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jwb96
10-16-2008, 01:19 PM
My next frame is going to be mainly a road frame with nods toward cyclo-cross and touring to allow big tires and fenders, and will be my rain & winter (and travel and carriage road) bike. Ideally I'd go with Ti, but I'm on more of a steel budget. And custom Al isn't really a hot market. Obviously, a material that doesn't rust would be best, but in reality, how much do I have to worry about a steel frame and what precautions or additional care are needed? I know there are lots of steel cross and commuter frames out there, so it's not a total no-no. But I'm not clear how far off base my worries are.

Thanks,
Jim

Elefantino
10-16-2008, 01:21 PM
Use frame saver. Don't let water sit in the bike.

You'll be fine.

alancw3
10-16-2008, 01:27 PM
for a RAIN bike i would not entertain steel. that being said, i would think that you would get tired of the bike and sell way before any rust problems would occur. bikes are like real estate in that you always have to think "RESALE".

corky
10-16-2008, 01:29 PM
don't be so hasty....reynolds 953....or equivelent :)

fiamme red
10-16-2008, 01:38 PM
Get a braze-on for the umbrella and you'll be fine.

Holding it in your hand is just too risky. :eek:

http://failblog.files.wordpress.com/2008/06/fail-bike-umbrella.jpg

avalonracing
10-16-2008, 01:39 PM
If you had to keep it long enough for rust to compromise it I would say get something else but you probably wont. Aluminum would be a fine choice but the rough carriage roads will beat you up.

I would say buy a used steel ride and dry it of or see if you can get a great deal on a used Ti frame.

dauwhe
10-16-2008, 01:49 PM
Steel will work fine. Use Framesaver and stop worrying.

Dave, who's ridden thousands of miles in the rain on steel bikes

mikki
10-16-2008, 01:56 PM
no, not steel for rain IMO. Reason? Had a steel mountain bike that rusted way too easily. Was years ago though, maybe they are different now.

dauwhe
10-16-2008, 02:03 PM
Do all of you keep your cars in the garage when it rains? Or do you have carbon-fiber cars?

Dave ;)

Joellogicman
10-16-2008, 02:05 PM
Obviously, a material that doesn't rust would be best, but in reality, how much do I have to worry about a steel frame and what precautions or additional care are needed? I know there are lots of steel cross and commuter frames out there, so it's not a total no-no. But I'm not clear how far off base my worries are.

Thanks,
Jim

Is a 1982 Trek 728. It has no rust problems. I don't think the original owner took good care of it, seeing how ratty it looked when I bought it. But it was ratty as in scratches and poorly maintained components. The steel itself was rust free.

If a 26 year old steel bike poorly maintained for at least part of its existence does not have a rust problem, I imagine a carefully maintained steel bike should last as long or longer.

Erik.Lazdins
10-16-2008, 02:25 PM
I applied framesaver just before I built it up. When I ride in the wet I put a fan on it for a few hours.
The bb has a drain hole

palincss
10-16-2008, 03:26 PM
Steel will work fine. Use Framesaver and stop worrying.

Dave, who's ridden thousands of miles in the rain on steel bikes

I agree completely -- but let me add, besides Framesaver, by all means do add fenders (which I know dauwhe does). Not any skinny, shortie, don't give you full coverage fenders, either; real full coverage metal fenders, like Honjos or Berthouds or Velo Orange. They'll keep you a lot drier (by keeping road spray off you), they'll keep your bike cleaner and drier, and they'll look great as well. They'll even give you a nifty place to add a tail light with a genuine meets German road standards (as opposed to CPSC standards for toys) built-in reflector.

It's not at all difficult to find a steel frame that was designed to be used with fenders. It's much more difficult to find plastic or non-ferrous frames that were designed that way.

malcolm
10-16-2008, 03:34 PM
When I first started riding all we had was steel and we rode in the rain. I don't recall seeing a bunch of rusty bikes. I've got a steel centurion prestige from the late '80s early '90s and it was ridden in everything and never treated with anything and the only rust is the cable guides on the top tube from riding it on the trainer and not wiping off the sweat. Ti would be more worry free but I think the corrosion factor with steel is overblown.

RPS
10-16-2008, 03:44 PM
Ideally I'd go with Ti, but I'm on more of a steel budget.Jim, if you are looking at a custom steel frame, you can probably find an inexpensive Ti frame for about the same cost (maybe generic made in Asia) so it comes down to value versus what you prefer. If you are looking at a relatively inexpensive steel frame, I’d guess the cost could be low enough that if you only get 10 years out of it you would have gotten your money’s worth.

Personally I think of my Ti frame as indestructible so I take it out when the weather is bad – but mostly I stay home and wait for a nice day.

Tom Matchak
10-16-2008, 04:17 PM
The threat of damaging rust in a steel frame built with today's resistant alloys, protected with today's surface coatings, and even moderately cared for is, for all practical purposes, a non-issue.

Framesaver is great stuff, and highly recommended. Water WILL, however, find its way into a frame, and the well known secret to longevity with ANY steel structure is adequate venting and a low-point drain hole.

On the outside, if the paint scratches through to bare metal, it's such a simple matter to protect those little spots with a bit of model paint, or even nail polish. Way down the road, when you've accumulated more paint zits than you can stand, get it repainted. It'll feel like a new bike.

We all have a picture in our heads of some old neglected, rusted-through Huffy that's spent 30 years out behind the woodpile. IMO that sort of image is what drives a lot of the spontaneous "steel rusts" responses. But really folks, that's got nothing to do with buying a current high quality steel frame and taking care of it.

For a durable, comfortable, affordable rough-stuff ride, get a steel frame and enjoy growing old with it.

Cheers,
Tom Matchak
Glen, NH
http://tommatchakcycles.blogspot.com/

ekk
10-16-2008, 05:39 PM
...unless you are paid to do so. Or unless you got caught in bad weather unexpectedly.

I just don't 'get' the concept of a dedicated 'rain bike'.

dauwhe
10-16-2008, 05:46 PM
riding in the rain is just dumb...unless you are paid to do so. Or unless you got caught in bad weather unexpectedly.

I just don't 'get' the concept of a dedicated 'rain bike'.

I'll agree with you on the 'dedicated rain bike'. My bike and I are ready for rain at any time.

But I can't agree on riding in the rain. It's far, far better than not riding at all, and it can be a wonderful experience. With the right attitude and the right equipment rain is just another part of the experience of being outside and being on a bike.

Sometimes it's like being a kid--remember how much fun it was to go play in the gutters during a torrential downpour? Sailing toy boats down the street, watching them disappear into the storm drains? I've felt that joy and absurdity on the bike many times.

Fourteen straight hours of rain sucks (I've done it), but in general rain can be fun.

Dave (with long metal fenders, mudflaps, shoe covers, helmet visor, rain cover for helmet, Showers Pass Jacket, Rainlegs, good tires, etc.)

Peter P.
10-16-2008, 05:53 PM
It's not water that caused my steel bikes to rust through, but SWEAT. I've ridden for decades in the rain and that's been my experience.

Don't worry about rain. Remove the seatpost and stem once or twice a year to regrease and check for seizing. Treat with Framesaver. Wipe the frame with a wet rag if you leave sweat on it.

Climb01742
10-16-2008, 07:57 PM
...unless you are paid to do so. Or unless you got caught in bad weather unexpectedly.

I just don't 'get' the concept of a dedicated 'rain bike'.

not riding or riding in the basement are, for me, worse options. but having grown up in oregon maybe i'm all wet.

TMB
10-16-2008, 08:09 PM
I have a bike which I recently had repainted and coupled.

It was my only bike for all the years I went to school in Vancouver and for many of the years I lived there before moving away.

If I didn't ride in the rain in Vancouver I would not have ridden.

I was there for 16 years.

When the framebuilder opened it up to install the couplers he said the tubes looked like brand new inside.

I still ride that bike 25 years after I bought it, the first 16 years of its life were in Vancouver.

There is nothing wrong with it.

I say yes.

bironi
10-16-2008, 08:36 PM
yes :beer:

soulspinner
10-16-2008, 08:41 PM
not riding or riding in the basement are, for me, worse options. but having grown up in oregon maybe i'm all wet.


:)

WadePatton
10-16-2008, 10:09 PM
yes

gasman
10-16-2008, 11:19 PM
...unless you are paid to do so. Or unless you got caught in bad weather unexpectedly.
I just don't 'get' the concept of a dedicated 'rain bike'.

You must not live in the Pacific Northwest. Ride in the rain or don't ride 9 months of the year.

It's really nice having a dedicated rain bike that has the fenders with flaps and a bike that doesn't have all the stuff. There are some sunny days in winter and I love getting on my "A" bike, I feel like I'm cheating in the winter.

Kirk007
10-17-2008, 12:09 AM
ditto. To understand the concept of dedicated rain bike live here in the Pac NW. And steel does just fine if you take care of it.

thinpin
10-17-2008, 01:48 AM
Ahem...when ah were a lad we 'ad nowt but steel and the rain, it came down in sheets and horizontal too, mind. Steel was fine then it'll be fine now!

RFC
10-17-2008, 02:06 AM
I'll agree with you on the 'dedicated rain bike'. My bike and I are ready for rain at any time.

But I can't agree on riding in the rain. It's far, far better than not riding at all, and it can be a wonderful experience. With the right attitude and the right equipment rain is just another part of the experience of being outside and being on a bike.

Sometimes it's like being a kid--remember how much fun it was to go play in the gutters during a torrential downpour? Sailing toy boats down the street, watching them disappear into the storm drains? I've felt that joy and absurdity on the bike many times.

Fourteen straight hours of rain sucks (I've done it), but in general rain can be fun.

Dave (with long metal fenders, mudflaps, shoe covers, helmet visor, rain cover for helmet, Showers Pass Jacket, Rainlegs, good tires, etc.)


+1 I have had many magical rides during summer thunderstorms.

RFC
10-17-2008, 02:18 AM
Steel will be fine. However, don't write off Ti based on cost. If the Ti frame hasn't been crashed or otherwise abused, Ti is, for all practical purposes, immortal. Thus, the used market is the place to look.

I have, I admit, five Ti bikes, all bought used as frames or complete bikes. Even after building up the bikes, often with pristine used components, the total cost of my Ti bikes is less than the MSRP of a mid level Scott Addict. Watch CR and bargain. 1990's Litespeed road frames with forks will generally go on the Bay for $425 to $525. Off brands can be had for less. For example, recently decided that I wanted a Ti singlespeed. I bought a 1995 Performance branded Ti bike with full 8-speed Ultegra plus Dura Ace crank for $250. It had sat on CR for months at $350. Here is the resulting conversion, all 15 lbs of it with kick ass 53x18 gearing. When you do 30 miles on this bike, you have to be ready to ride hard.

http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b384/RCopple/IMG_0017r.jpg

Ti Bikes:

2005 Quintana Roo Santo
1998 Litespeed Ultimate
1995 Performance Branded Ti Road Bike
1994 Litespeed Catalyst
1993 Ti MTB of English origin

bnewt07
10-17-2008, 02:35 AM
Just built up a steel frame for winter use. One message, Frame Saver is messy and smelly and it sticks like buggery to everything. Apply it outside in old clothes!

Bruce

thinpin
10-17-2008, 07:15 AM
Just built up a steel frame for winter use. One message, Frame Saver is messy and smelly and it sticks like buggery to everything. Apply it outside in old clothes!

Bruce
I got best results inside a new frame :crap:

RPS
10-17-2008, 09:54 AM
Steel will be fine. However, don't write off Ti based on cost. If the Ti frame hasn't been crashed or otherwise abused, Ti is, for all practical purposes, immortal.+1
When buying used it's impossible to tell if a Ti frame (or any other material) has been crashed or abused if it doesn't show damage, but the probability IMO of there being damage that is not visible in a Ti frame is so remote that it wouldn't stop me from buying used.