Skip Nav
Shopping Guide
Yo, Amazon Prime Has Insanely Cheap Workout Clothes (and They're Actually Really Cute)
Summer
The 1 Thing I Do to Feel Confident in a Swimsuit (and It Doesn't Involve Weight Loss)
FitFinder
We've Found Your Next Workout

Biking 101: Frames Materials Compared

Once upon a time, all bike frames were made out of steel. Consequently, all the newer materials used for constructing frames of compared to grand daddy steel. The newer materials are lighter than steel, but are not as strong.

To adjust for the differences in material, the tubes that make the frame are larger, which changes the geometry of the bike. The materials feel differently to different folks, depending on what they want out of bike — speed versus comfort. If you're shopping for a road bike, it is important to ride a bunch of bikes from different manufacturers and different frames. Consider it research. As Renée Gaumond of Left Coast Cyclery puts it "There is a bike out there for everyone. You got to get out there and ride different bikes and see what feels right. Trust your instincts. "

To see a thumbnail comparison of the materials, just

.

Frame materiall Pros Cons
Aluminum Lighter than steel frames 1/3
Inexpensive
Doesn't rust
Large tube size
Can feel harsh on long rides
Makes for a bumpier ride
Steel Rigid decreasing energy wasted with bike flexing
Long lasting
Some say they can't feel the road
when riding
Heavy
Can rust
Harder to find these days
Carbon Fiber Light weight
Makes for a smoother ride
Can be manipulated into exotic shapes
Can break easily
More expensive than aluminum
Titanium Lighter than steel by 1/2
Strong as steel
Super expensive
More flexible than steel
Can be difficult to repair

What do you ride?

Source

Around The Web
Join The Conversation
thousandfold thousandfold 7 years
Steel is real. I have two steel Bianchi frames (Castro Valley & Campione d'Italia). Neither are particularly heavy, and I definitely appreciate their shock absorption when commuting on bumpy San Francisco streets!
sparklestar sparklestar 7 years
I have a beachcruiser. No idea what kind of frame it is. It's heavy ?!
SillyGirl SillyGirl 7 years
1. Steel Trek Fixed Conversion 2. Carbon Trek Madone 4.7 WSD 3. Aluminum Trek Mountain Bike Hardtail Three very different bikes for three very different styles of riding.
SillyGirl SillyGirl 7 years
1. Steel Trek Fixed Conversion 2. Carbon Trek Madone 4.7 WSD3. Aluminum Trek Mountain Bike HardtailThree very different bikes for three very different styles of riding.
sassymolassy sassymolassy 7 years
I ride the Trek Madone 4.5 and love it! Just bought it last week. It is full carbon with 105 front derailer and ultegra back derailer. And it's made for women so being petite (5'3"), it fits me way better than some of the other brands of women's bikes I tried.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 7 years
Steel.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 7 years
Steel.
Who Created Flywheel?
Hannah Bronfman IMAX Cycling Workout | Video
Alessandra Ambrosio's Best Workout Outfits
How to Work Your Butt in Cycling Class
Bike on Water | Video
Post Baby Workout
How to Increase Your Endurance
Ikea Announces New Sladda Bicycle
Everybody Dance Nonprofit Dance Studio
Jiu-Jitsu Student Akira Bua | Video
From Our Partners
Latest Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds