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cyclingnewbie
03-03-2005, 07:01 AM
Someone told me to be sure to get a steel frame and not aluminum if I buy a new road bike because steel is a more comfortable ride. Does anyone have any knowledge or opinions about steel vs. aluminum?

CorsairMac
03-03-2005, 08:02 AM
under the search button type in " steel vs" theres a ton of threads here about the difference in all the frame materials!

KTeach
03-03-2005, 04:55 PM
I test rode different bikes and found I LIKED aluminum (many have carbon forks). So... forget what people say and test ride bikes made from different materials... and find what is comfortable for you. If your bike shop isn't encouraging you to test ride, shop elsewhere!

sarahfixit
03-03-2005, 09:39 PM
There are a great many pros and cons of all the materials. My preference is steel. I have both and I like the solid feel, and the longgevity of it. An aluminum frame is going to be lighter and thus spunkier, but they don't tend to last as long(5yrs mtb racing as opposed to 20+). On road it is not so dramatic, as well as maybe that long term is not a concern.
As always, do what makes it fun. You dont have to know the metalurgy of the frame to know what feels good. Test many. Enjoy.

Dogmama
03-04-2005, 11:42 AM
All things being equal - aluminum will beat you to death. Sorry, I went from aluminum to steel and I won't ever go back. Plus, I had a crack in my steel frame and they fixed it. I had a crack in my aluminum frame and had ~10 pounds of junk. :p

SadieKate
03-04-2005, 11:44 AM
All things being equal - aluminum will beat you to death. Sorry, I went from aluminum to steel and I won't ever go back. Plus, I had a crack in my steel frame and they fixed it. I had a crack in my aluminum frame and had ~10 pounds of junk. :p

Yes! Aluminum can be fun for short rides and climbing, but . . :mad: I had an aluminum frame once. At the 35-40 mile mark, I wanted to throw it into the nearest ditch and walk home, Look cleats and all. Spunky is a good term but I don't want spunky for a century. I want smooth (not chunky).

nuthatch
03-04-2005, 12:35 PM
Has anyone had significant rust issues with steel? I'm in the market for another bike and I'm looking at the REI Randonee (steel) but I'd read somewhere how careful you have to be about getting water inside the frame. Is this an issue for anyone?

SadieKate
03-04-2005, 12:38 PM
Not I but I don't live in a humid climate or ride in the rain (well, usually not). A steel frame should be treated with frame prep for this reason.

Steph_in_TX
03-04-2005, 12:47 PM
I guess I always have to be different, but I don't like my steel nearly as much as my aluminum...both have carbon forks and the alum also has carbon seat stays. I'm sure that helps soften things just enough. The steel feels squirrely to me. I don't find the aluminum harsh at all, but it maybe because I started on that bike and that's what I'm used to. Somebody has to take up for good ole' aluminum :D

skibum
03-04-2005, 01:36 PM
I like my aluminum better than my steel too. I also have a carbon fork on the aluminum bike so maybe that makes a difference. But, like someone else said, it's all personal preference. Just find what works for you!

Trek420
03-04-2005, 03:09 PM
from the wisdom of Dogmama "I had a crack in my steel frame and they fixed it. I had a crack in my aluminum frame and had ~10 pounds of junk. :p"

true, you can send a steel frame to the village blacksmith (no, not really), aluminum, carbon go shopping for a new bike. :(

emily_in_nc
03-04-2005, 05:33 PM
I've never had any rust problems with my two steel frames. They are relatively new (2003 and 2004), but both have been ridden in the rain at least a few times and many > 2000 miles overall, and I live in very humid central NC. I really wouldn't worry about rust - it's just not a consideration unless you get a bad scrape on the frame, in which case you need to touch it up with paint so it won't rust, of course. I don't do any fancy protection to my frames either, just clean ''em after they get grubby enough.

I love my steel frames, but they are heavier than my carbon frame. Nice for touring, on the trainer, and for rainy-day rides, though!

Emily in NC

sarahfixit
03-04-2005, 07:37 PM
If you treat your frame well and wax the paint then rust is not a concern. My 14 yr old mountain bike has perfect condition tubing(I checked) and I had it 6 yrs on a pacific island before coming to eastern pa.
The planes I restore as a job are the same steel tubing and are on avg 50 yrs old. Since they treat them, we rarely encounter rust. There are a great many treatments out there now to choose from, but almost anything works.

nuthatch
03-05-2005, 04:31 AM
Thanks for the reassurance on steel frames - I'm going to go for it!

Melody
03-05-2005, 09:18 AM
If you treat your frame well and wax the paint then rust is not a concern.

Wax?

I've never heard of waxing a steel bike before. :) What kind of wax would you use? Something like what you'd use on a car? How should it be applied? How many coats? :)

Mel

Trek420
03-05-2005, 12:28 PM
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=56197&item=7138951766&rd=1

have no clue how to do e-bay but this looks cool and it's my size. Don't tell my bike I was looking at another bike, she'll throw me off or sumthin.

pedalfaster
03-05-2005, 02:51 PM
Wax?

I've never heard of waxing a steel bike before. :) What kind of wax would you use? Something like what you'd use on a car? How should it be applied? How many coats? :)

Mel

Many shops use Pledge (shhhhhh, it's a trade secret).

Car waxes (e.g. Turtle Wax) are more work, but do the trick too.

AND...did you know you can use nail polish to cover knicks in your paint? It's important to cover those nicks on steel frames. You can also then paint your nails to match you frame...swell, huh? :cool:

annie
03-05-2005, 03:45 PM
I have used Pledge on my bikes for almost 20 years. My brother (who in his younger days was a sponsored bike racer) used Pledge so I always figured if it was good enough for him, it was good enough for me. ;) He treasured his bikes!
I use car wax once a year on each bike frame. Early in the season, I take the time to do a thorough wax job (think bike wax here - forget that bikini wax thread....) on each bike. I think it starts out the season with a good, protective coating on the bikes. I use Turtle wax, but I don't think the brand name makes any diff. I have a carbon frame, an aluminum frame and a combo carbon/al. The wax and Pledge seem to work on all them.

I love the nail polish trick. Used it many times. My good road bike is yellow. I found nail polish to match. I've touched up the frame with it, and, yes, painted my nails to match. :D All in good fun.

Back to frame material - I've ridden steel, aluminum, carbon fiber, and a combo aluminum/carbon. Each has some advantage. My mountain bike is aluminum; very cost-efficient and I don't ride off-road enough to justify spending a large sum on a mtb. My road bikes are aluminum/carbon and totally carbon. I love the carbon fiber. It is responsive and it is comfortable! Not quite as responsive as steel, but for me, the trade-off in comfort is absolutely worth it. I know, you can't fix it if it cracks, but the likelihood of that happening is so slim, that it is not a factor.
Never have ridden a titanium bike so can't have an opinion on that.

It all boils down to personal preference! Just ride and enjoy! :D

annie

sarahfixit
03-05-2005, 06:58 PM
I have used car wax religiously from the beginning and love it. I know several people who use pledge. It works, but I like the results with a hardshell carwax more. The effort invested is worth it. I can wax a mtb frame completely in less than 20 mins if I set to it. During the race season I do it every other race (3 wks or so) since it repels mud and junk while looking good. Plus when it is done effectively it seals scratches and dings as effectively as nail polish.

CorsairMac
03-07-2005, 02:13 PM
have no clue how to do e-bay but this looks cool and it's my size. Don't tell my bike I was looking at another bike, she'll throw me off or sumthin.

Oh thank you very much Trek - I seem to be e-bay challenged too and thought it was just me. I end up giving up coz I get so frustrated trying to figure out how to move around in e-bay. (ps, I see you changed your signature line, just wanted you to know I Loved the avatar-free one!!)

Melody
03-07-2005, 03:17 PM
Many shops use Pledge (shhhhhh, it's a trade secret).

Car waxes (e.g. Turtle Wax) are more work, but do the trick too.

Oooh. Didn't know that. :)


AND...did you know you can use nail polish to cover knicks in your paint? It's important to cover those nicks on steel frames. You can also then paint your nails to match you frame...swell, huh? :cool:

heh. Now that is cool. :)

So, does anyone think I can go to a carwash place and go "Yeah, can you wash and wax the bike? k-thanks." :rolleyes: ;)

Mel

CorsairMac
03-07-2005, 03:27 PM
sure Mel - but only if you're willing to ride it through the wash..........keeping it on that track thing by itself could be tough ya know! :p

Melody
03-07-2005, 03:34 PM
sure Mel - but only if you're willing to ride it through the wash..........keeping it on that track thing by itself could be tough ya know! :p

heh. Guess I'll have to invest in some goggles, as I come out of the machine and need wipers for my glasses. :D

Mel