A question of steel?

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merlydog
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A question of steel?

Postby merlydog » 7 Oct 2014, 7:46am

Good morning.

I recently had a derailleur accident on my trek domane which in short ruined the frame. It can be repaired like most carbon but my insurance has paid out and I'm contemplating what to do.

I could fix it - the bike has done some miles, i did lejog in aug, but i keep my bikes immaculate so its really is like new. It has full ultegra which again other than the derailleur is great.

However - I'm not sure whether the accident has kind of put me off carbon?

Ive been considering getting a restored steel bike, I'm a vintage kind of gal. I have a 1969 campervan so I'm not afraid of old, I actually rebuilt the engine myself thanks to books and utube.

My only concern is the ride quality of a steel, having been used to carbon will it be bumpy, will it be ok to do the odd tri on and will my ultegra compact gp and wheels fit? I saw these and fell in love.
http://pages.ebay.com/link/?nav=item.vi ... 41&alt=web
http://pages.ebay.com/link/?nav=item.vi ... 08&alt=web

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Lance Dopestrong
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Re: A question of steel?

Postby Lance Dopestrong » 7 Oct 2014, 7:58am

The ride quality of a decent steel frame knocks carbon onto a cocked hat.

Indeed, carbon isn't magic. A well designed alloy frame - admittedly, usually with a carbon fork - can feel very bit as cosseting as carbon.
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Paulatic
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Re: A question of steel?

Postby Paulatic » 7 Oct 2014, 8:19am

I've moved,last year, from 15yrs on a custom built Audax in 631 to a Domane 2.3 (alluminium). I wouldn't move back. If I did I believe the most noticeable thing would be the bottom bracket. It would feel like I was loosing power there now after the large extremely stiff BB of the Domane.
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531colin
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Re: A question of steel?

Postby 531colin » 7 Oct 2014, 8:43am

Its completely pointless to talk about ride feel in the absence of rider weight, height, riding style, and all that stuff.

One of the frames linked wants oversize headset and press fit BB, the other wants cantilever brakes. Apart from being steel they are very different.
At least the Mercian looks like standard inch/inch and eighth tubing, so not stupidly stiff for a light rider, but its 531ST so not exactly featherweight.
I have no idea if Trek vary the stiffness with size of the Domane for the (likely) rider weight.

Brucey
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Re: A question of steel?

Postby Brucey » 7 Oct 2014, 8:49am

I took a look at the first e-bay ad and the frame looks nice enough but it does not inspire confidence when a 531ST frame is listed as a '631ST' frame. Personally I wouldn't buy a chromed frame these days because it invariably causes corrosion problems down the line if you ride all year round. That frame won't fit your brakes; it is designed to accept cantilevers. If built in 531ST it should weigh around 7lbs for the frame and fork. A 531ST frame is really built for carrying a fair load and could have a stiffer fork than those transfers might suggest. If you want to fit racks front and rear this is the kind of frame that works well but if you don't then it is a waste of time and is liable to be unnecessarily stiff.

I'm guessing that you are not a powerful heavily built rider, in which case getting a frame that isn't too stiff for you is a real problem.

Modern road bikes have 130mm width rear hubs but older frames may not. Steel frames can be reset to 130mm or 135mm but it is another thing to think about. Another difference is that if you get a true vintage frame (which the Velossimo is not) it will have a 1" threaded steerer and a quill stem, not a 1-1/8" steerer and an Ahead stem. IMHO the former rides better than the latter in many cases because it is springier. Very much older frames can be designed to accept 27" wheels rather than 700C ones and this can cause complications, but most of the equipment will bolt on. Common issues are seat pin diameter, front mech fitting, gear lever braze-ons, brake drop, brake fitting (nut vs allen key), handlebar stem size, bottom bracket, headset. You might get lucky with all this but if not it can all add up.

The genesis is a better bet in that most of the parts from your domane should bolt straight on. Just check the headset, bottom bracket, and that the brake drop is within the range of your calipers. You may have an issue with the front mech; the trek has a mount IIRC and the genesis takes a band-on; if so this is easily solved with an adaptor (costs around £5).

In general terms any frame is liable to take a beating and need a repair of some kind if you (say) stuff the mech into the rear wheel. It just takes bad adjustment (or perhaps a little knock that bends the rear mech inwards first) and then one day you go for bottom gear and all hell breaks loose. Steel frames can be repaired easily enough but finding someone who will do a decent job and then the cost of the fresh paint (if you want it to look like new afterwards) means it isn't always cost effective if very much work needs doing.

Steel frames can vary wildly in their ride quality, as can carbon ones. But modern Aluminium frames appear to fall into two categories; ones that are comfortable/responsive and ones that consistently last more than a year or two of hard use.

If you are feeling a bit spendy and/or you are fussy about what you ride, go see a decent framebuilder. I've seen some beautiful frames built for ladies by Chas Roberts for example; he will select the very lightest gauge steel tubes for light-built riders and make something that fits perfectly and will be a joy to ride.

cheers
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merlydog
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Re: A question of steel?

Postby merlydog » 7 Oct 2014, 9:18am

Wow that really is a comprehensive reply thank you very much.

As far as me - I'm 5'11", weight bang on 10st, ride mainly long distance with the odd tri in summer, visit the alps in summer for slow ascents and spain in autumn for wind down. I'm no racer but I do enjoy a fast decent!

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531colin
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Re: A question of steel?

Postby 531colin » 7 Oct 2014, 2:10pm

5' 11" and 10 stone is very light for your height, at least it is for men, which is the target market for bikes.
You should find that any off-the-peg frame is much too stiff for you, as it should be designed for a much heavier man of your height.
An old frame constructed from the old standard size inch and inch and eighth diameter tubing is about the only thing likely to be springy enough in a fairly big size.....the Mercian is surely much too small?

merlydog
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Re: A question of steel?

Postby merlydog » 7 Oct 2014, 9:05pm

I'm considering getting my domane 4.7 ultegra gpset carbon framw repaired. Its not so terrible, more a nick to be honest.

So for my height and weight do you think a decent set of wheels (still running the stock bontrager race light) would improve my ride?

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531colin
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Re: A question of steel?

Postby 531colin » 7 Oct 2014, 9:30pm

Wheels are pretty stiff compared to frame, forks, and even handlebars, so wheels are unlikely to improve comfort, except maybe by using a bigger tyre.
Light wheels should accelerate quicker, but I'm sure I wouldn't notice for my sort of riding.

Brucey
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Re: A question of steel?

Postby Brucey » 7 Oct 2014, 9:43pm

it all depends if you think there are gains to be had in aero, weight, comfort, braking performance, durability or repairability. Or just bling really...

The Bonty wheels you have already are probably a fair compromise in most of these respects. My own 'road bike' (which mostly sees fair weather use) is fitted with a rather ordinary-looking set of open pros built on reworked ultegra hubs. I'm sure that many roadies wouldn't be seen dead these days with anything so prosaic looking. But...my bearings have been tweaked to perfection (including the freehub), the rear is redished to be as strong as possible, and these wheels also have Ti axles, alloy nipples, even lightweight rim tapes. They have really good tyres fitted too, and they ride beautifully; about as nice as a set of sprints fitted with silk tubs, I reckon; pretty close, anyway.

Last time I checked, I've have to spend about £600 to get something lighter in factory wheels and they wouldn't be as repairable, and perhaps not so nice to ride on either.

So it is all a question of priorities really; what are you hoping to gain?

cheers
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merlydog
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Re: A question of steel?

Postby merlydog » 7 Oct 2014, 11:33pm

I don't care so much for bling, I actually quite like to be different Brucey. I've never really been one to sit with the masses (although i know - I have a domane. Twas a gift ;-)) I rode tens of bikes beforehand and as much as I didn't want to buy trek it fit me like an old pair of shoes compared to anything else.

For me its about sportive style riding really, I like a good climb and decent as much as the next roadie but for me its about time in the saddle and enjoying the countryside. I do the odd tri but only for fitness (I try and compete but will always be just above average and never the top ten).

I like to explore... I'm actually considering a chunk of the fjords next year instead of the alps. Just the weather that worries me!

No 'touring' panniers though. Not for me really.

Brucey
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Re: A question of steel?

Postby Brucey » 8 Oct 2014, 6:03pm

I suppose that a lot of people with a bike they use for a range of purposes like you do might have (say) a set of wheels for racing and another for training/touring. So you could go either way with a second set, depending on what you want to do.

I'd also suppose that anyone that can rebuild a VW engine could, with a little application, also build their own wheels if they wanted to!

If you want a good set of OTP wheels for unladen use the Campag/Fulcrum ones have clever rear wheel spoking (which makes them roughly as strong as other wheels with 1/3 more spokes in) and come in a range of price levels and weights. They are not bad wheels but when you wreck a rim you can't buy a spare rim and keep them going; hence my slightly different choice for lightweight wheels.
Planet X do some minimally spoked HP wheels that are pretty good for riding tri's on etc, and they start around £150/pair IIRC. Same problem with spare parts though.

BTW Norway Is very scenic, if a little wet and wild. Any coastal route is incredibly lumpy! In the spring/early summer, not long after there is no snow, there are very many ravenous mosquitos in the woods. It turns out they like the taste of me.... :cry: -I wish I'd had a camper van rather than a tent when I was there...

cheers
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mig
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Re: A question of steel?

Postby mig » 8 Oct 2014, 8:23pm

what tyres do you use on your lightweight wheels brucey?

Brucey
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Re: A question of steel?

Postby Brucey » 8 Oct 2014, 9:06pm

I confess I don't ride that bike very much (it does a few hundred miles, certianly no more than a thousand each summer I guess) so I'm still using up a stash of 23mm Michelin Axial Pro Lights (remember them?). I've tried Ultremos in the meantime but the Michelins seem a better tyre to me. I bought several sets of the Pro lIghts so it'll be a while before I have to change.

BTW when they were current, I tried standard Axial Pros and I thought they were rubbish; no comparison at all. In the meantime Michelin have got up to SC4s and I have not tried any of them.... :roll:

I don't know what I shall buy next. I have some hand-made Paribas stashed away somewhere; I might use those for a bit.

cheers
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sreten
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Re: A question of steel?

Postby sreten » 8 Oct 2014, 10:11pm

merlydog wrote:
Its not so terrible, more a nick to be honest.


Hi,

A nick where ? Seatstay or chainstay ? What frame failure could it cause realistically ?
How much in reality is your frame really compromised ? How much does it really need fixing ?

Given that at 10st the frame by default can cope with ~ double that, and double your power.

(Being carbon in fact probably at least five times 10st, as carbon failure is spectacular,
and AFAIK most failures are poor fabrication, not inherent failure of the frame design,
though of course poor frame design can also lead to failure, leading to especially
the combination of poor frame design and fabrication being most likely to fail).

rgds, sreten.