Best Aluminum Bikes [Review] in 2021

Last Updated on May 21, 2021

Check out the results fast – here are our review winners

Looking to get into the world of cycling and looking for a high-quality aluminum bike to start? Or just looking for a budget-friendly bike that will see you through any journey?

The good news, you’re at the right page. 

Believe it or not, aluminum is the highest-selling material for a bike, purely because of the balance between cost of production, durability, and weight– it’s 3x lighter than steel. For entry-level road bikes, aluminum frames are definitely the winner for popularity. 

Although aluminum is lightweight and resilient, it can be challenging to find high-quality aluminum frames over cheap and poorly made ones. You can pick up a bike for $300 that’s made with aluminum, but that doesn’t mean it has the same features as a $2000 one. 

But it’s not all doom and gloom; I’m here to help.

To make things easier for you, I have spent 10 hours researching countless aluminum bikes and devised a list of my top 5 picks of aluminum bikes for all kinds of riders. I have considered weight, brakes, fork, comfort in my search to find the very best bikes.

Here’s a pro tip: before jumping in with the first bike you see, make sure you take the time to research the size, whether it has all the features you wanted, and most importantly, the reviews to ensure you’re getting the right product for you. 

Enough of me rambling for now; let’s talk about my top picks! 

We’ve spent the time so you don’t have to:

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Reveiws considered
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hours spent finding
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Our Selection of Best Aluminum Bikes - Reviews and Buyer Guide

1.

Émonda ALR 5

best aluminum road bike

The number one spot is Trek Emonda ALR 5; it is the top of the top for a lightweight and responsive aluminum road bike. This advanced alloy frame is sleek and gives the handling of a carbon bike while being friendly on the ol’ wallet.

Emonda ALR has some pretty impressive features that cannot be ignored.

This bike is made with 300 Series Alpha Aluminum that is shaped with tubes and invisible weld technology. Emonda ALR also includes an Emonda SL carbon fork that can absorb shocks and vibrations from rugged roads.

The Emonda ALR offers carbon looks and handling at an aluminum alloy price point. It climbs hills with complete confidence and speed, corners on rails, and descends with complete confidence.

Want to hear the best bit?

This Trek sensation offers efficient disc brakes that offer superior stopping power, braking performance, and extra clearance for wider, more stable tires. You can brake with complete confidence of control; this bad boy won’t let you down.

These high-performing disc brakes, advanced alloy frame that performs like a carbon bike, and reliable Shimano 105 drivetrain make this aluminum bike an absolute hidden gem; it is a brilliant allrounder.

Pros
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Lightweight and durable riding experience
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Look and feel of a carbon frame, price of alloy
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Minimized vibration with suspension fork
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Disc brakes for superior braking power
Cons
Q
Quite pricey but worth it for the features you get

Latest deal: Émonda ALR 5

2.

Vitus Razor Disc Road Bike

This Vitus Razor Disc Road Bike will up your game and get you exploring further into deeper terrain you never thought you’d reach before. This lightweight aluminum bike features carbon forks, Tektro disc brakes, and Shimano Claris gearing for ultimate agility and reliability. 

This Vitus Razor Disc is engineered to provide fast, agile, and dependable performance in every training ride, leisurely ride, and even in race rides. This bike is a dependable aluminum road bike with disc brakes for superior stopping power on all fronts. 

Razor’s double-butted aluminum frame and full UD T-700 carbon fork with tapered steerer ensure you have the perfect balance of low weight, high speed, excellent handling, and comfort for every ride. 

But wait, I’m not finished. 

This aluminum road bike features Shimano’s efficient and reliable Claris R2000 8 speed drivetrain makes the Razor nimble and responsive. Plus, Vitus 700c road wheels and Kendra tires offer superior grip in all conditions. 

This frame has been designed so excellently some customers didn’t realize that it was an aluminum frame and not a carbon one– if that is not a compliment, I don’t know what is. 

Pros
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UD T-700 carbon fork
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Disc brakes for superior stopping power
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Fast, agile, dependable performance
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Affordable price
Cons
Q
None

Latest deal: Vitus Razor Disc Road Bike

3.

Co-op Cycles DRT 1.1 Mountain Bike

best aluminum mountain bike

I thought I’d introduce my favorite aluminum bike for all off-road adventures. Co-op Cycles DRT 1.1 bike features a versatile 3×7 drivetrain and solid superior stopping power from efficient hydraulic disc brakes– it is all the control you need for the trails. 

This mountain bike is a winner for the price point. 

To start with, the SR Suntour suspension fork gives you 100mm of travel; this guarantees a smooth ride and superior control when shredding the trails. Plus, the 3×7 drivetrain provides a wide range of gears to chase up climbs and speed down descents with control. 

Talking about control, this bike is fitted with Tektro hydraulic disc brakes to deliver reliable stopping power for both on and off-road adventures; no matter the weather– rain or shine these bad boys will allow you to stop on the dot. 

As if that was enough… 

The Shimano Tourney rear derailleur delivers smooth and precise gear changes; you’ll never run out of gears again. This derailleur will allow you to shred every turn, climb the steepest hill, and cruise down the descent with complete confidence. 

This bike feels good for both on and off-road biking; the grips are comfortable, and the saddle supports your cheeks comfortably, even on long, intense rides. It is brilliant for beginners looking to enter the world of mountain biking. 

Pros
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Versatile bike can be used on both mountain and road
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Hydraulic disc brakes for supeiror stopping power
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Wide gear range for uneven terrains
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Front suspension
Cons
Q
Only suitable for beginners.

Latest deal: Co-op Cycles DRT 1.1 Bike

4.

Ribble CGR AL - Enthusiast

best aluminum gravel bike

If you’re looking for all-terrain performance and versatility with an aluminum bike frame price point, let me introduce you to Ribble CGR AL. Their Shimano 105 groupset is the entry point to 11-speed shifting efficiency and performance. 

This bike provides exceptionally smooth precision shifting performance and incredible value for the price. 

The reliable Mavic Aksium wheelset makes this bike a great all-rounder. The Schwalbe G-one tubeless-ready tires ensure maximum reliability, durability, traction, and grip on pavement, gravel, and even trail adventures. 

The Shimano 105 benefits from high-end technology and features from its premium tier siblings, making ‘pro level’ shifting performance more accessible. Plus, the 105 hydraulic disc brakes provide the superior stopping power and braking confidence no matter the terrain. 

This is the same drivetrain as the Trek Emonda– are you sensing a theme here? 

The CGR is super comfortable to ride; it has smooth gears, a comfy seat, and feels lightweight yet sturdy. It will provide you with the right level of grip for built-up city cruises and getting muddy down country lanes and trails. 

This bike is a brilliant all-rounder. 

Pros
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SRAM 21-speed triggers provide smooth gear shifting
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Mechanical disc-breaks on the front and rear
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Alloy cranks for smooth chain revolve
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Extra wide double wall alloy rims
Cons
Q
The derailleur goes against the outside of the box

Latest deal: Ribble CGR AL – Enthusiast

5.

Tommaso Imola Road Bike

If you are getting into cycling, this is among the cheapest road bikes that will give you a wonderful performance. The Tomasso Imola is arguably the best value for any entry-level road bike on the planet. 

The super lightweight and ultra-durable 6061 SLA Aluminum frame ensures you get the very most out of your ride.  Plus, the Shimano Claris R2000 24 speed groupset gives you pure power and performance no matter where the road takes you. 

This, paired with the Shimano Claris drivetrain, means that the bike works efficiently with harmony for maximum performance on both the climbs and the sprints on the flats. Tommaso upgraded their brakes to Shimano Claris so you can stop on the dot. 

But wait, there’s more. 

This frame uses compact geometry to provide a smoother ride and increased power transfer compared to other models. This bike is also rack and fender ready, making it brilliant for not only your regular road rides but also for long commutes and even touring. 

If you look at the features of this bike compared to the same features on other brands, you’ll notice that the price is 3-4 times cheaper than the competitors. Tomasso believes that you shouldn’t have to spend a fortune for quality. 

The design is also very catching; you can choose from black, white, to even orange to suit your style and match your personality. My only nitpick is to replace the saddle with a more comfortable option if you’re looking to use it for long rides. 

Pros
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High-quality aluminum frame
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Quick and smooth shifting
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Built to last
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Attractive design
Cons
Q
May need to buy another seat

Latest deal: Tommaso Imola Road Bike

Best Aluminum Bikes Buyers Guide

Whether you’re an experienced cyclist looking for a budget-friendly but still high-quality bike or a beginner looking for an affordable option to enter the world of cycling, we can all agree aluminum is a popular choice. 

Aluminum bikes can also have the feel of high-end carbon bikes with the right features and still at a fraction of the price point. Despite aluminum not being as lightweight as carbon fiber, aluminum is much cheaper and 3x more lightweight than steel. 

Even many high-end manufacturers are starting to create aluminum bikes with the same features as their carbon bikes. This allows them to broaden their customers as it offers a high-quality bike but at an affordable price point. 

Sounds pretty good, right? 

The only problem with aluminum bikes is that there are thousands to choose from, and there’s no wonder people struggle as the price range can range from as little as $300 to as much as $2000-$3000. 

When buying aluminum bikes, there are some key features to look out for and consider to ensure you’re getting a high-quality bike rather than a cheap one that won’t do the job. But no need to worry, we’ve all been there, and I’m here to guide you through. 

What are the benefits of aluminum bike frames?

Bicycle frames are made of different materials such as steel, aluminum, and carbon. Each material has its advantages and disadvantages. However, aluminum bikes are the most common because they have the following benefits;

They’re Lightweight: One of the major benefits of aluminum frames is that they are very lightweight compared to other materials. If you are searching for a bike you can use for long-distance cycling, aluminum bikes are the best due to their lightweight design.

They also gave a high strength to low weight ratio; they’re amongst the lowest weight and durable frame material available (after carbon fiber).

They’re Affordable: We can all agree that the major benefit of aluminum frames is that they come at a much more affordable price point than carbon fiber. Many manufacturers have included features such as a carbon fork and extra features you’d find on a carbon bike, but since it has an aluminum frame, it is much cheaper.

You can still get a high-quality frame but at a fraction of the price. Additionally, thanks to their durability, rust resistance, and low weight, they are favored amongst a range of riders. They’re well-rounded, lightweight, and affordable, making them ideal for all levels.

They’re Durable: In terms of durability, steel frames are more durable than aluminum frames. However, they are prone to rust, which means that they are not the best. On the other hand, aluminum is normally rustproof and easy to maintain.

The resistance to rust makes aluminum super-low-maintenance and ideal for mountain biking and touring cyclists who find themselves regularly riding in wet conditions (such as rain-prone cities like NYC, Seattle etc)

Aluminum frames also have thicker walls, making them more durable without adding any extra weight. Some aluminum frames are also paired with a carbon fork for added durability and shock absorption.

They’re stiff: This affects the stability and feel of the bicycle, especially when climbing and sprinting. Compared to other materials, aluminum likes are stiffer, making them ideal for tourists and racing cyclists.

The stiffness provides stability while sprinting and climbing, but it affects the bike’s overall feel. Aluminum frames are often stiffer than any other bike material, but you need to find the right balance of stiffness and comfort.

How To Pick The Best Aluminum Road Bikes

Frame Material: The best thing about aluminum is that it is very lightweight, affordable, and strong; however, you need to know that the type of aluminum used in bikes is not the same, which explains why some aluminum bikes are more expensive than others.

Most aluminum bikes use a top-quality aluminum alloy throughout the frame. This means that even those people with large body sizes can also use these bikes without any problems.

However, a few different alloys are used in aluminum bikes, such as the 6061 and 7005. 6061 is considered slightly superior to 7005 because it is slightly lighter and easier to work with. But for most, you won’t be able to tell the difference. 

Geometry: Aluminum is the go-to material for entry-level prices and riders. The bike’s geometry plays an important role when riding; it determines the comfort and performance you’ll get out of the bike. 

The best  road bikes will have a lower stack with a longer reach to ease sharp handling and aerodynamic positions. If you’re looking for an endurance road bike, you should look for a more upright slacker angle and shorter research with more stack– the handling will often be more relaxed. 

Wheels: Wheels are critical components of a bike because they get into contact with the ground. When buying, you need to ensure that the wheels are very sturdy and durable.

Most of the aluminum bikes have narrow wheels, which makes them suitable for speed. However, you need to ensure that the tires can provide the best traction and grip.

Fork: Aluminum alloy alone isn’t enough to dampen vibrations of pothole-filled roads and absorbing shocks of the trails, but often you’ll find aluminum frames come with a carbon fork. 

This is much more affordable than going for a carbon frame, they often have a metal steerer and carbon legs, but more high-end models will have a full carbon fork. Carbon forks are efficient at absorbing shocks and damping vibrations on the terrain you’re riding on.

Brakes: Aluminum bikes come with two brake options, rim or disc brakes. Rim brakes are much more affordable, but disc brakes are much more popular due to their superior stopping power. 

Not saying there’s anything wrong with rim brakes, but disc brakes have become more developed in the world of cycling in recent years. They provide superior stopping power in dry, wet, and dusty conditions. Plus, the lack of caliper allows for fatter tires. 

Disc brakes often add weight to the bike but compromising a little extra weight for better-stopping power; it’s definitely worth it. You will find most mountain bikes come with disc brakes to tackle rough terrain, but it has become increasingly popular for road bikes. 

Size and fit – Another thing you need to note is that aluminum bikes are available in different sizes. When buying, you need to choose one that suits your height. Otherwise, you may struggle to reach the handlebars or pedals when you pick the wrong size. If you are a tall rider, you should consider a bike with a long frame.

Due to their lightweight design, aluminum bikes are the fastest. However, you need to know that some aluminum bikes may be slower or faster according to the size of the frame. This means that the frame should be lightweight enough if you prefer high-speed bikes.

Why Buy An Aluminum Bike?

An aluminum bike frame will always reign superior to a steel frame. This is because aluminum bike frames are almost 3 times lighter than steel bike frames. Not only does this increase the relative degree of ease when it comes to carrying an aluminum bike as opposed to a steel bike, but it also allows the rider to reach higher speeds while riding quickly due to the massive weight reduction.

Another amazing feature of aluminum is that it does not rust while iron does. This makes the bike effectively low maintenance and a prime choice for cyclists and tourists.

The material is also stiff, which aids in sprinting and climbing. And since varying degrees of thickness is important for the different types of riders, aluminum gives you the option to vary the thickness of your bike frame.

Due to this flexibility and the strength of this material is stiffer than other materials used for bikes. Aluminum bikes are also substantially less expensive than other bike frames, making them easy to access and available to various customers.

What is aluminum, and why is it used in cycling?

Aluminum has always been a widely used material in all kinds of house household/outdoor objects because of the strength it brings to the table.

The material is lightweight, durable and increases the longevity of the product it is used in. The material is also rust-resistant, which gives it an edge over iron or an iron-based alloy like steel. This helps with long-term exposure to water and air. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes aluminum bikes unique?

One of the best things about aluminum bikes is that they are corrosion resistant, lightweight, affordable and rustproof. They’re 3x lighter than steel bikes and much more affordable than carbon bikes. 

If you get an aluminum bike with a carbon fork and added features, you’ll be getting a similar feel and look to a carbon bike but at a fraction of the price. Aluminum frames with carbon forks are recommended for shock absorption. 

How long will the aluminum bike frame last?

These frames have a lifespan of 5-10 years but it also depends on how frequently you use the bike. With the right maintenance and care, it can last you as much as 10 years. 

Aluminum frames are durable and will put up with a fair amount of abuse over the years before facing any wear and tear. 

Do aluminum bike frames wear out?

Yes, these frames wear out when they are used heavily. Aluminum is very durable, but any bike frame will wear out after many years of loving and use; with the right care, you can prolong the frame’s life for about 10 years before it will need replacing. 

Conclusion 

Manufacturers in the cycling industry have also brought aluminum into play by incorporating this material in the bikes they manufacture. And a lot of them have done an amazing job. I saw bikes with amazing gear shifting mechanisms and disc-break mechanisms, which added to the features of the bikes.

While some bikes lacked in quality of certain components used, they made up for it in terms of the features they provided. Some of the brands knocked it out of the park with the quality and features they provided.

All in all, an amazing set of bikes was presented by all manufacturers and is worth your consideration. Some high-end brands have even started using aluminum frames in their bikes to offer more affordable options for their customers and beginners. 

Whatever bike you decide to choose today, I can guarantee that you won’t be disappointed; my in-depth research will be sure to pay off when you find the aluminum bikes of your dreams.

Keep pedaling, my friends! 

Alex Bristol

Content Manager at Pedallers

ABOUT

Alex is a cycling expert at Pedallers and focuses on reviewing bikes, accessories, and general cycling. He searches for the most up to date products that match the needs of cyclists across the world. Whether it's recent news or the best bike set-ups, Alex is a trusted source for anything around cycling.