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Ah, one example and it's an old road bike. Yeah, we probably shouldn't make blanket statements about how aluminum can be made "compliant".

My point is no aluminum frames ride like steel. Yes you can occasionally have an overbuilt steel frame that rides poorly, but all aluminum frames don't have that magic feeling of steel, ever.
 

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change is good
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Ah, one example and it's an old road bike. Yeah, we probably shouldn't make blanket statements about how aluminum can be made "compliant".

My point is no aluminum frames ride like steel. Yes you can occasionally have an overbuilt steel frame that rides poorly, but all aluminum frames don't have that magic feeling of steel, ever.
Respectfully disagree. Beautiful ride for a 240lb rolly polly in SS configuration. I knew it would break and it did. At the CS

Love steel. Could of went with Ti, but custom steel is sweet. Although, if COVID didn’t screw everything up I would of bought off the rack.


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Ah, one example and it's an old road bike. Yeah, we probably shouldn't make blanket statements about how aluminum can be made "compliant".
I in my response provided two examples, one from personal experience (Spesh vs Brodie), one with two modern frames, with widely available comparisons online (Chisel vs Fuse). HP video provided examples of varying compliance within aluminum. But the one example you referenced is easily eliminable so I see why you only acknowledged that in order to maintain your point.
I don't see any reason why different design, manufacturing processes, and quality levels of aluminum wouldn't create different levels of stiffness, with some obviously being more compliant, and perhaps even eclipsing the "magic" of some steel frames.
My personal preference is steel, chromoly rider since the mid '90s, but the Brodie mentioned above is starting to change how rigidly I cling to the belief that steel is always going to be better.
 

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My point is no aluminum frames ride like steel. Yes you can occasionally have an overbuilt steel frame that rides poorly, but all aluminum frames don't have that magic feeling of steel, ever.
I love high grade steel, especially 853, as a frame material
And I build more models of high grade steel bikes than anyone I know
and I can tell you a few things about my experience

aluminum outsells steel
steel outlasts aluminum
aluminum is much cheaper than high grade steel
the quality of ride in steel is less noticeable as tires get wider or as suspension is added
steel is not a great choice for beach cruises or FS mountain bikes
Weight penalty on steel is 200 to 400 grams
Longevity penalty on aluminum is several decades

I am glad we have 4 good options for frame materials; and that’s why I use all four; as they each have their place
 

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I own a good quality alu trail ht. Triple butted front triangle and stays, lots of bends on the rear triangle. For about a week, while I was waiting for a hub part that had failed, I rode a friend's steel trail ht. This frame is specifically engineered to be compliant by flattened chainstays and such.

Indeed on very familiar trails I noticed that my mate's bike rode smoother over planted rocks etc. The difference was small, but it was there. I thought "yes, that's what they're talking about!"

He was running Maxxis EXO tyres and I had Schwalbe Supergravity casings on mine. Some time passed, my own bike was usable again and it was time for new tyres. I got Maxxis Exo due to availability and guess what? My ht now felt very similar to my mate's compliant steel framed one. Casing stiffness/pliability defined the ride more than frame material.

My point is that yes, frame materials have certain characteristics but ride feel depends on many things.

That said I find steel hardtails visually very appealing.
 

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I am sure high grade steel will continue to be popular for ride quality and visual appeal

I have two 853 ATBs coming
one enduro / bike packing 29x3.0
and one super light more XC with 29x2.35

just wish I could get them sooner
this leadtime issue hits every level of bike
 

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bikesdirect said:
Longevity penalty on aluminum is several decades
Source?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

source is personal experience; 3 years in engineering dept of aluminum extrusion co.
plus 45 years in the bike biz
and over 1 million new bikes sold in assorted frame materials

a steel frame will last decades longer than aluminum if both are used a good amount each year
 

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So how many decades do you all usually get out of aluminum bikes?
I would not count on much over a decade of heavy use out of aluminum
two decades would be way beyond expected is used daily like commuters do
I have seen heavy use high grade steel do over five decades
And I think ten is possible

of course, most bike owners are not interested in their new bike lasting 30 or 40 or 50 years
this is just something for us geeks to talk about in theory
 

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I interested in seeing the geo and spec choices you made for a bike that you are trying to target to those two audiences.
I am not looking at the drawings on the 853 bike packing / enduro model
but it should be close to this bike

we have had great success with the TAZ3
But customers have ask for it in CF, Ti, and steel
Which I have all on order - and of course on the steel I picked 853

Ti and 853 will not be evaluated rear stays
 

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I would not count on much over a decade of heavy use out of aluminum
two decades would be way beyond expected is used daily like commuters do
I have seen heavy use high grade steel do over five decades
And I think ten is possible

of course, most bike owners are not interested in their new bike lasting 30 or 40 or 50 years
this is just something for us geeks to talk about in theory


Well I respectfully disagree. I think a modern quality aluminum frame could easily go a half century if it was well taken care of. I work on 20 y/o ones daily that have been thoroughly thrashed (ridden hard and put away wet) and the frames are still fine.

It depends on what you define as heavy use of course and also you're right about the fact that this conversation is irrelevant anyway because nobody really wants to hang onto their bikes for that long. I couldn't imagine having to ride a 50 year old relic instead of the rocket I have now :)
 

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I have four bikes I ride regularly. Three are aluminum frame one is steel. The steel bike is a Specialized rockhopper from 1995 and never had an issue. I have no idea how many miles it has or how hard it has been ridden though. I cracked the chain stay on my GT gravel bike right next to the derailleur. That bike had 5k miles or more on it. I cracked the chain stay on my Cannondale scalpel right near the front pivot. That bike might have around 3k miles on it. So far my specialized road bike I have only had to replace the wheels. That bike has over 10k miles on it. Everything else has been the usual wearable parts not frame damage.
 
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