Steel is the material that has been on an irreplaceable position throughout the history of cycling. From the boneshakers of 1860s to modern custom builds, it has been the material of choice for many builders.
From the early 1900s to 1990s, steel was almost the only material used in producing bikes. In 1990s aluminium began its rise as the top choice in racing, only to be dethroned as the end of the decade saw a new material’s rise – carbon fiber. Composite materials have large advantages over metal such as aerodynamics, as it can be easily formed into any shape, and most importantly for racing – weight. Carbon road racing frames have been built as light as 642 grams with a ‘light’ steel frame being around 1400g. With carbon conquering most of the professional cycling, steel is not very likely to make a comeback to the performance world.
But if dreaming of the fastest time on Alpe d’Huez doesn’t give you a boner, then steel is most probably the best option for your urban bicycle. Sure the stiff aluminium gets you up the hill fast, but it also makes for a depressingly bumpy ride on most streets. Get into a crash on a carbon frame, and you better have a plastic bag with you to pick up the pieces – try to google shattered carbon bike frame. Steel frames give you a nice smooth ride on most city street with its lovely little flex. If you get into a crash, it will stay in one unit and hopefully still giving you a chance to guide your bike, or get to your destination once you get back up.
These are the exact reasons why at KP Cykler, we love steel frames – their design is beautifully simple, they age gracefully, and they give you the most comfortable ride for the best possible price, what’s there not to like..?
The lightest bike in the World: http://www.bikeradar.com/road/gear/article/the-worlds-lightest-bike-36902/
History of the bicycle: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_bicycle