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Thread: Frame material

  1. #1
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    Feb 2004
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    Frame material

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    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?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    under the search button type in " steel vs" theres a ton of threads here about the difference in all the frame materials!
    Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, champagne in one hand, strawberries in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming: "Yeah Baby! What a Ride!"

  3. #3
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    Apr 2003
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    NY
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    Cool Test Rides

    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!

  4. #4
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    Jan 2005
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    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.
    Ride it, break it, fixit, ride it...

  5. #5
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    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.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogmama
    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.
    Yes! Aluminum can be fun for short rides and climbing, but . . 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).

  7. #7
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    Dec 2004
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    DuPage Co IL
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    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?

  8. #8
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    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.

  9. #9
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    Sep 2003
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    No longer suffocating in TX
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    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

  10. #10
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    Mar 2004
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    Atlanta, GA
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    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!

  11. #11
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    Jun 2002
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    Mrs. KnottedYet
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    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. "

    true, you can send a steel frame to the village blacksmith (no, not really), aluminum, carbon go shopping for a new bike.
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  12. #12
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    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
    Emily

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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    eastern PA
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    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.
    Ride it, break it, fixit, ride it...

  14. #14
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    Dec 2004
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    DuPage Co IL
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    Thanks for the reassurance on steel frames - I'm going to go for it!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Mountain View, CA
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    447
    Quote Originally Posted by sarahfixit
    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

 

 

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