I have an old Ross Professional Ten-speed with 27 inch wheels and it's time for new wheels. So I have the choice of steel or aluminum.
1st Question, which one is better at withstanding potholes, curbs, sticks, stones and all other things you run into without warping?
Seriously, Which one is stronger and can take the abuse? One has got to be better than the other but I've searched all over the internet and frustratingly for some reason nobody wants to give a straight answer on this.
Currently, I leaning towards steel. I actually want the bike to be heavier. My Ross is my workout bike and I use it mostly for 8-12 mile quick rides after work and I want to burn as many calories as possible in short time. I have a racing bike for longer weekend rides and/or when I feel the need for speed.
The only thing is when I went to price wheels at my local bike shop, they said steel wheels will warp very easily but they might be just telling me that to get me to pay for the more expensive aluminum wheels.
If what my dealer says it true, I probably will go with the aluminum as I don't want to buy wheels every year. The current wheels on my bicycle lasted pretty long, they are probably the originals from 25+ years ago and I think they are steel.
Actually what is the weight difference between a steel wheel and an aluminum one? Aluminum is 1/3 the density of steel but they obvious have to make it thicker to have the same strength.
Also, I tend to avoid riding when it's raining so braking distances between the two is irrelevant to me.