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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 11:23 pm 
Mr Darcy
Mr Darcy
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Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 8:36 pm
Posts: 5687
Location: Bicester
:D :D :D

This has been buzzing round my head for a while, and this quote from the 91 Orange catalogue captures it..

'Normally, aluminium frames offer comfort, but can feel dead when power is applied'

Back in the day, this was recognised as how Alu bikes ride. New skool thinking is that Alu bikes are hard and accelerate really quickly.

Whats that all about? :?

Has aluminium changed its properties over time?

Also, top line bikes used to be Alu, el crappo were steel.
Now, top line are steel, el crappo are Alu.


Please help.
Why :?

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2006 12:00 am 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 11:02 am
Posts: 912
Location: Wookey Hole
I'd never heard the claims from Orange about alu offering comfort. As far as I recall (90 'ish) alu frames were always pushed as being stiffer and therefore less comfortable.

People have been making bikes from steel since way back in the day. Alu bikes are a relatively recent thing. Although alu mtbs were certainly available in the 80s they didn't hit the big time until the early 90s. This explains the price differential - it was simply new technology. Everone was knocking up bikes out of steel so they were cheaper.

The mainstream seems to have adopted aluminium as it's mass market material of choice these days, ergo the bikes are cheaper due to economies of scale. A high end steel frame is pretty much a niche product these days, hence the price (although I'm sure halfords are still knocking out £50 pig iron specials).

At the end of the day is a Specialized M5 hardtail any 'better' or 'worse' than a Indy Fab Deluxe?

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2006 12:51 am 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2005 3:14 pm
Posts: 13358
Location: Warwick
yeah.....this is how I see it:

aluminium = hard ride & light

steel = absorbent and mediumish weight

ti = absorbent light and expensive

I think a lot of it is down to seatpost and rear tyre choice really. I always liked the idea of blindfolding someone and making them ride each type- then asking them what they though the bike was made of (if they havent fallen off cos they couldnt see)

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2006 2:19 pm 
Old School Grand Master

Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2005 11:18 am
Posts: 15781
Location: near cwmcarn
times are changing. my old (04) yeti arc scandium was surprisingly comfy & very un-alumium like.
fat chance ti & gt xizange are over .7lb difference in weight for the same size & theres a noticeable difference between the 2 in terms of flex & overal ride feel.

I've had this conversation countless time before (most recently with fluff). frame material is just 1 factor.

... but gumps right, the marketing ploys (& thats all they are.. marketing BS!) has deffo changed over time ;)

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