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The definitive guide of bicycle pictures; What material is better?

The definitive guide of bicycle pictures; What material is better?

Steel, aluminum, carbon fiber and titanium. These are the most common materials with which bicycle frames are made, both for road and mountain or counterreloj. The most common is that they are aluminum or carbon. Or of a combination of both materials. There are also alloys that include chrome, vanadium and there are even paintings made of basalt fiber, which is a volcanic rock. But ... which is better? It commonly tends to think that, between a bicycle with aluminum frame and another with carbon box, it is always preferable to choose the second. However, it does not have to be so. Each material has its own peculiarities and offers a series of characteristics other than others. Therefore, before letting yourself be seduced by aluminum, carbon, titanium or any other raw material that is used for the manufacture of paintings, there are a number of factors that you should consider:
  • The type of use you are going to give to the bicycle: What is the use of spending € 3,000 on a titanium bicycle if you are going to make a couple of exits per month for flat sections and no more than 50 kilometers? A bicycle is not the same to compete in races, where the stiffness and lightness of the painting can be the difference between making a few more or a few seconds less in the chrono, than to plan long routes through sinuous and irregular sections that require greater flexibility and durability of the components.
  • The weight: Many cyclists prefer a carbon bicycle to an aluminum because the box of the first weighs 300 grams less (in some models it is even lower). If the weight of your bicycle is a priority, perhaps you should consider the option of buying a lighter wheel instead of paying the price difference that an aluminum box is changing for another carbon.
  • The time of use: Are you going to buy a bicycle that lasts a lifetime or do you plan to change it within a year? Do not forget that all materials suffer wear and fatigue with the passage of time and intensity of use. But some wear out before others. Steel, for example, oxidizes more easily than aluminum, but its durability is also greater. Carbon fiber is more sensitive to great impacts, such as a fall against some rocks, but is less prone to wear for continuous use.
  • Budget: It is simple: to equal equipment and components, an aluminum bicycle costs more than one of steel, one of carbon fiber is more expensive than another aluminum and a titanium box has manufacturing costs greater than the other three materials.
These factors are important when deciding on the material of the picture of our bicycle. To facilitate the choice, we have developed a simple guide with the characteristics of each material, its properties and how they influence bicycle handling.


steel tubes Steel is considered a outdated material. In fact, the main brands have abandoned the manufacture of steel paintings for their middle and high ranges ... and in most cases also for casualties. However, bicycles manufactured with steel can still be found in the market. Until the 1970s practically all bicycle paintings were built in steel. In those years the Mountain Bikes And, with them, the need to look for lighter materials. This is how little by little aluminum was introduced into the cycling industry. In the 1990s, with the arrival of carbon fiber, steel was relegated to lower ranges bicycles or white brand manufacturers. However, there is a type of steel called chrome that is still used as materials for some upper ranges bicycles. It is called that because it is made from an alloy of chrome and molybdenum. It is lighter and resistant than conventional steel. The main quality of the steel bicycle pictures is that they are cheaper, they have greater durability than aluminum and are easier to repair in case of dent or drilling. It is also a material with great resistance. If you are going to carry a lot of weight on top, such as a long adventure trip with tens of kilos in the backpack and saddlebags, a steel bicycle can be a good choice. On the other hand, the steel presents as a disadvantage that it is heavier than the other materials and is also more sensitive to oxidation.


Conor bicycle Aluminum is the most used material currently for the manufacture of bicycle frames. Of paintings and handlebars, rods, diverse scams and components. It was introduced in the cycling industry towards the 1970s and today all the main bicycle brands have in their ranges with aluminum models in a majority way. Contrary to what happens with steel, aluminum is a material of a very low density. In other words: aluminum is more malleable than steel and, in addition, is lighter, so it is an easy material to handle in the manufacture of paintings of different geometry. It is also cheaper than carbon fiber and requires less elaboration time. Aluminum tubes can have different thicknesses. This feature is used by manufacturers to make pictures with an excellent combination of rigidity and lightness. Thus, for example, the ends of the horizontal tube are usually thicker than the central part, thus favoring the rigidity of the structure without an impact on an increase in weight. Another advantages of aluminum is its manufacturing cost, cheaper than carbon fiber. In addition, it has excellent resistance in relation to the light that is and is less sensitive to corrosion than steel. On the other hand, it is a more prone metal to suffer what is called material fatigue, which is structural wear due to the passage of time and intensive use. It is also a more difficult material to repair than steel. Aluminum tables are surely the best option in terms of budget and type of use for most cycling fans. However, although brands use aluminum alloys with other metals to increase their resistance, their durability remains less than carbon or titanium.


ORBEA BIKE ORBEA Carbon fiber has become the star material of the cycling industry. Until 25 years ago only a few professionals could enjoy bicycles with carbon fiber tables. Today they are part of the commercial catalog of most leading brands thanks to the improvement of manufacturing processes, which have checked their cost. It is a much more expensive material than aluminum and steel, but it adapts totally to virtually any geometry. Hence, in high competition there are more and more bicycles with curved tubes or with shapes that until a few years ago were impossible to manufacture ... simply because the materials used had a limited design capacity. The great advantage of carbon fiber is its weight-rigidity ratio. It is a material that contracts and expands depending on the tension and the kilos that it has to absorb at all times. That is why carbon bicycles are more comfortable to pedal in irregular paths and long days along the road and offroad. https://youtu.be/wPwlPhJriz8 Another advantage is that it is a very light material. Keep in mind that, although the paintings are solid, they are actually made from fibers that in some cases have the same thickness as a human hair. These fibers are braided and reinforced with resin to create the structure of the painting. In addition, it does not have the problem of aluminum and steel to corrosion. And its durability is greater. Hence, some brands offer life guarantee to the fatigue of the materials in their carbon table models. You are probably thought that, since it is a lighter material, it has a larger life cycle and is more rigid, it is also better and worthwhile Pay the price difference for having a carbon fiber bicycle before an aluminum. https://youtu.be/gZZkpWc0MJY However, you have to take into account cons. Carbon is a fractured material. That is, if a strong blow to an aluminum bicycle can cause a dent, in a carbon box the material is directly fractured and in many cases it is irreparable. The quality of a carbon fiber box not only depends on the material, but especially on the manufacturing process. Depending on the thickness and placement of the fibers, the same picture can be more or less rigid and present some points sensitive to a break in case of dry blow. Reference brands often use the fiber crusader technique to make their paintings. For their top -of -the -range models they use what is called the monocasco. It consists of a mold where the carbon is introduced to make the triangle that makes up the one -piece box. These molds are very expensive. Hence, monocasco bicycles are not available to any pocket. Bicycles with carbon picture are a remarkable difference for those who spend long days pedaling on the road, since it provides a degree of comfort and extra lightness. However, if you are going to throw yourself by trialeras routes, steep paths and paths of some technical difficulty, you may consider whether it is worth paying so much money difference for a significantly lighter box that may end up splitting in case of being hit against a rock .


Titanium box When the titanium made its appearance as manufacturing material in the bicycle industry, it found that it shared space with aluminum and carbon fiber. And, as the latter were more affordable materials in economic terms, titanium bicycles were relegated to a very small portion of the market. Titanium is a material that shares properties with the other three previous ones. It is as strong as steel, much lighter, corrosion resists better and is much more durable. Virtually a titanium bicycle manufactured optimally is indestructible. We say about "optimally manufactured" because this is one of its great disadvantages, along with the price. Titanium is a component that barely reacts with oxygen. That is why it is very difficult to weld the tubes of the painting and it is required to do so in cameras full of argon gas. As for its advantages, comfort when rolling is more than remarkable given its combination of lightness and rigidity. And do not be afraid that the bicycle ends up crashing against a rock, because its ability to absorb impacts is superior. However, it is not cheap as raw material nor is its manufacturing process simple. Hence, the price of this type of bicycles is higher and that many brands directly renounce to have in their ranges units mounted with titanium tables.
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