Saturday, December 19, 2009

Steelman Dream Bike

Sit back and ponder the work of art above - pulled from the Steelman site - the builder of this rolling artwork. It's perfect - from the colors, to the steel frame, fork and matching stem, the modern components, room for larger tires - it's all there. Plus the artist constructing this metal wonder is named "Steelman". How cool is that?

It also sports perfect "stance". Car guys talk about "stance" - the way the car sits on it's wheels. The space between the tire and the fender, the width of wheel and if it looks balanced. Some cars look right, others don't. To me, bikes also have "stance" - how much seat post is showing, the angle of the stem, bar height relative to saddle height, space between the front tire and down tube, contrast against the space between the rear wheel and seat tube. This bike looks perfect to me, a touch old school - but damn right on. Compare against any modern sloping top tube frame, seat post jacked way up, stem angled upwards, complete with Stack-O-Spacers. No contest.

I honestly dig all bikes - road, 'cross, mountain, utility - you name it. I'm not super stuck on frame material and admire bikes made from steel, aluminum, titanium and carbon. A great bike is a great bike, no matter what it's made of.

Still, if someone handed me the blank check to pick out a dream road bike, it would be this or something very similar. A handmade steel frame and fork, from a small U.S. builder, set up with modern gear - probably Campy Chorus. The mixture of old world steel and carbon components looks super cool to me.

Brent Steelman has been building bikes since 1983. I've only seen a few of 'em in real life and only briefly while riding myself. I've admired his work many times by pouring over his website. Check out his gallery for further examples of incredible bikes, including additional pictures of my dream bike.

Maybe someday I'll score enough dough to order one myself. Being family guy, that may be awhile. A long while.


  1. She sure is a purty LQQK'n thing.

  2. Oh yeah. As much as I dig my carbon Ibis road bike, steel bikes still look "right" to me. This one is a great example.

  3. I have to agree with you that a nice steel frame is a beauty, and that each and every rider should own one.

    Here is mine... from a small Italian builder!

    How about Campagnolo Athena, all alloy, for a bit more of classical look?

  4. Pete - checked out your link. Super cool old bike.

    Campy Athena? Nah - I'd still go with Chorus, partly for modern looks, partly for the light weight - to make up the difference of the steel frame and fork. We'd still be talking about a 18 - 19 pound bike. Plenty light enough.

    Man, some of the stuff I see on is freaking me out a little. Some of the carbon failures shown, if the stories are accurate, seem to occur at lower impacts. Lower then you'd expect anyway.

    The old school steel frames and forks look better every day....

  5. I had such fun when my kids were little and biking. First pulled them in a trailer, then a third wheel, then bike rides, and then when they got to be really cool, I wasn't allowed to be riding with them. :-)
    O, and thanks, I ordered a magicshine light with extra battery hope it can get here in time for the Triple D race on Jan 9th.

  6. Riding with the kids is great. Son Ian has been doing "real" rides with me since age 7 or so. Cool stuff.

    The Magicshine lights have been working for me. I hope you have the same experience. Good luck in the race.