Stainless Steel Road Bike Inspiration
When you're putting together the build list for a new stainless bike there are lots of decisions to be made. The bare shiny steel can be taken in numerous directions, from a traditional Brooks saddle and leather tape, to deep carbon rims and 12K weaves.
Here's some top quality stainless bike builds for your inspiration, starting with a stunning Firefly courtesy of Cycling Tips. Understated style with nothing but simple white tape and saddle:
Ritte, make high end bikes in LA with some stunning paint jobs, including their Stainless Snob... True love doesn't rust:
"Stainless steel is a unique material. Like titanium, it won’t corrode over time, but where it arguably rises above Ti, is in its more lively, solid ride quality that makes the bike feel glued to the road. That’s why our Snob comes to life on technical, twisty roads, challenging terrain and any time comfort and sheer traction are needed over brute stiffness."
Passoni is one of my favourite bike brands and their Flickr Photostream is an easy way to spend the last half hour at work. Passoni custom fits then hand-welds its frames in a vacuum for extra strength and neatness. Here's a timeless bike with leather set-off with retro tyres and matching cables.
Here's something in a more modern style, which has also been produced in pastel shades of red, green and bronze:
How about something a little different with this 650b from Portland's traditional craft bike builders Ahearne Cycles?
Rapha / Feather
Rapha's growing collection of commissioned bikes as part of their RAPHA Continental promotion holds some truly impressive builds. For this lugged stainless addition they worked with Yorkshire's Ricky Feather:
"We wanted a modern look but I really wanted a lugged bike with an oversized head tube so we could use some modern carbon forks. We’ve gone for internal cable routing and wrap-around seat stays so that we’d have clearance for mudguards. It’s going to be an all-terrain bike, it’s going to get pretty dirtied up. We didn’t want any corrosion."
Naked Bikes is the creative outlet of serial cycling record breaker Sam Whittingham. This bike was intended for long group rides, fondo’s and the like. The frame material is KVA stainless in half paint, half stainless:
Brodie are a family run bike company from Vancouver. Here's their simple but elegant stainless offering with etched logos and discs.
Cicli IL MASSIMO'S are artisan frame builders in the classic Italian style with each frame made by hand near Milan. This example illustrates their simple, understated style in bare steel with etched logos and a headset for colour.
"It offers the durability and corrosion resistance of Titanium, but retains a much more responsive and efficient performance personality. It's ability to be polished to a mirror finish offers an exotic visual that is equal to the high, state-of-the-art alloy formulation. Laser etched logos allow the frame's natural beauty to be the focus."
Last but not least here's a GOSFORTH prototype - find out more about this Reynolds 931 frame here.
Let me know if there are any great builds I've missed or which of these models is your favourite.