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Frame Material Preference Poll

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View Poll Results: Frame Material Preference
Carbon Fiber
39
30.71%
Aluminum
10
7.87%
Steel
61
48.03%
Titanium
17
13.39%
Voters: 127. You may not vote on this poll

Frame Material Preference Poll

Old 11-09-22, 09:54 PM
  #1  
SpedFast
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Frame Material Preference Poll

I'm on the hunt for another bike (like I really need one) and was looking into the different frame material options available. In the poll, pick what your preference would be and not necessarily what you currently have. I know some of you probably have all the above options so your opinion will be very valuable to me. TIA Smokey
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Old 11-10-22, 12:24 AM
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Will you buy the one with the most votes?

John
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Old 11-10-22, 03:49 AM
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wolfchild
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Steel
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Old 11-10-22, 03:54 AM
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1989Pre
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It depends on the type of riding and a couple dozen other factors.
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Old 11-10-22, 04:16 AM
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My answer is ... it depends. I chose carbon when I went for a new road bike, but decided to stick with aluminium for my new mountain bike. If you were to ask for my reasoning I'd have to say I'm not entirely certain. Having broken one carbon frame in a crash I suppose that did weigh on my mind a bit - much more likely to crash a mountain bike. On the other hand, I have a friend with a full carbon mountain bike which has been great for him, and his riding style is quite a bit wilder than mine. Very pleased with both bikes. The only thing I'd change if I was buying a new road bike now is I'd certainly go for disk brakes and quite probably for eTap or Di2 rather than mechanical.
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Old 11-10-22, 04:23 AM
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PeteHski
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Originally Posted by jgwilliams View Post
My answer is ... it depends. I chose carbon when I went for a new road bike, but decided to stick with aluminium for my new mountain bike. If you were to ask for my reasoning I'd have to say I'm not entirely certain. Having broken one carbon frame in a crash I suppose that did weigh on my mind a bit - much more likely to crash a mountain bike. On the other hand, I have a friend with a full carbon mountain bike which has been great for him, and his riding style is quite a bit wilder than mine. Very pleased with both bikes. The only thing I'd change if I was buying a new road bike now is I'd certainly go for disk brakes and quite probably for eTap or Di2 rather than mechanical.
I've seen plenty of cracked high-end aluminium mtb frames. My last 2 mountain bikes since 2014 have been carbon, with no issues. Although I did get them both wrapped in Invisiframe for added stone chip protection - which has worked perfectly.
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Old 11-10-22, 05:31 AM
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I'd have to think about it. The subject never comes up on BF or out in the cycling world. It's a new one for me.
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Old 11-10-22, 05:40 AM
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Since you plan to use the bike for heavy touring I think you should go with steel. Or is this thread not sincere?
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Old 11-10-22, 06:22 AM
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If you're "on the hunt"..then make just a tiny bit of effort and do some research here on BF..or anywhere else. This topic get regularly flogged to death, and has been for years. There's nothing new from the last flogging or the flogging before that......

Unless, of course, you're just trolling
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Old 11-10-22, 09:52 AM
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Carbon and derailleurs for really fast and really useless toys for rich folks.
Steel and IGH Rohloff14 for round the world touring. Front hub is a SA XL-FDD dyno drum brake.
Steel and SA 3 speed for commuter bike. Also comes with drum brakes, chaincase, fenders, lights and racks.
Aluminum OK for just riding around. Could have either IGH or defaileurs.
Walmart for the totally cheap and uninformed, who can't or won't go far.
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Old 11-10-22, 09:57 AM
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Seems like there should be a choice for "any" or "all of the above". I really don't look at the material a bike is made of. I'm looking at price, components and geometry. Plus aesthetics for my eye and things like weight and how the bike handles the terrain and surfaces I ride on.
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Old 11-10-22, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
I've seen plenty of cracked high-end aluminium mtb frames. My last 2 mountain bikes since 2014 have been carbon, with no issues. Although I did get them both wrapped in Invisiframe for added stone chip protection - which has worked perfectly.
Well, I did say I wasn't sure of my reasoning. I also didn't mention above that the crash that broke my carbon frame would almost certainly have damaged an aluminium or steel frame as well, almost certainly beyond repair for the alumium one. I have no experience with titanium so I don't know how that would have fared. In fact, in retrospect, I'm impressed at how well the carbon frame stood up; having hit an earth bank at about 30 miles an hour it only had a break on the inside of one chain stay. It did better then me, in fact. I smashed my clavicle and now have a titanium Stryker plate screwed to it.
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Old 11-10-22, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by GamblerGORD53 View Post
Carbon and derailleurs for really fast and really useless toys for rich folks.
Steel and IGH Rohloff14 for round the world touring. Front hub is a SA XL-FDD dyno drum brake.
Steel and SA 3 speed for commuter bike. Also comes with drum brakes, chaincase, fenders, lights and racks.
Aluminum OK for just riding around. Could have either IGH or defaileurs.
Walmart for the totally cheap and uninformed, who can't or won't go far.
Lol! But it depends on the commute. Steel is fine - I commuted on a steel bike for years - but for my 18 mile commute with a 600 ft climb going home there's no way I'd manage it regularly on a SA 3 speed. I do have a Brompton, which is steel and SA 3 speed, but that's just for a short commute when I do most of it by train, which is very rare these days, or the odd local trip where a folder is handy. So my commuting bike now is carbon and derailleurs.
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Old 11-10-22, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by GamblerGORD53 View Post
Carbon and derailleurs for really fast and really useless toys for rich folks.
OMG according to the Gambler I am officially a “rich folk”, but the bad news is that my bike is “really useless”. But do rich folks really get rich by throwing their money away on useless stuff? Now I don’t know how good I feel about being so rich. Maybe I should go ride my non-useless steel bike or my aluminum bike and feel like I spend my wisely but then I won’t feel rich. I just don’t know how to feel. What a conundrum.
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Old 11-10-22, 11:11 AM
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I personally think the frame material "debate" is much ado about nothing. The "best" frame material is whatever your favorite bike is made of.
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Old 11-10-22, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Since you plan to use the bike for heavy touring I think you should go with steel. Or is this thread not sincere?
It's very sincere. But steel is actually on the bottom of the list for me as I have a steel bike that while comfortable, isn't something I want more of.
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Old 11-10-22, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
Will you buy the one with the most votes?

John
No. I'm hoping people chime in with 'why' they prefer a certain material and then I can make an informed decision. Thanks
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Old 11-10-22, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Seems like there should be a choice for "any" or "all of the above". I really don't look at the material a bike is made of. I'm looking at price, components and geometry. Plus aesthetics for my eye and things like weight and how the bike handles the terrain and surfaces I ride on.
Those were my first considerations too until I got really serious and started seeing all the frame material options out there. Then I got confused. I've been researching them for a while now and only getting more confused. My steel bikes are heavy but durable. I want something lighter. My aluminum bikes are lighter and still durable and a good option. Then I find guys that really swear by titanium for very legit reasons. Confused.
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Old 11-10-22, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Since you plan to use the bike for heavy touring I think you should go with steel. Or is this thread not sincere?
I don't plan on doing any 'heavy' touring btw. Not sure what put that thought in your head.
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Old 11-10-22, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by SpedFast View Post
Those were my first considerations too until I got really serious and started seeing all the frame material options out there. Then I got confused. I've been researching them for a while now and only getting more confused. My steel bikes are heavy but durable. I want something lighter. My aluminum bikes are lighter and still durable and a good option. Then I find guys that really swear by titanium for very legit reasons. Confused.
You get confused because it's not so much the frame material that makes a bike, but how well that bike fits your intended needs.

All the frame materials you've mentioned have been used with great success since before the turn of the century. There have been some few spectacular failures for all of those materials. Whether one material has more tensile strength or is more ductile or has another differing quality is of not really a factor for these materials as the designers, engineers and builders have shown that they can build some excellent bikes with those materials.

All you have to do is find the bike that matches what you want and need in a bike.

If you get to worrying too much about material then you might never find the bike that's right for you. You might be setting your self up for a endless quest for your imagined holy grail. I'd actually done that for many years when I was blinded by my "steel is real" mentality. It kept me from buying a new bike for quite a few years.

Last edited by Iride01; 11-10-22 at 11:41 AM.
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Old 11-10-22, 11:43 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by SpedFast View Post
I don't plan on doing any 'heavy' touring btw. Not sure what put that thought in your head.
Then give us a hint. What kind of frame are you looking for? What will it be used for? Is it a bent? Is it a BMX bike? Will it be bigger than a breadbox?
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Old 11-10-22, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by SpedFast View Post
I don't plan on doing any 'heavy' touring btw. Not sure what put that thought in your head.
Not sure why you didn't describe what type of riding you plan to do with this new bike.

See what I was getting at now? I never had kids because, among other things, I didn't (and still don't) want to spoon feed.
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Old 11-10-22, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by 1989Pre View Post
It depends on the type of riding and a couple dozen other factors.
Originally Posted by SpedFast View Post
Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Since you plan to use the bike for heavy touring I think you should go with steel. Or is this thread not sincere?
I don't plan on doing any 'heavy' touring btw. Not sure what put that thought in your head.
I was wondering where that concept of heavy touring came from.

But, as a few people have mentioned, it really depends on a person's goals.

I really like my CF ROAD bike. It just feels so natural. Just thing I was missing with riding a steel bike all those years. I've commuted on it, but I do somewhat of a hybrid commuting that takes me somewhat longer distances than some people. I.E. Double Century commutes?

But, I'd really look at a person's goals.
  • Road cycling: whether it is casual or racing, then CF may be a reasonable choice.
  • Many types of touring: one might consider a type of steel bike, with the best tubing one can afford.
  • Grocery Getter: Steel or aluminum. Whatever is cheap and rugged. Cargo bike?
  • All weather bike: Perhaps Titanium.
  • MTB: I suppose it depends on how deep your pockets are.
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Old 11-10-22, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by phughes View Post
Then give us a hint.
Garbage in, garbage out. Surprising for someone with such an impressive bike remedy, including fixing bikes for people for free.
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Old 11-10-22, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
I was wondering where that concept of heavy touring came from.
See post #22. The OP borders on worthless without any information on the intended use unless you are....

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