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Bike frame material rankings!

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Bike frame material rankings!

Old 10-31-22, 12:18 PM
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Bike frame material rankings!

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

Sustainability (environmental impact)

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

Opinions?
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Old 10-31-22, 12:22 PM
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I smell popcorn.
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Old 10-31-22, 12:51 PM
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Carbon tops comfort for me too. At least carbon frames optimised for comfort. One of the advantages of carbon is the ability to design a frame with almost any ride characteristics you like with less compromise than metal equivalents.
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Old 10-31-22, 12:52 PM
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Let's play.

Speed: Carbon fiber, then everything else
Comfort: Carbon fiber, then everything else. If you want comfort, buy a CF endurance bike designed to be comfortable, not a super stiff race bike.
Durability (provided you don't crash): CF, Steel & Titanium, Aluminium
Sustainability: Steel then aluminium / titanium and then CF, but it's largely overstated; the CO2 equivalent of a CF road bike is about 197 CO2 equivalent. That's the typical emissions you'd see driving for 1100km in a fairly economical car. If you drive a big truck, slash that in half.
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Old 10-31-22, 12:54 PM
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I think it all depends on the person doing the evaluation and the exact model of bike. I've ridden plenty of lousy steel bikes to know that steel isn't a guarantee for anything. Though I have ridden two or three really great steel bikes. Still frame material is the least important. What's important is that the design and use of any material take advantage of the qualities and short comings of that material.

One nit pick might be on the environmental side....

Aluminum takes a pretty big hit for pollution when first mined both for water use and pollution while refining as well as electrical demands to smelt initially. And it seems that few people ever scrap their bikes so that any recycling can actually be done with them. Apparently they just show up on eBay and Craigslist forever no matter what material they are made from.
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Old 10-31-22, 12:59 PM
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With all due respect... Ugh

Bike manufacturers are pretty good these days at tuning frames to their intended purpose. CF and aluminum in particular give designers a lot of latitude, but even round-tubed steel and ti can be butted or otherwise adjusted. Other components of the bike, such as the wheels, tires, tire pressure, saddle, seatpost, suspension and so on also have a big impact on these qualities -- in some cases, possibly overwhelming the properties we normally associate with the frame. And of course, budget is always a factor.

These are just a few reasons why broad rankings like this don't really make much sense. If someone asks for a recommendation on a bike, you have to listen to their uses, find out how much they are willing to spend, and go from there.
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Old 10-31-22, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by amazinmets73
Opinions?
Why not include affordability? It would be a great addition to the other arbitrarily ranked categories.
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Old 10-31-22, 02:39 PM
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Subscribed! I've been looking for this info for a while. Good thing someone finally started a thread on it.
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Old 10-31-22, 02:50 PM
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Proportions of bike sales (categorized by frame material) for a prominent British bike company, i.e., Wiggle, according to a senior manager:

1. Aluminum
2. Aluminum, cont.
3. Carbon
4. Steel
5, Titanium

Those proportions are consistent with what you'll see on the sales floors of the vast majority of bike shops in the U.S., except that you'll see very few (if any) steel bikes and no titanium bikes.
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Old 10-31-22, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by amazinmets73
Opinions?
You could easily turn your list into a version of Rock/Paper/Scissors!
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Old 10-31-22, 05:45 PM
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Red except pink for sustainability (homage to energizer bunny).
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Old 10-31-22, 05:57 PM
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My frames are all made of Unobtanium.
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Old 10-31-22, 07:13 PM
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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.
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Old 10-31-22, 07:24 PM
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None of this matters if you’re cranking megawatts like a boss.

Is today 31OCT or 01APR?
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Old 10-31-22, 08:07 PM
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Frame material COMFORT ? Isn’t rider’s comfort determined by rider-bike interface components…saddle, handlebars, cranks/pedals/shoes, maybe suspension if the bike is so equipped, tire size and inflation…and the proper adjustment of those components? When I’m riding I don’t even touch the frame. How can frame material affect my comfort?

Dan
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Old 10-31-22, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe
I smell popcorn.
I’m going to need extra butter for this one.
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Old 10-31-22, 11:08 PM
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Sequestering carbon into bike frames is a fantastic way to reverse global warming.
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Old 11-01-22, 05:20 AM
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I would think titanium would be tops since cracks in critical areas don’t matter.

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Old 11-01-22, 06:21 AM
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I like bikes with frames.
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Old 11-01-22, 06:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Shadco
I would think titanium would be tops since cracks in critical areas don’t matter.

.

Umm.,,what?
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Old 11-01-22, 06:46 AM
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If we could superimpose the material choices here onto a thread about chain lubes.... It'll be like discovering plutonium by accident!
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Old 11-01-22, 06:49 AM
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Hi! What's this thread about?
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Originally Posted by rjones28
Addiction is all about class.
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Old 11-01-22, 06:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Koyote
Umm.,,what?
Is this cracked titanium frame safe to ride?

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Old 11-01-22, 06:58 AM
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Ah, yes. Thanks for the reminder. The OP has offered up so many....umm...interesting posts that it's hard to remember all of them.

Last edited by BillyD; 11-01-22 at 07:35 AM. Reason: Trolling
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Old 11-01-22, 07:40 AM
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Let’s not get into past threads, there’s a general rule regarding that level of stirring up stuff. Anybody who doesn’t like the contents of a thread … ANY thread … is free to leave. But you are not free to harass. If one believes a poster is a troll, then leave, don’t feed the troll. Easy peasy.
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