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Bike Materials | Quick Reference
2015 Common Bike Frame Materials
COMMON INTERNATIONAL BIKE INDUSTRY GUIDELINES & STANDARDS
Chrome Molloy (CrMo) Steel Alloy
A Metal Made By Combining Two Or More Metallic Elements. There are many different metal alloys today produced in many different industries for special and general purpose application. Alloys are developed to produce a set of defined characteristics; like strength and resistance to corroding (breaking down back into its original formulated/fundamental elements).
Today's Markets Are Filled With Dishonest Sellers And Misleading Claims And Assumptions By Many Misinformed Consumers And "Professionals". A product Can Be Given Any Name. A Name Is Not A Description, Only A Reference. An Aluminum Bikes Does Not Mean Its Of Any Specific Alloy Or Capability. There Are Many Alloys Of Aluminum And Stainless Not Resistant To Corrosion. Ask Questions About The Alloy Of A Metal, Before Making Decisions On Application And/Or Purchase.
Beware Of Aluminum Bike Frames -----, They Are Popularly Offered For Sale Because They Are The Current Cheap To Manufacturer Metal In China, By One Large Mass Manufacturer And Branded For Many Bike Vendors Today. You, The Consumer Reading This, Is The One Who Sets Your Personal Standard For What Is Expectable To You And Your Life Comfort, Safety, And Experiences.
- All Commercially-Made Metal Bike Frames Are Made Of A Metal Alloy.
- A Metal Alloy Is A Specific Mixture Of Basic Chemical Elements Found In The Universe.
Each Specific Metal Alloy Has Inherent Characteristics Benefiting Different Types Of Bike Applications. Higher Quality And Effective, Innovative, Intelligent Bike Designers And/Or Engineers, Are Coming Up With Innovative Concepts In Bike Frame Designs To Be Different In The Market Place, Push Performance Past Previous Limitations, Or Offer A Entirely New Generation Of Evolutionary Thinking (Thinking Outside The Herd ("Box") Low-Intelligence-Level Mentality).
Start By Understanding -----> All Bike Frames, Of A Certain Type, Do Not Provide The Same Feel Or Performance! ...... A Basic Understanding Of Each Metal Alloy Used In Bike Frame Manufacturing, Along With The Typical Known Characteristics Of Past Bike Frame Performance, Is The Best Policy When Choosing A New Bike, Or Choosing A Bike Frame For A Custom Build.
A UNS (Unified Numbering System) Metals Numbering Scheme, Is Used To Identify Metal Alloys. A UNS Is Designated By A Letter Followed By Five Numbers. The UNS Is A Composition-Based System Of Commercial Materials And Does Not Guarantee Any Performance Specifications Or Exact Composition With Impurity Limits. Other Nomenclature Systems Have Been Incorporated Into The UNS Numbering System To Minimize Confusion.
Example: Aluminum 6061 (AA6061) Becomes 'UNS A96061'.
|Hxxxxx||Steels - AISI H Steels|
|Kxxxxx||Steels, Including Maraging, Stainless Steel, HSLA, Iron-Base Superalloys|
|Sxxxxx||Stainless Steels, Including Precipitation Hardening Stainless Steel And Iron-Based Superalloys|
CrMo Chromoly Steel
A High-Durability Metal With Shock
Absorbing Characteristics, And An
Today, A Hand Made Chromoly Bike Is
A Prized Trophy, Commuter, Touring,
Street-Smart Bike. Taken For
Granted, Steel Frames Are No Being
Rediscovered As The Frame Material
Street-Smart, Road, Touring, Load
Touring, Adventure, Jumping, BMX,
And Downhill Mountain Bikes Are Typically Made
Of CrMo Steel
CrMo Steel Alloy Is Relatively Heavy, And In
The Case Of Bike Frames, Offers A
Must More Stable Platform Than
Aluminum. The Weight Will
Help Keep The Bike Stable Riding Over Pot-Holes,
Road-Cracks And Rocky Terrain.
CrMo Steel Absorbs Shock, Which
Means A Much More Comfortable And
Bearable Ride Over Roads, And
Off-Road. This Alloy Is By
Far, Much More Comfortable To Ride Than
Aluminum Alloy Bikes. CrMo Has
Bending Capabilities, Which Is A
Good Thing! For
Instance, A Bent Derailleur From Harsh
Riding Can Be Bent Back Into
Shape ----- A Must When In Remote Areas;
Load Touring, Downhill Mountain
Biking, And Adventure Off-Road And
On-Trail Distance Hiking, Or
Riding! A True Mountain-Bike
Is A Bike Used To Ride Down
Mountains; And Must Be Strong To
Endure Huge Forces Of Shock Impact.
Note; The Term "Mountain Bike" Is
Incorrectly Used By Marketing People
To Sell More Bikes To The General
An 'Aluminum Alloy' is
a certain mix of the aluminum
element combined with another
elements; such as magnesium, copper or silicon.
Most Bikes Today Are Being Made Of
Aluminum, Due To The Uneducated
General-Consumer Appeal To The
Misleading Lightweight. Mass
Production Has Reduced The Cost Of
Making Various Aluminum Alloys And
Therefore Increasing Profit Margins;
Making This The Choice Of Big
Corporation Mass-Marketing Sellers!
The Aluminum Alloys Used Offer Very
Light Frames. However, Since
Aluminum Is Weak, The Frame Tubes
Must Be Larger And Thicker Than
Using Alternative Steel Or Titanium
Alloys. Aluminum Is Also Stiff
And Cannot Absorb Shock. The
Ride On An Aluminum Frame Bike Is
Harsh And Not Comfortable Without
Additional Shocking Aids Added!
Every Crack, Bump, Rock, Pebble Or
Slight Difference In Terrain Is Felt
When Riding The Bike. Aluminum
Alloys Will Break, Not Bend.
The Stiff Frame Requires Less Energy
Since All The Energy Exerted On The
Transferred Directly To The Wheel,
As Long As A Shock System Is Not
Installed On The Bike.
With A Proper Shock Absorbing
Configuration, An Aluminum Frame Has
Been proven Good For Trail And
Highly Not Recommended For Jumping,
Stunts, Downhill, Or Load Touring
The Lightest Strength-To-Lightweight Ratio Metal
Available For Bike Frames. The Titanium Metal Is Currently
Still Expensive To Produce Making Frames Expensive. Premium Bike
Designs Are Showing Up On The Market With Titanium Frames. A Very
Strong Metal With An Excellent Strength/Weight Ratio.
Titanium is a metallic element whose unique
properties including high strength, low density, excellent fatigue
and corrosion resistance and low modulus make it the ideal material
for bicycle frames. Developed primarily for the aerospace industry,
titanium alloys have also found a growing use in Medical,
Petrochemical, Pulp and Paper, Architectural, Naval and Sports
applications. Titanium itself is not rare but actually very abundant
with large deposits occurring in Australian beach sand. However,
titanium's extreme reactivity with oxygen makes it difficult to
produce in metallic form and it is a long and expensive process to
create the seamless tubes used in frame construction.
Strength to Weight Ratio|
Based on Yield Strength divided by Density
74% higher than 6061 - T6 Aluminum
102% higher than 4130 Cr-Mo steel
(the most common form of steel used in bike frames)
15.0 x 106 psi (10.3 x 104 Mpa)
50% higher than aluminum alloys and 50% lower than steel alloys
Excellent in all natural water and saltwater environments
Unlike steel, titanium will never rust and
will not pit, corrode or deteriorate in salt water like
Titanium has good fracture Toughness
Ti resists damage from impact unlike composite materials
Excellent for both high and low cycle fatigue.
Titanium vs. Other Materials
Lightness, stiffness, and fatigue
life are all self-explanatory, while "Ride Quality" is a little
Basically, a higher number
corresponds to how well you might feel after a long 5 hour
training ride. The materials that score high, "dampen"
road vibrations and "soften" an otherwise harsh ride.
Those that score lower tend to fatigue the rider quickly;
transmit all of the road shock and vibrations straight thru the
frame and into the rider's body.
Scandium Alloy Bike Frame
An Exotic Metal Alloy, Of The High-Tech Custom
Bike Frame Market. It Is A
Very Light Metal And Has A Much
Higher Melting Point Than Aluminum,
Making It Of Interest To Designers
Of Spacecraft. Some Of The
Bike Industry Engineers Have Been
Conducting Research And Development
of Bike Frames Using Scandium
We Now Offers These Exotics Space
Age Bike Frames For The Distinct
Individual With A Taste For
Cutting-Edge High-Tech Space Age Technologies.