Aluminum bike frame pros and cons

Aluminum alloys: 7005 and 6061. which is better?

aluminum, bike, frame, pros

Aluminum is a very common material for bicycle frames. Its main advantages are lightness, strength and low price. But in its pure form, aluminum is very fragile (remember how easily spoons and forks were bent in school canteens), so various aluminum alloys are used to make bicycle frames and other parts.

The two most common frames used in the bicycle industry are 7005 (the main additive is zinc) and 6061 (with magnesium and silicon additives). The rest of the alloys are hardly used because they are expensive or very difficult to weld. After all, the frame. it is not a one-piece piece, but a welded structure of a dozen pipes.

The table shows the physical properties of both alloys:

Yield strength 240.276 MPa Tensile strength 260.325 MPa Elastic modulus 69 hPa Density 2.72 g / cm3

Yield strength 290 MPa Tensile strength 345-400 MPa Elastic modulus 72 hPa Density 2.75 g / cm3

Tensile strength. the value of the load, when exceeded, destruction occurs. Yield strength. the amount of load, when exceeded, non-recoverable deformation occurs (try jumping on the old frame until it bends, and this will mean that you have exceeded the yield strength of its material). Elastic modulus. the ability of a material to resist deformation.

It would seem that alloy 7005 is stronger than 6061. But not everything is so simple.

Formally, the 7005 alloy is stronger, but it is noticeably worse than 6061, amenable to processing. All modern frames have a complex design: pipes can be butted, tapered or oval in cross-section, or even a very complex arbitrary profile, made using hydroforming. All these tweaks help to strengthen the frame in the most stressed areas and reduce its weight in general. From this point of view, the 6061 alloy gives manufacturers a lot more freedom. In addition, 6061 is easier to weld than 7005. In addition, the final strength is achieved due to heat treatment of an already finished frame: alloy 6061, when hardened and artificially aged, gains substantially more characteristics than 7005.

It is not possible to unambiguously single out the leader of these two aluminum alloys. In addition, many bicycle manufacturers do not specify what kind of aluminum alloy their frame is made of, focusing only on the technologies used. So we advise you to pay more attention to the quality of welding and applied technologies than to the alloy itself. What’s more, by 2019, Al 7005 was almost completely out of use, as almost the entire upper segment is now occupied by carbon frames.

Which is stronger. aluminum or steel?

Steel is much stronger than aluminum, which makes steel parts heavier in weight.

Aluminum frames are not made of pure metal, but with the addition of various elements. Often, the alloy contains impurities of chromium, zinc, titanium, manganese, iron, which improves the characteristics of parts. Most often, in the manufacture of bicycle frames, aluminum alloys of the following grades are used: 7005 and 6061.

Steel frame, pros and cons

To make steel frames, the following types are used:

  • Common steel.
  • Carbon steel.
  • Steel alloyed with chromium and molybdenum.

Standard grade steel. It has the lowest properties, so bicycles are of low cost. Such material quickly deteriorates, the frame rusts, and the bike loses its usefulness.

Carbon steel frames have good strength properties as well as corrosion resistance. They are quite flexible, so they smooth out all the bumps on the road. Such designs are ideal for normal riding as well as for performing stunts. Carbon steel withstands heavy loads, up to 150 kg.

Alloyed steels make the structure more reliable, strong and lightweight. Most often steels for making frames are alloyed with molybdenum and chromium. Molybdenum affects the structure of the steel, making it fine-grained, thereby increasing the strength. Chromium imparts corrosion resistance.

The price for such a frame starts from 400. The high cost is the most significant drawback, which is why such bicycles are not in demand.

Advantages of steel frames:

  • high indicators of strength, rigidity;
  • durable;
  • withstand shocks;
  • easy to maintain;
  • unlike aluminum frames, steel frames do not accumulate fatigue. This property allows the element not to break at one moment, so the cyclist can notice the crack in time and replace the damaged part;
  • repairing steel structures is quite easy, all that is needed is welding;
  • bicycles are inexpensive;
  • physical properties allow vibration damping when driving.

Disadvantages of a steel frame:

  • tangible weight of the structure;
  • structures made of ordinary steel quickly corrode;
  • due to the appearance of rust, it is necessary to take good care of the bike: paint the surface, do not leave it in rain and snow, and regularly lubricate.

Aluminum frame, pros and cons

Aluminum frame advantages:

  • low weight of the frame. Low-grade structures weigh about 2 kg, and high-quality ones weigh up to 1.5 kg;
  • good performance along with low cost;
  • the bike accelerates quickly on any terrain;
  • do not corrode;
  • withstand a lot of weight.

The disadvantages of this frame are directly opposite to the advantages of the steel frame:

  • Despite their fast acceleration, they also rapidly lose momentum.
  • Some models do not absorb vibration from the road, so driving can be excruciating.
  • Accumulates fatigue, so breakdown can occur at any time.
  • Most breakdowns are nearly impossible to fix.

Which frame to choose for a bike: aluminum or steel?

The bike frame is a supporting part, as all the main components are attached to it. 70% of the load falls on the frame, which is why the structure must be made of high-quality materials.

For many owners, the main criterion is the weight of the product, the less it is, the more convenient it is to manage the product. The mass directly depends on the material, so you should choose a bike based on this criterion, taking into account the pros and cons of each.

Cyclist reviews

Not every cyclist can choose the right frame the first time. You must have enough experience in order to navigate the materials.

Repair work

Serious breakdowns of carbon fiber frames are rare, but, as already mentioned, this happens in the form of cracks and chips already in the structure of the carbon itself. By the way, the aforementioned putties are aimed not only at preventing the formation of cracks, but also preventing their increase. What to do if structural damage was found? The restoration of a carbon frame for a bicycle is carried out using specialized means. these can be resins, particles of carbon fiber fabrics, rovings and individual structural blanks. Depending on the nature of the damage, one or another remedy should be used. As for the repair process itself, it involves both mechanical tools in the form of jigsaws, files and hacksaws for metal, as well as thermal impact devices, which will just make the carbon structure pliable for restorative deformation.

Benefits of carbon

Based on the strength characteristics and rigidity, it can be concluded that the structure has a minimal tendency to deforming and shock loads. The process of destruction of carbon is also interesting. Of course, this will require super-extreme loads, but even such a risk cannot be completely ruled out. The fact is that complete destruction of the structure with the separation of parts cannot occur, which leads to a high degree of safety for the cyclist. Destruction can manifest itself only in separate processes of formation of cracks in the structure of fibers, interconnected by special resins. But even in this case, the bike does not pose a serious danger to the owner. Advantageous carbon bike frame and its practicality. Again, the light weight makes it easy to transport the structure. especially if it is foldable. And the appearance with original design solutions is also a plus for the carbon fiber material, which aesthetically stands out against the background of steel and even more so aluminum models.

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Bicycle carbon

Carbon plastic can actually form the load-bearing base of bicycles, transferring its own characteristics to the overall structure. It would seem that by purchasing such a model, one can count on improving the driving and other performance characteristics. But there are some nuances here. First, manufacturers don’t always use all-carbon structures, leaving room for the inclusion of aluminum parts. Not to mention the fact that carbon itself is different, and you should not discount the desire of manufacturers to save money. Secondly, a carbon frame for a bicycle can improve some of its characteristics, but other elements, in turn, can remain at the traditional technical and ergonomic level. It costs nothing to engineers to provide a carbon bike with average quality saddle, stem, handlebar and seatpost materials. Often there are modifications in which, along with carbon fiber, cheap bushings, rims and tires are used. This nuance should be taken into account, paying special attention to the rest of the bike configuration.

Disadvantages of carbon

Like most new high-tech materials, carbon also has very noticeable negative aspects of operation. But it’s worth starting with a high price tag. Compared to the same steel and aluminum bikes, these models are 20-30% more expensive. Next comes the topic of maintainability, which is often cited as the main drawback of a carbon bike frame. The pros and cons in this case are interrelated, since it is the increased strength and rigidity of the material that complicate the processes of its recovery. But the repair work will be a separate conversation. It is also worth noting the negative impact on the structure from salt water. With such contacts, undesirable physicochemical processes occur, which in the long term can lead to a decrease in the performance of the bicycle. However, manufacturers produce special modifications for water sports, in which special protective treatments for CFRP surfaces are used.

Main characteristics

From the point of view of operation, for many, the characteristics of high rigidity and vibration damping are important. For example, due to the flexibility of the material, engineers were able to master the concept of double-suspended, non-hinged frames, in which the head or chain stays bend without structural deformation. This quality is precisely what determines the increased shock-absorbing ability of the carbon frame. At the same time, the weight does not increase at all in comparison with the same aluminum counterparts. the average value is 1100-1300 g. According to experts, such indicators are 200-400 g lower than that of traditional bikes. And this is not to mention the lightweight modifications, the weight of which fits into 1000 g. Otherwise, the characteristics are well within the established standards for the performance of bicycles. For example, carbon does not impose any restrictions on the use of existing wheel diameters. the average range varies from 24 to 29 inches. Now it is worth familiarizing yourself with other advantages of CFRP frames.

Scandium Bike Frames

Really stuff. special aluminum alloy with scandium additives.

Their main advantage. low weight. They are even lighter than titanium, at a slightly lower price. Good strength and medium softness. However, the material is extremely demanding on the production technology, otherwise it will greatly lose all its positive properties.

Cons of a titanium frame

Bottom line: The best and best bike frame option is a titanium frame. If you are not afraid of its price.

It is a polymer composite material of interwoven carbon threads located in a matrix of various polymer resins.

Such fibers have high longitudinal strength, i. E. it is very difficult to break them, but their lateral strength is low. they break easily to the side. Therefore, in carbon structures, different layers of threads are located in those directions that are acted upon by forces in the finished product.

The second component of carbon is resins, their main task. hold the fibers in a given position while maintaining the shape of the product. It depends on them how firmly the different layers of threads will be connected to each other and the final properties of the finished products.

Resins can solidify either under normal conditions, or “baked” in special ovens, which dramatically increases the quality of the finished product. These are often referred to as epoxy resins. It happens that rubber is used for additional reinforcement.

Today, carbon is used in bicycle construction for frames, wheels, seat posts, handlebars, stems and forks.

The carbon frame is a woven structure made of glass and carbon fibers, impregnated with synthetic resins and “sintered” at a high temperature. Due to the directional weaving, the frame structure receives the required strength characteristics. Today, even extreme downhill bikes are made from carbon.

High-quality carbon frames perfectly dampen vibrations during travel due to the fabric structure. The correct location of the layers of carbon fiber fabric gives good vibration damping and elasticity, which are difficult to obtain from aluminum. Therefore, the production of carbon frames requires a high level of specialists.

Also, the properties of the frame are highly dependent on the way it is “baked”. Many nuances like direction, number of layers, temperature and pressure when heating forms. all this gives the result that you get when riding in your frame.

Therefore, individual frames are often made for riders. in addition to “fitting” to the parameters of the rider (weight, fit, etc.), it is produced in a special way. The price of such a frame will be like the cost of a good car, but when there is a question of the honor of the country, money goes by the wayside.

The popular Chinese carbon available today hardly has all the advantages. Layers can be stacked for luck, impregnation. regular epoxy, drying by eye. Therefore, the strength characteristics are questionable, but the buyer tells everyone that his bike is “carbon fiber”.

As you know, the production of carbon is extremely harmful to workers. A lot of handwork, a couple of resins, hardeners, dust. greatly reduces the health of workers. There are even companies that have given up on carbon bikes for this very reason.

What affects the rigidity and strength of a carbon frame?

  • Less resin. stronger frame.
  • The more layers in different directions, the stronger the frame.

Magnesium bike frames

Magnesium is a rare metal. Therefore, of course, it is expensive and there are few people who really ride on it. However, something is known.

From manufacturers it is known that the chemical composition of the material uses 92.94% magnesium Mg (magnesium) and the rest are various additives.

These are the lightest frames to date. They have good vibration damping capabilities, close to their titanium counterparts. These are the lightest frames to date. They also have good vibration damping properties, almost like titanium.

Cons of carbon:

Also carbon should be “know” all the same. Overtightening the seatpost clamp on an aluminum or steel bike will break the bolt or its thread as much as possible. On the carbon seatpost, you can get cracked.

Original and experimental materials for bicycle frames

  • Magnesium;
  • Scandium;
  • Beryllium;
  • Wood;
  • Bamboo.

Subtotal:

The choice of frame depends on the purpose of the ride, the wishes of the owner and the budget. You can get pleasure both on steel and aluminum.

Pros of aluminum alloys:

Carbon steel (High Ten)

This steel is already more advanced with good performance and rust resistance. It is flexible enough to dampen vibrations while riding, and the price is very affordable.

Great for heavy people up to 150 kg.

Cons of steel alloys:

Often, because of the weight, they refuse to buy such frames. It seems reasonable to pay extra and choose an aluminum analogue that will be 1-2 kg lighter. However, weight, a characteristic that is important, but not paramount for a regular bike.

In fact. the more important characteristics when choosing are strength, rigidity and reliability. The amateur does not participate in competitions, he uses his bike for riding and walking. And during the walk, if you do not go into details, all bicycles ride well and bring their share of pleasure.

Carbon Vs Aluminium Bikes | What’s The Difference On The Road?

However, technologies do not stand still and butting (“variable thickness of the frame walls”. Read the article) is also used on steel frames.

Desna and Kama. the bicycles of our childhood weighing 15 kg were just steel and remember how many generations have rolled the same bike regardless of height and age.

Therefore, in order not to succumb to marketing and advertising. make your informed choice. Steel. affordable and reliable material.

Here we will also make a reservation that the bike consists not only of the frame, but also of the components on it. Most often you can see that the simplest equipment for walking is installed on steel frames.

Pure aluminum is not used, it is too soft. Therefore, alloys with zinc, copper, magnesium, manganese and others are used.

The main advantage of such frames. weight. It is easier for an aluminum bike to pick up speed and enter a hill because the efficiency of energy transfer from the legs to the bike is higher. However, if you stop pedaling, the bike will immediately start to stop (moment of inertia on steel frames is better). In part, you need to get used to such bicycles after mild steel, since they are much tougher and handle differently. From the same, they damp vibrations on the road worse than steel counterparts.

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Another disadvantage of aluminum is the fact that it accumulates fatigue and breakage occurs instantly without cracking, which increases the risk of injury. Here we will immediately please. regular bicycles almost never break in the frame, only their extreme counterparts.

Because of these features, aluminum frames are manufactured from larger diameter pipes with thick walls. This greatly increases rigidity and minimizes weight.

The advantages of this design are:

The disadvantage of the contactless model is the small capacity of the batteries. It only lasts for a few minutes. However, many craftsmen easily correct this deficiency in various ways, including replacing the battery with a more powerful one.

Dynamo machine (bike generator). Types and features. Work

An electrical energy generator is a device that converts chemical, mechanical or thermal energy into electrical current. The generator used on bicycles to power the rear lights and headlights is the dynamo.

Chain

The chain version of a bicycle generator is quite rare. However, there are several different versions of this kind. The device can be equipped with a USB port for charging mobile gadgets.

The disadvantage of this design is a short service life, since during operation the metal bicycle chain is exposed to the plastic elements of the generator.

Dynamo hub

The bushing dynamo has a lot of pluses. Therefore, if there is a financial opportunity, it is still more advisable to purchase this model.

  • Quiet operation.
  • Friction is minimized. No moving parts available.
  • No need to constantly monitor sealing as well as adhesion.
  • Moisture, weather conditions, dirt ingress will not affect the performance and brightness of the headlight.
  • Automatic switching on.
  • The bushing does not need to be grounded. The device is isolated. This makes it possible to take advantage of the free “minus” of other equipment.
  • During installation, it becomes necessary to re-match the wheel. Sometimes it is required to put “non-native” needles, shorter.
  • The alternating current generated by the bushing dynamos needs to be rectified. Diodes help them in this.
  • Constant use of the headlight while the bike is moving leads to overload. This fact leads to a decrease in the service life of the lighting device.
  • Impossibility of self-disconnection.

disadvantages

  • Complicated setup. Careful adjustment and adjustment of the contact with the wheel tire at a certain angle, tire pressure, height is required. If the bike falls over or the fixing screws are loosened, the generator could be damaged. An incorrectly adjusted generator device will make a lot of noise, create excessive resistance, and slip on the wheel. If the mounting screws are too loose, the mechanism can move and get caught in the spokes of the wheel, which will break the spokes and damage the bicycle wheel. Some bike generators are equipped with special loops to prevent them from falling into the spokes.
  • It takes physical effort to switch. To power the generator, it is necessary to move its housing until it touches the wheel. Bushing generators can be switched on automatically or electronically. You don’t need to make an effort to do this.
  • Increased noise. Whirring noise is heard during operation while hub dynamo does not generate noise.
  • Wheel tire wear. The generator requires contact with the tire to operate, resulting in friction and tire wear. Compared to a hub dynamo, there is no friction with the tire.
  • Resistance to movement. The bottle dynamo offers significantly more resistance to the movement of the bike than the hub model. However, with the correct setting, the resistance is insignificant, and in the disconnected form there is.
  • Slippage. In wet rainy weather, the drive roller of the bottle generator will slide on the tire of the wheel, which reduces the generation of electric current and dims the headlamp and taillight. Bushing generators do not require good grip on the tire to work, and are not affected by weather and other adverse conditions.

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Bike frame

Bicycle frames are generally made from metal alloys. These are steel, alloys based on aluminum, titanium and magnesium. Another material. carbon, is carbon fiber, so it should be considered separately.

The most important characteristic of a metal is its rigidity, the higher it is, the less the metal is subject to deformation. But it is directly related to density, which in turn affects the weight of the material. Consequently, the higher the rigidity of the metal, the heavier the frame made from it. Steel (30) has the highest rigidity, followed by titanium (15-16), and the lowest is aluminum (10-11). But this does not mean that aluminum frames automatically become outsiders.

Thanks to a more massive structure and the use of butting technology (the pipe walls have different thicknesses, increased in places of heavy load), aluminum has quite decent characteristics. Let’s consider in more detail.

Bicycle frame and material selection

There is no definite answer to the question of what material the best bicycle frames are made of. Every owner will praise their frame and prioritize its benefits above the rest. The opinions are unanimous on one thing. a good frame should be light and strong. Better yet, lightweight, durable and inexpensive. How to choose just such a frame? To get an objective assessment, you need to compare each material in terms of its advantages and disadvantages, and then choose what is best for you.

Steel frame

Steel is one of the most common materials and is simple and cheap to make. For bicycle frames, simple alloys (Hi-Ten) and chromium-molybdenum (Cro-Mo) are used. Butting technology is also often used in the manufacture of steel frames, but if in aluminum frames it is designed to increase strength, then in steel frames. to reduce weight by thinning the frame in places where the load is small. But using butting raises the price significantly for an inexpensive, overall steel frame. Steel frames are specially hardened to increase strength.

Today, simple steel is used only in inexpensive models; only chromium-molybdenum alloys can compete in performance with other materials.

Advantages of steel (Cro-Mo): relatively low price; Flexibility of the frame, which allows you to soften vibration and shock, as well as smooth cornering; good roll forward; high strength and durability of the material; good maintainability.

Cons of steel: heavy frame weight; danger of corrosion; there are restrictions on the weight of the cyclist. In general, buying a bicycle with a steel frame is a long-term investment because with good care it can serve you for years.

Carbon frame

Carbon is a composite material based on carbon fibers bonded together by resin. The characteristics of this material differ significantly from any metals, since carbon has a fundamentally different origin and structure.

Carbon frames can be solid (monocoque) and composite, in which carbon tubes are connected by metal parts. Monocoque frames are more durable, due to the unity of the material, greater rigidity and lightness of the frame is achieved. Carbon is a very flexible material, so monocoque frames come in a wide variety of shapes. There are also combined frames with a metal frame. They have very high driving characteristics, but they contain all the pluses of both metal and carbon fiber, as well as all the minuses.

Several factors affect the hardness and strength of CFRP. The first is the amount of resin that holds the fibers together: the less, the stronger. The second is the number of layers. If there are many layers and they are located in different directions, the strength increases. On a bike with a carbon frame, the bunny hop jump is easier because the frame is lighter. Carbon is the only material where rigidity can increase not only in certain places, but also in certain directions (due to the location of the carbon fibers), which is why carbon frames are often used in professional cycling.

Pros of carbon: low weight; strength and durability (if used correctly); the possibility of strengthening the frame both in any place and in any direction; unusual frame shapes.

Cons of carbon: very high price, for non-professional frames. the risk of breakage due to improper design, as well as instability to impacts, as a result of which the entire frame can collapse; danger of corrosion in metal assemblies of composite and combined frames, complete inability to repair.

Steel frame

Steel is one of the most common materials and is simple and cheap to make. For bicycle frames, simple alloys (Hi-Ten) and chromium-molybdenum (Cro-Mo) are used. Butting technology is also often used in the manufacture of steel frames, but if in aluminum frames it is designed to increase strength, then in steel frames. to reduce weight by thinning the frame in places where the load is small. But using butting raises the price significantly for an inexpensive, overall steel frame. Steel frames are specially hardened to increase strength.

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Today, simple steel is used only in inexpensive models; only chromium-molybdenum alloys can compete in performance with other materials.

Advantages of steel (Cro-Mo): relatively low price; Flexibility of the frame, which allows you to soften vibration and shock, as well as smooth cornering; good roll forward; high strength and durability of the material; good maintainability.

Cons of steel: heavy frame weight; danger of corrosion; there are restrictions on the weight of the cyclist. In general, buying a bicycle with a steel frame is a long-term investment because with good care it can serve you for years.

Carbon frame

Carbon is a composite material based on carbon fibers bonded together by resin. The characteristics of this material differ significantly from any metals, since carbon has a fundamentally different origin and structure.

Carbon frames can be one-piece (monocoque) and composite, in which carbon tubes are connected by metal parts. Monocoque frames are more durable, due to the unity of the material, greater rigidity and lightness of the frame is achieved. Carbon is a very flexible material, so monocoque frames come in a wide variety of shapes. There are also combined frames with a metal frame. They have very high running characteristics, but they contain all the pros of both metal and carbon fiber, as well as all the minuses.

Several factors affect the hardness and strength of CFRP. The first is the amount of resin that holds the fibers together: the less, the stronger. The second is the number of layers. If there are many layers and they are located in different directions, the strength increases. On a bike with a carbon frame, the bunny hop jump is easier because the frame is lighter. Carbon is the only material where rigidity can increase not only in certain places, but also in certain directions (due to the location of the carbon fibers), which is why carbon frames are often used in professional cycling.

Pros of carbon: low weight; strength and durability (if used correctly); the possibility of strengthening the frame both in any place and in any direction; unusual frame shapes.

Cons of carbon: very high price, for non-professional frames. the risk of breakage due to improper design, as well as instability to impacts, as a result of which the entire frame can collapse; danger of corrosion in metal assemblies of composite and combined frames, complete inability to repair.

Bike frame

Bicycle frames are generally made from metal alloys. These are steel, alloys based on aluminum, titanium and magnesium. Another material. carbon, is carbon fiber, so it should be considered separately.

The most important characteristic of a metal is its rigidity, the higher it is, the less the metal is subject to deformation. But it is directly related to density, which in turn affects the weight of the material. Therefore, the higher the rigidity of the metal, the heavier the frame made of it. Steel (30) has the highest rigidity, followed by titanium (15-16), and the lowest is aluminum (10-11). But this does not mean that aluminum frames automatically become outsiders.

Thanks to a more massive design and the use of butting technology (the pipe walls have different thicknesses, increased in places of heavy load), aluminum has quite decent characteristics. Let’s consider in more detail.

Magnesium alloy frame

This is a rare material, and the quality of magnesium frames is still debated today. The main advantage of magnesium alloys is their low weight, but most professionals doubt its reliability. Today, magnesium alloys are more often used as a material not for the frame, but for the suspension fork.

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Pros of magnesium: the lightest material, which allows you to get high driving dynamics; good roll.

Minuses of magnesium: corrosive and unstable to shock and damage; high price, fragility (service life does not exceed three years).

There is a debate about the strength of magnesium frames. manufacturers claim that this material is very durable if used correctly, and you can hear the opposite from the lips of athletes. Over time, perhaps this dispute will be resolved, but for now we will turn our attention to the most unusual material for a bicycle frame. carbon.

Bicycle frame and material selection

There is no definite answer to the question of what material the best bicycle frames are made of. Every owner will praise their frame and prioritize its benefits above the rest. The opinions are unanimous on one thing. a good frame should be light and strong. Better yet, lightweight, durable and inexpensive. How to choose just such a frame? To get an objective assessment, you need to compare each material in terms of its advantages and disadvantages, and then choose what is best for you.

Aluminum bike frame

Saying “aluminum” always means an alloy with zinc, magnesium or silicon, sometimes scandium. Alloys are different, they are marked with numbers (6065, 7000, 7005, and so on). The best characteristics are possessed by aluminum alloys with a seven thousandth grade. Alloys of aluminum with scandium are comparable in characteristics to titanium, but they are rarely used due to the complexity of their manufacture. The aluminum frame is always easy to distinguish by the large diameter of the pipes. But due to the light weight of the material, aluminum frames are one of the lightest, aluminum is used to create bicycles of almost all brands. Felt bicycles, for example, are often equipped with aluminum frames.

Pros of aluminum: low weight; good dynamics and sensitivity to the road; resistance to corrosion (but do not forget that all bushings and bearings are made of steel in any case, so the aluminum frame needs care); the aluminum frame has good “carrying capacity”. it will withstand a heavy cyclist.

Minuses of aluminum: poor vibration damping; poor roll-forward (coasting motion without acceleration); accumulate fatigue, so they can break down after long-term operation, and are difficult to repair. Frame service life. approximately 10 years.

Which frame to choose for you

When answering the question, which bike frame is better. steel, aluminum or another alloy. first of all, you need to decide on the riding style. Decide on your riding goals, weigh the pros and cons of each material.

  • A bike with minimal requirements. take it to the nearest location. may have the most affordable carbon steel frame option.
  • If you plan to drive around the city, as well as carry out tourist trips on smooth, asphalt and well-rolled roads, then a chrome-molybdenum steel frame is suitable for you. It is pleasant to drive such a bike, since you will be provided with a comfortable, soft ride.
  • For a universal bike at a relatively inexpensive price, the best solution is an aluminum frame. With such a bike it will be comfortable on any road, and it has every chance of becoming your constant companion.
  • Titanium material is not suitable for competition participants. The construction of this material will delight you on your travels, no matter what type of road awaits you. If the price doesn’t hold you back, a bike with a titanium frame is the perfect companion.
  • For racing bicycles, carbon frames are more often used, which are distinguished by a high price and specific features.

By understanding the characteristics and features of each material, you can easily figure out which bike frame is better: steel, aluminum, carbon fiber or titanium. Considering your riding style, this will help you make the right and optimal choice.

The following materials are usually used for the manufacture of modern bicycle frames:

Each type of material has its own pros and cons. Let’s try to deal with them.

The first article will be devoted to the most common material that is used in the manufacture of velor. steel.

Various steel grades have been used for this for over 100 years and, in my opinion, this is not the limit. Today, despite the widespread use of other materials, steel bikes are not diminishing. And the prospects for using all bicycles with such frames are not only not deteriorating, but on the contrary, are becoming more and more optimistic. Modern technologies of steels melting allow to obtain marc with more and more improved characteristics.