Recommend a modern steel road bike

After our fun times with the vintage bikes this weekend I’m thinking my next bike might be a modern steel roadie.

I know there are some local builders like True North but I’m not sure if I can stretch that far or if I’m honest I’m going to get the bike I want.

I’m looking at some more aggressive endurance / easy race geometry with maybe a total budget of $3k plus tax ( post covid dollars!)

It seems a lot of the bike reviews are in the UK so they recommend British bikes. The Fairlight strael (Fairlight Strael 3.0 review - BikeRadar ) looks awesome but I’m worried about import fees. It sounds like its better than something like an All city zig zag.

Anyone got any Canadian suggestions? Or other bikes which fit the bill?

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Hey Oliver

I’ve had my mind on getting a Mariposa bike for many years.

Based in Toronto.

Run by Mike Barry (US Postal fame…) And originally started by his dad Mike Barry Sr back in the late 60’s early 70’s. Great family that I had the pleasure of knowing/racing against back in the late 80’s/early 90’s. (Recommend Mike’s book too!)

Update: Covid pricing and order process seems to be in effect… wowsers. :exploding_head:

Check out Marinoni too (Canadian). They still have some steel stuff.

And lugged:

ZM cycles (Ziggy) sells Marinoni I believe.


Wow, that brings back some memories of going to Mike’s shop back in the 90’s. Glad to hear his son is keeping the shop and the brand alive.

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Norco has a steel all road bike, the Search S2 and it comes in at 2700$. I believe King Street Cycles is a Norco dealer.

Also consider True North Cycles. Local, custom, awesome.

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I have a Norco Seach XR Steel in 58cm i maybe looking to part with. It was my first steel bike and it showed why people are still thrilled with steel frames. The stable is in need of shuffle, only reason I am looking to let it go.

Thanks for the responses so far.

I didn’t know ZM sold Marinoni, I’ll check them out to get a feel for pricing on the Piuma. It seems Black Arrow sells All City too.

I had a look at Mariposa and unfortunately the pricing is out of my budget. They look nice though!

The True North Frames in steel start at $2k so might be a stretch to fit in budget. Still, I’ll reach out to them and see what $2k gets me. Might be able to make it work. Anyone had one of theirs? I remember talking to them at the Toronto bike show a few years ago and they were beautifully made.

I actually had one of the first Norco Carbon Searchs when they first brought it out (when gravel bikes started to become a thing) and it wasn’t my favorite. The geometry was okay but I never quite got it to fit right. The big issue was the layup of the carbon. The front end was really stiff and transmitted vibrations (which isn’t great for gravel!) and I found the rest of the frame, while stiff just felt dead. However, maybe better in steel so certainly worth a look once they come back in stock.

Also looking at the Ritchey Logic Road. That seems well reviewed.

The challenge I have is I have been burned a few times on bikes that on paper looked good but when I actually rode them did not bring a smile to my face. Nothing worse than new bike day going from joy to disappointment.

Ideally I’d like to ride the bike if possible and if not, read a detailed review on to understand the pros and cons of it are to try and mitigate this. Hence why I like the look of the Strael and Ritchey Logic. Lots of reviews and near universal praise.


I highly recommend True North too! Hugh does a fabulous job. You’ll get a bike that fits you.

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If you’re not set on disc brakes it’s quite possible to build up an older frame with modern parts… lots of great rim brake wheels are going to end up collecting dust. I did that with a high end Miele frame, it was a pretty fun bike though 28mm tires are about as big as it’ll take. Trick would be finding a new groupset, given the parts shortage.

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Yeah, I’m not in a rush (this is just something to keep me entertained) so maybe looking for a frame and scouring for parts maybe the way to go. Rim brakes are fine for the riding I’m doing plus they offset some of the weight of the steel frame. Having said that, I think I might nearly have enough parts to cobble something together to get a feel for a frame before deciding to invest in new or quality parts. I am thinking of going Campy for this anyway (which I have never done before) and that seems to be more in stock.

I’m also wary of buying anything at the top of the market and if I want to sell it later making a large loss (since I have to be honest, I’m a bit of a serial bike flipper). Hence maybe waiting till bike shops have stock again (and then being able to try before I buy). Everyone I have reached out to is saying August or next year anyway.

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