|Skinny, Supple, Steel|
This Breezer is a good example, but there are others. I own a few steel bikes- The Black Mountain Cycles "Orange Crush, my Singular Cycles Gryphon, the Salsa Cycles Fargo. My classic Of Spirit Blackbuck. Karate Monkey anyone?
So it isn't just a few Twenty Nine Inches test bikes. I have several I've laid out cash for. I like steel bikes and how they ride. Why?
Well, I will say other frame materials can ride as nice or nicer. I've ridden a carbon frame I liked real well. I've ridden an aluminum frame I liked just fine. I like titanium, but then, it is rather steel-like. (Just a lot more expensive.) However; I've ridden more steel frames that were at least "pretty decent" or better than all the rest, (full suspension bikes excluded).
To be fair, there is a lot going on with steel, you just don't see it much. Like that Breezer above. It has hydro-formed steel, a press-fit 92mm bottom bracket, and some asymmetrical chain stays which help keep the bottom bracket really stiff.
Other builders are doing some really cool stuff with steel too, but for the most part, it is traditional methods of brazing, welding, and lug work that define steel frames. I think the long running use of steel has the techniques and designs refined to the "nth" degree. That said, it's cool to see that steel is being pushed farther. Hopefully it'll improve the breed.
Time will tell. However it all shakes out, I will be keeping the steel steeds around awhile, that's for sure.