Advantages and disadvantages of aluminum alloy bicycle frame

Bicycles for campers, rvers, or just riding around where ever you are

Re: Advantages and disadvantages of aluminum alloy bicycle f

Postby JuneBug » Wed Apr 19, 2017 3:47 pm

Well, the other options are steel (rusts, it's heavy) and carbon fiber. Well built aluminum bikes can be really durable and light weight; when aluminum mountain bike frames fail, it is almost always at a weld and not the tubing itself; when a weld fails, it is almost always a manufacturer's defect, although it can be a design defect resulting on undue stress on the weld at a particular joint.

The technology behind carbon fiber these days is awesome; I'm currently using carbon fiber handlebars and husband rides a carbon fiber mountain bike. Strong, light, expensive. If I had the $$$, my next mountain bike would be carbon fiber.
"The large print giveth; the small print taketh away" Tom Waits
JuneBug
Donating Member
 
Posts: 571
Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2010 9:16 pm
Location: Central Texas

Re: Advantages and disadvantages of aluminum alloy bicycle f

Postby mikeschn » Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:03 pm

The OP was deleted... :stompspam: thanks Alaska!

And for what it's worth, I have both aluminum and carbon fiber! I'd love to have a steel one too, but no one makes it in hybrid format. The last steel frame that I tried that flexed nice like what I grew up with was the Volpe! Whatdayathink Glenn (Fen)?

Mike...

P.S. Hey Junebug, I bought a carbon fiber frame from China... cheap! and I'm still riding it...
The quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten, so build your teardrop with the best materials...
User avatar
mikeschn
Site Admin
 
Posts: 19128
Images: 468
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2004 11:01 am
Location: MI

Re: Advantages and disadvantages of aluminum alloy bicycle f

Postby Fenlason » Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:45 pm

Steel frames rusting isn't really a big deal… I love steel frames. I personally have steel.. aluminum.. titanium.. and carbon. As far as ride charactaristics, how a frame is made.. [design and build quality] make more difference than the material it's made out of. As an example.. aluminum frames.. have been some of the most flexible frames out there.. and they can be majorly stiff… it depends on what you do to it.

If I was going to purchase a special bike.. and something I wanted to own a long time.. it would either be steel or ti.

Mike.. if you are looking for a hybrid type of bike.. in steel.. you should look at Surly.
glenn

Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.
Kahlil Gibran

We don't stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing.
George Bernard Shaw
User avatar
Fenlason
Tour de Post Yellow Jersey
 
Posts: 75703
Images: 221
Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2006 2:33 pm
Location: Winslow Me.
Top

Re: Advantages and disadvantages of aluminum alloy bicycle f

Postby mikeschn » Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:50 pm

Here's my carbon... It works out to be a "comfort" stance!

Image

Mike...
The quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten, so build your teardrop with the best materials...
User avatar
mikeschn
Site Admin
 
Posts: 19128
Images: 468
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2004 11:01 am
Location: MI
Top

Re: Advantages and disadvantages of aluminum alloy bicycle f

Postby mikeschn » Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:54 pm

Fen,

I built up a Surly Crosscheck many years ago. The frame was way too stiff. Nothing like a Volpe... :cry:

Image

Mike...

Fenlason wrote:
Mike.. if you are looking for a hybrid type of bike.. in steel.. you should look at Surly.
The quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten, so build your teardrop with the best materials...
User avatar
mikeschn
Site Admin
 
Posts: 19128
Images: 468
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2004 11:01 am
Location: MI
Top

Re: Advantages and disadvantages of aluminum alloy bicycle f

Postby mikeschn » Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:00 pm

I even tried a Martin Muirwoods... also too stiff...

Image

Mike...
The quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten, so build your teardrop with the best materials...
User avatar
mikeschn
Site Admin
 
Posts: 19128
Images: 468
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2004 11:01 am
Location: MI
Top

Re: Advantages and disadvantages of aluminum alloy bicycle f

Postby mikeschn » Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:28 pm

Fen,

I guess as we get older, we need more flexible frames. Has anyone found that market niche yet?

Mike...
The quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten, so build your teardrop with the best materials...
User avatar
mikeschn
Site Admin
 
Posts: 19128
Images: 468
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2004 11:01 am
Location: MI
Top

Re: Advantages and disadvantages of aluminum alloy bicycle f

Postby Fenlason » Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:22 pm

Tires.. and lower air pressure from what people used to use.. contribute greatly to comfort. I am not sure if Surly uses different tubing, on different sized bikes?

A lot of companies design a bike.. based on a model.. 56cm frame.. and a person of a certain size. In doing that.. larger frames are "softer" and smaller frames are harsher. Some companies.. do alter them. I am quite sure Specialized is doing that now. Some of what a custom builder does.. is choosing tubing size and wall thickness to tune the ride to the persons size.. and their desires. [not just fit]

I have personally found my Surlys comfortable… although they are stiffer than my 50 year old Cilo Pacers.. although those are noodles.. not overly efficient.. and are a little sloppier in handling due to the lack of stiffness. I do not have a Cross Check though.

Modern, good carbon frames seem to be very good at making a comfortable frame that is efficient. Things that were mutually exclusive. [The more efficient.. the less comfortable.. or the more comfortable.. the less efficient.] They keep getting better and better… amazingly so.

I don't know all the steel bikes.. or who specifically recommend for comfort. My comfy road bike is a Specialized Roubaix..it's maybe 4 years old.. and the new ones are better yet.
glenn

Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.
Kahlil Gibran

We don't stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing.
George Bernard Shaw
User avatar
Fenlason
Tour de Post Yellow Jersey
 
Posts: 75703
Images: 221
Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2006 2:33 pm
Location: Winslow Me.
Top

Re: Advantages and disadvantages of aluminum alloy bicycle f

Postby jondbar628 » Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:48 pm

Don't wanna hijack the thread, but I guess the old purple ( I believe that's the only color it came in) 1955(?) Shwinn with spring-assist suspension and dual headlights is not in consideration here. I got that bike (a 26 incher) for Christmas when I was seven. The old man put 2x4 blocks on the pedals so I could reach them, and said" Son, that's your bike". I rode it 'til I was old enough to drive. Lord only knows how many Western Auto tires and bearings I put on that horse. Didn't look at all original when it went to Goodwill...........jd
jondbar628
Teardrop Master
 
Posts: 126
Joined: Thu Apr 17, 2014 3:32 pm
Location: Palm Coast, FL & Middletown, OH
Top

Re: Advantages and disadvantages of aluminum alloy bicycle f

Postby Tigris99 » Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:35 pm

I ride aluminum. I'm a bigger guy. Steel is nice but I like the lines that they form out of aluminum tubes.

Carbon fiber is bad material for mountain bike frames(ridden on serious trails). First decently hard impact on something hard (crash that hits a tree or rock) and frame is done. A lot of benefits of it but gotta be able to afford to replace it if you crash hard.

Being a bigger guy I'll smash CF frames. I ride carbon bars and forks on my fat bike, carbon forks on my road bike. New trail bike has no carbon fiber at all. May end up with bars at some point.

Steel is truly probably the most comfortable but except my road bike my skinniest tires are true 3.0" tires lol. Let my tires and forks deal with the comfort issue.

Fat and new B+ Trail bike.
ImageImage

Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk
Tigris99
Teardrop Master
 
Posts: 146
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2017 4:42 pm
Top

Re: Advantages and disadvantages of aluminum alloy bicycle f

Postby Andrew Herrick » Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:38 pm

I'm not a fatbiker myself, but I have to wonder if the vibration characteristics of the frame material become less important with a fat bike. Those squishy tires sure suck up a lot of jostling.
User avatar
Andrew Herrick
Teardrop Master
 
Posts: 219
Images: 11
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2016 5:39 pm
Location: Cedar City, Utah
Top

Re: Advantages and disadvantages of aluminum alloy bicycle f

Postby Tigris99 » Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:02 pm

Ya there is a trade off though, like having a little bit of suspension travel without a a damper.

Little bouncy lol. That's why I got a plus bike. 29er wasn't doing it for me, too flexy and not confidence inspiring. Fat bike has downsides of the bounce and weight (thought still fun as hell, love it). Hardtail Plus bike brought in the best of both for me. Wider but not fat, stiff yet compliant. She needs a bit lighter wheels but rides like it's on rails.

Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk
Tigris99
Teardrop Master
 
Posts: 146
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2017 4:42 pm
Top

Re: Advantages and disadvantages of aluminum alloy bicycle f

Postby mtbikernate » Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:26 pm

This is what I'm riding these days:

It's got both aluminum and carbon fiber portions of the frame.

Image
IMG_20170305_115734_604 by Nate, on Flickr

The seat stays on it are carbon fiber. I also have carbon bars, which make me really happy in wintertime, as they ARE warmer.

My wife's mtb has more carbon on it than any other material, I think.

Image
20170419_154451 by Nate, on Flickr

It really changed my mind about carbon on mtb's. She's wrecked it in the rocks, and the clear coat is scratched but the bike is fine. The frame is 7yrs old, too. Nice thing about carbon is how repairable it is. Aside from the cost, I wouldn't hesitate to buy another carbon mtb. We saved on cost for my wife's mtb by buying it used from a racer who used it a couple seasons. Got it for basically the value of the components and really checked it over once it arrived. Wife is looking at buying another carbon mtb with more suspension travel this summer.

My road bike is steel. Grades of steel vary a lot. Surly tends to be much more basic in its construction. Stiffer for sure. Less tubing wall thickness manipulation. Etc. Salsa steel bikes are a little nicer. Better steel alloy, a little lighter, a little more compliant. Salsa doesn't do as many steel bikes as they used to, though. They have more alu and more carbon models. Far fewer Ti models, too.

Image
20170218_162144 by Nate, on Flickr

I'm personally thinking hard about the new Santa Cruz Chameleon. I'm liking a lot about that bike, and reviews I'm reading are saying it rides SUPER nice, especially considering it's aluminum. They're hard to get, though, and I don't think I'll even get to test ride one for a few more weeks. I'm thinking I'll probably buy it in 27.5 plus configuration and maybe add a 29er wheelset to it later.
mtbikernate
Teardrop Inspector
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 4:59 pm
Top


Return to Bicycles

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests