Bringing It All Together – Bike Frames
A bike’s frame is essentially what brings the whole bike together, not to mention one of the first things people love to check out!
Bike frames hold in place the saddle (or the seat), the front fork and the bottom bracket, but beyond this over-arching purpose, bike frames vary considerably.
The frame you’re after, and therefore the type of bike you’re after, depends entirely on what sort of riding you do or plan to do. Below is a table that provides a quick-glance summary of why one type of frame differs from another.
Road Bike Frames
Largely built from carbon, steel or alloy, road frames are all about maintaining lightness for smooth-terrain, fast speed rides.
Mountain Bike Frames
Heavier than road bike frames, mountain bike frames are also stronger and are made to be the all-round bike that can go off-road as easily as it can on-road. Mountain bike frames fall into three categories – dual suspension (suspension at the front and rear of the bike)/ hard tail (front fork suspension) / rigid (no suspension).
BMX frames also come in three types – race/ dirt/ freestyle, each of which of course refers to a different type of BMX riding. BMX bike frames are largely made from steel or aluminium.
Triathlon/Time Trial Frames
Also known as TTs, Time Trial bikes are made to be aerodynamic and are built for on-road, fast riding. TT frames are increasingly made from carbon, but are also available in steel and alloy.
Track frames are normally found in velodromes, where they are ridden for maximum power. Track frames are designed to be light and rigid, with elite-level riders opting for carbon versions.