Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 11-14-04, 10:43 AM   #1
CommutEtc
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Aluminum or steel?

I am looking to buy a CX bike to use mostly for street commuting. I also want to be able to use it for fire roads, and the occasional long road ride (centuries).
I tested road bikes and decided that aluminum frames give too much road chatter.

When I tested the Axis, and Fuji Cross, however, I was surprised at how great they felt. The chatter didn't seem to be a problem. Nevertheless, right now I ride an old steel road bike, and I like the feel of steel. So my question is what are the advantages of aluminum over steel, or vice-versa, for an all-purpose CX? Will I regret a steel frame on hills? I do not plan to race.
CommutEtc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-04, 11:55 AM   #2
Surferbruce
Senior Member
 
Surferbruce's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Los Angeles/Aveyron France
Bikes:
Posts: 5,308
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
oh man...here we go again...
i will say you definitely won't regret the light weight and stiffness of alu when climbing hills. the bianchi and fuji are both excellent value bikes.
Surferbruce is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-04, 02:49 PM   #3
stric
Senior Member
 
stric's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 119
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Aluminum is lighter, traditionally more rigid, but lately many frame manufacturers are trying to develop Aluminum frames that are a bit more forgiving and nimble. Steel on the other hand is a bit heavier, usually stronger, it can be much more easily repaired compared to Aluminum. Aluminum doesn't rust and that's a big bonus if you riide in wet conditions; steel does rust unless it is correctly protected. Both steel and Aluminum have a common enemy - salt. If you ride in winter on some roads that are covered with salt, that's no good for either material. Yet, whetehr the frame will last or not doesn't neccessarily depend on the material it's made of. Many other factors need to be accounted for, such as quality of materials and workmansip, geometry, your riding style, conditions you ride in and so on. Take you time, and don't rush when it comes to buying a new bike. Carefully and correctly selected new bike can last you many many years.
stric is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-04, 07:15 PM   #4
Arsbars
Bike Shop Girl
 
Arsbars's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Mooresville, NC
Bikes: Lots, road - mtb - cyclocross- commuting
Posts: 682
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I recently went from having an aluminum frame to a steel frame...


for commuting purposes i do miss the stiffness for hills... but i do love the comfort in the cold/rain of steel. It depends what you are aiming for. Am I more comfortable on my daily ride? YES! Does it feel a bit sluggish up hills and in sprints? Yes, but that is why I commute on it and not race.
__________________
BikeShopGirl.com : Helping women find their way in cycling
CommuteByBike.com : Tips, news, reviews and safety for bike commuters
Arsbars is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-04, 10:14 PM   #5
CommutEtc
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
but i do love the comfort in the cold/rain of steel.

The steel is better for cold and rain conditions? Better handling?
CommutEtc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-04, 09:13 PM   #6
Arsbars
Bike Shop Girl
 
Arsbars's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Mooresville, NC
Bikes: Lots, road - mtb - cyclocross- commuting
Posts: 682
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Just more comfortable. When you are miserable on the road I like the plushness that steel gives me
__________________
BikeShopGirl.com : Helping women find their way in cycling
CommuteByBike.com : Tips, news, reviews and safety for bike commuters
Arsbars is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-04, 09:58 PM   #7
Ceya
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 3,242
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have once used Aluminum frame (ALAN) but went back to my steel (Panasonic) frame for my races. I like steel.. Steel is REAL>>

S/F,
CEYA!
Ceya is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-04, 09:19 AM   #8
SAB
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 483
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I like steel, titanium, or carbon. I've ridden a few Al bikes and even with the newer designs with carbon forks, seatstays, etc... I just don't like the feel of them compared to the other materials. If money was no object I'd have three bikes: an ultralight carbon road racing bike, a titanium bike for centuries and light touring, and a custom made steel frame for traveling, touring, and cyclocross.
SAB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-04, 11:22 AM   #9
SadieKate
Hills, more hills please!
 
SadieKate's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Bendemonium, Orygun
Bikes: Spectrum, Lippy, Litespeed, Titus, Kelly, Marin, Bob Jackson, Mercian
Posts: 180
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I do have everything but carbon (because no kids!). I just built up a steel CX bike and realized I had forgotten the dreamlike comfort of steel. I've sold all my ALU road bikes because they were just too harsh. Hmm, going to have to pull it out the lugged Mercian for some training rides again. Rescue it from its permanent attached to the trainer.
SadieKate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-04, 08:47 AM   #10
CommutEtc
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks everyone. I'm leaning toward a steel Surly Cross-Check, depending on what it will cost to change the bar-end shifters to the shifters that are in the brake levers. Probably a topic for a different discussion.
CommutEtc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-04, 02:34 PM   #11
TLN
Senior Member
 
TLN's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: T-Town
Bikes: '86 Bianchi Super Leggera
Posts: 468
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I ride both road and cx... and used to ride mt....you cant get me on anything but an alum. frame. For me steel is too sloppy even of high end bikes...especially roadies. Im not a big guy but I am a big rider. I hate flex. There is nothing I hate worse than coming out of a downhill turn and feeling the "steel is real" crap. Or climbing and feel nothing but slugishness. Puts a real dread on the ride. But to each his own.
TLN is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-04, 07:38 PM   #12
mgwadz
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 80
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
ask your local bike shop to check the QBP catalog for a more upscale complete cross-check. comes with better components and STI....

-marc
mgwadz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-04, 11:21 PM   #13
AlanK
Senior Member
 
AlanK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Seattle, WA (United States)
Bikes:
Posts: 487
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by CommutEtc
Thanks everyone. I'm leaning toward a steel Surly Cross-Check, depending on what it will cost to change the bar-end shifters to the shifters that are in the brake levers. Probably a topic for a different discussion.
That's a great choice. I have a 2001 Trek XO-1, but of I'd known about the cross check at the time, I would have probably gotten that instead.

Why do you want to change the bar-end shifters? They're lighter, more reliable, than STI, and once you get used to them, hardly less efficient.
AlanK is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:27 PM.