Many bike snobs choose carbon bikes. Some prefer steel or titanium. But I’m a little different — I love aluminum. You might think I’m crazy but don’t be so quick to judge! Many modern aluminum bikes have well-engineered frames and solid builds that are a far cry from the bone-rattling budget rides of yesteryear
Aluminum bikes can offer serious performance, comfort, and durability, without a serious hit to your bank account. If you’re thinking about aluminum for your next ride, here are 10 of the best aluminum road, gravel, and mountain bikes for sale right now.
Aluminum road bikes
Specialized Allez Sprint Sagan Superstar - $3,673.99
I absolutely adore the Allez Sprint. Specialized created an aerodynamic speed demon with hydroformed deep-section tubing and amazing paint jobs like this sparkling Sagan Superstar edition. Specialized’s D'Aluisio Smartweld technology increases stiffness in key parts of the frame for maximum power transfer and razor-sharp handling that will please hardcore racers.
Cannondale CAAD13 Disc - $3,199.99
Cannondale pioneered the use of large-diameter aluminum tubes with its CAAD (Cannondale Advanced Aluminum Design) series frames. With every iteration it reduced weight, increased stiffness, but maintained a supple ride thanks to thin-walled, butted tubing. I have owned three CAADs myself (CAAD9, CAAD10, CAAD12), and hope to someday add the aerodynamic CAAD13 to that list.
Trek Emonda ALR 5 Disc - $1,999.99
The Emonda was originally conceived as Trek's ultimate lightweight climbing weapon. Even with the aluminum ALR version, the frame is exceptionally lightweight, coming in under four pounds with the fork. Pair it with a workhorse drivetrain like Shimano 105, and you have a recipe for a fast training bike that can still take the summit on race day.
Pinarello Alu PIsta - $1,376.99
In some cases, less is more. Fixies are quick, tough, and dead simple to maintain. I’ve gone through dozens of fixed-gear bikes in my life but I've never had one quite as unique or Italian as this Pinarello Alu Pista. If you're going to ride it on the road though, it’s not drilled for brakes so have your skid game dialed or keep it on the track.
Aluminum gravel bikes
Niner RLT 9 - $3,149.99
Niner is all about adventure, and the rugged aluminum RLT 9 is versatile enough to smash out a quick gravel lunch loop or trek hundreds of miles from civilization. Mounts on the frame and fork let you attach racks and fenders to build the ultimate tool for commuting or bike packing. Wherever your ambition takes you, the RLT 9 will have your back.
Trek Checkpoint ALR - $2,149.99
The Checkpoint combines versatility with speed. The aluminum ALR version shares the same geometry and rack and fender mounts as its carbon brother, but forgoes the fancy IsoSpeed decouplers (which I don't like anyway) to lower the cost. For most riders, this is all the bike they'll ever need to go from their weekly commute to racing high-speed gravel events.
Cannondale Slate Force 1 - $3,673.99
Cannondale brought CAAD technology to gravel and revolutionized the genre with the innovative Slate. It introduced 650b gravel tires and a 30mm travel Lefty suspension fork, showing riders that plushness equals speed on rough gravel roads. It quickly proved itself with wins at Unbound Gravel. Though discontinued, it’s sure to become a future legend.
Aluminum mountain bikes
Marin Hawk Hill 2 - $1,999.99
If you're looking for the ideal beginner mountain bike, it's probably made out of aluminum, and it probably looks a lot like this Marin Hawk Hill. This bike exemplifies everything great about aluminum bikes. It's affordable, tough, and it's built with components that will get new riders up to speed. It's a perfect platform for learning the art of trail riding and upgrading along the way.
Trek Fuel EX 8 XT - $3,499.99
Many riders search for the elusive "quiver-killer," a mountain bike that can do everything from XC trails to downhill runs. Well these bikes already exist, and they come in the form of mid-travel trail bikes like this Fuel EX. With 130mm of travel and a 140mm fork, it's efficient, but plush. Whip it off big jumps, race down flow trails, or smash gnarly rocks, the aluminum Fuel can take it.
Devinci Troy GX - $4,499.99
Oh, Canada. If there's one country that really knows mountain biking, it's our neighbors to the North. They produce bikes like the Devinci Troy, a beefy trail bike for both weekend shredders and Enduro World Series racers. With Dave Weagle designed Split Pivot suspension (like Trek's ABP on the Fuel EX), you get bump eating plushness but enough platform to pedal back to the top for more laps.
Banshee Prime V3 - $5,199.99
Banshee was a reader favorite in our list of underrated bike brands. Bikes like the Prime are built tough to survive gnarly British Columbia terrain. The KS2 Link suspension with the new Cane Creek DB Kitsuma shock will soak up the harshest hits. And swappable dropouts mean riders can use different wheel sizes, axle sizes, and alter geometry to suit their style.
Knolly Warden - $5,198.99
More traction means more speed. The Warden employs Knolly’s patented Fourby4 suspension which reduces brake squat so the suspension stays supple and wheel in contact with the ground when you’re anchoring up on super steep trails. Even with 160mm of travel, it’s still efficient enough to pedal on all-day adventures.
Specialized Status 140 - $4,513.99
The Specialized Status is ironically named because it’s made for riders who don’t care about showing off the fanciest high-end tech. The Status uses a simple, tough frame and affordable components, so you can worry less about your equipment and focus more on shredding. Plus, it comes in a playful mullet set-up with a 29” front and 27.5” rear wheel.
If you want an affordable bike that can take a few knocks and last through years of riding, aluminum is always my recommendation. They’re great for everyone from beginners to experts, and with the right components, they can even compete with the best carbon super-bikes. If you haven’t ridden an aluminum bike recently, give it a shot. You might be surprised!