Registered: 1452490129 Posts: 125
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The area's I have been riding the last few years have a large percentage of steel bicycles. Starting with commuters from Davis California to Sacramento a lot of them use steel framed bicycles. Usually older race or near race type downturn handlebar bicycles. Of course the homeless use steel and some aluminum framed bicycles, mainly MTB but some racer and hybrid style bicycles also. The bicycle trails I use have a high percentage of steel framed bicycles in use. Recently I got a bicycle carrier for my vehicle and my wife and I went about 12 miles up the American River Bicycle Trail and rode from there. This was on a Sunday and the trail was like the freeway at 9am Monday morning. Jam packed with carbon fiber/aluminum racing bicycles. Hundreds of them. Large groups of older people both men and women riding full on racing bicycles, racing clothing, wheel to wheel at 20mph. Younger men and women riding full on racing bicycles, racing clothing, wheel to wheel at 30mph. I was amazed and astounded. There was a steel frame bike here and there and even some throw back racers riding beautiful racing bikes from the 70's and 80's but they were outnumbered 100 to 1. It got me to thinking how those carbon/aluminum bikes will hold up when they are handed down years from now to commuters and homeless people. We all know that is what happens when grandpa and grandma die the bicycles go for cheap. I may not be around to view the final years of service for all these carbon/aluminum bicycles but it still interests me. It is hard to tell the difference between carbon and aluminum but a large percentage of these bikes appeared to be carbon. Any thoughts?
Registered: 1453069449 Posts: 390
Reply with quote #2
Well, one reason that I avoid bike paths on a Sunday is just what you describe, pace lines of wanna be racers flying along at 20 - 30 mph while a mom and dad with a little one on a training wheeled Barbie bike weaves and stops erractly...it scares me to death. You would not believe what Central Park in NYC is like on a Sunday....it is nuts!
The wanna be road racers should stick to the road and mom and dad need to teach their kids that you need to look out before pulling a U-turn on a busy bike path. I used a tag-a-long bike for my daughter until I felt she had enough riding skill to go on her own. I have a 58 year old steel Raleigh that with proper care will still be rideable in another 50 years, I am not so sure I would want to climb on a 50 year old carbon fiber frame and ride it. The alloy frames should be around a long long time, as they are so stiff and unforgiving, they don’t get ridden as it is......heehee. __________________ Spencer Instagram - http://Instagram.com/lifeinthedrops Tumblr - http://finnyct90.tumblr.com email - email@example.com old blog - http://gogouphill.blogspot.com
Registered: 1452490129 Posts: 125
Reply with quote #3
Spencer I'm sorry to hear that this may be a nationwide dilemma. I talked to several older cyclists and they all mentioned that they don't ride anywhere but on the trail which has a 15mph speed limit. No police to enforce that one. This is a safety issue for the older people wanting to stay as far away from cars as possible. Some told me they will not ride where cars are, so they band together and race down the parkway especially on the weekends. Speaking about aluminum frames. Since their massive inception in the late 90's I have seen nothing but broken frames. They break at their headsets and the expendable derailleur tabs break all the time. Sometimes the damage to the derailleur tab extends to the frame and presto another fixie candidate. I ran into an aluminum framed full suspension MTB last week and the frame had broken where the top tube meets the seat post tube. The rider was 220lbs which as far as I can tell is the unsafe zone for modern MTB design. That rider weight breaks frames. This rider had the break rewelded, at his own risk of course, and was riding the bicycle. On the other hand my wife rides a Trek hybrid aluminum bicycle and that has been a delightful bicycle for her. The bike has a suspension fork and she weighs less than 140lbs. She doesn't pound the bike so I think that is why it is surviving but I keep an eye on that headtube. All my old steel bicycles are in wonderful shape carrying my big(fat)ness down the road year after year without fail.