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fatigue: steel and aluminum frames

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fatigue: steel and aluminum frames

Old 09-22-04, 05:48 PM
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barndog
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Just wondering if you could answer a question about a purchase I was thinking about making. I am interested in two bikes, a Trek 820 (steel frame) and a Trek 3700 (aluminum frame) Which of the two would you recomend? From what I've read they are essentialy the same bike, the only difference being the frames. I understand the steel frames are very ruged and give a smooth ride although obviously the alumininum is lighter. For the way I'm planning to ride (mostly smooth trails, 30 miles or less) which do you prefer for the price? Considering that I am trying to stay within my budget, do you see one as being better than the other? I like the ride and durability of the cheeper steel model, but do you see the extra $60 worth it for the aluminum? Also, in your opinion is the lighter aluminum better for going longer distances and up hills? That is to say, can you pedal it easier with less fatigue at higher speed over inclines and longer distances? I should add there is only about a 4 lb difference between these frames. Any information you can provide is most appreciated.
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Old 09-22-04, 06:02 PM
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The 820 is mostly Hi-tensile vs CroMo steel, so I'm not sure that it will necessarily have better a better ride or be more rugged. Still, lower end aluminium frames are not necessarily all that light either.

Does the 820 actually have a nicer ride? If so buy it.
If not, does the 3700 feel noticably lighter to you? If so buy it.

All things being equally, lighter is better, especially for hills. Any difference in ruggedness will not be that significant unless you are really going to hammer the frame offroad. But overall, $60 for a lighter frame is a bargain.
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Old 09-22-04, 07:11 PM
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If those two bikes are really 4 pounds different in weight, there's lots more differences in them than just the frames.
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Old 09-22-04, 10:29 PM
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I'm pretty sure that there is no where near 4 pounds difference between those two bikes. If there actually is, then yes, you probably will feel a difference climbing hills on the heavier frame and the price difference would be worthwhile.
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Old 09-22-04, 10:57 PM
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How many more times is this message going to be posted? This was completely exhausted in the mountain biking forum...
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Old 09-22-04, 10:58 PM
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Without getting into the world famous steel vs aluminum flame war here are some web sites for your to study, then make up your own mind.

For a scientific non-bias view: http://www.exploratorium.edu/cycling/frames1.html Click on the bottom right on the small white arrow to read more pages (4 total).

For a scientific bias view: http://www.anvilbikes.com/story.php?news_ID=11&catID=3 Read the related items as well because there's some excellent info hiding in there.

For bias view: http://www.henryjames.com/faq.html
http://www.kirkframeworks.com/Philosophy.htm
http://rivendellbicycles.com/html/101_pureopinions.html
http://rivendellbicycles.com/html/1...ematerials.html Also read Rivendells other subjects of interest.
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Old 09-22-04, 11:25 PM
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Originally Posted by iamlucky13
I'm pretty sure that there is no where near 4 pounds difference between those two bikes. If there actually is, then yes, you probably will feel a difference climbing hills on the heavier frame and the price difference would be worthwhile.

Would the 4 lbs really make that much difference? I wouldn't think so, but that is why I am here to learn.
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