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Aluminum Road Frames

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Aluminum Road Frames

Old 10-10-17, 01:02 PM
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Aluminum Road Frames

It seems like it's getting harder and harder to find a good quality aluminum frameset these days, that isn't from some boutique company, costing an arm & a leg. It seems like all you can get, from the big bike makers, in terms of aluminum frames, are complete bikes with parts you'd end up switching out, anyway.

I guess carbon is the way of to go these days. Does anyone else have a fondness for aluminum frames? Or am I just cheap and old?
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Old 10-10-17, 01:23 PM
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Cough...CAAD...cough...cough...

p.s. if you are super cheap, Nashbar Aluminum frame can typically be had for around $100. I have one built up and it's fine.
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Old 10-10-17, 01:28 PM
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You can buy some pretty cheap on EBay form China and they look pretty good, too

They usually consider 58 cm "Extra-Large" and the geometry is more race than relaxed, but no reason to doubt they are quality low-budget aluminum frames.

And no, manufacturers don't see any profit in selling bare Al frames because anyone who is willing to spend the money to build a bike frame up is probably looking for something a little special. There just isn't much market for it.

I wanted to build a touring/gravel bike which could take a rack .... but pretty much no one else wants that. People who want to tour go for steel, people who want to grind gravel seem to not care about racks.

So ... I bought a decent off-the-shelf bike.

Why exactly do you want an Al frame? Not to be critical, just to understand.
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Old 10-10-17, 02:08 PM
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CAAD, Emonda, Allez. Hardly boutique.
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Old 10-10-17, 02:13 PM
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Specialized Allez?
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Old 10-10-17, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by mrblue
It seems like it's getting harder and harder to find a good quality aluminum frameset these days

lol...um, what? Just about every major brand makes a great aluminum frameset. And, not all of them have bad groupsets on them either.


What's your budget?


Here's a CAAD 12, one of the best aluminum frames with Ultegra for $1600 - https://www.rei.com/product/892479/c...egra-bike-2017

Last edited by aplcr0331; 10-10-17 at 02:41 PM.
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Old 10-10-17, 02:21 PM
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He wants a bare frame, was my understanding.
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Old 10-10-17, 02:39 PM
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Many of the major brands also stratify their offerings.

So, for example, you can find the Domane and Emonda in either Carbon Fiber or Aluminum depending on the sub-model.

I think Fuji is also strong with their Aluminum offerings.

Personally I've more or less skipped from steel to carbon fiber (and titanium), and have more or less skipped over aluminum. However, hopefully next week I'll be working on an aluminum frame with CF b-stays and CF fork.
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Old 10-10-17, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by mrblue
I guess carbon is the way of to go these days. Does anyone else have a fondness for aluminum frames? Or am I just cheap and old?
Evidently not as old as those of us that like steel frames.
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Old 10-10-17, 03:52 PM
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Bowman Palace R, CAAD 10 or 12, Kinesis Aithein Evo, Canyon Al frames and others previously mentioned are extremely fine frames.

Last edited by cb400bill; 10-10-17 at 07:17 PM. Reason: Removed unfounded comment.
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Old 10-10-17, 07:01 PM
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I have a 12 year old Masi Gran Criterium S...AL frame w/ CF fork and stays. I love this thing.
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Old 10-10-17, 07:11 PM
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Hopefully I'll have an aluminum GMC Denali frame here in a couple of days.
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Old 10-10-17, 07:51 PM
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I should clarify. What I mean is, it is getting increasingly difficult to find a good aluminum FRAMESET ONLY, for $1,000 or less. There are plenty of boutique frame builders (Vynl, Low, etc) who make great framesets, but I can't justify paying close to $2,000 for an aluminum frameset. And, yes, one can get some pretty good COMPLETE bikes, which have great framesets, but usually those bikes come with sub par wheels and/or components, which one would have to pay extra to replace, so that sort of defeats the point (unless one can find a used frameset).

I agree the CAAD 10 & 12 is cool. I've thought about it but the 25.4mm seatpost is sort of deal breaker for me. I have lots of nice spare seatposts laying around the garage, but nothing in 25.4mm. I also don't like how Shimano doesn't make a BB30 or a BB30A bottom bracket. Yes, I know there are adapters, but, to me, it's just not the same. It's just one more thing that requires more fiddling and that could potentially go wrong.

The Canyon AL frames are cool, too, but they are not available in the USA, as far as I know. The other issue I have with those is their over-sized stems, which limit one about as much as a 25.4mm seatpost. I guess I like to have seemingly endless possibilities for mixing and matching parts, so when a manufacturer does something like 25.4mm seatposts, it sort of rubs me the wrong way.

Last edited by mrblue; 10-10-17 at 08:03 PM.
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Old 10-10-17, 08:07 PM
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Emonda ALR? A few others like the Bowman and the Kinesis have been mentioned. You have considerably more options than carbon frames under $1000.
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Old 10-10-17, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso
Specialized Allez?

+1

When I was racing I rode a 1990s-vintage Specialized Allez that I'd found on Craigslist for next to no money. It was a great bike in every respect. It was even pretty comfortable over long distances (I never could understand why people would say that aluminum bikes were uncomfortable).
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Old 10-10-17, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by mrblue
I should clarify. What I mean is, it is getting increasingly difficult to find a good aluminum FRAMESET ONLY, for $1,000 or less. There are plenty of boutique frame builders (Vynl, Low, etc) who make great framesets, but I can't justify paying close to $2,000 for an aluminum frameset. And, yes, one can get some pretty good COMPLETE bikes, which have great framesets, but usually those bikes come with sub par wheels and/or components, which one would have to pay extra to replace, so that sort of defeats the point (unless one can find a used frameset).

I agree the CAAD 10 & 12 is cool. I've thought about it but the 25.4mm seatpost is sort of deal breaker for me. I have lots of nice spare seatposts laying around the garage, but nothing in 25.4mm. I also don't like how Shimano doesn't make a BB30 or a BB30A bottom bracket. Yes, I know there are adapters, but, to me, it's just not the same. It's just one more thing that requires more fiddling and that could potentially go wrong.
Try finding a 24.0mm or a 28.0mm seatpost.

Lots of used frames which can be picked up for peanuts.

Aluminum was KING in the early 2000's, although I suppose the question is whether they were too stiff, but there were methods that were tried to improve the ride such as the CF B-Stay.
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Old 10-10-17, 08:21 PM
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https://www.giant-bicycles.com/int/t...-frameset-2018

Not sure where you'll actually be able to buy them though, that's from the international site.

One could always buy a 105 aluminum bike and sell the parts...
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Old 10-10-17, 09:48 PM
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If you are willing to spend $1000, forget aluminum and look at Lynskey on EBay.
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Old 10-11-17, 05:43 AM
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You can buy just a CAAD 12 frameset. At least in the UK
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Old 10-11-17, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by mrblue
I should clarify. What I mean is, it is getting increasingly difficult to find a good aluminum FRAMESET ONLY, for $1,000 or less.
I can't buy milk for 25 cents a gallon anymore either. What's the deal?
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Old 10-11-17, 05:10 PM
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But where can one buy Al-oo-mini-um?
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Old 10-11-17, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Dirt Farmer
But where can one buy Al-oo-mini-um?
Only in the UK
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Old 10-11-17, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01
I can't buy milk for 25 cents a gallon anymore either. What's the deal?
I was going to say - OP wants premium aluminum for a bargain price. The fact is, premium aluminum costs >$1000 now, in large part because its a boutique thing. Especially for a frameset only, which is usually the domain of the dedicated who will prefer carbon, steel, or titanium. Aluminum is usually a budget option, and a beginner option, and for both cases a complete bike makes more sense.

What hes feeling is probably like my desire for a 2001 Civic Si - Id like one, in abstract, but not enough to buy one. In large part because there are much better options for the price now.
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Old 10-11-17, 07:22 PM
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There are custom aluminum frame builders for people who want boutique aluminum...

BOND

Some of them are really pretty too:



And there are cheap aluminum frames for people who want choose the components themselves - Nashbar has one for $99.

OP seems to want the kind of frame that comes on a ~$2500 bike, but as a bare frame... those are hard to find, yes.
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Old 10-12-17, 10:39 AM
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See also Low Cycles for boutique alloy. mki road | LOW// Bicycles

Some of the UK shops sell low priced Al framesets. For less than 2 bills you can get this: https://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/ribbl...cing-frameset/

I bet that with some decent wheels and a 105 groupset, you'd have a great bang-for-the-buck crit bike.
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