Materials Used For Bike Frames And Their Impact On Your Performance


Bike frames are generally made of aluminum carbon fibre steel, titanium and a combination of Steel/carbon Titanium/carbon.When deciding on purchasing a bike frame you need to consider the following.

Comfort, Longevity, Rigidity and weight

For long rides comfort is key other wise when you move around you can lose power, the more rigid a frame the less it will flex under torque resulting in more forward movement.


Aluminum is a light cheap alternative bike material. When they first were available they were light but uncomfortable with lots of flexion. Now however a good aluminum frame will be very light buy rigid and quick to get going. With new technologies a mixture of carbon forks have considerable improved performance and the comfort ride factor. Aluminum does not rust.

Good features:
Light material if comfort and life of frame not a major consideration then aluminum could be a good choice. Now a more rigid material.

Poor features:
Seems easy to damage as material easily gets dents. The lighter the frame as with other materials the increased risk of damage and shorter life of frame.
Short riding shelf life. Less comfortable on long rides compared to other cycle frame materials.

Carbon Fibre

Bikes made from carbon fibre will reduce road shock is a light yet stiff material. The latest designs are carbon fibre sheets built up with different layers. Resulting in a more all round ride.

Good features:
Very light material

Poor features:
Seems easy to damage especially when dropping. The lighter the frame as with other materials the increased risk of damage and shorter life of frame.
Difficult to repair.
The heavier the frame the more comfortable the ride.Short riding shelf life. Less comfortable on long rides compared to other cycle frame materials.


Steel was the main material used to build bikes 25 years ago since them then aluminum became popular then carbon fibre and titanium have become cheaper from the original ones available.

Steel is easy for the frame to make a quality bike. Steel has good shock absorption and strength qualities. Generally the thinner the steel the lighter the bike but the trade off is less rigidity more flexion and less strength. The life of a lighter steel frame is also reduced power cyclists are better using a bike frame that has stiffer and will flex less under strain. Steel can rust. There are many different frame builders and types of steel used so this is just a generalization. Roberts’s cycles of Croydon London England make all sorts of bike from standard racing bikes Audax Touring and hybrid bikes made to measure.

Good features:
Solid and comfortable.
Easy to repair if damaged unlike other materials and then the bike frame has to be thrown away.
Easy to get a made to measure steel frame to fit you exactly and for the type of cycling you plan on doing.

Poor features:
Steel can rust and frame weight can be heavier than other materials.
Titanium bike frames.


Ironmate is a very keen lover of titanium. One of our trusty steeds has been used for racing for the last 14 years only the brake blocks tyres and rider has worn out.

When a rider powers along there are many conflicting forces around the frame from the bars and as the rider pedals in a circular movement, these forces also change as the rider climbs or descends so picking the correct frame type is essential.

The light powerful ride can transmit the power the cycle frame will not flex the frame weight is very light and titanium is very strong. Its frame features will not change with age.

Good features:
Strong light material and will not rust and has good acceleration fast and great road shock absorbing qualities. Titanium has all the qualities put together of other materials.The frame should feel the same for a lifetime and Ironmate can confess the ride will feel the same in 14 years time as the same as the first day you went for a spin. Damaged sections can be successfully changed repaired. Titanium is such a strong material can be made light.

Poor features:
Expensive but can last a lifetime so is cheaper in the long run.

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