If you are in the market for a new gravel bike, you have probably seen that these bikes come with different frames such as carbon, steel and aluminum. Each of the materials used in making frames for bikes has its own advantages and disadvantages.
However, if you have gone through some online reviews on the benefits of the materials used in making bike frames, you have probably seen that some of the most popular bike brands use aluminum frames. As a cycling enthusiast, you are probably wondering what makes aluminum great when it comes to creating bike frames? In this article, I will explore the top benefits of aluminum frames and how they can make your cycling experience more fun and fulfilling.
Aluminum frames in bikes are not a new invention. In fact, the use of aluminum frames dates back to the late 19th century. That’s right! People who cycled for fun and for the health benefits associated with cycling used bikes with aluminum frames in the late 1800 so the material is nothing new. Over the years, aluminum frame has earned a great reputation for how light, affordable and durable it is and this is the main reason why many manufacturers today produce gravel bikes with aluminum frames.
Compared to other materials used in making frames such as steel, aluminum frames are extremely lightweight. Due to its natural low-weight nature and low density, manufacturers are able to use this material to create great and amazing bike frames.
You are probably attached to your gravel bike and possibly want it to last till kingdom come. After all, your bike has probably seen you through some tough times and epic rides. One of the reasons why steel bikes become unusable after some time is, they rust. If you neglect your frame, don’t keep it clean or lubed, it can accumulate rust and hence the quality lowers, they get a shorter lifespan and lose aesthetic appeal. However, this is not the case for aluminum gravel bike frames. Did you know that aluminum frames are not susceptible to rust? If you have a gravel bike that has an aluminum frame, you can be sure that you will be using your machine for many years to come. Aluminum frames are ideal for cyclists who form a bond and attachment to their cycles.
One word of warning; cheaper aluminum frames do have a shelf life meaning that at some point the aluminum will wear out and lose strength. The good news is that most top brands have now solved this issue and offer a lifetime warranty on the frame.
Cyclist who are looking to have fun or realize the health benefits of cycling can do so at an affordable rate by using aluminum gravel bike frames. Due to the high availability of aluminum, it is relatively inexpensive compared to other materials used to make light bike frames. However, though gravel bikes frames may be made of aluminum, the cost of purchasing bikes can vary. For example, the cost of purchasing a bike can depend on the type of bike or the brand that you are purchasing. However, no matter the price, as long as the bike frame is made of aluminum, you still get to experience the benefits of this material on a cycle.
Aluminum bike frames are also ideal since they have a high strength to weight ratio. Aluminum frames can support a lot of weight from a rider compared to other frame materials like carbon. This means that cyclists with varying weight levels can exercise on different terrains using gravel bikes with aluminum frames. However, if you are looking to buy a gravel bike with an aluminum frame, you should first do adequate research so that you can acquire a bike brand made with aluminum that can support weight ratio.
However, aluminum gravel bike frames also have their drawbacks. One disadvantage of aluminum frames is that they pose a very huge challenge when it comes to making repairs. When an aluminum bike gets bent or dented, it can be very challenging to return it back to its original form. Even the most experienced professionals have a hard time making repairs on aluminum frames. Once an aluminum gravel bike frame gets damaged, the best option in most cases is usually to acquire a new bike but please consult your manufacturer first as they might be able to repair the frame in-house.
Aluminum gravel bikes are also less comfortable compared to other materials such as steel. This is because aluminum is stiffer meaning that it does not absorb shocks or the vibrations you are likely to experience on rough terrains. However, if you are looking for more comfort, you can acquire an aluminum bike that has a suspension mechanism or even a carbon saddle post and stem can help with comfort.
It is also very hard to carry out modifications on an aluminum bike. For most aluminum gravel bikes, modifications have to be done during production by the manufacturer.
This post describes the advantages and drawbacks of getting an aluminum gravel bike. If you are looking for a bike, it is better to research on the other materials that are used in the making of bike frames. You should then compare the pros and cons of the different materials used in making frames to identify which gravel bike frame is most ideal for you.