Yes you are reading that correctly, could this be the year that the (t)rusty old aluminium road bike makes a return to scene of competitive racing… or will it remain the weekend warriors weapon of choice?
Aluminium has been around for ages on the bicycle scene, it was used in the construction of bicycles during the 1800s. Since these early days, there have been a lot of changes in the cycling world, carbon fiber has dominated frame designs over recent years and bike brands have pushed the limit on the weight of bikes, quite literally shaving grams off here and there.
So what’s changed?
What is driving the resurgence of aluminium road bikes and asking people to think twice before spoiling themselves with a brand new top of the range carbon bicycle?
There have been a number of improvements and changes on the road bike scene in the last three years with the introduction of disc brakes into the pro peleton, the non-pros don’t know what took them so long, as it truly changes the handling of your road bike! For the BETTER!
Bicycle manufacturers are continuously pushing the boundaries on aero designs and the weight limit of bikes, making them even faster. Then of course, there is the reintroduction of aluminium, with some big brands like Cannondale and most recently BMC releasing aluminium specific bicycles with disc brakes, not to mention the niche custom brands.
The resurgence of aluminium arguably started with The Cannondale Caad10 in 2014. It has undergone a few changes of its own since then and now offers a disc brake version, but the geometry of the frame remains the same. This bicycle was at the forefront of the drive/reintroduction of aluminium frames for competitive road cyclists! Fast forward a couple of years…other bike manufacturing brands have caught up and leveled the playing field. There are a number of benefits to building a bicycle frame with aluminium, namely its strength and durability compared to carbon frame. It is also relatively light weight and frame designers these days are able to work their magic, turning aluminium frames into stunning machines.
We went on the hunt for some aluminium bicycles and found the following links to be useful!
As mentioned earlier BMC have just released their new and improved BMC Teammachine ALR. The initial findings suggest that this is an awesome machine and one that will force you to think twice before purchasing a carbon bike. In a review compiled by Cycling Tips, they touch on the tweaks that BMC have made to make this a better bike and of course it has disc brakes, which is the biggest win at the end of the day!
It’s clear that aluminium frames for top end road bikes are making a come back and there are some awesome frame designs on the market at the moment. Will it ever replace the strong hold that carbon has on the cycling industry? Probably not, but time will tell. Stay tuned and keep an eye out as we will feature some awesome aluminium frame designs soon, until then enjoy the ride.