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Steel or aluminum bicycle frame?

Old 01-05-19, 01:47 PM
  #1  
Andy Thousand
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Steel or aluminum bicycle frame?

Ok my fellow cyclists which material do you prefer for a bicycle frame, steel or aluminum? And why?
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Old 01-05-19, 02:07 PM
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fietsbob
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What style of bike 'floats your boat' most? Road Tour Folding City-hybrid. Narrow it down a bit

No hurry these mid winter hamster wheel threads spin on until you can ride outside more..
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Old 01-05-19, 04:11 PM
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Assuming the same price...
Riding - steel. Racing Alloy. Alloy is more responsive to power, generally lighter. Also more responsive to driving that bump into your bum. So, as in most things it depends on what you like.
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Old 01-05-19, 04:17 PM
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I have steel and aluminium bikes and it makes no difference to me. I enjoy riding both.
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Old 01-05-19, 04:18 PM
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tyrion
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People here don't really care what material their bicycle frame is made of.
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Old 01-05-19, 05:36 PM
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Titanium, because it is cool!
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Old 01-05-19, 05:41 PM
  #7  
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I have steel, Aluminum, and CF. They are all fun , they just ride differently. All day riding, I like steel. KB.
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Old 01-05-19, 05:43 PM
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Yes.
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Old 01-05-19, 05:49 PM
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CliffordK
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Carbon Fiber? Titanium? Stainless?

For "average steel" vs "average aluminum", one may get a better aluminum bike. However, there are a lot of extremely nice steel alloys.

Keep in mind that people call aluminum "alloy", but virtually nobody is riding Iron bicycles. All steel is a type of alloy, as well as most Titanium.

I'm working on building up a new (repurposed) touring bike. I'm choosing steel... don't know, it just seems right for this project.
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Old 01-05-19, 06:13 PM
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As long as it's metal and welded together that's all I care about...I avoid anything that's made from plastic ( aka CF) and held together with epoxy. If it's not welded it's not real.
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Old 01-05-19, 06:22 PM
  #11  
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either
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Old 01-05-19, 06:39 PM
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Between the two choices, I'll take steel, preferably lugged with butted tubing in a more racy geometry.

To me and my bones and butt, riding aluminum is like cutting wood with a chainsaw. It gets the job done, but with a hell of a buzz.
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Old 01-05-19, 06:50 PM
  #13  
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Frame material is really down to personal preference (and budget restrictions) but personally, I prefer steel.
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Old 01-05-19, 07:32 PM
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All my road bikes are steel, and my fat bike is aluminum. Mostly because that is what they were when I found them on a one-off great sale.
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Old 01-05-19, 08:09 PM
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I have 1 steel, 1 aluminum,1 carbon fiber and 1 titanium bike. I like riding all of them. With the right set up, my aluminum bike is as comfortable as the steel. My titanium is much lighter than the other three, its biggest minus is that I can only mount tires up to 25 mm due to lack of clearance. I only ride it on good pavement. My carbon fiber is a cross/road type bike, consequently, it is not all that light weight. It is the least comfortable for long rides. However, I can smooth that out with using the maximum width tire that will fit, 32 mm. I also lightened it up with an upgrade in the wheels. The stock wheels are very sturdy but also heavy. My steel bike is 28 years old and I still get a charge out of the way it rides and handles.
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Old 01-05-19, 08:15 PM
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Well....let's see....





Yep, I do believe that it's all steel in there.

Except for a couple of forks and that one Lemond "spine" bike.
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Old 01-05-19, 08:26 PM
  #17  
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I prefer they have a tank.
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Old 01-05-19, 08:30 PM
  #18  
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Steel frames. Love the history, love being able to build a frame, and love learning about the different butting designs.

but ultimately, I care most about frame geometry vs frame material.
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Old 01-05-19, 09:18 PM
  #19  
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Steel, IF I'm going to be on it for 2 hours or more. If I'm racing, then aluminum or carbon.
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Old 01-05-19, 09:20 PM
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Since most of my bikes are pieced together from old parts, I prefer steel because I can deal with the latent problems that can crop up with second-hand frames. For instance I've reset the dropout spacing to accommodate old gear hubs, and straightened a fork that was bent just enough to be annoying when trying to ride no-hands.

Also, a frame with horizontal dropouts, that isn't made from steel, would be so rare that I would probably never encounter one.

The bike that I bought brand new, and use for longer rides, has an aluminum frame and I'm perfectly happy with it.
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Old 01-05-19, 09:42 PM
  #21  
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Depends on the type of bike, most of my bikes are steel, but I have a aluminum folding bike because I liked that bike and it was affordable. Also, I never really cared for aluminum frames but I'm old school and appreciate steel bikes with nice tubing and lug work. These bring back the image of craftsmen and hand built frames.
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Old 01-05-19, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by pickettt View Post
Steel, IF I'm going to be on it for 2 hours or more. If I'm racing, then aluminum or carbon.
I choose the bike for the job.

If I'm going to be on it all day, then hopefully a light Carbon Fiber bike + good wheels and tires will save me a couple of hours.

But, it all depends. If I'm going to be towing 500 lbs, it will be my cargo bike, although it is time to start building something new.

Whichever bike is working at the moment?
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Old 01-05-19, 09:54 PM
  #23  
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Great question. How has this topic never come up before?
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Old 01-06-19, 06:02 AM
  #24  
MikeyMK
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Ally fatigues and cracks. I've cracked two frames, and bought a third and found fractures. All hairline stuff at first.

Steel is heavier and can feel springy.
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Old 01-06-19, 06:57 AM
  #25  
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Why should my preference matter to you? I wouldn't let you ride any of my bikes.
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