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Steel Carbon, Aluminum and Titanium

DonDaddyDDonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
edited September 2008 in Road beginners
Am I right in saying:

That Steel offers a smooth ride, but is heavier than aluminum, prone to rusting and general corrosion. It also isn't as stiff as aluminum and also doesn't transfer energy as well (which is mostly why it offers a smooth ride) as aluminum making the frames slower.

Carbon fibre is lighter than aluminum but not as stiff, yet doesn't vibrate as much. It still manages to transfer energy/power from the rider to the pedals and wheels. (Not sure about that either, personally I think its lightness compensates for its lack of energy transference but have been told otherwise).

Aluminum is relatively cheap to manufacture, doesn't rust but can corrode, lighter than steel not as light as carbon can be, but the stiffest of the lot. It offers the most harsh ride of all the bike materials and subsequently has the best energy transfer of the above materials. About its stiffness..... *Geek* I don't understand on a molecular level because alloy is a combination of metals/materials joined, whereas steel is constant throughout surely making that stiffer *Geek*

What are the benefits of titanium? What I know of the metal; light, stiff and doesn't rust very hard to corrode. It should be the be all and all of all bike materials. But hard to work with as a metal and therefore expensive.
Food Chain number = 4

A true scalp is not only overtaking someone but leaving them stopped at a set of lights. As you, who have clearly beaten the lights, pummels nothing but the open air ahead. ~ 'DondaddyD'. Player of the Unspoken Game

Posts

  • Pretty much correct but you were right to question the molecular physics of it, because steel is indeed stiffer than aluminium.

    http://www.whycycle.co.uk/bike_jargon_b ... materials/
  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    Is it that steel can be made with thinner tubes and maintain the same strength (a non physicist here!) hence more compliant tubes?
  • biffopristinusbiffopristinus Posts: 13
    edited September 2008
    Sheldon Brown has written an article on this subject which is worth reading if you haven't done so already. It's here:

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/frame-materials.html

    Cheers
  • DonDaddyDDonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    Sheldon Brown has written an artical on this subject which is worth reading if you haven't done so already. It's here:

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/frame-materials.html

    Cheers

    I'll have to read the link in detail but it looks like the 'Sheldon' is debating how the material is formed into a bike i.e. less steel (tube thickness) used to make it as light as aluminium more titanium to make it as stiff/strong as steel etc (which, *geek* is the rule if you were making a titanium sword as strong as steel *geek*).

    I'm looking at from the perspective of; If you had four bike frames, one titanium, steel, carbon fibre and aluminum each the with the same geometry, tube thickness, diameter, circumference etc, what would the features of each frame be?

    But thank you for the post and link very very interesting and addresses a lot of my questions.
    Food Chain number = 4

    A true scalp is not only overtaking someone but leaving them stopped at a set of lights. As you, who have clearly beaten the lights, pummels nothing but the open air ahead. ~ 'DondaddyD'. Player of the Unspoken Game
  • I believe he does deal with the question you raise but I agree it does need more than just a quick read.
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