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Titanium vs carbon vs aluminium bike frames: weighing in on a community debate!

Hardcore biking enthusiasts like those of you within our community are familiar with the pros and cons of various bike material. That’s why opinion in the biker community is often divided between titanium, aluminium and carbon bikes.

We’re firm believers that every biker is different. Regardless of experience, many of us have unique needs that can be met by different types of bikes. While each bike frame comes with its own set of advantages, which we will explore below, titanium is a firm favourite among our team!

Our favourite feature? They’re smashing on rock gardens and single-track paths.

For a deeper dive into the value titanium brings to the table (and the trails), here’s our take on one of the biggest debates in the biking community.

Carbon bike frames are popular—but they come at a cost

Many riders talk to us about carbon bike frames. While they come with many of the features riders expect in professional equipment, there’re two major drawbacks: they’re often the most expensive models and damn you don’t want to drop it hard on a rock.

Despite the fact that prices may be dropping over time, this also means that the quality of carbon fibre is changing.

High-end models can be customised to meet unique needs in terms of comfort, stiffness or weight. Cheaper models can prove to be unsatisfactory in quality.

We’ve also seen that carbon fibre isn’t the most durable material. While scratches are inevitable, there’s also the threat of rapid crack propagation because its stiffness also means that it’s brittle. Just look at some crash reviews on the web.

The high cost and fragility of carbon fibre can also change your mindset and commitment when riding. We all know the telltale signs that we are holding back on fast descents, off-camber turns and big hucks – all becuase we don’t want to disconnect from the bike and have it slide down the hill damaging the precious frame all the way. We lack commitment on jumps, brake on drops and go all squid in the corners. 

You can’t beat aluminium when it comes to cost—but there’s a catch

While aluminium bike frames are considered to be better for stiff, entry-level bikes, this opinion may be changing in the community.

While we prefer titanium frames, we know plenty of seasoned riders who are happy with their aluminium bikes. They’re also preferred among riders who like to save a dollar.

That said, they’re still considered to be better suited for riders who are just entering the scene. This may also be because they’re generally one of the cheapest options on the market. But just look at those ugly welds.

Stiffness in frames has traditionally been desirable – but that’s changing as well. Carbon is great for building in vertical compliance to improve ride comfort while maintaining torsional stiffness so that pedal power is transferred to the wheels. Aluminium is just stiff all over so the rough ride quality can really wear you out. 

Titanium addresses the drawbacks of almost every other model

Even among experienced riders, there’s a perception that titanium is heavier compared to other metals. The truth is that modern designs (like the Roost Nero Ti Aggressive MTB Frame, if we do say so ourselves) are lightweight.

Titanium bikes are also great if you want to branch beyond just rocky mountain trails. At Roost Bike, we’ve achieved this by equipping our MTB frame with:

A slack head angle
A low bottom bracket
Short chainstays
A low standover
Modular 12×148 rear dropouts

This means that you can ride any terrain that previously required a full squish rig. Our goal was to design a frame that could conquer trails you wouldn’t dare to on a hardtail!

The ride quality is high because titanium reduces vibration, is comliant and retains the right amount of stiff underneath you. If you’re a long-distance or marathon bike rider, you’ll know just how important this is. We never underestimate the importance of a smooth riding experience! Titanium also has a bow-like quality that transfers power from the pedals to the wheels like a tightly wound spring. As you put the watts down the frame can slightly flex and release that power instead of absorbing it. This results in less pedal fatigue and feedback on the pedals from an overly stiff frame.

In addition, the strength and damage resistance of titanium will mean you just never have to worry about crash damage. The result is more commitment in your riding, faster times and way more fulfillment from your rides.

We know what kind of bike we’d choose for our adventures—do you?

At Roost Bike, quality, thrill, and value for money are the names of the game. When you invest in our Roost Nero Ti Aggressive MTB Frame, you know you’re getting your money’s worth. We help you savour the thrills of the most challenging terrains on high-end titanium equipment.

If you’d like to know more about our handcrafted products, get in touch with our team 🙂 We’re always happy to support our community!


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