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


Go Back   > >

Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 09-13-07, 10:45 AM   #1
jhaber
Hip-star
Thread Starter
 
jhaber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Bikes:
Posts: 630
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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?
jhaber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-07, 10:48 AM   #2
vee_dub
McNightrider
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 389
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Steel Frame is stronger than Al..thats why u dont see thin tubing Aluminum frame around the market.
vee_dub is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-07, 10:49 AM   #3
streetlightpoet
Banned.
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Lexington, KY
Bikes: Masi Speciale Fixed, Surly 1x1, 2 70's Bianchi folders, Swingbike, Columbia Cruiser 3 spd, Specialized Big Hit and P.2, Cove G-Spot, Xtracycled Bianchi San Jose.
Posts: 668
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
What is stiffness?
I'll take comfortable flex for $600
streetlightpoet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-07, 10:51 AM   #4
Oh No
TARCK BIKE DOT COM
 
Oh No's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: 610 tarck bike city
Bikes: your mother on wheeeeeelz
Posts: 1,018
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Steel is strong as ****
Oh No is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-07, 11:04 AM   #5
DDYTDY
Senior Member
 
DDYTDY's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Methuen, Massachusetts
Bikes:
Posts: 519
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
You should never steal a frame. Steeling is wrong.....

How about that Rob Roy group by instead?
DDYTDY is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-07, 11:11 AM   #6
Fugazi Dave
Beausage is Beautiful
 
Fugazi Dave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Chicago, IL
Bikes: 2006 Langster, which I actually like.
Posts: 5,457
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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.
__________________
photo otaku | flickr | davidrmunson
Fugazi Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-07, 11:12 AM   #7
bbattle
.
 
bbattle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Rocket City, No'ala
Bikes: 2014 Trek Domane 5.2, 1985 Pinarello Trevisio, 1991 Colnago Master, '06 Bianchi San Jose, 1987 Moulton Fuso, 1990 Gardin Shred, '82 John Howard(Dave Tesch)
Posts: 12,568
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
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.
bbattle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-07, 11:12 AM   #8
Chrysiptera
Senior Member
 
Chrysiptera's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Boston (Coolidge Corner in Brookline)
Bikes:
Posts: 315
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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
Chrysiptera is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-07, 11:13 AM   #9
Fugazi Dave
Beausage is Beautiful
 
Fugazi Dave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Chicago, IL
Bikes: 2006 Langster, which I actually like.
Posts: 5,457
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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.
__________________
photo otaku | flickr | davidrmunson
Fugazi Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-07, 11:16 AM   #10
9Rings
Boston did not sob
 
9Rings's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 377
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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.
9Rings is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-07, 11:18 AM   #11
1fluffhead
Senior Member
 
1fluffhead's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: baltimore
Bikes: Pake Track; Bianchi XL EV2 El Reparto Corse, Kona Jake the Snake
Posts: 1,663
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
If you have to ask, go take a steel frame for a test ride. Then try aluminum. The answer will present itself.
1fluffhead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-07, 11:19 AM   #12
cc700
Ths Hipstr Kills Masheenz
 
cc700's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: seattle
Bikes: tirove
Posts: 8,543
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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.
cc700 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-07, 11:28 AM   #13
bbattle
.
 
bbattle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Rocket City, No'ala
Bikes: 2014 Trek Domane 5.2, 1985 Pinarello Trevisio, 1991 Colnago Master, '06 Bianchi San Jose, 1987 Moulton Fuso, 1990 Gardin Shred, '82 John Howard(Dave Tesch)
Posts: 12,568
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
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.
bbattle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-07, 11:30 AM   #14
Chrysiptera
Senior Member
 
Chrysiptera's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Boston (Coolidge Corner in Brookline)
Bikes:
Posts: 315
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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....
Chrysiptera is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-07, 11:44 AM   #15
baxtefer
Cornucopia of Awesomeness
 
baxtefer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: not where i used to be
Bikes:
Posts: 4,847
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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.
baxtefer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-07, 11:45 AM   #16
kemmer
*****es love tarck
 
kemmer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Sandy, UT
Bikes: so many
Posts: 3,302
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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.
__________________
kemmer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-07, 11:56 AM   #17
baxtefer
Cornucopia of Awesomeness
 
baxtefer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: not where i used to be
Bikes:
Posts: 4,847
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
more like geometry + component (tire) choice.
baxtefer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-07, 12:40 PM   #18
bbattle
.
 
bbattle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Rocket City, No'ala
Bikes: 2014 Trek Domane 5.2, 1985 Pinarello Trevisio, 1991 Colnago Master, '06 Bianchi San Jose, 1987 Moulton Fuso, 1990 Gardin Shred, '82 John Howard(Dave Tesch)
Posts: 12,568
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Aluminum frames don't look like these:


bbattle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-07, 12:41 PM   #19
cc700
Ths Hipstr Kills Masheenz
 
cc700's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: seattle
Bikes: tirove
Posts: 8,543
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
dear god i love a fade paint job.
cc700 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-07, 01:36 PM   #20
Suttree
some new kind of kick
 
Suttree's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Smog Valley
Bikes: SOMA Rush, Miyata 912, Kogswell Mod. G, want a porteur bike
Posts: 1,541
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
aluminum is secretly made from styrofoam
Suttree is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-07, 02:52 PM   #21
sniks
JuNKie! bike junkie!
 
sniks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 1,559
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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
__________________
www.cranks505.com
sniks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-07, 03:04 PM   #22
Suttree
some new kind of kick
 
Suttree's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Smog Valley
Bikes: SOMA Rush, Miyata 912, Kogswell Mod. G, want a porteur bike
Posts: 1,541
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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.
Suttree is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-07, 03:28 PM   #23
Boss Moniker
It's an old photo
 
Boss Moniker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Entropia
Bikes: Cannondale R500, Specialized Hardrock
Posts: 774
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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.
Boss Moniker 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 04:08 PM.