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steel or aluminum

Old 08-12-11, 09:18 AM
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steel or aluminum

I'm either gonna get a felt breed or an all city nature boy. I was wondering which metal people preferred for cross racing? Steel or aluminum?
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Old 08-12-11, 10:00 AM
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Of those two I would choose the Felt if you are racing. I don't think that the material matters too much for racing cross. You want a stiff light frame/fork. the tires do the work of cushion. I've raced both a Lemond Poprad and a Cannondale CX9 and the CX9 feels faster due to the weight.
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Old 08-16-11, 07:07 AM
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Steel is pretty heavy until you get to the highend steel of Serrota, Seven, and others. They are usually custom by this time and very expensive.

The mass market of cyclocross bikes from Felt, Specialized, Trek, etc are 99% (estimate) Carbon or Aluminum. Why? Well it is lighter. The first thing I see a customer in my shop do when I present them a cross bike or road bike is pick it up. Bike manufacturers know this and want there bikes to be as light as possible to hopefully wow the customer. Making a very light bike of aluminum or carbon easy but a light steel bike takes work. The work that goes into a triple butted columbus steel frame from serrotta is light but the work that goes into it leads to a high price. I do not see this quality from mass production companies.

Botom Line: At the price range steel is going to be heavy. The ride quality of that steel will be nice. As they say, "steel is real". My buddy has a gary fischer steel bike it ride nice but it is heavy. His bike is around the same price range of that all-city too. One benefit of his bike is that the thin tubes of steel allow more clearance for mud and have less surface area to collect mud. The bike may not gain as much weight throughout a race because of this.

Aluminum will be lighter and like Cynikal said, and lighter is faster. I completely agree as I ride a sub 18 lb cross bike
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Old 08-16-11, 08:52 AM
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I'd go for the Breed for racing any day over the Nature boy. Not only is the Breed going to be lighter (probably 2 lbs or more) but it is set up for racing more than the Nature Boy. The Nature Boy's drivetrain is more like my Masi when it's in commuting mode. The Breed's drivetrain is setup more for off road use. You might spin up more on straight sections, but it'll be worth it on the majority of the course.
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Old 08-17-11, 06:12 AM
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IOW there's way more to a bike than the frame material.
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