ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Politics and Social Issues»
  • Transportation

Aluminum Bicycle Frames

Updated on January 25, 2018

Forever a fan of bicycle riding, it was precisely my experience riding a variety of different types of bikes that really led me to do some research into the pros and cons of each specific type of bicycle frame. From titanium to carbon fibre, to steel and aluminum, rest assured that most bike shops will offer a new entrant or customer access to an assortment of each different type of bicycle frame material. Likewise, any rider from veteran bicycle riding enthusiasts, to those who only occasionally ride, may find that they end up preferring one specific type of bicycle frame material over another.

Personally, I consider myself to fall somewhere right in the middle of "bicycle riding enthusiast" and an "occasional rider".

This article is all about aluminum bike frames, their rival bike material alternatives, and the advantages and disadvantages of choosing to use an aluminum bike frame over those competitors.

Aluminum bicycle frames have been a popular choice of material for the last few decades, and it remains one of the lightest and strongest options for anyone looking for a road bike or otherwise. There are a ton of advantages to this tough and plentiful metal, and if you're an avid cyclist researching frame materials, this is one to think about for sure.

Aluminum is an ecologically and economically friendly material to work with, and it's found in abundance all over the world. With many options now available when choosing a bike, what sets an aluminum bike frame apart from some of its competitors?

Bicycle Frame Materials: Aluminum Bike Frame Alternatives

Ok, so other than aluminum bicycle frames, what's out there? In today's market, you can step into most bike shops and be presented with a variety of frame material options. Steel is the old standby, and most bikes still sport steel frames. Carbon fiber is getting more popular as it becomes cheaper, so you'll see that more often. Titanium is an extremely durable material, but the metal is rare and difficult to weld, so you'll see a higher price. Finally, of course, you should find an abundance of aluminum bicycle frame options.

Steel is actually surprisingly light and durable. Most steel frames these days consist of metal less than a millimeter thick. Of course in less expensive bikes you're bound to find cheaper, heavier, and less durable steel.

Carbon fiber is light and ten times stronger than steel. It can be molded into almost any shape. However it's brittle and tends to splinter when broken, and it can be expensive.

Titanium is light and almost indestructible, but if you should get a crack in it, be prepared for an expensive welding job. Of course welding an aluminum bicycle frame isn't cheap either.

Aluminum Pros: Advantages of Aluminum Bicycle Frames

Aluminum bicycle frames are in truth not entirely aluminum. Obviously the metal you find in soda cans is soft and pliable. Aluminum bike frames are actually created with alloy materials, with a popular choice being 6061 alloy.

Aluminum alloy bike frames possess a much better strength-to-weight ratio than steel, meaning that it is light yet durable. Breakthroughs in welding technology and alloy quality have allowed aluminum frames to become extremely light and strong in recent years.

Aluminum bike frames tend to be gorgeous and streamlined, because their optimal strength is achieved with larger tubing and aerodynamic shape. Also, aluminum will shine very readily, and you don't have to paint an aluminum bicycle frame: they oxidize, but they do not rust.

Aluminum Cons: Reasons You Might Avoid An Aluminum Bicycle Frame

Like all bicycle materials, aluminum has some trade-offs in a bicycle frame. First off, it is not as strong as steel. The metal is more pliable, even in alloy form. This is counteracted by using aerodynamic frame construction and over-sized tubing, and probably isn't a detail you'll ever notice.

Aluminum bicycle frames will be more brittle than steel, and technically speaking will transmit more vibrations than a comparable steel frame. You probably won't notice the difference that much, but it's worth considering.

An aluminum bicycle frame is more difficult to repair than a steel one. Aluminum welding is trickier than steel, and requires a TIG welding apparatus. Expect any repairs to be a little costlier.

Aluminum is also marginally more expensive than steel, though not as drastically as a carbon fibre or titanium alternative.

Regardless of your preferred bicycle frame material, few experiences on earth beat a wonderful bike ride as one gracefully cuts through the air in pursuit of a destination, or no destination at all.

Finding Your Way Here.

How did you find this HubPages' Hub article?

See results

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Onlinestrategies profile image

      Onlinestrategies 5 years ago

      Bike frames should be weight less as much as possible and in that respect Aluminium bike frames is a great choice. Above all it's light weight and rust free that provides you a superior bike riding experience for years.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Interesting information on bike frames. I didn't know there were so many choices. Seems as if he aluminum has better strength and practicality overall.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is used to quickly and efficiently deliver files such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisements has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)