One of the most stimulating outdoor activities is cycling, and that is why people engage in it for sports, fun and exercise. If you are a cycler or are thinking about becoming one, you already know your bike is very important. The bike you choose to ride with is the most critical decision you have to make as a cycler, and you should have enough information before picking out your new wheels. One factor you would have to consider when picking out your bike is the bike frames. The bike frames are important because they determine your ultimate riding experience. In this article, we want to consider two types of bike frames; aluminium and steel bikes. Enjoy!
Aluminium bikes have frames made from aluminium. This frame has a lot of enjoyable features compared to other bike frames. However, like any other equipment, it also has some drawbacks. We have put together the pros and cons of aluminium steel bikes to show you what you should look out for when you go bike shopping.
- Lightweight structure
Aluminium is a lightweight material, and this reflects on aluminium bikes. Aluminium bikes are easy to manoeuvre, and they are suitable for fast riding. If you are riding on a flat landscape, then an aluminium bike will allow you to go long distances with minimal effort.
- Built for speed
The efficient and light design of aluminium bikes makes them suitable for speed. The manufacturers of aluminium bikes design the frame with aerodynamic shapes that allows for more speed. Aluminium bikes are also rigid, and this allows you to use less energy when flexing your frames.
- Resistant to rust
If you think about your aluminium bike’s durability, you can worry about anything apart from rust. Aluminium is naturally resistant to rust because it forms aluminium oxide. Aluminium oxide protects your bike from moisture, and this makes it resistant to corrosion.
When you step into your bike shop, you are likely to see a lot of aluminium bikes. This is because aluminium bikes are easy to mass-produce, and this makes them affordable.
- Difficult to repair
If you happen to damage your aluminium bike, you might have to replace it with a new one. Aluminium bikes are hard to fix, and you will not easily get a technician with the right skill set.
- Not built for comfort
When you are riding on an aluminium bike and bump into something, you will feel the full vibration. This bike does not have a shock absorber, and it is best used on flat terrains.
Steel bikes have frames made from steel. Before you decide to purchase bikes with steel frames, you should know what you will enjoy when using it and the drawbacks that are likely to surface. This section has put together the pros and cons of steel bike to help you make a good decision.
- Strong; suitable for rough terrains
If you will be riding on rough terrains or mountainsides, then a steel bike is the best choice. This bike is strong, and it does not get damaged easily. If it is about to get damaged, you would already know, and you can take precautions.
- Smooth ride
If you just started riding or constantly riding on rough terrains, you should get a bike designed to give you a smooth ride. Steel bikes are designed to absorb bumps so that shock vibrations don’t affect you.
- Durable and easy to repair
When it comes to durability, there is a bike frame as durable as steel bikes. Steel is a naturally hard material, and it is difficult for it to get damaged. Steel bikes are also very easy to repair. When/if your steel bike gets damaged, you can take it to your local welder, and they will make it good as new.
- Heavy structure
Steel is a heavy material, and this makes steel bikes quite heavy. If you are looking for a bike you can easily manoeuvre for speed, this bike is not the best option.
- Constant possibility of rust and corrosion
When steel is exposed to moisture and air, you cannot avoid rust and corrosion. This becomes evident in steel bikes. The best way to protect your bike is by rubbing it with metal alloys like chromium.
Differences Between Aluminum and Steel Bikes
Below are the notable differences between Aluminum and steel bikes.
Although steel weighs significantly more than aluminium, the weight mass between steel bikes and aluminium bikes is not that large. When producing aluminium bikes, more aluminium is used, and this gives the bike more weight. On average, steel bikes still weigh more than aluminium bikes.
If you handle your bike well, then you can use either of these bikes for a very long time. However, steel bikes are still more durable than aluminium bikes. Aluminium bikes have a fragile exterior, and they can easily get damaged by an external force. Steel bikes are more solid, and they are built to last longer.
- Strength; rough or smooth terrain
Steel bikes are suitable for rough terrains while aluminium bikes are suitable for flat terrains. Since steel bikes are built for strength and endurance, you can ride them on the mountainside and other harsh terrains. Aluminium bikes are better suited for flat and smooth roads.
- Speed; competition and races
If you are involved in a mountain riding competition, you should ride a steel bike. However, if you are riding on a straight road and need speed, then an aluminum bike will be the best choice.
When you want to buy any product, it is important to make sure that what you are buying fits your needs. In this article, we have considered aluminium and steel bikes. Both of these bikes are good, and they come with their respective advantages and drawbacks. If you are thinking of buying a bike, you should consider the terrain you would be riding your budget and other external factors that affect your riding. When you have sufficient information, you can easily pick out what is right for you. Cheers!