If you look at your bike from a distance, the frame is the largest and most obvious part.
The frame has three main functions:
-To hold the front fork at its proper angle so the front wheel will steer properly;
– And, To hold all other component parts in proper alignment and relationship to each other;
-To provide a comfortable platform for the rider.
It has to be right, or everything else will feel wrong. This is a fact of cycling that’s true for every kind of bike – road racing, time trialing, cyclocross, touring, mountain biking and even hybrids.
It’s not a matter of how fast or how far you can go on your bike, but rather how you want to feel while riding. The frame is the foundation of a bike and it determines everything else. It’s why buying a new bike can be so daunting and why people very often find it hard to justify spending big money on one. There are a lot of bits that make up a bicycle: wheels, tyres, handlebars and components such as the gears and brakes. But in the end it’s the frame that you’re going to have for years, so you have to get that right.
After all, what we really want out of a bike is that special feeling we get when we ride it. It’s hard to put in words, but every cyclist knows what it’s like when you nail a corner just right and rip down an exciting descent with perfect control. The frame is what defines how a bike rides and feels. It determines the geometry (how it fits) and its weight affects how fast it accelerates and climbs hills. And it’s what makes every bike different from another.
There are three components that make up a bicycle:
Frame — This is the skeleton of the bike, which forms to support all of its other components. The frame will vary in size, shape and material depending on style, fit and intended use.
Contact Points — These are points where your body touches the bike: handlebars, seat, pedals, cleats and shoes. These can be changed to offer a more personalized fit or adjust to accommodate injuries or disabilities.
Components — Everything else on the bike is considered a component. These parts vary in size, weight and complexity (and cost), but they all contribute to your bike’s performance.
Buying new or changing the frame
Bike frames aren’t like other bike components. They don’t wear out, they don’t need frequent adjustment and they’re not easily replaceable. A frame has to fit you properly, it has to be built to take the pounding of your particular kind of riding and it has to last. The way bicycle frames are made means that each one is a custom item — even if you buy an off-the-shelf bike, it’s the frame that determines how well the bike will suit your needs, ride and feel.
If you are buying a new bike, make sure you pick a frame that is comfortable for you, and will last a long time, if not forever. Also take into consideration if you are going to be using thebike for racing, touring or cruising.
Setting bikes apart
Frames come in all shapes and sizes. It’s not just about looks. Think of the frame as a big triangle connecting the contact points: the seat, handlebars and pedals. The angles, material and shape of each tube all contribute to how your bike rides, feels and responds to steering inputs.
Some have vertical tubes that run from the handle bars down to the back wheel. Others have tubes that are horizontal with just two bent tubes running up to the handle bars and down to the pedals respectively. Still others have triangle shaped frames with all three points connected by straight tubes. There is no right shape or size, but there are some differences among them that can help set your bike apart from all others on the road.
Price vs. Quality
A $500 bike will never ride as nicely as a $1,000 bike. The quality of materials used to build frames can vary significantly from one manufacturer to another. A lower-end frame might use thinner or softer metals that flex more than a higher-end frame. The same goes for components like brakes and derailleurs; lower quality components won’t shift or stop smoothly when compared to higher end ones.
Anatomy of a bike frame
Frames are made from a variety of materials including aluminum, titanium, steel, carbon fiber and even bamboo. Each material has its own characteristics that affect the price and performance of a bike. There are three main types of bicycle frames: road bikes, mountain bikes, and hybrid bikes. Road bikes are lightweight with thinner tires aimed toward speed and distance on paved roads; mountain bikes have thicker tires with more tread intended for off-road use; finally hybrid bikes combine features from both road bikes and mountain bikes into one versatile package suitable for a variety of terrain.
The frame determines how the bike will fit, how it will ride, and how long it will last. A poor-fitting bike can cause pain and discomfort and result in a less enjoyable ride. Quality is key when buying a bicycle frame. A well-made frame will last you many years and give you an enjoyable riding experience. Frames that are poorly made can be dangerous, and even deadly.
There are many different types of bike frames available today. From high end carbon fiber to low end steel frames.
Steel frames are still very common as they are relatively inexpensive to make and extremely durable. They provide a balance between cost, comfort and strength. And Steel frames are heavier than frames made from aluminum or carbon fiber but offer a more comfortable ride.
Aluminum frames are light, stiff and durable but tend to be less comfortable than steel frames as they do not absorb vibration well. So, Aluminum is also used for suspension frames on mountain bikes as it is strong enough to withstand the stresses of off-roading.
Carbon fiber has become a popular choice among cyclists because it combines lightness with stiffness and durability while still offering a comfortable ride. Frames made from carbon fiber cost more than steel or aluminum but can last just as long if properly cared for.
Titanium is lightweight yet very strong, making it perfect for road bikes that need to be fast yet durable at the same time. So, Titanium offers a smooth ride similar to steel but with less weight.
A good frame can be made to last forever with proper care and maintenance, while a poor frame can be completely worn out in just a few years.
What can you do when that frame breaks?
More often than not, if a bike frame is damaged, it’s beyond economic repair. But if you are lucky enough to have a crack or dent that doesn’t involve a tube break, you may be able to fix it with the help of a frame builder. Before undertaking any work on your frame, you’ll need to determine whether it’s actually worth fixing. In some cases, the frame will be structurally damaged and in others there’ll simply be cosmetic damage. The latter can be repaired by someone with experience in metal fabrication and welding. The former is not worth attempting unless you are a qualified welder.
If your bike frame is damaged or broken, you can find new ones at the bicycle parts store. This is sometimes the ideal solution, because repairing can be very expensive!
How are bicycle frames made?
Bike frames are manufactured in various ways:
-Welded – While not as strong as lugged, welding is easier to do and requires less expertise, so it’s the more common manufacturing method for steel and aluminum frames. Welding also allows for more complex shapes than brazing or lugging, so welded frames can be lighter than lugs.
-Brazed – Brazed frames are manufactured by brazing steel tubes with lugs (metal pieces that transition from one size tube to another) and are usually of very high quality. The brazing process makes for stronger joints than welding and also allows for more complex shapes than lugged joints.
-Lugged – Lugged frames use steel tubes that are connected with lugs (metal pieces that transition from one size tube to another). These provide strength at the joints while allowing builders to create beautiful designs with many shapes and angles in the tubes.
The angles at which the different tubes come together determines how well the bike handles. A touring bike, for example, needs to be very stable at speed so it will have a longer wheelbase (distance between where the two wheels touch the ground) and a more relaxed head angle (the angle at which the front fork protrudes out of the frame). Mountain bikes require quick handling so they have shorter wheelbases, steeper head angles and more fork rake (the amount that the front wheel trail behinds the steering axis).
What bike frame size do you need?
If you’re shopping for a new bike, it’s important to get one that fits you properly. This can make the difference between loving your bike and returning it in frustration. Here are some factors to consider when choosing the right size bike:
-Frame size: You’ll need to take accurate measurements of your body parts, so you can select the best frame size for your body and riding style.
-Seat height: Your seat post should allow for a slight bend in your knee when the leg is fully extended on the down stroke.
-Handlebar height: The handlebars should be at a comfortable height that allows you to ride with a slight bend in your elbows.
-Stand-over height: There should be at least 1 inch of clearance between you and the top tube of the frame if you have a standard diamond frame. If you choose a step-through frame, there should be at least 3 inches of clearance.
Use your height and inseam to determine the bicycle frame size. The frame is the most important part of the bicycle because it defines how well the bike fits you, as well as how it will handle. To keep a comfortable riding position, always make sure that your leg is slightly bent when you pedal. Don’t buy a bike just because someone tell you that it might be right for your body type or because you have a friend who has one and says it’s great.
Why do some people buy only the frame and not the whole bike?
People have different preferences forbike training. Some people just like to choose their own parts, and some people don’t mind having the part choices made for them.
There are some aesthetic reasons that you might want to choose your own parts, but the main reason is the performance of the bike. Each bike brand has its own way of designing bikes and it’s pretty rare for any given complete bike to be perfectly matched in terms of riding style and personal preference.
If you need a bike for racing or commuting, you can really benefit from choosing every part yourself, because every tiny detail can make a difference.
Some people buy frames as an investment as well, say if they’re buying a frame from a company that they believe will become more popular in future years.
We believe this guide has been helpful to you!