frame materials assistance! please?
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  1. #1
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    frame materials assistance! please?

    alright...so here's the deal...

    i'm saving up for a new frame. i already have roadbike and tri/tt bike (both carbon). i want this new frame to be my all purpose bike...i want it to commute, do a little road biking, tour, be utilitarian, and even cyclocross. heck...if i want, i even want to clip aerobars to it and take it to a triathlon or duathlon! my chameleon bike!!!

    but what material? like my other two bikes, is carbon the way to go? is it the best mix of comfort, weight, and durability? no worry about corrosion...but should i worry about impact resistance as it will be my daily bike and my cyclocross bike?

    or is aluminum the way to go? light...minimal corrosion resistance. but is it comfortable enough? modern folklore would suggest it's got a harsh ride. also...i want a light bike...is ultralight aluminum going to fold like an accordian in a crash? is it's limited fatigue endurance an concern since it will be a daily bike and cyclocross bike? i was reading usa cyclings cyclocross site...and they have a section on cx equipment...they said aluminum frames last 1-2 seasons. i know that's for dedicated racers...but still disturbing.

    is steel the way to go? again...i want light...will a ultra light steel frame crumple in a crash? how big is corrosion a concern?

    i don't even know what to think about titanium, or scandium or other odd materials i'm not even remotely familiar with...

    any advice?

    thanks!!!!!!!!!

  2. #2
    Lemur-ing
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    You already are an experienced cyclist from what I gather, with 2 specific bikes in your stable.

    If you want cyclocross, then get a cross bike perhaps.

    Come on dude, go try out the bikes, see which fits and feels best (based on whatever bike you wanna get, be it commuter or so) and get what you like and can afford.

    As for which material, if you want light, determine how light is light. A simple search is good enough to come up with good results on frame materials as it's been endlessly discussed before.
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  3. #3
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by uzziefly
    You already are an experienced cyclist from what I gather, with 2 specific bikes in your stable.

    If you want cyclocross, then get a cross bike perhaps.

    Come on dude, go try out the bikes, see which fits and feels best (based on whatever bike you wanna get, be it commuter or so) and get what you like and can afford.

    As for which material, if you want light, determine how light is light. A simple search is good enough to come up with good results on frame materials as it's been endlessly discussed before.
    difficult to go and try the bikes...most of the bikes i'm interested in are custom jobs or simply are not in stock at my LBS'. a couple of the bikes i'm interested in will be stocked by a couple LBS's soon...so i'll try those, but it still leaves a VERY LARGE gap in the bikes i'm able to experience before buying.

    how light is light? i'm realistic...considering all that i'm demanding from this bike, i doubt i'll find a 1000 gram or lower frame. 1500 grams, give or take a little, is fine. of course, lighter is better!

    i've only owned carbon frames...and i've only ridden them on smooth asphalt. lightweight carbon, lightweight aluminum, lightweight steel...which will be most suited for the potentially rough conditions of cyclocross? the bike i get will probably a cyclocross bike...as it's probably the only type of frame that can offer enough versatility. however...if a roadbike has enough wheel clearance, i'll get that too!

  5. #5
    Large Suburban Male
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    Kill all birds with one stone - Get a bike with a Ti frame, Carbon rear end, suspension fork, aluminum bars, and a steel seatpost.

    The questions you're asking is like asking a room full of fishermen what the best bait is. You'll get a ton of responses, all of which will be valid, but will also be the opinion of the individual responder.
    “The 'Net is a waste of time, and that's exactly what's right about it.”
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  6. #6
    Lemur-ing
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    Quote Originally Posted by celerystalksme
    difficult to go and try the bikes...most of the bikes i'm interested in are custom jobs or simply are not in stock at my LBS'. a couple of the bikes i'm interested in will be stocked by a couple LBS's soon...so i'll try those, but it still leaves a VERY LARGE gap in the bikes i'm able to experience before buying.

    how light is light? i'm realistic...considering all that i'm demanding from this bike, i doubt i'll find a 1000 gram or lower frame. 1500 grams, give or take a little, is fine. of course, lighter is better!

    i've only owned carbon frames...and i've only ridden them on smooth asphalt. lightweight carbon, lightweight aluminum, lightweight steel...which will be most suited for the potentially rough conditions of cyclocross? the bike i get will probably a cyclocross bike...as it's probably the only type of frame that can offer enough versatility. however...if a roadbike has enough wheel clearance, i'll get that too!
    Murbike has a point with his response.

    What's the point of getting another road bike if you want it for cross, especially since you already have a road machine right now?

    There's no one material that's best suited to a condition. A Ti/Al/Steel or carbon bike is just as well suited for road riding and are just as wonderful, or bad, depending on how you wanna see it.

    1000gram frames exist but they aren't cheap. Several high end frames (carbon) are in that weight range. (Scott, Trek and such)

    You want a custom bike? Are you looking at Strong/Moots/Parlee etc?

    How light is light? Only you can determine it. FWIW, my Madone ain't the lightest at around 16lbs or so but I'm more than happy with it. Sure, I could use lighter wheels etc, but I don't wanna, despite it being amongst the lightest frames Trek made before the new Madones were built.
    Quote Originally Posted by tconrady
    If I can get some more tomorrow.... I thought it'd grow on me but I'm not feelin' it....wait..
    Allez United!

    Glory, Glory Man United, and the Reds go marching on!

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by murbike
    The questions you're asking is like asking a room full of fishermen what the best bait is.
    Natalie Portman is the best bait.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by uzziefly
    Murbike has a point with his response.

    What's the point of getting another road bike if you want it for cross, especially since you already have a road machine right now?

    There's no one material that's best suited to a condition. A Ti/Al/Steel or carbon bike is just as well suited for road riding and are just as wonderful, or bad, depending on how you wanna see it.

    1000gram frames exist but they aren't cheap. Several high end frames (carbon) are in that weight range. (Scott, Trek and such)

    You want a custom bike? Are you looking at Strong/Moots/Parlee etc?

    How light is light? Only you can determine it. FWIW, my Madone ain't the lightest at around 16lbs or so but I'm more than happy with it. Sure, I could use lighter wheels etc, but I don't wanna, despite it being amongst the lightest frames Trek made before the new Madones were built.
    which custom? i was looking at seven...if i determine steel or titanium is the material for me, that's probably the way i'll go. i looked at parlee...but i don't think i can easily fit cyclcross tires on that sucker. i'm not sure i'd get a parlee anyway...it just doesn't do it for me aesthetically. if went full carbon...i'd probably go ridley or colnago or pinarello or something...

    for value...i'm considering the pinarello cross alloy. aluminum 7005 t6 triple butted...carbon fork and rear stay (i think just the seat stay). pinarello CLAIMS the fraim is 1050 grams...not sure i believe that, bit i'm sure it's light enough...

  9. #9
    Burning Fists of Love
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    to be clear

    In this day and time and engineering available, MATERIALS DO NOT MATTER.

    Fit, function,design and your wheels. Maybe in that order. Maybe.

    A poorly deigned frame, or an ill fitted frame will NOT be the frame for anybody regardless of the material.

    IMO.

    I am still amazed by the material world...........
    This old anvil has cracked alot of hammers

  10. #10
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    To help narrow it down, I'd stick to something that's laterally stiff yet vertically compliant. Try n' stick to brands that are either italian, dutch, french, american belgian or asian.
    While your looking for recommendations here at rbr, ask about ksyriums, and whether you should get really light wheels, or something abit more aero.
    Seriously though. Get what you want. I'm sure you already know.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ttug
    In this day and time and engineering available, MATERIALS DO NOT MATTER.

    Fit, function,design and your wheels. Maybe in that order. Maybe.

    A poorly deigned frame, or an ill fitted frame will NOT be the frame for anybody regardless of the material.

    IMO.

    I am still amazed by the material world...........
    for the most part this is true. However a few things do set them apart. Steel can be cold set. Alum. still has the shortest fatigue life. Carbon is dificult to find damage. (but is repairable for $$) Steel can rust if left to the elements (proper storage negates most of this)

    1. Buy the bike that fits best.
    2. Look for quality welds (when applicable)
    3. Go enjoy.

  12. #12

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    Titanium

    I've ridden older steel, newer steel Colnago, Carbon Crumpton, Aluminum Cannondale, and Seven Ti and Serotta Ti. For me Ti is a noticeably better/smoother ride. Be sure to ride a Ti bike before you buy.

  13. #13
    Windrider (Stubborn)
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    Jack of all trades, master of none.

    If you want a commuter, you want, stability (Slightly longer wheelbase, and stable steering), ability to put on wider tires & Possibly fenders (Therefor longer reach brakes and plenty of clearance)...You are also going to want bulletproof components, and tires......not the lightest.

    A little touring......your commuter would work.

    A little offroading (fire trails)......your commuter would work

    Cyclecross..........It would be a reach......you could do it with the right wheels...but it wouldn't be optimal.

    For this type of bike, weight doesn't really matter. Not saying crazy heavy, but anything under 20 lbs would be very workable. This means any material is doable.

    I have a steel frame/fork that can handle up to 32 tires, + fenders, Paul racer brakes, Phil wood BB & wheels built up with Phil Hubs, OP rims and 32 3X & It weighs right around 20 lbs....It's a single speed, but I could have just as easily had it designed and built with gears. Ti, Aluminum & Carbon would build up slightly lighter give or take.

    A good Ti bike speced this way would be pretty damn bulletproof.

    As to the priority of attributes of a bike, I would rate them in the following order:

    1.) Fit To you
    2.) Design for function
    3.) Material

    Have fun

    Len




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    "Evil....is the complete lack of Empathy!"

    ""We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit. " Aristotle

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  14. #14
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    i think i want titanium instead of steel...

    so...who makes titanium frames? litespeed, merlin, seven, dean...anyone else?

  15. #15

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    Who builds Ti?

    In addition to the ones you listed:
    Serotta
    Kish
    Moots
    Ericksen Cycles
    Lynskey
    & probably others I've missed

    I have a Serotta road bike and am considering a Kish for the bike described by Len J in the post above.

  16. #16
    Windrider (Stubborn)
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    If I were getting TI.....

    I'd get in touch with Tom Kellogg at Spectrum Cycles. http://www.spectrum-cycles.com/

    Tom is a genius at bike design and fitting and one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet. He also does great Paint. He works with Merlin who actually builds the bikes he designs. he QC's them & paints them.

    If you can make it to the Barn outside Allentown PA, it's worth the trip.

    Len


    PS. All the others listed will build you a great frame.



    "Evil....is the complete lack of Empathy!"

    ""We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit. " Aristotle

    No one is as bad as the worst thing they have done & no one is as good as the best thing they have done.........think of that when you feel like you understand someone.

  17. #17
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by abqhudson
    In addition to the ones you listed:
    Serotta
    Kish
    Moots
    Ericksen Cycles
    Lynskey
    & probably others I've missed

    I have a Serotta road bike and am considering a Kish for the bike described by Len J in the post above.

    that seems like a pretty complete ti list which should get you started... kellog as well... is another great builder.. hoenstly with a roster like that... you really cant go wrong in TI frame land...

    ima huge fan of the ERIKESN/MOOTS stuff... but thats just me.... go into the moots sub-forum and ask those guys about their bikes.. ull ge a ton of replies
    LOOK / CERVELO / BRIDGESTONE / TREK / BMC / COLNAGO

  18. #18

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    Oops.

    I sure didn't mean to slight Tom Kellog. My bad!

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