Aluminum: Who cares?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by B. Sanders, May 7, 2003.

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  1. Gary Young

    Gary Young Guest

    "Mike Jacoubowsky/Chain Reaction Bicycles" <[email protected]> wrote:

    [...]
    > And, if you buy into the idea that material is irrelevant, the only reason to support buying a
    > steel frame would be based upon aesthetics or some notion about repairability that no longer
    > applies (because it typically costs as much, if not more, to repair a steel frame these days as it
    > does to replace it, if it suffers major trauma, and if it's minor stuff, what's the big deal,
    > since some other material would have survived as well?).
    [...]

    I agree that there's hype surrounding steel no less than other materials, but I'm not sure I'd
    dismiss steel's repairability quite so quickly. When a cantilever brake stud broke on my steel
    touring bike, I got it replaced for about $70 and was quoted a figure as low as $35. That's not a
    major trauma, but it's certainly not "no big deal" either. Would I have had to buy a new frame if my
    bike were aluminum?
     


  2. Gary Young <[email protected]> schreef in berichtnieuws
    [email protected]
    > "Mike Jacoubowsky/Chain Reaction Bicycles" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > [...]
    > > And, if you buy into the idea that material is irrelevant, the only
    reason
    > > to support buying a steel frame would be based upon aesthetics or some notion about
    > > repairability that no longer applies (because it typically costs as much, if not more, to repair
    > > a steel frame these days as it
    does to
    > > replace it, if it suffers major trauma, and if it's minor stuff, what's
    the
    > > big deal, since some other material would have survived as well?).
    > [...]
    >
    > I agree that there's hype surrounding steel no less than other materials, but I'm not sure I'd
    > dismiss steel's repairability quite so quickly. When a cantilever brake stud broke on my steel
    > touring bike, I got it replaced for about $70 and was quoted a figure as low as $35. That's not a
    > major trauma, but it's certainly not "no big deal" either. Would I have had to buy a new frame if
    > my bike were aluminum?

    If you're doing a long journey, steel is usually easier to repair for the local blacksmith. I'd say
    it is still the material of choice for trekking bikes. Manufacturers, however, don't seem to agree
    with me: in a recent review in a Dutch magazine, 9 out of 10 trekking bikes were made of aluminium.
     
  3. B. Sanders

    B. Sanders Guest

    "Kurd" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Wow, this arguement was relevent 10 years ago. Its a religious argument,
    no
    > less reason or facts than that.

    Which argument? What religion? Why 10 years ago?

    -Barry
     
  4. B. Sanders

    B. Sanders Guest

    "news.sonnet.com" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    >
    > > FrameSaver is all you need to keep a steel bike running until you die of
    > old
    > > age.
    > >
    > > -Barry
    >
    > Barry,
    >
    > Please explain what "FrameSaver" is and what it does. I would like to
    keep
    > my steek Torelli as long as possible.
    >
    > Thanks in advance.
    >
    > MB

    A. Muzi and Zoot Katz beat me to it. It's an oil product designed specifically to protect frames
    from rusting from the inside out. Available from many bike shops. Most shops will order it for
    you if they don't stock
    Aa.

    My beautiful new Soulcraft Royale custom CrMo road frame was pre-treated with FrameSaver at the
    factory. That's good, because I plan to keep this one until my body wears out - hopefully about 30
    to 40 years, maybe longer with the way medical advances are happening...

    -Barry "Angel of Arthritis, please spare me..." Sanders
     
  5. barry-<< So is it just the triumph of marketing that makes everybody chant the aluminum mantra?

    I think so, like a lot of things 'bike' these days. Manufacturers because it is cheap, plentiful and
    sometimes easier to weld than steel(brazing) and certainly easier(cheaper) than ti and carbon.

    Saw a chinese MTB frameset at interbike, complete with all braze-ons-for $15...

    Think that the 'aluminum' craze will wane, like ti did, and the next whizbangery is carbon. Steel
    hasn't been sitting idly by tho-True Temper and others are making some very high tech tubes that can
    make a reliable, well riding and light frameset-easily in the 3 pound range.

    Peter Chisholm Vecchio's Bicicletteria 1833 Pearl St. Boulder, CO, 80302
    (303)440-3535 http://www.vecchios.com "Ruote convenzionali costruite eccezionalmente bene"
     
  6. Mike J-<< It's simply less expensive for a manufacturer to offer a given quality of product using an
    aluminum frame than steel.

    Then why or why are some Italian aluminum framesets pushing $2200??????

    << because it typically costs as much, if not more, to repair a steel frame these days as it does to
    replace it,

    If you have a local frame builder around, he can replace a top tube for about $100...

    Peter Chisholm Vecchio's Bicicletteria 1833 Pearl St. Boulder, CO, 80302
    (303)440-3535 http://www.vecchios.com "Ruote convenzionali costruite eccezionalmente bene"
     
  7. Archer

    Archer Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...

    ...

    > > When aluminum flexes it loses strength and ultimately breaks. Steel and ti can flex all day and
    > > maintain their ability to bear weight. Aluminum is made with bigger diameter/stiffer tubes not
    > > because it can be made stiffer, but because it has to be made stiffer.
    >
    > But prior to Klein's popularization of large diameter tubes for aluminum bike frames there were
    > several makes of aluminum frames with 'normal' diameter tubing, of which the best known was the
    > Vitus. These frames were known as being rather lightweight, but not at all stiff. They were
    > described almost exactly opposite to the popular descriptions used now for aluminum - i.e. that
    > they might be comfortable but that they flexed too much on climbs. So durable aluminum frames can
    > certainly be made

    How long did these frames last? The previous poster is correct: if you let aluminum flex, it's going
    to fatigue fail rather soon (compared to steel or Ti) because of Al's lower fatigue life.

    --
    David Kerber An optimist says "Good morning, Lord." While a pessimist says "Good Lord,
    it's morning".

    Remove the ns_ from the address before e-mailing.
     
  8. Doug Taylor

    Doug Taylor Guest

    [email protected] wrote:

    >I think there are many popular steel bikes on the market (LeMond, etc.). On the other hand,
    >aluminum is easier to work with and usually cheaper for the same weight and quality level.

    Speaking of Lemond, last year my wife was in the market for a new road bike. We priced Trek
    (aluminum), Cannondale (aluminum) and Lemond (steel) in the $1500 - $2000 price range. The deciding
    factor that sold us on the Lemond Zurich was that for a few hundred bucks less than the comparable
    bikes of the other two brands, you got a bike with a complete Ultegra Groupo, rather than a
    105/Ultegra mix, as well as some fancy boutique wheels (Bontrager Race Lite). Certainly nothing to
    drastically alter the performance of the bike, but a nice touch. And, on the day last fall we went
    to the LBS to buy it, the price had dropped from $1,899 to $1,499. Adding up the cost of the
    components, the frame sold for what, around $300? Such a deal.

    P.S. I have a Ti road racing bike, a steel TT bike, an aluminum f.s. mountain bike, and a steel
    single speed mountain bike (nothing against carbon; maybe later). I love 'em all. --dt
     
  9. In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > What's with the hype about aluminum? Apparently, aggressive marketing has worked: Everybody thinks
    > that aluminum is inherently better than steel. When asked why, the standard answer seems to be
    > "it's lighter and stiffer." Of course, hefting an aluminum WalGoose puts the "lighter" argument to
    > rest in a hurry. As for stiffer, I think we've beaten that argument to death, and the verdict
    > seems to be that *any* material can be built stiff; but stiffness isn't always what you want
    > (hence the popularity of Ti...). So is it just the triumph of marketing that makes everybody chant
    > the aluminum mantra?
    >

    Actually I would say it's cheaper to make a lighter/stiffer bike out of aluminum than steel. If my
    bike had the same characteristics it does now but was made out of steel, I probably couldn't afford
    it and it certainly wouldn't look the same. Of course I ride a full suspension mountain bike, it is
    not as big a deal to make a road bike out of steel but people paying extra for materials are usually
    looking for Ti or Carbon Fibre these days.

    --
    _________________________
    Chris Phillipo - Cape Breton, Nova Scotia http://www.ramsays-online.com
     
  10. > Then why or why are some Italian aluminum framesets pushing $2200??????

    Same reason you're thinking... because they can make huge gobs of money on them, and they don't
    require the type of skilled craftsperson who could do a beautiful lugged frame.

    > If you have a local frame builder around, he can replace a top tube for
    about
    > $100...

    Guess it depends upon where you live. 'Round these parts, it would cost way more than $100, plus
    painting would add another very large sum of money. If all you want to do is make it functional and
    don't care about paint, who knows? But if that's the case, you could probably pick up a cheap (but
    workable) frame for about the same cost as the repair. That was my point, that repairs cost about
    the same as a replacement in many cases. However, that $2000 aluminum frameset fits the "disposable"
    category, which is pretty outrageous, and probably not something you or I would ride.

    --Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles www.ChainReaction.com

    "Qui si parla Campagnolo" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Mike J-<< It's simply less expensive for a manufacturer to offer a given quality of product using
    > an aluminum frame than steel.
    >
    > Then why or why are some Italian aluminum framesets pushing $2200??????
    >
    > << because it typically costs as much, if not more, to repair a steel frame these days as it does
    to
    > replace it,
    >
    > If you have a local frame builder around, he can replace a top tube for
    about
    > $100...
    >
    >
    > Peter Chisholm Vecchio's Bicicletteria 1833 Pearl St. Boulder, CO, 80302
    > (303)440-3535 http://www.vecchios.com "Ruote convenzionali costruite eccezionalmente bene"
     
  11. Kristian

    Kristian New Member

    Joined:
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    Aluminum frames can be made stiffer than steel because you can use larger diameter tubing. Steel
    tubing of the same diameter and same weight of many aluminum frames would require too thin a wall
    thickness (which can lead to buckling).

    Spacey [/B][/QUOTE]



    Spacey is right. If you double the diameter of a tube the ridgity is increased 8 times. but there is added weight etc etc. there is soooooooooo much more to look at than just stiffness and weight. If they were the onlt factors then why have ovalised tubes, carbon rear ends etc etc. I ride a Ciombola steel frame with full carbon fork and carbon rear stays. It is a great ride. I came off a Cannondale that I did like but the Ciombola handles the road so much better and is a far smoother ride. Ultimate ridgity isnt always a good thing. It is an overall thing.
     
  12. I have always had steel bikes. Not because I have anything against aluminum, I just rarely could
    afford it.

    I actually tried two aluminum bikes when I went looking for a new touring frame back in '86 (Klein
    and Cannondale) But they didn't fit me very well.

    May you have the wind at your back. And a really low gear for the hills! Chris

    Chris'Z Corner "The Website for the Common Bicyclist": http://www.geocities.com/czcorner
     
  13. "That doesn't make aluminum bad, any more than the fact that a Schwinn Varsity made steel bad.

    --Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles www.ChainReaction.com"

    Actually, the Varsity frame wasn't that bad, for the class of bike it was designed to be. The
    ultimate, indestructable "beater bike".

    I still see a few being ridden around. Not bad for a frame that was discontinued decades ago...

    May you have the wind at your back. And a really low gear for the hills! Chris

    Chris'Z Corner "The Website for the Common Bicyclist": http://www.geocities.com/czcorner
     
  14. Zilla

    Zilla Guest

    It doesn't rust...

    --
    - Zilla (Remove XSPAM)

    "B. Sanders" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > What's with the hype about aluminum? Apparently, aggressive marketing has worked: Everybody thinks
    > that aluminum is inherently better than steel. When asked why, the standard answer seems to be
    > "it's lighter and
    stiffer."
    > Of course, hefting an aluminum WalGoose puts the "lighter" argument to
    rest
    > in a hurry. As for stiffer, I think we've beaten that argument to death, and the verdict seems to
    > be that *any* material can be built stiff; but stiffness isn't always what you want (hence the
    > popularity of Ti...). So
    is
    > it just the triumph of marketing that makes everybody chant the aluminum mantra?
    >
    > I was talking with a store manager at a big-name bike shop fairly recently about this very topic,
    > and she agreed with me that it's all marketing
    hype.
    > We both agreed that we preferred the classic, sleek look and ride
    qualities
    > of steel tubed road bikes. Thankfully, they're still being produced. We compared one of the heavy
    > aero-tubed aluminum road bikes to a simple, lightweight Fuji CrMo steel road bike. The steel bike
    > was cheaper and had better components, too. Yet the aluminum bikes were selling like
    hotcakes.
    > The fat aero tubing has been imbued with all sorts of magical speed enhancing properties. It's a
    > lot like the spoilers you see on Chevy Cavaliers, I guess: Adds 50 HP to the engine and 50mph to
    > the top end. :)
    >
    > -Barry
     
  15. Tom Sherman

    Tom Sherman Guest

    "B. Sanders" wrote:
    >
    > What's with the hype about aluminum? Apparently, aggressive marketing has worked: Everybody thinks
    > that aluminum is inherently better than steel. When asked why, the standard answer seems to be
    > "it's lighter and stiffer." Of course, hefting an aluminum WalGoose puts the "lighter" argument to
    > rest in a hurry. As for stiffer, I think we've beaten that argument to death, and the verdict
    > seems to be that *any* material can be built stiff; but stiffness isn't always what you want
    > (hence the popularity of Ti...). So is it just the triumph of marketing that makes everybody chant
    > the aluminum mantra?...

    Since carbon fiber composite has a reputation of being high tech, a manufacturer of cheap bikes
    might be able to get some marketing benefit by putting material labels on their bikes. The
    technically unsophisticated might just be fooled into thinking "1018 Carbon Steel" was
    something special.

    Tom Sherman - Various HPV's Quad Cities USA (Illinois side)
     
  16. > It doesn't rust...

    ...but many aluminum alloys oxidize nastily. All aluminums are not created equal, and some are prone
    to corrosion similar (in destructive power) to what you'd see with steel. At the same time, all
    steels are not created equal either; some rust far more readily than others.

    --Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles http://www.ChainReactionBicycles.com

    "Zilla" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > It doesn't rust...
    >
    > --
    > - Zilla (Remove XSPAM)
     
  17. Frank121

    Frank121 Guest

    I posted a few days ago on this site that I was doing some maintenance on my road bike and found
    some dimpling on either side of my Thomson Elite seat post where it was clamped in the seat tube. I
    was concerned about the integrity of the seat post and returned it to Thomson asking them to take a
    look at it.

    Yesterday, I had a phone message on my answering machine at home from Thomson. The fellow told me
    that the dimpling was not going to cause an issue as far as durabilty, but even so he was going to
    send me a new one. He mentioned the only time they see this dimpling on either side of the seat post
    is when a seatpost is the wrong size (trying to use a 27.2 in a 27.4 seattube) or when the seatpost
    is overly tightened in the seat tube and the seattube binder clamp digs into the seatpost. He asked
    me to make sure the seattube was indeed 27.2 before he sent me a new seatpost.

    I did verify it was a 272 seat tube, and called them back. I told them I may have indeed tightened
    the seat tube binder too much causing the damage. They replied they were going to send a seat post
    anyway and that it would not be necessary to crank down on the binder bolt as tightly as it sounds
    like I did as long as the seat post didn't slip or twist.

    I only use Thomson seatposts on my bike because of their strength, relatively light weight, and
    adjustability. Their excellent customer service gave me even more reason to stay with them.
     
  18. Bernie

    Bernie Guest

    Tom Sherman wrote:

    > "B. Sanders" wrote:
    > >
    > > What's with the hype about aluminum? Apparently, aggressive marketing has worked: Everybody
    > > thinks that aluminum is inherently better than steel. When asked why, the standard answer seems
    > > to be "it's lighter and stiffer." Of course, hefting an aluminum WalGoose puts the "lighter"
    > > argument to rest in a hurry. As for stiffer, I think we've beaten that argument to death, and
    > > the verdict seems to be that *any* material can be built stiff; but stiffness isn't always what
    > > you want (hence the popularity of Ti...). So is it just the triumph of marketing that makes
    > > everybody chant the aluminum mantra?...
    >
    > Since carbon fiber composite has a reputation of being high tech, a manufacturer of cheap bikes
    > might be able to get some marketing benefit by putting material labels on their bikes. The
    > technically unsophisticated might just be fooled into thinking "1018 Carbon Steel" was something
    > special.
    >
    > Tom Sherman - Various HPV's Quad Cities USA (Illinois side)

    Why not? "High Tensile Steel" was written on all kinds of junky bikes a decade or so ago. Bernie
     
  19. Zilla-<< It doesn't rust...

    But it corrodes. I once saw a C-Dale that was so corroded under the front der clamp that the tube
    was almost gone...

    Peter Chisholm Vecchio's Bicicletteria 1833 Pearl St. Boulder, CO, 80302
    (303)440-3535 http://www.vecchios.com "Ruote convenzionali costruite eccezionalmente bene"
     
  20. Ajames54

    Ajames54 Guest

    On Thu, 08 May 2003 02:09:43 GMT, "B. Sanders" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Fair enough. Where do you live? Near the ocean? I have a couple of steel bikes that are nearly 20
    >years old, and neither of them are approaching rust-death. Did you leave yours out in the rain?
    >
    >FrameSaver is all you need to keep a steel bike running until you die of old age.
    >
    >-Barry
    >
    Or double boiled linseed oil ... if your cheap.
     
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