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alloy or steel frames

hoova

C100_096

Posts: 18

Joined: 3/5/2012

Location: AUS

6/19/2012 5:48 AM

just wanted to know the pro's and cons of the two (basically whats better and why?)

Madmax31

C100_6083244445_c298d83015_b

Posts: 803

Joined: 1/7/2009

Location: Cincinnati, OH USA

6/19/2012 6:47 AM

95% of people wouldn't know the difference.

2013 KTM 450SXF

newmann

C100_614585238_1207253287

Posts: 12916

Joined: 4/1/2008

Location: USA

6/19/2012 6:52 AM

Madmax31 wrote: 95% of people wouldn't know the difference.

I beg to differ. I don't like aluminum. And I'm a spode. An old spode.

Xeno

C100_colton_udall_wheelie_1367972988

Posts: 1369

Joined: 12/30/2010

Location: San Clemente, CA USA

6/19/2012 6:53 AM

I assume you mean aluminum vs. steel. Alloy is a blend of any two or more metals- including steel.

Aluminum is better for 4-strokes. It can handle the torque and weight better.



Factory Honda Off-Road racing: www.jcrspeedshop.com

Eywa

C100_104019640_1277700069

Posts: 68

Joined: 1/15/2010

Location: Pandora, USA

6/19/2012 6:55 AM

I have nearly every steel frame I have owned crack or break, never had this problem with aluminum but I heard it can happen.

motophile365

C100_102908610_1294340707

Posts: 25

Joined: 1/6/2011

Location: USA

6/19/2012 6:57 AM

I can't stand working on the aluminum frame 4 strokes. There area you have to work within is reduced so much that it's a PITA! Couple that with the elimination of lead / ROHS makes carb removal a bitch...

Rooster

C100_614754568_1207059471

Posts: 4369

Joined: 4/1/2008

Location: Edmonton, CAN

6/19/2012 7:57 AM

Eywa wrote: I have nearly every steel frame I have owned crack or break, never had this problem with aluminum but I heard it can happen.

My experience is the complete opposite. I've only ever cracked an aluminum frame. My steel framed bikes held up great.



Empty a bag of skittles into the toilet and then flush. It's like watching a five second long nascar race.

Eywa

C100_104019640_1277700069

Posts: 68

Joined: 1/15/2010

Location: Pandora, USA

6/19/2012 8:10 AM

Eywa wrote: I have nearly every steel frame I have owned crack or break, never had this problem with aluminum but I heard it can happen.

Rooster wrote: My experience is the complete opposite. I've only ever cracked an aluminum frame. My steel framed bikes held up great.

How many frames and of what brand, that would be interesting to know.

newmann

C100_614585238_1207253287

Posts: 12916

Joined: 4/1/2008

Location: USA

6/19/2012 8:16 AM

Ride an aluminum framed bicycle on the road and then hop on a chromoly, titanium or carbon fiber frame road bike. My wife had an aluminum Felt that would rattle your teeth loose in under a mile, let alone the hundred mile rides we did. Built this carbon one up for her and it made all the difference in the world. Fast and comfy.

Matt Fisher

C100_110698790_1236061522

Posts: 1832

Joined: 4/1/2008

Location: Visalia, CA USA

6/19/2012 10:10 AM

newmann wrote: Ride an aluminum framed bicycle on the road and then hop on a chromoly, titanium or carbon fiber frame road bike. My wife had an aluminum Felt that would rattle your teeth loose in under a mile, let alone the hundred mile rides we did. Built this carbon one up for her and it made all the difference in the world. Fast and comfy.

Nice bike, what's with the T Mobile graphics?

dirthead1

C100_98735310_1291833258

Posts: 1287

Joined: 4/1/2008

Location: Southern, CA USA

6/19/2012 10:38 AM

I only ride steel framed motorcycles now, but I prefer riding rough tracks and having forgiving handling.

Spit shine!

Rooster

C100_614754568_1207059471

Posts: 4369

Joined: 4/1/2008

Location: Edmonton, CAN

6/19/2012 11:07 AM
Edited Date/Time: 6/19/2012 2:07 PM

Eywa wrote: I have nearly every steel frame I have owned crack or break, never had this problem with aluminum but I heard it can happen.

Rooster wrote: My experience is the complete opposite. I've only ever cracked an aluminum frame. My steel framed bikes held up great.

Eywa wrote: How many frames and of what brand, that would be interesting to know.

I have had steel framed Honda's, Kawasaki's and Suzuki's that I've never cracked a frame on.

I've cracked an aluminum Honda frame and a Suzuki. The suzuki was a GSXR though and if the frame didn't crack the way I wadded it up I would have been surprised. Everything was totalled except the engine.



Empty a bag of skittles into the toilet and then flush. It's like watching a five second long nascar race.

newmann

C100_614585238_1207253287

Posts: 12916

Joined: 4/1/2008

Location: USA

6/19/2012 11:17 AM

newmann wrote: Ride an aluminum framed bicycle on the road and then hop on a chromoly, titanium or carbon fiber frame road bike. My wife had an aluminum Felt that would rattle your teeth loose in under a mile, let alone the hundred mile rides we did. Built this carbon one up for her and it made all the difference in the world. Fast and comfy.

Matt Fisher wrote: Nice bike, what's with the T Mobile graphics?

Wife needed an extra small Giant TCR and the only way it was available was as a frameset only. At the time they didn't offer the complete bike in XS. Was back around 04 and the womens Olympic Team was using Giants and sponsored by T-Mobile. Obviously, someone on the team was vertically challenged and they built the smaller frame and offered some of them for sale. Talk about get expensive quick, building a road bike from scratch. Lots of carbon and a little ti.

Eywa

C100_104019640_1277700069

Posts: 68

Joined: 1/15/2010

Location: Pandora, USA

6/19/2012 12:14 PM

newmann wrote: Ride an aluminum framed bicycle on the road and then hop on a chromoly, titanium or carbon fiber frame road bike. My wife had an aluminum Felt that would rattle your teeth loose in under a mile, let alone the hundred mile rides we did. Built this carbon one up for her and it made all the difference in the world. Fast and comfy.

Yeah but pink is for girls.

aFACEdismembered

C100_tumblr_m9s6u97gie1rxpt8qo1_500

Posts: 1734

Joined: 8/17/2009

Location: Plano, TX USA

6/19/2012 12:25 PM

I hate aluminum frames from my small experiences with them. Steel framed xr100, kx 125, kx 250f and kx 250. Never have liked the way aluminum feels. I'm at an age where I'm comfortable with what I have and don't want to spend the time adapting to something that I may never get used to or like. I don't need another variable going through my head when I crash trying to understand why it happened.

maru

C100

Posts: 23

Joined: 12/3/2011

Location: Cave Creek, AZ USA

6/19/2012 2:21 PM

Aluminum is great for mass production, and the big 4 made it work, but the theory that it is an improvement over steel came from the marketing dept.

VRR7

C100

Posts: 196

Joined: 6/1/2011

Location: ZAF

6/19/2012 3:44 PM

How many Steel Frames are running in MotogP ? Evolutions works by letting the runts die off !

mx5471

C100

Posts: 879

Joined: 7/10/2008

Location: USA

6/19/2012 4:04 PM
Edited Date/Time: 6/19/2012 4:30 PM

One of the big differences is how the frames flex when you ride them. It effects the how they handle on the track and in turns. The aluminum is pretty rigid, and doesn't flex much. The steel frames flex a lot more. RC said he preferred the old steel frames. When you ride them hard, in time they stress out, and break. It causes more stress on the frame in areas such as the steering neck gussets, and the down tubes where the engine mounts are. They'll crack at or above the top engine mounts. One actually broke completely in 2 in that area. That area receives a lot of stress. That's where ours all broke. You can weld them, but you're taking a chance, as they will break again next to the welds. That has happened to every Suzuki frame my son rode. He had '02 and '03 85's, and now an '08 RM250 that I just got a new frame for because of the same problem. For years in between, he rode Yamaha's, steel and aluminum. We never had a problem with either. He loves the '08 rm250. I had to go a long way to find one in '08. They sold out fast, but I found a dealer about 8 hours away that had 2. I wish I would have got both of them. But just about all, if not all of the new bikes have aluminum frames now.

Ing

C100_100_2211

Posts: 2908

Joined: 8/16/2006

Location: Spring Hill, FL USA

6/19/2012 4:09 PM

There is also a big difference between what the Japs use to put out (mild steel) compared to a quality chrome-moly frame.

The older I get, the faster I was. Posting without a cast on is fun!

aFACEdismembered

C100_tumblr_m9s6u97gie1rxpt8qo1_500

Posts: 1734

Joined: 8/17/2009

Location: Plano, TX USA

6/19/2012 4:36 PM
Edited Date/Time: 6/19/2012 4:37 PM

Ing wrote: There is also a big difference between what the Japs use to put out (mild steel) compared to a quality chrome-moly frame.

BMX has pushed forward so far in that department in previous years. Frames have gone from 8lb monsters that still cracked to 4lb featherweights with thinner tubing and an overall stronger build. A lot of that is thanks to their heat treating process'.Just imagine if they stayed with steel frames and cut their weight in half in MX...

Matt Fisher

C100_110698790_1236061522

Posts: 1832

Joined: 4/1/2008

Location: Visalia, CA USA

6/19/2012 5:20 PM

VRR7 wrote: How many Steel Frames are running in MotogP ? Evolutions works by letting the runts die off !

If the demands of MX were the same as the demands in MotoGP it would be tough to disagree with you.

MX has unique demands, as does MotoGP. The wheels alone are a huge clue there. Imagine using spoked wheels in a modern road race event, the flex would be horrible. Using cast wheels from a road race type machine would result in a big DNF from being shattered and the flat tires on a MX course.

VRR7

C100

Posts: 196

Joined: 6/1/2011

Location: ZAF

6/19/2012 10:58 PM

How often must RD Replace his Frame V RV ?

dl117

C100_bmx_2016

Posts: 826

Joined: 2/8/2007

Location: Cambridge, MN USA

6/20/2012 6:30 AM

Ing wrote: There is also a big difference between what the Japs use to put out (mild steel) compared to a quality chrome-moly frame.

aFACEdismembered wrote: BMX has pushed forward so far in that department in previous years. Frames have gone from 8lb monsters that still cracked to 4lb featherweights with thinner tubing and an overall stronger build. A lot of that is thanks to their heat treating process'.Just imagine if they stayed with steel frames and cut their weight in half in MX...

We as a family jsut got into BMX last fall and I noticed that they are far advanced in frame tech......some of the stuff at the track is crazy light. My sons bike is between 14 and 15lbs built up, his little 16" pit bike weights more than his race bike.

kcco

newmann

C100_614585238_1207253287

Posts: 12916

Joined: 4/1/2008

Location: USA

6/20/2012 6:37 AM

Ing wrote: There is also a big difference between what the Japs use to put out (mild steel) compared to a quality chrome-moly frame.

aFACEdismembered wrote: BMX has pushed forward so far in that department in previous years. Frames have gone from 8lb monsters that still cracked to 4lb featherweights with thinner tubing and an overall stronger build. A lot of that is thanks to their heat treating process'.Just imagine if they stayed with steel frames and cut their weight in half in MX...

dl117 wrote: We as a family jsut got into BMX last fall and I noticed that they are far advanced in frame tech......some of the stuff at the track is crazy light. My sons bike is between 14 and 15lbs built up, his little 16" pit bike weights more than his race bike.

Back in 1981, Blazer bicycles had 20 in. mini bmx bikes on the track weighing in the 7 1/2 lb. range. Chromoly frames too.

UpTiTe

C100_110546100_1248202649

Posts: 4103

Joined: 4/1/2008

Location: CA, USA

6/20/2012 7:02 AM

aFACEdismembered wrote: BMX has pushed forward so far in that department in previous years. Frames have gone from 8lb monsters that still cracked to 4lb featherweights with thinner tubing and an overall stronger build. A lot of that is thanks to their heat treating process'.Just imagine if they stayed with steel frames and cut their weight in half in MX...

dl117 wrote: We as a family jsut got into BMX last fall and I noticed that they are far advanced in frame tech......some of the stuff at the track is crazy light. My sons bike is between 14 and 15lbs built up, his little 16" pit bike weights more than his race bike.

newmann wrote: Back in 1981, Blazer bicycles had 20 in. mini bmx bikes on the track weighing in the 7 1/2 lb. range. Chromoly frames too.

My daughters intense fully built tips the scale a shade over 11 lbs. Its a bad bike, of course having a factory ride doesn't hurt.

ns503

C100_629293178_1215692266

Posts: 1546

Joined: 4/1/2008

Location: NS Toolies, CAN

6/20/2012 7:02 AM

Aluminum holds gasses better. Just ask Mitch.

HAF

-eagle-

C100_110944990_1237470868

Posts: 1520

Joined: 5/9/2008

Location: South Point, USA

6/20/2012 8:39 AM
Edited Date/Time: 6/20/2012 8:41 AM

This dude drops KNOWLEDGE on the topic.
Podcast

No surprise the bmx guys have this one dialed in as well. Beat me to the punch.
aluminum race bikes vs 4130 trail bikes is crazy.

Aluminum feels rigid while chromoly feels mushy to me.
Although 4 stroke aluminum frames feel less rigid than 2 stroke aluminum frames to me.

TbonesPop

C100_97572550_1264563725

Posts: 521

Joined: 1/26/2010

Location: Gilbert, AZ USA

6/20/2012 12:30 PM

Madmax31 wrote: 95% of people wouldn't know the difference.

^^This^^, except I'd say it's probably more like 98% of the riders out there wouldn't know the difference other than by looks (i.e. NOT the people on this website, obviously the folks on here are pretty die hard mototards). I think it really depends on what level of rider a person is. To the vast majority of riders, the main difference between aluminum and steel is the aluminum is easier for changing out the plastics and graphics while steel is painted a certain color and may rub off or not match a different color scheme (plastics and graphics) on the bike. People who ride a LOT (like most of the folks on here), will notice a difference in handling, rigidity, and rear wheel grip in certain kinds of track conditions - but those folks are pretty rare when looking at the total amount of folks that ride dirt bikes.
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