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View Poll Results: Steel or aluminum?
Steel
24
45.28%
Aluminum
26
49.06%
Other
3
5.66%
Voters: 53. You may not vote on this poll

Steel vs Aluminum

Old 01-11-05, 03:47 PM
  #1  
stumpjumper476
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Steel vs Aluminum

I keep hearing that one is better than the other. Personally I'd prefer aluminum over steel, but what do you think?
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Old 01-11-05, 03:49 PM
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I like both. I love the feel of steel it really is very different. However I like alum for duallies.

Personally I say both. Neither is perfect.
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Old 01-11-05, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by stumpjumper476
Personally I'd prefer aluminum over steel, but what do you think?
Why do you prefer?
And did you ride a HQ chromoly frame to make this judgement?
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Old 01-11-05, 03:54 PM
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I've never rid a steel frame but I'd imagine it would be heavy! Aluminum is awesome, but carbon fiber rules all.
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Old 01-11-05, 03:58 PM
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Carbon has its own weaknesses, cost for one nad also when you have damage in one part of the frame, the rest is significantly weaker. a good thing with steel is how in the right hands it can be manipulated. but im an AL fan, its affordable, its light and its stiff. Plus its resistant to the elements.
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Old 01-11-05, 04:02 PM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by stumpjumper476
I've never rid a steel frame but I'd imagine it would be heavy! Aluminum is awesome, but carbon fiber rules all.
My chromoly mtb has a steel stem, seatpost and fork.
21 pounds and nearly indestructable.
Not enough o's in smoooooooooooth to describe the chromo tensile recoil.

Aluminium is good in massive tube DH bikes, sucks bad if run non-suspension.

I say Titanium first, followed by Chromoly...Alu comes in last.

Bamboo and Hi-Ten need not apply. Not ridden a CF mtb yet.

Ride what you like.
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Old 01-11-05, 04:19 PM
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I have a Giant Sedona (20")cro-mo and love it to death, and I have a Giant XTC (17")superlight aluminum. The XTC has a whole different feel from the Sedona, but they are both hardtail and have the same component spec. I would take the Sedona off any trails I can imagine, with pleasure but the XTC is kinda wierdly harsh but not in the same way. It sounds wacky to say it but it is a harder ride but at the same time quieter than the steel. They have thier place. The steel frame is 6 lbs but doesn't feel like it, and the XTC is 3 lbs and feels alright. Which do I trust more?
Steel. I had the Sedona bend a seat stay by an inch and it still rode 7 mi of a race to get home without affecting the handling(a semi DH course). The Aluminum frame would have given up completely, leaving me to walk it's lighter wieght home.
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Old 01-11-05, 04:22 PM
  #8  
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I have an Aluminium and a steel rig... TBH, cant really tell the difference, apart from the fact that the steel is heavier, and probably alot stronger than the aluminium one... Although, only have the steel rig for a few weeks so still getting used to the feel of it
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Old 01-11-05, 04:41 PM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by Cornish_Rdr_UK
I have an Aluminium and a steel rig... TBH, cant really tell the difference, apart from the fact that the steel is heavier, and probably alot stronger than the aluminium one... Although, only have the steel rig for a few weeks so still getting used to the feel of it
If you ran a solid fork, you'ld notice the difference instantly.

Example Alu road bikes run CF forks to dampen vibration.
All Alu mtb run suspension (have to).

Steel frames are harder to wreck, can be repaired. I may weld gussets to my frame as it fatigues.
Metal fatigue in steel rarely causes catastrophic failure. In Alu, this is possible.

The last statement is the deciding factor in my paranoid mind. Failsafe.

Last edited by jeff williams; 01-11-05 at 04:51 PM.
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Old 01-11-05, 04:45 PM
  #10  
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I agree. Aluminum frames are something I dont fear per se, being a plane mech. But I do trust steel frames a ton more. On the repairability point, Yep, I almost have the Sedona frame ready to repaint after installing 9 inches of seat stay with one cut off another frame(possible but unfeasible with aluminum.) THe Xtc has had a little welding done and I speak from experience it does affect the heat treatment, which had to be remedied(brake mounts). It will in steel too but not at all as bad.
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Old 01-11-05, 04:48 PM
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Such an easy question. I prefer steel hardtails and (duh) Aluminum Dual Squishes.
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Old 01-11-05, 05:13 PM
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A good steel ht is one sweet ride.
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Old 01-11-05, 05:17 PM
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i find that aluminum is better for freeriding and cross-country because its so strong and un-wobbly, but steel is better for street and trials because you get more spring out if it. TRADEOFFS
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Old 01-11-05, 05:23 PM
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I have an aluminum HT and would have preferred steel but I don't think they make any at the low, low end of the price spectrum.
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Old 01-13-05, 02:32 PM
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I am an aluminum fan.

My old road bike was Cr-Mb alloy and it rode nicely, but it was a bit whippy.

My aluminum MTB is quite stiff. It feels much better in a hard turn.

The welding job is beautiful and the entire frame is heat treated to T6 condition. When people pick it up they are amazed at how light it is.

I guess we have fans and defenders of both materials! It's a personal choice and the most important thing is to RIDE!
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Old 01-13-05, 02:39 PM
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I saw this on someone's sig on mtbr. "Cheap. Strong. Light. Choose two."
Steel, Aluminum, and Carbon fiber all have their own weaknesses.
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Old 01-13-05, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Dirtbike
I saw this on someone's sig on mtbr. "Cheap. Strong. Light. Choose two."
Steel, Aluminum, and Carbon fiber all have their own weaknesses.
Kieth Bontranger said that.
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Old 01-13-05, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by jeff williams
Keith Bontranger said that.
Such a true statement though.
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Old 01-13-05, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by .:MTB:.
I have an aluminum HT and would have preferred steel but I don't think they make any at the low, low end of the price spectrum.
Used. Or Surley has some 'cheaper' frames in chromoly.
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Old 01-13-05, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by .:MTB:.
I have an aluminum HT and would have preferred steel but I don't think they make any at the low, low end of the price spectrum.
Used. Or Surly has some 'cheaper' frames in chromoly.
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Old 01-13-05, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by mtnbiker66
A good steel ht is one sweet ride.
http://www.oldmountainbikes.com/cgi-....cgi?bike=7P39

My bikes one of the Project series prototypes.
It's so smoooth I usually run the original solid fork.

Like to get it looking like this one though ( Mines somewhere between bmx and xc. )
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Old 01-13-05, 05:18 PM
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I need another button for both!

I had a GT Karakorum 5 years ago and that was a blinding frame....

I reckon it's how it's made, not what it's made of.
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Old 01-13-05, 06:32 PM
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Well said.
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Old 01-13-05, 10:44 PM
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Originally Posted by stumpjumper476
I've never rid a steel frame but I'd imagine it would be heavy! Aluminum is awesome, but carbon fiber rules all.
Funny that, Stumpy.

Considering your forum tag is baed on one of the original mountain bikes. It was steel.

Steel is heavier, but ride one and I doubt you will think it is heavy.
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Old 01-13-05, 10:50 PM
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[QUOTE=mtbikerinpa]Aluminum frames are something I dont fear per se, being a plane mech. [QUOTE]

So what's your opinion on the Castellano Fango? John Castellano beleives that the flex in his flat ALUMINIUM chainstays isnot a fatigue issue. He claims that the same kind of flex occurs in Aircraft wings (also made of AL). I have followed this guys career, and his is (IMHO) one of the best suspension designers out there.

Whatyareckon?

http://www.castellanodesigns.com/fango.html

http://www.castellanodesigns.com/tech.html

After owning 2 x KHS Softails (TT steel and a small elastomer shock in the seatstays) I am very interested in this design.
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