What material is right for you?
You probably know the answer - but just in case, let me highlight the benefits of each.
Steel provides a ride that has been enjoyed by cyclists for over 100 years. Despite many
experiments during this history, nothing has knocked steel off its pedestal of smooth riding goodness.
Steel offers the builder the ultimate in tune-ability. I combine tubes from Dedacciai, Columbus,
Reynolds, True Temper and Tange to get the correct combinations of diameter, wall thickness, and
butt gauges & lengths. Sometimes I'll even use a conical tube, with different diameters at each end,
to further adapt a frame to the rider.
Steel offers a potential for beauty than just can't be matched by other materials. Carved lugs and
fittings, polished stainless steel accents, custom bent tubes and stays - these are all important to
making a custom bike visually unique and special.
On those unusual occasions when steel is overloaded, has a graceful failure mode. It is rare to see a
steel tube break in two. Instead, steel generally bends, cracks, and tears while maintaining it's
fundamental integrity. If you ride on the physical edge, you may be safer on steel.
Finally, steel offers the flexibility of geometry to create perfect handling. A steel crown and fork blades
allows the frame-builder the luxury of adapting the rake, trail, and steerer angle to create handling
perfection. Don't believe anyone who says that one or even two rakes work equally well across a
range of designs. Only steel offers complete control over steering geometry.