How to tell if you've got a good bike frame

How to tell if you've got a good bike frame

Not knowing where to start is a common problem when it comes to buying a bike frame so we'll make this a bit easier for you.

This is how you know whether you've got a good bike frame or not.

What material is your bike frame?

Tell us here

 

1. What makes a good frame?

Weight

Manufacturers have tried all sorts to shave off those precious unwanted grams by trying various materials. Essentially though the as the price of your frame goes up the weight tends to go down.

Geometry 

The geometry is an important factor that a lot of people don't realise will change your riding. In theory the more aggressive rider you are, the bigger the angle the head tube should be (Sprinters and downhill). If you like to spend time on the saddle (Casual riders / Distance) then we recommend you go for a head tube of 70-71 degrees while the more aggressive riders go for 73 or above.

Welding

It may sound strange but welding is a big contributor to the quality of your frame. The majority of high end bikes are welded using TIG welding. This is when you weld the frame together using the same material as the tube. If you look closely you'll see an even weld the whole way round the tube. The lower end casual riding bikes tend to be welded together using silver or brass, by dotting around the tubes.

Butting

The aim of a bike manufacture is to put material where you most need it and reduce material in the areas that don't. The area that needs the most material is when the frame undergoes the most stress (Each end of the tube) The process of doing this is called butting.

2. Things you should initially consider

How much you weigh

You weight is an important factor when initially looking at the type of frame you should be riding. Steel and titanium are generally better for heavier riders as they offer more stability. Titanium and steel also offer more flex throughout the frame.

How long you want your bike to last

Purchasing an aluminium frame, although slightly less durable than steel tends to last longer, this is due to steel rusting faster than other materials. 

How much are you willing to spend

Generally you get what you pay for with frames. Most cyclists look at the weight of the frame when they come to deciding what they want. These tend to be aluminium or carbon fibre which is at the more expensive end of the scale.

3. Material

Carbon Fibre

Carbon fibre is a fantastic material when it comes to wanting something lightweight that's also very tough. The fibres are boundd together with glue, this creates a ply that then turns into a laminate. Carbon fibre can become brittle over time so keep good care of it as it will come at a cost.

Aluminium

Aluminium is one of the most common used materials on bike frames. Due to it being both very strong and lightweight it can be used across a wide variety of frame types. If designed properly they can be great value for money.

Titanium

Much lighter and just as strong as steel it's becoming a very popular choice as it flexes very well while being able to maintain its shape. 

Steel

Steel is the most commonly used material in bike frames, they offer great durability and strength however are prone to rusting. If you're looking for a high performance bike then maybe steel isn't for you however if you want an everyday bike that offer's great properties than its worth looking into.

What material is your bike frame? Tell us here

More from The Cycling Bug

Posted

Sorry, I forgot.

Imbecilic.

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Posted

"The lower end casual riding bikes tend to be welded together using silver or brass, by dotting around the tubes."

Nothing could possibly demonstrate your complete ignorance of frames than the above quote.  Total, facile ignorance.

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