While there has been a curiosity like bamboo and plastic frames over the years, today’s racing bikes are made from a combination of one or four of these materials: steel, aluminium, titanium, and carbon fibre. We discuss the differences below.
But first, you know that beautiful bikes are made of all these materials. Both frames can be made from the same material, but have completely different handling properties due to different geometry, assembly, tube shape and material handling (e.g. tube reinforcement). This is one of the reasons why it is so important to try and smell the bikes you are about to buy.
Frame overhaul tip: Look at the pipeline lettering by the sea or downstream. Manufacturers sometimes offer them, usually explaining which brand and material is used in the frame. If you have any questions, we will be happy to explain them to you. All you have to do is ask a question.
The most traditional frame material, steel, has been used by frame builders for over a century. There are several types of steel pipes available and the material is easy to bend and shape. In addition, many connection methods make the steel very suitable for the needs of cyclists. It also offers excellent quality, durability, ease of repair and affordable price. When hitting steel, it is often difficult to use poor quality socks (similar to those found on bicycles sold in stores). And steel can rust if handled with care (protect this colour!).
Entry-level steel frames are usually not as complex as the frames usually preferred by smart drivers and steel enthusiasts. However, with smaller steel frames at affordable prices, you can usually find better-grade components. And a good budget for the steel frame can be done by removing some of the luxury items that add to the extra cost. For example, in comparison with the more complex construction of a superior model, such a frame can have a cheaper TIG welding.
The high-quality steel frame combines excellent design, excellent fitment and superior alloys in the tube. American SAE 4130 steel is popular stainless steel for bicycle frames, better known as “extra molybdenum” and also referred to as “chromium” or “extra molybdenum”. And there are many other great alloys from tube suppliers such as Columbus, Reynolds, Tange, and True Temper. Frames made from these materials are known for their combination of responsiveness and comfort.
Steel is a great material for forks. It can be made in any form; even the antenna. He is rich strong. And it also absorbs shock to soften difficult roads. Steel forks are heavier than lighter materials like aluminium and carbon fibre.
Aluminium was first used in frame construction in 1895. However, it didn’t spread until the 1980s when large-diameter pipes were invented and construction methods improved. It is now the most requested frame material. Assembly and quality correspond to those made of steel. And as with steel, the more you use, the higher the quality of the pipes and the better the build.
The swing of aluminium is that it has a more controversial ride than other materials. While this used to happen in the early years, it’s not a problem today thanks to new aluminium alloys, tube improvements and advanced construction techniques. As a result, the frames can absorb shocks better than ever, while delivering the highly dynamic driving experience that aluminium represents today.
This magical boost is attributed to aluminium, the lightest frame material, even lighter than carbon and titanium. This makes aluminium frames a great choice for racing and time-tested. And unlike steel, aluminium doesn’t grind; another advantage.
Manufacturers use different types of aluminium tubes. 6061 and 7005 are some of the more common types, numbers associated with aluminium alloys such as magnesium, silicon, and zinc (pure aluminium isn’t strong enough for cycling). And there are some new ultralight tubes like the Easton Iconium. If you have any questions about alloy wheels in our shop, just ask a question and we will explain them to you.
Aluminium forks are generally stiff and light and can be aerodynamic in shape. They also offer great flexibility for comfort on bumpy roads.
Titanium (also known as “ten”) is one of the strongest, toughest and most expensive frame materials. Many cyclists and experts believe that it combines the best properties of all other frame materials. It can hold aluminium scales, is as comfortable as steel, is easy to use, and has electrical controls that many occupants swear by. The frames feel “alive” as if the suspension of each frame is reinforced with each stroke of the leg.
Titanium is a heavy metal tool, requires expensive welding wire, and must be carefully assembled in a controlled environment. Therefore, the production of titanium frames is very expensive, which explains the high purchase price.
The two most common types of titanium are 3A / 2.5V and 6A / 4V. These terms refer to the amount of aluminium (A) and vanadium (V) alloys used in the titanium. 6A / 4V is more expensive, lighter, harder to use and stronger. But both titanium alloys are excellent; they can also be combined in a frame.
Few companies produce titanium forks and these are very expensive due to the additional materials and construction costs. Since the fork guide (top tube) requires additional stiffness, ten forks are generally better than other high-tech ploughs. These two considerations are why most of the ten frames contain carbon forks.
Carbon fibre (also known as carbon and graphite) is a relatively new unique material because it is not a metal. It is a fabric filled with an adhesive called resin that allows the material to mould and adhere. The carbon frames are extremely light, stiff and strong. Its main advantage is that carbon has nearly infinite manipulation (since construction workers can guide fabric threads in any direction they want), which means it can be configured for nearly all the flexibility they need to provide. It also does not attack corrosion and can be operated in a beautiful shape that gives a Ferrari look.
Like titanium, because construction is a little tricky and carbon and resins are expensive, carbon frames are at the top of the cost spectrum. To describe this structure, manufacturers use terms such as “high modulus” and “hollow” to indicate that the carbon fibre material is of high quality and star-shaped. Sometimes these names appear on “pipe” labels. Ask him if you have any questions about the carbon material used in the frame.
Carbon is a common material for forks due to its natural ability to absorb shock while providing good handling. While not the best choice for a heavy or aggressive rider, it’s loaded with carbon forks (weighing less than a pound). They are great when you want to have an overweight road bike. (Other carbon forks use a steel or aluminium spring.)