Is there any major bike manufacturer that still makes steel road bikes today?
The frame of my old Bridgestone got cracked and the crack is too close to the alloy BB lug for me to be able to weld it. I need a new training bike and it has to be steel because aluminium goes bad too quickly on local roads and I've seen way too many carbon horror stories.
Also, it needs to a major manufacturer because I won't get other stuff here in my country.
PS There is a supply-demand problem with second-hand steel bikes. Only lower end steel frames are sold second-hand and then too at the cost of aluminium frames.
PPS I've already checked the websites of most major manufacturers, nothing there.

Edit : Seems that I forgot to mention that I need something that feels similar to my racer. Judging from some internet trawling, both touring and CX frames feel different and wouldn't make good training bikes.

  • Try Jamis Bikes steel road series. Very similar geometry to their high-end carbon racing bikes, or slightly more upright and comfortable.
    – alesplin
    Commented Feb 8, 2014 at 21:08
  • What country do you live in? Your name sounds Indian, but there are Indians all over the globe. Commented Feb 10, 2014 at 16:44
  • NM, profile says "Mumbai, India." Commented Feb 10, 2014 at 16:54

8 Answers 8


Depending on what you consider a "major brand", there really are a lot of nice steel bikes around these days. If I were going this route, I'd look to some of the brands that focus on the steel frames, rather than complete bikes. The list below should get you started. While they aren't the biggest names in the industry, they do have good distribution so you should ask about availability at your local bike shop. Or order a frame online. Good luck!

  • And I suspect there are still a bunch of independent/custom frame builders out there who do steel frames Commented Feb 8, 2014 at 21:54
  • Yes, there are lots of custom builders that work with steel. That would be my first choice, personally. But sounds like the OP would prefer a larger operation.
    – psycling
    Commented Feb 8, 2014 at 22:26
  • Perhaps he should look for a frame builder in his own part of the world. The beauty of steel is that it doesn't require a lot of high-tech equipment, so a small operator can build frames just about anywhere. He might even find someone to repair his current frame reasonably cheaply. Commented Feb 8, 2014 at 22:30
  • The only bikes manufactured in my part of the world are roadsters and BSOs. Everything else is imported
    – AbhishekS
    Commented Feb 9, 2014 at 8:06
  • I had a similar problem with my frame earlier, back then my friend cut the frame at a place away from the lug. He hammered seat post inside the frame and welded it at the point at which he had cut it. Says he can't do it again because the break is too close to the lug this time
    – AbhishekS
    Commented Feb 9, 2014 at 8:24

Very few bicycle brands manufacture their own bicycles, other than perhaps top-end racing bikes. One exception is Giant, which is one of the largest bicycle manufacturers, but they don't make steel bikes anymore so far as I know.

One of the major manufacturers of steel bikes these days is a company in Taiwan called Maxway: http://www.maxway.com.tw/ They sell steel bicycle frames of all types, including racing bikes, to many bike brands, likely including one in your country. Taiwanese sellers also often sell bikes and frames directly via eBay, if there isn't a local brand.

One American brand that uses Maxway frames, well-reputed for durability, is Surly. Their road model is the Pacer: http://surlybikes.com/bikes/pacer They have dealers in India, though apparently not in your state: http://surlybikes.com/dealers/#India Surlys are often a couple pounds heavier than competitively-priced bikes, in exchange for being much harder to break.


Trek still makes a steal touring bike, the 520. Should make a great, heavy duty road bike. Note: the shifters are on the bar ends and the gearing is that of a mountain bike. May be a problem depending on your preferences.

Another option is the Specialized AWOL, for which just the frameset can also be ordered (thanks @mikes).

  • Specialized still makes a steel Allez.
    – mikes
    Commented Feb 8, 2014 at 15:57
  • Is it possible to just buy the frame from bike shops(my lbs will import it)? I have piles of old campy and shimano spares
    – AbhishekS
    Commented Feb 8, 2014 at 15:58
  • Sounds like a question for your lbs... @mikes: did you mean the AWOL? just added the edit. with links.
    – superdesk
    Commented Feb 8, 2014 at 16:02
  • You're right. I'll ask my lbs
    – AbhishekS
    Commented Feb 8, 2014 at 16:03
  • I think @mikes meant the 2010 allez double steel
    – AbhishekS
    Commented Feb 8, 2014 at 16:05

They are available from the major brands. Most shops don't stock them as the aura of aluminum and carbon overshadow them. In most riders mind steel is heavy and old school. To a point they are right, in that cheap steel bikes are heavy. A quality steel frame can easily be lighter than bargain aluminum frame and cost much more. If you check the major manufacturers web sites and search for "road steel frame" you will get some results. If the roads are as bad as you suggest you may want to consider a cyclocross bike as it will be a more durable on unimproved roads.

  • Is the frame geometry very different from road racers? I thought they were just road frames with allowance for thicker tires. Is this true?
    – AbhishekS
    Commented Feb 8, 2014 at 17:13
  • My friend attached drops to a hybrid when he the same problem. He didn't use it for long though. Said the feel was too different from his racing bike.
    – AbhishekS
    Commented Feb 8, 2014 at 17:15
  • Cyclocross bikes have more tire clearance (and bigger tires = better ride), cantilever brakes or discs, higher bottom brackets among other things versus most other types of road bikes. You can find many threads on bicycles.SE among other places which tell you what makes a cyclocross bike a cyclocross bike.
    – Batman
    Commented Feb 8, 2014 at 23:37

A lot of manufacturers (or reasonably common manufacturers) make steel road bikes (usually, they are touring bikes but Jamis, Bianchi, Surly and some others do all sorts of bikes which are steel). Jamis (lots), Bianchi (lots), Surly (everything), Trek (520), Specialized (AWOL/Tricross steel/allez steel/etc. are still on shelves), Raleigh (lots), GT (some), Kona (some), Soma. There are also a lot of smaller manufacturers who do this as well as house labels/low cost labels (Planet X has the Kaffenback among others, Novara from REI has some, BikesDirect has some steel bikes as well).

I don't really buy the roads wrecking decent aluminum frames though - certainly, it should be much worse than the Paris-Roubaix terrain... and not avoiding obstacles...

If you're looking at just framesets instead of complete bikes, a lot of the smaller brands do that (Soma, Surly, etc.) quite well.

  • If entry level Scott and Bianchi alu frames qualify as decent alu frames then yes, I've seen them wrecked just riding on the road. My steel Bridgestone also broke multiple times just riding on the road. I've crashed plenty of times but the frame never got damaged in a crash. It was always the wheels or drops and once shifters and derailleurs. Obstacles are unavoidable, they span the width of the road.
    – AbhishekS
    Commented Feb 9, 2014 at 8:29
  • How exactly are the frames breaking?
    – Batman
    Commented Feb 9, 2014 at 16:21
  • One frame broke multiple times, a late 70's Bridgestone. It was pretty old and used pretty roughly by my father and I as a training bike. Another possible reason could be it was at home without any maintenance for about 10 years. Also low cadence high power was the thing in my dad's time. He used to practice climbing hills with 20+ gradient on 53-14
    – AbhishekS
    Commented Feb 10, 2014 at 7:00

I'm replying from the UK. I don't know if that makes things easier or harder for you. Evans Cycles, who I believe ship overseas come up with these results if you search for steel road bikes. It might help.


considering you had a bridgestone.

The main builder of bikes grant pederson started his own steel frame bike company called rivendell bikes.


they might even be able to fix your current bike. email them and ask :)


Specialized makes a Double Allex Steel as of last year. Not exactly sure if it is still being manufactured, but I own the 2010 model, and it's a really good ride for a solid price (if you're into downtube shifters that is).

  • You can always buy brifters and replace the DT shifters.
    – Batman
    Commented Feb 11, 2014 at 15:10

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