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  1. #1
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    What is your frame choice - Aluminum or CrMo ?

    I have tried a CrMo KHS, and it felt significantly heavier & sluggish compared to my Rig.
    On the other hand, the Rig is tough & rough aluminum, non forgiving at all.
    Are there any steel frames out there that are light & responsive as the Rig, but still deliver the "softer" ride character of a steel frame ?
    I would like a less harsh frame, but don't want to loose out the punch, weight & acceleration of the Aluminum. Or in other words - could one get the best of both worlds ?

  2. #2
    one chain loop
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    maybe titanium is the answer.
    everything sucks but my vacuum cleaner.

  3. #3
    meatier showers
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    Rigid = steel
    FS = aluminum

    --Sparty
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    Quote Originally Posted by riverrat
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  4. #4
    one chain loop
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    oh wait, i just realized my raleigh technium has the best of both worlds, aluminum front triangle and steel rear triangle.
    everything sucks but my vacuum cleaner.

  5. #5
    Sweep the leg!
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishcreek
    oh wait, i just realized my raleigh technium has the best of both worlds, aluminum front triangle and steel rear triangle.

    That just might be the funniest thing I've read in weeks. Where were you when Raleigh USA needed you in 1988?

    To the OP. Steel. Until I pony up money for a custom Ti.
    Authorities speculate that speed may have been a factor. They are also holding gravity and inertia for questioning.

  6. #6
    one chain loop
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    LOL. im just coffee powered too in the morning.
    everything sucks but my vacuum cleaner.

  7. #7
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    Not trying to mutt the KHS but maybe you should try a nicer steel frame. I'm sure you'd see the difference between the two. Steel is where it's at for me.

  8. #8
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    steel. great builders like Land Shark or Rock Lobster, Don Walker, build steel. Then just use alu stem and post and your cheeks couldn't as for anything better.

  9. #9
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    Steel. A KHS isn't going to be a good presentation of the qualities of steel.

  10. #10
    CB2
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    I love my steel frames, but I'd love to throw a leg over this:


  11. #11
    Sweep the leg!
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    Scandium (which is essentially aluminum) and Carpet Fiber? I'd like to ride one first.

    Could the top tube be more sloped? I'm getting tired of seeing so much seat post on bikes.
    Authorities speculate that speed may have been a factor. They are also holding gravity and inertia for questioning.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caffeine Powered
    Scandium (which is essentially aluminum) and Carpet Fiber? I'd like to ride one first.

    Could the top tube be more sloped? I'm getting tired of seeing so much seat post on bikes.
    that's why, to me, a flat top tube is right.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caffeine Powered
    Scandium (which is essentially aluminum) and Carpet Fiber? I'd like to ride one first.

    Could the top tube be more sloped? I'm getting tired of seeing so much seat post on bikes.
    I think the slope on the Selma looks a bit extreme too, but at the same time I know that more seatpost = more room to give and that it would feel comfier because of that

  14. #14
    Stayin' Puft
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB2
    I love my steel frames, but I'd love to throw a leg over this:

    Every time I see that Selma pic, I wish someone had a closeup of the hutch tubeless-ready logo right next to the cheesy "no tubeless" Salsa warning sticker on the rims.

    Nice looking bike though, I bet it rides smooth.
    Last edited by canyonrat; 02-14-2009 at 02:42 PM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus
    Rigid = steel
    FS = aluminum

    --Sparty
    My exact sentiments!
    52 gear inches

  16. #16
    meatier showers
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    Really?

    Quote Originally Posted by Caffeine Powered
    ...
    Could the top tube be more sloped? I'm getting tired of seeing so much seat post on bikes.
    I think that Salsa looks perfect.

    T'each his own...

    --Sparty
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    Quote Originally Posted by riverrat
    Jaybo... quit *****ing and move to Texas

  17. #17
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    Not all steel frames ride the same (any more than any other material). My chromoly Redline D440 rides smooth, but definitely a bit heavy and sluggish (but you really don't notice the weight so much on the trail, and it definitely smoothes things out). My RM Blizzard, which is Reynolds 725 steel, definitely has a more supple, responsive ride. I never think consciously "Gotta have steel..." but every bike I keep ends up being steel.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caffeine Powered
    Scandium (which is essentially aluminum) and Carpet Fiber? I'd like to ride one first.

    Could the top tube be more sloped? I'm getting tired of seeing so much seat post on bikes.
    I LOOOOOVE the sloping top tube. I have never liked the flat top tubes.

  19. #19
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    Funny this thread shows up...

    Just inquired about when the Selma would be available. Mid February was the target and now I'm told they are delayed until April.

    Anyone know any different?

    Quote Originally Posted by CB2
    I love my steel frames, but I'd love to throw a leg over this:

    Linux is for those who hate Microsoft, BSD is for those who love UNIX.

  20. #20
    smell the saddle...
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    I have 2 fully rigid steel bikes, a Bianchi M.U.S.S. and Surly 1X1.

    The MUSS is lighter (I believe my medium was close to 4.5lbs or less). The 1X1 was closer to 5. I have the 1X1 setup as a urban/fixie style bike but the MUSS is ridden off-road only. It's one of the lightest, fastest bikes I have ridden - very responsive. It sucks up a lot of the vibrations, etc. I bought the frame off of Flea-Bay and custom built the remainder of the bike. I 've done a few things to it since this photo was taken (Running Exiwolf tires now, chunked the bash guard, etc.) I imagine it weighs 22 or less.

    There are different grades of steel (some better than others). There is no way I would ride alloy on a fully rigid bike.

    -stu
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  21. #21
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    There are different grades of steel (some better than others). There is no way I would ride alloy on a fully rigid bike. That sums it up. That's what I was trying to say. Forgot to mention both my rides are rigid, cause I always assume everyone's is. Guess I'm still back in 1989....

  22. #22
    hipneck
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    different grades of steel

    Im currently looking at a Redline D460. The frame uses Japanese Sanko tubing. Where does this type of tubing fit into the different grades of steel? Low grade? Mid grade? I did a search trying to find a chart outling the different grades but didnt find anything.

  23. #23
    smell the saddle...
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    Good overall explanation of frame material types on Sheldon Brown's website:
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/frame-materials.html

    On specifics on grades of steel this is a world of "geek speak" there are many opinions on the subject and arguments to what is better. I don't think I have any better understanding after researching it a good bit myself. Good place to start is the website from the frame builder you are interested in. Bianchi has a nice explanation of the metals they use and why (http://www.bianchiusa.com/tech_materials.html). Both Bianchi and Surly uses 4130 CroMo on their frames (which are my 2 SS).

  24. #24
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    Steel is Real... 2 Kona Units here... I love em... One fully rigid, one with a reba... I went to all steel bikes including road... I love the feel...

  25. #25
    808+909 = Party Good Time
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    I love steel... geez it gives a nice ride. But I guess it has to be nice steel.

    Yet to try Ti.

  26. #26
    WNC Native
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    PizzaMan, Have you looked at a Dos Niner frame?
    "I ride to clear my head, my head is clearer when I'm riding SS. Therefore, I choose to ride SS."~ Fullrange Drew

  27. #27
    aka baycat
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    Curved steel please.

  28. #28
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    SS and Road = Steel
    FS = Aluminum

    Not all steel bikes are heavy.

  29. #29
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    While I am certainly going to say aluminum is as nice as steel, I do have a question. Would fat tires (2.2 - 2.35) eliminate some of the ride differences or is the steel that much better, even if aluminum has fat tires.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by micky
    While I am certainly going to say aluminum is as nice as steel, I do have a question. Would fat tires (2.2 - 2.35) eliminate some of the ride differences or is the steel that much better, even if aluminum has fat tires.

    I rode a fully-rigid (alu) DISS with fat tires for a couple years on rocky singletrack.

    GET STEEL. Even in-house tange. No comparison.

  31. #31
    smell the saddle...
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    Quote Originally Posted by the pope
    I rode a fully-rigid (alu) DISS with fat tires for a couple years on rocky singletrack.

    GET STEEL. Even in-house tange. No comparison.
    Agreed.

    Albeit the only significant difference from riding alloy with fatter tires is if you were running 29Ē wheels as I have heard these run very smooth (never ridden one, so canít say for sure).

    If you still arenít sold on the idea, ride a fully rigid alloy then steel and see for yourself. I used to ride a Moab hardtail and the vibrations were killer (not in a good way) even with a front suspension. Steel is definitely better or as they say "steel is real"...

  32. #32
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    +1 for steel! My XXIX rides so well, i can't go back to my aluminum mtn bike.

    Steel is real, but liquor is quicker!

  33. #33
    US Army Vet-Airborne 11B
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    Alluminum is (more often than not) harsh,but steel is real.......easy on my busted up spine :-D
    '11 Origin 8 700CX
    '14 Surly Troll

  34. #34
    Drinking the Slick_Juice
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    Glass and Bamboo and maybe some ivory just to give it an edge
    Last edited by nuck_chorris; 02-24-2009 at 02:21 PM.
    "If women don't find handsome , they should at least find you handy."-Red Green

  35. #35
    Frt Range, CO
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    Bamboo w/Hemp Lugs

    it's the only way to fly
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  36. #36
    HTFU and Ride
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    i <3 my steel voodoo, currently rigid. soon hope to have a manitou TA fork

    btw, what are all those bits hanging on that bamboo bike??? lol
    Winter is coming.

  37. #37
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    I have a steel roadie (Nishiki Olympic 12 w/tange tubing), and a cro-mo Giant 760 ATX.

    No comparison. The roadie is stiff as hell to me, but has a lot more control.

    The cro-mo on my mtb is lighter and softer. But, the bikes are also way different in age as well.

  38. #38
    leashem
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    STEEL! fully ridgid steel
    I prefer a nice 1992.

  39. #39
    i don't give a shift
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    Back in 05 Tour Magazine wanted to know if there's something about steel being comfortable and aluminum being harsh. So they gathered at variety of bike riders for a blind test. The result - none of the cyclists were able to tell what frame material they were riding and the most comfortable bike according to the test riders was an aluminum frame with over-sized tubing. Frames ridden in the bike test included steel, aluminum, titanium and carbon. A diamond frame is a diamond frame after all. No matter if it's welded together with alu or steel tubes, it won't have any vertical compliance to smoothen one's ride.

    If comfort is important, look at tires, tire pressure, stem, handlebar, grips, type and length of a seatpost, the saddle and a frame's geometry.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by collideous
    Back in 05 Tour Magazine wanted to know if there's something about steel being comfortable and aluminum being harsh. So they gathered at variety of bike riders for a blind test. The result - none of the cyclists were able to tell what frame material they were riding and the most comfortable bike according to the test riders was an aluminum frame with over-sized tubing. Frames ridden in the bike test included steel, aluminum, titanium and carbon. A diamond frame is a diamond frame after all. No matter if it's welded together with alu or steel tubes, it won't have any vertical compliance to smoothen one's ride.

    If comfort is important, look at tires, tire pressure, stem, handlebar, grips, type and length of a seatpost, the saddle and a frame's geometry.

    Maybe Tour Magazine relies on ads for aluminum frames? I'm not familiar with it.

    I would politely point out road frame manufacturers' implicit acknowledgment of the problem with the almost universal use of carbon inserts on mid-point plus alu frames to calm the ride. Carbon inserts in steel frames are pretty rare overall.

  41. #41
    808+909 = Party Good Time
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    Quote Originally Posted by collideous
    Back in 05 Tour Magazine wanted to know if there's something about steel being comfortable and aluminum being harsh. So they gathered at variety of bike riders for a blind test. The result - none of the cyclists were able to tell what frame material they were riding and the most comfortable bike according to the test riders was an aluminum frame with over-sized tubing. Frames ridden in the bike test included steel, aluminum, titanium and carbon. A diamond frame is a diamond frame after all. No matter if it's welded together with alu or steel tubes, it won't have any vertical compliance to smoothen one's ride.

    If comfort is important, look at tires, tire pressure, stem, handlebar, grips, type and length of a seatpost, the saddle and a frame's geometry.
    Do we really believe everything they write in these things? Try it for yourself... there is a clear difference for me riding a rigid alu vs a rigid steel bike. The steel is definitely springier.

  42. #42
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    Steel, hands down. I rode an aluminum rigid once. Once.....


    The aluminium was painful to ride. With the steel there's a very noticeable difference in feedback.

  43. #43
    Keep on Rockin...
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    Well....

    A steel frame is usually more flexy. That's both good and bad. Yes, it smooths out the bumps but it also can flex at the BB area and that's a bad thing for SS riding. Hard mashing puts a lot of stress on the frame laterally. I've had at least 3 different steel SS frames that repetetively dropped chains because of this. The alumnium SS frame I had never did this.

  44. #44
    smell the saddle...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J
    A steel frame is usually more flexy. That's both good and bad. Yes, it smooths out the bumps but it also can flex at the BB area and that's a bad thing for SS riding. Hard mashing puts a lot of stress on the frame laterally. I've had at least 3 different steel SS frames that repetetively dropped chains because of this. The alumnium SS frame I had never did this.
    Differentiate "flexy" and vibration-prone. If by "flexy" you mean steel renders better absorption then I would render that correct. Alloy is vibration prone, in other words beat or rattle you to death. Thus, the reason steel is usually the favorable choice for fully rigid, as it absorbs shock and vibration (i.e. will generate a smoother ride).

    Further explain your problem of dropped chains. As I have never had any problem like this with my steel frames nor know of anyone that has.

  45. #45
    Keep on Rockin...
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    The dealio...

    Quote Originally Posted by stumonky
    Differentiate "flexy" and vibration-prone. If by "flexy" you mean steel renders better absorption then I would render that correct. Alloy is vibration prone, in other words beat or rattle you to death. Thus, the reason steel is usually the favorable choice for fully rigid, as it absorbs shock and vibration (i.e. will generate a smoother ride).

    Further explain your problem of dropped chains. As I have never had any problem like this with my steel frames nor know of anyone that has.
    When alluding to "good" flexy I'm referring to steel's well know capacity to provide a relatively smoother ride compared to aluminum. I can't really say exactly how steel frames do it, but they do. Few actually have ever been able to produce a nice graphic explaination of how exactly steel does this. Where does the frame actually flex or compress to give such a nice ride?

    Flexy frames are real. Super hard power strokes cause the frame to deform in such way that it can create chain slack. When enough slack is created over a rough trail chains often jump. I run my chains quite tight, but in "garage testing" I can apply my brakes and apply enough force to the pedal stroke to cause frames to flex (most notable at the BB area) and watch the chain visibly and seriously sag. (the precise mechanics of how that happens eludes me, but it does happen). Out on the trail, combine a super steep climb, an in-shape leg, trail chatter, and it's not hard at all to drop a chain. On certain brutal climbs I could _almost_ drop a chain at will on one frame in particular. The Juice frames I had were notoriously flexy in a bad way (not to mention I snapped 2 of those frames); although for the price they were nice. My Surly 1x1 and KM also were problematic. My last alumimum SS frame would not give at the BB like the steel frames; not in "garage testing" nor out on the trail. Never jumped a chain on that frame. I'm also convinced that wider cranksets, and wider bars, contribute to latteral frame flex.

    As a side note, folks snapping chains often do so by partially jumping a chain, pedaling at the precisely wrong moment, and end up splitting links. I must admit, the chain snapping idea, is pretty much just theory.

  46. #46
    meatier showers
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    Huh. I have two steel singlespeeds, a custom Vulture (26") and a 29er On-One Inbred. Can't say I've never dropped a chain, but it doesn't happen often and I never figured frame flex was the culprit. Dunno, tho...

    If it is, it's worth it IMO.

    --Sparty
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  47. #47
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    It depends on which points of the frame are flexing and in what direction. Side to side BB flex will change your chainline and could cause dropped chains. Front triangle flex will affect steering and tracking. Vertical seatstay flex affects seated comfort. Etc. These traits are somewhat independent of each other, and a good frame designer can provide good flex where you want it and stiffness where you want it all using the same material

    I noticed more sideways flex in the BB on my last two Al hardtails than my current steel Inbred, and yet my Inbred rides a bit less harsh

  48. #48
    I'm feeling dirty, you?
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    Is Tour magazine by any chance a road bike magazine?, and the requirements and uses of road racers are different from say MTBikers or trekking bikers. Having the whole industry shifted to creating the lightest and stiffest bike, so shock absorption isn't too big a requirement since everyone's gotten used to the stiffness of aluminium frames.

  49. #49
    local trails rider
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    Not all aluminum bikes are quite as stiff as mine:

    Not losing much power to frame flex...

    Fat tyres help a bit.

    slope:
    Suspension forks and 29 wheels make the front end of a bike so tall that the TT has to slope, if you want to have a little standover clearance.
    Next bike (whenever that happens): rigid 26er, non-suspension-corrected.

  50. #50
    smell the saddle...
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    I too have a Surly 1X1 but never experienced chain droppage. Then again, I never keep my chain overly tight, always loose enough to allow a little play if you tug on it.

    Which brings up another point, what type of chains are your running? The only time I have heard of problems with "jumping chains" was on bikes that were running tensioners. I have a 1X1 and M.U.S.S. (horizontal drop-outs with tug nuts). My 1X1 is geared for street riding 48:16, and I hammer/mash on this bike (standing sometimes pedal mashing) up steep bridges and climbs, never had a problem with my chain.

    I'll think a bit more before responding on some of your other comments.

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