What are light-weight frames made of?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by urbantrained, May 8, 2004.

  1. urbantrained

    urbantrained New Member

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    I want a bike that is light weight, but obviously I want it to be quality and well built.

    I don't like heavy bikes.

    So what material should the frame be made from then? Aluminium?
     
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  2. Rompinrhino

    Rompinrhino New Member

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    Your kidding right. LOL.

    Carbon Fibre- Light weight, strong, quality depends on the company. I highly sugest a giant Carbon Fibre frame because their seamless, Light, and really really well built. The clear coat is the same that's used on BMW 5 series cars.

    Aluminum- You could get this too. It is light, and strong, won't rust either. I dont know who too buy this from, but there are plenty of good companys that make good aluminum frames.

    Titanium- This material rocks. It is the best of all worlds. Stiff like aluminum, Strongest material, rides like steel. Seven Cycles, Merlin, Litespeed. This is the one that you want to get if you got the $$ to spend.

    Steel-Ah the feel of steel. This is the old trusty of materials. They have been making steel frames for a really long time now, they know their buisness. Independent Fabrications makes some good ones, I'm not too sure of others, but I know their out there.

    You could get a hybrid. Lemond makes some really cool frames that are a mixture of Carbon Fibre, and some other metal. The Tete de Course is the best, Carbon and Titanium. There are so many choices out there. One thing is that almost any frame is going to be well built if you get it from a major company, and their are plenty of small ones out there that are just as excelent, just stay away from made in China. I'm sure other members will provide more detail as to frame material information.
     
  3. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    What a load of hooey..LOL.. Short answer,spend enough money and you can get a light quality bike in any material. You can also get a reasonably light POS in any material for less money. Cheap aluminum is often heavier than steel.
     
  4. mjw_byrne

    mjw_byrne New Member

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    Titanium (more precisely, various alloys of it, like 3% Al / 2½% V or 6% Al / 4% V) is widely considered to be the best all-round material because it's strong and reasonably light, it has much better fatigue resistance than aluminium, it's virtually corrosion-proof and it's stiff. It's also said to be "springy" enough to have a nicer ride quality than aluminium in general, although things like ride quality are at least as dependent on the frame's construction as on the material it's made from.
     
  5. concord

    concord Member

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    I have steel bike and an aluminum one and the olny time I can tell the weight differance is when I put the bike on the roof rack. :D I am planning on getting a carbon fiber one in the very near future.
     
  6. Ratty

    Ratty New Member

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    I'll second this view. You can get ally bikes and carbon bikes that weigh 7-9kg or less. Don't be too focussed on weight of the bike as the be-all-end-all.

    (Like for example, don't expect a 6.8kg Cannondale to last if you weigh 100kg.) Generally, you get what you pay for. And try to lose the weight on the gut before spending a fortune on a really trick bike.

    The Scott CR1 carbon frame is exceptionally light and is the Cannondale Six13. Giants TCR composites are also light. (I just don't like mass produced bikes. I prefer a bit more individuality)

    Guerciotti make some really light aluminium frames, I've seen a 7kg record-equipped Eureka.

    Good luck in your hunting. Buy light, but buy smart.

    (And I haven't even punted the brands I ride, coz they are not the lightest, but are IMHO excellent quality.)
     
  7. crystal_tears_

    crystal_tears_ New Member

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    Titanium isn't as stiff as either carbon or aluminium, isn't as light unless you feel like spending an inordinate amount of money and looks naff in my view, i can't stand the look of unpainted titanium.

    By the way i ride a Specialized Allez Comp which is a veritable rocket ship..light, weighs 18 lbs with Campag Centaur groupset and Eurus wheels, is as fast as a scalded cat, stiff but not over stiff like my Giant which is a torture machine and it looks the bizz with it's sexy zebra stripes.
     
  8. dhk

    dhk New Member

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    Around here, have to say that Ti is not "widely considered" to be the best all-round material. After all, considering stiffness-to-weight, it's behind CF, AL or steel. Fatigue-wise, believe a good AL or steel frame of the same weight will give match Ti as well.

    Ti has some fine qualities, no doubt, and I'd love to have a nice Litespeed bike in my collection. But plenty of knowledgeable folks spending big money on frames today are making other choices.
     
  9. Ted B

    Ted B New Member

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    That more than likely boils down to either AL or Carbon. While both are light weight, they are very different...

    AL - Stiff and very light, rides like a Ferrari, giving plenty of road feel. If you're going to do a lot of riding on roads that are not especially smooth, you may not be so fond of it...even with a carbon fork and seatpost.

    Carbon - Fairly stiff and only a little heavier than AL, but very comfortable. Sometimes too smooth of a ride for those who like more road feel.

    Or, there are some frames that consist of an AL frame with carbon chainstays and/or seatstays. These represent a good compromise and give some of the best of both.
     
  10. crystal_tears_

    crystal_tears_ New Member

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    Aluminium isn't necessarily a light frame material unless it's of high quality. There are plenty of cheaper aluminium frames which weigh even more than steel.

    Top steel frames for that matter don't have to be very expensive either. Don't know about where you live but in England i can buy a very well respected custom Reynolds 853 frame for less than a good quality off the peg aluminium one.

    As for carbon being fairly stiff i have to wholeheartedly disagree with you ! I think it's too bloody stiff for my liking..beats me up no end..yes the BB area is very stiff but the rest of the frame is too...i feel every bump in the road on my Giant TCR 1 but to be fair i've been lead to believe modern carbon frames have become a lot more comfortable as technology and engineering methods have advanced.

    As for aluminium frames with carbon chain and seat stays..mmm well not having ridden one i can't really say whether the carbon dampens the ride or not. Spoken to a few club riders who 's opinions vary on the matter. But i do know it adds extra, uneeded weight.

    Just my couple of farthings worth :)
     
  11. Skyward

    Skyward New Member

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    What is a quality aluminium? 6061,7005,7075?
     
  12. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    Well,frames are just not made that way, and Ti does have vastly different fatigue characteristics than aluminum.
     
  13. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    LoL... you need to check youngs modulus.
     
  14. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    LOL ...This thread just proves once again that the mention of material brings all the wannabe metalurgical/material 'experts' out to spread their hooey like fertilizer.What a barge load of rot and rubbish.... Short answer folks:It aint' the material,but how it's made and how much you want to spend.:rolleyes:
     
  15. carchaser

    carchaser New Member

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  16. Ted B

    Ted B New Member

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    Actually, I'm referring to a comparison of AL and carbon at a roughly equal price point. Anyone can make a cheap 'boat anchor' out of just about any material.


    Ride any AL Bianchi EV series, then go ride a Bianchi carbon, or Trek, or Look, or Time, or just about any other carbon bike for that matter. The ultralight AL frames are incredibly stiff and you really feel it. Any of the carbon frames I quoted are like sitting on a marshmallow by comparison where ride quality is concerned.


    It *most definitely* dampens the ride (speaking from experience), which is almost certainly the primary reason for such a combination.
     
  17. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    Yeah, and someone else will just come along with an entirely different subjective opinion. There are some ultralight Al frames that heavier/stronger riders would turn into beer can material too.
     
  18. Ted B

    Ted B New Member

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    Agreed, but I'm referring to AL's propensity to transmit vibration in unmitigated fashion, whereas carbon seems to dampen it.
     
  19. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    Where did I see vibration mentioned in that post? Vibration is a different animal than stiff. Al, being of relativelylow density ,really does not transmmit vibration a well as denser materials. So what's going on here.....?
     
  20. Ted B

    Ted B New Member

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    Forgive me if I was vague.

    Clarification: Of three AL framed bikes I've owned and ridden in the past year (as well as others I did not own), *none* of them gave the smoother ride quality and vibration dampening typical of the carbon frames I've ridden (see above).
     
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