Steel vs Aluminum Bicycle Frame: Which One to Choose
The modern bike manufacturers have gotten some great choices in the bike frame materials. Carbon, Titanium, Steel, and Aluminum are some famous materials to prepare the bike frame.
In this article, we will compare 2 most popular frames currently used in the market: steel vs aluminum. After reading this, you are equipped with all essential information and able to choose the best option for your next bicycle.
Steel has been used for preparing bike frames for a long time. There were no other options before early 90s. The bike manufacturers used to prepare all the bikes by using the steel made frames. The strength and durability of steel had assured the bike manufacturers that their bikes will last for a very long time. The low cost maintenance and durability of steel had lured all the bike riders towards steel frame bikes.
Several decades have passed now and still steel is the most widely used material for manufacturing the bike frames. Of course, many bike manufacturers also use aluminum, but it cannot beat steel in durability and strength. The chances are wear and tear would be quite low, if you are using a steel frame bike. Your bike can survive in many crashes and you can repair it by investing a cost-effective amount.
The bikers choose steel bikes because they don’t want to buy a new bike for a long time. It is possible that your kids would also use the same steel frame bike, if you maintain it properly. The cost of steel frame bikes would also be low in comparison to aluminum bikes. It means, you can get a durable bike with the assurance of a long lasting service without spending a large amount.
Pros and Cons
- Steel is renowned for being flexible. It means you will enjoy a smooth ride without experiencing troubling road vibrations.
- Steel frames are tough and that’s why steel frames last longer than the aluminum frames.
- Its strength ensures you a long-lasting service and some heavy-weight riders can also enjoy a smooth ride on the steel-frame bikes.
- In case, the steel frame gets damaged in a crash, you can fix it with the help of a welder. In simple words, your steel frame bike will provide several smooth rides for many upcoming years.
- Steel is not a rust proof material and it can rust, if your bike’s paint gets removed.
- The steel frame bikes are heavier than other bikes.
- A steel alloy bike may cost an expensive price because only plain steel bikes are cost-effective.
Aluminum is the modern age’s most famous material for manufacturing bike frames. The aluminum frames are used in millions of bikes and those bikes are running smoothly on the roads. The choices in bike frame models increase, when you search for the aluminum bike frames. Aluminum is not as durable as steel, but the bike’s weight will be quite light. The rigidness of aluminum helps the manufacturers in building impressive, stiff, and responsive frames.
Most of the buyers prefer aluminum frame bikes because it also costs a cheaper amount in comparison steel alloy bikes. You get a large variety of designs in the bike frames. The aluminum frame bike would be light in weight and you can balance it more effectively than steel frame bikes. These bikes may not survive in a severe crash, but till then you can ride it comfortably. You may need to spend some extra bucks for repairing aluminum bikes because the manufacturers also use other materials like plastic to prepare other parts of the bike.
Pros and Cons
- Aluminum frame bikes are lighter than steel frame bikes and that’s why most of the kids’ bikes are prepared from aluminum.
- If the aluminum bike frame size is similar to steel frame size, the aluminum bike frame will weigh only five pounds less than steel frame bikes. It means, a heavy weight rider can also ride the aluminum frame bikes.
- Aluminum is a rust proof material, so you don’t need to worry about rust if bikes paint gets chipped.
- Aluminum bike frames are not as durable as steel frames.
- You will experience a huge vibration on the way due to stiffness of aluminum frames.
- It is quite difficult to repair an aluminum bike, if the frame gets damaged in a crash.
- Good for riding in low traffic areas to prevent accident and crash.
Both steel frames and aluminum frames are used widely to produce stylish and durable bikes. The steel frame bikes are more durable, but these bikes are heavier than the aluminum frame bikes. You get better designs in aluminum bikes and there is no chance of rust. You should consider the steel frame bikes if you want to use the bike for a long time. You should buy the aluminum frame bike, if you want a lightweight and stylish bike.