Swap alloy frame to steel?

essjaydee
essjaydee Posts: 917
edited January 2013 in Road buying advice
I now use my alloy framed Boardman for all year commuting, and winter rides. Am very tempted to go for this steel frame http://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/sp/road-track-bike/frames-frames-audax-winter-ribble-winter-audax-525-frame/ribbfraw240 and swap the gear over. Appreciate that I will probably have to buy a few bits and bobs as there are bound to be some parts that are not compatible, but happy to accept this.

I would like a steel or titanium bike for doing some longer Audax events, and I'm thinking this would make a good bike for this.

Could then look at making the alloy frame into a dedicated turbo training rig, as already have a spare wheelset and a few other bits.

So is it worth spending the cash on this?

Comments

  • What is wrong about doing audaxes on your bike?
    This is a cheap steel frame, probably heavy and unresponsive... Miles away from the 853 tubngs luxurious ride you have in mind.
    These frames do well on the cobbles, but on the road they feel a bit dead
    left the forum March 2023
  • crankycrank
    crankycrank Posts: 1,830
    Probably not what you want to hear but I think it's down to giving some steel and Ti bikes a test ride to see how you like them. Every tubing material has it's advantages and disadvantages and much of how a frame behaves depends on the build. .
  • essjaydee
    essjaydee Posts: 917
    Ugo..agree there is absolutely nothing wrong with present bike. I'm hoping to use the supersix on some longer events :)

    C..thanks for the advice.

    Looking around at the audax scene, and there appears to be an awful lot riding steel or titanium, and saw this at a reduced price, and the feminine side of me saw a bargain :lol: :oops:
  • essjaydee wrote:
    Ugo..agree there is absolutely nothing wrong with present bike. I'm hoping to use the supersix on some longer events :)

    C..thanks for the advice.

    Looking around at the audax scene, and there appears to be an awful lot riding steel or titanium, and saw this at a reduced price, and the feminine side of me saw a bargain :lol: :oops:

    Steel frames for audax are drilled to take mudguards and sometimes a rack. There is also the perception of a more forgiving frame, but that is due to design rather than material. Alloy frames are typically race frames, no drillings for mudguards etc... With a few exceptions, of course.
    left the forum March 2023
  • essjaydee
    essjaydee Posts: 917
    Thanks Ugo...I'll save me money and put it towards some nice wheels :wink:
  • essjaydee wrote:
    Thanks Ugo...I'll save me money and put it towards some nice wheels :wink:

    Indeed... in your area Pete Matthews is the man to go to... :wink:
    left the forum March 2023
  • Alibran
    Alibran Posts: 370
    I decided to go for a steel frame when my alu bike was written off, and I haven't regretted it for a moment.

    The old bike was a 2008 Trek 1.2, the frame I chose was a Surly Crosscheck (http://surlybikes.com/bikes/cross_check), for its ability to handle light off-road and touring as well as playing at being a dedicated road bike.

    The new bike weighs a few hundred grams more than the old one, which is down to the heavier frame, but I've found I'm faster on it. This might be because it smoothes out a lot more road buzz than the Trek ever did. I haven't noticed any differences in the handling in general, but I have noticed that the Surly doesn't get blown about as much in the wind as the Trek did.
  • passout
    passout Posts: 4,425
    The most uncomfortable bike I've ridden was steel (albeit very cheap hi ten steel), I've also ridden jarring alu bikes and extremely comfortable alu bikes. Frame material isn't everything, although there is no escaping that steel tends to be heavier. One important thing for me, is can I fit full guards and 25mm or even 28mm tyres? This has a big impact on comfort. My present (winter) bike is Genesis Aether and offers this, its also aluminium (so fairly light), cheaper and more comfortable. I don't know about boardmans, I thought some of them had pretty decent clearances, so could take bigger tyres than 23mm - if so, just do that. It will be a beetter bike I reckon. In short, no.
    'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.
  • passout
    passout Posts: 4,425
    Alibran wrote:
    I decided to go for a steel frame when my alu bike was written off, and I haven't regretted it for a moment.

    The old bike was a 2008 Trek 1.2, the frame I chose was a Surly Crosscheck (http://surlybikes.com/bikes/cross_check), for its ability to handle light off-road and touring as well as playing at being a dedicated road bike.

    The new bike weighs a few hundred grams more than the old one, which is down to the heavier frame, but I've found I'm faster on it. This might be because it smoothes out a lot more road buzz than the Trek ever did. I haven't noticed any differences in the handling in general, but I have noticed that the Surly doesn't get blown about as much in the wind as the Trek did.

    I had a Trek 1000 and most admit it really could beat you up. Yet my alu Genesis Aether (see above) & alu Tricross are both very comfortable. I still stick to my tyre point though....
    'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.
  • cycleclinic
    cycleclinic Posts: 6,865
    What make a bike comfortable is rarely the tubing by itself. Frame geometry and component choice have an important effect. There is one alloy frame marketed as a audax bike and that is the Tifosi CK7. It is an alloy frame with full length mudguards and rear rack mounts. Not many frame like that. It was revied on bike radar if you are curious.

    I have steel framed bike made from a cheap tube set (not renoylds, not to sure what it is) but it feels fine on the road. However how a bike feels is down to more than the frame, it geometry and the kit it is built with play a very important role too. Your Surly probably get blown around less than your old trek as the wheel base might be longer and or the forks might have more rake. Both of these would improve stability.
    http://www.thecycleclinic.co.uk -wheel building and other stuff.
  • essjaydee
    essjaydee Posts: 917
    I've got 25's fitted with full guards at present. Hadn't thought of going to 28mm, but may have a look. The bike is nice and have done a 100 miler with no comfort issues. It does feel more stable than....my other bike is the Supersix which I've not had very long and maximum so far is 65 miles. This felt comfortable enough too, but it feels a lot lighter in it's handling, more responsive and flightier, if that makes sense. I have 25's on this also, but can't fit any kind of guards at all.
    So on the day of an event, if the weather was mainly damp or wet I'd go for the Boardman.
  • I don't know how much of it is design and how much is material, but if I was seriously getting into audaxing I'd be saving up for a Condor Fratello. I used to have one which was a touch too large for me, but it was incredibly comfortable all the same.
  • essjaydee
    essjaydee Posts: 917
    Thanks Jonny_Trousers :)

    Looks very nice does that 8)
  • I now have a Genesis Equilibrium (which would maybe suit you too) and I do love it, but for pure comfort the Fratello wins hands down.
  • Alibran
    Alibran Posts: 370
    I did have 25mm tyres on my Surly, but I swapped them for 32mm a couple of months ago because I'd been doing a lot of MTBing and got used to the comfort of a wider, softer tyre. Again, it doesn't seem to have affected my average speeds. The frame can take up to 40mm with guards, and I'll probably be using all the capacity when I take it touring.

    From what I can remember, the geometry of the Surly is pretty similar to my old Trek, which is why I chose it. The fork definitely has some rake to it, which will also increase the wheelbase a bit. The other difference that improves stability in crosswinds, I think, is the weight of the fork - 1kg before I cut the steerer down, compared to the Trek's part-carbon fork (carbon with alu steerer, maybe?)

    I looked at the Condor Fratello, and came very close to ordering one before I bought the Surly. What swung it for me was Condor's insistence that the Fratello was primarily a road bike and only suited to "light" touring, while the Surly can handle heavier loads and harsher off-road conditions. I agree the Fratello is very pretty, though. In an ideal world, I'd have both!