OK, we asked what your everyday ride was made from and here were the answers:
As many of you pointed out, it’s all about conditions and distances. Some live where the weather is sunny and roads are smooth. Others of us (like me) live where the weather is a cruel joke and the roads are more suitable for adventure racing than transportation.
It’s hard to know how scientific we’ve been. In general, if you named an aluminum bike with carbon stays, I counted it as aluminum. If you said you train on steel, but race on carbon, I counted you as a steel. Remember, we were looking for your everyday ride.
So from the thousands of readers who stop by RKP everyday, if we extrapolate out from our small sample, a little over a third are either still riding steel bikes from back when that was the best a (wo)man could get, or have stayed true to their steel feelings. In my case, it’s both. A new-ish Surly Cross Check and a vintage Moser 51.151.
After steel came carbon, though there seemed to be some overlap with the aluminum people. You all seem to like it stiff and fast, and really, given the right conditions, who doesn’t?
I’m not even sure what to say about the titanium crew, not because I have strong positive or negative feelings about titanium. My wedding ring is made of the stuff. Titanium obviously affords its own advantages, chiefly lightness, but also stiffness and repairability.
If you’re like me, you’re loyal to the bikes you’ve got, but always, always, always curious about what other people are riding. Is it better? Is it worse? Are they faster because they’re bike is lighter, or are they faster because they train properly? No. It must be the bike.
Let’s take a break from the race-oriented blather and talk about our bikes some more, shall we? Some of us watch the Euro races avidly, but probably all of us pedal circles or squares or rhombi with greater regularity, nes pas?
This week’s ride focuses on that age old question: What material to ride?
Are you a “steel is real” rider? An aluminum stalwart? A titanium beast? A carbon-fiber, um, person? Or, maybe, just possibly, a bamboo bandit?
This isn’t a theoretical question either. When we ask what your material of choice is, we don’t mean, “What would you ride if you had a better job and double the free time?” We mean, “What do you ride every day?”
Speaking for myself, I ride steel. This is a function of some vague notion I have that steel was good enough for riders of my ilk (i.e. slow) twenty years ago, and it’s good enough now. Further, it reflects my socio-economic situation. As the father of two and a mortgagee, I don’t feel I have the liquid assets to devote to a more modern material, not that aluminum is very modern. Finally, steel is, I believe, still thought to be the most forgiving of the frame materials in current use, and I can use all the forgiveness I can get. Sure, I dream of a carbon rocket, but I ride steel. Every. Damn. Day.
And so, Group Ride #13 rolls out of the lot.