As I was riding in to work this morning, getting into that zone of pedaling, one with the machine and all that kind of crap, I was struck by the harmony I had with this particular bike. Tapping out the cadence, getting into that flow, yada, yada, yada...
What ever that magical combination of geometry, frame material, tube diameter, some bikes have it. Some don't.
One of my favorite bikes of all time was made of Tange Prestige tubing. When I got my first 29'er I was stoked that it too was made of these magical pipes.
Nope. It was just a bike. Not bad riding, but nothing magical.
Before the 29'er, I "upgraded" to a boutique bike built with Reynolds 853 tubing, because the Tange bike was "too heavy to race".
Not only did that bike have no life to it, it broke about a month out of warranty!
The 853 frame replaced another lifeless frame, a carbon fiber Giant that apparently was too fragile to race (I broke 2 of them, great warranty service though).
My Surly is pretty damn close to ideal, and it's generic 4130 cromoly.
The best riding bike I own or have ever owned is my 1978 Trek (the bike I was riding this morning). Skinny Reynolds 531 tubing, long chainstays and wheel base. I have PR'd routes on this bike set up fixed, over more modern multi speed machines.
I've had more modern steel bikes, but they have lacked the liveliness of the Trek. So much so, that I sold one in favor of a Cannondale( I built the C'dale as a hillclimb bike, but was so impressed with the ride sold my DeBernardi SLX), and the other is for sale due to redundency.
I don't know what the secret formula is for that harmonious hummmmmm, but it's sure nice when you find it.