Aluminium Frames

Questions about purchasing bicycles and parts

Aluminium Frames

Postby senator52 » Mon Aug 06, 2007 9:22 pm

My dad recently had a heart attack (despite the fact he iwas in fantastic condition!?!? Resting heart rate in the 40's, 120/80 bp etc...) and as part of his recovery process/future heart attack prevention scheme the doctors told him he should be excercising everyday not just basketball two or three times a week. My uncle and I took the opportunity to "encourage" :wink: the purchase of a bike so he can join us on our rides. These sales have turned up a few interesting bikes and a purchase may not be on the immediate horizon but i have a query none the less.

In regards to alu frames how forgiving are they? Or are they very rough on the body, my dad isnt young - not old though either (47) and i was wondering whether a Guerciotti Hero, Ridley Compact, Trek 1400 or similar full alu frame would be a nice ride or whether a Giant OCR C2 might be a better way too go? All things considered my dad would just be cruising with a few friends and racing is not likely to happen.

(All of those bikes have been found at under $2k :) )
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by BNA » Mon Aug 06, 2007 9:25 pm

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Postby McPete » Mon Aug 06, 2007 9:25 pm

Depends on the roads you're riding, really, but there's a bit more "clatter" in the handlebars and seatpost on an aluminium bike as opposed to a steel bike, or a CF bike.
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Postby europa » Mon Aug 06, 2007 9:28 pm

An all aluminium frame is 'harsh', but we're really talking bottom end bikes there. A carbon fibre fork greatly reduces that harshness and you can get some good bikes with carbon forks for under $2.

Basically, if that's his price, I wouldn't worry too much about it. Try quite a few bikes and find one that he is comfortable on. Although ally bikes are still not as nice as some others, it's not really a problem these days, not like the original Cannondales and the like.

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Postby senator52 » Mon Aug 06, 2007 9:30 pm

Carbon forks on all, Deda alu tubing, Hig Welds, look like some nice alu frames but riding an old steelie myself dont really know what to expect of the coke cans :lol: and since the full carbon OCR C2 is in the same price range its an option to go full carbon.
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Postby heavymetal » Mon Aug 06, 2007 9:38 pm

I ride an aluminium frame bike with cromoly front forks. It's a touring bike, so the wider tyres tend to take some of the shock out of the ride. Having a suspension seat post also takes some of the shock out of the ride.

The frame is a lot more rigid than a steel frame, and even though my preference is for a steel frame, I like this frame.

I'm nearly to my mid 40s and went out for a bone shaking ride off road yesterday. (on a road equipped bike) and the frame is forgiving.

I would recommend extra padding up on the handle bars though.

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Postby sogood » Mon Aug 06, 2007 10:10 pm

I now have a full aluminium/CF fork bike as well as a full CF bike. There's definitely a difference in the shock absorption on the CF bike. But, the aluminium bike isn't going to kill you. As a matter of fact, it's a perfectly fine bike. At the end of the day, tyre pressure and wheel choice make equal if not more difference in this department. As others have already said, a gel pad underneath the bar tape can make wonders. Then there's the fit of the bike. Make sure your dad get a good fitter to size up the bike for him. A good fitter can ensure a comfortable position on the mount.
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Postby thomas_cho » Mon Aug 06, 2007 10:26 pm

I have a Giant OCR Comp. Just this weekend, I went for a back-to-back 25k rides on my Giant OCR, Colnago Master X Lite(Steel) and the Cervelo One (Alum).

I enjoyed the ride of the Giant the most.

This is hardly a scientific test of frame material. But with the Giant OCR you can fit 700X28C tyres (I inflate mine to 85psi), and the ride is very nice. Perfect for just cruising. Its still good enuf to cruise easy at 30km/h with minimal effort. If you want to roll faster, you can fit narrower tyres.

As mentioned, bike fit is the most important.

Touring bikes might be a good choice as well. They generally give a very comfortable riding position, and allow you to fit wider tyres as well.

Hope your dad is doing well ...
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Postby LuckyPierre » Mon Aug 06, 2007 11:01 pm

My Alchemy is aluminium (Columbus Zonal) with carbon forks (Columbus Tusk) and its a bit harsh at times. Different tyres have felt different (Vittoria EVO's were definitely nicer) as have different wheels (the original Mavic Open Pro rims / 105 hubs were smoother but significantly heavier). I've ridden a few carbon frames - yes, they are light and smooth, but I think that there's more to it than that. I'd take the girlie bike with her Ultegra groupset over an OCR with 105 - carbon or not.
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Postby mikesbytes » Mon Aug 06, 2007 11:45 pm

Some alloy bikes have harse rides and some are really comfortable, it depends on the ability of the frame designersz to utilise the characteristics of the material
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Postby sogood » Tue Aug 07, 2007 7:43 am

mikesbytes wrote:Some alloy bikes have harse rides and some are really comfortable, it depends on the ability of the frame designersz to utilise the characteristics of the material

Absolutely right. If you look at Cannondale's offering. Their SystemSIX is a hybrid CF/Alu and is used at the top professional level. While their CAAD series frames have a reputation for being one of the best Alu frames around.
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Postby Bluerider » Tue Aug 07, 2007 9:14 am

senator52 firstly sorry to hear Dad suffered a heart attack and thankfully he's on the road to recovery.
47 is not old young man :lol: I'm the same vintage and feel 10yrs younger though that's after I have recovered from playing my O35's game
on weekend's :D
I recently decided road riding was my next phase to keep fit and am loving it !
After testing a few bikes back to back (alloy frames carbon forks, full carbon) I came off the carbon bike convinced this is what suits me, smoothness importantly.
Bike fit is the key as others have mentioned, if he's into the casual rides as you say the OCR's or similar sounds like the go.

Anyway all the best to him and look forward to see which bike he ends up with.
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Postby zapata » Tue Aug 07, 2007 10:05 am

the trek pilot range is similar to the giant ocr.......worth looking at under $2000.
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