Bicycle frame knowledge, 4 common types of frames on the market, which one do you prefer

Bicycle frame  is the soul of the bike. There is a certain reason, because compared with other parts, it not only has the processing precision required by other parts, but also has the geometric artistry that other parts do not have, and all the parts need it. Realize or integrate their functions through the frame.


The bicycle frame is composed of a front triangle and a rear triangle. The front triangle refers to the upper tube, the lower tube, and the head tube, and the rear triangle refers to the riser, seat stay, and chainstay. According to different materials, the frame can be divided into steel frame, aluminum frame, titanium frame, and carbon frame. The first three metal frames are not made of pure metal pipes, but alloy materials containing other metal components. The last type of carbon frame uses a new type of material that is completely different from the first three, namely carbon fiber material.


Steel frame


First of all, let’s talk about the steel frame. Steel frame is the frame tube with the longest application history among the four frame materials. It is still active in the field of sports bicycles. It has a slender tube shape, exquisite welding and comfortable road feel. , Attracting many manufacturers and riders.


Speaking of steel frame, we must mention Renault, which was almost synonymous with steel frame, because it is precisely because of its promotion that special-shaped pipes have become the mainstream pipe material for steel frames. The so-called special-shaped pipe is the use of pipe-drawing technology to stretch the pipe multiple times so that the middle is thinner at both ends. The advantage it brings is that it not only ensures the rigidity and strength of the pipe, but also reduces the weight of the frame.



Nowadays, the general station wagons on the market use more steel frames. The mainstream ones use 4130 chromium molybdenum steel, which is a cost-effective steel frame material. Some high-end models will use Reynolds (Renault) or Columbus (Columbus) Pigeon Gang, related to its logo) The pipes of these famous manufacturers. These pipes are very expensive. The prices of pipes like Lei Ruo 953 and Columbus XCR are not cheaper than titanium or carbon frames.


Although the steel frame has many advantages above, it is still gradually replaced with the emergence of other new materials. This is mainly because of its light weight. Although the pipe extraction technology has improved this disadvantage to a certain extent, it is still necessary to compare with other materials. Inferior, of course, there is no advantage in price compared to aluminum frames.

To sum up: the advantages of steel frame are: easy processing, comfortable road feel, cost-effective pipes suitable for civilians, and high-end pipes suitable for collection. Its disadvantages are that it is less lightweight and the price is not very beautiful.


The author recommends that riders with hobby of collection choose high-end steel frame, and those who like to travel long distances can also choose this type of frame, because it is convenient to install shelves, and at the same time has a comfortable road feel. In reality, steel frames are only active in the field of station wagons.


Aluminum frame


Aluminum frame is the abbreviation of aluminum alloy frame. It is a kind of high cost-effective frame pipe. We mentioned earlier that it has a good price advantage and light weight compared with steel frame. It is these factors that make it gradually replace steel The frame has become the most widely used frame material, and most of the low-end sports bikes on the market now use this material.


Of course, there are many branches to subdivide aluminum alloy materials. The difference lies in the difference in composition and specific gravity of aluminum and other metals. Among them are the representative 6000 series and 7000 series, which are currently the mainstream aluminum alloy frame materials on the market. 6000 series aluminum alloys are mainly added with magnesium and silicon, while 7000 series are mainly added with zinc alloys, and these different series can be divided into many models, such as the common 6061, 7005, 7075 and so on.

Although aluminum alloy is cost-effective, it cannot be said that it is a cheap product. Some high-end aluminum materials are still not cheap. Summarizing the advantages and disadvantages of aluminum alloy frame, it has good rigidity, light weight and affordable price. But the disadvantage is that the road feel will be worse.


If you don't have any special requirements, the aluminum alloy frame is a good choice for you, whether it is a road bike or a mountain bike, it can be widely used!


Titanium frame


The titanium frame is the abbreviation of the titanium alloy frame. Compared with the previous two frames, its material is more rare (its rarity is not only reflected in the material, but also difficult to process. Its welding needs to be carried out in an inert gas, otherwise it is very rare. It is easy to break), so it is naturally more expensive in terms of price. Since it was born, it has been labeled as high-end, not only because of its high price, but also thanks to its anti-fatigue properties.



The excellent fatigue resistance is the most commendable part of the titanium frame, and it is also incomparable to the other three frames. In addition to this, its road feel is also very comfortable. Titanium alloys used on bicycle frames are mainly 6-4 and 3-2.5. The numbers before and after the connector represent the content of aluminum and vanadium respectively, and the others are made of titanium.


In addition to the above, the titanium alloy frame is very recognizable from the appearance, which can almost be seen at a glance. This is because the titanium alloy frame is generally not painted or only a layer of transparent paint, so it is also the natural color of the local tyrant. Full show.



In summary, the titanium alloy frame has both a comfortable road feel and excellent fatigue resistance, but the difficulty of processing and the expensive cost make it difficult to gain popularity. Only some collectors will choose the titanium alloy frame, and vehicle manufacturers have fewer applications. Generally, DIY assembled riders like to use it on mountain bikes or station wagons.


Carbon frame


The carbon frame refers to the carbon fiber frame. It is a tube material that is completely different from the first three frames. It can be regarded as a new material. It has completely broken away from the category of metal materials. Carbon frames were originally used on high-end competitive road bikes. As carbon fiber technology becomes more and more mature, this material is now popularized in mountain bike frames, but limited to the price of this material, only high-end models currently use this frame. Pipe.



The advantage of the carbon fiber frame is that it has the unparalleled lightness, rigidity and strength of other pipes, and it also has a good road feel. In addition, because it is formed by a mold, it can be processed into any shape at a time, so unlike other pipes, its connection can be smoothly transitioned, and there is no welding point like other pipes.


Of course, this material is not perfect. It does not perform satisfactorily in terms of impact resistance to sharp objects, especially when it is hit from the side. This is mainly because the carbon fiber is arranged in one direction. In addition, if the carbon fiber frame is damaged, it is not as easy to judge the damage as other pipes, and it usually requires professionals to evaluate the result.



In summary, the carbon fiber frame has unparalleled lightness and high strength, and at the same time has a comfortable road feel. It is especially suitable for competitive models pursuing light weight, but it is also constrained by its price. The car is only used for daily fitness and there is no need to choose it, and it is not very practical because it cannot be installed on the shelf for long-distance travel.