"New" Steel Frame Bikes vs Alumn.,Carbon... ?

Timmer

New Member
Hey out there. I'd like to build my own E Bike. For starters I'm wondering whether to go with a "new" tech. steel frame or bike such as the Specialized AWOL. or look at an aluminum frame with a carbon fork and seat post like a Giant Fast Road SLR l . My goal is to be able to tour using panniers and rear bags. For power, I'm looking at either an 8 Fun mid drive or a rear wheel motor. I already have a collapsible Prodeco Storm which is very heavy and is my "grocery getter." So I'd really like to have something lighter for doing a day pedal around Lake Tahoe... Your thoughts.
 

stevenast

Well-Known Member
Hey out there. I'd like to build my own E Bike. For starters I'm wondering whether to go with a "new" tech. steel frame or bike such as the Specialized AWOL. or look at an aluminum frame with a carbon fork and seat post like a Giant Fast Road SLR l . My goal is to be able to tour using panniers and rear bags. For power, I'm looking at either an 8 Fun mid drive or a rear wheel motor. I already have a collapsible Prodeco Storm which is very heavy and is my "grocery getter." So I'd really like to have something lighter for doing a day pedal around Lake Tahoe... Your thoughts.

My opinion is that chromoly steel is ideal for e-bikes, and you can see on the 8fun forum where some people are going that way. You could not go wrong with a Surly frame or the AWOL that you mention.

However, a quality aluminum frame from Giant, as you suggest, should easily handle the stresses if you're using a mid-drive.

A regular bike frame is not engineered for a motor, but a quality aluminum frame, like from Trek or Giant is probably over-engineered enough that a hub-motor likely can be used without worry, with torque arms.

Chromoly is stronger and more flexible, will have more "lively" feel. Will cost you a couple pounds though...
 

pxpaulx

Well-Known Member
My opinion is that chromoly steel is ideal for e-bikes, and you can see on the 8fun forum where some people are going that way. You could not go wrong with a Surly frame or the AWOL that you mention.

However, a quality aluminum frame from Giant, as you suggest, should easily handle the stresses if you're using a mid-drive.

A regular bike frame is not engineered for a motor, but a quality aluminum frame, like from Trek or Giant is probably over-engineered enough that a hub-motor likely can be used without worry, with torque arms.

Chromoly is stronger and more flexible, will have more "lively" feel. Will cost you a couple pounds though...

Where do you put torque arms on a mid drive? I thought those were only for the front fork or rear drop out if you have a hub motor.

I do agree with Steve though, an aluminum frame should be fine (with torque arms...if you decide to go hub!), but the steel frame seems to be the e-bike frame of choice. Carbon fork would be ok too, but not with a motor I don't think on the fork itself.