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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: OneEyeMan's Avatar
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    Why Do We Like Steel HT's?

    I've always liked steel HT's and owned quite a few in my years. Recently purchased a Chromag Surface that is dramatically different (in a good way) from the old school geometry of any others I've owned. It's an absolute blast to ride. I still love my Pivot 429 Trail, but the Chromag has that undefined quality that makes it "fun". So what is it about them specifically that we love? And when your friends ask "why do you still ride a HT" how do you answer them?
    Thanks all.Why Do We Like Steel HT's?-chromag.jpg

  2. #2
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    Reputation: Mr Pig's Avatar
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    Steel hard-tails are not as jarring to ride as aluminium ones. That's kinda it don't you think?

  3. #3
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    I had a Nimble 9 and loved it. It was heavy though. I got rid of it and instantly regretted doing so. I'd really like to get another modern geo steel frame sometime. Not sure when it would be in the cards for me to do so however.
    Kona Big Unit SS
    Kona Private Jake SSCX
    DiamondBack Release 3
    Norco Torrent HT 7.1

  4. #4
    Wanna ride bikes?
    Reputation: *OneSpeed*'s Avatar
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    This is destined to be a thread filled with cliche's so lets get started.

    Steel has that lively ride that only steel has. The frames have a personality (soul), not a dead (carbon) or harsh (aluminum) ride. Each one is different. They can be carefully crafted to ride the way the builder wants.

    It's durable, it can take a punch. It can also be repaired more easily than others.

    It looks better. The tubes can be shaped to be functional or visually appealing.

    It has intangible properties that make it appealing to me. I feel more connected to the bike, and to the trail on a steel frame (pure).

    It's affordable.

    I like the craftsmanship involved. I always visualize someone measuring and cutting tubes, then fitting them in a jig and joining the tubes.

    Did I mention ride quality? The Ride Quality!!

    It's a little old school. I like that it's not mainstream, high volume, big brand name, 1,000,000 of the same bike everyone else has.

    It's more fun.

    It's the foundation of the genesis of mountain biking.
    Rigid SS 29er
    SS 29+
    Fat Lefty
    SS cyclocross
    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  5. #5
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    I just do, ok?

    Oh, and what OneSpeed said too.
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  6. #6
    Life's a ride, enjoy it! Moderator
    Reputation: life behind bars's Avatar
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    I just prefer knockaround bikes, steel fits the bill.
    Wanted, SRAM GX 2x11 rear derailleur

    It ain't supposed to be easy.

  7. #7
    Anytime. Anywhere.
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    Cheaper, less maintenance, ride quality, and cool factor.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  8. #8
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    I know that a lot of people will say that the material is irrelevant and it's the design that matters most. I have no way to quantify that.

    For whatever reason, I definitely prefer the feel of steel for the hardtails that I've owned.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

  9. #9
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curveball View Post
    I know that a lot of people will say that the material is irrelevant and it's the design that matters most. I have no way to quantify that.

    For whatever reason, I definitely prefer the feel of steel for the hardtails that I've owned.
    There's truth to that. My aluminum Kona (both of them) ride really nice. When I had my diSSent it was very harsh riding. I will say however my steel N9 was the nicest riding bike I've owned to date.
    Kona Big Unit SS
    Kona Private Jake SSCX
    DiamondBack Release 3
    Norco Torrent HT 7.1

  10. #10
    Always in the wrong gear
    Reputation: Impetus's Avatar
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    We can all wax poetic about the 'soul' of steel. For sure, it rides nice.
    There's also a certain aesthetic to plain ol' round metal tubes and straight lines.

    I ride a steel bike because:
    quality is (reasonably) inexpensive compared to equal quality carbon.
    It's repairable with minimal fuss, much less fuss than carbon, and alloy isn't generally fixable.

    Mostly it comes down that I chose my bike because of geometry, and features. It happens to be made of steel.
    Donít modify the trail to match your skills, modify your skills to match the trails.

  11. #11
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    I like that they can trip traffic light sensors.

    Also that steel tubing is widely available in a variety of diameters and thicknesses for small scale/hobby builders.

    My current steel hardtail is stupidly stiff, as designed.
    "Things that are complex are not useful, Things that are useful are simple."
    Mikhail Kalashnikov

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