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  • Detlef Jumpertz

    When I saw this review I admit I was more than a bit anxious seeing I had ordered an SB/03 back in May. I did so with not a lot of available reviews to base my purchase on – so it was a bit of a gamble – but after this review I’m crossing off the days with real enthusiasm and a sense of anticipation until late September when my Stelbel lands on my front door step!

    • André Klaver

      Sounds familiar. I have bought mine a year and a half ago without any reviews and just the promise by Stelbel of a stiff, yet comfortable ride using steel. No regrets, not a single one. Best bike I have ever owned. Enjoy the rides to come!

  • Avuncular

    Lovely crisp pics (afternoon delight?) highlighting a well put together and executed frame. Possibly the largest chain stays I’ve seen on a steel framed bike too. My only minor grumble are those exposed cables under the BB. I thought one of the benefits of a T47 BB was that it created more room for internal cables.

    • d;

      Same gripe: if you want internal cabling you/your mechanic have to take the hassles.

    • Having pulled the gear cables and re-threaded them, I’m glad I didn’t have to remove the cranks to do this job because of those external housings. A clear case of function over form. Stelbel’s Rodano will please your eye if you prefer mechanical groupsets and external routing.

    • Ginny Quid

      most (if not all) of T47 bb cups come with an oversized plastic intermediate, which does not leave any room inside the bb for cables to run through, such as this http://www.bicycling.com/sites/bicycling.com/files/articles/2015/11/T47%20BB%20Standard-5.jpg

      • Avuncular

        Curious. I recall a frame builder I know posted on Instagram last year about a T47 equipped steel frame he made for a client featuring internal hydro hoses and confirmed when asked about internal cable routing all the way through the BB that yes the T47 BB enables full internal hydro routing. https://www.instagram.com/p/BLpMbVbjM_a/?hl=en&taken-by=gellie_custom_bikes

        • Ginny Quid

          That’s really interesting, are those CHRIS KING bb cups? If so, he must have removed the intermediate, otherwise I have no clue how he done it.

          • Sean Doyle

            I would say it was left out.

  • d;

    A beautiful looking steelie, despite my being at odds with those ‘huge’ chainstays. Matt, you have ridden a few modern steelies; did this Stelbel sing out because of those giants?

    • Maybe, but I’m really not certain where the magic lies.

  • toni796

    this bike looks really cool, hang it on the wall in the living room pretty imo

  • Eric

    The chain stay tho :(

  • Jay F.

    I wonder how different the Stelbel XCr would ride?

    • Yeah, me too.

    • Sean Doyle

      If it was built to the same geometry, tube shapes and butts etc. ie. Just the material difference there won’t be a single difference in ride feel or performance. Start changing tube shapes and wall thicknesses will be when you start to see a change. You would only choose a stainless frame if you wanted a bare finish to the frame. Stainless is harder to cut and file. Harder to braze and weld.

      • Nick Squillari

        So what purpose do you feel the different models of tubing (within and external to that of Columbus offers) serve?

        • Anthony

          I have a painted xcr frame made by Colossi and, when built with carbon tubs, it weighed 7.4kg including pedals. Can’t comment on the ride quality vs the Stelbel, but it is a very smooth and composed, though probably not as responsive as a carbon frame. Don’t need to worry about road surface imperfections.

        • Sean Doyle

          Good question and I’ll try and explain it as my take on it. I’ll stick with steel but all the metals are basically the same. Everyone knows that the steel tube producers have families of different alloy specs. What the different alloys do is allow the tubes to be shaped a little differently to then get different design characteristics. ie. the highest strength steels allow you to draw a much thinner wall. This then allows for a lighter tube but also one that can dent a little easier. The thinner wall then allows the tube to flex more so you increase the tube diameter to get some stiffness back. The lower strength steels can’t be drawn as thin without compromising safety but tend to have better elongation so are very tough in use.

          What this all means in the end is you can take a riders specs. ie. size, weight, riding style, intended use etc. and mix and match different tubes of varying diameters and wall thicknesses to arrive theoretically at a near perfect bike. One that fits well, has the right amount of flex for the particular rider (too much stiffness can be detrimental to the performance aspect) and suits the intended purpose. Specialized has coined this as “Rider First Engineering” something frame builders have been doing for 100 years. You wouldn’t use the same tube specs for a rider who is a 6 foot tall power house for someone who is 5 foot tall and a whippet and you wouldn’t use the same tubeset for the 6 foot guys road bike and for his CX bike.

          Another different aspect is a welded frame is going to have a slightly thicker butt than a lugged frame for the frame shape. There is lots more to it in some respects but its also a basic concept. Takes a bit to learn how each tube affects the frame as a whole and then deciding on how to go about the design.

          For example below is my most recent build. The frame has a mix of Columbus Spirit and Zona to achieve what I wanted for his size and intended use. I am happy to say the customer says it rides like a dream which means I got the https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e6ee5e429d2d101bdd49701614f5af2621418669ee4b3a7e62fdfcf6e2929e59.jpg blend right for him. Happy days.

          • Jay F.

            Interesting stuff Sean, thanks.

            Obviously its an oversimplification, but the rule of thumb I heard was that XCr frames more closely resemble carbon ones (whilst keeping the ‘real steel feel’) insofar as they are snappier/more responsive than those produced with more traditional steel alloys… isn’t why that Pegoretti calls his XCr frame the Responsorium?

            One of these days I’ll turn my eye from carbon and get steel… this ultra contemporary Stelbel steel frame seems spot on the money (literally and metaphorically haha)

            • Sean Doyle

              Thats incorrect about XCR being ‘snappier’ Thats just another one of those urban myths that seems to pervade our sport.

  • 555

    Nice bike and always – nice review.
    Question re the saddle please Matt – is that yours or supplied with the bike?
    And whilst saddle opinions are very personal and subjective – What is your opinion of it?
    Been meaning to try a Brooks Cambium C13 but the buy it and own it puts me off it in case i hate it.
    Thanks.

    • The Cambium C13 was supplied with the bike. I found it too narrow for my needs; my saddle of choice is Fizik’s old Aliante.

  • Sean Doyle

    I am really loving that you guy aren’t just parading carbon bike after carbon bike. The alloys (steel, ti and aluminium) all are still very relevant to the vast majority of riders. As a steel builder I thank you for looking outside the box that the big boys play with.

  • Allez Rouleur

    Absolute stunner! What a lovely bike. I own a carbon road bike, but give me a nice steel road bike and I’m a happy fella. Phew, so beautiful.

  • Wily_Quixote

    beaut bike and nice review.

    i am wondering if it is possible for the head tube angle to be made less slack and the fork angle less acute so that they match?

    it’s they only awkward part of an otherwise cohesive and understated aesthetic.

  • adam

    What’s the bar tape please?

  • Michael Fazzino

    I had the good fortune of riding a Stelbel Rodano through the Italian Alps & Dolomites on our recent Giro100 tour with A’qto and agree with Matt’s assessment of the connection with the bike. A’qto arranged the hire and I believe they are now distributing partners for Selbel in Oz. The Rodano was similarly spec’d as the SB/3 in the review. I can’t give you technical feedback like Matt’s, but it looked fantastic and rode like a dream. It was especially stable going downhill. Gavia, Motirolo, Stelvio, Sella Ronda & Monte Grappa. MAGIC. The 12-29 cassette could have done with a few extra cogs, but that says more about me than the bike.

  • JShelley

    what kind of saddle is that? Thanks

  • Tony Lane

    What an utterly gorgeous bike at a competitive price. Some day…

  • Andy B

    I cant stop looking at this bicycle..

  • Graeme Wong

    Thanks for the review and I’m now even more excited for my Stelbel to arrive very soon. Though I chose the Rodano. Will be built with Campagnolo Record and Hyperon wheels.

  • iKnow

    Replicas, Stelbel no longer exist. some clever man bought the name and just making copies.

  • iKnow

    Article says : “A new workshop was opened in the north of Italy and populated with craftsmen handpicked and trained by Stelio so as to satisfy his standards for every step of production. ”

    That is not true. Online retailer Ciclicorsa DID NOT open a factory, rather they use contractors.

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