Steel frame suggestions?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Steel frame suggestions?

    I am looking to build a very light, very fast singlespeed to be the alternative bike to my Turner 5 Spot. I want to run with disc brakes and a suspension fork and I think i want steel for its forgiving nature. Outside of Surly and Bianchi and Kona, there does not seem to much choice in the non-custom area for steel SS frames. I can't go custom because I will also be using it for commuting and need it asap. My primary uses will be commuting and riding technical single track on days when I leave my 5 Spot behind. My 5 Spot is built very heavy realatively speaking so I want this ride to contrast it as much as possible. Thanks for any help yuo could provide. (Money is not really a factor as I am not paying for it, my work is. Although, I woul dlike to keep the frame under $1,000 if possible)

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    King Pin
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    Good job!

    Is there a LBS in your area that carries/stocks SS frames?

    My local guy has a steel Spot and a Jericho and a few Surlys hangin' on the wall. Coupla others as well..

    Perhaps you could find same??

  3. #3
    Recovering Weight Weenie
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    Superlight and steel?
    Perhaps give aluminum a nod.
    You don't need much forgiveness for commuting.
    The Bianchi DiSS is really light.
    Spot makes great frames.
    Me? Vulture for sure.....

  4. #4
    theHeadlessThompsonGunner
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    Ground Up.

    Build it light and strong, right at your pricepoint.
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    "I've courted brain damage like some courtesan of darkness."


    -The Good Doctor

  5. #5
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    Well you have a couple of options. You can get a brand new Kona Unit frame for $400 at Bikeman.com (although I've never dealt with that store). It has sliding dropouts so you can run disks. For $425 JensonUSA has their house brand reynolds 853 EBB frame aptly named the 853 EBB. If you just want something cheap to hold you over, I have a well loved surly frame sitting in my garage that I haven't gotten a chance to sell yet . Personally, if I had $1,000 to spend on a frame, I would definitely go custom. It is something that will pay huge dividends in the future. If I were in your position, I'd get a beater frame to ride while my custom was being built. Like I said, I have a surly that I'll let go for cheap or you could even get one of those $150 single speed frames on eBay. Then when I got my custom frame I'd sell the beater frame to recover some of the $$. But then again, that's just my $0.02.

  6. #6
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    Let's see, money no object... why steel? why not ti? All your requests revolve around ti- light, forgiving, expensive, disc tabs.

    If I had the money I would definitely choose ti over steel.

  7. #7
    hot like a box of fire
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    Titanium isn't really an option if he wants to keep it under a grand. You can't even get a Ti Inbred that cheap.

  8. #8
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    The only Ti that I know of under a grand that is dedicated SS is the Spicer Ti. I'm pretty sure it takes a little while to get those though. You could give Gene a call though and see if he has anything in stock.

  9. #9
    theHeadlessThompsonGunner
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    Quote Originally Posted by diiulio
    If I had the money I would definitely choose ti over steel.
    The biggest part of that question, though, you completely circumvent. One should make sure they want to be and to be labelled as a "ti bike person" before they buy ti.
    "I've courted brain damage like some courtesan of darkness."


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  10. #10
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    Yes, it will cost over a grand for a good frame, but not much over- Jericho, Spicer, On-one, etc., but he said 'under $1,000 if possible'. So, he's going to be communting with it too, I don't know where he is, but if they salt/sand the roads in the winter and what not I would rather be on either aluminum or ti rather than steel- day in and day out in water, snow, salt/sand, and just elements twice a day and most likely it won't be cleaned when he gets to work and he may be too tired to wipe it off when he gets home- or at least I would. I know frames are not going to rust out over night, but if you chip/scratch the paint it will start surface rust, which isn't detrimental to the structural integrity, but it isn't pretty. I have seen frames that are approx. 10 years old that haven't been treated great and have minimal rust on them, but my point is that it isn't pretty. Why not start off with something that can withstand the elements more?

    He wants some light and wants something that has good ride quality, how does ti not fit this category? Why would one need to be a 'ti bike person' to get a ti bike?

    Don't misunderstand me, I am not saying ti is the answer, but why limit yourself to steel when there are other options out there especially when there isn't really a budget constraint. I don't know what the time constraint is, but it is worth checking out if you can get one.

  11. #11
    Probably drunk right now
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    Jaun Solo?

    Quote Originally Posted by MARider
    I am looking to build a very light, very fast singlespeed to be the alternative bike to my Turner 5 Spot. I want to run with disc brakes and a suspension fork and I think i want steel for its forgiving nature. Outside of Surly and Bianchi and Kona, there does not seem to much choice in the non-custom area for steel SS frames. I can't go custom because I will also be using it for commuting and need it asap. My primary uses will be commuting and riding technical single track on days when I leave my 5 Spot behind. My 5 Spot is built very heavy realatively speaking so I want this ride to contrast it as much as possible. Thanks for any help yuo could provide. (Money is not really a factor as I am not paying for it, my work is. Although, I woul dlike to keep the frame under $1,000 if possible)

    Thanks.
    A Juan Solo from Salsa seems like a good frame for you based on your requirements:

    http://www.salsacycles.com/frames_juansolo.html

    MSRP: $760

    Frame Material: Scadium

    3.3 pounds. Complete bike around 22 pounds.

    Ken

  12. #12
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    Great replys from all!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken in KC
    A Juan Solo from Salsa seems like a good frame for you based on your requirements:

    http://www.salsacycles.com/frames_juansolo.html

    MSRP: $760

    Frame Material: Scadium

    3.3 pounds. Complete bike around 22 pounds.

    Ken
    Awesome info so far.

    I have checked out the Juan Solo but know nothing of scnadium. Any additional info?

    I will look into the Groud up. Looks nice.
    .
    I am going to my LBS on Monday to have a look see. They carry IF frames but those are above my price range. Maybe they will be on sale.

    I will be commuting, in Cambridge, MA so it will be very snowy/salty/wet and sloppy. I had not considered the problem of this with regards to steel.

    I planned on staying away from Ti because of cost. over a grand for a HT seems silly to me (I mean for the situation I am in--makes perfect sense for others)

    I will be using the SS for more than just commuting and it will need to take a beating when on the trails. I will be riding technical, rocky New England singletrack with it and need it to handle this. I weigh 185lbs also and have relatively little finese from years on my Turners.

    Once again, great replys.

  13. #13
    hot like a box of fire
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    I echo the Juan Solo comment, it was the first frame that came to mind...I haven't ridden the scandium...but heard the frame leans towards the racey/stiff end of the spectrum.

    The cheap frame followed by a small custom frame idea sounds like it would be my personal choice. Although if you are new to SS the process you might need to do a bit more research before hand.

    Also, since you are in Cambridge, it couldn't hurt to ride over to Somerville and see what IF has cooking in person. It should be a fun experience and conceivably they may have used or second frames laying that you could buy a little cheaper. (I have no idea.)

  14. #14
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    Your work is paying for the bike???

    (Money is not really a factor as I am not paying for it, my work is.

    Thanks.[/QUOTE]

    My question is: Where do you work that they are going to pay for the bike!!!! I want an employer like that too!

  15. #15
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    my *guess* is it would be in the form of transportation/commuting reimbursement.

  16. #16
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    SOMA or ON-ONE

    For steel frames both SOMA and ON-ONE would be options.

    YO MAMA

  17. #17
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    Idea! SScandium

    I ride a scandium converted SS. A 2000 Tomac bucksshot, presumably made by Ventana. I will say that the material is pretty darn ssweet. More compliant than Aluminium for sure. That could be the frame design though so you might want to ask others. I think the price is right for that Juan Solo frame, you can probably pick one up purty cheep. Since you are in Cambridge you may as well hop on the red line and go see the boys in Somerville. While you are there stop by ACE Wheelworks in Davis square and ask them what they think. Great shop to have so close by, always a couple fixies and blingsspeeds available ther......

    OR...... Buy or build and inexpensive fixie road bike and spend some $$$$ on a nice singlespeed for ridin the trails. Now theres an idea.

  18. #18
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    How about a Gunnar Ruffian?

    Quote Originally Posted by MARider
    I am looking to build a very light, very fast singlespeed to be the alternative bike to my Turner 5 Spot. I want to run with disc brakes and a suspension fork and I think i want steel for its forgiving nature. Outside of Surly and Bianchi and Kona, there does not seem to much choice in the non-custom area for steel SS frames. I can't go custom because I will also be using it for commuting and need it asap. My primary uses will be commuting and riding technical single track on days when I leave my 5 Spot behind. My 5 Spot is built very heavy realatively speaking so I want this ride to contrast it as much as possible. Thanks for any help yuo could provide. (Money is not really a factor as I am not paying for it, my work is. Although, I woul dlike to keep the frame under $1,000 if possible)

    Thanks.
    Try speedgoat.com lots of frames there.

  19. #19
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    Bingo.

    Quote Originally Posted by a nice cake
    my *guess* is it would be in the form of transportation/commuting reimbursement.
    I don't ride public trans and won't need parking so we agreed on this. New job = new bike.

  20. #20
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    New job = new bike

    New job = new bike.[/QUOTE]


    Isn't this one of the ten commandments of obsessing over bicycles, SS or otherwise?? Or at least new job = new "upgrades". I'm out of work right now but already planning the new tires and bar I "need" when I am employed again. Lots of good choices being suggested here. You could also buy any good steel gearie and convert it to a SS commuter.

  21. #21
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    Ti frame for 1300.00

    Check on Titus. They make the HCR in Titanium single speed for around 1300 (maybe you could find it cheaper). A little higher than you were looking but high quality Ti. You could also consider making it a SS 29er. Great for commuting with the bigger wheels, and great on singletrack.



    Quote Originally Posted by MARider
    I am looking to build a very light, very fast singlespeed to be the alternative bike to my Turner 5 Spot. I want to run with disc brakes and a suspension fork and I think i want steel for its forgiving nature. Outside of Surly and Bianchi and Kona, there does not seem to much choice in the non-custom area for steel SS frames. I can't go custom because I will also be using it for commuting and need it asap. My primary uses will be commuting and riding technical single track on days when I leave my 5 Spot behind. My 5 Spot is built very heavy realatively speaking so I want this ride to contrast it as much as possible. Thanks for any help yuo could provide. (Money is not really a factor as I am not paying for it, my work is. Although, I woul dlike to keep the frame under $1,000 if possible)

    Thanks.

  22. #22
    hispanic mechanic
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    Here's a second on the 29"...

    Go for a Spot or Gunnar 29" frame, and use the money you've saved for a second wheelset.
    that way, you could easily run a taller gear and smoother tires (or studs in a couple of months ) for the commute, and just swap wheels for the dirt. You could even go fixed...

    the los
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  23. #23
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    Seven or sycip

    If i was looking at getting a light steel SS, my first to options would have to be Seven or Sycip. Both are great bike and they are about the price point you are looking at.


    -Adam

  24. #24
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    Question

    When you say $1000 for the frame, do you mean $1000 for a FRAME or $1000 for a fully built bike?

    If you're just worried about keeping the FRAME under $1k, then you have LOTS of options. But if $1000 needs to cover an entire bike, then that changes the game plan a bit. I bought a steel On-One Inbred EBB and will be having trouble keeping the entire build under $1000, unless I make some large concessions on the components I want.

  25. #25
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    Frame suggestion....

    Jericho Leadfoot! You will pay a little more than 1000 but more than worth it.

  26. #26
    Frame Building Moderator Moderator
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    Just go custom

    Ride a $10 garage sale bike and wait a few months. If you're spending that kind of money, it makes no sense to get a stock frame. Then again, I've got a well-known bias in this area. A good steel frame with a powdercoat (rather than paint) and plenty of framesaver will not have a problem with wet weather.

    -Walt

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