Question? Please don't make fun of me. Alu. vs. Steel.- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    New question here. Question? Please don't make fun of me. Alu. vs. Steel.

    I'm pretty new to the whole SS thing. I ride a converted Rockhopper that I really enjoy. I notice that most racers of the geared type are riding Alu. frames. My frame is also, obviously Alu. and I like it's ride. I would think that the weight savings over a well made steel frame are not that much. Why do we not see more steel race (especially XC) frame if the ride is better. Being new to SS, I can't tell a lot of difference between steel and Alu. I do notice a slight bit more stiffness with the Alu, but it certainly would not make me stray from an Alu bike that I liked. Part of my reasoning for getting the Rockhopper, other than the chainstay length, was that I get a fairly light weight frame. I knew I was going to convert it. My other choice was the Mono Cog but it is heavy in comparison. Does the ride of steel offset the weight difference? I'm just curious. The only "explaination" you hear is "steel is real". Can someone give me some more insight?

    Thank you,

    Tim

  2. #2
    Faster Than Your TV!
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead! Man, what a jackass!!!...

    Quote Originally Posted by Timber
    I'm pretty new to the whole SS thing. I ride a converted Rockhopper that I really enjoy. I notice that most racers of the geared type are riding Alu. frames. My frame is also, obviously Alu. and I like it's ride. I would think that the weight savings over a well made steel frame are not that much. Why do we not see more steel race (especially XC) frame if the ride is better. Being new to SS, I can't tell a lot of difference between steel and Alu. I do notice a slight bit more stiffness with the Alu, but it certainly would not make me stray from an Alu bike that I liked. Part of my reasoning for getting the Rockhopper, other than the chainstay length, was that I get a fairly light weight frame. I knew I was going to convert it. My other choice was the Mono Cog but it is heavy in comparison. Does the ride of steel offset the weight difference? I'm just curious. The only "explaination" you hear is "steel is real". Can someone give me some more insight?

    Thank you,

    Tim
    Of course, I'm kidding here. Welcome. Have a look at this site for one man's informed opinion plus a little science:

    http://www.anvilbikes.com/

    Here's a link from that site specific to your question:

    http://www.anvilbikes.com/story.php?news_ID=16&catID=3

    Enjoy!
    "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailleur? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!'' -- Henri Desgrange, from an article in L'Equipe

    Wrench In the Gears

  3. #3
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    Reputation: AndyArmstrong's Avatar
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    Run what ya brung.

    If you like it that's cool. Nothing wrong with a nice alu frame. Think different, not better.

  4. #4
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    High-end steel frames aren't nearly as heavy as the boat-anchor, run of the mill steel stuff. Check out the art that SevenCycles.com calls a steel frame.

    Plus, it's a proven fact that aluminum cannot flex, will instantly fatigue and fail if it does and corrodes away to mere dust in a matter of years, if not months. All those airplane wings, fork legs on the Steal Is Real guys' bikes, and chainstays on Ibis Ripley and Castellano Fandango frames that you see flexing but not failing are actually a mirage.

    Ho ho. Ride what you like and laugh at the guys that tell wild stories about aluminum. Just smile and nod and let them feel good about themselves.

  5. #5
    The man who fell to earth
    Reputation: Ziggy-Stardust's Avatar
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    I like Al...

    If you dig Al, stick with it. I started out on a good quality steel frame, and it did ride nice. The steel just seemed to have this certain indefinable quality that seemed to dampen out the higher frequency vibes/shocks. Riding the steel bike seemed to be akin to driving a car with 60 series tires and lots of sound deadening insulation in the door and floor panels. Riding my Al frame seems more like riding that same car with 50 series tires and without the sound insulation...does that make sense?

    But since I ride with a suspension seat post and a suspension fork up front, I feel the (apparent) ride quality advantage that steel provides is "outweighed" by Al's (usually) cheaper price and lighter weight. Plus the Al seems to be a bit more lively, which can be fun in it's own right. So overall, I like Al and have stuck with it for several years now. I'd like to go to Ti, but they are too expensive for my taste. As long as I don't try and ride Al fully rigid (which I do not recommend), I think it offers the best overall performance and value.






    Quote Originally Posted by Timber
    I'm pretty new to the whole SS thing. I ride a converted Rockhopper that I really enjoy. I notice that most racers of the geared type are riding Alu. frames. My frame is also, obviously Alu. and I like it's ride. I would think that the weight savings over a well made steel frame are not that much. Why do we not see more steel race (especially XC) frame if the ride is better. Being new to SS, I can't tell a lot of difference between steel and Alu. I do notice a slight bit more stiffness with the Alu, but it certainly would not make me stray from an Alu bike that I liked. Part of my reasoning for getting the Rockhopper, other than the chainstay length, was that I get a fairly light weight frame. I knew I was going to convert it. My other choice was the Mono Cog but it is heavy in comparison. Does the ride of steel offset the weight difference? I'm just curious. The only "explaination" you hear is "steel is real". Can someone give me some more insight?

    Thank you,

    Tim

  6. #6
    gentle like
    Reputation: kept man's Avatar
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    a nice frame is a nice frame

    i mean, i love the way steel rides, prefer it really, and yet each of my three bikes is aluminium - so it can't be all that bad.

    i will probably move back to steel now that i know about more options, and am not limited price/knowledge wise to stock bikes, but most of my internal debates and doubts fall away once i'm out and riding, and having a good time.

    test ride, and go with your priorities.

  7. #7
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    my favourite bike name was the Kona "Muni Mula"

    lots of people never got the joke.

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