Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

Bike frame material rankings!

Notices
Road Cycling ďIt is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.Ē -- Ernest Hemingway

Bike frame material rankings!

Old 11-01-22, 07:42 AM
  #26  
StanSeven
Administrator
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Delaware shore
Posts: 13,506

Bikes: Cervelo C5, Guru Photon, Waterford, Specialized CX

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 997 Post(s)
Liked 1,552 Times in 1,077 Posts
We all know the direction this thread is going…and it’s not to a good place. Thread closed
StanSeven is offline  
Likes For StanSeven:
Old 11-01-22, 11:36 AM
  #27  
StanSeven
Administrator
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Delaware shore
Posts: 13,506

Bikes: Cervelo C5, Guru Photon, Waterford, Specialized CX

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 997 Post(s)
Liked 1,552 Times in 1,077 Posts
After more thought among the moderator staff, the thread is reopened. Have fun but keep BillyD’s message in mind.
StanSeven is offline  
Old 11-01-22, 11:47 AM
  #28  
datlas 
Should Be More Popular
 
datlas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Malvern, PA (20 miles West of Philly)
Posts: 39,871

Bikes: 1986 Alpine (steel road bike), 2009 Ti Habenero, 2013 Specialized Roubaix

Mentioned: 539 Post(s)
Tagged: 2 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19538 Post(s)
Liked 6,214 Times in 3,010 Posts
Originally Posted by StanSeven View Post
After more thought among the moderator staff, the thread is reopened. Have fun but keep BillyDís message in mind.
Kudos. Let's see where it goes.
__________________
Originally Posted by rjones28 View Post
Addiction is all about class.
datlas is offline  
Old 11-01-22, 01:30 PM
  #29  
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 36,005
Mentioned: 204 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16546 Post(s)
Liked 11,476 Times in 5,544 Posts
Originally Posted by datlas View Post
Hi! What's this thread about?
It's about titanium being No. 1 and all other materials also-rans. As the old saying goes: If you're not first, you're last.
indyfabz is offline  
Likes For indyfabz:
Old 11-01-22, 02:32 PM
  #30  
bampilot06
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: 757
Posts: 7,238

Bikes: Madone, Emonda, 5500, Ritchey Breakaway

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6523 Post(s)
Liked 3,071 Times in 1,302 Posts
personally I prefer paper over plastic. Takes me back to my youth.
bampilot06 is offline  
Old 11-01-22, 06:13 PM
  #31  
DaveSSS 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Loveland, CO
Posts: 6,905

Bikes: Cinelli superstar disc, two Yoeleo R12

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 901 Post(s)
Liked 464 Times in 373 Posts
If you're using modern wheels that are hookless and wider, so you can use 50-70 psi tire pressure, the frame material makes little difference.
DaveSSS is offline  
Old 11-01-22, 07:03 PM
  #32  
seypat
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,884
Mentioned: 67 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2743 Post(s)
Liked 1,908 Times in 1,193 Posts
seypat is offline  
Old 11-02-22, 12:12 AM
  #33  
tFUnK
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 3,041

Bikes: Too many bikes, too little time to ride

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 203 Post(s)
Liked 138 Times in 118 Posts
I feel like people bash aluminum bikes because there's a lot of entry level aluminum bikes out there, but a good aluminum bike rides just as well as a carbon bike. I've ridden mid-level steel and titanium bikes and they were fine but not "magical". Most fancy bespoke bikes are steel but that's only because steel is the easiest to work with. Carbon is nice but they all kind of look the same and make me feel like a wannabe racer (not that it's a bad thing). At the end of the day, geometry, weight, and tire clearance are the important things to figure out, and frame material just happens to be a constraint due to what's readily available in the market.
tFUnK is offline  
Old 11-02-22, 04:13 AM
  #34  
PeteHski
Senior Member
 
PeteHski's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 4,294
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2081 Post(s)
Liked 2,229 Times in 1,422 Posts
Originally Posted by tFUnK View Post
Carbon is nice but they all kind of look the same
Doesn't that also apply to steel/aluminium/ti bikes too?
PeteHski is offline  
Likes For PeteHski:
Old 11-02-22, 04:30 AM
  #35  
znomit
Zoom zoom zoom zoom bonk
 
znomit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 4,511

Bikes: Giant Defy, Trek 1.7c, BMC GF02, Fuji Tahoe, Scott Sub 35

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 506 Post(s)
Liked 643 Times in 327 Posts
Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
Doesn't that also apply to steel/aluminium/ti bikes too?
Sometimes the Ti conglomerate gets left over tubing from the circus and makes their bikes from that with those crazy twirls.

Otherwise, yeah, but blame the UCI.
znomit is online now  
Likes For znomit:
Old 11-02-22, 04:53 AM
  #36  
PeteHski
Senior Member
 
PeteHski's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 4,294
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2081 Post(s)
Liked 2,229 Times in 1,422 Posts
Originally Posted by amazinmets73 View Post
Here are mine:

Speed/performance (ideal frame for racing.)

1: Carbon
2: Aluminum
3: Titanium
4: Steel

Comfort:

1: Steel
2: Titanium
3: Carbon
4: Aluminum

Durability:

1: Steel
2: Titanium
3: Aluminum
4: Carbon

Opinions?
Given your above rankings (particularly comfort), how would you rank those same materials for making forks, seatposts and bars? I ask because most modern high-end steel and titanium bikes are paired with carbon forks, seatposts and bars.
PeteHski is offline  
Likes For PeteHski:
Old 11-02-22, 05:29 AM
  #37  
GhostRider62
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Posts: 3,057
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1792 Post(s)
Liked 1,484 Times in 944 Posts
For me, it is a toss up between magnesium and carbon. Magnesium takes abuse better and damps very well but so can carbon. I have to say my two magnesium bikes are my favorite material but carbon is nice, too. I would not use carbon touring in remote areas, any of the metals would be better from an abuse perspective.
GhostRider62 is offline  
Old 11-02-22, 06:58 AM
  #38  
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 36,005
Mentioned: 204 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16546 Post(s)
Liked 11,476 Times in 5,544 Posts
Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
Doesn't that also apply to steel/aluminium/ti bikes too?
No.

indyfabz is offline  
Old 11-02-22, 06:58 AM
  #39  
MattTheHat 
Senior Member
 
MattTheHat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Allen, TX
Posts: 2,368

Bikes: 2021 S-Works Turbo Creo SL, 2020 Specialized Roubaix Expert

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 715 Post(s)
Liked 3,398 Times in 1,194 Posts
Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
These steel vs. carbon vs. titanium vs. aluminum threads are all started by Big Bamboo. Once they get us fighting against each other, they'll swoop in and take over the industry. They are ready for this -- I've seen the massive bamboo forests.
I came here looking for bamboo frame love. It tops the missing sustainability category and is oh so chic. Itís also the obvious favorite for pandas.
MattTheHat is offline  
Likes For MattTheHat:
Old 11-02-22, 07:31 AM
  #40  
Trakhak
Senior Member
 
Trakhak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 3,586
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1388 Post(s)
Liked 1,383 Times in 798 Posts
Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
No.

Stunning, but definitely an outlier among titanium bikes. The majority of them are at least as identical-looking as modern carbon bikes.
Trakhak is offline  
Likes For Trakhak:
Old 11-02-22, 08:07 AM
  #41  
PeteHski
Senior Member
 
PeteHski's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 4,294
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2081 Post(s)
Liked 2,229 Times in 1,422 Posts
Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
No.

Apart from the distinctive paint job and slightly funky rear dropouts, it looks like any other generic diamond shaped tubular frame to me.
PeteHski is offline  
Old 11-02-22, 08:14 AM
  #42  
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 36,005
Mentioned: 204 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16546 Post(s)
Liked 11,476 Times in 5,544 Posts
Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
Apart from the distinctive paint job and slightly funky rear dropouts, it looks like any other generic diamond shaped tubular frame to me.
Apart from her smile, the Mona Lisa looks like every other painting of a woman out there.

P.S. That's a ceramic finish, not paint, and you cannot see the LOVE statue decal nor get a sense of varying tubing sizes and the seductive curves of the stays from the photo.

Last edited by indyfabz; 11-02-22 at 08:18 AM.
indyfabz is offline  
Likes For indyfabz:
Old 11-02-22, 08:27 AM
  #43  
PeteHski
Senior Member
 
PeteHski's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 4,294
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2081 Post(s)
Liked 2,229 Times in 1,422 Posts
Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Apart from her smile, the Mona Lisa looks like every other painting of woman out there.

P.S. That's a ceramic finish, not paint, and you cannot see the LOVE statue decal nor get a sense of varying tubing sizes and the seductive curves of the stays from the photo.
You could say the same kind of thing for any high end carbon frame too. It wasn't a criticism btw. It was merely an observation that any perception that carbon bikes might all look the same is true of any other frame material too. I actually see more subtle variation in carbon frame tube profiles than in any other material.

A quick glance down this compilation of top 10 Ti bikes of 2022 shows very little variation. If you removed the names it would be very hard to identify them. I'm not saying it would be much easier with carbon bikes, but I could easily spot say a Trek Madone from a Specialized Tarmac or a Bianchi without relying on the paint job.

https://www.bikeradar.com/advice/buy...um-road-bikes/

Last edited by PeteHski; 11-02-22 at 08:36 AM.
PeteHski is offline  
Likes For PeteHski:
Old 11-02-22, 08:42 AM
  #44  
seypat
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,884
Mentioned: 67 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2743 Post(s)
Liked 1,908 Times in 1,193 Posts
I'd put Carbon in last place simply because I'm having trouble coming up with a cool sounding rhyme that it goes with:

Steel is real
Ti is fly
Any of the "nums" go with yum or ho hum
Bamboo is new
Carbon is.................assplosive?
Carbon fiber is..........assplosive?

Definitely carbon is the worst.

Last edited by seypat; 11-02-22 at 08:49 AM.
seypat is offline  
Old 11-02-22, 08:47 AM
  #45  
GhostRider62
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Posts: 3,057
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1792 Post(s)
Liked 1,484 Times in 944 Posts
Originally Posted by MattTheHat View Post
I came here looking for bamboo frame love. It tops the missing sustainability category and is oh so chic. Itís also the obvious favorite for pandas.
Give me time, I'll eventually acquire one.
GhostRider62 is offline  
Old 11-02-22, 08:47 AM
  #46  
seypat
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,884
Mentioned: 67 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2743 Post(s)
Liked 1,908 Times in 1,193 Posts
Since we're talking about Titanium, if you can't afford a ceramic finish I guess you could put a Kaitoke wrap on to give it some color. Hot!

https://www.vinylfrog.com/products/m...een-vinyl-wrap
seypat is offline  
Old 11-02-22, 08:52 AM
  #47  
Bob Ross
your god hates me
 
Bob Ross's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 4,344

Bikes: 2018 Cannondale CAADX 105 SE, 2016 Richard Sachs, 2010 Carl Strong, 2006 Cannondale Synapse

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 901 Post(s)
Liked 766 Times in 416 Posts
Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
Magnesium takes abuse better
Also way more fun when it burns! How would OP rank the other frame materials in terms of incendiary entertainment value?


Originally Posted by seypat View Post
I'd put Carbon in last place simply because I'm having trouble coming up with a cool sounding rhyme that it goes with:

Steel is real
Ti is fly
Any of the "nums" go with yum or ho hum
Bamboo is new
Carbon is.................
"Carbon gives me a hardon"

You're welcome.
Bob Ross is offline  
Likes For Bob Ross:
Old 11-02-22, 08:54 AM
  #48  
seypat
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,884
Mentioned: 67 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2743 Post(s)
Liked 1,908 Times in 1,193 Posts
Originally Posted by Bob Ross View Post
Also way more fun when it burns! How would OP rank the other frame materials in terms of incendiary entertainment value?




"Carbon gives me a hardon"

You're welcome.
Similar to what people experience with Bamboo.
seypat is offline  
Old 11-02-22, 09:00 AM
  #49  
GhostRider62
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Posts: 3,057
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1792 Post(s)
Liked 1,484 Times in 944 Posts
Originally Posted by Bob Ross View Post
Also way more fun when it burns! How would OP rank the other frame materials in terms of incendiary entertainment value?




"Carbon gives me a hardon"

You're welcome.
I think the magnesium is mixed with some other crap. The mg welding takes expensive craftsmen vs carbon frames. So, not really a commercially viable material for a bike frame. Pinarello AK61 is a grail bike.
GhostRider62 is offline  
Likes For GhostRider62:
Old 11-02-22, 10:29 AM
  #50  
tFUnK
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 3,041

Bikes: Too many bikes, too little time to ride

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 203 Post(s)
Liked 138 Times in 118 Posts
Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
Doesn't that also apply to steel/aluminium/ti bikes too?
I see your point and agree that each material (including carbon) tend to conform to certain tube profiles. I guess I would argue that there's more room for creativity (and what the market find acceptable) for the metal bikes. What comes to mind are the custom/weird bespoke steel frames out there to keep things interesting, or the helix tube titanium frame, or even how different a Caad looks from an Allez Sprint. I get there are carbon aero bikes vs. lightweight climbers but to me the fat tubes kind of look similar, especially now that there's a trend towards carbon bikes designed to be both light and aero - Tarmac SL7 comes to mind.
tFUnK is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.