Super light steel frames
Some folk in a retro steel FB group have recently claimed a Ritchey P29 weighs <3lb (presumably pre CEN) and a Miyata 710 has a “special” tubeset weighed 2lb.
I’ve never seen (I mean weighed or seen weighed, not read a weight in a catalogue/press release/magazine article) a steel frame lighter than 1.6kg.
What’s the lightest steel frame anyone here has verified?Posted 1 week ago
Road frame, but I saw a 953 Rourke and if I remember correctly it was 1400 grammes or very nearPosted 1 week ago
I had a Raleigh Team Panasonic (1985) in 753 flavour, frame weighed in at 1710g
Edit: That was with the headset and BB fittedPosted 1 week ago
Cheers both. I should have said the Miyata above was a road frame.
I think the figures in my OP are bollocks TBH. One of them said that Ritchey logic prestige was 3lb when normal prestige was 4lb.Posted 1 week ago
I had a custom MTB frame built back in the early 90s, using a combination of the lightest tubing available at the time. It was a mix of Columbus Nivachrom, 853 and Oria and the frame weighed 3.2lbs.
I was 16 then and only weighed about 9 stone, so everything was as light as it could be. I can’t imagine many steel frames being much lighter, as it was a 16.5 inch frame, so fairly small.
Only sold it a few years ago to a retro MTB enthusiast.
I think the Ritchey frames did weigh 3lbs, but they were designed to be ridden only for a season,
JPPosted 1 week ago
I had a ‘92 marin eldridge frame, (a bog standard cromoly £600 bike)Posted 1 week ago
It weighed a bawhair under 5lb, that was absolutely frame only, no bb/headset/seat bolt or fork.
So if someone is claiming that a pretty special bike had a 3lb frame, i can believe it.
But if someone is claiming that a bog standard production frame that’s (for example) 1 or 2 models above mine weighed 3lb, that’d take more a stretch of the imagination.
I recall magazine tests of the time claiming actual tested weights of 3lb for alu frames.
These are all mtb I’m talking about btw, obviously road will be a little lighter.
Sure it’s not the swisscross they’re thinking of?Posted 1 week ago
Back then with 26 wheels frames were smaller but as I recall 4 lbs 4 oz was what the top frames weighed. Might get a hair under 4 for racing but hand made uk frames were bronze welded and that’s heavier. I picked up a De Kerf made Rocky Mountain frame and it was tig welded for the main triangle and bronze welded on the stays. That was possibly under 4 and wonderfully compliant. So much so that railing mild berms with a suspension fork tied it in knots. Built it up rigid [as it had been designed] for survey work and it got stolen. Had 0007 stamped on the BB…..Posted 1 week ago
Some folk in a retro steel FB group have recently claimed a Ritchey P29 weighs <3lb
I would call bullshit on that. No way is a steel MTB frame 1.3kg. The lightest steel frame I had was a thin tubed 531c in a smallish size and that was 1.65kg.
(You will need to convert to lbs as I don’t live in 1973)Posted 1 week ago
I had an unpainted shiny steel Diamondback mtb frame made of True Temper TT Lite tubing back in the 90’s that weighed 1700g which I thought was pretty impressive for then. It’s been used ever since by family members in various iterations and is still going strong today. I have a current Rourke 863 Proteam road frame which weighs the same, so not superlight but pretty good for a 56cm frame. A few years ago I had an American Gunnar Roadie steel frame which was even lighter at around 1600g but not sure what tubing it was.Posted 1 week ago
Built it up rigid [as it had been designed] for survey work and it got stolen. Had 0007 stamped on the BB…..
😞Posted 1 week ago
I seem to recall seeing a 3lb8oz (1500 grams) frame or two back in the day when MBUK fully stripped down bikes and weighed every component in their groups tests. Might have been ti though. 4lb4oz sounds about right for boutique 90s steel.Posted 1 week ago
Thanks all, confirming my suspicions. I didn’t want to get I to an argument about it on FB (am trying to reform).
You will need to convert to lbs as I don’t live in 1973
Some of us can work in both 😉Posted 1 week ago
The P20 I owned was lightest steel I’ve come across. From memory, going back over 20yrs… it was 3lb 2oz, I think. It was definitely lighter than the S-Works hardtail (M2???) at the time which was a genuine surprise. It was incredibly flexible though, you could feel the rear turn in after the front. Beautiful thing to ride once you understood it. I have no idea what the complete bike weighed, it didn’t bother me,I know someone who claimed to build one down to 16lb, which always seemed fishy…..it was also incredibly unreliable. Mine worked.
I don’t believe that the P29 would be under 3lb.Posted 1 week ago
Basic engineering (density of steel, wall thicknesses and diameter) would suggest 2lb and probably 3lb is just not possible.
I’m looking at an old Reynolds catalogue, and 753 AT was small diameters 0.7 / 0.4 wall tt, 0.8 / 0.5 dt and 0.7 / 0.5 St. They never came near those claimed frame weights so I’d struggle to believe a 29er with longer dt and bigger diameter could be so light.Posted 1 week ago
It’s probably that weight now if you knock the rust out of the inside of the frame!Posted 1 week ago
I saw a p20 that weighed 18lb but that was a ridiculous build… eg combination of 2 Ti bbs as one brands cups were lighter whilst using the axle from another…. literally no expense spared! My Columbus max Fuquay is 4lb 13oz so over 2kg and built up to 23/24lb heavier than my current full susser!Posted 1 week ago
1240g unpainted, that will be 2 lb and smidge below 12 oz…
Whole bike at 5.42kg.
This gentleman seems to be pushing weight envelop to the max: https://www.englishcycles.com/custombikes/stainless-superlight/
Cheers!Posted 1 week ago
As a comparison my titanium 26″ MTB frame – 456Ti Lynskey Mk2 weighs 1700g in a Large (20″).
It is warrantied for a 150mm fork so maybe something XS restricted to 80mm fork might get near, but can’t imagine it’d pass the current testing regime (and neither I think would my frame…).Posted 1 week ago
I really like that, price isn’t that bad either….
Posted 1 week ago
It is warrantied for a 150mm fork
This is exactly what made steel bikes heavy , if you are going to bolt a 150 mm for to something you aren’t going to want a noodle of a frame.
I still have an old Marin which was made out of Tange prestige it a 22-23lb bike and its positively gazelle like in comparison to the hard tails of today
It does make me chuckle when the springy-ness of steel line gets trotted out, they haven’t been that for about 15 years and I own a few with differing levels of enjoyment or battering. Ride them back to back , of course it’s subjective to each individual.
I don’t get the whole “English” thing , seems to make HALO bikes for customers but I wonder if any would pass CEN/ISO , they don’t have to of course being custom and special purpose ,but it does make you wonder why with all the steel is real nut jobs running round , someone isn’t making custom super skinny MTB frames to satisfy their myth of steel springy bikes.Posted 1 week ago
Might it be you really need to know the craft to push it that far?
Of course Rob is building some crazy mountain bikes as well: https://www.englishcycles.com/cat/custombikes/mountainbikes/
Seen it myself on Bespoked and need to say they are impressive and extremely beautiful bikes…
Cheers!Posted 1 week ago
My IF Steel Deluxe had a frame weight below 4lbs. From memory it was 1.79kg.Posted 1 week ago
wonder if any would pass CEN/ISO
Would you want it to? The only steel bikes I’d want to ride are all pre-CEN.
with all the steel is real nut jobs running round , someone isn’t making custom super skinny MTB frames to satisfy their myth of steel springy bikes.
Er, isn’t that precisely because of CEN?Posted 1 week ago
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