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Vintage Steel vs Aluminum

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Vintage Steel vs Aluminum

Old 08-24-19, 01:37 PM
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robertj298
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Vintage Steel vs Aluminum

I'm wonder what the difference would be between a mid 80s Aluminum bike and a mid 80s Steele bike be.Lets sat a 1987 Cannondale SR500 and my 1987 Centurion Ironman Expert.
Weight differences ,Ride differences any other differences?
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Old 08-24-19, 02:21 PM
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Sounds interesting. Buy both bikes. Set them up identically. Report back here. Thanks.

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Old 08-24-19, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by iab View Post
Sounds interesting. Buy both bikes. Set them up identically. Report back here. Thanks.

Better yet, you send me Cannondale SR500 and I'll report back to you with my results.
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Old 08-24-19, 03:18 PM
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The cannondale might accelerate and climb better but is likely to a harsher ride overall.
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Old 08-24-19, 05:36 PM
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I own both, pretty much: an 88 SR500 and an 86 Ironman.

The difference is...not much. Both are efficient at transferring rider effort to forward motion. Both look great. Both are totally reliable. I'd ride (have ridden) either one on a century or multiple day series of rides. Neither is 'better' than the other. Love 'em both.


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Old 08-24-19, 07:19 PM
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The Cannondale has larger diameter frame tubes and will be stiffer than the steel frame. Whether or not you find this preferable to the steel bike is a subjective judgement. In general, larger/heavier riders prefer stiffer frames because the longer tubes and greater weight flex more while smaller/lighter riders prefer less stiff frames, as excessive stiffness can make the bike hard to control, especially on rough surfaces.
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Old 08-24-19, 07:35 PM
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Chicks will veer towards the Ironman.
It's an aphrodisiac.
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Old 08-24-19, 08:23 PM
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My vote goes to the Ironman. Extra points for brand new racing wheels and tires.
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Old 08-24-19, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
Chicks will veer towards the Ironman.
It's an aphrodisiac.
Pics or it didn't happen . . .
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Old 08-25-19, 04:47 AM
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Generally, I prefer the feel and look of steel. My Cannondales, and Treks and even my Quintanna Roo are just too stiff and, in my opinion, ugly thanks to the over size tube sets...















I did like the ride quality of the Vitus 979 and loved the feel of the ALAN. I will build another ALAN if granted the opportunity to do so.
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Old 08-25-19, 05:08 AM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
I did like the ride quality of the Vitus 979 and loved the feel of the ALAN. I will build another ALAN if granted the opportunity to do so.
This.
Not only are the Alan and Vitus different than the steel of the era, they are different from each other.

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Old 08-25-19, 07:18 AM
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Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
Chicks will veer towards RobbieTunes on the Ironman.
Hes an aphrodisiac.
Fixed it for you.
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Old 08-25-19, 07:53 AM
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As noted, the Cannondale will be stiffer, lighter and consequently more responsive to power input. However, the stiffer frame will also make it more fatiguing over long rides. How much this is noticeable will depend on several factors, notably how aggressive you ride and the roughness of your road surfaces. Some riders may not be able to notice the difference and the tables can be turned by something as simple as tyre choice and air pressure.
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Old 08-25-19, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
As noted, the Cannondale will be stiffer, lighter and consequently more responsive to power input. However, the stiffer frame will also make it more fatiguing over long rides. How much this is noticeable will depend on several factors, notably how aggressive you ride and the roughness of your road surfaces. Some riders may not be able to notice the difference and the tables can be turned by something as simple as tyre choice and air pressure.
And tubes, wheels, seat, handlebar's tape...
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Old 08-25-19, 03:38 PM
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I tried to give two aluminum bikes a go but ended up selling them after a fairly short period of time. One was a Raleigh Technium (road bike) and one a Cannondale M800 (mountain bike). Both were way too stiff for my liking. I would get sore forearms every time I rode them. No aluminum for me. I currently have 19 steel frame bikes (one of which is an Ironman) and 1 carbon.
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Old 08-25-19, 07:16 PM
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How about the Nishiki International?

Mine is an 1986 model with cyclone components.

Tange 1 frame, just like the Ironman but the lesser known Tange 1 Oversize steel tubeset.

The best of both worlds, responsive, responsive and light. -or- stiff, unforgiving and rigid?

I guess that I should put more miles on it before I make a judgement and a I no longer have a conventional steel frame to compare it to.
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Old 08-25-19, 07:31 PM
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For a Cat 3/4 crit in the local parking lot series, I'd probably take the aluminum. I'd probably still finish dead last.

Otherwise, the steelie.
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