
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Re: Looking for first (steel) road bike - what should I do?

Postby TDC » Mon Nov 11, 2013 4:14 pm

Modern retro is a great way to go. This is my daily ride at the moment. 10 speed down tube shifters, compact cranks, new Ultegra hubs laced to TB14s. Sweet handling 1994 Super Poo frame. Rides the bumps beautifully. Has an old aesthetic, but rides solidly with the newer components.


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Re: Looking for first (steel) road bike - what should I do?

Postby kallvatten » Mon Nov 11, 2013 4:25 pm

Jean wrote:If you like the Jamis frame you might also like the steel offerings from Enigma in the UK. At a lower price point there is also the Soma Smoothie.

These are just frames so you need to buy & do the build up, but that's half the fun :D


I'll check them out too! It certainly is half the fun, though I'm not complaining if I can get riding right away :P Thanks Jean!

TDC wrote:Modern retro is a great way to go. This is my daily ride at the moment. 10 speed down tube shifters, compact cranks, new Ultegra hubs laced to TB14s. Sweet handling 1994 Super Poo frame. Rides the bumps beautifully. Has an old aesthetic, but rides solidly with the newer components.


Now that's what I'm talking about! :wink:
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Re: Looking for first (steel) road bike - what should I do?

Postby TDC » Mon Nov 11, 2013 4:41 pm

Alternatively...

Image
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Re: Looking for first (steel) road bike - what should I do?

Postby kallvatten » Mon Nov 11, 2013 4:54 pm

TDC wrote:Alternatively...

Image


Hahah ;) Neat Corsa Extra! How is it? (I probably don't even need to ask)
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Re: Looking for first (steel) road bike - what should I do?

Postby The 2nd Womble » Mon Nov 11, 2013 5:25 pm

I properly caught the road bug in 1987. I was obsessed in the 90's and carbon was becoming more common. I marvelled at Trek OLCV and Kestrel bikes like everyone else and even enjoyed riding one for 2 weeks when I was allowed. Had my share of rib cracking aluminium over the years. Test rode a Ridley and an Argon recently, both carbon bikes. Loathed them even though I think Ridleys look the duck's and tried to convince myself. Now I have my Concorde waiting patiently to be lovingly restored and you know what? I can't flamin' wait. That one bike sitting in the study has truly rekindled my passion and desire to throw a leg over. If you don't love a good steel bike, you'll probably just never get it. If you want to buy one, don't let anyone stop you!
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Re: Looking for first (steel) road bike - what should I do?

Postby TDC » Mon Nov 11, 2013 5:45 pm

kallvatten wrote:
Hahah ;) Neat Corsa Extra! How is it? (I probably don't even need to ask)


Nice 8)
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