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Steel vs. alloy?

Old 02-12-17, 07:27 AM
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Steel vs. alloy?

Why do bike people use the term "alloy" as a synonym for aluminum (or aluminium)?

Steel is also an alloy (of iron -- it also contains carbon -- which is not the same thing as carbon fiber, fwiw).
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Old 02-12-17, 07:31 AM
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YES!!! There are TWO of us!

Now we only have to win over the rest of the 5 billion (or how ever many there are) people on earth! Should only take half as long now.
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Old 02-12-17, 07:34 AM
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It's snowing here to.
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Old 02-12-17, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
YES!!! There are TWO of us!

Now we only have to win over the rest of the 5 billion (or how ever many there are) people on earth! Should only take half as long now.
Bad news. Since your post the world population is now 7.4 billion.
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Old 02-12-17, 07:39 AM
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Because more people can spell 'steel' correctly than aluminum (or aluminium).
And I'm sometimes on that list.
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Old 02-12-17, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by RoadieDropper View Post
Bad news. Since your post the world population is now 7.4 billion.
Yeah, but that's not my fault. Not all of it anyway.
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Old 02-12-17, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Speedskater View Post
Because more people can spell 'steel' correctly than aluminum (or aluminium).
And I'm sometimes on that list.
AHA! I think that you may have something there. A synonym is the word that you use when you can't spell the one you first thought of.
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Old 02-12-17, 07:52 AM
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Is there any metal used in bike frames or components that is not an alloy?

Steel, by definition is an alloy (and makes the original carbon bike). Aluminum and titanium used in bike frames are alloyed with other metals to improve welding, machining, or other qualities.
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Old 02-12-17, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
Yeah, but that's not my fault. Not all of it anyway.
Lewl. That is some good satire...
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Old 02-12-17, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Moe Zhoost View Post
Is there any metal used in bike frames or components that is not an alloy?
The original titanium frames (Teledyne, Speedwell, etc.) were built using "commercially pure" titanium. But these were prone to failure, and subsequent frames use various titanium alloys.
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Old 02-12-17, 09:33 AM
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Yeah, steel by definition is an alloy, whereas you can have pure elemental aluminum.

I once had a brief conversation with someone who was trying to trigger a magnetic loop actuator with his bike (which was carbon), and I rolled up and triggered the actuator for him, and said my bike frame had the requisite iron in it (which is ferromagnetic, and therefore the component of steel that the actuator detected). He looked at me like I was from mars.
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Old 02-12-17, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Snuts View Post
It's snowing here to.
It will get up to 64 F today and no rain! So I can ride the iron horse.
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Old 02-12-17, 10:04 AM
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It's "steel" and "aluminum" or if you're a Brit, Aussie, New Zealander or South African it's Aluminium. And yes, both are a generic term for its respective metal and yes, both are made up of numerous alloys and additives to give them the properties the metallurgist is looking for.

Or when I was a young lad I called it "Alu-mum-mum" because I couldn't get the "N" in there. ROFL
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Old 02-12-17, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by drlogik View Post
It's "steel" and "aluminum" or if you're a Brit, Aussie, New Zealander or South African it's Aluminium. And yes, both are a generic term for its respective metal and yes, both are made up of numerous alloys and additives to give them the properties the metallurgist is looking for.

Or when I was a young lad I called it "Alu-mum-mum" because I couldn't get the "N" in there. ROFL
Yeah, well my steel has chromium and molybdenum, which is pronounced (mmooublybouboullliiohmm).
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Old 02-12-17, 10:17 AM
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And it's snowing even more here, too. My steel bikes await me.............for warmer weather............
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Old 02-12-17, 10:25 AM
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Perhaps some one could unclip from their clipless pedals and explain this further.
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Old 02-12-17, 10:35 AM
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Ummm...

Can I use 6% Aluminum, 4% Vanadium, and about 90% Titanium?

One thing to consider. The term "steel" implies an alloy (all steel is an alloy). The term "aluminum" does not (not all aluminum is an alloy). So, aluminum should be clarified if you are using an aluminum alloy.

In the bike world, "steel" is frequently clarified with the alloy being used (chromoly, etc).

However, you should really consider your "steel" bike to be a composite with brazed lugs.
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Old 02-12-17, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
Yeah, steel by definition is an alloy, whereas you can have pure elemental aluminum.

I once had a brief conversation with someone who was trying to trigger a magnetic loop actuator with his bike (which was carbon), and I rolled up and triggered the actuator for him, and said my bike frame had the requisite iron in it (which is ferromagnetic, and therefore the component of steel that the actuator detected). He looked at me like I was from mars.
It does not need to be ferromagnetic;
It only needs to be conductive metal: Detection of Bicycles at Demand-Actuated Traffic Signals
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Old 02-12-17, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
It does not need to be ferromagnetic;
It only needs to be conductive metal: Detection of Bicycles at Demand-Actuated Traffic Signals
Thanks. I did not know that.

I guess if I thought about it for 30 seconds, I would have realized it has to be simple induction.

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Old 02-12-17, 01:37 PM
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Have there been any recorded instances of a Gates carbon belt referred to as a 'chain'?
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Old 02-12-17, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by drlogik View Post
if you're a Brit, Aussie, New Zealander or South African it's Aluminium.
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Old 02-12-17, 02:35 PM
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Yes, steel is an alloy!! Now you only need to convince the people of the USA that their country is not America, and to start using the metric system instead. Good luck with that, now that Trump took office.
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Old 02-12-17, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by curbowman View Post
Yes, steel is an alloy!! Now you only need to convince the people of the USA that their country is not America, and to start using the metric system instead. Good luck with that, now that Trump took office.
Whew! And I thought that my job would get easier when I retired.
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Old 02-12-17, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
Yeah, well my steel has chromium and molybdenum, which is pronounced (mmooublybouboullliiohmm).
I jokingly pronounce it "molly-bend-um"
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Old 02-12-17, 06:41 PM
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It's not unique to bikes. Aluminum rims on cars are also called "alloy."

It's kind of amusing that the technical definition of a term doesn't always translate into how it's defined in common use.
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