Hydro-formed aluminum, high modulus carbon, graphene… Advances in materials are continuous and the bicycle industry is no stranger to this, new compounds and manufacturing processes are generating market trends and the users want more and more, we are looking for maximum rigidity, minimum energy loss, and the latest.
But this same industry does not abandon or, even, rescues the noble materials used in the past, which treated with professionalism, little or nothing to envy to the latest technology. And, if a material stands out above the rest, that is steel.
The emergence in recent months of several brands that dare to recover this material for its frames encourages us to make a small selection of framesets within the current scene.
8Bar. Neukln V1
A few weeks ago, 8Bar presented its Neukln V1, steel chrome frame and molybdenum signed by Reynolds, specifically the line 520, characterized for its resistance and absorption capacity. This frame is intended for whoever looks for classic lines and some comfort, because the capacity of absorption of this compound. 8bar has been able to see that the market looks for variety, and understand that what the “whole again” is completely valid.
Dosnoventa. Stuttgart, Edinburgh y Barcelona
The guys from Barcelona offer several steel frames in their catalog, a while ago we told you about the Stuttgart and Edinburgh, two “top” in fixed gear and road, with a clear focus on quality and exclusivity. However, bet on this material comes from afar, and it is true to the city that gave birth to DSNV, since 2013 they have a spectacular picture of tubing Columbus Spirit, inspired by those used in the Japanese Keirin Championship. Rigidity, rear backstays that guarantee reactivity and finishes on classic fittings that will delight any lover of the classic track bikes. The “Handcrafted in Italy” stamped in all their frames, is very evident in this Barcelona present at the beginning of the catalogue of Dosnoventa. A job available to few in terms of quality.
Note that Dosnoventa still goes strong for its project and this year performs for the first time its own pipe used to build their first models like, for example, the new DSNV Houston.
Cinelli. Mash Work
Chas Christiansen participates in criteriums, works as a bike messenger, rides in cyclocross and he is not shy in the different alleycats in which he races. The idea of a bike designed for everything, from Cinelli side, could have no better ally, Chas, to help them to develop it. The advantage of having Columbus, the producer of steel pipes for more known bike did not hesitate to help the Italian brand in the madness of making a real bike “4all”.
This frameset is made in Columbus Cromor, that makes versatility its best virtue. A high bottom bracket axle, back short straps and a remarkable front load capacity, allow mount 35mm wheels for use as CXSS with brakes and internal wiring, sufficiently agile to ride it in a criterium, or assembling a front Grill and make the delivery of the day. A real off-roader with a bold design, views welds and a frame without any treatment that says it all “rowdyism” of this attractive model.
PoloAndBike has been able to see the steel trend and they wanted to go a bit further. After the steel CMNDR model, which combines chromoly with a carbon fork? Soon it will come in a limited series, the Greyhound.
For the creation of a special frame, they have trusted the job in Arregui Velázquez, a doctor of physics-chemistry who, after starting self-taught and absorbing the knowledge of experts, has been reinvented and strengthened as a craftsman in bicycles custom-fitted in the country.
The steel has a long and healthy life. Many people, with this material, made their dreams on wheels true. There are people who appreciate the quality, detail and the care of some of these creations. In many case these dreams have a proper name, Mattia… There are no connotations out of cycling, this is the name of a magician of the blowtorch who has managed his Legor Cicli brand to be recognized globally and his creations enjoy a reputation without doubts. Representative of a nearly extinct trade, which has been born again thanks to the phenomenon of the fixed gear.
Perhaps that pejorative word we use with old bicycles steel when we brand them as “piece of iron” while we are proud of riding a carbon bike latest model … It is endangered…
You know, “Steel is real”.