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Old 09-11-05, 10:17 PM   #1
mikejo
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Al, Ti, or Steel?

I have had a steel bike for years, even broke it and was replaced by Specialized. I no longer think I am going to be breaking any frames in my old age so was looking into a new Al frame. However, from what I hear they are for racers (used to race, but prob. not anymore) and their life expectancy is much less than steel or Ti. I would like a light frame yet want it to hold up to some punishment for the next ten years. Starting to think Ti is still the way to go for durability and longevity—just like it was in the old days.
Thanks in advance for any advice
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Old 09-11-05, 11:12 PM   #2
Peek the Geek
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Aluminum frames definitely aren't just for racers, considering most mountain bikes sold, from low-end to high, are Al. Steel and Ti are indeed more durable, though, and better choices (in my opinion) if you want a bike for the long haul. If you've got the funds, go with Ti. I would (and will......someday).
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Old 09-11-05, 11:15 PM   #3
EricDJ
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http://www.flyte1.com/soar/janette/compare.asp

or their old site, old name that can't be used in the US anymore:

http://www.airborne.net/eready/janette/compare.asp
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Old 09-12-05, 05:54 AM   #4
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All have their pros & cons.

Aluminium is lightweight, strong and frames can be produced cheaply and will not corrode. Its also very stiff. Some see this as a good point, but for me its a negative. I have an aluminium Gary Fisher frame which is 6 years old. Its been a great frame, but on any rough stuff if you try to stay seated its like being kicked up the arse.

Steel (my choice) can be lightweight and strong with just enough flex for a comfortable ride. It can have the potential to corrode however if not well looked after. I'm talking about high grade steel tubing by the way, like Reynolds 853 or similar. For me the major advantage of steel over titanium (other than cost) was the fact that it is repairable. If you break or ding a steel tube, a good custom frame maker can replace just the damaged tube, giving you a frame that can potentially last a lifetime.

Titanium on the other hand is the true uber-material for frame building. Its extremely strong, extremely light and a bloody comfortable ride. The only real drawback is the cost. And the fact it cannot really be repaired if damaged, but saying that at the cost of most Ti frames you can expect a decent warranty.

These are just my opinions, but to sum up, I personally would avoid aluminium bikes unless it was a full suspension, and would be happy with either a steel or titanium hardtail with geometry for an 80-100mm fork. This time round I've gone for steel, and aim to get at least 10 years riding out of it.
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Old 09-12-05, 06:20 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jst0076
These are just my opinions, but to sum up, I personally would avoid aluminium bikes unless it was a full suspension, and would be happy with either a steel or titanium hardtail with geometry for an 80-100mm fork. This time round I've gone for steel, and aim to get at least 10 years riding out of it.
That pretty much sums up my feelings as well
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