Steel road bikes… Options and opinions?

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  • Steel road bikes… Options and opinions?
  • Premier Icon mboy

    In the (un)enviable position of it being time for a new road bike for one reason or another, and I’ve got to be honest, carbon leaves me a little cold. I’ve had one, it rides pretty well, but it doesn’t inspire me. I felt more love for the cheap Ally Giant Defy I had before that it replaced. I think I’m more of a metal man…

    So… Thinking about what to replace with. Also in the (un)enviable position of working in the trade, so some brands are more competitively priced to me than others based on the suppliers we deal with. Built my Dad up a beautiful Kinesis GF Ti before Christmas, really like it, but then again I can’t really justify that kind of money for a frame only myself really. So the obvious option would be to go for the Ally version, the TK3, but they’re out of stock, and the replacement the 4S is a month or more away and to be honest, I’ve been thinking about steel…

    Saw the 953 and 931 Moda Intimo and Issimo at a show last week, and fell in love. Then had a bit of a reality check the following day based upon the prices! So been looking around at other steel frames in the “not a race bike, not a sportive bike, not a winter trainer, but an all round usable road bike” category as I’d call it, and one option stands out to me and it gets good reviews. The Ritchey Logic.

    Now it’s still not cheap (I can get a good price on one though), but I like the geometry, I love the way it looks, I hear good things about how it rides. But the nagging thing in my head is “is it really worth a 600g weight penalty over a carbon frame at the same price” issue. Rightly or wrongly I worry about carbon in the winter (hence my current bike hasn’t been used since October), I prefer clearance for some kind of guard and a 25c tyre (and up to a 28c if poss), and I don’t want stupidly long head tube Sportive bikes or super twitchy race bikes either. That and I kinda just want a steel road bike cos let’s face it, they just look way cooler! 😉

    Anyone got or ridden a Ritchey Logic Road frame? Anyone got any other semi-sensibly priced options (ie. under £1k frameset at RRP, preferably less if possible), and also will the ground open up and swallow me whole if I run a parts bin mish mash of SRAM, Shimano and Campag bits I’ve got lying about at the moment on the bike?

    I ride a 1986 531c frame, bought for £30 and renovated at a cost of a couple of hundred. Running Campag Centaur (carbon levers – lush) but a Shimano front mech. Can’t remember why now. But the point is it works.

    You don’t have to spend a bomb to get a nice steel ride.


    Got the Ritchey Swiss Cross, rides fantastic, would love to have the road version, but will do with my Kona Honky Tonk for now, one day though….


    Get the bike you like the look of, nothing else really matters, unless your racing. As for the 600gram thing, it doesn’t really matter. I have an OX3 Lemond, 19lbs. Maybe i could replace it with a lighter carbon bike, maybe i would be faster, but i don’t race, i like the ride, i have done 135mile on it, regularly 80ish miles no real issues.

    Important thing i like it, it makes me happy to ride it, does anything else actually matter?

    As for your situation, i don’t think you would go wrong with a Ritchey, yes there is probably a little bit of a premium, but does it really matter?

    Your buying from the heart not the head is the way i look at Steel bikes.


    Now it’s still not cheap (I can get a good price on one though), but I like the geometry, I love the way it looks, I hear good things about how it rides.

    Sounds like you’re in love, what are you waiting for?

    “is it really worth a 600g weight penalty over a carbon frame at the same price

    Wouldn’t worry in the slightest about one pound especially as its going to be an “all round useable road bike”

    Rightly or wrongly I worry about carbon in the winter

    Now this I don’t understand. What do you think is going to happen to carbon composite in winter? I’d be more worried about a steel frame rusting.


    My 531 frame wasn’t even the lightest around when it was made, but it was still a very popular (almost staple) choice for club riders. If it was good enough for them… etc

    I would recommend trying to find a Reynolds steel frameset (501, 531, 753 even), get it sprayed to your specification, and do something nice with the money saved.


    I rode a mid 90s Logic for a few years, it was nice, if nothing special ride wise,but I liked it a lot.

    Now on a CAAD10, bit stiffer than the Roubaix it replaced.

    I think I prefer alu to carbon, never tried high end carbon tho.

    Why not ride your in winter OP?

    Premier Icon flange

    I like that ritchey, was seriously tempted by one late last year. Does it have to be steel? My mate had an Ali storck and it was lovely. Looked lovely and he said it was spot on ride wise. £799 frame and fork. I have a carbon storck and they really are the nuts. Bit biased though, obviously!

    Failing that, maybe a second hand colnago master? I’ve seen them going for a lot less than new on eBay..


    I ride my carbon cx bike all through the winter, it doesn’t seem to have harmed it. I know it’ll break at some point, but then its a bike, its supposed to be ridden – and like all of us, it has a lifespan, and eventually it’ll reach it.
    Oh, and I have a ’98 853 frame which was built for me – it rides nicely, was built to take Salmon guards, so is all year usable.


    Stop fussing, take advantage of your trade status, get the Ritchey whatever it is and, if you really don’t like it, put it up for sale in your shop. Cost to you will be minimal.

    Alternatively, ask your reps to bring some bikes over for you to try.


    a customer came to us saying he like the logic frame, we built him this.

    more here
    The Logic, well I can’t see the appeal, It’s a pretty basic taiwan tig frame, no name tubing, no finishing work(see seat tube cluster) and an uninspired paintjob.

    For that price you can get a fillet brazed frame custom built out of decent tubing like Zona, Max is always a good choice,Spirit or Life is a little more & choose your paint. only problem is you’ll have to wait a few months.
    I’d go beyond the Ritchey, even with trade discount, it’s overpriced.

    with framesaver, or even without, and basic maintenance a frame that’s had all the vent holes sealed will not rust.


    Seems to be a fair bit of choice in steel again now.
    Apologies for a “recommend what you own post”, but …

    Singular Osprey for one. My Osprey is, (like my other road bikes, are) set up with a random mix of 8 & 9 speed road and MTB bits and nothing bad has happened to either (or any) of us as a consequence.
    In fact, quite the opposite as it’s proved very reliable, and the Osprey is a lovely comfortable ride.

    Condor and Genesis also spring ( 😉 )to mind for steel frames.
    The Ritchey does look nice, Soma and Cielo also make nice looking frames (but at a premium, plus potential UK availability hassles).
    Lemond frames were always attractive, but been out of production a while of course.

    In case it helps … I have no idea how much anything I ride weighs / could weigh – it’s never been something I’ve thought much about – and either way, I dare say my beard weighs more than 600g.


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