Aluminium is one of the most common materials with which to build bikes.
Although it has been superseded by carbon fiber at the top levels of the road bike market, it still commands a large market share and many brands are continuing to make high quality aluminium bike frames.
Here you are the 5 things you might not know about aluminium
1) Is aluminium just aluminium?
Firstly, one does not make bike and aluminium, but we make bikes out of aluminium alloys and what those alloys are depend on cost but also on the characteristics that one wants the tubes and the frame to have.
2) Why is aluminium cheaper than carbon?
Firstly, aluminum alloys as a material are cheaper than carbon fiber. Secondly carbon frames take many more staff hours to produce than aluminium. It is not necessarily skilled staff hours whereas the brazing welding of metal tubes takes considerable skill.
3) Aluminium bikes are more robust than carbon
Carbon may crack and then breaks, aluminium dents first and then breaks and any permutations of the 2 could prove terminal. If one observes the aftermath of a pileup in a road race it is very common to see lots of broken carbon fibers, but it is very rare to see anything broken in aluminium. Whereas carbon fiber frames last indefinitely, aluminium has always had a shelf life.
4) Aluminium does not corrode
While steel frames are famous for rusting, there was a common misconception that aluminium does not corrode. It does corrode. However, instead of rust one gets a white powder where water goes under the paint and causes it to bubble up.