Steel frames …. Wrong material for contemplating a racier build?
tthew – Member
I know it’s not entirely what you mean, but Genesis have seen fit to make a steel, pro standard road race bike so it’s not entirely improbable.
Is there not weight minimums for road though?
Thing is, even if you put in a load of effort/money, or accept a load of limitations to get it super light, it’ll still be less super light than it would be if it wasn’t made out of steel. And you’ll be able to get a nice carbon or alu frame for less than a top end steel one too.
I race on what I have, because I’m shit at racing, but if you want to build a race bike it’s not the obvious choice.Posted 4 years ago
I am a materials luddite when it comes to frames.
The majority of my frames owned (current and past) are steel.
Whilst I appreciate the steel frames now are markedly different to older frames they are heavier.
If I were contemplating a 29er racier build with a view to racing on would I be mad to contemplate a steel frame?
I am under no illusions of podium grandeur ( for the moment 😉 ) but would carbon or alloy be better suited to getting off on the right foot and for the future if I get on with it?
Interested on peoples thoughts.
I appreciate a lot will say its rider than machine but we’ll discount their comments for now 😆
Posted 4 years ago
XC Race whippet, Super rad racer wanna be, weekend pootlerDaydreaming MarkcrispycrossMember
I raced my Chas Roberts DB with XT Pace RC39s and Hope mini monos for a couple of seasons. The XT-equipped 2×10 Stumpjumper Comp carbon 29er that I ride now is only a couple of pounds lighter: 22 vs 24 lbs.Posted 4 years ago
I’d happily race steel again, probably have to be a 29er tho’ 🙂Jon TaylorSubscriber
What’s the weight difference between similarly priced Steel, Alu and Carbon XC frames? Pulling numbers out of my ass, GBP200 might get you a 1.5 kg carbon frame, 1.8 kg alu frame or a 2.3 kg steel frame.
Is that difference going to make or break you? Mean you have more fun? Like the look of your bike and go riding more often?
Of course you could make up the difference by spending silly money on ever more ultralight components but for the same money you’ll never make up that hypothetical 0.8 kg difference.
You might have more fun on it though 🙂Posted 4 years agomikewsmithSubscriber
In simple terms your throwing away 1kg from the start, that will be 10% on everyone else roughly compared to carbon.
Something like the SC highball comes in at 1.08kg and the On One/Planet X Dirty harry (not really a race bike or is it??) comes in an 1.15kg at the budget end of the market. Cotic can get the Solaris down to 2.22kg.
Will you notice? who knows depends on you and how you ride.
I don’t know of that many round our way racing on Alu bikes these days, most are on carbon and happy. If you are planning on a new bike take a look at some of the complete deals around – especially end of line stuff.
But then again I’ll be off out on my 140mm full sus as thats what I like riding.Posted 4 years agoCarlThomasMember
Hey Mark…you know my love for quality steel frames but I have to confess to just finishing building a plastic bike. The frame in question is a Velocite Flux and whilst not being super light the ride is very very good. The handling and balance is superb…it rolls very nicely and it is most comfortable. Then there is the speed and hill climbing.Posted 4 years ago
I have to say that after years of being a steel man or ti man…I think I understand the carbon hype now. But like any frame build quality and design is paramount over the actual material.nickcSubscriber
Depends on whether you’re trying to build a ‘race’ bike ( ie angles and components inspired by race bikes for ones own enjoyment) or a racebike ( ie a tool to achieve a result)
If its the former and you’re content with that, them you’ll end up with a lovely bike, If it’s the latter you need, then steel isn’t the first frame material that springs to mind, no.Posted 4 years agoesher shoreMember
to give you an accurate idea of just how light modern carbon fibre frames can be (compared to other materials)
my Specialized Stumpjumper 29’er hardtail frame in 17.5″ (medium) is just 1.22kg with seatclamp and water bottle bolts
its actually lighter than my Specialized Tarmac SL2 road bike frame, also carbon fibre!Posted 4 years agojohnellisonMember
Back in the day I used to have a Bontrager Race Lite RS (an original one, built by the man himslef, not a post-Trek sell-out model).
It was built from True Temper road tubing, with no frills or bells and whistles (Bontragers were one of the first MTB frames to do away with a chainstay bridge).
The frame weighed a midges’ cock over 4lbs, and all up weight for the complete bike, even with RockShox Quadras (remember them?) was about 21.5lbs.Posted 4 years agocookeaaSubscriber
If it’s a straight forwards weight Vs cost equation, I suppose you could look at making weight saving compromises elsewhere on your “race” bike to accommodate using that steel frame.
Apply a bit of the “less is more” philosophy?
1×10 or even SS?
Rigid fork (carbon or alloy maybe)?
Maybe spending more on lighter drivetrain and finishing kit? carbon for seatposts and bars, some XTR bling…
Diddy rotors could maybe shave some grams, but 140mm rotors to slow down a 29er?
I suppose a big part of it is how much (or little) are you willing to spend and what compromises would you accept to get a steel framed race bike down to a weight equivalent to a Carbon framed one….
It can be done, but you’ll probably end up spending marginally more to achieve about the same result in terms of weight, so is riding a steel framed bike really that important to you?
Perhaps it’s better to pick a couple of off the peg carbon race bikes (Say a stumpy and a whippet XT build) as general benchmarks, and just go from there…Posted 4 years agonedrapierSubscriber
You could find a solaris frame second hand, get a carbon stumpy or whatever full build, ride it, swap the bits to the solaris frame, ride it, sell the frame you don’t like as much.
Might not cost you that much, depending on what you buy for and how compatible the bits are.Posted 4 years ago
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