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Steel bike first or aluminum(6 posts)

Steel bike first or aluminumbdbike
Jan 5, 2002 2:18 PM
Looking to purchase a bike as a replacement to one that is being returned to the store. They are giving me credit at this store for a new bike. I am a very tall rider about 6'6". Needing a 66cm seat tube and 60 cm top. I have been told that an aluminum bike would better suit my size. I was thinking that the first bike should be a steel bike because they tend to last so much longer. An Aluminum bike only has a life expactancy of about 2-3 years (so I am told). I figured that if I bought a steel bike then when in two years I want to buy a new bike I would get the aluminum that way I would always have one on hand to ride. My lbs carries Serotta, Cyfac, or Merckx. Any and all opions are appreciated.

re: Steel bike first or aluminumkoala
Jan 5, 2002 2:34 PM
Aluminum may be better because it can be made stiff enough for you although weight matters and you did not say how much you weigh. I know serotta has a lot of experience in fitting big and small and their brochure shows a very tall person and gives his testimonial.
re: Steel bike first or aluminumSteve Bailey
Jan 5, 2002 3:11 PM
"An Aluminum bike only has a life expactancy of about 2-3 years (so I am told)".

Nonsense. Hogwash. Old wives tale... call it what you will. It's a statement from an un-educated person who hasn't kept up with the industry.

It was once said that aluminum was questionable as to longevity. This is going back 15 or more years when aluminum was just getting popular and making a dent in the market. Back when there was no real long-term experience with aluminum

Many years later, with thousands of C-Dale's, Trek's and Kleins out there still going strong (My own Klein included), you are likely to see as many years out of any of these bikes as any other frame material (well....maybe not Carbonfiber !).

Wrong questionKerry Irons
Jan 5, 2002 4:11 PM
Frame material is a minor issue - it's all about design and fit. All other things "equal" a steel frame will be a little heavier, so if that is an issue for you, go with aluminum IF IT FITS YOU. When very large frames are designed, they take into account what could be more inherent flex, and adjust things accordingly. Typically either larger tube diameter or thicker tube walls in larger frames. The knock on short lived Al frames today is in reference to the superlight ones. Not on your agenda, if you're wise about it.
re: Steel bike first or aluminumSnowBlind
Jan 5, 2002 9:19 PM
The three most important factors in a bike are:
1. fit, your butt won't hurt
2. fit, your back won't hurt
3. fit, your knees won't hurt

Serously, fit makes up 90% of the formula. Unfortunately at 6'6" I would suggest the following: use the credit to get a smashing good pair of wheels (handbuilt is better), plus the top of the line CampagNOlo (ok, personally, get Chorus with Record hubs) or ShimaNO groupo depending on your religon, and then find a custom frame builder in your area, or one of the bigger custom shops (such as Waterford or sycip). A good frame builder can build a "club bike" that is both comfortable to ride on a 100+ AND tight enuf for a crit race AND stiff for climbing/sprinting. Frame + fork will set you back 1400-2000 depending on what you want.

You don't say your wieght, but let's assume you are 220+ (based on stupid chart doctors use). Great! Weight is no issue as the formula is ideally %10 of body weight(give or take 2%), so you can target 22lbs and get a strong frame.

So what is next?

4. Handling.
5. Durablity.
6. Looks.

IF you live in central CA I can send you contact info for my frame builder. I am partial to him, of course, but he does a stellar job.

Good Luck!!!
Fit and budgetnee Spoke Wrench
Jan 6, 2002 6:10 AM
At your height, the number of realistic alternatives isn't going to be all that many. I think that if you first list the choices that fit you and meet your budget criteria, you'll find that everything else just sort of falls into place.