steel vs aluminum


New Member
Jul 26, 2011
I'm thinking about purchasing a pre-owned road bike. I am currently riding a Canondale H300 (hybrid) my avarage ride is about 13 miles, all on paved surfaces. I weigh in at 280lb so i am concerned about durability, my Canondale has held yup very well for the past 10 years, just wondering if steel is a better alternative?
They're both durable. Steel is more pliable, so if the bike gets damaged in your commute, it can actually be repaired. Steel also has a nicer ride due to it's properties (thinner steel tubing absorbs shock). However it tends to be more expensive. It's all a tradeoff. For durability, both are fine.
Well I went with Aluminum, I found a good deal on an older Cannondale CAD 2 ( T700) touring bike, so far I have gotten two rides in (17 & 12 miles) not as fast as I thought it would be, but it has the same size tires as my hybrid (700 x 38c) it may take some getting use to.
ANy input on if different tires might make a difference, the current ones are pretty agressive and look more like trail tires than road tires??

Don't judge a tire by it's looks...I have what looks like trail tires on my touring bike, and when there's cracks and potholes and other normal obstacles, it rolls over roads better and faster in many cases than my 'faster' road bike. For the record, I have Panaracer Pistas on that bike, 700x32c

For a T700 I'd go with between a 28c and a 32c tire. The wider the tire, the lower the air pressure and the more comfortable ride. Panaracer is one of my favorite tire companies, check out the Pista, and the Rivendell-model Ruffy Tuffy. Shwalbe Marathon is a popular commute/touring tire. For non-durable, my favorite riding tire is the Challenge Parigix Roubaix.
So i'v put about 100 miles on the T700, and today I took out the H300, the hybris is faster, maybe just because its more compfortable (less hunched over riding position)? Antway, I ordered a new adjustable stem today to raise the handlebars up higher (closer to what the hybrids position is) i'm hoping that makes a difference. I did the same ride this eb=vening that I did on Friday, it was slightly faster avg time (13.3 vs 12.9) and seemed easier. I purchased the T700 to go faster, I hope the higher bar position makes a difference.
Changing to narrower, higher pressure tires (like a hi pressure 28mm or even 32mm wide tire) will probably make the biggest difference to how fast the bike goes. The only thing more important than the wheels on a bike is the motor.