I never got into the aluminum ones either. I used the Sherwood Paul Coffey model for years and years. They are hard to find any more. We even have a Perani's here in town and they don't regularly carry them.Funny you mentioned hockey sticks. I play hockey and have used wood and todays composite sticks. In the 90's the even made them from aluminum but that trend didn't stick around.
not so much the bike being light, but being "substantial", I guess while i ride it...I've never heard of anyone complaining about their bike being too light but I suppose maybe it's happened.
Do you mean a rigid bike as in no suspension? Plenty of those, and carbon frames can be built to be supremely stiff/ rigid.
Disagree with this. Have owned about 4, aluminum hardtails, and 4 steel hardtails. All of the steel hardtails are smoother, and I can get into a flow with them, on trails. That doesn't happen, getting rattled around, on an Al frame. The steel frames, are simply less harsh, regardless of other factors. They soak up bumps and vibrations, much better. Also, steel can be very fast, with the high-end stuff, and good geometry. Shiiet, my 94 GT Bravado LE, and 2005 Jamis Dragon Team, are very quick sprinters, with great handling. Love steel frames, the best material imho.The differences in ride quality between steel, aluminum and carbon stand out on bikes with skinny high pressure tires, like traditional road bikes. The fatter the tires and lower the tire pressure, the less difference frame material makes to ride quality. Add suspension and it's nill, IMO. Eight years ago I still had steel, aluminum and CF road bikes and an al FS mtb. Now I just have CF road bikes and al and CF FS mtbs. I'll stick with CF on the road bikes but am completely happy with al mtbs.
Agree that corrosion with a good steel bike is not really an issue. High quality finishes and internal anti rust treatment basically solve that. You can do an internal anti rust treatment yourself if the bike doesn't come treated.
Good point, I realize, it is a big generalization, and very simplistic, to claim that: "A steel frame will ride this way", or "An aluminum frame will ride like this". That is making big generalizations. I'm just speaking from my experience, of over 15 years mountain biking. Maybe I have gotten, "the bad luck of the draw", with Al hardtails. Plus, I am attracted to "fast looking bikes". A red anodized Zaskar, and a yellow M2 Stumpjumper, lol. Plus, i used to buy them, without really testing them, from Craigslist, lol. They would look good, would look fast, the parts were working, and if they were ready to ride, I'd buy em. (Just riding up and down the parking lot, to make sure they work, lol). The Zaskar and the Stumpjumper, were both race, Al hardtails. Hence, there would be a good chance, that they could ride harsh.I think there are so many other variables in play that frame material alone is not as important as it is made out to be. I currently have 3 hardtails (steel, aluminum, carbon) set up nearly identically and with the same geometry, and if there is a difference in ride quality at all between them, it is negligible at best.
I've had great mountain bikes made from 4130, Prestige, Logic Prestige, 853, etc over the past 35 years, but I don't mind a decent aluminum bike.
I found this video about frame material ride comfort interesting:
I sold GT bikes new for several years and part of their claim to fame was being stiff, due primarily to their triple triangle construction. The smaller rear triangle is naturally going to flex less than a larger rear triangle while the additional material and attachment points of the seat stays just forward of the seat tube / top tube junction add rigidity to the main triangle.It is true, there are much more complex, factors to this question. Physics, geometry, etc. For example, chainstay length, and chainstay design, can have a big effect, on the ride of a hardtail. The tube diameter of the frame, the thickness of the tubes, etc, etc. There is alot of complex physics going on. I mean, I wish I could understand, why my Al Rockhopper, is a softer ride than the GT Zaskar. But that would be a very long, complex answer, full of complex physics scenarios, and differential equations, lol. Will check out that video though, thx for the link.