frame material, steel vs aluminum



thomas_cho

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Jan 4, 2005
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archermd said:
thanks
i have gone for a short ride on a tricross and it was fine

for me as a novice returning to a bike the ride was more focused on not falling, and every test ride so far has hurt my butt, so i need to learn how to sit properly and find a bike to buy, autumn and winter are fast approachning at the rate i am going!

i wonder if i would get more bike for the money if i skipped the cyclocroos thing and went for a road bike... the worry for me is if i ever hit a should, or a dirt road, or decide to ride on rails-to-trails (whatever that is, but i have heard it can be very nice and scenic) then a 23 or 25 tire won't do well and i could hurt the bike or myself
Your behind is going to take some time to get used to riding again. Dont worry about it.

23/25 tyres wont cut it on trails, I wouldnt go there with anything less than a 32. A CX bike would have sufficient clearance to take 32 tyres or even wider.

With whatever bike road, CX or touring you finally decide, I have to say that it is far more important to your peace of mind to get a strong set of wheels built for you. You DO NOT have to take the stock wheels that come with the bike, some shops will gladly allow you to "trade up" to stronger wheels.

[/QUOTE] the worry for me is if i ever hit a should, or a dirt road, or decide to ride on rails-to-trails [/QUOTE]The key word here is IF. If you want to cover all options, then you have to compromise, there is no one do-it-all perfectly bike. What if you dont go on the dirt roads?

If in the future you do, then perhaps you can buy a MTB to properly hit the trails, this is more a safety thing than a bike thing.

On cantilever brakes, you dont have to worry that they dont give you sufficient braking power. This is of course if they have been set up properly. I have used road calipers, MTB V-brakes, and got Cantis on my tourer, and they all work well at stopping the bike.

Found this description of the Sequoia

"A great alternative to the conventional road bike, the Sequoia range offer a more upright riding position, larger width tyres for a smoother ride, and wide range gearing that will take you up any mountain. Based on touring bike designs but with a compact frame, the Sequoia offers the perfect solution for long rides where comfort is of the most concern"

Sounds good. Another point to consider if you are still considering road bikes, is the riding position that you will be in. You might find yourself in a more "racy" position, which you may not find comfortable. Just more food for thought.

 

archermd

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May 1, 2007
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thomas
glad i am not the only one with a late night biorhythm
but soon to bed so i can make hospital rounds in the am
but as for your post
i know it is a compromise
no one do-it-all bike exists
but isn't a cx bike the next best thing?
and isn't a specialized tric cross a worthy bike?
if you answer yes to those questions
and if i have the money
do i get the sport or go for the comp?
both are triples but the comp has a bit more carbon
and by the way, are canti brakes gonna be a problem for me
i amy jsut say to hell with trails and grass and gravel and get a roubaix or sequoia instead
i will go to sleep and hope to awaken to yours and other replies
gonna try to order something tomorrow after rounds
2 bike shops near me are open on sunday
both are big shops, well staff, found nunmber 2 today
both carry spec and trek, number 2 is higher end with seven and others too
but those are beyond me, for now anyway
sned more help
much appreciated good night
 

thomas_cho

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Jan 4, 2005
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Hiya,

I dont think I will get into a Carbon discussion here. But my personal opinion (even though I ride a full carbon bike) is that I didnt really need it (I mainly wanted it). So its up to your personal preferences.

The CX/touring bikes are a flexible choice in the sense that you could run narrow (23C) or wider (32C or wider) on it. But this is only if you are willing change out the tyres , ie when going on paved roads ride a 23C, and when on trails change out to a 32C. Alternatively you could get two wheelsets.

You could of course ride 32C tyres full time, but they (32C) will roll slower than the narrower ones.

My personal opinion is that you do not have very much to worry about in terms of frame material, aluminum, steel or carbon. Your bike choice (the ones you have mentioned) is really a matter of preference, and budget. You have obviously bothered to think carefully about your choice, and so your final decision will be an informed decision.

So just get the bike, a good set of wheels, a good bike fit and get riding soon!
 

alfeng

Well-Known Member
Jul 23, 2005
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archermd said:
i have not put my money into anything
not yet
just got back from rounds at the hospital
may shop later
what was it you wanted from your posts alfeng?
were you looking to bait someone else into the discusion?
were you trying to get others to ofer advice for or against specialized?
i appreciate your time and efforts helping me, i really do
if you have a reason why i should avoid the specialized
i will listen
hey, once told something valid a rational guy listens

i would not hang out with that moron in the news with tb any more than i would buy a bike that someone more experienced has reasons for me to avoid

so, tell me what to do, or not do, and i will heed your advice
i may go to the raliegh guy later
but his cx bike is a double
i thought i wanted a triple
i may seek a surly after all
god this is taking so long!!!!
I have to remind you that there is nothing sacred about the way a bike is set up when you receive it from a shop/wherever. Just as you can change the tire size, you can change almost every component that is on a bike frame.

As an example, many people change the saddle within a few weeks, if not immediately.

You can change the bars, later ... or, not. Some people choose to change the drop/ROAD bars on their bike to FLAT bars, and vice-versa. Some people change the drop bars on their road bike to one that is shaped differently OR wider/narrower.

A lot of people never change anything on a bike (except replacing the tires/tubes/cables when they "wear out").

Parts you may put on your "first" new bike upon returning to cycling can be removed, and the original parts put back on the bike ... so, if you get things worth keeping (e.g., Campagnolo shifters) which may not come on a subsequent road bike, then you can install them on your next bike when the time comes.

Sometimes brand loyalty is good, sometimes it isn't. Regardless, it really isn't for ME to tell anyone what bike OR component(s) to buy, or not buy ...

Now, if the ONLY problem you are having with the Raleigh that you were looking at is that it has a double instead of a triple, well THAT is easily remedied ... now, or later. You may actually find that a road double (53/39) & "standard" (whatever that is!) gearing (usually, something like a 12-25 cassette, BTW) to be more-than-sufficient.

One immediate-or-future option is to have the shop install a so-called "compact" crank (usually 50/34) and/or an 11-32 cassette. This may, of course cost, but if the bike is in-stock AND they discount for end of the season, the final cost shouldn't be more than the bust-out retail cost. To make a Shimano rear derailleur handle a rear cog larger than the spec'd 27t, you simply have to change the upper 11t pulley wheel to a 10t pulley wheel ($10, maximum).

MANY shops will often change the cassette on a new bike without an upcharge ... particularly, if you are paying close to the MSRP. Same for stem length and/or handlebar width (on a road bar).

FWIW. Another, simpler option if the bike you prefer has only a double is to simply have the dealer install an XT-or-LX rear derailleur (XTR if you feel like spending more money) + an 11-34 rear cluster. Depending on what he has, there may be a charge -- if the upcharge is equal to what it would cost you for the cassette & derailleur, then buy them yourself via mail order AND install them yourself (much easier to do than you might think) ... keep the orignal "stuff" for later OR sell it on eBay.

If the shifters are 9-speed, so much the better. If they are 10-speed, then I have found that the hubbub.com alternate anchor position for the rear derailleur cable (normally used to index a 10-speed Campagnolo shifter to a 9-speed Shimano cassette) should also work in theory to make a 9-speed Shimano rear derailleur act like a 10-speed Shimano rear derailleur when mated with a 10-speed Shimano shifter & 10-speed cassette -- that is, to "simulate" the hubbub.com anchoring, I briefly installed a 10-speed Shimano rear derailleur with its normal anchoring, and it SEEMED to work on a non-road, workstand test ... your results (and, my subsequent results!) may vary.

A road double (e.g., 53/39) & an 11-34 will give you almost as low a gearing as a triple (52/39/30) with a 12-27 cassette. Shimano doesn't make a 10-speed 11-34, yet, but SRAM supposedly has one, now, AFAIK.

Don't be put off by the generalized & unglamorous nature of a(ny) HYBRID bike -- a HYBRID can be thought of as a (quasi-)touring bike with an aluminum frame & flat handlebars. And, as I noted before, a 29er (very fashionable) can be thought of as either a glorified HYBRID (i.e., even fatter tires + nicer components) or an overgrown MTB.

Drop bars + Campagnolo shifters + handlebar tape + misc. will cost you between $200-to-whatever/($500-or-more-if-you-want) and can be retrofitted on a bike which initially comes with a flat/MTB handlebar.

BTW/FWIW2. I "love" Shimano components AND their North American customer service has been great whenever I have contacted them, but Campagnolo shifters are superior because they can downshift effortlessly when under load (already going uphill). Supposedly, this has been remedied with the 10-speed Shimano shifters. I don't know (yet). I do know that with the 8-and-9-speed Shimano shifters, "learning" to pre-shift before starting an ascent was almost essential. All this is moot for a Flatlander ... but, Flatlanders don't need wide gear ratios OR use triples, either.

BTW2. The next time you are in a bike shop, ask to see a REALLY EXPENSIVE frameset (without components -- a MOOTS would be a great example) ... the visible difference may not be obvious when you first look at it, but if you compare the "quality" of the welding on the high-zoot frame to a low-end (under $1000) TREK (for example) ... one should be close to flawless, the other utilitarian. Sometimes, you pay more for the latest-and-greatest technology, better craftsmanship, or better components ... but, if you don't need any of them (not everyone drives a Bentley), then why spend the money right now even if your budget will allow you to spend more UNTIL you really know what kind of bike(s) you want? It's just my opinion, but I don't think that Specialized bikes, for example (but, I feel the same about Cannondale & Pinarello), warrant any premium for what you are getting.

I've said it before, there are only two groups of people (IMO) who shouldn't do (but, at least know how to do) their own bicycle maintenance -- surgeons & hand models for whom a "slip" might endanger their livelihood. Everyone else should be capable of doing "stuff" on the side of the road on their bikes as needed EVEN if someone else (e.g., spouse) ultimately does it.
 

alfeng

Well-Known Member
Jul 23, 2005
6,723
254
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archermd said:
i have not put my money into anything
not yet
just got back from rounds at the hospital
may shop later
what was it you wanted from your posts alfeng?
were you looking to bait someone else into the discusion?
were you trying to get others to ofer advice for or against specialized?
i appreciate your time and efforts helping me, i really do
if you have a reason why i should avoid the specialized
i will listen
hey, once told something valid a rational guy listens

i would not hang out with that moron in the news with tb any more than i would buy a bike that someone more experienced has reasons for me to avoid

so, tell me what to do, or not do, and i will heed your advice
i may go to the raliegh guy later
but his cx bike is a double
i thought i wanted a triple
i may seek a surly after all
god this is taking so long!!!!
BTW. While I won't absolutely recommend against any frame (you know, if you ultimately decide that you like the Specialized more than any of the others, then that is a valid choice) ...

The ONE thing I will unequivocally advise against your getting are SRAM components (and, they may be the greatest in the world) because I have found their customer support to be severely wanting in North America (who knows what it is like, elsewhere?!?) ... but, if customer service after a sale isn't important to you, then what the heck, take a chance and get a SRAM product and hope for the best.

Shimano NA (Irvine, CA) has been great whenever I have contacted them.

In that vein, DT-Swiss/Hugi has great customer service, too.

I've never needed anything from Campagnolo that wasn't readily available.

Regarding RALEIGH -- a weld on neighbor's Raleigh MTB frame cracked, and RALEIGH replaced it without any hesitation.
 

archermd

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May 1, 2007
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thanks for the advice alfeng
really, thanks for taking the time and for sending the help
i went to yhet another lbs today
cannondale,specialized, treck, serrota, and seven sold there
they thought a cx bike was a good fit for me
they wanted to order me a cannondale
they offered to get a suryly frame and build it up
but they said any complete bike would have abetter complete warranty
so i left
confused but drooling
now it is down to this
a trek fx series or spec sirus and go to drop bars later
or a specialized tricross, still debating sport or comp
any of these gives me fat tires and a good frame with decent components
so tomorrow evening on my way home i really want to order something
so send those last minute bits of advice before i go broke
i could spend less than 1000 but i would rather have a long term bike from the start if i can and if i can do it without making too big a mistake
if i get a cx now i could alwayhs get a true roadie later, for next summer
filling the garage with bicycles instead of harleys or a bigger suv oh well
i do like big expensive toys
also about to order some new archery gear
gonna spend the bulk of my mad money all in just a few short days times
better than just staring at it i guess
 

alfeng

Well-Known Member
Jul 23, 2005
6,723
254
63
archermd said:
thanks for the advice alfeng
really, thanks for taking the time and for sending the help
i went to yhet another lbs today
cannondale,specialized, treck, serrota, and seven sold there
they thought a cx bike was a good fit for me
they wanted to order me a cannondale
they offered to get a suryly frame and build it up
but they said any complete bike would have abetter complete warranty
so i left
confused but drooling
now it is down to this
a trek fx series or spec sirus and go to drop bars later
or a specialized tricross, still debating sport or comp
any of these gives me fat tires and a good frame with decent components
so tomorrow evening on my way home i really want to order something
so send those last minute bits of advice before i go broke
i could spend less than 1000 but i would rather have a long term bike from the start if i can and if i can do it without making too big a mistake
if i get a cx now i could alwayhs get a true roadie later, for next summer
filling the garage with bicycles instead of harleys or a bigger suv oh well
i do like big expensive toys
also about to order some new archery gear
gonna spend the bulk of my mad money all in just a few short days times
better than just staring at it i guess
Cannondale makes great bikes, particularly if you are a sponsored rider.

The "problem" that I have with Cannondale is that they have gone-off-the-Reservation as far as continuity with the rest of the cycling industry -- a lot of proprietary engineering that only persists as long as Cannondale uses it on a "current" bike ... and so, you are paying a premium for a future inconvenience.

Pinarello isn't quite as bad in that regard with their M.O.st bottom bracket shell. Fortunately, Pinarello makes an insert which allows the owner to use a standard bottom bracket assembly. For some reason, without looking, my recollection is that the M.O.st BB uses an ISIS spindle interface which tried to be the worst (I've got two); so, the odds are that you wouldn't be using the M.O.st BB assembly & consequently would be paying a premium for nothing.

Of the other brands, if you pony up for SEROTTA, you'll probably love it forever ... they have some stock sizes, I think, but you can get a (semi-)/custom fit (probably, a slightly better fit than what the people at the various shops will determine for you) for a "small" upcharge.

SEVEN are supposed to be great, too. But, MOOTS will set you apart for about the same amount, I think.

WATERFORD (the "remnant" of the original Schwinn -- very high-zoot & really nice) & GUNNAR (the OTHER "remnant" of Schwinn -- now, the GUNNAR is probably a brand for you to try to track down in the next 48 hours ... find a shop that caters more to MTBs if there are any) are two brands which you will be pleased with. GUNNAR is the non-custom line offered by Richard Schwinn & just a little more expensive than SURLY, but a little nicer ... maybe, a lot nicer. Those are two bike names to ask about.

Without actually recommending it, let me say that a GUNNAR frame with Campagnolo Veloce-or-Centaur components + nice-enough wheels will cost about the same (possibly, less) as the Tricross Comp ... and, probably be a better-in-the-long-run bike.

You can buy the Waterford/Serotta/whatever after your kid gets a scholarship to the college of his choice!
 

sogood

New Member
Aug 24, 2006
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alfeng said:
The "problem" that I have with Cannondale is that they have gone-off-the-Reservation as far as continuity with the rest of the cycling industry -- a lot of proprietary engineering that only persists as long as Cannondale uses it on a "current" bike ... and so, you are paying a premium for a future inconvenience.

Pinarello isn't quite as bad in that regard with their M.O.st bottom bracket shell. Fortunately, Pinarello makes an insert which allows the owner to use a standard bottom bracket assembly...
Actually Cannondale also have a bracket to accommodate regular BB. But I agree with you point, these proprietary components puts a time limit on the frame life and limits one's options. I recently also gave up on Cannondale in my frame choice.
 

BigUgly

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Mar 31, 2007
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archermd said:
the thread title says it all
about to buy a specialized tricross sport or comp
then i read (on another fourm site) that steel is a nice(r) frame material
it is more forgiving and durable so they say
and the guys posting on that other site appear to know their stuff
so i need some advice
also, they suggested i look at touring bikes vs cyclocross
so, anybody want to offer some advice?
There are other companies out there as well that sell steel frames. I have a Canadian bike built by a company called OPUS who sell fantastic bikes they market two steel framed bikes http://www.opusbike.com/site.htm not sure if they are in the States yet but in my area of Ontario they are gaining a lot of respect as well made and performing bikes.