Choosing a bike can be difficult without a great deal of experience. There are a lot of things to consider when you make your selection. That is why we have compiled a brief guide with tips on how to choose the right bike frame material. Of course, this is no substitute for the advice of your local cycling expert. It is always a good idea to ask for advice from the bike shop when you are looking to purchase a new bike. With this in mind, however, we have listed a few tips below.
Consider what you will use your bike for
The first thing to think about when you consider buying a new bike is what you will use it for. Bike frames are designed for many different purposes and applications. For example, some bikes are designed for long distance road cycling, while others are design for riding a rough dirt track. The materials used in these bike frames will be vastly different. This is because different designs prioritise different features. Because of this, you should give some thought to what you need your bike for. Will you be riding recreationally on the weekends, or will you cycle to work each day?
If you are cycling rough cross-country tracks, your bike frame ought to prioritise strength. Alternatively, if you are cycling long distances for sport then your bike frame ought to prioritise weight. It is also important to take costs into account. Top of the line bike frames often use materials that combine strength, light weight and durability. This might seem ideal, but it is often out of most people’s budgets. This is where you need to consider how serious you are when it comes to cycling.
Different things to look for in bike frame materials
Different bike frame materials seek to combine three main features: minimal weight, optimum strength and long-term durability. Of course, most materials offer one at the expense of the others. For example alloy frames might offer lightweight construction, but at the expense of strength and vice versa. When you are looking bikes, be sure to make a few enquiries and get a specialist opinion. Very rarely will they be of insufficient strength and durability or excessive in weight.
In most cases, road bikes are the lightest ones you can buy. These bikes are designed to be ridden very long distances and their ultimate priority is speed. This means that road bike frames are often made from alloy and even carbon fibre. These materials are very light and still exceptionally strong, which makes them great for such applications.
Usually, mountain bikes or downhill bikes will be among the heaviest on offer. These bike frames are designed to endure very rough terrain and tracks. This means that they are built with a strong focus on strength. As a consequence, materials such as steel are often incorporated into the bike frame. This increases the strength enormously, but also makes the bike frame a bit heavier. That’s simply one of the trade-offs for the strength and it does not normally make the bike any harder to use.
Durability is often the priority in hybrid bikes and commuting bike frames. These bikes are built as reliable means of transport for commuters who are looking to get fit on their way to work, or reduce their carbon footprint. However, most bikes are quite durable – in particular ones made from alloy frames. Alloy does not rust and is considerably cheaper than carbon fibre. This makes it popular in many hybrid bike frames.
For more expert advice on bikes, get in touch with the experts at Hoffy Cycles today on (07) 3269 1213.