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Steel or Aluminum?

Old 08-05-10, 11:45 AM
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muddy1015
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Steel or Aluminum?

I'm looking to buy a good entry level bike, mostly to use for commuting but looking to do exercise on it now and then (typically a runner but like to get on the bike!). I've found two bikes on bikes direct for $400, the mercier galaxy road bike and the motobecane mirage sport. The mercier is Reynolds 520DB Cro-Moly steel and the motobecane is aluminum. Just looking for some opinions on which would be the better option? (Can't really spend more then $400)
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Old 08-05-10, 11:50 AM
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Aluminum is lighter but a little stiffer, so the steel frame might offer a (slightly) more comfortable ride. More importantly, if this will be your first bike, be sure to measure your inseam properly to determine the correct size to order (or have a bike shop help you measure).
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Old 08-05-10, 11:55 AM
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grolby
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Originally Posted by csimons View Post
Aluminum is lighter but a little stiffer, so the steel frame might offer a (slightly) more comfortable ride. More importantly, if this will be your first bike, be sure to measure your inseam properly to determine the correct size to order (or have a bike shop help you measure).
Oh boy. No point in fighting this war again. Let's just get all the facts out there.

Steel has a nice ride.
Aluminum rides harshly.
Steel is heavy.
Aluminum breaks.
Steel survives crashes better.
Steel rusts.
Aluminum is stiff.
Steel is noodly.
Steel is real.
Aluminum is ugly.
Steel goes soft over time.
Aluminum is unsafe to ride/race after 2-5 years.
Steel lasts forever.

Hope this helps!










(Seriously, get the one with nicer specs, or if the specs are the same, the lighter one, or the one you think looks nicer)
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Old 08-05-10, 12:06 PM
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The Galaxy also comes stocked with slightly-wider tires, which will tend to require slightly less tire pressures and will offer a slightly more comfortable ride.

The components look pretty similar between the two. One difference is that the Galaxy has a Deore rear derailleur which is slightly more versatile than the Sora derailleur on the Mirage Sport, which is made exclusively for road use and is thus intended for lower gearing. From this is seems like the Mirage Sport is designed more as a road bicycle, whereas the Galaxy really is intended for commuting and city riding (more potholes, occasional rough terrain).

Being a commuter myself, I would probably elect for the Galaxy because I like the slight comfort advantage and robustness of the steel frame and wider tires and I don't mind a slightly heavier frame. They really are both very comparable, and swapping tires or entry-level derailleurs is fairly cheap anyway (and there probably will be no reason to do this in either case). The frame is the major difference. Take a look at this article if you're unsure which frame material you'd prefer:

https://www.sheldonbrown.com/frame-materials.html

I think you probably can't go wrong between the two. I think they're both good buys.
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Old 08-05-10, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by grolby View Post
OAluminum is unsafe to ride/race after 2-5 years.
Any truth to this for bikes?
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Old 08-05-10, 02:04 PM
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sced
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Originally Posted by vdek View Post
Any truth to this for bikes?
It would be a field day for the lawyers. You'd see their ads on TV.
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Old 08-05-10, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by vdek View Post
Any truth to this for bikes?
No.
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Old 08-05-10, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by grolby View Post
Aluminum is unsafe to ride/race after 2-5 years.
I still ride my 1990 Trek epoxied aluminum frame. It has thousands of miles on it. Guess I'm living dangerously.
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Old 08-05-10, 02:58 PM
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You'll probably get a better bike with entry level aluminum than entry level steel. Even so, at the entry level, they are all pretty much the same.
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Old 08-05-10, 03:07 PM
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Get the lighter bike and start riding!

The bike is only good when it is being ridden...
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Old 08-05-10, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by BikingGrad80 View Post
I still ride my 1990 Trek epoxied aluminum frame. It has thousands of miles on it. Guess I'm living dangerously.
Whoosh.
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