Steel ride quality and questions on frames- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 28 of 28
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    815

    Steel ride quality and questions on frames

    I have been riding a SS for many many years now and have had quite a few steel frames, mostly they have been 4130 and I had a Columbus Zona custom built frame.

    My current frame is a Gen 1 DMR Trailstar which I have been riding for a couple of years and I am looking to upgrade the frame to something lighter weight and more comfortable to ride and more XC orientated.

    I see there are many different quality steel frame types on the market now and I dont really know the difference to the types of steel they use.

    A friend raves on about True Temper Platinum OSX which he has 2 Kona frames made of. I cant find any frames made of this stuff for sale new or 2nd hand.

    I am trying to decide between a Sanderson Soloist 853 or a Soma 4one5 Tange Prestige, both these frame are lightweight (for steel) but which of these 2 would have the best ride quality?

    Are there any other SS Specific frames I should be considering? Prequisits are ride quality and lightweight (under 5lbs).
    Last edited by VERT1; 07-15-2010 at 12:18 PM.

  2. #2
    .......
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    3,707
    Ride quality between those two frames will be negligible. I've had 4130, TTOX, etc and really can't tell any difference between them. Just get what fits you.

  3. #3
    openwound
    Reputation: voodoochild's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    580
    Both 853 and Prestige tube sets are pretty nice and I think you'd be hard-pressed to detect a difference in ride quality between the two -- at least as far as the effect that the frame material has on the ride quality. Does either manufacturer use the high-end tubing in the seat/chain stays? Many manufacturers will use the light stuff in the main triangle and less expensive tubes in the seat & chain stays. Not that that's a bad thing, but it's fairly common, if not the norm.

    I'd guess that any difference you'd notice would likely come down to the geometry. If they're built using similar angles, etc. then, like p_nut says, it'll come down to what fits you best.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Andy R's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    733
    As above really - the important thing is that the frame should fit you and suit what you want to do with it.
    I've always ridden steel framed bikes and over the last 20 years I've had frames made from 853, 653, Columbus Max OR, TTOX , Tange Prestige and good old 4130.

    One of the 853 frames (2006 RM Blizzard) was, in my opinion, one of the "deadest" frames I've ever owned - I just couldn't get on with it (not light either).
    However, I'm now riding a Singular Hummingbird (4130) and I can't say enough good things about it. Good frame design is more important than the steel analysis or weight (both within reason, obviously).

    A friend of mine owned two Inbreds, one 853 and one the "DN6" 4130 version.
    I've ridden them both, more or less back-to-back, and I couldn't define any difference.
    Tyres/tyre pressures and wheel builds probably make the most noticable difference to ride "feel" for me.

    If you get the chance, have a look at/test ride on a Hummingbird. I think that it's a pretty outstanding bike and deserves to be more popular than it is.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    815
    Any comments on a Charge Duster SS frame? I have been offered one of these for very cheap

  6. #6
    SS or Die
    Reputation: -Muz R-'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    354
    I agree that the build is more important than the material used in this case, a steel frame can be made to be stiff and/or nimble. I love the way my Independent Fabrications rides because its not a noodly like some factory built frames but sadly its a little heavier than I would like it to be.

    Dont know much about them but Thylacine claim to have one of the worlds lightest steel frames, they might be worth a look.

    Have you considered Titanium?
    "Be the Gear..."

  7. #7
    master blaster
    Reputation: veloreality's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    1,149
    i ride prestige & soon will be riding zona.
    prestige rides great, some would say its not very strong, but i have no issues.
    both frames are sub 5lbs.
    titanium with a steel fork throws all of the above outta the ball game though.

  8. #8
    Mtbr Forum Sponsor - Homebrewed Components
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    2,419
    I'm not sure if you're open to other materials, but the Ibis Tranny is very light and very compliant.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    815
    I am hoping to keep the price down so carbon and Ti is out of the question for me.

    I have been looking at various frames and so far these are my thoughts:

    2010 kona explosif - might be pricey, not sure on weight and steel type

    2010 soma 4one5 - my 1st choice of all so far, would be my price limit, geometry for 80mm fork i want to run 100mm if i can, frame is good looking

    2010 charge duster ss - top tube looks a bit short, could be heavy, not sure on the ecentric bottom bracket, dirt cheap.

    Sanderson soloist 853 - price limit, not sure on ebb, cant find hardly any info on the bike.

    Sanderson soloist - not sure on ebb, cant find hardly any info on bike, not sure on steel type.

    2010 Salsa Ala carte - dont know weight, might be pricey, not sure on steel type.

    Cotic Simple - might be pricey, no idea where i would get one of these from

    On-one inbred - most uninteresting looking bike, cheap, set tube too short for medium, but top tube to long for large (whats with the geo?)


    Ps i am in New Zealand so bikes do cost a lot more over here and are harder to find
    Last edited by VERT1; 07-15-2010 at 01:57 PM.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Andy R's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    733
    Quote Originally Posted by VERT1

    I have been looking at various frames and so far these are my thoughts:

    2010 kona explosif - might be pricey, not sure on weight and steel type

    2010 soma 4one5 - my 1st choice of all so far, would be my price limit, geometry for 80mm fork i want to run 100mm if i can, frame is good looking

    2010 charge duster ss - top tube looks a bit short, could be heavy, not sure on the ecentric bottom bracket, dirt cheap.

    Sanderson soloist 853 - price limit, not sure on ebb, cant find hardly any info on the bike.

    Sanderson soloist - not sure on ebb, cant find hardly any info on bike, not sure on steel type.

    2010 Salsa Ala carte - dont know weight, might be pricey, not sure on steel type.

    Cotic Simple - might be pricey, no idea where i would get one of these from

    On-one inbred - most uninteresting looking bike, cheap, set tube too short for medium, but top tube to long for large (whats with the geo?)
    A few points based on both what I know/think and what t'interweb tells us....

    Kona Explosif - I think expensive for what it is - frame material is DB cromoly (4130).
    I happen to think a bit short in the TT for a singlespeed frame, but then that's a personal thing.

    Charge Duster - Tubing is Tange Infinity, gets good reviews - that's all I know.

    Sanderson Soloist All their frames are exceptionally well finished, with good attention to detail. Apparently the EBB design works well, although I can't speak from experience about this point I've never seen one of their singlespeeds "in the flesh".
    Cromoly (4130) or 853.

    Salsa a la Carte Frame tubing is triple-butted Sanko cromoly (Japanese).

    Cotic Simple Track ends and slotted disc mount (which personally I'm not so keeen on). Same geometry as the Soul. People who have them seem to love them but I've never ridden one myself so I don't know....
    info@cotic.co.uk

    On-One Inbred Cheap but very good value - people seem to love them or hate them.
    Good points are long top tube for frame size (short seat tube? - use a long seatpost) so you can achieve a good riding position while still using a sensible 50-70mm stem length.

    Bad points are (for me) track ends and slotted disc mount.

    Singular Hummingbird Double butted cromoly frame, Phil Wood EBB. Can run as a 69'er with the supplied rigid forks or with 26" front wheel and suspension forks (or suspension corrected rigids if you really wanted to, I suppose).
    I've only used mine as a 69'er and I can't say enough good things about it. I can recommend it, and the man behind the company, Sam Alison, 110%.

    Here you go - Singular Cycles NZ

    I don't know if any of this is useful stuff or not ........here's what the Hummingbird looks like anyway.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Steel ride quality and questions on frames-hummingbird-6.jpg  

    Last edited by Andy R; 07-16-2010 at 12:59 AM.

  11. #11
    mbtr member
    Reputation: scottzg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    5,338
    man it's so weird to read about this from a consumer's standpoint. I wouldn't get too hung up over the metal used, if it's steel. Wall thickness and tubing diameter matter more than what metal it is, and that crap pares compared to geometry. Which is to say- look at the weights and the design, not the metal. The only one i can speak with authority on is the inbred- i have a 20" commuter/ss mtb. I like it, it's a little heavy and noodly for my tastes, but as a fast XC ss that i ride with control it's pretty fkn fun. I have no interest in dealing with EBBs. I really appreciate a long top tube for going fast- and isn't that the whole point?
    "Things that are complex are not useful, Things that are useful are simple."
    Mikhail Kalashnikov

  12. #12
    local trails rider
    Reputation: perttime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    12,211
    Quote Originally Posted by VERT1
    Cotic Simple - might be pricey, no idea where i would get one of these from

    On-one inbred - most uninteresting looking bike, cheap, set tube too short for medium, but top tube to long for large (whats with the geo?)
    I think people mostly buy Cotics straight from Cotic. Some seem to feel that the Soul (so presumably also the Simple) is a bit soft. Probably not the best for a heavier guy like me, then.

    Long and low is what I like: when the bike is long enough, I still have a little standover clearance. I believe On-One is one of those who suggest short stems for their frames.

    ... and yes: wall thickness and tubing diameter matter more than the exact type of steel.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    815
    Quote Originally Posted by Andy R
    A few points based on both what I know/think and what t'interweb tells us....

    Kona Explosif - I think expensive for what it is - frame material is DB cromoly (4130).
    I happen to think a bit short in the TT for a singlespeed frame, but then that's a personal thing.

    Charge Duster - Tubing is Tange Infinity, gets good reviews - that's all I know.

    Sanderson Soloist All their frames are exceptionally well finished, with good attention to detail. Apparently the EBB design works well, although I can't speak from experience about this point I've never seen one of their singlespeeds "in the flesh".
    Cromoly (4130) or 853.

    Salsa a la Carte Frame tubing is triple-butted Sanko cromoly (Japanese).

    Cotic Simple Track ends and slotted disc mount (which personally I'm not so keeen on). Same geometry as the Soul. People who have them seem to love them but I've never ridden one myself so I don't know....
    info@cotic.co.uk

    On-One Inbred Cheap but very good value - people seem to love them or hate them.
    Good points are long top tube for frame size (short seat tube? - use a long seatpost) so you can achieve a good riding position while still using a sensible 50-70mm stem length.

    Bad points are (for me) track ends and slotted disc mount.

    Singular Hummingbird Double butted cromoly frame, Phil Wood EBB. Can run as a 69'er with the supplied rigid forks or with 26" front wheel and suspension forks (or suspension corrected rigids if you really wanted to, I suppose).
    I've only used mine as a 69'er and I can't say enough good things about it. I can recommend it, and the man behind the company, Sam Alison, 110%.

    Here you go - Singular Cycles NZ

    I don't know if any of this is useful stuff or not ........here's what the Hummingbird looks like anyway.
    thanks for that, great info there. The hummingbird looks great, I never even heard of them. How does a 69nr ride? what benefit does the 29" wheel up front give the bike?

  14. #14
    .......
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    3,707
    Just plug for Vassago Jabberwocky. I just built one up and love the ride. I also prefer track ends, as it's simple and nothing to fail. I use XT quick release and have not had any slippage.


  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation: gjenkins@'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    1,598
    Quote Originally Posted by p nut
    Just plug for Vassago Jabberwocky. I just built one up and love the ride. I also prefer track ends, as it's simple and nothing to fail. I use XT quick release and have not had any slippage.
    Ditto on the Jabber. I love the bike. The long wheelbase/chainstays aren't for everyone, I suppose, as many are building short stays and short wheelbases. I might try an XT quick release on mine.

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Andy R's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    733
    Quote Originally Posted by VERT1
    thanks for that, great info there. The hummingbird looks great, I never even heard of them. How does a 69nr ride? what benefit does the 29" wheel up front give the bike?
    You're more than welcome.

    I won't go on too much about the Hummingbird, but I'm more than happy to tell anyone who'll listen that it's probably the best handling and most fun to ride bike that I've ever owned. I'm 5' 9" and ride a medium and it's long enough in the top tube to give a good out-of-the-saddle climbing position with a 70mm stem.

    I was out on a club ride last weekend and after a long, fast, rutted and rocky descent, (which I was leading the way down), the guy who was following me said "how can you do that? - you just seem to be able to pick any line that you feel like."
    I told him it's the bike - now I'm sure that it's not just the bike, I'm old and cynical enough to know that a particular bike isn't going to turn me into a trail god but nevertheless, it is a seriously lovely ride.

    The advantage of the 29" wheel - it rolls over stuff better and doesn't "stall" as easily among roots or baby head rocks. I can't see a single reason for me to ever use a 26" front wheel again.

    And although I did get a very good deal on my frame (Sam just wants to get his frames out and seen - I have the first and only one on the island where I live), I've no connection with Singular Cycles other than as a customer.
    If you have the chance to see/test ride one it might suit you.

  17. #17
    openwound
    Reputation: voodoochild's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    580
    I have a Singular Swift. It's my second 29 inch bike (first was a Rig). I'm old and slow, but the bike fits me well (size large, I'm 6 foot) and is a blast to ride.

    Steel ride quality and questions on frames-singular1.jpg

  18. #18
    The need for singlespeed
    Reputation: zaskaranddriver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    973
    Don't know what size you need, but the 4one5 is no longer available in 17" or 19".

    I strongly considered the 4one5 but opted instead for a Voodoo Wanga due to the sliding vertical drops.

  19. #19
    nothing to see here
    Reputation: Stevob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    3,268
    I'd love to own one of those Swifts one day. Never heard a bad word about them.
    I see hills.

    I want to climb them.

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    815
    Further looking around I bumped found a bike called Kinesis Decade Virtue and looking at the Geo it seems to fit what I am after too. Bike looks nice too http://kinesisdecade.co.uk/product.php?id=2

    That 69nr above looks nice but I think I will stick with a 26" wheeled bike

  21. #21
    openwound
    Reputation: voodoochild's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    580
    I'm curious as to why you're sticking with 26" wheels? Is it because they're easier to come by where you're at? Are 650b parts available in NZ? -- yeah, I know, there's always the web but import/VAT taxes must be a b*itch. What frame size do you typically ride?

    I looked at the Duster but the bare frame they list/sell, and I'm sure someone will correct me, is not a ss frame -- no track ends nor EBB. They do, however, list it as a complete bike.

    The Kinesis is interesting but I'm not a fan of elaborate dropouts. Too many small, exposed bolts to foul up. YMMV

    Sounds like the Soma may be a good choice for you, if you can get one in the size you need. Have you considered their B-side (650b frame)? If you're not ready to make the change to wagon wheels, it seems like 650b offers some of the positives of the 29-inch without the full commitment, though tire selection is not so great just yet.

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    637
    Quote Originally Posted by gjenkins@
    Ditto on the Jabber. I love the bike. The long wheelbase/chainstays aren't for everyone, I suppose, as many are building short stays and short wheelbases. I might try an XT quick release on mine.

    This x100.
    I have a Giant Anthem and an Intense Tracer and this is still my fav to ride.

    I asked an older framebuilder about diff steel as I'm considering having a 'higher end' version of my Jab built......his response was "Steel is steel and it all rides the same."

    And the XT QRs work very well.

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation: gjenkins@'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    1,598
    Quote Originally Posted by gsomtb
    This x100.
    I have a Giant Anthem and an Intense Tracer and this is still my fav to ride.

    I asked an older framebuilder about diff steel as I'm considering having a 'higher end' version of my Jab built......his response was "Steel is steel and it all rides the same."

    And the XT QRs work very well.
    I had a Ti one built up. I use it with gears and a front shock for epic rides. I still like my rigid jabber ss better. I just got back from a 50 miler on the Ti bike, and it was excellent.

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    108
    I am surprised no one has mentioned Surly Karate Monkey or 1x1 or Pugsley. I can't say I've ever ridden any of those on trail, but they are pretty popular here around the Pac NW.

  25. #25
    Ovaries on the Outside
    Reputation: umarth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    4,366
    I'm surprised there is no monocog or monocog flight discussion. I own one of both- one is 4130 (MC) and the other is Sanko double butted (MC flight). I think the only difference between the two steels is weight- both ride great and have fantastic geometry.

  26. #26
    Ovaries on the Outside
    Reputation: umarth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    4,366
    Quote Originally Posted by Andy R
    If you get the chance, have a look at/test ride on a Hummingbird. I think that it's a pretty outstanding bike and deserves to be more popular than it is.
    You could start a thread with a review and photos. Just saying.

  27. #27
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    815
    Anyone know the weight of a singular hummingbird frame not including the fork?

  28. #28
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Andy R's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    733
    Quote Originally Posted by VERT1
    Anyone know the weight of a singular hummingbird frame not including the fork?
    I'd think just under 5lbs without the EBB insert (although I've never actually weighed mine ).
    It rides brilliantly though, which in my book is much more important than weight (within reason, obviously...).

Members who have read this thread: 0

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2019 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.