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Looking through the Trek archives, I see they have frame materials described as:

  • Alpha Black Aluminum
  • Alpha White Aluminum
  • Alpha Gold Aluminum
  • Gold Series Aluminum
  • 100 Series Alpha Aluminum
  • etc

How do these compare to other manufacturers who list the alloy number (6061, 6069, 7005, etc) and double/triple butted?

  • 1
    Note that the type of metal is not everything -- how the metal is formed is highly important (the old adage of painters and the best set of paints comes to mind). – Batman Jan 24 '15 at 2:56
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It sounds like they compare very directly with other manufacturers who list the alloy and butting, except that Trek doesn't release that. My guess is that some of those descriptions actually overlap and are just marketing hype that changes every couple of years. Your best bet would probably be to contact Trek directly and and see if they will "translate" their marketing terminology for you. Based on that forum, it looks like some people have already had limited success with that.

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http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/support/faq/question/what_are_the_differences_between_all_the_materials_you_use_in_your_frames/

This link might be helpful. It describes only two grades of alloy for their current bikes. The higher grade being hydroformed. Hydroforming allows profiling and shaping of the tubes. Its comparative to blow moulding.

With respect to then older tubesets - I seem to remember the differences being grade and butting. The higher end frames using lighter tubesets and triple butted. Most bike manufacturers in those days bought in their high end tubes from possibly the likes of Easton.

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