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Frame Material

Old 07-18-22, 02:21 PM
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cyclintom
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Frame Material

I tried to keep up with all of the latest fads. I ended up with top end carbon bikes and to tell you the truth most of them rode like garbage. I am not a pro-racer and I'm not going fast enough to smooth the bumps out with speed. Then they started making carbon bikes for people who just tide. These carbon bikes are pretty light but to tell you the truth my bike and body weigh a little over 210 lbs. and changing this weight by a couple of percent as a normal sports rider doesn't make a detectable difference in climbing or riding on the flats.

So it began narrowing down to whether it was worthwhile to pay a small fortune to have a new or even newish bike.

I began riding more and more aluminum bikes and while they rode OK, I didn't like the cables ringing like a bell when they slapped against the headtube on the terrible roads around here. So now I will be turning back to steel bikes. Tomasso, Tomassini, Masi and other really nice bikes using modern groups and such can end up almost as light as a top end carbon racing bike,. Certainly as good as my Colnago C50 which I keep around for old times sake.

At 77 I neither climb fast enough nor have the guts to descend fast enough to make aerodynamic drag even worth mention. So shouldn't ai ride a nice comfortable bike that doesn't put my bank account in the red?
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Old 07-18-22, 02:28 PM
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Why not?
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Old 07-18-22, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by cyclintom View Post
I tried to keep up with all of the latest fads. I ended up with top end carbon bikes and to tell you the truth most of them rode like garbage. I am not a pro-racer and I'm not going fast enough to smooth the bumps out with speed. Then they started making carbon bikes for people who just tide. These carbon bikes are pretty light but to tell you the truth my bike and body weigh a little over 210 lbs. and changing this weight by a couple of percent as a normal sports rider doesn't make a detectable difference in climbing or riding on the flats.

So it began narrowing down to whether it was worthwhile to pay a small fortune to have a new or even newish bike.

I began riding more and more aluminum bikes and while they rode OK, I didn't like the cables ringing like a bell when they slapped against the headtube on the terrible roads around here. So now I will be turning back to steel bikes. Tomasso, Tomassini, Masi and other really nice bikes using modern groups and such can end up almost as light as a top end carbon racing bike,. Certainly as good as my Colnago C50 which I keep around for old times sake.

At 77 I neither climb fast enough nor have the guts to descend fast enough to make aerodynamic drag even worth mention. So shouldn't ai ride a nice comfortable bike that doesn't put my bank account in the red?
Nostalgia is a great thing isn’t it. In my memories, I Love Lucy was an amazing TV show, back seat of my 75 LeSabre was spacious, Hungry Man TV dinners were really good and Disco music was brilliant.

Last edited by Atlas Shrugged; 07-18-22 at 02:35 PM.
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Old 07-18-22, 02:48 PM
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To be perfectly honest with you neither frame material nor 'design' have really anything to do with ride quality. Unless you have some kind of mechanical pivot in the frame (Trek Domane) all frames are so close in ride quality you'd never be able to tell the difference in a blind test. Tire pressure is another story.
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Old 07-18-22, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by cyclintom View Post
I tried to keep up with all of the latest fads. I ended up with top end carbon bikes
Given its widespread general use and its success in the pro peloton, carbon fiber has been one helluva "fad."

Originally Posted by cyclintom View Post
I began riding more and more aluminum bikes and while they rode OK, I didn't like the cables ringing like a bell when they slapped against the headtube
This can probably be addressed by improved cable routing.

Originally Posted by cyclintom View Post
So shouldn't ai ride a nice comfortable bike that doesn't put my bank account in the red?
That's certainly an option that many have chosen. I think the whole frame material debate is much ado about nothing; just get whatever inspires you to ride.

Last edited by Rolla; 07-18-22 at 02:57 PM.
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Old 07-18-22, 02:57 PM
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Ride what you believe in.
We all make a cognitive assent in what we ride.
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Old 07-18-22, 03:05 PM
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How dare you question whether you should buy a new bike? At the magnificent age of 77, you should definitely buy a new one, if for no other reason than to renew your passion for riding (and the accompanying desire to get your money's worth out of your new purchase). You're 77. You deserve a new bike. It's probably going to be your last bike (before buying your first recumbent, e-assisted trike). There really shouldn't be any discussion.

Edit:
Carbon is supposed to dampen the chatter vibrations, but like the other guy said, improvements in the ride begin with the tires. But why quibble? Get yourself a new steel bike, for goodness sake.

Last edited by DeadGrandpa; 07-18-22 at 03:21 PM.
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Old 07-18-22, 03:21 PM
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People think I'm crazy but I can feel a difference on steel bikes. I feel like the aluminum bikes have high frequency vibrations that steel doesn't pass along. I have noticed it in my car too, going from the steel version to the newer all aluminum version of the car.

I have an aluminum bike on its way but with a steel fork. I'm curious to see how it feels. Its a touring frame so I'm hoping for more relaxed position and wider tires. I think it should be comfortable.

You should ride any bike you want to.
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Old 07-18-22, 03:30 PM
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The best bike to own is one you will want to ride.
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Old 07-18-22, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by cyclintom View Post
I tried to keep up with all of the latest fads. I ended up with top end carbon bikes and to tell you the truth most of them rode like garbage. I am not a pro-racer and I'm not going fast enough to smooth the bumps out with speed. Then they started making carbon bikes for people who just tide. These carbon bikes are pretty light but to tell you the truth my bike and body weigh a little over 210 lbs. and changing this weight by a couple of percent as a normal sports rider doesn't make a detectable difference in climbing or riding on the flats.

So it began narrowing down to whether it was worthwhile to pay a small fortune to have a new or even newish bike.

I began riding more and more aluminum bikes and while they rode OK, I didn't like the cables ringing like a bell when they slapped against the headtube on the terrible roads around here. So now I will be turning back to steel bikes. Tomasso, Tomassini, Masi and other really nice bikes using modern groups and such can end up almost as light as a top end carbon racing bike,. Certainly as good as my Colnago C50 which I keep around for old times sake.

At 77 I neither climb fast enough nor have the guts to descend fast enough to make aerodynamic drag even worth mention. So shouldn't ai ride a nice comfortable bike that doesn't put my bank account in the red?
Yes, you should.

I doubt that anyone will tell you otherwise.
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Old 07-18-22, 03:51 PM
  #11  
wolfchild
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Ride whatever you want, no need to justify personal preferences for frame material.
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Old 07-19-22, 12:16 AM
  #12  
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After riding nice carbon it's hard to ride anything else. Just feels like what little power I am putting out is being sapped by inefficiencies in the frame design/materials. I still have a 90s Ti bike that makes it off the rack occasionally, but if I'm honest I just enjoy looking at it and riding my carbon bikes. A good aluminum frame feels nice, too, almost like carbon. I've ridden some entry level steel (Reynolds 520, 631) but have been unimpressed. Maybe I will pick up a 853 to try, but my better half may object to me procuring yet another bike I don't need.
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Old 07-19-22, 01:53 AM
  #13  
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My first road bike was an aluminum for a year, then moved to a 86 Nishiki Tri-a and got a Centurion ProTour15 (steel) for commute.
Using wider tires for commute is great and super comfy, but somehow the ProTour15 fells a bit heavier (have fenders + rear rack).
Last year I got a TI bike, Litespeed Firenze with carbon forks. Really light but something was not there. Flex? And max tire was a 25c.
This year took the Nishiki to a bike shop to have the rear brake bridge moved some 5 mm up to be able to fit a wider comfy tire on it and added all the bosses for fenders and racks.
Got the paint stripped and powder coated. Now I can fit a 700x32c on it
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Old 07-19-22, 03:20 AM
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Originally Posted by m.c. View Post
People think I'm crazy but I can feel a difference on steel bikes. I feel like the aluminum bikes have high frequency vibrations that steel doesn't pass along. I have noticed it in my car too, going from the steel version to the newer all aluminum version of the car.

I have an aluminum bike on its way but with a steel fork. I'm curious to see how it feels. Its a touring frame so I'm hoping for more relaxed position and wider tires. I think it should be comfortable.

You should ride any bike you want to.
Steel transmits high-frequency vibrations much more efficiently than aluminum. Tap a pencil against an steel frame and you get a high-pitched ringing sound; tap an aluminum frame and you get a thud. Church bells are steel rather than aluminum for the same reason.
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Old 07-19-22, 04:20 AM
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I don't know why you would expect anyone else to tell you what you SHOULD ride. I have 6 bikes and they have either steel, CF or AL frames. I enjoy each for what it is. FWIW I'm 76 and weigh 190 lbs. I'm still fairly strong but,like you, not a good climber. But when I climb I can certainly tell the difference between my 17 b 11 oz steel Guru Sidero and my CF 15 lb Guru Photon.

Last edited by bruce19; 07-19-22 at 04:24 AM.
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Old 07-19-22, 05:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
Steel transmits high-frequency vibrations much more efficiently than aluminum. Tap a pencil against an steel frame and you get a high-pitched ringing sound; tap an aluminum frame and you get a thud. Church bells are steel rather than aluminum for the same reason.
Then there's just something about aluminum I don't like.
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Old 07-19-22, 05:37 AM
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Ride what you want...I don't care
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Old 07-19-22, 05:53 AM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
Steel transmits high-frequency vibrations much more efficiently than aluminum. Tap a pencil against an steel frame and you get a high-pitched ringing sound; tap an aluminum frame and you get a thud. Church bells are
typically bronze.
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Old 07-19-22, 05:55 AM
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Originally Posted by cyclintom View Post
...on the terrible roads around here. So now I will be turning back to steel bikes.
One word for you: Kirk Terraplane.

Last edited by tcs; 07-19-22 at 11:02 AM.
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Old 07-19-22, 06:55 AM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by m.c. View Post
People think I'm crazy but I can feel a difference on steel bikes. I feel like the aluminum bikes have high frequency vibrations that steel doesn't pass along.
Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
Church bells are steel rather than aluminum for the same reason.
I think most high-quality bells are actually bronze, or even brass.

But I do agree with your basic premise--the prevailing wisdom always has been that aluminum dampens road vibration.
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Old 07-19-22, 07:21 AM
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Originally Posted by m.c. View Post
People think I'm crazy but I can feel a difference on steel bikes. I feel like the aluminum bikes have high frequency vibrations that steel doesn't pass along. I have noticed it in my car too, going from the steel version to the newer all aluminum version of the car.

I have an aluminum bike on its way but with a steel fork. I'm curious to see how it feels. Its a touring frame so I'm hoping for more relaxed position and wider tires. I think it should be comfortable.

You should ride any bike you want to.
unless they built an Al replica of your previously steel car, it’s likely that many other design and material factors are at work here. Anyway, no car is “all-aluminum” or “all-steel” - they’re a complex mix of metals, alloys, plastics, glass and rubber, all of which contribute to the feel. To say “I can feel the aluminum at work here” is delusional
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Old 07-19-22, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Litespud View Post
unless they built an Al replica of your previously steel car, it’s likely that many other design and material factors are at work here. Anyway, no car is “all-aluminum” or “all-steel” - they’re a complex mix of metals, alloys, plastics, glass and rubber, all of which contribute to the feel. To say “I can feel the aluminum at work here” is delusional
I don't know what the car is technically made from. The Mercedes dealer told me its all aluminum. It doesn't feel as isolated as the old ones. On certain roads it feels "buzzy" for lack of a better word, sort of the feeling the aluminum bikes have, to me. My mechanic said the steel cars absorb harshness from the road and the new cars don't. Why are you putting words in quotes that I did not say?
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Old 07-19-22, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by m.c. View Post
I don't know what the car is technically made from. The Mercedes dealer told me its all aluminum.
Consider the source. He probably would have told you it was made from pure tungsten or molybdenum or carved from mammoth tusks if he thought it might earn him a sale.
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Old 07-19-22, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by m.c. View Post
Why are you putting words in quotes that I did not say?
Quote marks don't automatically indicate that he was quoting you.
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Old 07-19-22, 08:01 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by m.c. View Post
I feel like the aluminum bikes have high frequency vibrations that steel doesn't pass along.
Look, everyone! We have found the extremely rare "golden butt" who can tell the difference between steel vibration and aluminum vibration!

Reality: Essentially all of the compliance comes from tires, saddles, and bar tape. In comparison to these bits, all frames are rigid.
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