Looking for a steel frame commuter for around $1000

catcat12
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Looking for a steel frame commuter for around $1000

Postby catcat12 » Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:49 am

Hi guys,
I'm a fairly novice rider, but I've been commuting pretty regularly for the last few years on a giant cross city.

I'm keen to upgrade, but I prefer steel frames. I wanted something primarily for commuting (about 6km on roads) but also something I could take on the rail trails in Victoria.

I've been looking at these two, as they're in my price range (approx. $1000).

https://www.reidcycles.com.au/reid-4130-shimano.html

https://www.bikeexchange.com.au/a/road- ... /102810081

The reid only has tire clearance for up to size 28, whilst the kona goes up to 32.

I know reids have a terrible reputation but this one actually seems pretty good in terms of components? And the 4130 frame is pretty nice? Also it fit me really well. Haven't tried the kona but I think it might actually be a little heavier?

Any advice would be much appreciated!

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familyguy
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Re: Looking for a steel frame commuter for around $1000

Postby familyguy » Mon Oct 30, 2017 11:07 am

The Reid is much better value than the Kona at those prices.

How tall are you? I've got a big steel frame that needs a fork that you can have for $20. Save your money for some nice parts and wheels 8)

Jim

Velt
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Re: Looking for a steel frame commuter for around $1000

Postby Velt » Mon Oct 30, 2017 11:37 am

Have a look at the malvern star oppy s range. The Oppy S1 may fit your budget, but if you can stretch a bit I reckon the S2 is pretty good value for what it is.

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Thoglette
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Re: Looking for a steel frame commuter for around $1000

Postby Thoglette » Mon Oct 30, 2017 11:52 am

Interesting problem. I'm interested to see what gets suggested.

catcat12 wrote:The reid only has tire clearance for up to size 28, whilst the kona goes up to 32.

That'd be a deal killer for me. 32mm with mudguards is as small as I'd go for a commuter on real roads.

520 is normally a butted tube set so the Kona frame should be lighter. OTOH, the 105 groupset is a bit nicer. Perhaps it's lighter too?
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redsonic
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Re: Looking for a steel frame commuter for around $1000

Postby redsonic » Mon Oct 30, 2017 12:18 pm

Have you considered a Jamis Coda?
At $1300, a bit over budget, but you get carbon forks and hydraulic disc brakes.

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Oops sorry, I just realised you are looking at drop bar bikes :oops:

catcat12
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Re: Looking for a steel frame commuter for around $1000

Postby catcat12 » Mon Oct 30, 2017 12:33 pm

Thanks guys for the info! The limited tyre clearance on the reid did put me off. I had a look at the oppy S1 a while ago but found it a bit of a clunky ride, perhaps its worth another try though.

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familyguy
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Re: Looking for a steel frame commuter for around $1000

Postby familyguy » Mon Oct 30, 2017 1:26 pm

I looked at the S-series when I updated my commuter recently, but couldn't actually find one to test ride locally. Wouldn't consider the S1 for a grand if the Reid is only $750. Ended up on an aluminium Fuji Tread 1.3 for about your price mark.

catcat12
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Re: Looking for a steel frame commuter for around $1000

Postby catcat12 » Mon Oct 30, 2017 2:14 pm

is it likely the reid would be less reliable than the S1? .. Just because its a reid? (Or is that just prejudice :)

10speedsemiracer
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Re: Looking for a steel frame commuter for around $1000

Postby 10speedsemiracer » Mon Oct 30, 2017 3:35 pm

I would guarantee that the Kona is miles better than the Reid. Is building your own not an option (ie, buying a used Kona/Soma/Surly frame and building it up the way you want it) ?
mmm, BioPace

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familyguy
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Re: Looking for a steel frame commuter for around $1000

Postby familyguy » Mon Oct 30, 2017 3:41 pm

Frame-wise, Kona would undoubtedly be better. But some of that low-spec gear is going to be good for a year of commuting and trails before it's ready for the bin. The wheels on the Kona look sturdier, but it's a choice of drop coin now or drop coin later.

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jaseyjase
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Re: Looking for a steel frame commuter for around $1000

Postby jaseyjase » Mon Oct 30, 2017 3:43 pm

If your happy to spend a little more may i suggest the Bombtrack arise?

i commute 16kms each way, mainly roads. But room for at least 45s. Im running WTB 700x45 Riddlers

its a single speed, but with adjustable dropouts and the frame is ready to take cable guides for if you want to run gears.

PS - ive added SRAM S500 levers and TRP spyers which it dosnt come with, i think stock are promax/tektro items.

ImageIMG_8933b by jaseyjase, on Flickr

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metalrideroz
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Re: Looking for a steel frame commuter for around $1000

Postby metalrideroz » Mon Oct 30, 2017 3:45 pm

Fuji Touring will have plenty of tyre clearance, https://www.bikeexchange.com.au/a/touri ... /102870593 .

Ribble have the 525 bike but it doesn't have much tyre clearance, test build came to $1137 on the uk site, the au specific website seems to be $200 more for some reason,
https://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/ribble-r ... eel/build/

catcat12
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Re: Looking for a steel frame commuter for around $1000

Postby catcat12 » Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:10 pm

where would be a good place to hunt for an old soma/surly/kona frame if I wanted to build it myself? Would the cost end up much over $1000?

catcat12
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Re: Looking for a steel frame commuter for around $1000

Postby catcat12 » Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:11 pm

The 105 groupset seems to be $500 on its own - the reid seems weirdly cheap given that

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familyguy
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Re: Looking for a steel frame commuter for around $1000

Postby familyguy » Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:45 pm

The Reid has a non-series crank set, Tiagra BB and cassette, and Tektro brakes. Only the shifters, RD and FD are 105 items. So I'd guess that's the major difference. But I reckon it's still good value. Look after the wheels now and then and they'd be fine.

Can I ask why are you (seemingly) locked into steel? Loads of aluminium bikes (with or without carbon forks) out there would come in under your budget. I know there are the arguments of ride quality and durability and the "vibe". Having been through a dozen steel, 3 aluminium and 3 carbon fibre bikes, the differences are not that stark any more.

In the end it's your bike, you gotta be happy with it. Just curious as to why.

Jim

catcat12
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Re: Looking for a steel frame commuter for around $1000

Postby catcat12 » Mon Oct 30, 2017 5:16 pm

Just the look and feel? I've had an aluminium bike for the past five years but always fancied having a steel frame.

10speedsemiracer
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Re: Looking for a steel frame commuter for around $1000

Postby 10speedsemiracer » Mon Oct 30, 2017 5:19 pm

As others have said , the Reid isn't what you would call a full-105 set.

Brakes are entry-level, wheels and tyres are cheap, headset/pedals/bb are generic (probably VP) If it were me I'd be looking for a used Cyclocross for $500-ish and then spend a bit of currency on making it like-new again, and maybe tailored to what you want.

This Scott is an example :
https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/belconnen/men-s-bicycles/scott-cx-comp-cyclocross-bike-10-speed-shimano-105-5700/1163876451

As an example scenario, buy the Scott, maybe swap the Vittorias on there for something that suits your ride surface (maybe some Schwalbes) and replace the cables, pads and headset bearings, all good to go for much less than $1000.

The Scott is just an example, I don't know where you live, sorry.
mmm, BioPace

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familyguy
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Re: Looking for a steel frame commuter for around $1000

Postby familyguy » Mon Oct 30, 2017 5:20 pm

Well that's as good a reason as any... 8)

Jim

Velt
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Re: Looking for a steel frame commuter for around $1000

Postby Velt » Mon Oct 30, 2017 5:39 pm

catcat12 wrote:The 105 groupset seems to be $500 on its own - the reid seems weirdly cheap given that


The reid is listed as 20 speed under the specs, and based off the crank looks like last gen 105. So it would be 10sp. Wouldn't buy it based off that personally, you can buy 11sp 105 for $500 as you've said.

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Thoglette
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Re: Looking for a steel frame commuter for around $1000

Postby Thoglette » Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:08 pm

familyguy wrote:Can I ask why are you (seemingly) locked into steel? Loads of aluminium bikes (with or without carbon forks) out there would come in under your budget...., the differences are not that stark any more.

Interesting to hear - I've been underwhelmed by the few Al bikes I've tried (I still own one nice-but-teeth-rattlingly-stiff Al bike). I believe it's mostly in the front fork behaviour but also suspect "over building" the frame resulting in, well, leaden behaviour vs. a "planing" steel frame.

What bikes would you suggest at this price point w/ room for 40mm (or more) of tyre ? There's plenty of flat-bar "city bike" offerings at this price point with 30mm+ tyres and one could (would) swap the bars for something less painful.
Stop handing them the stick! - Dave Moulton
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DavidS
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Re: Looking for a steel frame commuter for around $1000

Postby DavidS » Mon Oct 30, 2017 9:17 pm

I bought a steel frame bike because I have broken 2 aluminium frames. Yet to find out if the steel frame can last more than 21,000KMs unlike both the aluminium frames. The steel frame is a bit heavier but I don't find that a big issue.

The Allegro T1 works for me if you can find one, I found mine at StKilda Cycles in Melbourne.

DS
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familyguy
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Re: Looking for a steel frame commuter for around $1000

Postby familyguy » Mon Oct 30, 2017 9:37 pm

Thoglette wrote:
familyguy wrote:Can I ask why are you (seemingly) locked into steel? Loads of aluminium bikes (with or without carbon forks) out there would come in under your budget...., the differences are not that stark any more.

Interesting to hear - I've been underwhelmed by the few Al bikes I've tried (I still own one nice-but-teeth-rattlingly-stiff Al bike). I believe it's mostly in the front fork behaviour but also suspect "over building" the frame resulting in, well, leaden behaviour vs. a "planing" steel frame.

What bikes would you suggest at this price point w/ room for 40mm (or more) of tyre ? There's plenty of flat-bar "city bike" offerings at this price point with 30mm+ tyres and one could (would) swap the bars for something less painful.


Yes, maybe I should clarify. The aluminium frames I rode all had carbon forks. My Giant OCR with carbon fork rode nicely. Not as taut as an all aluminium setup, true. I think that's a recipe for harshness. My Fuji Tread is no more jarring than my steel roadies. But one is a steel race bike, one is an aluminium gravel bike, so you would expect the Fuji to be a little softer anyway. I did (for a brief period) have a steel bike with an al. fork which was, well, interesting. But yes, there is a quality that steel can't match as a complete set. Aluminium with carbon fork is a close match, personally.

I think I can fit a 42 on the Fuji, currently running 32 with plenty of room.

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Thoglette
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Re: Looking for a steel frame commuter for around $1000

Postby Thoglette » Mon Oct 30, 2017 11:31 pm

familyguy wrote:I think I can fit a 42 on the Fuji, currently running 32 with plenty of room.

sounds interesting - does it have eyelets for mudguards/racks?
Stop handing them the stick! - Dave Moulton
"People are worthy of respect, ideas are not." Peter Ellerton, UQ

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familyguy
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Re: Looking for a steel frame commuter for around $1000

Postby familyguy » Tue Oct 31, 2017 8:57 am

Eyelets: check. I took the rack off mine as I use a small backpack for my short commute. If I was doing a day ride or something I'd put the rack back on.

Fork crown clearance with 32's. I don't have a set of 40's to test with, unfortunately.

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catcat12
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Re: Looking for a steel frame commuter for around $1000

Postby catcat12 » Tue Oct 31, 2017 2:07 pm

thanks again for the tips guys! I think I've vetoed the reid and am looking at a second hand kona, also considering finding a used soma/surly frame as I've got a friend who's pretty keen to build something up for me!

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