There is a low frequency vibe spreading out across the cycling world; silently building its momentum. Like a seismograph reading the first stages of an earthquake, web 2.0 is broadcasting loud and clear. If you listen carefully you can hear the resonance; the carbon bubble has just popped. I know this may sound radical and even senseless, but from inside the eye, it is still and calm and the vibe of the people has been sent. You've heard it here first. Sure, carbon will stick around and companies will continue to throw millions into R&D, the materials will continue to improve, they will get lighter, stiffer and stronger. Yet, the cycling world is preparing to ask for more.
The next frontier (ironically enough) will be steel. Steel delivers a fantastic ride, with beautifully sculpted lugs, perfect brazing materials and temperatures, and buttery smooth tig-welded joints. Steel is predictable in its ride, comfortable over the roughest of roads and delivers a message from the BB directly into your body which unmistakably conveys that you are one with your machine. Now if that was not enough, throw in a beautiful paint job. Most of the bikes on the road have a natural carbon finish with the only color being the occasional decal. Steel is truly an artisan's product, with decades of perfected building techniques.
If steel were a new material, recently engineered to be the ideal replacement material for bicycle frames, it would be the hottest thing to hit the industry. Comfortable, resilient, serviceable, light and delivers a ride like no other. In fact the ride is so wonderful that exotic materials often try to imitate.
Steel is real.
Photo Courtesy: Seven Cycles