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Alum, Tit, Carbon?(13 posts)

Alum, Tit, Carbon?Rob Rimpini
Mar 11, 2001 8:59 AM
What's the difference in ride quality between say a US Postal frame and a Bianchi XL EV2 (alum). How do aluminum, carbon, and titanium all compare in your opinion? I've never been on anything except steel. Just curious. Thanks for all your input!

re: Alum, Tit, Carbon?Kerry Irons
Mar 11, 2001 3:08 PM
I've not ridden either of the bikes you ask about, so have no data there. However, it is the design of the bike that determines the ride, not the frame material. For equal performing frames, you may see weight differences from one material to another. Or, for equal weight frames, you may see performance differences. You have to look at how the frame was designed or ride the bike to compare one to another. Way to many design variables to put the emphasis on material.
Bzzzzt!!!grz mnky
Mar 12, 2001 3:58 PM
>However, it is the design of the bike that determines the ride, not the frame

You're wrong. Take one design, make three frames, one out of each of the mentioned materials and then tell us there's no difference? Design and material go hand in hand if you truly exploit the strengths of each material.

Maybe you can convince yourself by riding examples that have the same geometry specs. Serotta makes a steel CSI and a ti Legend. On paper they look nearly identical.
Bzzzzt back at ya!Kerry irons
Mar 12, 2001 4:47 PM
You misunderstood my point. Or perhaps I didn't make it very well. When you say "Take one design," do you mean the same tube wall thickness and diameter on all the bikes? Or do you mean different wall thickness and diameter to get the same tube properties? Or do you mean just the same frame geometry on all the bikes? My point is that the design is optimized for the frame material, and that tends to cancel out most differences in materials (except weight). Designers who don't do that certainly don't get any of my money. When people say there is a characteristic ride for a given material, they're only reflecting market trends. In the 70s, everyone knew that Al frames were wimpy noodles - they were made from lower grade alloys than today's frames and with the same diameter tubes as steel. Now they're made with better alloys and large diameter tubes, and everyone says that Al makes a stiff frame. I say it's the design. Similar issues with the other materials.
materialsLBS Guy
Mar 12, 2001 5:28 PM
design does play a big deal in the ride of a frame, but if your have a ti frame it's never gonna feel as stiff as an alum frame, but alum. can be manipulated easier and better, being able to make a very stiff yet soft riding frame, and a carbon frame will be stiff but will deaden the road out, and if not designed right make a hollow noise whenever it hits a bump, later
Mar 13, 2001 4:44 AM
another perfect example of 95%
re: Alum, Tit, Carbon?LBS guy(Andrew)
Mar 11, 2001 3:40 PM
Frame material is very important in frame selection depending on where you ride and how hard you ride, Aluminum is a stiff riding material, good for response movements, fast accelerations, out of the saddle climbs, etc. Ti is a plusher material great for damping rough roads, but not as great in sprints and out of the saddle climbs, it will feel mushy and soft, Carbon is a stiff material but is very damping, the only problem is that it doesn't last as long, maybe 7-10 yrs if your lucky, the best felling frame i've ever ridden on is the cannondale caad4 with the s-bend seat stays, the new caad5 and 6 also have this feature, but the 5 has an intergrated headset, the 6 has an integrated headset and BB, i've never had a chence to ride either of those frames but am an owner of a caad4, hope this is helpful, for more info talk to the wrnches at your LBS they should be helpful, later
Thanks for sharing that.....Minister of Regurgitation
Mar 12, 2001 6:54 AM shop wrenches don't know $hit either......!
perfect example...Alex Trebek
Mar 13, 2001 4:38 AM
of that 95% of LBS guys. To say all these things based solely on frame material is just plain misinformation. If you wanna talk about specific bikes that you have experience with then fine, but don't generalize to ALL frames made of that material. Do you remember the old Vitus sluminum frames? Nobody would call them stiff. Ti mushy and soft in sprints and climbing? Please...
95% of LBS "wrenches" dont know jack!!!scabby
Mar 11, 2001 8:26 PM
Most of the zit popping mechs just want to sell whatever is offering the best comission. Aluminum is the way to go. You nor Greg Lemond could tell the difference between these three in a properly designed frame. ALuminum is usually lighter, stiffer, cheaper. However, it doesnt have the longevity of Ti. But you will be sick of it and ready for a new frame before the life of an aluminum frame is over. Steel is durable too but can rust, and is a little heavy and dead. IMHO!!
95% of LBS "wrenches" dont know jack!!!LBS Guy
Mar 12, 2001 3:48 PM
thanks for pointing that out for me, but there's one big problem, and that problem is that your wrong, i have ridden on all three of the frame materials, in both mountain bikes and road bikes, there was a more noticeable difference in the road bikes, but thats mainly due to the fact of the different forks on the mountain bikes, and you can say we dont know jack, but 95% of the people who ride bikes, and buy bikes come to the wrenches for help and to get they're bike worked on, maybe you dont you might know everything you sure were talkin like you did and when was the last time you talked to Greg Lemond about it? next time dont be such a jerk with what you say, especially since you dont know what your talking about, thank you, later
Contradictiongrz mnky
Mar 12, 2001 4:04 PM
You contradicted yourself by saying that you couldn't tell the difference between the three then go on to point out some subjective as well as objective differences that are felt (i.e. aluminum is stiffer,...steel being a little heavy and dead). Actually it's usually the carbon frame that feels dead. Mfrs. often boast that their ti frame is so good that it feels like steel but without the weight.
What are your priorities?MeDotOrg
Mar 11, 2001 9:11 PM
Before anyone says a frame material is the "best", you should ask yourself about what is important TO YOU. Also: RIDE THE BIKES. Are you going to be happy riding frame A because you know it's tensile strength is XYZ?

There are good AND bad frames made of all different materials. Ride a bike over rough roads, do some standing climbs up a steep hill, and try a snaky downhill section. You might be happier on one bike than another, and that's a lot more important that what material from which it is made.

What are the first 3 rules of Real Estate? Location, Location, Location. What are the first three rules of bicycle selection? Fit, Fit, Fit. As a famous trial lawyer might say it: "If the frame don't fit, it ain't worth sh*t".