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  1. #1
    Hip-star jhaber's Avatar
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    Why steel frames?

    Why are steel frames so much more popular than aluminum frames?

    Carbon and ti are expensive so I guess that's why more people don't ride them. I also understand a lot of people want vintage frames so that's why they go steal.

    But aluminum frames are not crazy expensive, won't rust like steel, and are typically lighter. So why don't more people pick aluminum over steel?

  2. #2
    McNightrider
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    Steel Frame is stronger than Al..thats why u dont see thin tubing Aluminum frame around the market.

  3. #3
    Banned.
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    What is stiffness?
    I'll take comfortable flex for $600

  4. #4
    TARCK BIKE DOT COM Oh No's Avatar
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    Steel is strong as ****
    catchin hymies stabbin police


    tarck bike dot com

  5. #5
    Senior Member DDYTDY's Avatar
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    You should never steal a frame. Steeling is wrong.....

    How about that Rob Roy group by instead?

  6. #6
    Beausage is Beautiful Fugazi Dave's Avatar
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    Aluminum has a negative reputation with some people for a few reasons. It is said by many that it offers a harsher ride than steel, which might hold a grain of truth but is generally blown far out of all reasonable proportion. The way people talk about it, you'd think an aluminum frame will result in stress fractures in load-bearing bones from road vibration and steel frames yielded a ride like air shocks on a tour bus. In reality, though, Aluminum frames can be wonderful to ride. Also, people will cite that steel frames are more durable and can be repaired after a bad crash. If you trash an aluminum frame, yes, it is probably toast and you might be able to have a steel frame of similar damage repaired, but let's be realistic here - when a frame really gets messed up bad, how many of us try to get it repaired? Usually if it's that bad, we just go for a new frame. Finally, I think that a lot of people just like Steel better because it's more familiar and they don't feel like they have to worry about it. That's fine, but aluminum is a completely reasonable thing to ride and we shouldn't forget that. I'll take good aluminum over crappy steel any day of the week.

  7. #7
    . bbattle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhaber View Post
    Why are steel frames so much more popular than aluminum frames?

    Carbon and ti are expensive so I guess that's why more people don't ride them. I also understand a lot of people want vintage frames so that's why they go steal.

    But aluminum frames are not crazy expensive, won't rust like steel, and are typically lighter. So why don't more people pick aluminum over steel?
    Because cheap Schwinn steel frames are everywhere and make great fixie conversions. And don't forget the lugged steel frames. My Pinarello lugged steel frame with chrome stays is coming in today. Hmmmm, luggalicious.

    And NJS frames are made of steel.

    Plenty of people pick aluminum but cheap aluminum frames with track or horizontal dropouts aren't that easy to find. The Jamie Roy group buy was a big success.

    As for weight, that's overrated unless you are racing up mountains or in criteriums. It's all in the legs.


    Yeah, that whole thing about steel being easier to repair. yes, it's repairable but not by Joe Blowtorch unless you are really desperate; like being in Peru and being chased by ninjas or something.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Chrysiptera's Avatar
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    my daily rider is steel because aluminum dents so easily.. That said I do have two alloy bikes as well, but I'd never ride them daily; if you do it is just a matter of time before you will be bummed

    besides, the thin tubing on steel bikes is in style
    ... I'm the center of attention in the walls inside my head ...

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  9. #9
    Beausage is Beautiful Fugazi Dave's Avatar
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    I'm not saying you haven't had bad experiences with aluminum denting, but it's probabl not fair to make a blanket statement that it dents easily. My basso has been totally beat to **** and not a dent to show for it. A lot depends on the particular frame and tubeset.

  10. #10
    Boston did not sob 9Rings's Avatar
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    I have an Al cannondale MTB. It is the 3rd frame from them. Bent seatstay 1st frame (there was no discernable event that caused it). Cracked 2nd frame where the downtube meets the headtube. Current frame is still going strong (I don't MTB anymore...)

    I originally liked AL due to corrosion resistance, etc.

    After finally getting a steel bike, I realized how much better the ride quality was for me. Seriously, much better.

    Those are simply my results.
    Mongol General: "What is best in life?"
    Conan: "To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women."

  11. #11
    Senior Member 1fluffhead's Avatar
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    If you have to ask, go take a steel frame for a test ride. Then try aluminum. The answer will present itself.

  12. #12
    Ths Hipstr Kills Masheenz cc700's Avatar
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    i have an aluminum GT aggressor MTB and it's great because i don't do hard riding on it.

    aluminum is only marginally lighter weight for the same strength as a good chromoly.

    steel is good for strength. i'm thinking of having it powdercoated so that it will resist rust more.

  13. #13
    . bbattle's Avatar
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    Has anyone done a correlation between rider size and weight and frame material preference?

    My steel San Jose and my aluminu/carbon Orbea feel pretty close to me. I weigh 150lbs.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Chrysiptera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fugazi Dave View Post
    I'm not saying you haven't had bad experiences with aluminum denting, but it's probabl not fair to make a blanket statement that it dents easily. My basso has been totally beat to **** and not a dent to show for it. A lot depends on the particular frame and tubeset.
    true.. true....
    ... I'm the center of attention in the walls inside my head ...

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  15. #15
    Cornucopia of Awesomeness baxtefer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1fluffhead View Post
    If you have to ask, go take a steel frame for a test ride. Then try aluminum. The answer will present itself.
    yup. My CAAD8 is much more comfortable than my old KHS.
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  16. #16
    *****es love tarck kemmer's Avatar
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    It depends on if you ask the people a Rivendell or the people at Cannondale. I have an aluminum road bike and a couple of steel ones. The difference between them is more a result of slightly different geometry than anything else as far as I can tell.

  17. #17
    Cornucopia of Awesomeness baxtefer's Avatar
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    more like geometry + component (tire) choice.
    {o,o**
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    O RLY?

  18. #18
    . bbattle's Avatar
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    Aluminum frames don't look like these:



  19. #19
    Ths Hipstr Kills Masheenz cc700's Avatar
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    dear god i love a fade paint job.

  20. #20
    some new kind of kick Suttree's Avatar
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    aluminum is secretly made from styrofoam

  21. #21
    JuNKie! bike junkie! sniks's Avatar
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    aluminum is pleaty strong if you don't hit it with a hammer.
    steel frames dent a lot too ask everyone riding a dented keirin frame.

    I gave up my Concept because I didn't love the ride as much as my steel frames
    BUT the Concept has some HELLA steep geometry. and VERY little rake .so was it the metal or the geo?
    I think I prefer steel.................. I hope Dan loves Aluminum though cause its his now

  22. #22
    some new kind of kick Suttree's Avatar
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    honestly aluminum frames can be hella fast--less flex than steel
    means more power transfer to the road. Steel is a good compromise
    between ride quality and stiffness. . .but of course there are crappy steel
    frames and great aluminum frames with carbon forks to absorb road vibration.

  23. #23
    It's an old photo Boss Moniker's Avatar
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    A lot of how Aluminum feels has to do with how it is shaped.. if you build an aluminum bike with the same kind of tubes as a steel bike, it will probably feel terrible to ride. But if you curve your seatstays, hydroform your tubes properly, and distribute the material where it should be, you can get a very comfortable ride that is still stiff. Cannondale seems to be doing a good job of this with their CAAD series. I ride an old R500 that was before they introduced curved seat stays, and it feels much worse than the CAAD5 Capo I ride. Really, it is quite painful going over mild bumps. This is also due to the aluminum fork (which is never a good thing) and seatpost. And my Selle Italia SLR seat, which isn't the most comfortable in the world.
    Quote Originally Posted by dutret View Post
    Just because I'm not angry anymore doesn't mean I don't think bossmoniker and every other hipster **** I see riding around on aerowheels isn't a piece of **** thats only use is to be an easy target for ridicule.

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