The design of the bike frame has not changed much over the years, but the materials indeed have. The original bike was a hobbyhorse that you pushed along with your feet on the ground; this original was made from wood, and they are all pieces of museums. However, since the beginning, they were made in different sizes for singular people.
The geometry of a bike frame also differs when the purpose is mountain biking, road, bmx, or single speed. There are frame charts where you can check the correct size to use depending on your height, inseam and some other variables.
Steel & Aluminum Bike Frames
The bicycle frame was for many years manufactured in steel, the first frames were very heavy and the angles were very laid back and with a long wheel base, which made for a comfortable ride on the rough roads of the time, but would not be responsive for today’s fast roads and race conditions.
Steel bicycle frames over the years got lighter and lighter by making the tubes thinner and joining them without the use of lugs.
A big change came in the manufacture of frames when alloy tubes could be joined to each other strongly and safely to make responsive and very light frames, the tubes had to be bigger, but they could be made in aero-dynamic shapes.
Titanium Bike Frames
If you have the money titanium or an all carbon frame would be your choice, much more expensive. But in the case of titanium if it made correctly it will last a lifetime.
Titanium is very light but will give you a hard ride, mixing titanium main tubes with carbon forks and back end would be the best for handling and for comfort. One of the most famous titanium manufacturers is Litespeed and Siena is perhaps their best known bike. We recently reviewed another British titanium’s frames manufacturerm read the review of the Enigma Sprit.
If you want to upgrade from alloy or cabron to full titanium, there are some brands to look at, these are Airbone, Lightspeed and Merlin. However the exist some(not many) other that probably have never heard of them. Names like Everti, Omega or Habanero titanium builders have ben reviewed and we made a comparison from these 3 companies, just to know whether they are trustworthy to buy from.
Carbon Fiber Bike Frames
An all carbon frame at the moment seems to be what every one wants. Although titanium is very nice, carbon fiber frames are more affordable and probably more popular. Some of the nicest bike frames on the market are carbon, most of the big and famous frame builders now make at least one carbon fibre bike frame.
The most famous of these are Giant, Colnago, De Rosa, Look, Trek and Pinarello and there are many, many more, all very beautiful.
Carbon fiber bike frames can be constructed in three different ways, they can be made in one piece, with the carbon material wrapped in different directions for strength and lightness or tubes can be made more like ordinary alloy or steel frames and then joined directly or with lugs.
All are good and strong and give a comfortable ride and all the strength that you put into pressing on the pedals will go into pushing you forward on the road.
Bike manufacturers, Giant are one of the leaders in carbon fiber frame making, they were the first to build a frame that came in at under 1 kilogram and at an affordable price.
There are many frame builders using carbon fiber and all have different designs as carbon can be moulded or wrapped in many different shapes, not just round profiles.
These can be flat for aerodynamics or square for strength or as with most carbon fiber bike frames a mixture of many shapes for a mixture of strength, comfort, aerodynamics and style and they come in any colour, usually black to show off that beautiful carbon fiber weave.
All the main frame manufacturers make one, some with lugs (Trek, Colnago, Cervelo), some without (Scott, De Rosa, Battaglin) and some monocoque (Giant, Trek).
The monocoque designs can have tubes in any shape, but are a little heavier. Basically buy the best bicycle frame you can afford.
Alloy Bike Frames
Alloy bicycle frames are now most people’s choice combined with carbon forks and in some cases carbon chain and seat stays at the back.
Pinarello Magnesium frames
(Oscar Pereiro Bike – Tour de France winner)
Which Material For Your Next Bike Frame
If you don’t know which material to choose for your next frame, there’s also an opened discussion in this website entitled The Best Material for your Bike Frame . You can contribute to post your opinion about which is the best for and why.
Very well written article to demonstrate the capabilities of the tool.
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