aluminum vs. steel

Discussion in 'Mountain Bikes' started by barndog, Sep 23, 2004.

  1. barndog

    barndog New Member

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    Just wondering if you could answer a question about a purchase I was thinking about making. I am interested in two bikes, a Trek 820 (steel frame) and a Trek 3700 (aluminum frame) Which of the two would you recomend? From what I've read they are essentialy the same bike as they both have the same componets. The only difference is the frames. I understand the steel frames are very ruged and give a smooth ride although obviously the alumininum is lighter. For the way I'm planning to ride (mostly smooth trails, 30 miles or less) which do you prefer for the price? Considering that I am trying to stay within my newbie budget, do you see one as being better than the other? I like the ride and durability of the cheeper steel model, but do you see the extra $60 worth it for the aluminum? Also, in your opinion is the lighter aluminum better for going longer distances and up hills? That is to say, can you pedal it easier with less fatigue at higher speed over longer distances? I should mention there is only a 4 lb. difference between these frames. I wouldn’t expect that to make too much difference but would like to be educated from more experienced riders if possible. Any information you can provide is most appreciated. Thx. Much.
     
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  2. Liquid.Fire

    Liquid.Fire New Member

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    Hey, my frames aluminum, and i use to have a steel, id recommend the Alum personally, but at the end of the day if u like the look of one over, sometimes its all about being superfical
     
  3. Muddy Buddy

    Muddy Buddy New Member

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    Actually, 4 lbs. can make quite a difference when you ride. If they are both hardtails, you may notice that the Alum. bike has a stiffer, snappier response (the weight will make that difference as well), but I have heard that steel frame bicycles have a slight dampening effect on bumps (this benefit would be eliminated if the bike is full suspension). I happen to prefer the response on an aluminum bicycle, and I wouldn't worry about comparative strenghth of these two frame unless you plan to do some very, very hard (i.e. life threatening) riding.

    Then again, you could just choose the bike that looks better to you. :cool:
     
  4. ABogoni

    ABogoni New Member

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    You’re paying the extra money for a frame that won't rust and one that is a little lighter.

    So it really just comes down to the price.
     
  5. Brain

    Brain New Member

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    Id go aluminum... you wanna get an Idea of how much 4 lb is when climbbing just put a book in a backpack and climb a hill, it makes quite a difference, so I say, if you can spare the 60 bucks go Aluminum
     
  6. nordtrekker

    nordtrekker New Member

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    Steel for me. Aluminum has poor durability in the long run.

    I personally don't trust them. I've seen two friends collapse their $2000 frames like tin cans on downhill runs at Squaw valley. Scary and not good when you're going 35 mph down the side of a mountain.
     
  7. customRIDE

    customRIDE New Member

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    Easy choice, go with the steal! For most beginer bikes steel is the way to go. Unless you are going on full out treks or weigh 90lbs the extra 4lbs wont be the big of a difference. And the guy who said to try biking with a book on your back it is nothing like that becuase the weight is balanced over the whole frame and not just pulling you over the rear wheel. Also if you ever get into a bad crash the steel is more likely to just bend where the alum will snap and cause much much more damage not only to the bike but you as well :eek: and like you said the steel is a much smoother ride. So like i said in the begning go steel, you will thank me later.
     
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