We live in a fantastic time for bicycles. With the plethora of materials and technological advancements laid out before us, it’s more difficult than ever to be dissatisfied with our machines. Up until (very) recently, the frame material of choice (out of necessity as much as choice, in reality) has been steel. Now, with the introduction of all of these newfangled materials to the world of bikes, such as lightweight aluminium, carbonium and titanium to name the 4 most popular, our horizon is the broadest it has ever been.
For a decade or so, each of these materials have been relegated to specific duties and tasks, the head only spilling over into other categories’ glasses minimally; titanium was for soft cafe rides, steel was for the poor man or retro-grouch, aluminum for the poor man/all-out racer and carbon for the MAMIL looking to flex their financial muscles/spend their tax returns, or he who wanted to build an uber-light bike.
No longer are these materials confined to such specific categories. Titanium can be fast.
Carbon can be heavy and cheap.
The British Road Race Championships were won on a steel bike.
Indeed, we live in a fantastic time for bicycles. It’s a wonderfully terrific feeling to be completely paralyzed by the sheer overwhelming amount of bicycles one need consider when shopping for a new ride. Steel? Titanium? Carbon? Aluminum? Does it matter?
Perhaps less than you think.