Old 09-29-18, 05:53 PM
  #10  
3speed
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Location: Madison, WI
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I also donít think steel is going backward. I think itís mostly just staying where it is. People have been working on making it better for 100yrs. Not much left to do with it. Itís great in some applications, which is why I love late 80s and modern steel road bikes. For touring, it either has to be thick heavy tubing, which makes it stiff enough but heavy, or thinner walls which ride great unloaded, but flex when loaded. AL is great for heavy loads and not having a beast of a bike, but is a stiffer material. Running skinny tires gives a stiffer ride for sure, but higher volume tires and the weight of a touring load smooth it out considerably. The stiffness allows it to still handle a load well. Pair it with a stiff rack and the bike will handle very well and feel secure when climbing and turning. Personally I think the only reason you donít see more touring bikes in AL is because a lot of the market think theyíre going to have a frame break in Africa and have to have it welded back together by a guy with a couple car batteries and some wire. Good luck with that. I think youíre better off wrapping a broken frame in a thick layer of fiberglass than a backwoods weld job. Interestingly, Iíve found more bikepacking bikes in AL than road touring bikes. Those are the people riding the harsh terrain and stuck in the middle of no where if the frame breaks. Itís just such an unlikely problem. Then there are the people who think of harsh riding AL race bikes of the 90s and early 2000s. A frame designed for all day comfort and larger tires isnít going to ride like that. Carbon could be a great option, but thereís no way the touring crowd is going to buy that bike, just based on the stories of catastrophic failure. Hell, I wouldnít even though logic tells me that theyíve been doing it long enough and itís been perfected enough that itís reliable. They make big air, hard hitting downhill mountain bikes and wheels out of carbon these days. Iím certainly not riding my touring bike that hard...

Last edited by 3speed; 09-29-18 at 05:57 PM.
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