What does "Alloy" generally mean, as listed in frame/fork specs?

Discussion in 'Bike buying advice' started by FlyingPancreas, Sep 1, 2013.

  1. FlyingPancreas

    FlyingPancreas New Member

    Aug 9, 2013
    Likes Received:
    One of the bikes I am very interested in at the moment is the Fuji Absolute 1.1D. Honestly, I am way too much of a noob to be all spec-crazy, except that I want a respectable upper-noob level drivetrain and brakes. I don't have any particular requirements when it comes to frame material, as my intended purpose is [mostly] urban commuting and I'd like something I can beat the crap out of. So maybe heavier steel is the way to go. I dunno.

    But in general, what should I assume when I see "alloy" as a frame and/or fork material spec. Most of the bike manufacturers seem to have their own proprietary designations for various metal types. For example, the Absolute 1.1D specifies as its frame material "Fuji A2-SL Custom Butted Alloy."

    WTF does that mean?

    The bike's weight is listed at nearly 27 lbs, which seems quite heavy if the frame were aluminum - heavier than most cyclocross bikes, which seem to average around 25 or 26 lbs. So should I assume the frame is steel?

    Again, it makes no difference to me really. I just prefer to understand specs, if I can.

    And a general THANK-YOU to this forum for humoring my many stupid noob questions. Some of you fellers seem to know quite a lot, and I'm grateful for all the help and patience I've been treated to here.

  2. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    Likes Received:
    Alloy in the bike industry generally refers to aluminum alloys. Technically steel and even titanium frame tubes are alloys of differing materials but in the bike biz the term is almost always used to describe some form of aluminum alloy.

    Nothing wrong with good aluminum alloy frames and they're usually tough as nails and don't rust. Nothing wrong with steel or other materials either. When it comes down to it, the material a bike is made from (base material, not specific tubing sets) is not that important. There are nice aluminum frames and junk as well and the same for steel. Hard to find too much titanium junk but I'm sure somebody has built up something in the titanium version of plumbers pipe or laid up a really awful carbon fiber frame so don't go by material alone, ride quality has a lot more to do with geometry and build quality than what material the builder used.