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Get a free comfort fitting ($30 value) with any bike purchase from Bike Worx.                                                        Whether it is Aluminum, Carbon, Steel or Titanium Bike Worx will let you try it before you buy it.  Come talk to our professional staff to see what is right for you.

Cannondale Road frames are built with in house custom lightweight oversized aluminum tubes that eliminate lateral frame flex for awesome transfer of power in climbs and sprints.  Cannondale measures the performance and durability characteristics of all frames and components in their Q-lab to ensure an end product quality of 100%.  Once you own a Cannondale you won't look back.  Be sure to check out the new six13 frame incorporating carbon main tubes for more vibration damping benefits.               

Lemond Road one of the few titanium and steel frame manufacturer in the world using laser mitering technology which makes for perfectly welded joints.  The end result is a stronger and lighter frame with the feel of steel.  Lemond frame geometry studies the efficient climbing position of the great Greg Lemond, putting the rider behind the pedals which makes for a more complete and powerful circular rotation of the cranks.

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Frame Fatigue Test


”Pfffffft, pfff, pfffffft .....” For two long weeks the computer-controlled pneumatic cylinders in the EFBe laboratory carry out the heaviest work and trachten for the frame fauchend after the life. The best of the best take the machine two days of hard work - and still they do not give up! Three light frames make it through the torture without visible marks. After 200.000 strokes output - divided in pairs - which visibly distort even the stiffest frames, the computer switches the test off for Cannondale, Trek and Principia according to plan.

A sensational result, in view of the tender tubes and enormous test loads. Also for Manfred Otto comes the surprising result: "Those are the lightest frames that ever came across the EFBe test stand, and in addition, they are also the most durable." The Time Carbon frame only barely fails because of the hurdle, and succumbs to a break at the chain stay after 182.000 footsteps in the heart of the frame. Likewise the second lightest frame in the comparison does very well and thereby exceeds all expectations: Schmolke's frame manufactured from inexpensive Russian titanium cracks after 160.000 cycles. Klein's Quantum Race fails in fewer cycles: after 132.000 cycles the down tube breaks. Below that comes Merlin's titanium splendor, the Team Road, and - based on the price -gives the largest disappointment: the frame breaks at only 106,000 cycles. Stevens' RPR4-Modell forms the tail end of the light frames, but it is the least expensive one with distance.

Steel in crisis: De Rosa's SLX quickly breaks after 57.000 cycles and does not come half as far as Bruegelmann's Barellia frame from the same tubing. Interestingly enough both break in the same characteristic way, scarcely above the lower head tube lug - a type of break, by the way, the TOUR tester has already seen in the field. The Fondriest frame, extremely light for steel, does not make it past the first load class and breaks like the much heavier Nishiki frame after scarcely 80,000 cycles.

Numbers and facts of the tested frames

Frame Weight Size Price(1) Material/Construction Cycles(2) Break Location Frame Stiffness(3) Reference/Info
Barellia SLX 2.080 58 798 steel, lugged 119.316 Head tube, lower lug 64,6/86,2 06196/750075
Cannondale 1.520 60 1.990 alu, welded 200.000 no break 91,3/92,1 0031/541589898
De Rosa SLX 1.895 57 1.650 steel, lugged 56.690 Head tube, lower lug 66,8/80,6 02871/275555
Fondriest 1.630 61 2.600 steel, welded 77.171 both chain stays 79,9/76,8 0821/27250
Klein Quantum Race 1.415 57 2.700 alu, welded 131.907 down tube, cable guide 89,0/94,5 06103/50700
Merlin Team Road 1.525 60 5.199 titanium, welded 100.595 down tube, shift boss 65,9/81,3 040/4806040
Nishiki Team 2.080 56 1.390 steel, welded 78.206 bottom bracket/seat tube/down tube 67,2/93,5 02871/275555
Principia RSL 1.460 60 1.895 alu, welded 200.000 no break 83,5/91,85 0531/2872913
Schmolke Titan 1.300 59 2.000 titanium, welded 160.356 down tube, bottle boss 64,3/70,2 06139/6735
Stevens RPR4 1.515 57 1.299 alu, welded 85.032 right chain stay 77/84,7 040/4806040
Time Helix HM 1.485 57 2.990 carbon/alu, lugged 181.966 right chain stay 66,5/86,2 07159/945930
Trek OCLV 1.200 58 2.800 carbon, lugged 200.000 no break 75,3/94,5 06103/50700

(1) Price for frame set with fork in DM. (2) tested for 100.000 cycles at 1.200 N, then increased to 1.300 N. (3) Head tube stiffness / bottom bracket stiffness.


The results are surprising and pleasing in their clarity. Pleasing, because they prove that by thoroughly thinking through the construction all desired positive characteristics are compatible together: durability, rigidity and minimum weight are not mutually exclusive properties. No question that some future purchase decisions will be shaped by this result.

Nevertheless the results require interpretation so that no misunderstandings develop. None of the tested frames is precarious or dangerous according to our estimate. Even to the "worst" frames in this test the following applies: the color of their bikes will no longer please most racers before the expected life span is reached. Strong and heavy riders, who proceed consistently with high force application, should however access the frames that can be proven more durable.

Because only one sample was tested in each case, no predictions about the quality and the scatter can be made about other frames in the series. During welding and brazing substantial deviations from the sample result are not unusual. It makes little sense to compare too closely the number of load cycles obtained. With this test it depends not on 10.000 or 20.000 cycles more or less, but on the order of magnitude: for example, the Time frame (182,000 cycles) and the Russian titanium (160.000) do battle in the same league. Beyond all imponderables of the sample investigation, however, the test altogether supports the thesis of durable lightweight construction: the results from the light frames with complex design cluster together at the top end of the results, frames of less expensive and heavier construction at the lower end.

The fact that aluminum and carbon frames in this test lasted longer than the steel frames is not in our estimate a question of the material, but the design effort. Not the material, but its skillful use gives the result. However, the manufacturers concentrate their design efforts in a logical way on frames with good potential for light weight construction - and those are made from aluminum or carbon, and only rarely (because of low rigidity) from titanium.