11:05 PM

Steel Bikes

If anyone ever tells you that steel bicycles are just a thing of the past and that they're outdated by today's machines, you can politely agree, smile, and walk away knowing that you need not care about any of their bike opinions ever again. The truth is, steel bicycles are still around after 30, 40 decades for a reason, they were damn well built. The steel bike building era sort of peaked in the mid to late 80s with some seriously trick manufacturing techniques and ridiculous results. After that, it was replaced by aluminum for several reasons, two of them being weight and cost, NOT overall superiority.

With the number of bikes that I have ridden I can truly say that a well built steel bike is next to nothing if you consider overall value. Its one of the best feeling materials. You can beat on it, and if you make a mistake, its forgiving. You can use it for any occasion and it'll satisfy it just fine. When bike engineers build carbon bikes these days they often compare their carbon matrix's different modulus' to a steel bike because it really is that good.

So find a nice steel bike for a daily ride, something Japanese and cheap if you're going to beat on it. Or something Italian if you're going to really be enjoying the rides. whatever you do, you wont be sorry.

As a testament to steel bicycles, there is a whole bike community that grew in Portland Oregon revolving around steel bikes. Google "Portland bicycles" or anything within those lines to read about it, its truly amazing. They build what to me is a cross between art and mode of elegant transportation. Check out these bikes built by a couple guys who call themselves Vanilla Bicycles. http://vanillabicycles.com/frames/