Friday, November 14, 2008

The custom frame question.

With all the frame builders we have here in our fair city (of Portland, OR), why is nobody building ALUMINUM RACE BIKES! There's obviously a demand for custom bikes. People even race their custom bikes. Aluminum frames make MUCH better race bikes than steel ones, and with all the carbon posts and bars people seem to like so much these days, you can pretty easily mitigate the rough ride of aluminum.

You know who rode a custom aluminum frame? Cipollini, during his comeback last year. Boonen rode one the year before, until Specialized changed the geometry of their entire line to suit him. If these guys can ride aluminum, you can too.

While our friendly neighborhood framebuilders are building some beautiful bikes. Steel is gonna be flexy as heck regardless of how well it's made. It's just the nature of the material. If steel is squishy by nature, racing a steel bike is a competitive disadvantage.

So, there's the ball, someone run with it. I bet you'll do quite well. And yes, Co-Motion has been welding aluminum since the days before custom bikes were cool. They never slowed Billy Truelove down.


erikv said...

I am not a frame builder, or even a welder, but I believe Aluminum is a lot harder to work with than steel. But yeah, with all the skill we see out here, I'm sure someone could figure out how to do it well.

Since Alumnium is stronger, I guess, the tubes can be thinner and bigger in diameter, which yields more stiffness. I'm sure a fat tube steel bike would be stiff as hell, just wayyy to heavy!

Old as dirt said...

I rode a Steel Marcroft in 2008 and it was as good as any aluminium bike I have ever ridden.
And it was maybe 1lb heavier, but was custom, so it fit like a glove.

Pro's these days ride what they are given and make it go fast regardless, we should support local builders.

jza said...

My point is that local frame builders should build aluminum. Or at least someone should try.

Brian Marcroft said...

Believe it or not I have looked into doing aluminum and as soon as I can afford an oven to do heat treating in I'll offer aluminum bikes.